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Old November 20, 2022, 08:42 PM   #1
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true practicality of combination guns?

For years, I've gone back and forth on whether to buy a combination gun.

I'm not referring to high end German drillings and the like, but rather Savage 24s, Baikal IZH-94s, or current offerings such as the Savage 42 or Chiappa Double Badger.

Furthermore, I'm thinking rimfire/shotgun.

One use would be upland hunting (I might see gray squirrels, rabbits, roughed grouse, and woodcock in the areas I go). Another purpose could be pest control around the property. Woodchucks, skunks, and raccoons are all possible visitors.

Currently, I have several 22lr rifles and several 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotguns, but a combination of the two does seem intriguing (also would consider .22 magnum and .410 chamberings).

I'm asking for general (or model-specific) opinions on whether combination guns in practice are as good as the concept sounds. I have a few hangups in particular.

1) I prefer light, handy guns, and it seems like a lot of combination guns are fairly heavy compared to their single-cartridge counterparts (which makes sense since they have two barrels).

2) It seems like something's got to give with the sights. Either you have a simple sight picture that's more conducive for instinctive wing-shooting or you have better precision sights for hitting small targets with the rifle barrel. I think a magnified optic would be out for me, because it would be hard for me to get on a grouse or woodcock quickly (plus it would add weight that I don't want). Anyone found a sight setup that works reasonable well for both types of shots?

3) Barrel alignment seems to be an issue with a lot of combination guns. If you don't have great alignment, can a gunsmith correct it? If so, can he do it without exorbitant cost? Otherwise, I suppose you just sight in the rifle barrel and mentally/visually adjust for the shotgun?
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Old November 21, 2022, 11:29 AM   #2
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Savage-24 or 42

One use would be upland hunting (I might see gray squirrels, rabbits, roughed grouse, and woodcock in the areas I go). Another purpose could be pest control around the property. Woodchucks, skunks, and raccoons are all possible visitors.
Well, right off the only one that comes to mind; is my Savage 24DL 22LR over 3" - 20ga. Great on Midwest snow days as the pheasants and rabbits are holding tighter. Sellector rides on the 20 and can switch fairly quickly to the 22LR as required. Up here, most of us don't hunt squirrels in winter as they can hard to skin. A group of use get together once a year on a snow day and one of the fellas runs his beagles. Always great to hunt behind a dog. I suspect the 42, should be almost as good ........

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Old November 21, 2022, 11:37 AM   #3
L. Boscoe
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true practicality of combination guns?

Brings to mind a German friend who lived on the border between
East and West -you could step out on his porch and see the East German gun towers.
He gave me a tour of his guns-his family had land leases that went back generations for hunting, and they would hunt from tree stands.
He was a tool and die maker and thus had several 3 barreled guns,
20 ga/ 7mm rifle, 12 ga and 22 Lr, and one or two that had a rifle
barrel concealed in the second barrel of a double barreled shotgun.
This was before the wall fell, so many years.
Find his American clone, and you are in business
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Old November 21, 2022, 09:00 PM   #4
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I have two European combination guns. They have the shotgun barrel over the rifle barrel, reasoning the center fire rifle cartridges have higher pressures than the shotgun shells and the rifle barrels are closer to the pivot point. These guns have their rifle barrels regulated to the shotgun point of impact at 40 to 50 yards.

One of my combination guns, Valmet 412 - 12 GA Mag over .223 Rem allows you to adjust the rifle barrel for elevation and wind-age. I hunt coyotes and zero the scope at 40 yards with slugs and buck shot. Then zero the barrel to the scopes point of aim at 100 yards.

Not to knock the Savage combo's, but I had a friend who had a 12ga/.30-30. He wanted to use it for coyotes, after missing one he decided to shoot both barrels on paper. They were way off from each other. He sold the gun. This is not saying all are that way. If you get one that both barrels a regulated to a common point of impact, high five. If not you have a gun that is not very useful.
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