ShotGunWorld Shotguns

It is currently Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:43 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:14 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 am
Posts: 18
I did a quick intro of myself in the new shotgunners area, but the even shorter version is that I've always wanted a classic SxS. I don't hunt upland, so this will be almost entirely for informal clays shooting, trap at my gun club, etc. I don't want an OU, pump, or auto. I have had one of each and shot plenty more of each, and I just don't like them. I have my great-grandfather's Stevens 311 in 16-gauge, which I do really like. So, I'd like something a little more refined and in a gauge where I'm more likely to find ammo than 16 (yeah, that's a hilarious concept in 2021, but still....). I'd really prefer something classic and vintage(ish), 'cause I like old-school stuff, but I'm open to all ideas at this point.

I have done some research over the last few weeks. Here are the general parameters I'm trying to meet. I know that they may have to shift, but I'd like to at least start here. I'm just under 6'0" and have longish arms (I wear a 40L suit jacket), so I have had no problems with most guns feeling like they fit well.

-Budget: I'd dearly like to stay below $2000. I'll have to sell a few guns I don't use to finance this, and I don't mind that. But since I don't do safe queens, I also have to be selective about what I'm willing to let go.
-Gauge: 12 or 20 - I'm open to either. I know 12 is the better all-around, but I don't have a strong preference
-Triggers: I'd prefer double triggers, but I'm not married to the idea
-Use: Like I said, mostly informal trap, the occasional round of sporting clays. Maybe the very, very occasional bird hunt if I got to a preserve or want to hunt small game with it.

Some of the guns I've looked at:
-LC Smith: I hear very good things about the strength of the action but that the wrist area is delicate due to the nature of their sidelock design (is that a sidelock thing or an LC-thing?).

-Remington: I have a line on a model 1894 Trap model for what seems like a very good price (under $1000) but the LOP will need to be increased for me. It also has a whole lot more drop at the heel than I am used to seeing. Being a rifle shooter, I'm really accustomed to a forward leaning mount with a strong cheek weld. I don't know what to make of how that would feel to have more drop and a really "heads up" stance.

-Parker, Lafevre, Ithaca, and Fox: I know less about them, other than they all seem like boxlocks and that they had good periods before being bought out by various companies

-English guns: I had a recommendation to look at "lower-end" English guns. I only really know about most of the "upper end" (Holland, Purdy, etc.). I found a couple of WW Greeners on GB that are actually in my price-range, which was really surprising. But I don't really know what I'm looking at there.

-Turkish and Spanish guns: I know almost nothing. I know this might not be the right subforum for those, but I had to mention them. I understand there are both good bargains and absolute dogs, but I guess that's true of nearly anything.


Any direction or advice is most welcome. Thanks!




Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:38 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:34 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Buffalo NY USA
I've been keeping an eye on this guy: http://www.doubleshotguns.com/used-shot ... -side.html

And also the listings at gunbroker.com, especially in the "Antiques".

You could easily find another Stevens in 12GA there, or whatever other brand. Fox, Parker, and L C Smith are going to command some high prices though. Don't be afraid to consider a 2nd-tier maker, or someone who is not famous. Whenever I go shopping the older guns I automatically assume that I'm taking on a gunsmithing project, even if the one I get works just fine -- there probably won't be any dealers for a 120-year old gun, so it's a do-it-yourself thing.

I also read a lot on the Parker collectors forums, just to get reloading info -- as well as here, in our gunsmithing and reloading forums.

_________________
'...de grey goose come a-flyin, lawd lawd lawd..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:30 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 am
Posts: 18
What would be considered some of the good "second-tier" guns? I'm not really wedded to the idea that it has to be a top-tier name. I'm just not sure what other brands to consider. I read less-than-glowing reviews of guns like the Fox Model B, and another Stevens or Winchester 24 aren't really appealing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:38 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 am
Posts: 18
I was made a trade offer for this 1927 Fox Sterlingworth. Most of it looks very clean - the barrels still have a lot of blue, etc. But I'd like a more educated opinion on the lever and breech-face. The lever is way to the left of center, and it looks like the barrels are not quite on-face at lockup. I ended up getting a buyer for the gun I was selling, so I'm not committed. I could probably still get it if it is actually a good option. Thoughts?
Attachment:
output_image16121977562381(1).jpg
Attachment:
output_image16121978274731.jpg
Attachment:
output_image16121978040971.jpg


Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:04 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:55 am
Posts: 5605
Location: Hemingway, S.C. 29554
I talked to a LC Smith expert years ago about the stock issue. I was told to keep the stock screws tight & I wouldn't have a problem. Oil soaked wood & lose screws account for much of the grief. I did have one restocked years ago & the stock guy said, "Don't shoot any hot 1 1/4 oz. loads in it." One fix or preventative measure is to get the action & locks glass bedded. I have a safe full of Elseys & none of them are glass bedded & none have any stock problems. However, if I saw a problem developing, that is the first thing I would think of doing. LC Smiths give you a lot of bang for the buck, IMHO. Price, in the vintage gun market goes up with rarity. A rare gun doesn't necessarily shoot better but it invariably costs more. Smiths are often a bargain simply because there were a lot more of them made and on the market. You can get a good "shooter" as they are called for less than $1000. I also like German & some European guns. The only sidelock I have that is not a Smith is a Merkel 47 sle. It was bought as NOS & had a retail value of around 10 G in 1960's money. The stock is essentially the same as the LC Smith stocks. All sidelock guns have that weak point but unless you try to chop down a tree or use it as a pry bar, they often last 100+ years. Several of mine are older than that now.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:22 pm 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:15 pm
Posts: 973
Location: Kentucky
I have a Sterlingworth 1929 Vintage field grade gun. The lever on mine runs very slightly right of center and the gun is a shooter. When I got it I had it checked out by a reputable gunsmith who has knowledge of vintage side by sides, and he said that "I got a good one!" The gun had been refinished and the bluing and case hardening are in good shape, but it is not in "Vintage Original Collectors" condition, and quite frankly not being a safe queen is exactly what I wanted. The drop at comb was far too low so I added an adjustable comb and I can shoot it well. Mine is a double trigger still with the 30" Full and Mod fixed choke barrels. The refinishing job put me right up against the limit for having thin wall chokes installed on the gun, but that is fine with me. Adding the adjustable comb probably decreased the value for any buyer that wanted a vintage looking gun, but I don't care. I wanted a gun I could take out and shoot! This gun is a nothing special field grade gun it has almost no collector value anyway.

My gun is not for sale, but be patient. Options are out there. I casually looked for a couple of years before stumbling into a good deal. When you find such a deal be ready to move fast.

Parts are available for the Sterlingworth guns, even factory original barrel sets and semi inlet furniture. https://www.ahfoxparts.com

_________________
Cancer survivor since 2011


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:09 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:34 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Buffalo NY USA
tnlonghunter wrote:
What would be considered some of the good "second-tier" guns? I'm not really wedded to the idea that it has to be a top-tier name. I'm just not sure what other brands to consider. I read less-than-glowing reviews of guns like the Fox Model B, and another Stevens or Winchester 24 aren't really appealing.


To be honest, I'm not sure -- still learning that market myself. But I do know I can't afford to run with the "big boys". Another good place to shop is at Connecticut Shotgun -- they deal in very high quality used guns, as well as brand new ones of their own make. They'll build whatever you want -- for a price of course. Here's a link to their used collection: https://connecticutshotgun.co/12-gauge- ... t=priceasc

_________________
'...de grey goose come a-flyin, lawd lawd lawd..."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:37 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 1091
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
tnlonghunter,

I recommend you look into a pre 1913 L.C. Smith 20 gauge 00 gun. Take a look on Guns International, many good L.C. Smith guns are listed there. If you are looking for a gun to exclusively shoot clays, try to pick up a pristine L.C. Smith Pigeon gun, or Skeet gun, they were specifically made for both live Pigeon shooting and shooting Skeet. I have many of our families L.C. Smith pre 1913 guns, none have cracked stocks, because they were used, cleaned and stored correctly, they are all over 100 years old now.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

My one of a kind 1898, #2 Grade 20 gauge, Sleeved by Briley for 28 gauge, long ago. One Serious Clays and Grouse/Woodcock gun.

Image

_________________
L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


Last edited by Pine Creek/Dave on Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:50 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:03 pm
Posts: 209
It should not be difficult to find an entry level Parker or pre 1930 Philly Fox 12 gauge in good condition for well under $2000. With a Parker or Fox you don’t have to be concerned about a delicate stock like the L C Smiths. 20 Gauges of these guns for under $2000 in good condition will be much harder to find. A “ second tier “ American Classic to consider would be a Lefever Nitro Special made by Ithaca. These guns even in 20 and 16 gauges in good condition are fairly common and can be had for under $1000. Also, they are well made and are considerably above a Stevens 311 in handling quality. As to Spanish SxSs, yes there are a lot of problem guns. However any of the Ugartechea models imported by Lion Country Supply in Pa are well made and great handing guns in the style of the American and English classic guns. The lower grade models in good condition can be had for well under $2000. Concerning that Fox with the level to the left and off face, there is no reason to consider that gun. There are plenty of nice Foxes around for under $2000 that don’t have those issues.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:28 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:09 pm
Posts: 675
Location: Massachusetts
tnlonghunter
Avoid that Fox you're looking at. If a gun is off face the fix is going to run you money. Shooting an off face gun is to be avoided.
I own a Fox Sterlingworth, an LC Smith field, and a Lefever Nitro Special. I just agreed to sell the Fox to a friend and am already regretting it. On the used market, 20 gauge guns will cost more than 12. I think that the Nitro Special Lefevers are probably the most reasonably priced vintage side by sides out there. They have a very strong and simple action. Parts are readily available. They handle well. Mine is a 16 ga and is my favorite upland gun.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:07 am 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
Posts: 12181
Location: Kansas
One gun that I haven’t seen mentioned is the Ithaca NID (New Ithaca Double) fully the equal or superior to the guns mentioned so far and can be had for reasonable money in field grade or grade 1.

_________________
"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:37 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 am
Posts: 18
Thanks for the info, folks. I'll let that Fox go by. I have a line on a LC Smith Field grade locally that, if it looks good in person, should be a good starting place. A 1914-make in 12-gauge with full/full 28" barrels and a refinished stock, reportedly with no oil-soak. Asking price is around $500, and the pictures look very clean. If it locks as tight as they claim, I'll probably take the plunge with that and see where I go from there.

Pine Creek/Dave, that is one gorgeous gun. If this goes well, perhaps a similar 20 gauge my be in my future down the line. We shall see.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:01 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 1091
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
tnlonghunter,

Remember this the 16 and 20 gauge L.C. Smith double guns were chambered 2 9/16" for 2 1/2" shells until very late in the companies history. The 12 gauge guns were chambered for 2 3/4" shells.
None of this is a problem today, you can purchase RST and Poly shells to fit the American Classic guns correctly, instead of having to roll your own.

If you can pick any L.C. Smith double gun up in nice condition for $500.00 you stole the gun.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

Some 12 gauge L.C. Smith Guns are very very nice.
Image

_________________
L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:47 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:20 am
Posts: 18
Thanks. I actually didn't realize all 20's were chambered in 2 1/2". I'll keep that in mind.

RST does seem to have good prices on what are otherwise obscure sizes and gauges. Not that they - or anyone else - have much in stock these days.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:04 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:22 am
Posts: 92
casonet wrote:
One gun that I haven’t seen mentioned is the Ithaca NID (New Ithaca Double) fully the equal or superior to the guns mentioned so far and can be had for reasonable money in field grade or grade 1.


100% Agree with this. I have 1930's era NID in 12 and 20 with beavertail. Great guns.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:05 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 pm
Posts: 1091
Location: Endless Mountains of PA
Gentlemen,

Ithaca guns are very nice high grade American made guns, the early guns have a modified Brown Rotary Bolt and are just fantastic guns. Great Classic American guns well worth owning.

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

_________________
L.C. Smith Man
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
Charlton Heston NRA Speakers Bureau Member
NRA Life Member/NRA Instructor


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:49 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
Posts: 12181
Location: Kansas
The NID was the pinnacle of Ithaca’s design and strength. So much so that Olin commissioned Ithaca to build the 10 ga Super Magnum to take Olin’s then new 3 1/2” 10 ga magnum shell which it handled beautifully. I’m not familiar with any other American maker of doubles who made such a gun

_________________
"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:16 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:04 pm
Posts: 609
A 10g Magnum in a SxS (or anywhere really) must pack a serious punch. Did it come with hardware to mount to the boat?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:18 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
Posts: 12181
Location: Kansas
Being a 12 lb gun, the recoil is actually quite manageable. It’s much less punishing than a 3 1/2” 12 ga in a 8 lb gun

_________________
"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Looking for an "entry level" classic SxS
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:38 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:09 pm
Posts: 743
Location: Valdosta GA
A later Fox sterlingworth with 2 3/4" chambers would be perfect for ya. 16 gauge shells are getting easier to find (well until everyone went crazy) and I can still find them at even Walmart. Usually only in 6's and 7''s




Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: 1903, 1casual, 47MolineRTU, 500sks, alabjr, AlexS, Bing [Bot], Bird Guide, birdhunter39, casonet, dfw_bill, drawdc, Eibar, elpato, EricB, fiver, Flyingtargets!, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], gren, gunner76, hargroderauto, hopper810, John800, jtf650, Kannoncocker, kcmetman, Lamron, leftex, longgunnm, longliner, Lucky1, Lumberjack98, Majestic-12 [Bot], May, McFarmer, md2020, mdlott, Mike Foley, MTmag, muddyduck33, NMCowboy, Novak77, noweil, oldshotty, oneounceload, Paddler, pjmx, Rack-N-Roy, reo, rfedele, RGuill96971, rhale, riflegunbuilder, Rockett0, Rudolph31, slotracer577, soupsandwich, southdakbearfan, SWN, Tidefanatic, tracker 6, Upland Quest, urbaneruralite, Vette Jockey2, wickowick, wjonessc


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group    - DMCA Notice