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Old February 17, 2021, 08:58 AM   #1
D Bear
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O/U vs SxS Shotgun

Looking to buy another shotgun. What is your preference between SxS and O/U? My initial search was for a coach gun but since I can't find any I'm opening my search to longer barrels. No specific use in mind, just shooting fun and growing collection. Thanks for your input.

Last edited by D Bear; February 17, 2021 at 02:41 PM.
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Old February 17, 2021, 10:38 AM   #2
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Each has their place/use and each has their price points from low to high - what are yours?
I own O/Us, SxS, semis and a pump; my O/Us see the most use crushing clay targets while my SxS sees the most use taking birds. my semis back up my O/Us and my lone pump backs up my HD PCC.
Shooting a lot? Go for better quality. Once in a blue moon in the backyard for grins and giggles? Get whatever makes you smile. Just realize, cheap O/Us and SxS are just that cheap - not inexpensive and there is a difference. Both require much more labor to make properly than a pump or semi
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Old February 17, 2021, 11:12 AM   #3
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I've always been partial to O/Us simply because I seem to shoot them better. It could be the single sighting plane that's often cited as an advantage of the stack-barrel configuration, or it could be all in my mind. I can't say for sure, only that I know I shoot them better. YMMV. I have a number of O/Us made many years ago for the Charles Daly name by Miroku, the Japanese company that makes the Citori for Browning. I think the Miroku Dalys remain about the best value in a quality O/U and good examples can be had (used, of course) for several hundred dollars, even less.

That said, for the pleasure of owning and using fine things, and just simply as an object of beauty, there's nothing to my mind that can beat a high-quality small-gauge SxS. I occasionally hunt with an older gentlemen who shoots a very fine - as in well into 5 figures - Spanish 28 ga. SxS with exquisite engraving, a beautifully color case hardened receiver, and a piece of wood that could grace the cover of just about any gun magazine. I have a hard time concentrating on the dogs and birds when he's in the field with that gun.
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Old February 17, 2021, 12:04 PM   #4
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agreed

I too keep an eye out for the Miroku guns. Very well made guns and they appeal to my thrifty nature.
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Old February 17, 2021, 02:03 PM   #5
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I looked in the mirror and noticed my eyes are SxS not O/U. I got a SxS.
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Old February 19, 2021, 10:58 AM   #6
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I prefer SxS shotguns. I just like the traditional look of them.
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Old February 19, 2021, 12:23 PM   #7
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I do not like any O/Us for decades, save a small scaled frame 28 gauge Beretta. I realize I am the odd man out. I love a good SxS.
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Old February 19, 2021, 05:30 PM   #8
wild cat mccane
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But when you close an eye to aim, is your single eye sxs, o/u, or just a single sight plane?

I'll take an O/U for looks any day
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Old February 19, 2021, 07:40 PM   #9
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One does not close one eye to aim; that's a rifle.......
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Old February 19, 2021, 07:53 PM   #10
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I'm a fan of a good over/under but side by sides are great too.

Like said if you're just going to throw it around a bit on the weekends it doesn't matter what you get or how expensive it is withing reason.

When I started hunting I used a mossberg 500 for everything and wasted a lot of shells. Eventually I was given a Savage Fox sxs and shot the snot out of it and seldom regretted not having a 3rd + shot. The gun pounded the forend screw till it broke and I would replace and eventually break it again. This was a higher quality (cosmetically) lowend shotgun.

I then knew I needed something that would break less even if it was a dirt cheap screw so I went with a browning citori. Haven't had a single problem yet. It has better parts availability, interchangeable chokes, and the quality of something that's going to last forever.

I probably shoot them both the same but like the narrower grip of the o/u. If you just want to get a fun gun something as simple as a stoeger might fit your need in either sxs or o/u and not break the budget. They also have a coach gun. If you're going to spend some cash get an o/u or vintage sxs with nice wood.
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Old February 19, 2021, 08:36 PM   #11
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I'd say if you were initially searching for a coach gun you have no interest in using the gun for any of the clay target games, it's either a self defense gun or fun gun, in that case a side by side would be a great choice.
Fyi, I've never seen a sxs at any clay target competition nor an o/u at a cowboy action game, they have two barrel and that's where the similarities end.
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Old February 19, 2021, 10:15 PM   #12
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There are many clay competitions designed specifically for SxS guns - lots of fun.
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Old February 20, 2021, 09:33 AM   #13
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My first gun was a SXS Stevens 20 ga. I could hit with it.I've always loved the aesthetics of the SXS.I still do.

I developed a problem with my eyes without knowing it.after 20+ years of machinine,much of it using small end mills with a Bridgeport,I developed an ambidextrous Master eye. Whichever eye could see the best took over.My shotgun shooting became embarrassing.
I had a nice SKB/Miroku 20 ga SXS. Couldn't hit anything with it. Decided it didn't fit and sold it. Bought a Philidelphia Fox Sterlingworth SXS.12 ga Nice gun.I watched a lot of pheasants keep flying.

My hunting buddy used a BerrettaO/U He said ""Try this" I never liked O/Us .
I thought they were ugly.But I tried. Soon I had rolled my three bird limit and was scratching my head.

Then 3 things happened. A layoff, a Severance pay check,and I saw a closeout sale on Berretta 686 Essential O/U s for..IIRC $599 or $699. Anyway,I bought it. Its a keeper. Real light! Kicks like an Ithaca 37.

My oldest brother is a SXS shotgunner/duck hunter. He explained (I'm right handed) that my left index finger should be roughly centered under the barrels pointing generally toward the bird and my left thumb should point up toward the sky in a relaxed fashion.
The effect is my thumb is in the way of my left eye,so my right eye remains the master. It works for me!!

I can't afford buying more SXS doubles to see what might happen. I've settled in with my Berretta. Can't complain.

Now I'll come to the point. Shoot before you buy. See what fits,what works for you.

Or its like mail order shoes It might work out . Sometimes.

Liking the looks does not mean it will fit.
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Old February 20, 2021, 09:48 AM   #14
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You can always dab a smear of vaseline or similar on your left lens to blur - but not obstruct - your left eye from taking over. Many target shooters use static-cling "dots" that do the same thing.
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Old February 20, 2021, 11:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
You can always dab a smear of vaseline or similar on your left lens to blur - but not obstruct - your left eye from taking over. Many target shooters use static-cling "dots" that do the same thing.
Thank you!
I've heard that advice many times.
I'm curious,do you wear glasses? For myself,smeared glasses are just unacceptable.I'd stay home first instead of going hunting,
Same with tape, dots,etc on the lens.
I could maybe do the dots short term on the pistol range,but I can use sights just fine. So,no need.
If you are helping a beginner,I strongly suggest you NOT smear vaseline on their glasses.How could they have fun? Cure worse than the disease.
The technique I described with the thumb allegedly came from some fancy British school of wingshooting. It does the same thing.It just uses the thumb instead of vaseline.Same results.It worked for me.
But,Thank you for trying,anyway!!
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Old February 22, 2021, 09:35 AM   #16
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First, you should wear glasses whenever you shoot, no matter what kind of gun it is. I believe it's one of the 10 commandments of gun safety. I use a magic dot on my shooting glasses. A small piece of scotch tape placed on the left lens [ I shoot right handed ] just big enough to block out the muzzle is all that's needed. Many people don't realize that their master eye will shift back and forth from shot to shot. This simple fix corrects that, and after you wear it for a while you won't even notice it.

The OP said shooting fun. Then I suggest you buy whatever tickles your fancy. I personally like SxSs and have Parkers, Lefevers, and Remington SxSs, most built in the late 1800s. I like early weapons - long bows, flintlocks, C&B revolvers, and SxS shotguns. I find it much more satisfying and challenging to shot them than modern weapons.
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Old February 22, 2021, 10:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Quote:
You can always dab a smear of vaseline or similar on your left lens to blur - but not obstruct - your left eye from taking over. Many target shooters use static-cling "dots" that do the same thing.
Thank you!
I've heard that advice many times.
I'm curious,do you wear glasses? For myself,smeared glasses are just unacceptable.I'd stay home first instead of going hunting,
Same with tape, dots,etc on the lens.
I could maybe do the dots short term on the pistol range,but I can use sights just fine. So,no need.
If you are helping a beginner,I strongly suggest you NOT smear vaseline on their glasses.How could they have fun? Cure worse than the disease.
The technique I described with the thumb allegedly came from some fancy British school of wingshooting. It does the same thing.It just uses the thumb instead of vaseline.Same results.It worked for me.
But,Thank you for trying,anyway!!
Actually, I do wear glasses but my shooting glasses are also scrip lenses. As to the smear or dot; it would be better IF a new shooter DOES have an eye dominance problem to start off like that so they do not develop bad habits and can allow their strong side eye to do the proper job.
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Old February 22, 2021, 10:27 AM   #18
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"My first gun was a SXS Stevens 20 ga. I could hit with it."

My first SxS, which I bought from a member here about 10 years ago, is a Stevens 311 in 20 gauge.

I absolutely adore the thing. It seems that it was made in the 1950s, but is in excellent condition.
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Old February 22, 2021, 10:39 AM   #19
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I remember when that happened - it was 10 years ago? Yikes............my LGS recently sold my Savage/Fox BSE in 20 - that's the upscale cousin with nicer wood and cut checkering and ejectors. For me, the 26" barrels were a tad too short and the gun was a tad too heavy for gauge. But it worked; I even used it for ducks and geese when lead was legal - still have most of a box of 3" #2s for that 20 too.
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Old February 22, 2021, 10:42 AM   #20
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Its' simple, either..

First hunted with a Marlin 16ga., model90, then shot trap with Granddad's 12 GA, Parker VH, bought a Ruger Redlable 20ga for Southern Ohio grouse and enjoyed shooting Skeet.

Only time I had a problem when i went after Pheasants and Ginger my dog put one up and I pulled the fore-end off trying pump a third shell!
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Old February 22, 2021, 02:03 PM   #21
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"I remember when that happened - it was 10 years ago? Yikes..........."

If you're mentioning my comment about my 311, I bought it in June 2011. So yep, almost exactly 10 years ago.

I've not shot it nearly enough, but the time I've spent shooting it has been incredibly enjoyable. It's a great handling little shotgun.

One thing I have looked at has been to have choke tubes installed, but it looks like it's very iffy whether the barrels are thick enough or not.
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Old February 22, 2021, 05:22 PM   #22
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Mike - talk to Briley; they'll be able to tell you whether or not it can be done - you might have to go with their thin walls; or, if the standard IC/M is too tight, you could always have a good smith open them up to what you want.
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Old February 23, 2021, 01:08 AM   #23
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There are many clay competitions designed specifically for SxS guns - lots of fun.
I'm unfamiliar with them but interested, what are they and where do they shoot them?
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Old February 23, 2021, 07:05 AM   #24
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"Mike - talk to Briley"

The guy I talked to at Briley was on the fence whether it was possible or not.

Maybe I should have talked to another guy at Briley.
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Old February 23, 2021, 08:59 AM   #25
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There are many clay competitions designed specifically for SxS guns - lots of fun.
I'm unfamiliar with them but interested, what are they and where do they shoot them?
Some of the biggest would be the Southern SxS and The Vintagers
Many of the larger NSCA sporting clay big blasts also have SxS events.
Perazzi makes a nice one as does CSMC; but both are pricey. AyA makes a SxS designed for pigeon shooting so it would hold up to the rigors of clay competition. That said many of these events are not multi-day, multi-hundred target competitions so any decent quality field gun should suffice.
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