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"Automatic" and "ejector" are two different terms with separate meanings.

"Ejector" is the term for any device that actively removes the spent hull or brass from a gun when the action is opened, either manually or automatically. A 1911, a bolt-action rifle, and an 870 all eject. When you open the action, they spit out whatever is in the chamber.

"Automatic ejector" means that the gun will only eject hulls from fired barrels. Shoot only the right barrel, and only the right hull will be ejected. The left hull will remain in the chamber.

A shotgun without ejectors is called an EXTRACTOR gun. All break-action shotguns have extractors that lift the shells above the chamber face for removal when the gun is opened. Ejector guns just have additional spring-loaded mechanisms that spit them out.

Some extractor guns are available. The current BT-99, some side-by-sides, and some junk O/Us are extractor-only, for example. Old Beretta O/Us (BL series) were extractor guns.

That said, it's easy to catch hulls as they are ejected. In the field, I find automatic ejectors to be useful, even though most of the time I catch my hulls right away and stuff them in my vest for disposal.

Why? I have a couple extractor side-by-sides, and it's easy to fire one barrel, absent-mindedly replace the wrong shell while sending my dog to fetch, and end up with a "click" when the next bird flushes. An automatic ejector spits out the correct hull. Also, if I want to reload quickly, I can let the hulls fly, reload, and fire off two more shots. There's plenty of time to pick up my hulls after the birds are gone. The last thing I need when hunting fast birds in very difficult terrain where every step could mean a bad fall, while handling a gundog, is one more thing to have to look at. Anything I can do "blind", without having to think about it, means I can concentrate on the more important things. As you might surmise, I seldom hunt in cornfields.

Also, I never have understood people who think it's impossible to catch hulls. It's easy, a lot easier than hitting most upland game birds to begin with! It's autoloaders that are the real litterbug guns. I try to pick up my hulls when I use a bottom-feeder. A lot of slobs don't seem to, and I pick up their hulls too. It's my access that's threatened by these jerks, unfortunately.

Beretta's new SV series allows the user to turn the ejector on and off. The problems with the design I've seen reported here all seem to involve that feature. It might be a good idea in theory, but in the real world maybe it doesn't work so well.
 

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You don't have to do circus tricks. You just have to put your right hand over the top lever and let the hull or hulls fly right into it.:)
 

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When you see lost of hulls in the dirt, they are generally not from break-action shooters...

The hulls I see generally have these things in common:

1. They're 12 Gauge, where 12 Gauge guns are the least appropriate for the birds.
2. They're Wal-Mart bulk packs, most often Winchester Universals.
3. I usually find several at a time, meaning someone has fired a lot of shots and probably didn't hit anything.
4. As likely as not, there will be fast food wrappers and other trash around the parking area.

These people "hunt" during the season that falls between the season when they leave broken bottles and piles of garbage at the lake, and the season when they leave broken bottles and piles of garbage at the sledding hill.

They don't represent the serious outdoor enthusiast of any stripe, though.
 

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It's very easy to catch them and I much prefer them to extractors as extractors are very clumsy for me.
This is especially true of smaller bores, and with cold-weather gloves. :)
 

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CRG, there's a natural hot spring up in the mountains near where I live. Two guys -- not young guys -- built a series of pools to sit in by backpacking in bag after bag of concrete mix, up a steep singletrack trail, mixing it by hand using spring water, and hand-carrying rocks to build the pools. Then they set up an elaborate system of pipes to a hot and a cold water source, so the temperature can be regulated. It's an amazing piece of work, HARD work, at the top of a beautiful ridge, with a view of a canyon that leads down to a whitewater river.

While most people who hike up there and enjoy the springs are friendly, respectful, and self-policing (e.g. a "no glass" rule), a small number of real jerks keeps going up there, leaving litter, glass bottles, some broken, etc. all over. So it's traditional for visitors to bring a good, strong garbage bag or two, clean up, and pack the trash down the hill when we leave.

It makes me angry that people wreck a beautiful place. But when I clean up, I think of the two guys who built the pools by hand, far up a steep trail, with backpacks. And I think of all the great people that hike up and hang out there. It's for THEM that I clean up, not the jerks who litter.
 
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