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"Using man's shotgun sxs"

8596 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Anonymous
I am not a shotgun purist, meaning I dont shoot trap and skeet much, I am not rich and I dont belong to a country club or a skeet club. I have never had much use for flashy designs on a gun, but I can tumble a running rabbit with one shot better than many of my shotgunning counterparts.

I am not poking fun at anyone that likes the expensive guns,(I have .22 single shots that are old collector's items) I just would like to know what a good "meat and potatoes" sxs would be? I dont care if its old or current production. I am just a middle class guy who likes hunting and I never would buy an over under....just like the "tradition" behind the sxs.

Any input appreciated
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I had a Baikal IZH43 in 12 ga. It had fixed chokes, extractors, double triggers and sling swivels. It is a nice gun... Get them thru EAA, and dealer cost I was told was $160.00
Hi There, Coon Hunter--

I know exactly what you mean. Since you're experienced with guns, you'll know how to buy used, and I have two prime SXS candidates for your consideration,both available for less than $500 on the web auctions or in a used gun shop. These are the Stevens model 311 and the Winchester model 24 (NOT the model 21, that's a whole different story!). The 311 and the 24 are well made, durable as hell, and field grade. Either one will do you proud without making you, as my pard in this forum JLPTexashunter likes to say, "tweedy." I had a 311 12 ga once and I killed everything from bunnies to geese with it. It shot fine, worked flawlessly, and didn't even mind when I dropped it in a salt creek (I cleaned it carefully asap, of course). Also, the 311 and the 24 have the advantage of not being new--therefore they actually ARE traditional guns, as opposed to just looking like them. IMHO, they are far better pieces than the cheaper doubles that are for sale new. Just make sure the lockup is tight and the bores are clean (my own standard is that some light surface rust inside and/or out is ok, but I balk when there's pitting--others may tell you some light pitting is no big deal, but it is to me--your call.)

Come back and let us know how it works out! I like to see a man armed with the gun that suits his fancy, even if his fancy is "not fancy." There's a whole aesthetic appreciation to pure field-grade function over engraving that looks like it belongs on a whorehouse door. I'd be particularly interested if you acquired a Winnie model 24, since I am thinking of getting one myself.

All the best,

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Coon Hunter,
I agree with Jeff, a good used shotgun is probably much better made than the new "cheap" brands. I ran across a Lefever "nitro special" the other day. The gun was tight and in decent condition,balanced pretty well. Asking price at the small shop was $500.00. Had I been buying I'm sure that would have come down a bit. Another idea,[depending on what you plan to spend and if you prefer a lighter gun],is a Belgian gun. To get a decent one you're probably going to spend $800-$1200.I've got a friend who's an excellent gunsmith[I just saw a book on Cogswell & Harrison with a gun he'd worked over pictured].His opinion is that many Belgian made guns are superior in quality to most American guns.
Good luck in your search for a decent working SxS. I wish I were in the market for one right now. :)
JimfromTrafalgar said:
Another idea,[depending on what you plan to spend and if you prefer a lighter gun],is a Belgian gun. To get a decent one you're probably going to spend $800-$1200.I've got a friend who's an excellent gunsmith[I just saw a book on Cogswell & Harrison with a gun he'd worked over pictured].His opinion is that many Belgian made guns are superior in quality to most American guns.
Good luck in your search for a decent working SxS. I wish I were in the market for one right now. :)
Here is an area with which I am unfamiliar....what are the makers and sources for "Belgian guns"? Weight is not of particular importance to most often used shotgun is an old Savage 775. I also own an 870 and a mossy 500.Oh yeah and my first .410. Not a "tweedy" gun in the Thanks for the other answers btw
Coon Hunter--after reading the replies, it is clear that reasonable advice will not be helpful until you can provide this vast audence of untold knowledge with an idea of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SPEND? $160 to $1200 covers a lot of guns! Most of which (I will not assume which) you are not interested in.

With that, I'll bet these folks will zero in on exactly what you should be looking at!

There are folks here who have shot anything and everything and some of them have 'been there done that'!
probably $500.00-$1,000.00 Not saying I wouldnt pay more if I was "in love" But like I said I am looking for a gun that will likely take a few scratches here and there. Sorry if I wasn't more specific
Coon Hunter,
If you're not worried about weight, American made guns in the price range you mentioned are definitely not tweedy. On the other hand,I'm not into carrying any more weight than necessary on a long day afield,and I don't consider myself tweedy either. Belgian guns often don't have a maker's name on them.This is why I suggested you might take a look at "Belgian guns" in a generic sense.Francotte is a well known Belgian name, but they generally are above your price range. A gunshop north of here had a Belgian gun recently. Asking $800, 16ga., some engraving,decent shape,tight. I found something with potential on GunsAmerica, not suggesting you buy,but it'll give you an idea as to what's out there. , There is a Francotte listed right above that one,asking 12something.
I'll say it again,just for the record, " You won't catch me in the field wearing tweed knickers and tall socks" :lol:
Good Luck,
Here's my list along with 2 cents.

Winchester Model 24
Stevens 311
Bernardelli (if Birdbrained were here he'd be proud)
And I can't help myself but DeHaan
Hey JLP, just out of curiosity, what do you know about the winnie 24's? Ever owned / shot one? I'm thinking of getting one, so, as I said, I'm interested. How does a 24 stack up against a 311 in your opinion?

BTW Coon Hunter, there are Ithaca classic doubles for just under 1K used. Takes a good eye to tell 'em apart though.

From everything I see and read they look like Winchesters utility gun but I haven't done a lot of digging yet. I'll read up on them this week and let you know what I find out.
jlptexashunter said:
Here's my list along with 2 cents.

Winchester Model 24
Stevens 311
Bernardelli (if Birdbrained were here he'd be proud)
And I can't help myself but DeHaan
I looked at a Baikal, a Stoeger, and an old Ithaca tonight along with some no name guns that I wouldnt trust to fire. The Ithaca felt tight but the triggers felt loose and had some wobble....can this be fixed and how serious an issue is it? I really appreciate the info....any of you guys ever want to know about .22's or coon dogs holler at me and I will try to
I'm out on anything named Stoeger, Baikal, Traditions but that's a personal taste (Sorry GordonSetter). As for the wobbly triggers, I don't think that's normal and I have no idea if it can be repaired. I think it would probably be easier to find a gun that doesn't have wobbly triggers.

Keep looking she's out there, you just haven't found her yet.

Thanks for any info you might find on the model 24. Since I've had poor luck at times with PM's, thanks also for your help and advice on the thing! It figures that someone on SGW had already "been there done that"--that's what makes the forums so useful :)

Coon Hunter--

I too am out on the low-cost imported sxs guns. No specific reasons why, they just feel hinky when I handle 'em. I'd rather look around for a used 311 in decent shape.

Coon hunter - A buddy of mine just picked up a S0 SxS from dehaan shotguns. It's a beauty, and comes with screw in chokes. It makes for a very good gun from duck, geese, upland, to all kinds of clays.

I think the s0 in 12 gage goes for under $700. I've shot his on trap and it was very nice and light. I wouldnt mind carrying that gun for miles in the field. FFL Transfer and delivery were all done within 3 days or so, the owner is VERY responsive.

If you don't like what you see on the website, give the owner a call, he can be pretty flexible.
CoonHunter - Wobbly triggers on an older Ithaca are No Problem at all... I've got a GOOD old Flusie (Ithaca Flues model) and have to tighten the triggers every couple a thousand rounds or so - no biggie at all. Think the NID's( New Ithaca Doubles) have the same basic assembly. Its a simple machine screw that holds the yoke for the trigger piviot pin/saftey slide assembly. I've had to tighten mine twice in about 7000 pops. Lots a pops just vibrate that scew loose. Next time i have to tighten i'll put a drop of loctite on it... That'll take care of that little bit of minor maintenance...
But don't you buy that gun on the assumption its the yoke screw - it could be a broken yoke. Have it inspected by one who knows em and have the seller fix it - at no additional cost to you - any hesidency here is possibility of a rip in progress - the yoke screw is just usually the cause and is not uncommon at all. Ithaca Doubles are a Great gun if ya get a good one!

Heres mine

An Ithaca Classic Double is exacly what your lookin for!
They have Balance and Handling like NO OTHER... They literaly point themselves! The pics are part of a discussion of how they did it - Factory Balanced stock - Rather precise too...

They Literally balance on you out stretched open palm -and come to point!

This $600-1000 for a Ithaca Classic Double is a bunch a Collector/Broker Robber Barrons... They tell me mine is less than 60% and want to give me <$100 bucks, then in the next breath try to sell my buddie theirs for $800 sayin it's 90%+ when its far worse than mine, rusty, dented barells and wont even fire for broked firing pins...
Mine's got Nice, Blue, Sound, Solid Fliud Steel Barrels!

Tight, Sound, - It Points itself, all ya gotta do is be behind it...

Its a Field Grade ( Grade 1) - A Shooters gun,

Not Fancy or what they call a "Graded" Gun, they ding me on that too...
But a GOOD Shootin Gun!

They're around! I don't really want to get rid o mine,
But $800 - Talk to me! Nicely... ( Kidding)

Actualy they're a lot of em around Good Flusies and Nice NID's, Lots of em manufactured and lots still in service... Talk to Hunter/Shooters(individual owners) not Collector/Broker Robber Barrons...
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Man, that is a nice-looking piece Buckshot! I am properly envious :)
Thanks Jeff- Everybody likes a Good Flusie!

On Thanksgiving when the wholefamdamily shows up at the farm, within 15 minutes Every man will ask "Where's the Ithaca?, I want use it tomorrow!" Theres Brownings, Remy's, Winnies, Parker and others available, but i gotta hide the Ithaca if i wanta use it!

There's a controversy per Flusies and modern hot ammo.
Check out DoubleGun BBS [url=http://***********/ubb/ultima...*********/ubb/ultimatebb.php?u ... 1;t=009309
[\url] I have no comment, however for the last 35+ years I've had the gun its had no mercy and digests Everything 2 3/4"' including Rem Express Gas Mag Max dramers, but mine seams to be one a the more Beefier ones... I have 35+ years of confidence in mine. But ya'd want to know a little about Ithaca Classic Doubles before gettin one. In Ithaca's efforts for "The Perfect" Handling and Lightweight Double gun some were machined to remove weight perhaps a little too thin. But Everyone agreees their among the best handling shotguns ever made - and I agree, they have a forward balance (not buttheavy like most/ including expensive current production o/u's) that "Literally" points itself and swings effortlessly!.

But they're around, lots of em! they're practicly indistructable. Just mention Handling around Shooter/Hunters and Gunclubs/Ranges (not gunshows/gunshops) and there's always someone reasonable who wants to upgrade to modern steelshot and changable chokes. Just sift thru the junk and pick up a good one!

Good gunsmiths tell me the only reason Ithaca Clasisic Doubles arent, and might not ever be, big bucks guns is there's LOTS (Too Many) a good ones still around! - and they ain't breakin!
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Fellas (and ladies if you're lurking),
If you do a search on "311" right now on there are some really nice looking 311's out there right now.

This is the finest selection of 311's I've seen in a long time. There is even a 311E (ejectors) I didn't know they made them that way.
At this date (Oct 11 03) there are still a number of 311's left in .410 and 12 ga. One has really interesting dark wood. Not in the market for a 311 myself, but JLP is right (as usual); it's worth a look. Why doesn't anyone post the choke of the shotguns on gunbroker?
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