Double barrel 12 ga advice requested

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by loganmike, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. I have a Beretta 12 GA Silver Pigeon as well as a 20 GA. A Cortona (FAMARS Italian) 28 GA. All O/U. Used to have a really nice looking Win Model 23 SXS 20 GA, but I could not hit a thing with it. I recently bought one of the new Beretta Xplor 12 GA autoloaders. Now that thing (with Kick-Off BTW) is a magic wand when I shoot it. It is a lot gun fit, and the absence of felt recoil. I now use it for pheasant hunting as well as ducks exclusively. While I agree that using two chokes is desirable, you can load a #6 followed by a #4 shell for going away birds in an auto loader. I also don't know how often I have taken two shots to bring down a rooster and another jumps up and I still have a shell in the gun! I love the 28 GA for quail, grouse, chukar etc, but my other O/U's are gathering dust! Rick
  2. Pm / conversation sent re this!!!

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  3. think about Red's upland guided trips; we're going to test one this fall, and I've heard glowing reports from other guys who've done them! A bunch of us for a cast&blast would be super!

    I'm not sure I'd have screw-ins installed though; The only time I thought I might need them is for sporting clays. BUT... Here's the thought-gun "A" won't be the best for bird hunt "B" because of the limiting choke system, need another scattergun! Voila, problem solved!

    The more I think of it, the more I like the idea of an old Stevens. Looking at one from the top, the first thing I'd check is to see how far the top lever goes past the centerline of the gun. That indicates the wear it's had. Then the headspace, condition of the barrels, and any obvious nicks and scratches on the furniture. Last is to see if the screw slots all line up. Of course this is all predicated on the thing fitting in the first place! There's another thing I've found with vintage guns: there's a specialty shell mfg, RST, that puts out very low-pressure shotshells for vintagers. They pattern SUPERBLY!!! Most of my friends use them in their modern guns they shoot so well! They also have shells that work in hard-to-fit chambers, like my Belgian 28bore hammergun. It has 2.5-inch chambers and is proofed for black powder, not nitro. The RST loads are especially made for this situation.
  4. Another thought for anyone thinking about a side by side; why not a hammergun? Especially for upland birds, I recall the first time I shot my little Belgian on a grouse. Cocked the hammers, the dog flushed the bird, and I lined it up betwixt the hammers, and yanked the front trigger. Bird in the bag! Shooting a hammergun on upland birds is like football field goals---"through the uprights, and it's good!". Five years of grouse, chukar, and pheasant with her, and the only bird I didn't get was a grouse at about 40 yards. I pulled the wrong trigger, and fired the barrel with the cylinder choke on a blue. The bird just stood there and wondered if it was raining! But not for long...:eek:

    Also, you're going to find that American guns are almost universally heavier-to about a pound, maybe a pound and a half-than their European and English counterparts.
  5. Alex -

    A few years ago (maybe 10) there were some great values in hammerguns. Now they have become way too in vogue. Given that they were almost all made prior to 1890 (unless you order a new Purdy) they are not terribly abundant.

    Can't agree with you on the weight aspect. If a classic British game gun weights 6.75 pounds with 28" barrels that would put most American made doubles at close to 8 pounds or more. Certainly I have heavier British guns made for live pigeon shooting or fowling just as I have lightweight American made guns - the best example being a 6.5 pound gun with 30" barrels.
  6. I've never encountered a truly lightweight American gun from our "golden age". I suppose to be completely accurate I should say I've never handled a classic golden age American gun that was quite as light as a British gun, but there may be some out there. Just my experience talking!

    You might find a decent hammergun at Vintage Doubles in Malaga near Wenatchee, just don't take your wallet in with you:eek: Dale Tate was making some a few years ago in CA, and the engraving was done by Charles Lee. Superb craftsmanship on both levels. I never inquired about the price, but I know that Charles did some work for a few Saudi princes. Probably if I had to ask, I couldn't afford one!
  8. Sounds great, Rick; let's do this!
  9. Re: Stevens 311

    Not sure of your location Mike, but I have a Winchester model 24 12ga 28" barrels from the early 50's that was designed to compete with the Stevens 311 that you're free to give a once over with if you're ever in Seattle. It's a solid unit, definitely built for duck/goose, I can't imagine lugging it around for upland birds though. It's been in the family since being new, and I think that's cool as hell.

    I also have field grade Ithace model 37 12 ga pump from the 30's that I'll be using for upland birds. It's much lighter than the DB, swings much easier, fun as hell to shoot in my 'newbie, don't know better, budget tighter than a ducks butt' paws. Not the gun you're looking for as suggested, but they're on the large gun sale sites fairly often for under $500, in fact one is on now for $400.

    If I were looking at new guns I'd be checking out the suggested CZ's.
  10. I bought a used CZ Canvasback 12-26 last fall and really like it a lot. Not a single problem with it. I searched for a bit and found an older one with some real quality wood.
  11. Just picked up a 12ga. Traditions by Fausti side by side. I had been searching for a double barrel for years that was quality and did not have a price point that would have my wife put my bed in the garage. Bought this new at a local shop for $500 on sale. No longer will be taking the Benelli Nova to the grouse woods. I do have a feeling that all of the members' pictures of their guns will continue my window shopping though. Here is a picture of my gun found online

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