Shotgun Forum banner

Plight of the Lefties 12ga Options

4392 Views 30 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Anonymous
I currently own an Ithaca Deerslayer 37 (2 3/4'' smoothbore) which I have had for 18 years (only shotgun). I love my gun... but for the last few years, I have been thinking of making a change. I am interested primarily in getting a fully rifled barrel and scope (preferably cantilever) for deer hunting. I am also contemplating going a different route and getting my first autoloader. The problem is.. I am left hand, left eye dominant. Not that this in itself is a problem... but based on the last few weeks of research.. it is quite evident that the lefties are left high & dry from almost all gun manufacturers out there. The company that deserves the most praise in this area are Benelli who gives us lefties three great choices (but at a very high price tag). Of course Ithaca and Browning pumps work for left or right... but there is no such thing as an bottom ejecting autoloader shotgun.

From what I can tell, these are ALL the 12ga options available to lefties:

Ithaca Deerslayer
Ithaca Deerslayer II
Remington 870 Express
Browning BPS (Cantilever Game, Hunter, Micro, Stalker)

Remmington 11-87
Benelli Super Black Eagle
Benelli M1 Field
Benelli Montefeltro

Berretta - nope (though you can change the cast and safety of the 391)
Mossberg - nope
Winchester - nope
Weatherby - nope
Savage - don't think so

This leaves out a number of well regarded shotguns such as:
Benelli Nova
Remington 870 Wingmaster
Remington 870 Special Purpose
Mossberg 500
Mossberg 835
Winchester 1300

Remington 1100
Remington 11-87 Special Purpose
Remington SP-10 Magnum
Beretta 391
Browning Gold
Winchester Super X2
Wetherby SAS

How very sad.

Well, rather than turn this into a rant, I would like to pose a number of questions that I have come up with. I have tried asking various dealers but nobody seems to know the answers. I have also emailed manufacturers (Ithaca & Remington) but they haven't responded yet.

I find your site very useful... and have read a number of old posts that have been very beneficial. I would like to pick your brains for any additional information you might have regarding the plight of the left hander. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide!

- Did I miss any left hand 12ga shotguns that are worth checking out?

- I am trying to see if I can get the Ithaca Fully Rifled Cantilever barrel (S/N 371882185). The reason I don't think I can.. is because my 37 is chambered for 2 3/4'' and the barrel is for 3''. Does this make a difference? Does it affect performance in any way?

- How does the Deerslayer II compare to the original Deerslayer?

- How cheap is the 870 Express vs the Wingmaster? I would rather get the Wingmaster (of the two) but it is not offered. What differences are there between the two?

- Does Remington offer a fully-rifled cantilever barrel for the 11-87 or 870? From the looks of things, they do not. Here is what their site specifies:
29615* Premier Deer Barrel Fully Rifled Cantilever 12 21" CL Fully Rifled $308
29606* Premier Fully Rifled Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights 12 21" RS Fully Rifled $259
29623* Premier Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights 12 21"RS Rem Choke¹ $200
29625* Premier Left-Hand Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights 12 21" RS Rem Choke¹ $221

24611 Express Deer Barrel Fully Rifled w/ Rifle Sights 12 20" RS Fully Rifled $187
24622 Express Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights 12 20" RS Imp. Cyl. $126
24547 Wingmaster Left-Hand Deer Barrel w/ Rifle Sights 12 20" RS Rem Choke $219

- why would the 29625 LH be different from the 29623 unless they are NOT interchangeable? If they are not interchangeable, does that mean that the 29615 would not work for a left hand 11-87? Same goes for the 870: why would it list one as left handed unless they were NOT interchangeable??
- Why would the Wingmaster be listed with a Left Hand barrel when only the Express comes in Left Hand?
- No Cantilever avail for the 870

- Is there any after market barrels that would fit my need (ie Hastings)?

- Does Benelli make a fully rifled barrel for their left hand guns?

- Are Rifled sites removable if you want to add a scope?

- Remington states that if you go below 26'' (I believe) you will no longer be using the pressure-compensating gas system (without modification). I have tried to find out what modification is necessary.. but have been unable to find anything. What modifications are required and how much does it cost? What is the drawback to not using the PCGS?

- What is the difference between Light contour and Standard Contour? Is one better than the other?

- Every manufacturer seems to use a different Rate of Twist. What amount of twist is best?

ok, just a little rant:

- When will Remington step up to the plate and make a left hand 870 Wingmaster?

- When will Browning step up to the plate and make a left hand Gold?

- When will Beretta step up to the plate and make a left hand 391?

- When will Benelli take that one last step to make a left hand Nova

- When will Ithaca drop their old traditions and come out with an auto-loader (LH & RH)?

- When will they all step up to the plate and make a fully rifled cantilever barrel for ALL their guns?

Sorry for the long post. I have been lurking here for a while trying to gather all the information I can. These should probably all go in separate threads.. but I thought it would be worse to have a newbie post 20 threads his first time out.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 31 Posts

Hey Lefty, I understand, being a southpaw myself. But I don't think anybody on that list is going to add any lefty versions any time soon. We are a niche market. Not enough of us to justify the added expense of the tooling to make something for us.

That 3" barrel for your DeerSlayer won't fit. The recivers are different sizes. The 3" (or magnum) reciever is longer.

I don't know much about the DeerSlayer 2. But I would think it is as good as the original.

The 870 Express won't match the WingMaster for fit, finish, or wood, but is still as good a functioning gun as the WingMaster.

A lefty barrel is different from a righty because the barrel extention, (the part that fits into the reciever) is on the opposite side. The parts are "mirrored". Hence the need for completely different tooling to make them. So you would need a left-hand barrel.

I'm personally unaware of any aftermarket barrels made as you want. Again, there just aren't enough of us to warrent it. Hopefully, someone else might know of one.

A light contour vs. Standard, neither is better until you figure out how many miles you intend to carry it in a day. And again, barrels won't be interchangable. For slugs I would stick with the standard. It should be a bit heavier for recoil absorbtion and a little more ridged for accuracy with slugs.

What rate of twist? Well that depends. What ammo will you want to use? Rule of thumb is the longer the projectile the faster the twist needed. So for the faster twist, those guns are going to probably work better with sabots vs. more tradtional designs.

jlptexashunter has an excellent suggestion. That H&R is a very good deer gun! If I still deer hunted with a shotgun (I'm strictly muzzleloader now) that would be the gun for me! I've looked a several and shot one. Well made, inexpensive, and a tack driver to boot! I think you'd have to buy a Tar-Hunt bolt action to surpass the accuracy of that H&R.

See less See more
Hi Lefty,

See, I knew people would know if Hastings had a lefty slug barrel. :) Like I said I've gone mountainman for big game hunting (and upland too. Love my 1850's pattern SxS). So I don't pay much attention to slug barrels any more.

JimmyP is right about the lug on the barrel at the chamber end. That is what I meant by barrel extention. And the length of that lug determines whether it fits a 2 3/4" reciever or a 3". The 3" having a longer extention to make it fit the Magnum sized reciever properly. And side of the barrel it's on determines whether it's a lefty or righty.

The Deerslayer2 sounds like a good gun. A little longer pull, and a "straighter" stock so as to make it feel more rifle-like. Should be less felt recoil.

I've never owned either 870 model myself, (Remingtons just don't fit me right) but my friends who do tell me they are inter-changable. The Specs should be identical for both.

A light contour barrel is made to be lighter in weight. They can shave a few ounces there. They do make the wall a bit thinner, but not by much. Mostly, they look more graceful than a standard profile. The ones I've seen are all proofed for industry standard pressures. They tend to be more expensive because they are generally made from better steel.

Twist rates can get to be a complicated piece of ballistic theory. Something I'm definitly not an expert in! But it can be some interesting reading. There are preformance points that can begin to have deminishing returns. I suspect there is less R&D in selecting the rate of twist than you might think. Mostly I think it is a philosophy. One company might want to make thier guns shoot shorter and lighter slugs better. The next might want to leand towards the longer heavier ones. So one gun ends up with a faster twist than the other. Though both will shoot all slugs pretty well, they will tend to prefer one over the other. This is a subject that probably could have it's own seperate thread. I don't think rate of twist is a patentable feature. It probably falls under prior art.

See less See more
1 - 2 of 31 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.