View Full Version : Double Barrel SxS

May 4, 2011, 09:15 AM
I have been looking for a Double Barrel for about a week and I really don't have any idea what is good and what is bad, but I was wondering if any of you have good recommendations on which ones to get. My price range is around 400. Thanks!

May 4, 2011, 09:32 AM
For $400 you are going to be looking at either a used gun or one of the cheaply built Turkish/Russian imports. Good quaility SxS guns are far more expensive to manufacture that a pump and the selling price will reflect that cost (lots of hand-machining is required).

For a used gun, it's hard to beat the venerable Savage 311. You can get a really good one in 12ga for $300 or even less. 20ga will run a bit higher. One in .410 will break the bank though.

May 4, 2011, 02:11 PM
Imo, I don't think you'll be able to find a nice sxs shotgun for much under a grand-and that's if, as Doyle noted, you find a used one at a good price. Of course, what is "good and what is bad" and what is "nice" about a given double shotgun is treading on a lot of subjective opinion but $400.00 isn't going to buy much more than a "coach gun" folks use in cowboy-action shooting.

May 4, 2011, 02:19 PM
There are some decent coach guns out there; in your price range, especially if you don't mind a second hand weapon. Stay away from stoeger Double Defense, other stoeger SXS seem ok, but the Double Defense is poorly made; I know I have both models of the DD(12 and 20) and they both have problems:o

May 4, 2011, 03:29 PM
There isn't much out there in that price range that is worth having long term ...they're expensive to make ( if they're built right ) .../ and they have so much drop at the comb / and the length of pull on many of them is so short ...a lot of shooters can't shoot them without some significant modifications to the stocks (or at least I can't).

Traditionally they were built for a different style of shooting - that was more traditional in Europe than the US ...but if they fit you they can be fun.

A SXS that is well built/and is a good solid gun - to give you some perspective is the Browning BSS ( Browning Side by Side) that was made from 1978 - 1987. There are quite a few of them around / they aren't really in the collectable category - like some of the older american or english guns ...and reasonably affordable at around $ 2,000 for a good clean one / although I've seen prices from $ 800 to over $ 5,000 on really nice ones.

You can do a search on gunbroker ....for shotguns / then put *BSS into the search category and current listings will come up on the BSS's - but you might find one with fixed chokes / that's been beat up a little in a local shop - that you can clean up / fix up and make into a nice gun for under $1,000.

The Turkish and Russian imports have all kinds of issues - barrels that are not regulated properly and not hitting the same point of impact / trigger issues / parts issues, etc ....

Expensive SXS's ..... Fox, Purdy, etc ...are priced at levels way above the Brownings for the most part. Beretta still makes a SXS in their field gun series - that retail new for around $ 3,500 and they're decent guns as well.


But the reality is - $ 3,500 for a new SXS is about what you'll have to pay for a good gun / $ 1,000 - $ 2,000 for a good used one probably ... / and I'm no expert on the older guns from Fox, Purdy, etc ....some of them can be purchased cheap ...but you're going to have to know what you're buying and whether it needs to be checked by a good gunsmith.

Even good used Over Unders ...which are less expensive to make than SXS's ---- used entry level guns, not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, from Browing or Beretta ...like the Browning Lightning series made in the 1980's ...will cost you $ 600 - $900 ....for a very serviceable gun these days....

Rather than buy a $400 gun that might not hold up / or has all kinds of issues ...I'd say save your money until you can afford to buy a decent long term gun ( that might even go up in value as you own it ) ...or consider a different platform if your budget is limited to $400.

May 4, 2011, 04:32 PM
You might try finding a Jap-made Winchester Model 23. This gun has been discontinued for some time but offered a lot of value for the money.

May 4, 2011, 05:13 PM
Ah I was afraid of that. I looked on gun broker and when I saw that the average for a good one was about 2,000 that sorta put me down. But do any of you have any experience with Stoeger Coach Guns? mnero said that the DD has problems but what about their other SxS? And thanks again for all the input. :)

May 4, 2011, 05:42 PM
I see a few of them at our local trap and skeet club ....and they seem to have quite a few trigger, firing pin issues ....the fit and finish on them isn't too good.

Its like a lot of guns ....when that platform becomes popular ....and a lot of guys want to shoot the platform ...that looks like what the long term shooters are shooting ....in shotguns (its the O/U's and SXS's ) ...in handguns its the 1911's ....

A lot of the import companies seem to jump into the market ...at an attractive price level - and a lot of shooters get sucked into these guns ...sort of knowning that companies like Browning and Beretta have long set the standards for very good guns at a price level ( and any decent gun smith can get parts and fix them, and often they go up in value ...) ...but some of the new guys don't want to pay the price ....so they try a lot of these imports. Some of the imports are ok / and some are junk .....and you can't tell by looking at them ( its about the steel, the quality of the pins, the springs, etc / are the barrels regulated properly so they hit the same point....) ....so its really hard to say ...you may buy a Stoeger and be ok ...and you might be really sorry ...but you have to know - the resale value is not going to be there when its 3 yrs old or 10 yrs old ...

Visit used gun shops ....see what they're selling ...compare prices / ask yourself why they're selling gun A for $500 less than gun B ...sometimes the owners of the shops know a lot /sometimes they don't ....talk to the shooters at the clubs in your area ....what they bought, why, would they buy it again .... If you see quite a few of model C for sale used cheap ...and they aren't moving ...you have to ask yourself why...

There is a reason Beretta and Browning shotguns - for the most part - continue to increase in value over time .../and its only my opinion, but in general, I think both Browning and Beretta give you a lot of gun for the money - and its not always about fancy wood ...its good steel, good long term components....and in guns that might well easily go 250,000 shells without any issues at all.

May 4, 2011, 06:12 PM
Hmm.. I will look around and keep my eye open. I have seen a few SxS at my local gun store going for around 350, so next time I will ask them about it.

May 4, 2011, 06:23 PM
It kind of depends on what you want to do with this shotgun too ....especially a short barreled coach gun ...not that they can't be fun to shoot once in a while .../ but they sure are not good long term hunting or clay target guns. If its just something to have a few laughs with ...that Stoeger may be fine ...

The biggest thing to be concerned about on these less expensive shotguns - SXS's and O/U's guns ...is barrel regulation ...in that do both barrels have the same point of impact ? A little bit of divergence might be ok ..maybe an inch or two at 30 yds...but you can't tell by looking at them. You need to be able to test them - say with a full choke at 30 yds.

If one is high left 8" and the other one low right 10" ...you have got a problem ..( and its not easy or cheap to fix ..) - which is exactly what happened to an acquaintance that purchased a Huglu O/U a few yrs ago and Huglu would not fix it...or warrant it ...and he bought it new. He ended up cutting the 28" barrels off ....and turning it into a coach gun ...(and lost about $ 300 ) in the process.

May 4, 2011, 10:39 PM
What I will mostly do with any shotgun I get is to just shoot beer can out in the desert, and maybe once every other year go turkey hunting. I wouldn't shoot it much cause I just don't have the money.

May 4, 2011, 10:58 PM
You can probably find a decent Stevens 311 or if you look hard enough a Marlin built L.C. Smith.

May 4, 2011, 10:59 PM
Best value in a decent new SxS is probably a CZ Bobwhite, street price around $660 or so. http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/bobwhite-202-b-case-hardened/

If you like an O/U they have the Mallard for around $460 or so. http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/mallard-104-a/

These are Turkish made guns, but CZ quality is usually pretty good.

May 4, 2011, 11:12 PM
Consider a TTN version of the 1878 Colt, as imported (from China) by Cimarron, EMF, and Taylor's and possibly others.

Next to Stoegars, it's possibly the most popular cowboy action shooting SXS, and it's got exposed hammers to add to the fun.

May 4, 2011, 11:59 PM
You might want to look for a Baikal SXS or Remington Spartan. Same gun except Remington imported the Baikal for awhile. It falls in your price range and comes with screw in chokes. Not the prettiest doubles but not bad and built like tanks.

May 5, 2011, 08:35 AM
Just looked at all the shotguns that were suggested, and theTaylors and Cimarron shotguns really appealed to me. Used they go for around 400, and for 50 bucks more than a used Stoeger I think its worth it.

May 5, 2011, 01:01 PM
Just looked at all the shotguns that were suggested, and theTaylors and Cimarron shotguns really appealed to me. Used they go for around 400, and for 50 bucks more than a used Stoeger I think its worth it.

These are some the imports that several of us warned you about. Yes, they may look OK on the shelf but you'll probably be disappointed several years down the road.

May 5, 2011, 02:35 PM
Quote Doyle"These are some the imports that several of us warned you about. Yes, they may look OK on the shelf but you'll probably be disappointed several years down the road. "

What specifically is it about these imports that is going to dissapoint? If they are standing up to cowboy shooting it would seem they have to be durable. I haven't examined these particular guns so it would be interesting to know.

May 5, 2011, 03:50 PM
Doyle can speak for himself ...

But these imported guns from Turkey and Russia - have all the issues we've discussed above on what I think is a high percentage of their guns ( maybe 7 out of 10 or more ) ....barrels aren't regulated so they don't hit the same point of impact, trigger issues, firing pin issues, stocks cracking .......guns like the Baikal in particular are just russian made junk for the most part ...I've seen a number of them double / when the trigger is pulled to fire one barrel, parts issues - when you break firing pins or springs...

the Remington Spartan, Mossbergs, etc ...and many of the guns coming out of Turkey fall into categories with these problems. In my opinion they're a waste of money ...but if you get lucky and get one of the 3 out of 10 that are ok ...they might last a few years / if your expectation is to only put a few hundred shells a year thru them.

The problem is - you can't pick the 7 out of 10 that are bad by looking at them ....so all I'm saying ..is buyer beware. I'm not just talking about the Turkish and russian made coach guns ...its all of their guns ...coach guns, SXS's, O/U's and semi-autos ...taking a chance on them is a "crapshoot" in my opinion. I hate to see guys spend $ 400 on some of these guns ...and they turn out to be junk / and I doubt the cowboy action shooters have any less failures on these guns than we see at the clay target clubs. But they might be "gunsmithing" them ...throwing out the internals ...and replacing them with better components ( kind of like guys do with less expensive 1911's / replace with better components ) ....or just throwing them away when they break ...

May 5, 2011, 04:41 PM
Actually regulation of sxs double shotguns is a much overstated thing. The idea that SxS shotguns whoever makes them are regulated to shoot both barrels to the same point of aim at some predetermined distance is a fallacy.
Double rifles yes double shotguns no. The way shotguns are used it wouldn't make much sense even if it were possible.
As to the Russian and Turkish guns and thier quality. They range from good and useable to very very good. I have several of the Baikal doubles and Huglu doubles as well as several much more expensive brands and they have a lot of rounds through them with no problems.
The Baikals in particular are to say the least robust. Yes they lack some of the aesthetics of my Ithacas, Parkers and Brownings but for what they are they are a good value.

May 5, 2011, 04:43 PM
Big Jim is spot on. When it comes to quality in a SxS or O/U, you are going to have to pay for it.

May 5, 2011, 05:16 PM
It really depends on how you define quality. I admit I really like high grade SxS and O/U shotguns. I must I own enough of them. I also like simple utilitarian tools like the Baikals and Huglus and I own several of them also and they serve thier purposes well. In thier own right they are quality also just of a different nature.

May 5, 2011, 05:31 PM
We just disagree Denster ....

I just cannot use the word "Quality" when I see anything made by companies like Baikal or Huglu ....but I'm also glad to hear that you're having good luck with your guns made by both companies.

But maybe you're right ...in what Quality means ....because to me a "Minimum Quality" shotgun ...will be trouble free for at least 25,000 shells / where I expect "High Quality Guns - not Expensive guns or collector guns" - just solid high quality guns like Browning and Beretta - to be trouble free for at least 250,000 shells.../ consequently, I say Browning and Beretta give you a lot of gun for your money ( not prestigious ) ...just good, solid guns...

I know not everyone has the budget to buy some of the well made SXS's ...but I've just seen way too many disapointed shooters that have purchased some of these guns ...and have quit shooting / because they lost a lot of money on guns that failed. I wish there was a way to pick the decent 2 or 3 guns out of 10 of these guns...but I can't do it. I often tell people - if they're really looking for an inexpensive O/U ...at least take a look at the offering from Cabelas... the TriStar ...that comes with a 5 yr warranty...so they have something to lean on if it fails.

May 5, 2011, 09:15 PM
Jim. I'll never be able to tell you if my Baikal or Huglu guns will meet your minimum quality requirement because it is unlikely that any of them will see 25,000 rounds in the time that I own them. They are guns I use to hunt with and shoot an occasional competition and I don't mind if they get a skin mark or two on them. If something breaks (unlikely) I'll fix it.
If I'm looking to impress someone at the club I'll take one of my other guns.

May 5, 2011, 10:03 PM
250,000 shells:eek:even if you can get the price down to 10 cents a shell, that is still 25 grand! How would you ever be able to truly give it the "high quality" test;)

May 5, 2011, 10:26 PM

Simple have a lot read that a lot of money and a lot of time to shoot.

May 6, 2011, 03:43 AM
BiPed, As I just posted, I bought a JW 2000 at Big 5 for $259+tax the other day and it works just fine. The finish, fit and feel are well worth the money. For shooting cans in the desert, how much gun do you need? I think this shotgun is all I will ever need.

May 6, 2011, 08:32 AM
Bottom line: SXSs are hunting guns. That's what they were made for...not Trap, not skeet, not Sporting Clays, not CAS. Yes, SXSs have been used for all of those sports but they shine in the field more brightly than any other venue.
I suggest that, much as I share BJP's feelings about quality (and I do), there are few SXSs that are going to be put to the 25K test.
As to $400 guns......the used market has been kind to me, though the guns that I have chosen to buy are antiques. Despite that, I hunt with them on a regular basis and have even shot SCs with one.
In one afternoon, I picked up a Parker VH and a LeFever Nitro Special for less than $800 total. Both guns were and are tight and bright. It was the LeFever that I used at Sporting Clays and did well enough that one of the other fellows in the party wanted to borrow it.

May 6, 2011, 10:13 AM
try one of these on for size before you spend allot of hard earned dough. 50's vintage Stevens 311. This one has the 5100 action and is a 20ga with 28" barrels and real black walnut furniture. I paid all of $200 bucks for the gun and it will last a few more decades...




May 6, 2011, 11:17 AM
Actually regulation of sxs double shotguns is a much overstated thing. The idea that SxS shotguns whoever makes them are regulated to shoot both barrels to the same point of aim at some predetermined distance is a fallacy.
Denster makes an interesting point, but he may be over generalizing. The makers (and modifiers) of fine shotguns have been known to spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to regulate SxS shotguns for discriminating clients.

A point that is often overlooked is that the SxS is, by it's nature, an inaccurate configuration. Unlike the O/U with its parallel barrels, generally SxS barrels converge at a single point and their accuracy is limited. Think of a attack aircraft with wing guns, there is a sweet spot where that bullets converge; but, at other ranges there is a horizontal separation. It's basically the same principle with a SxS shotgun.

Back in the day when black powder SxS smooth bores were front loaded with a wide variety of charges, scattergun performance, and accuracy weren't consistent. With today's longer range ammo the SxS's lack of accuracy becomes readily apparent. There's a reason why the majority of serious shooters traded in their SxS guns many years ago.

If you're only after a gun for close quarters action and/or nostalgia, then go for a SxS. On the other hand, if you're after a gun that will take advantage of modern ammo, you might be better served with a single barrel or O/U gun.

May 6, 2011, 11:26 AM
I'm not saying any of you guys are wrong in your approach ( well, that's not true / I'm still not buying a Huglu or a Baikal - even for the grandkids to shoot ) ....but another way to look at this ...and everyone is different in their usage and expectations of quality ...

I probably agree with most of you on the SXS's being used more in the field than in clay games....but let's switch it up to inexpensive O/U's that some shooters want to use in the field and in clays games...

A. ... $ 400 gun and if its a decent value I'm saying it has to go 10,000 shells in its lifetime/before major repairs. At 8 boxes a month - call it 2,000 shells a yr / or 10,000 shells in 5 yrs. At $400 and 10,000 shells fired that equates to $ 40 per 1,000 targets fired.

B. ..... $ 3,000 Browning O/U Citori XS Skeet model with adj comb 30" barrels ( a gun, that I say, will fit 99.9% of shooters very well ) ...not a fancy gun / but a solid workhorse. I can attest it will easily go 250,000 shells without any major issues ( and I have at least 2 of them / that are currently doing that and more )... 250,000 shells may seem like a lot but its common for a semi-serious shooter to fire 15,000 shells a yr as a local competitive shooter - sporting clays, etc ( 25 boxes a month in competition / 25 boxes a week in practice ).


You can buy Browning Citori's - like the Lightning - for $ 1,500 but the XS Skeet model has more adjustability / its not any stronger than the Lightning ....but for the sake of my comparison call it a $3,000 gun / it lists for more but $3K will get this gun, new in box, in my area ...

$3,000 @ 250,000 shells is $ 12 per 1,000 shells .....
The question is - what's the better buy .... the $40 per 1,000 shell gun or the $ 12 per 1,000 shell guns ......

Take into account resale value ....what is that $400 gun worth in 5 yrs ... $100 or $50 ...maybe ...
What is that $3,000 gun worth in 5 yrs ( even with 75,000 shells thru it ) ...$ 2,500 maybe $ 2,750 ...(because Brownings prices will go up about 6% a yr at least on new guns ...)...or at least they have for the last 15 yrs ..
I didn't always have $3K to spend on a gun / or the money to enter tournaments (target fees, travel, etc ) or shoot 15,000 shells a yr ....so like a lot of guys, for many years, I shot a Browning BPS ... 8 or 10 boxes a month maybe ...did some hunting, etc ... ( and I still have that gun that I paid around $ 125 for in the mid 1970's ) ....
But my point is --- that if you can afford a better quality gun ...maybe it pays off in the long run.
For what its worth ....I hunt upland birds with the Citori XS Skeet models as well as shoot Skeet and Sporting Clays with them ...not as much as I did 15 yrs ago ...and yes, they have a few marks on them / but even in a duck blind ...or on a Phesant hunt - you can still be careful with a nice gun ( it doesn't have to be a boat paddle )....and if, god forbid, you drop it or scratch it badly ...well winter time is a nice time to sand it out / repair the dumb-butt scratches a little if you have to ...

Just my perspective - there is no wrong or right answer probably .../ if one buyer thinks about this analysis ...I'm content ...regardless of what decision they make.

May 6, 2011, 11:44 AM
I haven't met a person who's fired 30,000 shells, let alone 250,000...

I've probably fired 400 in 5 years hunting (mostly shotgun, maybe 15% rifle), but I'm looking to get into trap, skeet, and maybe some longer range rifle work now so that is probably going to double this year.

I've had my eye on a fairly cheap SxS ($250) that I would use in trap and skeet plus would be my new bird and rabbit gun.

I didn't know SxS's came together at a certain distance, I figured it was like an O/U that would simply fire straight right next to each other giving you "basically" the same shot out each barrel.

May 6, 2011, 12:25 PM
I haven't met a person who's fired 30,000 shells, let alone 250,000…
Howdy, Murrdock, I've shot more than 30,000 shells in a single season of competition.

May 6, 2011, 12:31 PM
They should all hit the same spot ....or have the same point of impact..

but if the barrels are not properly constructed ...like the Huglu O/U that an acquaintance bought ...at 21 yards one barrel was high left about 8" and the other barrel was low right about 10" ...or an 18" spread ( which made it next to impossible to hit anything consistently with that gun )....

Qty of shells is relative ...but trust me, there are a lot of even casual competition shooters - shooting at least 5,000 registered targets ( tournament targets a year ) ...and practice at twice that easily ...so 15,000 targets a year isn't uncommon...among competition shooters...

I know quite a few guys that are retired or work for themselves - and they practice 3 days a week ( 2 or 3 hours ) - about 150 targets a day ...and then often shoot either Sat or Sunday/ sometimes both days in local registered shoots ....or easily 600 targets a week and when the regionals and bigger 4 day state tournaments come up -- they shoot at least 1,000 targets over those 4 day events between warm up, the registered shoot, after hours with a few crazy cash games... so call it 30,000 or 35,000 targets a year probably.

Yes, it does take money to do this ( but it takes money to do everything ) ...but if the kids are all grown, you don't have a weekend or 2nd house, don't like to snow-ski, don't like to play golf, don't have a boat, don't like to fish ...for a lot of guys shotgun shooting is a major hobby ....( my problem is I have too many hobbies / and I still work 3 - 4 days a week - because full time retirement would kill me, I'd be so busy .. ) ...:D

When I was raising kids in my 20's ...I didn't have a lot of extra money for shooting anything ...everything in moderation ..and over time ..../now I'm taking my grandkids shooting ...( so my expenses are up big time ..)...but my wife is very generous and does not make an issue out of it(for time or money ) ...as long as I keep it a little in perspective...

May 6, 2011, 12:32 PM
and my buddy Zippy speaks up ....( and he's serious ) ..../ and he did it for "many, many years " ....

May 6, 2011, 12:57 PM
Zippy13 brought up regulation and that some gunmakers will regulate doubles to shoot to a specific point with both barrels for discriminating clients. Let's discuss that a bit. That is possible and you are then limited to that one specific load and spending your time standing square to the patterning board and making it your sole target.
First it is useful to understand what happens that causes side by sides whether they are rifles or shotguns to shoot each barrel to different points of impact with one poiint of aim. Basically it is because the centerline of the bores of each barrel are left and right of the centerline of the gun. When the right barrel is fired recoil pushes the muzzle up and to the right a small amount before the charge leaves the barrel in like manner when the left barrel is fired it moves up and left. What then happens with loads the gun is not regulated for is the right barrel impact on target to the right of the point of aim and the left barrel impacts to the left of the point of aim. For a right handed shooter the left divergence will generally be less due to the support hand on the forend and opposite for a right handed shooter.
To counter this SxS have their chambers paralell at the breech and then at a point, generally at the forend latch hook used as a fulcrum, they are bowed toward the centerline of the gun so that the centerlines of the bores are closer at the muzzles then they are at the breech. There is of course a limit to the amount of convergence towards center that can be built in and it normally is not enough to overcome completly the effects of recoil with shotguns that have light barrels unlike rifles that have significanlty more weight to offset recoil.
It's interesting that if you were to put lasers into the muzzles of a SxS shotgun so that the beams were aligned with the centerline of the bores you would find that the beams intersected generally 9 to 12 feet in front of the muzzles. This is with 20 through 12 Ga it will be somewhat longer with .410.
This amount of convergence is not going to be enough to bring loads to the point they will cross at any point however it is enough that while the left barrel will diverge left and the right barrel will diverge right within the general range of loads for the guage it will not be enough to make any difference.
For example a 12Ga load that diverges 4" right at 15yds and 4" left at the same distance will be off 12"right and 12"left at 35 yds. With the dimensions of the pattern that is not really significant. By the way what I just quoted is about the max you might see.
Also the above is only valid with the gun stationary when fired such as at a patterning board. When you shoot at flying targets and the gun is moving up down left or right the inertia of the moving gun will considerably offset the effects of recoil.
This is what I mean when I say that regulating a shotgun is a fallacy. Shotguns are layed up to be reasonable close with the general range of loads for the guage. That is all that is necessary.

May 6, 2011, 02:08 PM
Interesting ...

And I know you said 12" left and 12" right is the max ... but that would be a 24" spread between them, if I'm understanding your point correctly...

So with a Modified choke at 35 yds giving you about a 36" pattern ....to center that target in the pattern ...you're going to have to adjust your lead with one barrel vs the other ....on a hard crosser moving right to left ....if you felt like you wanted 8 feet of sustained lead with an O/U on that target .... then with a SXS - you'd want about 7 feet with the left barrel and 9 feet with the right barrel (worst case) ..../ or am I missing something ?

And is that 2 Feet of lead variation / if you're shooting sustained lead ...a big deal ...it seems like a lot of adjustment to make as you switch barrels ...( and another reason why I like shooting O/U's vs SXS's perhaps ...). Shooting a SXS consistently might take more talent than I posess ....( I had wanted to be as quick as a Cat - but I was born like a Buffalo - so this is as good as it gets ...) ......

But interesting ...

May 6, 2011, 02:38 PM
Jim you didn't read all that I said. I said that the inertia of the moving gun largely overides the effect of recoil. I was only pointing out the fallacy that SxS shotguns are regulated to print both barrels to the same point of aim at a certain distance.
The example I was using was what you might expect to see if you took say a light 12Ga SxS best suited for a snappy 1 Oz upland load and fed it a 1&1/4 mag load.
If such things are important to a person you can adjust the load you use to the gun and get them mighty close. It just won't do much paracticaly except make you feel good.

May 6, 2011, 02:50 PM
I'll have to think about this some more ...

May 6, 2011, 08:33 PM
Well Biped, You asked about a SxS for around $400, Here's one for a lot less than that. http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l503/Wilddogx/002-1.jpg I got this one at the Big 5 in Poulsbo, WA for $259+tax. I really don't think it will "burn off" 1/4 of a million shells, but to shoot beer cans out in the desert, "Your In"! Get One and have FUN.

May 6, 2011, 09:45 PM
Let's say you're correct and stipulate:

Time and effort spent regulating SxS guns may not have been a wise investments except for very specific applications. And,
The resultant vector from the swinging gun's inertia and the eccentric recoil due to the SxS's geometry generally negate any correction by regulation.

Doesn't this serve to reinforce my supposition that the SxS is inherently the least accurate of the common shotgun configurations?

May 6, 2011, 11:14 PM
Well, I haven't met you personally Zippy, I didn't say people don't do it. I come from a economically depressed region so people can't afford to shoot that much, not to mention the lack of competitions.

I'm sure people who are quite into competition shooting will shoot that much, and people who can afford it (or spend their money on shooting versus other hobbies), but I have way to many expensive hobbies to ever go through that quantity of shells financially.

May 7, 2011, 12:01 AM

You are correct. Regarding how we generally define accuracy the single barrel ie: pumps, autos, etc. are the most accurate followed by the O/U and the SxS bringing up the tail.
That said all are accurate enough and the important thing is the skill of the man behind the gun.

May 7, 2011, 12:27 AM
The man was just looking for a 'cheap' SXS; all this debate and techno speak may have scared him off ;)I learned alot though:D

May 7, 2011, 01:06 AM

Please see PM.

May 7, 2011, 07:38 AM
Try your local gun shop, there are some out there you can trust, and telling them your NEW to the gunny world and they won't try to screw you.
If you get this good vibe, you can get a good used o/u or s/s for your price.
They'll be old but they shoot well and you'll be on your way, to a new higher grade gun. Don't waste your money on a Bentley when a Jeep will get you where you need to go.

May 7, 2011, 11:55 AM
Concerning the discussion about the need (or not the need) for regulating barrels on SXS doubles, I found the following quotation from Charles Askins in his book Modern Shotguns and Loads interesting, if, perhaps, a "bit" dated: "...Double barrels are of course forged in separate tubes, which are then smoothed down to correct shape and put together by soldering. It requires a clever workman to fasten a pair of barrels together so that they will shoot to an exact center, and in fact so adjusting shotgun barrels is a trade of its own. Occasionally at that, a pair of barrels will have to be taken apart and readjusted. Bore sighting is of considerable help in correctly placing two barrels together, and the man who has a suspicion that his two barrels are not shooting to center can test that out by putting up a six inch bull at thirty yards, fixing his tubes in a rest and sighting through them..."

May 7, 2011, 01:11 PM
Actually regulation of sxs double shotguns is a much overstated thing. The idea that SxS shotguns whoever makes them are regulated to shoot both barrels to the same point of aim at some predetermined distance is a fallacy.

Incorrect, at least on top tier quality guns. On bottom rung cheap guns from Russia and Turkey, you'll be lucky if they shoot in the same time zone.

Ask the folks at Purdey or H&H about regulating barrels

May 7, 2011, 04:08 PM
Actually it is correct and the folks at Purdy and H&H would tell you that shotguns are layed up not regulated. Double rifles are regulated.
Stop and think about it for a bit how useful would a shotgun that was limited to one load only be.

Also the so called cheap guns from Russia and Turkey shoot very well actually. The formulas for laying up SxS shotguns regarding barrel length, weight, convergance vs range of charges for the guage are pretty well known.

Interesting that a few months ago the History channel had an hour long program at Holland and Holland on constructing a "bespoken" SxS shotgun that went into detail showing the construction and laying up of the barrels, the machining and hand fitting of the action and stocking the gun. They did not regulate it and a "bespoken" gun is about as high tier as you can get.

May 7, 2011, 05:11 PM
Regarding the quote from Charles Askins. He was a colorful character. However the quotation shows he had a profound misunderstanding of that aspect of shotgunning. Particularly the part about putting a target up at 30yds and sighting through the bores. That is just so much bologny. It is not important where the muzzles are pointing when the trigger is pulled but where they are pointing when the charge leaves the barrel.

May 7, 2011, 05:53 PM
I have some pretty danged accurate SXS's that were cheap.

May 7, 2011, 08:30 PM
Hawk, I'm guessing "pretty danged accurate" is more than okay for cowboy competition and game getting, but wouldn't be at home at an ATA 27-yard event nor a Saturday night pot shoot where single barrel guns rule.

May 7, 2011, 08:56 PM
Maybe not Zippy but neither would I.

May 7, 2011, 09:54 PM
Can't resist saying that a 32" barrel full choke trap gun would be kind of out of place at a cowboy shoot, or a rabbit thicket or quail covey. Each tool to it's best purpose.

May 7, 2011, 11:47 PM
Each tool to it's best purpose.
Yep, you know that and so do I. How do we get the first time shotgun buyer to realize there isn't a cheap do everything shotgun available? All gun acquisitions involve some degree of compromise. The best gun for a specific application is the one with the least amount of compromise.

April 20, 2013, 11:12 AM
I hope everyone will forgive me for bringing up a thread from 2 years ago, but this thread is how I found The Firing Line and my desire to thank Denster for his posts on SXS shotguns is one of the reasons I finally decided to join.

My interest in a SXS shotgun started in 1963 when my dad borrowed a Winchester .410 sxs from our neighbor and I carried it on my first squirrel hunt. I managed to get a squirrel, and I begged my dad to buy that gun for me. The neighbor wanted $40 for it, and Dad said that was too much. I think it would be worth about $3K now, but times were hard. I wound up getting a Winchester Model 37 20 gauge as my first gun.

When I got a little older, I wanted a repeater, and an uncle sold me a beautiful Spanish-made SXS 12 gauge. I was able to have my first success in wing-shooting doves and quail with that gun, but it turned out that its beauty was strictly on the outside. After a couple of years of use, it would no longer fire and I never did find a gunsmith who could fix it. I got an 1100 and it became the only shotgun I used for many years. I always wanted another SXS, but never had the funds to buy one that appealed to me.

Although we hunted most everything in our area of AL, my great passion has always been turkey hunting. As I have gotten older, I searched for the perfect turkey gun. I wound up buying a Benelli Super Black Eagle in 2003 and found it to be a great shotgun. Then I found out about a new kind of shot, called Tungsten Super Shot (tss). This shot is super dense, running around 18g/cc, while lead is only 11g/cc. The density allows one to use smaller shot and obtain super dense patterns. I've been hunting primarily with #8 shot the last 5 seasons, but many people are using 9s.

I developed a 3.5" 2oz load for the SBE, and it works great. Actually, is too great and is serious overkill. I know of several folks now hunting with .410s using tss and making clean kills beyond 40 yards. So I started thinking about a new turkey gun last summer, and decided I would like to get the SXS I'd always wanted. A 20 gauge seemed like the perfect choice.

I soon discovered nobody makes a SXS like I wanted. I wanted 24" barrels and as little weight as possible. It also had to have enough metal on the receiver to mount a Burris FF sight; I just can't see well enough to get by without a sight of some kind now. I eventually settled on a Yildiz.

My first concern was whether or not both barrels would shoot to the same POA; I tested it with field loads and it did. So I sent it off to my gunsmith who cut and rethreaded the barrels, lengthened the forcing cones, and devised a way to mount the sight. When I got it back, I found it shot great patterns, but the barrels would not shoot my heavy tss loads to the same POA. With 7/8 and 1 oz loads, it centered them just fine. With my 1.75 oz loads, the right barrel shot 7" to the right and the left barrel shot 10" to the left.

I did a lot of searching and found this thread and began to understand the problem. Those Turks did a good job of making the little gun shoot field loads to the same spot; they never thought of a redneck from AL doing such things to their pretty little gun and shooting an unimaginable 1.75 oz load out of a 20 gauge.

I did find the gun would center ok with certain 1.25 oz loads, but I wasn't satisfied with that, so off the barrels went to Brileys to make eccentric chokes. They assured me their formula would work, but I think its a formula based on shooting lead and it didn't work for my loads. I made new targets and sent it back again, and the 2nd try wasn't a lot better. I did finally mix and match the chokes enough to get the gun to shoot both barrels to the same point, though that point is well to the right. The little dot on the FF sight took care of that, so I now have a 5 lb 2 oz turkey killer and killed a turkey with it Thursday. The open barrel has a nice wide pattern at 25 yds, but is still dense enough to kill one out to 40 yds. The tight barrel with an eccentric choke isn't as tight as I would like, but it is a solid 50 yd gun, and I wouldn't shoot one past that anyway. The whole idea of a SXS turkey gun is to have 2 chokes; one for close range and another for longer range. The little gun does that for me.

So I write all this mainly just to say thanks to Denster for helping me understand that a SXS cannot shoot both barrels to the same POA with every load. Mine doesn't need to; just needs to shoot this one load the same, and it finally does that. It is only 40" long, and comes close to being the perfect turkey gun. It would need double triggers to earn that declaration, and nobody makes one configured that way that would work for my purpose. I'll send it off to be camo-dipped before next season. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread; it really helped me understand my problem.

http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb420/sdyess308/IMG_20130419_115243_562_zps35b9ca61.jpg (http://s1204.photobucket.com/user/sdyess308/media/IMG_20130419_115243_562_zps35b9ca61.jpg.html)