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Guns & Ammo Discuss pheasant hunting guns, ammunition, chokes, parts, reloading, etc.

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2012, 01:33 AM
BenBelly BenBelly is offline
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Default Side by Side or Over Under?

There are no double barrel guns in my safe, just some pumps and semi autos that always do a great job. I've had my newest shotgun, a semi auto for about 10 years, so nothing else said, I deserve a new gun whether I need one or not, right? Reading so much about O/Us and SxSs in this forum spawned my desire but I can't decide which one. (I can't have both). Ever since watching Dez Young on TV some years ago I got it in my head that the side by side was the epitome of the upland gun...... but should I choose a SxS over an over/under??
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:11 AM
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Depends if you can shoot a SxS. There's a reason O/U's are so popular. A SxS is tough for many to shoot with it's wide sight plain. Also, quality SxS choices are fewer and far between. If you want new, your going to spend $2,000 to $3,500 for a good new one. You can find a used Browning BSS or Ithaca SKB for $1000 on up. They are neat guns and if you dress the part, can be a regular gentleman's gun.

I prefer the O/U because I never have shot a SxS very well.

No matter what, get a quality gun with a good reputation like Browning, Beretta or the likes of. A $1,000 seems like a lot of money but in a double gun. That's a entry level gun and in many cases those guns can and do fail more often. Not to say that some don't like their gun that is in that price range. I just advise people to set their standards a little high when going with a double gun. I have seen people buy a $399 O/U just to say they now have a O/U. That's not a way anybody should approach this equation IMO. A reliable long lasting pump gun could cost $399 but the same could not be said for a double gun I'm afraid.

Good Luck
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:42 AM
Uncle Buck Uncle Buck is offline
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While I acknowledge the sight plane issue as valid, I do not understand it as I do not "aim" at anything when shooting my doubles. All I really see is the bird and if my cheek is down where it is supposed to be, the bird goes down. On close straight aways I have to wait a bit sometimes to get the bird in the range for the pattern and I do make sure the bird is on top of the barrel and aligned. With close pointing dogs on pheasants in (generally) heavy cover straight aways are common.
I shot Browning Superposed 12 and 20 for many years, along with my first sxs, a Grulla 12. Shot well enough with the Brownings, but not many guns have put down as many birds as the Grulla as I shot it for 37 years in the Great State of South Dakota's pheasant fields. I had a 20ga. Ruger Red Label that I did not shoot well all the time as I tended to cant the gun to the left. I think it was the smaller stock and grip as I have shot a 12 without the same problem. Kinda wish I had kept the Superposed 20 as it was a little heavier and I could shoot it.
This year I shot the 16 Uggie early in the season and the American Arms Derby 25 late, which seems odd. I shoot both well, the Uggie with 28 in barrels and the AA 26. That 20 can come around too quick sometimes, but I think I missed one bird all year with it.
Go with what works for you. One reason to buy a cheaper gun like a Stoeger O/U is to see how it works for you. A cheap sxs is likely to be much heavier and not as sweet swinging as a truly quality gun. The CZ might be a good place to start. The Dickinson (S&W GOLD ELITE) can be had at Cabela's for around $1,400. Have not heard anything bad about them and would like to try one. The SKB and Uggies are also good choices.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:49 PM
Live2Hunt Live2Hunt is offline
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Oh boy now that is a loaded question. SxS or O/U. Kinda like asking who makes the best pickup truck.

For myself the reason I prefer a SxS over a O/U is because:

I like the sight plane. While I agree we shoot a shotgun and aim a rifle. I still prefer the wider to tapering rib on my SxS.

I like the swing of the gun. Having shot SKB and Beretta O/U I can say I love them both. I can shoot them both very well. But I get a better swing trough with a SxS. Why I can not tell you. I can say I am not a lead the bird kinda shooter. I prefer to get on the bird and swing past while shooting the weapon.

Fit is better. This is perhaps (IMHO) the most important aspect of a shotgun. I find the SxS to "tuck in" just perfectly for myself. If anyone has ever hefted a shotgun and knows the feeling of throwing it up to your shoulder then having it "feel" like an old pair of hunting boots...Well that is the fit I am looking for. The cast seems to be better set for me over the O/U's I have shot.

On the downside. A good SxS will cost more then a good O/U.

With all of the above being said. I would suggest a person wanting to make the switch from a repeating shotgun to a two shot. Go with a O/U. It is easier to make the transition to a O/U than a SxS
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:06 PM
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Dad had a cheap SXS when I was a kid, a cheap Spanish import, pistol grip double triggers 20 guage. I shot a pile of pheasants and quail with that gun. He shot a lot of skeet with that gun and eventually shot it loose. Didn't hold up like a higher dollar gun would have.

One of these days I'll have a quality SXS, but have decided not to buy a cheap one just to have one.

For an equal quality SXS over an O/U, paying double wouldn't be out of the question.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:26 PM
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I can't think of any gun I'd rather be carrying than a nice balanced SxS. My next one will be either a .410 or a 20ga English stock double trigger piece.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:15 PM
BenBelly BenBelly is offline
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Well, there's no doubt that a good SxS is very viable has some outstanding qualities but it seems there are some issues preventing guys like me, inexperienced with the SxS, from shooting it well. That and since I like trap and skeet it seems practical to get the Over/Under first. The O/U will satisfy the urge for a new gun and will be a step in the right direction. I'll take my time, learn more about SxSs and look for the best deal to ease the damage to the wallet.

BTW, I've pretty much decided that my O/U should be 12 gauge but the jury is out on a side by side.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:17 AM
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I shoot both, but the SxS shotties are my favorite. Maybe at almost 64, I like the nostalgia. Back in the day, that's all that my Dad & Uncle used & they were Pheasant fanatics.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:29 AM
bknight bknight is offline
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OnPoint nails it for me, pretty well! I have to confess though for nostalgia sake I wanted a SXS and bought one last year because it was on my "Bucket List". I want to learn to shoot a double. I do shootan O/U better but I hope that sentence becomes, "I shoot a SXS well too!" Time will tell! It was personal for me. I never had a nicely balanced SxS before to compare apples to apples. I absolutely love my 20 ga O/U SKB, and so far I like my 20 ga SxS.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:09 AM
oldandnew oldandnew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenBelly View Post
Well, there's no doubt that a good SxS is very viable has some outstanding qualities but it seems there are some issues preventing guys like me, inexperienced with the SxS, from shooting it well. That and since I like trap and skeet it seems practical to get the Over/Under first. The O/U will satisfy the urge for a new gun and will be a step in the right direction. I'll take my time, learn more about SxSs and look for the best deal to ease the damage to the wallet.

BTW, I've pretty much decided that my O/U should be 12 gauge but the jury is out on a side by side.
I would probably go the otherway. O/u's are heavier by and large than sxs's. Also the depth of action in most models makes them clunkier in my opinion. So I would buy a 20 gauge over- under and a 12 sxs. If I wanted one of each. Light weight and balance are the defining characteristics of a doubles to me, so that's what I consider first. Weight is a factor in recoil remember, so if your going to shoot roman candles through it, it would be something to consider as well. That's one reason there are lots of AYA 10 ga. shotguns for sale cheap. Some cheaper doubles are like shooting a 2x4, the board might have better fit, finish, grade of wood, and recoil absorbing characteristics. But lots of excellent, lovingly used guns around at a good value. I'm talking hunting guns here, for target games, O/u's are the preference, higher weight, single sight plane, vent rib, and long barrels are the easiest to hit with, but will handicap you in the field. Enjoy the ride, look lots, the shopping is half the fun! Report back so we can enjoy vicariously.

Last edited by oldandnew; 01-11-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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