View Full Version : A few questions from a newbie on SXS

December 2, 2001, 01:01 AM
Skip the next paragraph if you don't care about the backstory.

Up until this point in my life I have only put about a half dozen rounds through a scater cannon. Recently a friend of mind turned 18 and I did as well. He started to look at shotguns and he got me me interested. My friend was thinking about a single barreled (spl?) 12 gauge, but that did not apeal to me.

A few days ago I went to a local gun shop shouldered a few shotguns and I think I want a SXS. Pumps felt like cheap stamped metal in my hands. Autos and O/U I just don't think I could purchase. There was a Russian SXS that just felt right.

My questions:

1.Are the russian guns of good quality?

2.The gun comes with IC barelles. This shotgun will be used for hunting... Could a gunsmith cut the barrels and install threads for screw in chokes? If so, at what cost?

3. Any tips for a person new to shotguns?

Al Thompson
December 2, 2001, 07:05 AM
Hi secretrouge, welcome to TFL!

The best thing to do for someone starting out with a shotgun is to find a skeet or sporting clays range and get some trigger time. If you find a good one, there may be rental guns and instruction available. Always best to learn it right the first time.

Before we can give good advice, we need to know what type of hunting your planning to do.

Most SxS SGs are not economical to retrofit with choke tubes. Possible, but not cheap.

The Russian (and most 3rd world) shotguns are a mixed bag. They cost about a third of what a good shotgun costs and give about a third of the performance. Better to save up your money and get a gun that appreciates.

For the best mix of value and performance, take a look at one of the 870/1300/500 combos.


Dave McC
December 2, 2001, 09:51 AM
Giz speaks Gospel here. Far better to start off right than have to unlearn bad habits.

Good SXS shotguns are wonderful. They're also far from cheap. Cheap doubles are not worth trying to upgrade.

For a starter, get a "Cheap,stamped Metal" pumpgun. Once you can hit most of what you shoot at, you can kick out the shekels for a good double, and still have a backup shotgun that will outlast you by decades or generations.

And, let's hope they unlock the Archives soon. There's an unmatched resource there that can answer questions on most things shotgun....

December 2, 2001, 05:42 PM
Another vote with Giz and Dave. The Russian guns, probably a Baikal, are very stout. They don't have the quality of a higher grade sxs but don't carry anywhere near the same price tag. If you are dedicated to an sxs, they are a better choice than the Boito or other South American brand.

That said, retro fitting one for choke tubes would be a waste of time -- it might cost you as much as the gun itself.

What sort of hunting are you planning?

December 2, 2001, 06:05 PM
If the Russian SXS is a Baikal and it feels good to you, go ahead and buy it. Go shoot some Skeet with it and get the feel of the gun. The Baikals I have seen lately are sturdy and durable. They are not fancy and not as refined as a good double but they can serve as an introduction to shotgunning and teach you about double guns and their care and handling.

I have said this before and will say it again. Nobody stays with the first double gun they purchase. Once you learn the advantages of a good double you will be looking for the right gun. You will go through several guns untill you find the right one.

Eventually you will find a way to buy the best gun you can not afford. It happens to everyone.

So you don't like autoloaders and Pumps, Great!!! You have good taste and if you follow your instincts you will enjoy shotgunning your whole life.

Besides, after a few years you can have the Baikal converted to a HD gun, after you buy a Spanish sidelock or two!

Advice, try to find a Baikal with one open choke (IC) and one tighter choke(Mod). This type of SXS is a universal bird hunting gun, even for waterfowl with steel loads!

And get the gun fitted to you!

My $.02 as usual.

December 2, 2001, 07:47 PM
If your heart is set on a SXS, you can find a good used AMerican utility grade SXS for about the same price as the Russian and it will give you better resale value if you deside to trade up. I have 8 Stevens 311's and there isn't a bad one in the lot. The most I paid for any of them is $400 for my .410, most I picked up for $250-300.

December 3, 2001, 01:16 AM
After spending a few hours going though the forum and some time at www.eaacorp.com I have come to the conclusion that my previous assumption that all baikal SXS were fixed in terms of chokes is incorrect. The reason that I like the SXS is that they seem to aim better in my hands. I can't really explain why but I like the SXS and can not see myself shelling out the money for anything else.

In terms of what game the shotgun could see is great big question mark. I live in the 'burbs of Phx so there is ample wingshooting possibility. But what I wounder about is if in a squeeze I could lend said shotgun to a friends for deer duty. Would slugs in a properly choked SXS cause damage? I am assuming OO buck would be fine (I hunt deer in PA and MD).


Al Thompson
December 3, 2001, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the link. I need to take a look at one of those SxS's. Looks to me like all of their models come with adjutable chokes.

If Geoff says they work, they work.

Re: Slugs - the individual gun dictates slug performance. Two problems - one, you really need a rear sight for hunting. The tendancy is to lift your face off the stock and throw the shot when you get excited. On a range, this does not show up. In the bushes, it does. Two, most SxS SGs tend not to have the barrels adjusted so that a slug from either barrel hits in the same place. My limited experiance indicates that one barrel will hit close to where the sight(s) point and the other barrel can be significantly off. You'll need to test your gun to see if this holds true.


Dave McC
December 3, 2001, 07:05 AM
Also,besides what Giz said, 00 is legal in MD for deer ONLY in Dochester County, and Pa doesn't allow any buck,TTBOMK.

SXS shooters tend to be fanatical about that action, and I admit the ones I've owned have a sweet feel and point well for me. But, they're not a good all around choice. Pumps can be.

However, someone mentioned the 311. While not as esthetically advanced as some doubles, these, made by Stevens or Savage, are good durable guns, and usually both bbls shoot shot to the same area.

If I were putting together a pure upland shotgun, it would probably be a SXS. But, I'd be putting at least $1K into it. Make/model would be something like Parker Trojans, Fox Sterlingworth, etc.