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Howdy guys, the question is simple. I can buy one shotgun. I currently own a 20 gauge 870. Looking to get a 12 which will be used mostly for dove hunting and clays.

What is the best buy a semi auto or ou??? I know most of it is personal preference but I want to hear what yall have to say on the subject.

thanks, gigem
 

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If you mean doves and "clays" as in sporting clays then a semi auto will do you.

If you mean clays as in skeet and trap then go with the ou.
 

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I would get a auto for hunting and clay shooting. For just clay shooting I like a O/U the best.
The auto gives you more then two shot for hunting. You my need that.
 

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gigem '13,

The semi-auto is going to be less expensive. However, the O/U provides the benefit of slightly more reliability than a semi-auto and the ability to have two different chokes which can be very beneficial. This comes at a cost.

You should be able to purchase a very reliable semi-auto (used Beretta 390, 3901, Urika or Remington 1100) in the $500 - $1000 mark, where as a solid O/U (used Beretta or Browning) is going to start at the $1000 mark, and go up from there. There are other O/U options that are lower cost, I would encourage you to do a search on 'budget O/U's and you can wad through long threads about the merits of these guns.

Finally, whichever one fits you better is gonna be the better choice.

Personally, I am a double gun junky. Nothing against semi-autos, I just like O/U's and SxS's a lot more.

Best o' luck
 

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I have both and my personal preference is the O/U. Two chokes, two shot sizes, for some types of huinting, and easy to catch the hulls if you are going to reload. But what it comes down to is what fits you the best and what you shoot the best.
 

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There are reliable over under shotguns available at CDNN in the $500.00 range.

Take a look at the Lanber shotguns. Very reliable and while not popular in the US, they are one of the top selling guns in the UK.

I've used one.
 

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I tried a semi auto years and years ago and was highly annoyed by trying to find all the empties that it would fling out with great abandon. I also didn't like the weight of the one I was shooting, so I went to an O/U and have shot them ever since.

When I married the wife, I initially got her a semi auto and she soon got like me and was tired of chasing the empties, so she too, moved to an O/U and has been shooting one ever since.

The choice of 2 chokes is far superior to the single in the semi also.
 

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The advantage of two chokes for the O/U, vs the one choke for the semi, is not as critical as some think, especially if you use two chokes that are close to each other, ie IC and MOD. Most of the Sporting clay shooters I shoot with use Skeet/IC, LM/MOD, or MOD/MOD, so there is minimal, if any, practical advantage of two chokes in these instances. The O/U will recoil more than the semi-auto IF using guns that weigh the same and use the same ammo.
Most newer semi-autos come with stock shims that allow you to adjust the cast-on/off and drop to fit your particular needs.
As a reloader, I find it a real pain to chase down my hulls, but my Beretta 391 tends to put them in a nice neat pile, so if I find one, I usually find the others. I chose the semi-auto route for my sporting clays gun due to the stock shims and reduced recoil, especially with my reduced 7/8 oz loads, and I have not lost a target yet when I pointed the gun properly, and that includes trap targets from the 27 yard line using an IC choke and a 1 oz load at 1200 fps.
I will not give up my O/U, but when I shoot sporting clays and want to shoot well, the Beretta 391 comes out of the safe.
 

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Howdy gigem'13! I assume you are an Aggie in College Station, Texas. I can't tell you what to get but I can tell you where to get it - Champion Firearms. They are Aggie owned and operated and have excellent prices that often beat online auction prices without having to transfer to an FFL. I'm typically in and out in less than 20 minutes for my handgun purchases. They have a good selection in stock and can order anything you want and will still discount it comparable to their in stock merchandise. I'm a very satisfied customer. Keep us updated on your purchase.

Note their shotgun selection isn't updated online yet as they are still upgrading their website.
http://www.championfirearms.com/default.asp

Scott '05
 

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2 shots or 3?
2 chokes or 1?
1 of lifes toughest choices...
The good thing is... You are not limited to one shotgun in a lifetime!
 

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The only real reason to buy an over and under is pride of ownership. Only a medium priced or higher grade over and under can deliver the quality to afford that pride of ownership that comes from using a luxury product. Yes, an over and under provides selection of two different chokes, and if you are target shooting it's very nice to have a shotgun that doesn't spit it's empty shells out on the ground. And, a gas operated semi auto will deliver less felt recoil that a fixed breech gun. But these are very minor points. The overwhelming choice is between owning and using a shotgun that has every little part made to a very high standard of quality, and is a possession that you'll be proud to own and use for the rest of your life and then some,,,,or a mechanical production line repeating shotgun that's made to a price and will give wonderful service as long as you want to use it,,,,but it will never be a fine double gun.

That 870 you already own will point, handle, and shoot about as well as the highest priced double or semi auto you could buy. But it's not scratching the itch,,,,is it?

If you are going to upgrade to a double gun,,,,try a high condition used Browing Citori or Beretta 686 or SKB made Weatherby Orion or a Ruger Red Lable,,,in 12 gauge with three inch chambers and with factory choke tubes.

If you decide you want a semi auto, then buy a Beretta 391, Remington 1100, or if you want the highest quality semi ever made and want to scrounge around to find a nice used gun,,then a Winchester Super X Model One with a 28" barrel and a fixed modified choke.

But do not pretend that any of those guns are really any "better" than the Remington 870 you already own. It might be a better idea to go out and buy two flats of ammo for the gun you have and shoot all that ammo at clay birds at a sporting clays range. :wink:
 

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My favorite auto is the Benelli SuperSport.
I've got several doubles I love but if I'm going to be shooting 100 rounds or more of 12 gauge, the Benelli goes and the Kreighoff stays at home.
 

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I lost them all in a boating accident.
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I prefer O/U for target shooting. If I was hunting with the same gun I'd get a semi; 3 shots & lighter to carry.
 

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If I am right in assuming that you are a current Aggie, I would suggest looking into the Trap and Skeet team at A&M. Once the school year starts up, you could join and try out more guns than you ever thought possible, and keep shooting with them once you decide on what you want. The ones I've met are great people, and they have some really good shooters on the team.
 

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SuperXOne, you're one of those guys who buys overpriced watches, too, aren't you?

That post, like all such posts, is ridiculous. Good O/Us handle differently from autos, and some of us like them. The autos recommended here cost more than I've paid for some O/Us that I prefer to shoot, over autos -- on pheasant, quail, clays, whatever.

I think the most common O/U out there handles like a pickaxe, but there are O/Us available, at reasonable prices, that feel great.

The real test is in the game bag, not the gun safe.
 

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I have several shotguns, 12ga and 20ga, Browning o/u 's, Beretta o/u's, Winchester Mod 12, SXS side sidelocks, several Beretta's semi-auto and Benelli's.
But the shotgun that I like the most is my Beretta 303 12ga 3", I use it for hunting and clays, if you find one in good shape and it fits you, in your place I will buy it. They are well made and you will not be sorry, plus they are affordable.
Any way always buy a shotgun that fits you and if you go semi-auto, take a Beretta.
 

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Out of the two choices you gave, I would say get the double. Now for my $.02 worth.
If god wanted you to shoot an o/u why are your eyes SXS! :D
 
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