Shotgun Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I have shot semis since I was a kid (pump too). But just recently, I have started looking at over unders. However, I don't know much about them. Wow, when I have looked at some of the engravings, the beautiful wood and felt the balance of several fine examples, I thought I was looking at a piece of art...quite a difference from my very functional (and some ugly!) guns. I also look at the prices...ranging from a few hundred into 5 figures, so I am also wondering what I will need to spend.

Any guidance, input or reading suggestions you can offer as I get started on this journey will be appreciated. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,784 Posts
I would stay away from new, inexpensive O/Us made in Turkey, Russia, or China - regardless if they're imported by American firms such as Mossberg or Stevens. Depending upon your intended use (hunting, trap, skeet, or sporting), I would buy the appropriate model Browning Citori or Beretta 68X. New, these guns will run you $1500-$2500, depending upon grade. However, you should have no problem finding a good used Browning or Beretta for under $1500, again depending upon grade.

Once you gain some O/U savvy, you can search out bargains such as SKBs, older Japanese Winchester 101s, or older Citoris that are lurking at or below $1000 on the used market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,193 Posts
Not knowing what your budget is going to be, I'd look into the SKB's, or used Citori's. There are LOTS of them out there and they're such solidly built guns that even a fairly well used one will still be a good buy at $600-800.

What you're gonna look for in a good deal is making sure the action is still very tight when closed. It should not have any movement at ALL when closed. Like a vault. With the Brownings, this shouldn't be a problem. The SKB's or Berettas either. Some others might be an issue.

When the action is closed, you'll want to look at the top lever, (the lever on top of the action that when pressed to the right, releases the action to hinge open.) When the action is closed, this lever should be either dead center, or just slightly to the right. What this tells you is that the action hasn't been warn or overly loosened. When an action get loose (internally) that lever is usually a good indicator.

You'll want to make sure the safety works. CAUTION!!!! Do this with snap caps and do it as safely as possible!!!!!! It's a little different checking the safety with a Semi-auto... You can never really be sure that crazy machine is empty! But with sxs's and o/u's, you can at least visually inspect the barrel and chamber. Since you can be more sure of the safety with a break action gun, people sometimes get complacent with safety. So please be just as safe as you would with any gun! (Not saying you'd shirk safety, just a word of caution about double guns.)

You'll want to check the hinge works and the tightness of the hinge. If the gun flops open, you may want to pass on that one. It's possible that it is shot loose. Not necessarily, but you'll want to check it real well.

Check wood to metal fit. Swelling, chips, cracks near the joints, and any odd discoloration are bad signs. Dents and dings are cosmetic, so if it doesn't bother you, go for it.

Make sure the barrels are in good shape. No dents, dings, bulges or pitting. Also if you're looking at an older gun, you'll want to check the chambers for length. If you want to shoot 3" shells, some guns were only made with 2.75" chambers.

Also chokes... If you're going to be shooting steel shot, you don't want a full choke. Most fairly modern guns have screw chokes but if the gun is older, it'll be fixed. I personally prefer fixed choke guns, but that's an argument we've rehashed on SGW a thousand times. (It's still a good debate though!)

Those things should put you into a decent over and under for a fair price. Once you learn to like them, and really decide which model and make you really like, post on here again and get some opinions. Then we'll help you find a deal on one!

Nick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
phideaux_2003 said:
Not knowing what your budget is going to be, I'd look into the SKB's, or used Citori's. There are LOTS of them out there and they're such solidly built guns that even a fairly well used one will still be a good buy at $600-800.

What you're gonna look for in a good deal is making sure the action is still very tight when closed. It should not have any movement at ALL when closed. Like a vault. With the Brownings, this shouldn't be a problem. The SKB's or Berettas either. Some others might be an issue.

When the action is closed, you'll want to look at the top lever, (the lever on top of the action that when pressed to the right, releases the action to hinge open.) When the action is closed, this lever should be either dead center, or just slightly to the right. What this tells you is that the action hasn't been warn or overly loosened. When an action get loose (internally) that lever is usually a good indicator.

You'll want to make sure the safety works. CAUTION!!!! Do this with snap caps and do it as safely as possible!!!!!! It's a little different checking the safety with a Semi-auto... You can never really be sure that crazy machine is empty! But with sxs's and o/u's, you can at least visually inspect the barrel and chamber. Since you can be more sure of the safety with a break action gun, people sometimes get complacent with safety. So please be just as safe as you would with any gun! (Not saying you'd shirk safety, just a word of caution about double guns.)

You'll want to check the hinge works and the tightness of the hinge. If the gun flops open, you may want to pass on that one. It's possible that it is shot loose. Not necessarily, but you'll want to check it real well.

Check wood to metal fit. Swelling, chips, cracks near the joints, and any odd discoloration are bad signs. Dents and dings are cosmetic, so if it doesn't bother you, go for it.

Make sure the barrels are in good shape. No dents, dings, bulges or pitting. Also if you're looking at an older gun, you'll want to check the chambers for length. If you want to shoot 3" shells, some guns were only made with 2.75" chambers.

Also chokes... If you're going to be shooting steel shot, you don't want a full choke. Most fairly modern guns have screw chokes but if the gun is older, it'll be fixed. I personally prefer fixed choke guns, but that's an argument we've rehashed on SGW a thousand times. (It's still a good debate though!)

Those things should put you into a decent over and under for a fair price. Once you learn to like them, and really decide which model and make you really like, post on here again and get some opinions. Then we'll help you find a deal on one!

Nick
thanks very much for this helpful replly. Also, thank you WinM12.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
drsfmd said:
tjm00 said:
and a collectors item.
You do know that you'll need to add a couple of zeros on the end of that price to get into "collectable" guns, right? You don't find a collectors item for $1000... hardly for $5000 for that matter...
Ha! I guess I should be careful how I use a term like that around here as that takes on a different meaning than I intended. Otherwise, I suppose it depends on what you collect. My preschooler used to "collect" wood chips and rocks. I collect firearms I like and can afford...and to do that I need to limit the zeroes! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
Beretta makes some very nice o/u's. The 682 is a gem, and it is possible to find some good used guns on the market. Pacific sporting arms often has some real clean guns, and he's very good to deal with.

Any of the Browning line are very good guns... 425, 525, 625, Citori. And my fav budget gun is the Winchester Select Energy. Belgian made, never caught on but a real fine shooting gun.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
Depending on how many zeros that fit in your wallet, look at some used Browning Superposed. There are lots of grade 1's in target configurations for very good prices. There are also many pigeon grade and above out there too, again depending on how many zeros you want to stomach. These all are "lighter" than the Citori versions and as many have said, "pieces of history". No matter what the grade, they are all hand engraved, rust blued and have hand checkered French walnut. GJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,091 Posts
Superposeds are out there for under $1,000 - they'll be field models and are generally not steel compatible but they're nice guns. As has already been mentioned, the Beretta/Browning/SKB lines are very good for a beginner. Properly cared for, they shouldn't require too much maintenance/repair-wise until well into the tens of thousands of rounds. Another to consider would also be B. Rizzini.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
In general, there are grade 1's (entry level),they have light engraving and the plainest wood, you should be able to get one from $1200-$1700. Grade 2 or "Pigeon" had more engraving and better wood, Grade 3 or "Pointer" has much more engraving and better wood and more checkering, Grade 5 or "Diana" has deep relief engraving and even better wood (there are some grade 4's around but it was not a big seller in the USA, more of a Euro type style). Grade 6 or Midas has gold wire inlays and inlayed pheasants, ducks and quail. These are real gold inlays, not the so-called inlays that can be had now on mass produced guns which are really plating. The grade 1's are fully blued, the grade 2-5 have French greyed receivers, The Midas have blued receivers. Price varies for each, you can see lots of these on "GunBroker and other sites. FWIW. GJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,193 Posts
Oh heck! 2K??? Hell you can get a new Browning or Beretta for that much! I would definatly suggest the Browning Citori. They're built like a tank, function to the bitter end and are just superbly made guns. All that stuff I posted earlier was if you were buying a used gun on a budget. 2K? You can get good stuff, new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
If you go with buying a NEW Browning citori, they have a rebate for $150 of free ammo !!! That is what discouraged me from buying one used...

New citoris can be bought for as low as $1200+tax.... Sometimes on clearance for $900 (but that is very rare)...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
I don't think anyone has said this yet, so as part of your education you should know that pretty wood and deep engraving drive the price way up, but don't make the gun shoot any better. You want a gun that is balanced to your shooting style. While Brownings and Berettas are both very good guns, the Brownings will tend to be a little barrel heavy and their stocks will fit taller people better. The Berettas are a little more "lively" by comparison, and, in my opinion, they have a superior lockup. However, either gun should be good for 100,000 rounds relatively trouble free. I don't think anyone has mentioned the Browning Cynergy yet. It is Browning's newest design and has a stronger "hinge" arrangement. Some people don't think they look as good as the Citori, but I can tell you they shoot just as well and have less recoil. Hope this helps. There are also the Ceasar Guerini, the Rizzini, the Kreighoff, Kolar and Kemen, and Blaser. These are great guns and will be in the $3500 - $15,000 range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,193 Posts
While I respectfully disagree with Mr. WML about which locks up better, I wholeheartedly agree with everything else in his post.

That's good advice!!!

You will shoot a gun that fits you well, WAY BETTER than a fancy gun that doesn't fit you.

I own a Browning Superposed, a Beretta BL-4, a Pre-BSS Miroku made SxS and a VERY nice English double, but I think the gun that fits me best is still my little Stevens 311.

I can knock them dead all day with that gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,821 Posts
Wow, there have been a lot of responses and some really good ones.

I'm a huge advocate of the new Browning Cynergy. I believe the gun that will fit your purposes nicely is the Cynergy Sporting in either Euro or Classic trim. I say this because it is the best all around model for clay games. You can still find them for around $1,800 new.

I fully understand your meaning when you say 'collect' vs being a 'collector'. I too have a collection of guns and the Cynergy will be in my collection for many years to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the great replies. This is such a good forum.

I hope it is not too late in the thread to ask these questions:

Do you guys use the types of guns suggested in this thread in the field at all, or are the sporting and field guns too different (such as weight, etc.) to do much hunting with them? I don't do much hunting, but just curious about this possible "crossover" use.

Also, how will recoil compare in an OU like those discussed above compared to my old 11-48 semi? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,091 Posts
tjm00 said:
Thanks for all the great replies. This is such a good forum.

I hope it is not too late in the thread to ask this: Do you guys use the types of guns suggested in this thread in the field much, or are the sporting and field guns too different (such as weight, etc.) to do much hunting with them? I don't do much hunting, but just curious about this possible "crossover" use.
I supposed that would depend on the type of hunting involved - I am more upland, and now in the south, it is more dove/quail, so I could use my target guns I suppose, but I prefer my lighter field guns, especially if I have to tote them hither and yon all day. My target guns tend to have either 30 or 32 inch barrels, my field guns tend to favor 26
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top