View Full Version : Choice of Over and Unders

August 22, 2007, 12:04 PM
I have done some searches and read what other say about certain o/u shotguns but I have some criteria that I would like some opinion on. I am not spending more than $500, end of story. Dove hunting, clay birds, pheasant, rabbit, etc.
I have 4 models that I have looked at and want some insight.

Tri-Star field hunter
SPR-10 imported by remington
Stoeger Condor
Charles Daly 106
Also, the Savage/Stevens 512

I think all are made in Turkey and want some real world experience from anyone who knows anything.

August 22, 2007, 12:45 PM
The most important thing about shotguns is fit - so the guns shoot where you look. Models, length of barrel need to be secondary - look the specs over on each model - drop at heel, drop at comb - and by shooting other guns, figure out what fits. Take the guns to the patterning board - and make sure they hit where you are looking. Shotguns do not come in a one size fits all.

Of the models you are looking at the only experience I have is with the Stoeger - and I was not impressed with the workmanship or the quality. In my view it is a very short term shotgun and will not withstand any long term use.

August 22, 2007, 01:21 PM
The SPR10 is made in Russia, the Stoeger in Brazil I believe and the rest are made in Turkey. I would not buy any of them but in your case I would go the SPR10. The others I would not trust to hold up. I have seen all the others except the Stevens and the owners did not keep them very long due to problems. Some people have had good luck with them but it is a crap shoot.

Smitty in CT
August 22, 2007, 03:08 PM
I got to handle and take apart a Stevens 512 last weekend, I was not impressed.

They are made by the TORUN/HATFIELD Gun Co. ??

The "pheasant-looking" bird on the side looks like somebody's lapel pin that
they just glued to the side of the receiver.

The "Black Chrome" finish looked like it came right out of a spray can...
They didn't even mask the bird very well, so that looks really bad.

The quality of the wood actually looks pretty good, there is some nice laser cut checkering, The wood to metal finish on the one I saw was very bad, though, almost flush on one side of the receiver and about 1/16" proud on the other side.

We had a Mossberg Silver reserve next to it for comparison, the Mossberg looked better, cosmetically. The gun is too new to know how it will hold up with lots of round through it.

I'm not a big fan of the budget O/U's, you have to read up and know what the pitfalls are for the particular model you're looking for. As long as you understand that you are buying a sub-$500 o/u and are comfortable with what that brings along with it, you should be all set.

If it were my money, I'd buy a Mossberg Silver reserve, have Mossberg send you a bunch on "new" firing pins. Then learn how to change the firing pins (10 minute job).

If you have an Academy Sports near you, I've heard good things about the Yildiz guns, no 1st hand experience, though.

Good Luck

Capt. Charlie
August 22, 2007, 03:42 PM
I also have a Mossberg Silver Reserve (http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossberg_Guns/930/New/75253.jpg), and while it's certainly no Browning, I think it's a lot of gun for the money.

If it were my money, I'd buy a Mossberg Silver reserve, have Mossberg send you a bunch on "new" firing pins. Then learn how to change the firing pins (10 minute job).
I'm not sure, but I believe the firing pin problem has been solved in the newer Reserves. Mine has a little over 500 rounds through it so far without a hiccup.

Smitty in CT
August 22, 2007, 03:49 PM
That's why I said, "have Mossberg send you a bunch on "new" firing pins". :):D:)

I don't trust them either.... we have 8 of them (4-12's & 4-20's) at the club where I shoot to use as loaners/rental guns, they get used a lot and "so far" they haven't had any problems....

Red Tornado
August 22, 2007, 04:28 PM
I have the Stoeger and like it pretty well. I did lots of online research and it got good reviews, and my local dealer had one and it fit. I'd recommend it for the price.

The Remington is made by Baikal, and while I haven't seen one in person, I think very highly of any Bailkal products. They may not be the prettiest, but they're well made and rugged, which beats pretty in my book. I was very interested, but was afraid they wouldn't fit as well as the Stoeger, and didn't want to order one sight unseen and get a shotgun made for someone a completely different size than me.

A guy at my club has a Daly, and he has good things to say about it. He shoots the heck out of some trap with it.

I haven't handled any of the others. Hope this helps a little bit.

August 22, 2007, 04:54 PM
Its your money!!!!!!!

But don't say you haven't been warned about $500.00 O/U's.

August 23, 2007, 02:19 PM
Watch the Mossberg SR. I had one and it served me well for the 1200 rounds that I kept it. Oh, except for the hammer that had to be adjusted so the lower firing pin would contact the shell primer (about 400 rounds), the broken firing pin and bent hammer rods at about (800 rounds), the occasional failure to fire, gone shortly after that. Also a couple missed weeks while I waited for Mossberg to send the pins after ordering them 2 times. Of the 2 others I know of, one of the two has a broken firing pin.

I cleaned this gun after every outing (every 50-100 rounds).

The club I belong to has a couple of Stogers and they have been good. I agree that they are not the nicest looking gun I wish I had bought one of those, for what I lost on the SR I could have thrown on of those in the trash.

August 23, 2007, 05:56 PM
It seems CZ is pretty good with theirs. Have you looked into that brand?

August 23, 2007, 06:49 PM
If the CZ line is a good for the money as their handguns they'd certainly be worth checking out.

August 23, 2007, 11:07 PM
There is NO WAY you are going to get a quality O/U for $500.00, just no way. Forget the O/U and look at some pump or semi auto guns. At least you have a good chance on having a worthwhile gun.

August 24, 2007, 10:03 AM
I own the mossberg o/u in 12 ga. The only problem I have had is that one time both barrels discharged at the same time. Quite a suprise. Other than that, no problems.

August 24, 2007, 06:39 PM
I really appreciate everyone giving me their input. I will check out the CZ's as someone suggested and I know several people who have the Stoeger's and just love them. I know several people that have the Baikal Russian autoloaders and they swear by them and their over and unders. The information I have been given has been extremely helpful.
Thanks again TFL!!!!

August 30, 2007, 05:01 PM
Charles Daly 106, Stevens 512 Gold Wing, Mossberg Silver Reserve. All of these o/u s are made by a division of Khan in Turkey. They make several models for various companies in the USA. When they contract with a company for a particular model they will start a new division of Khan. Go to www.centuryarms.com/pdf/Khan_Supr_flyer.pdf and see what they have .

August 31, 2007, 07:27 PM
Hmmmm! I'd take my $500 and get an 870 or 1100. Leave the second/third rate O/Us alone. Everyone will know what it is so no prestiege in having it. and the Rems will last you forever. Save for a good O/U.
Ok, have at me!

August 31, 2007, 08:58 PM
I'm not going to have at anyone. I appreciate the input. I have had pumps and semi's and just wanted some input on some O/U's. I stumbled on a Lanber O/U at a gunshow a while back and have heard good things about it. It's spanish.
Some people have been saying to save and get a good one because everyone will know I bought a cheap one. Something I guess TFL doesn't know about me is I don't care what others think of me or what I bought. When I make my decision and buy it, everyone can kiss my ass that don't like it. I do value the opinions of my fellow TFL members because of their knowledge and experience.

September 6, 2007, 11:00 AM
I bought a Tri star 20 ga last fall but I really didn't get much of a chance to wring it out. I do know it fits me and points very well. It does seem to me that the top barrel shoots a bit low so I sent it in and they sent it back with the test targets.(apparently as long as "some" portion of the pattern hits the point of aim it is within specs). Safety was a bit loose, and very easily disengaged till I sent it back so they must have fixed that. Probably wouldn't hold up as a trap gun but for the couple hundred rounds a year I will put through it it will probably hold up well. One note: I have noticed a lot of variation in cast off of many of the lower priced guns (Baikal in particular) so if you buy one make sure it fits. I saw one that had so much cast it could have passed for a golf club or hockey stick. I had to pull my cheek off the stock just to sight down the barrel.

September 6, 2007, 11:17 AM
Desire for decent O/U shotgun = Ruger Red Label.

If I had thousands to spend, I could name others. But the Ruger remains an outstanding deal.

Learn from the experience of others. I have lots of guns. And many times I bought the "simple model that would get the job done." A gun like you could buy in any gun store in the US. With few exceptions, those guns have sort of been pushed to the side around my house. They get used as spares or backups but life is too short to use a gun as some sort of generic tool. Go to a gunstore and pick up half a dozen models. Break them open and really look at them. The one that makes you say "wow" is the one you want. I'll buy generic salt and sugar but I'm done with generic guns!


September 6, 2007, 03:43 PM
I have a Daly 105, just a beater for doves. I haven't fired a ton of shells through it, but I like it a lot.

I got it for $289 new from Tanners Sport Shop on Gunbroker. If it breaks, I'm not out a ton. But it looks nice, has good wood, and works so far.

September 6, 2007, 04:04 PM
In 1974 you get a good, new, O/U for under $500. :D

I'd encourage you to spend more and also be sure to get one that fits you.

PS: I still shoot the one I bought in 1974 ;)

September 6, 2007, 04:29 PM
For less than $700 you could get an entry-level DeHaan O/U.


They are Turkish with an American importer who offers a money back guarantee if you don't like the gun when you get it and return it unfired. It comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labor.


Click on "About DeHaan Shotguns" for info on the importer and company, etc.

The thing about Turkish shotguns is that you only get the level of quality the importer is willing to contract for. They aren't all the same.


September 7, 2007, 11:31 PM
I had the same problem, I wanted a good O/U shotgun but I was not going to pay a grand or more for one. I did a lot of looking and found the Spartan to fill the need for a good shotgun that was in the less then 500.00 dollar range. I was a little concerned because I had heard some of the same things when talking to others, you get what you pay for, there are no O/U guns worth shooting. they are cheaply made and that I would be sorry.

I have to tell you that the Spartan is a Russian Block made gun, it is built like a tank and you will not be sorry when you shoot one. The action is a little stiff for the first couple of hundred rounds, but it is really smooth now. The gun points great and I consistantly shoot rounds of 22 to 23 when shooting skeet. I did buy some some good aftermarket chokes for the gun because it did not come with more then one choke of each type and I shoot skeet so I needed to buy two good chokes for the gun.

I know that if you try the gun you will be happy.:)

September 15, 2007, 10:10 PM
You might also look at Yildiz. They are sold through Academy Sports Stores in Texas.


September 18, 2007, 07:31 AM
Beater guns. I have two; a Stoeger Condor and a Mossberg Silver Reserve. Use them with my sons for Saturday afternoon clay tossing and light not serious hunting.

Problem is, you compensate for the ill-fit to hit something and when you go back to a quality O/U you have to start all over again. IOW, I would not use them to practice.

September 22, 2007, 09:04 PM
So BMARM4, are you saying a beater, cheap, entry level gun can't fit and only an expensive top level gun will? Are you speaking for yourself or is this true for all of us? I can't understand why you have two of them and let your sons use them, much less yourself. I hate to think you are wrecking your fine shooting skills on Saturdays and non serious hunts.

Someone help me with IOW, I haven't figured that one out yet.

September 23, 2007, 11:05 PM
I deceided to jump back in again. There is NO WAY you are going to get a quality O/U for $500. Ya, it will probably shoot and for a hunter it may last. I shoot probably 15,000 rounds a year and there is NO way a Stoger or any of the Turkish or 2 world country guns are going to last. Pure and simple.. It is impossible to manufacture an O/U for the same cost as a Rem 870 or 1100. If you think so, well, I am sorry, you are in some kind of dream world. Acid etched or laser engraving is NOT engraving, it is a silly attempt to fool people that are gulible, and of course,, it works. Browning, Berreta, Perazzi and others didn't get their reputation based on tacky looks. If a person can't afford a quality O/U, well get a Remington 1100 or 11-87 or a Berreta or a Benelli. Just spend your limited funds on a quality gun, even used as it will serve you better than a fancy POS. Think about it for a second, how could you buy quality for the price of some of these guns? Of course you can't. Don't get sucked up in the hype. If you do.. You lose in end

September 24, 2007, 08:36 AM
There are 2 that I can recommend from personal experience.

1. Baikal/Remington I bought one of the pre-remington import guns back in '98 and put about 6K rounds through it without a single hitch. It will not have the fit and finish of the other B guns, but if you can wear one out I'd like to hear about it. This is a design the Russians have been building for years and it's very durable. personally I'd look for a pre remington gun as the remington guns are not only more expensive, but they added some cheap cosmetic "upgrades" like the nickle receiver that I don't care for.

2. Since you seem to be into function over status, find yourself an old Marlin model 90. The marlin 90 is a wonderfully balanced target and game busting machine built by an icon of American gun manufacturing and 12 ga versions can be bought on the internet auction sites for $300 - $400. I've been putting 1000 plus rounds/month through my 12 Ga model 90 (apporx 10k so far) and it's still as tight as the day it left the factory. Most folks don't like the looks of the Marlin til they shoot one and then they are hooked.

My marlin 90's


Shell Shucker
October 1, 2007, 09:24 PM
Quality costs money; plain and simple. The cheap guns may go BANG but you cannot realistically compare them to "B guns" or better. Most do not have the fit or finish that a 30 year old 870 has. If you want QUALITY save your money. You may find that a pump or auto is a better gun in the low/medium price range.
Having said that, I'd rather see 30 shooters show up at the skeet range with new $500 O/Us than three show up with Brownings.......... Buy what you want. Just be aware of what you're buying.

October 4, 2007, 07:11 AM
I started shooting skeet a few months back and I was looking at some of the less expensive guns. They seemed ok. since I allready owned one Mossberg I was looking hard at the Mossberg silver reserve and thats what I ended up buying. Well I took it out and I did ok with it. The first thing I noticed was when I was cleaning it the upper barrel was tighter than the bottom when I pushed the jag through. I thought it could not be. But it was. After a while the trigger on the second barrel would malfunction and lock up. Irritating to say the least. A buddy of mine fealing a little sorry for me loaned me a Browning Citori to see the differance and I'll say that it is night and day. I ended up at buying a used Citori for around 1200.00. I will have this gun for life. The quality of my shooting has doubled and the last thing I worry about is if my gun is going to work or not. As for the Mossberg, Its gone never to return. Don't waist your money.

October 4, 2007, 10:24 AM
A Stoeger M2000 semiauto will fit into your budget. It is a high quality gun, probably one of the highest quality budget guns made in Turkey. Top quality tooling and precision fit not normally found in a Turkish gun. It is interesting to me that the M2000 beat the much higher dollar Franchi I-12 in performance tests.

Since most everyone has advised against a budget O/U, maybe you should consider a good semiauto. For under $500 you can get a new camo Advantage 4 M2000 with 5 chokes, including the tightest turkey I have seen patterned. Or you can get a used 1100 or 11-87 in your price range.

I have had good performance with my M2000.

Zombie Steve
October 4, 2007, 05:48 PM
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten. "
... but it's true IMHO.
Save up and get a Browning, Beretta... you get my point.

October 4, 2007, 06:52 PM
"There is NO WAY you are going to get a quality O/U for $500."

Perhaps new, but you can get a Savage 330 made by Valmet or 440 made by Fabarm. They are quality O/U's.


October 12, 2007, 03:04 PM
I totally agree with several of the others who have said what we all know to be true... Quality Costs Money!!!! I had a Stoeger, it was ok, I guess. I got rid of it after about a year. I also shot one of the remingtons... Again, ok, I guess... Nothing like a quality gun... It's up to you, you can buy a gun that from a distance looks like a nice gun, or you can buy a nice gun, they are 2 different things. And no one on here can tell me you can buy an O/U gun for $500 that's really worth a d4mn. In my opinion the best you could do is a franchi for about $899. I would go with what others have said though, use the $500 for a quality pump, or wait till the bankroll has built up a bit more. P.S. I'm not trying to be some sort of gun snob. It's just that I've done exactly what you're talking about, and I felt like I wasted my money.... And I hate to waste money.

October 25, 2007, 08:57 AM
I shoot a Stoeger Condor and it works perfectly every time! Don't let the people with a lot of money scare you away from this gun, or you'll miss a great shooter. The fit and finish is nice on mine, too, they must have improved them. Mine is only a year old. Find someone that will let you shoot theirs-I think you'll be impressed. I agree that if you shoot 1000+ rounds a year this may not be your best choice, but when used 90% for hunting like mine, I doubt I'll ever wear it out.

November 7, 2007, 10:49 PM
There sure are alot of people troubled by the idea of buying a $500. O/U. Wonder why that is?

I've had a 101, Red Label & a Lanber I won. I hunt but don't shoot trap any more. All the guns worked fine. I like the Ruger best but for fit & finish/vs price, the Lanber wins. It was a $300. wholesale gun at the time. None ever needed repair.

November 8, 2007, 12:05 AM
If $500 is your absolute limit, you are pretty much limited to Baikals. A clays course near me keeps a few on hand for loaners/rentals, but they seem to be tough guns...

November 8, 2007, 12:46 AM
There's nothing better than taking one of these "cheap" O/U's and out shooting/embarhassing someone who paid $2000 but can't shoot well... Lots of fun at the ol' snotty shotty club :p

November 8, 2007, 01:02 AM
Turning the issue sideways 90 degrees I like my two Baikal 12's and a twenty. All are double trigger. Very rugged. One 12 is pre-Remington with fixed chokes. It is a good later model after a particular American importer gave 'em a kick in the pants and said to make the guns better. Then Remington took over distribution. My other two are Remington marked. I am cutting two stocks to straight form which will change their feel and require new extended butt pads - which in at least one case will be made from solid Gabon ebony.

Hit shotgunworld.com, doublegunBBS.com, or shotingsportsman.com. This last is a magazine with a decent web site but I and other people have been banned from it and so those expatriates started their own shotgun site. There is also an excellent doublegun E-zine to which I subscribe for about $12-18 per year. Is bi-monthly but you can download up to sixty pages of fabulous history on ol' crotch shotguns and bind it - which is what I do.

Smitty in CT
November 8, 2007, 07:32 AM

Plus, your winning bid is tax deductable!!!

November 8, 2007, 06:03 PM

You would not believe the amount of people who shoot $2000.00 + guns that only shoot so they outshoot guys with $300.00 guns.

I am one of those snobs. Before you can shoot on my squad I need to see a receipt for the price you paid for your gun. Here is how it breaks down. If your gun costs:

1. $150.00 - $499.00 you cannot shoot on my squad. In fact you have to park at least three stalls away form my vehicle and I will not talk to you.

2. $500 - $1000 I may talk to you if I feel like it, but you are not allowed to talk to me.

3. $1001.00 - $1499.00 - you can shoot "one" practice round with me, but if you talk to me you must address me as "Sir" and I will not give you any pointers.

4. $1500 - $1999.00 - you can shoot practice with me, but not more than twice in a seven day time frame. I may also let you look at my gun.

5. $2000.00 - $2499.00 - you are allowed to shoot registered 16yd targets with me.

6. $2500 - $4000.00 you are allowed to shoot registered 16's. HDCP's and doubles with me.

7. $4001.00 and up - I would consider you a friend and you could even lead the squad if you desire.

November 9, 2007, 01:09 AM
If you want to get into it you could also chop and saw on a Baikal double SxS to enhance the appearance a bit. I was driven out of one high end case color shop with kicks, curses, blows, and oaths (figuratively speaking) and forbidden to even email them. They said they didn't work on cheap or low cost shotguns. I sought out two other shops and told them I would avenge myself on uppity types by having my receivers engraved with peasants, cabbages and turnips. That brought a silent and ominous "no" from one shop (imagine a gunfight about to start in a western town) and someone else begged out after some email exchanges (these guys likely know of each other's shops and have likely met occasionally).

I did find someone to do an engraving job and he is now doing the barrels. Someone at a shotgun site had a stock for sale which I bought as something to keep for adaptation to some other gun and I think this Italian stock can be adapted to the Baikal receiver. I will make decorative sideplates and use inlays of bone or ivory to close any unavoidable gaps. Some of this must be farmed out but I have the equipment to do much of the work.

November 9, 2007, 06:43 AM
Why don't you look in the for sale section of this most excellent forum and examine the Winchester 101 O/U 12 ga. offered for sale at $499.00?
An excellent quality shotgun that will last several lifetimes for less than half what an equal quality new one (or used for that matter) would cost. Give a great shotgun a new home where it will be cared for and used regularly.
I'll even offer you your money back if it is not better than what its claimed to be.


July 8, 2008, 04:20 PM
New to the O/U game. Have owned Pumps. Just bought my Dad the Savage Model 512 Goldwing. Surprised by how expensive O/Us and Side by Sides are. With such basic mechanisms relative to Semi-Autos or even Pumps, Bolts and Levers would like to know why they cost so much. Bought a Benelli Nova 12 Gauge Pump two years ago at significantly less than The Savage and love it.

July 9, 2008, 10:22 PM
I will not even attempt to begin to know what i'm talking about when it comes to these types of firearms,but i will say this for Mossberg Silver reserve.There has been one sitting in our local walmart for about a year now and finilly the other day i noticed that it had a mark down tag on it.The original price was 477.98 and now it's 300.00 and still no one wants it.That tells me something about these guns,If nobody is even willing to buy it for 300.00 then how good is it.:confused:

July 9, 2008, 11:24 PM
If that was my WalMart I would own that gun Right Freakin' Now... it has to be 3 times nicer than a hunert buck NEF 20ga single...:D

July 11, 2008, 10:34 PM
I have the 20 ga. Mossberg SR and I like it a lot. A decent entry level O/U.
Firing pin issue has been resolved.
I like it. The point of aim is right on for me.
So what if the rude "snobs" don't approve; I'm not married to them and I don't hang out at the bar and gloat about my shotgun or my score that day.
My brother has a couple expensive Perazzi shotguns, is a master at trap and skeet; and he still talks to me. I am not as good as my brother (500 straight guy); but I still average in the low 20s with an occasional 25.

Close enough score for fun and camaraderie, anyway; if you are keeping score anyway, like it really matters for an enjoyable morning of shooting!
My Mossberg SR hits clays as well as any other shotgun I have;
Win SX2 12ga, Win 1400 12 ga, Remington 11-48 16ga.
Also, when going in the field for birds, a cheap reliable "truck" shotgun that you don't mind getting damaged, is a plus. It's a good inexpensive O/U for casual use.
Will it last as long reliably as these shotguns just mentioned?
Only time will tell.
A good, used Winchester 101 O/U 12 ga. mentioned here awhile back
for $499, would make my heart sing, though!

July 12, 2008, 01:18 AM
If you are spending 500 dollars on a new gun then any of them will do. You will be equally disappointed in all of them if you shoot alot. If you are looking for a used gun you might keep your eye out for a used SKB. They are very durable, handle well, and occasionly you can find them with some really great wood. The older Weatherbys were SKB for a while.

July 12, 2008, 11:22 AM
I will not even attempt to begin to know what i'm talking about when it comes to these types of firearms,but i will say this for Mossberg Silver reserve.There has been one sitting in our local walmart for about a year now and finilly the other day i noticed that it had a mark down tag on it.The original price was 477.98 and now it's 300.00 and still no one wants it.That tells me something about these guns,If nobody is even willing to buy it for 300.00 then how good is it

quality O/U's, and especially SXS's have a lot handwork involved in fitting, regulating the barrels, and finishing. That labor is expensive and raises the cost of a quality gun.

With those types, you DO get what you are paying for - if your goal is to shoot 500 shells through it in your lifetime, a cheaply made gun may hold up; if your goal is to shoot 500 shells 2-4 times a week, the cheaply-made gun won't last very long at all....

decide what you will do with it and go from there

July 13, 2008, 07:47 PM
Jebus! The man said he was spending no more than $500...

Why suggest he do otherwise?

Some folks, as it happens, don't have the means, or the interest to invest more than they are comfortable spending.

This is maybe where I should steer the OP toward a nice Krieghoff. Especially since "Engraving" seems to be such an important criteria with some. (The price tag will, coincidentally, also allow him entree into the rarefied world of yet another commenter)
I've shot Kreighoffs...no better, and no worse than my lowly Stoeger. Which is to say, a scant few clays flew away to prosper and increase...

Oh yeah...and lets not forget the ever-important matter of "Prestige"!
The Kreighoffs is got dayseffs plenny-o-dat, yanno

I wonder why more people don't own them'?

Anyway, jfrey, I'm sure any O/U on your short list will service your needs just fine

My Condor, BTW, is butter smooth and rock solid