View Full Version : American Arms or SKB

December 17, 2000, 12:09 PM
Sorry to visit this subject again guys. But I was wondering, I ran into an American arms Side X Side a couple of weeks ago and I ran into a SKB today. Do you know anything about the quality of these. I am still looking for a sxs that has one trigger, will shoot steel and slugs, and is reasonably priced. Thanks already for the replies!

Dave McC
December 17, 2000, 02:33 PM
The 20 ga SKB O/U that was Pop's last upland gun was a really good one, though I admit the steel shot capabilities were limited. I'm sure the SXS SKB is a decent, strong shotgun with some esthetics,along with that selective single trigger.

As for slugs from a SXS, most doubles that aren't very carefully regulated double group,but getting one bbl that will do slugs acceptably doesn't seem to be difficult at all. And at close range, the double groupings may be moot.
A mix load, slug and buck, is a good close range deer setup if legal in your area.I've hunted Dorchester County, the only county here that permits buck, with a slug in the chamber and the mag loaded with 00. Works fine.

Also, while I hunt with an extended magazine, it's been my experience that followup/insurance shots are either misses or not needed 98% of the time. Last 3 or 4 slugged deer were one shots kills where I didn't even try for a repeat.

December 17, 2000, 04:11 PM
The entry level American Arms guns are made in Spain by Hermanos Zabala. They are reasonably reliable guns. The concern would be the single trigger. The Basques never seemed to get the single trigger right. With double triggers however they are good solid boxlock guns.

The SKB would be my choice. One of the guys at my club hunts with one and has let me use it for a couple of rounds of skeet. It's an impressive gun, light, handles well, and a good trigger. I would buy one before a Zabala.

Dave McC is right about the slugs. I've tried them through sxs and o/u and much beyond 10 yards the divergence of the barrels makes accurate shooting impossible.

December 17, 2000, 04:31 PM
You know, I am completely impressed by your knowledge, especially you two. I see your comments other places and wonder where you learned all this stuff. Anyway, I am going to show that I am a complete rookie here by asking a pretty bad question, but what do a couple of things stand for. "bbl" and "bb"? And are O/Us more apt to shoot slugs better than SxSs? Thanks, BOB

December 17, 2000, 06:44 PM

There are no stupid questions just the occasional stupid answer. :D

"bbl" usually means barrel and "bb" can either stand for bulletin board or a shot size that is larger than the numbered shot but smaller than buckshot. I've only put slugs through three over/unders and two sxs and the o/us were slightly better but I think this will vary from gun to gun. Interestingly, all of these guns were reasonably well regulated with shot. If you get either that will put two slugs into a one foot circle at 25 yards, you will have done better than me.

As for learning about shotguns, I am reminded of the time an acquaintance who is very knowledgeable on shotguns was asked how he learned so much. His response was, "Because I don't golf."

Shotguns are my passion, rifles are an interest and handguns are a necessary evil - if there wasn't evil in the world they wouldn't be necessary.

What I have learned about shotguns has come through a willingness to ask questions (no matter how mundane) to those who know more (that's a lot of people) combined with a willingness to try just about anything.

Reading helps a lot. Some years back I got taken on a gun deal and I mean hosed right down to my skivvies. It wasn't a lot of money but I vowed that I wouldn't let that happen again and over the years have invested in a good library of books on guns. The cost of the books has exceeded the original loss many times over but I've surely avoided some bad deals as a result.

I will not turn down a chance to shoot any gun, anywhere, any time. The Grand in Vandalia is a particular delight because you can borrow/rent different guns. I've been lucky enough to shoot beaters that disassembled themselves when fired with heavy loads right up to handmade English sidelocks worth more than many houses. By the same token, anyone who shows an interest in any of my guns is offered the chance to give it a try.

I have never earned my living from or with guns. Those who have seen me shoot would agree that I shouldn't give up my day job.

And I don't golf.

Dave McC
December 17, 2000, 08:04 PM
PJR has it right, Bob. I don't golf,either. Pop loved to hunt, liked to bust a few clays in the pasture on Sunday afternoons, and pretty much got me started. He was one of the best wing shots I've ever seen, and not too bad at Daddying either.

I've been gunning for a long time, actually, did my first shooting in the early 50s. Time I was 11 or so, a 22 was "the companion of my walks". I liked shotguns as soon as I picked up one,and have more or less had at least one nearby most of the time since.

I was an instructor for the Md Dept of Public Safety because I knew so much,rather than learned it there. Did learn, especially about "Social" shotgunning and started my personal oddysey towards the perfect tactical/HD shotgun then.

And I've been privileged to know some great shotgunners of various types, from quail hunters to local legends of trap,skeet and clays, as well as some outstanding WIHTF types.Most of these types were generous with time and effort answering questions and helping tyros, so I like to pass it on.
SO, while I cannot claim a deep knowledge of one aspect of shotgunning, I do know a bit about most branches,and quite a bit about a few like social shotgunning and deer hunting with shotguns.

I'm also a reader, and there's so much stuff out there from Havilah Babcock to Auerback,Suarez,etc, about all these different areas.

And thanks for the compliments....