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 Post subject: Dickinson Estate review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:07 pm
Posts: 150
I've owned two Akus side-by-sides: a 20 gauge imported by Smith & Wesson as their "Elite Gold" model, and a 12 gauge imported by Dickinson as their "Estate" model. They are the same gun, built on a trigger-plate action supposedly designed by Smith & Wesson. The 20 gauge had fixed chokes; the 12 gauge had interchangeable choke tubes.

Both had excellent fit and finish. The case colors and bluing on both were outstanding. Their respective engraving patterns were different, but attractive and set off well by the case coloring. Both had well-done checkering, double triggers, strong, well-timed ejectors and straight, flat ribs. Both have pretty standard stock dimensions with a bit of cast-off for right-handed shooters. The 20 gauge with 28" barrels balanced right at the hinge pin. The 12 gauge, also with 28" but obviously heavier barrels, balanced just in front of the hinge pin, which seems perfect to me. Both had 3" chambers and seemed very ruggedly built. (I have no idea why anyone would want to fire 3" shells in light game guns, but I look at it as insurance in case your ammo is mixed up in your vest pocket by the end of the season. The cost of this insurance is a bit of extra weight.)

The 20 gauge had plain but workmanlike wood. The trigger pulls were slightly heavy, but otherwise fine. It's fatal flaw was that its loose barrel shot low and left, so badly that I sold it on down the road.

The 12 gauge's barrels were well-regulated. It's problem was that the front trigger was outrageously heavy. That was solved with a $150 trigger job.

Bottom line: the Turks are catching up to the Spanish in terms of quality, and at a much lower price point. But they still have a ways to go. If I had to describe Spanish side-by-sides with one word, it would be "refined", or maybe "elegant". If I had to describe Akus shotguns in one word, it would be "robust".

Based on my statistically insignificant sample size of two, my opinion is that IF you get an Akus with well-laid barrels, and IF you are willing to have a gunsmith attend to the finishing details that should have been done by the factory, you will have an attractive, sturdy upland gun that is a few ounces overweight for its intended purpose. Since they retail for less than $2K, that's a remarkable value.

Side-by-sides with double triggers are essentially two guns built on the same frame, and therefore expensive. Regulating the two barrels to hit at the same point-of-aim is time-consuming and therefore expensive. Quality steel and proper tempering are expensive. Those are just the essentials - the quality of the metal and the mechanics - and you’re already way out of pump and autoloader territory. Then comes attractive wood, checkering and engraving.

British and Italian doubles are as good as shotguns get, with prices to match. There are a couple American companies now making very high quality doubles, but they, too, have prices to match. Spanish shotguns were a fantastic bargain a few years ago, but their prices are climbing rapidly. There are Russian and Brazilian doubles, but I've never seen one that I would want to own. If you want a quality side-by-side and money is an issue, I think either used Spanish or these Akus guns are the way to go.




Last edited by Oblio13 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Estate review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:58 pm
Posts: 2653
Location: Sag Harbor, New York
Thanks for Posting, I am patiently waiting for a Dickenson Estate in 16 gauge from their custom shop and have been told to expect that the wood will be upgraded and the triggers will have been smithed there prior to shipping. Will just have to wait and see.

Bob

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Robert Kittine
New York, New York & Sag Harbor, New York


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 Post subject: Re: Dickinson Estate review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:21 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:54 pm
Posts: 9
I recently bought a new Cabela's Dickinson Estate, 20 ga side-by-side. Both barrels hit the same aim point and the triggers are decent. Very happy with it.


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