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Old February 25, 2010, 01:12 PM   #1
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dbl barrel 12 ga

want a dbl barrel 12 ga for home defense, and, honestly, just want one, they're cool! I dont want some expensive hunting dbl or clay targeter, just a simple side by side. any suggestions on what to look for? One of the cowboy models, maybe?
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Old February 25, 2010, 01:41 PM   #2
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Stoeger coach gun.
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Old February 25, 2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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I recently was asking myself these same questions. I spent about two weeks researching what I could on the web. I also kept going into gun / pawn shops to handle whatever side by side's that I could.
I ended up deciding upon a Stevens model 311 shotgun. Here's a few of my reasons why I chose that model. It's American made, it's reasonably priced, it handles well and feels slim and trim in the hands, it's extremely well made, and the aesthetics are pleasing (color case hardened receiver).
I just picked mine up last week. It's a 12 gauge with 18 1/2" barrels. I paid $250 for it on Gunbroker. There's three things that I plan on doing to it. Install a recoil pad, install a butt stock shell holder, and disable the auto safety reset.
When looking for a SXS shotgun one of the most important things is the placement of the break open lever. When the actions closed you want the lever to be right of center. As the internals wear the lever will move to the left accordingly.
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Last edited by usaz; February 25, 2010 at 03:15 PM.
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Old February 25, 2010, 05:36 PM   #4
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a Stevens model 311 shotgun
Now that's a pretty much bomb proof shotgun. Good choice. Price was about right too.
A new SXS - the Stoeger is serviceable. Look used and you'll find a variety of good SXSs. Be careful about what you buy, though.......SXSs seem to acquire dings on their barrels more than other guns. Lock up should be tight. The barrels, off the gun, should ring like a chime when tapped. Check the wrist of the stock for cracks should you find an old gun that you like. There are some 100 year old guns out there that are still fine shooters.
Nothing points like a SXS.
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Old February 26, 2010, 12:08 AM   #5
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thanks a lot, keep em coming!
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Old February 26, 2010, 01:34 AM   #6
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Baikal, bounty hunter

The Russian import guns, from Baikal, are serviceable doubles. The short SXS guns made for the cowboy crowd were/are marked "bounty hunter".

I'd stay away from external hammers unless you work with them a great deal, or are familiar to start. Most of us are accustomed to snicking off a safety as in the hammerless models.

The 311 is a great gun, but I'm not sure about factory 18" bbls. That sounds "sawed off" to me. At the risk of sounding commie-lib, I would not want to defend that in a civil/criminal setting. Maybe it is factory and I'm wrong. A gun that has not been modified, but is stock in its makeup, would be more defensible. Simply put, I would avoid a double that has been "sawed off" as a HD gun.

If I could find a 311, 12 ga, 3" full and full, possibly full/mod, 28", at less than an arm and a leg in cost, I'd have a new turkey gun!. .....$250, what a steal!
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Old February 26, 2010, 04:30 PM   #7
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Bama, Savage made a 311 model with 18" barrels. IIRC, it was the 311R. A simple, low cost security shotgun with a simple MOA.

Some B-more narcs had 20 gauge 311s so set up for raid guns with Mini Maglites taped under the muzzles. They still may.

Be that as it may, I'm puzzled how so many folks want coach guns. While they look neat, theya re extremely muzzle light and hard to shoot well.

Also, a standard double with 28" barrels is about the same OA length as an 870 with a 20" barrel. Neither is generally considered ungainly and awkward in CQ.
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Old February 26, 2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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I have the Savage/Fox BSE, which is, arguably, the nicer cousin of the Stevens 311. While stout, it is neither bomb-proof, nor well-balanced, nor svelte and lithe in the hands. All that being said, for a low-budget SxS, either that or the Stevens will probably be your best best.........UNLESS you can manage to find a nice AyA made for Sears from the 50s or 60s, or possibly an Uggie from the 70s forward. - Those can run from $250 upwards to $800

While not exactly HD oriented, they are well made and can be modified without too much trouble
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Old February 27, 2010, 09:31 AM   #9
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If you're planning on cutting off the barrels please leave the old American made doubles alone. There are tons of short imports out there that will do.
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Old February 27, 2010, 10:54 AM   #10
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Just a question . Have you considered in what condition of readiness you will keep this scattergun? Doubles are difficult finding the balance of "ready to fight" vrs Safely stored.

Good luck & Stay Safe
First, with the most, WINS!
Regards, Scattergun Bob
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Old February 27, 2010, 05:35 PM   #11
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Savage is probably the best of the economical ones but I don't want no short bbld double unless you consider 26" or so short.
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Old March 2, 2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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Safe storage vs readiness. This is were the hammer guns can shine. You can store it loaded and when you need it, just cock the hammers and you're ready to go. Generally anything marketed today as a "coach gun" should work just fine.
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Old March 2, 2010, 04:19 PM   #13
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I was in this same position a few weeks ago. Fell in love with the idea of a SxS. Even found a guy locally who could cut the stock and install a special recoil pad for me. I came to the conclusion...

1. Didn't want external hammers because of the lack of familiarity
2. Wanted a 20 barrel w/chokes so I could have options
3. Wanted Ejectors to speed up the loading but couldn't find anything reasonable that had them so I knew I'd have to settle for extractors.

I had decided on a Stoeger Supreme because it's beautiful but there were two problems:

1. Storage; it doesn't store well/safe (IMHO) fully loaded, however, I believe it's a good solution to lock it close at hand UNLOADED but with ammo at hand. An SxS is easy to load blindfolded!!!
2. Capacity. I didn't like the 2 shots only.

So I struggled and struggled but in the end I went a different route and got a Remington 870 Express 7 shot. I can have 6 in the mag and one chambered. It's easier to lock it and keep it loaded and I think it's a bit more viable as a HD gun, HOWEVER, no sooner did I buy it than I missed not getting a Stoeger.

I love the 870 and know it's a good choice but the SxS is a wonderful gun and if you take the time to really practice reloading I think it's an "ok" hd gun. I would figure out how to lock it by my bed unloaded with a bag or pouch of ammo by it. Then you could unlock it, slip two in and sling the bag of ammo over your shoulder and be good to go.

God Bless
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Old March 3, 2010, 08:44 AM   #14
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I just purchased a barely used Ugartechea Model 40 in 12 gauge for $750 last year. Deals can be found on decent Spanish sxs shotguns.
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Old March 3, 2010, 10:29 AM   #15
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I always thought the thing to do with a SxS in HD is to leave it by the bed broken open with 2 shells in it, that way you can just pick it up, close the action and you're ready.
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Old March 4, 2010, 11:24 AM   #16
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Yes, that is a good condition of readiness for a double. An issue is the dust bunnies that in time will inhabit the lock work. Perhaps wraping a cloth around the action may help keep the peskie bunnies away.

Good Luck & Be Safe
First, with the most, WINS!
Regards, Scattergun Bob
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Old March 5, 2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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Stoeger 12 ga. Coach Gun........

It's a great little SxS double. I think the barrels are both 20" and modified.
I like it for carrying along on a walk in the woods, once in awhile.
Good on rabbits or birds.
I got it for Cowboy shooting years ago. Tried that a couple times.
I'm just not that interested in it.

I still have my double gun a carbine and a .45 Colt Vaquero.
I love 'em all.
' Til Later,
Old John
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