View Full Version : what is so good about over under shotguns

December 29, 2007, 01:15 AM
why are they so expensive? are they better then normal shotguns? It would seem having two barrels means each barrel would have a slightly different zero point right? So one would shoot lower then the other when aimed at the same place.

December 29, 2007, 01:28 AM
Not all O/U's or SxS's are expensive .... or good! But, the quality ones are essentially hand fitted. So, Craftsmanship. Many also receive upgraded wood, engraving of some sort, etc. Good ones are better balanced and handle easier and faster. Particularly the small guages. A bit faster on the second shot, but I shoot skeet and doubles trap with O/U, Semi and (skeet) a Pump. For hunting I often take an 870 though I have O/U's and SxS's in the safe. The third shot is faster with a semi or pump!! :D

The US had become enamored with O/U's and SxS's that were always popular in Europe. Had to be snobbish with my 870 ... even if I out shoot the guy with his O/U. :p

December 29, 2007, 01:30 AM
No shells to chase, lightning fast doubles, ability to use 2 different chokes if the setting calls for it, double triggers allow you to fire again after a failed primer/dud, shorter overall length for the same barrel length. They're supposed to be setup to have the same POI at a given distance. Even then, it's largely negligible differences before and after that point.

I think, though, in the end they're popular because they're nostalgic, purty, and classy.

December 29, 2007, 01:41 AM
ah thanks, ic ic. the new browning cynergy ones are nice but expensive at 2k. OU are nice to shoot.

December 29, 2007, 11:25 AM
All double guns are regulated to a POI (Point of Impact) , Which means they are built (whether side by side or over and under) for each barrel to hit the POI at a certain distance before the shot pattern starts to cross. Usually this distance is 25 to 35 yards , Different chokes will have an effect on this distance.

December 30, 2007, 01:08 AM
Lots of people like the simple sight line down a O/U double. I'm partial to SxS doubles and have a pair of SKBs that I wouldn't trade for anything.

Any quality double, O/U or SxS, is going to cost some serious money. They're largely handmade, and fancier than your normal pump shotgun. Expect to pay at least $1K for one, but it probably will just go up in value over time. I know mine have. Besides, a good shotgun, well taken care of, will last at least one lifetime.

December 30, 2007, 01:55 AM
i am guessing you have never owned one. They are the best balenced, offer the fastest second shot, (with the exception of a few select autos, like benelis) are very light and just look the best. The POI is gererally dead on if you buy a decent one (browning (not sparten), weatherby, or any euro version). They are not great field guns, you should not shoot steel down the barrel, as they are thin so the only time i have even seen them used in the field is for upland. I love my browning citori, but when i go bird hunting the 870 or A-5 comes with me.

depending on the shooting you do they can be a good or bad choice,

hope this helps,


Zombie Steve
December 30, 2007, 03:16 PM
I gotta ask, ckatsura - have you ever shot one?

I've became an O/U convert about 7 years ago. Browning Citori - best money I ever spent. It took a little to get used to being an 870 shooter for so many years, but it swings much better. Now the pumps feel strange to me. My Browning does it all - trap, skeet and upland hunting...
The actions are super strong too. Ask yourself why Olympic shooters use over / unders - because they shoot tens of thousands of shells a year.

...well, o.k., I still turkey hunt with my 870. :D

December 30, 2007, 03:24 PM
Depending on which O/U you get determines whether or not you can shoot steel through it. You can shoot steel through some, but not all Browning O/U's, research first and know what you can or can't do. Now the disclaimer, it doesn't mean that I would with my new found beauty.

December 30, 2007, 03:58 PM
Good comments I use a less expensive o/u but still like it for skeet and sporting clays, Took a couple of friends to the skeet range this week one had never shoot before he tried a pump an autoloader and o/u said they were all good but prefered the o/u mine has extractors not ejectors don't have to pickup hulls can have two different chokes for clays use an 870 for doves tho Good Shotting. Remember skeet are not hard to break just easy to miss.

January 3, 2008, 10:59 PM
yup ive tried a browing cynergy o/u before and i liked it. i just dont know too much about it but this thread has been helpful. thanks

January 4, 2008, 12:13 AM
I have NEVER had to pick up shells from any of my O/U's. I simply move my hand down after releasing the barrels and catch the hulls in my hand. I like that a lot better than picking them outa the barrels, faster too.

January 6, 2008, 11:04 AM
They are shorter so they point faster, quicker follow up shot than a pump and they are heavier so all day shooting clays doesn't hurt as much. The weight can be difficult for carrying all day though. For the field, I prefer my Benelli but the Citori is a great skeet gun.


January 6, 2008, 03:42 PM
>>They are shorter so they point faster<<

Oh, shorter than what, pray tell?

January 6, 2008, 05:08 PM
Rut, an O/U overall's lenght is shorter than the comparable pump or auto. You can actually have longer barrels and still be shorter. My new/used Citori with 28" barrels is about 3" shorter than my automatic Browning Gold Hunter with a 26" barrel. O/U's don't have much of a reciever to speak of when compared to an auto or a pump.

January 6, 2008, 05:59 PM
>>Rut, an O/U overall's lenght is shorter than the comparable pump or auto<<

Yes it is, when comparing like barrel lengths. However, with the move to longer barrels (32"/34") in O/U's, particularly in Sporting Clays, you can't say they are necessarily shorter overall. I know what you're saying though, as my 28" Benelli auto is a good 1.5" shorter than my Beretta 30" O/U. The Benelli auto receiver, in particular, is loooong, so I advise people not to get the 30" version lest they find themselves with something they're unhappy with. :)

January 6, 2008, 08:19 PM
Well yeah, I was comparing apples to apples. I guess I should have put a disclaimer that anyone can build anything to any length they want. But an O/U is always shorter than it's equivalent pump or auto. My 26" barrel benelli is longer than my 28" citori. So...an O/U is shorter and points quicker than a pump or auto.

roy reali
January 6, 2008, 09:19 PM
Any shotgun with a break open type action is easier to render safe. Technically, you can leave it loaded and have a gun that can't fire.

January 6, 2008, 10:49 PM
Someday I'll have my dream double; a Superposed with 2 sets of barrels. Until then my A5 will have to suffice. If you need to exude class, a double gets you on the right path. Be prepared to spend some money though; they can be verry pricey. The set I like is around 3k with the hard case. That's a LOT of reloads. A friend had a Perazzi rebuilt by a factory trained armorer and spent 2k for the tuneup. I still drool a bit when I see some of the fine sxs guns at the show. It all boils down to what you want and want to pay. CB.

January 8, 2008, 02:23 PM
I purchased several years back a matched set of Stoegers O/U and SBS.. Only issue ever was the O/U when only one barrel would fire--brand new out of the box-- Sent it back to benelli and they fixed no problem.. Yes they are without all the bells and whistles but a pleasure to shoot..

Along another note--Just heard on the news that a quail hunter in S. Texas lost his life last weekend.. Unloading a dog out of the kennel in the back of his truck the dog stepped on the autoloader's safety and somehow someway hit the trigger as well--Hunter was shot in the leg and had too much blood loss---terrible

January 8, 2008, 04:43 PM
Loading your shotgun prior to being ready to walk is a bad idea. The last thing I do prior to leaving the truck is load (if the truck is right next to a pheasant area). If it is waterfowl I am after, I do not load until I'm at the blind or in the field....stuff happens (trip and fall etc) and if it is going to happen I want my chamber to be empty. Now, I do on occasion put two in the tube of my benelli, hit the release so that one is waiting to chamber. That way if a flight of ducks/geese happen to jump me unaware I can cycle the action and I'm ready to go (has never happened, likely never will). But my chamber is always empty until the hunt actually begins...maybe it's the former marine in me, but that seems the right way to go. Damn shame to hear about that hunter.....tragic.


January 9, 2008, 04:38 PM
Expense is a relative issue - but in general for a good target grade gun these days ( Browning or Beretta as an example ) $ 2500 is a fair / but certainly not expensive gun.

Is an O/U better than a pump or semi-auto - not necessarily - they're different. There is more work on an O/U - 2 firing pins, the receiver is thicker metal usually and there is often an upgrade in wood - but the point of impact on most decent O/U's on top and bottom barrel should be the same.

O/U's are a nice way to train new shooters - very easy to see when its open if there are shells in the gun or not - so less worry. Its a simple mechanism to open and close - vs loading a semi-auto or cycling a pump gun. Young shooters ofter have an easier time with an O/U because their arms are a little shorter and they have less upper body strength.

I will often use a Browning Citori XS Skeet O/U in 28ga to train new shooters - less recoil, its about a 7 1/2# gun so relatively light - and when its open I can easily see when its empty so I don't have to keep bitching about that issue. I do use a semi-auto Benelli super sport to train new shooters as well - 12ga - it absorbs a lot of recoil, I start with 7/8 oz 1200 fps so light loads, and then work up into 1 oz loads at 1250 fps - its a light gun, performs well - if they can handle the process of loading, dropping the bolt, etc - but I find kids that are under 12 are better off with the 28ga Over Under / and adults or ladies (if they have a little more upper body strength) like the semi-auto a little more.

My first shotguns were pump guns - Browning BPS - and I still have them today in 12ga and 20ga - and they're great guns and very versatile. I often hunt with an O/U in a variety of gagues / and sometimes a pump or a semi-auto. One isn't better than the other - just different.

January 11, 2008, 05:23 PM
They are not great field guns, you should not shoot steel down the barrel, as they are thin so the only time i have even seen them used in the field is for upland. I love my browning citori, but when i go bird hunting the 870 or A-5 comes with me.

REALLY? You'd never know it by me. I shoot an O/U much better in the field than I ever did my old 870 and find it much more comfortable to carry. Part of that may be due to the fact there is no height transition from reciever to wood like there is on a pump or semi auto, part may be due to what seems like a better balance point. I have also used both my 12 and 20 on waterfowl with exceptional results. I have noticed one thing thought for some reason the O/U's with a "field" designation seem to have heavier forestocks. One of the reasons I got rid of my older Citori "special steel" and moved into a Red Label.