View Full Version : Cheap SxS

April 11, 2011, 03:26 PM
I was wondering where the best place would be to pick up a cheap SxS either 12 or 16 ga. It would most likely have to be used, and I'd like it to be under $150 since it will get used HEAVILY bird hunting, skeet shooting, and maybe even waterfowl, and it will be taken through the swamps, likely scratched and dropped multiple times as well.

I know I could get a brand new pump for $150 at the wally world, but I've always loved SxS shotguns since I could walk. There are some real nice lookers I could pick up for $250, but I'm on a budget, as I'm currently in college and have many other expensive hobbies like snowmobiling and off-roading.

I was at a local gun show yesterday and a guy was selling 2 old New England Firearms 12 gauge SxS and they were in heavily used condition for $75, and when I inquired about if they fired or not, he didn't know, and told me to give it a go. Tried both, one hammer worked with the back trigger, and the other was dead on both. He had an Ithica for $100 and both hammers worked, but it had a chunk of wood taken out above the right internal hammer, and I figure that wouldn't be any good since dirt, rain, and stuff would get in there when I was hunting. I'd really love an old Ithica 16 gauge, but I'd rather wait a while and get one in really nice condition.

Thanks for any help.

Dave R
April 11, 2011, 04:35 PM
I lucked into finding an inexpensive SXS at a gun shop selling used guns. It's a "Liberty" brand. Made in Japan, I believe, for some US reseller. Its lightweight (my favorite thing about it) and reliable. The only negative is a W-I-D-E ramp between the barrels. I installed a 2nd bead on it to aid pointing. So I'd say look for a used Liberty.

Or a used Stoeger, but that will weigh more.

You will NOT find a new SXS for $150. So you'll have to look for used guns at pawn shops, gun dealers that sell used guns, gun shows, and auctionarms or other online resellers.

April 11, 2011, 06:17 PM
Hate to rain on your parade but, unless you are just stupid lucky, any SxS that you can buy for $150 or under is going to be pretty much junk.

April 11, 2011, 07:11 PM
Not only junk, it sure won't last being used heavily as you envision, nor most likely not be able to handle steel for waterfowl

Add a zero to your budget and you start to get into something in a SXS that will be decent and last

April 11, 2011, 09:01 PM
I got my harrison and richardson 12 gauge out of the garbage dump with a broken stock and I've put 200 rounds through it without issues, so I have faith in cheap weapons.

I know they have some external hammer 12 gauge SxS down at the local military surplus shop for $200 brand new. Handled it, was a little heavy, but felt nice. Didn't even think to look at the brand

April 11, 2011, 11:10 PM
Quote:I got my harrison and richardson 12 gauge out of the garbage dump with a broken stock and I've put 200 rounds through it without issues, so I have faith in cheap weapons.

There is a big difference between cheap and inexpensive. Harrington and Richardson made inexpensive guns that were exteremely durable.

Seriously back to your original post. You might haunt the gun shows and see if you can find a Baikal SxS. With luck you might find one in used but decent shape in the $200 to $250 range. That is as inexpensive as you are likely to find that will be durable and reliable. You might also luck into a Stevens 311 in the same price range but you won't get the changeable choke tubes you would with the Baikal. From there you jump to the 5 to 8 hundred range and that opens the field considerably in the used market.

April 12, 2011, 07:34 AM
We don't get an awful lot of gun shows up this way, but I'll keep my eye out.

So is it the particular age of the guns that can't handle the steel load, or just the quality of the material used or craftsmanship?

I heard if they have an issue handling steel shot they'll also have an issue handling high brass as well, which is the only thing I hunt with. Any truth to that?

April 12, 2011, 10:28 AM
So is it the particular age of the guns that can't handle the steel load, or just the quality of the material used or craftsmanship?

I heard if they have an issue handling steel shot they'll also have an issue handling high brass as well, which is the only thing I hunt with. Any truth to that?

To answer the first question - both. A well-made gun 70 years old is still a fine gun.

To the 2nd question. No. The problem with steel shot is not in the chamber strength. It's the choke. The steel used in many of the older shotgun barrels just can't handle hardened shot trying to get squeezed through the choke and the barrel starts to bulge. Those same guns are quite fine shooting high-brassed lead shot. Case in point is the Browning humpback auto. Great gun, but the chokes just can't handle steel shot very well.

If you want an old SXS to shoot upland birds with, fine. However, if you are looking for a waterfowl gun where you must use steel shot you are better off looking for a modern gun.

April 12, 2011, 10:39 AM
Ok, thanks alot for the clarification.

I was mostly considering the SxS for upland birds and skeet anyways, so I'd probably use my no choke singe shot NEF 20 ga. for waterfowl, because around here you only get one or 2 flying in at a time and I'd always hunt with my buddy with the canoe.

April 12, 2011, 10:57 AM
I've put 200 rounds through it without issues, so I have faith in cheap weapons.

You have a lot of faith then. I put that much every day I shoot through my shotguns and that is 2, 3, or 4 times per week. My most used gun has over 120,000 through it - you don't get that with a cheap gun. Even if your totals won't equal mine, you want to have it break in the middle of a hunt?

April 12, 2011, 12:57 PM
Well, when I have the time and money to buy all the reloading equipment, I'll probably shoot a lot more than I do. I'm lucky to get out once every 2 weeks in the 6 months there isn't snow on the ground here. No ranges, just old gravel pits.

April 12, 2011, 03:07 PM
Maybe some of these places are close to you?


April 12, 2011, 03:18 PM
A used Baikal or Steven 311 will fit your needs. U can probably find a used one for $250-350. Both will handle steel.

April 12, 2011, 05:16 PM
I will start look for a stevens 311. They're made by the Savage company right? My wal-mart special I bought is dead nuts accurate. If I'm shooting off a log or laying down I can get it to shoot about 2 or 3 inch groups at 100 yards with some Remington 150 grains (measured with my buddies range finder).

And I forgot about big pine gun club. They're in the next town over. I was thinking about joining them after I got a little better at skeet.

April 12, 2011, 05:55 PM
The 311 was a budget gun from years ago. They were decent guns designed to last the lifetime of a guy who only shot a box or 2 of shells a year. If you find one there is a good chance that most of it's life has been used up.

SXS's aint cheap to make and good ones hold their value. With a $150 budget a pump is the only real alternative if you want a dependable gun.

April 12, 2011, 10:40 PM
cheap SxS!! How about a nice vintage Stevens SxS 20ga/28" with black walnut wood. Durable as a Sherman tank... :) $195


April 13, 2011, 07:13 AM
Slugo you stole that gun. Stevens 311s in 12ga can go for nearly double that. A 20ga is worth even more. Congratulations on a sweet deal.

April 13, 2011, 08:20 AM
Dang Slugo, thats a nice looking gun for a tid bit under $200. Great find

I figure what I'm going to find is something that isn't pretty by any means, but just works, or at least that's what I'm hoping for.

Can't decide if I want a 12 ga. or 20 though. My current bird gun is a 20 ga and it does great, but I figure I want a bigger shot pattern of the 12 ga for shooting skeet, especially because I'm a beginner. I already have that old harrison and richardson one in 12, but it takes the incredible hulk to pull the hammer back and you can't have any moisture on your thumb or the hammer will slip (had that happen recently, lucky I always point my guns at the ground til I'm ready to fire).

.300 Weatherby Mag
April 13, 2011, 06:43 PM
The problem you are going to run into with most cheap SXS shotguns in the regulation of the barrels.. Often the point of impact of the two barrels will be way off.

April 13, 2011, 07:48 PM
Here's another inexpensive Savage/Stevens 511 from the 70's I picked up for $225. Gun is almost perfect, but I prefer the 311 I posted above. This one also is a 20ga/28"...


April 13, 2011, 08:09 PM
Gun is almost perfect

Might be in nice physical condition, but owning a Savage/Fox, the triggers are rough and the balance is more like a pig on a shovel - and I have the better model of all of them.

Slugo - you need to handle a nice AyA or even a used Uggie

April 13, 2011, 09:53 PM
.300 W, I was also worried about that as well, and the more I think about it, the more it worries me.

I'm almost thinking about saving up a little longer and maybe buying a brand new Stoeger uplander from able ammo, or maybe Bud's for $350.


What do you guys think?

April 13, 2011, 11:32 PM
I like my 20 gauge stoeger, but they go for around 300 used and in good condition.

April 14, 2011, 11:27 AM
Believe it or not, Baikel made a very nice and super durable SxS. Difficult to find though...

April 15, 2011, 03:57 PM
The 311 wont let you down. They were a very popular "working mans" gun and I know of several that have been hunted hard for over 30 years without a hiccup. They don't have the fit and finish of a higher quality shotgun, or the price tag. It should see you through college and probably beyond.
Once you graduate college and hopefully move into a higher tax bracket, you can buy a SXS with more snob appeal.