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Old 10-23-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
emmagator
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Default Budget o/u shotgun?

I know many shotgunners steer away from budget o/u's. But for a strictly upland field hunter, what are your thoughts on Stoeger, CZ, Stevens, etc...?

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Won a Stoeger at a banquet 4 years ago. I thought it was junk and promptly traded it in for a CZ (plus cash). I can't hit Diddley with it, but I'm a lefty and I suspect it's just not right for me. My wife uses it on occasion and I have loaned it out to others who have done well with it so it's not the gun, it's me.
It isn't pretty, but it functions well, isn't too heavy (it's a 20 gauge) and for the price is probably one of the better o/u's.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

If you insist, CZ makes a quality product. Don't know anything about the others.

I'm like Freediver, can't shoot those things worth a hoot. If you're used to shooting other gun types, I suggest getting the longest barrels available so it'll swing more like your other guns. You're going to miss that third shot.

My wife has a Citori she say's she'll sell but probably outside your budget.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

I shoot sporting clays with a pretty informal bunch every week May thru September. There are a wide variety of O/U's shot, from top of the line Beretta's and Brownings (the 725 is a _really_ nice gun btw) to budget O/U's. I mostly shoot a Nikko, which was built by the factory that also produced the old Winchester 101, but I also shoot a Beretta Blackwing 20 guage and a Spanish trap gun. None of mine are top of the line, but they're pretty good. One shooter has a Stoger, it's been back to Stoger twice for firing pin replacement. Both breaks happened within a couple of hundred rounds of new and the replacement. The second replacement seems to have worked. The only Stoger auto that showed up broke the second night it was used, it went back for repairs. Haven't seen any CZ's, but there are a couple of Mossberg O/U that seem hell for stout and no problems. My brother coaches 4H, he uses the Mossberg O/U's for the kids, I think he has 3 or 4 and zero problems.

Don't know what your budget is, but I saw a Beretta Onyx in the classifieds yesterday here, that's a "express" version of the 686 line. My dad shoots one, it's a pretty nice gun. Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

I bought a Stoeger Condor 12 Ga from BiMart three years ago for $299. It just plain works. It always fires when I pull the trigger and, though not as smooth as a higher end O/U, it opens smoothly without excessive effort. I hit as well with it as I hit with anything else and I have taken several pheasant with it. It is perfect for a casual shotgunner like me. If I got serious about shotgunning I would get a shotgun that would be on par with my big game rifles, but for me the Condor works well.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

As with most guns you get what you pay for. That being said you don't have to pay a fortune to get a good gun. It seems with most of the cheaper o/u's trigger problems/complaints are the most common since fit and finish are not a main concern on an inexpensive shotgun. IMO you should look for a higher quality used gun that will fit your needs. The nice thing about this is that you will probably be able to shoot every used one you come across until you find one that's right for you. There was a used Weatherby Orion on the hunting classifieds a few days ago that seemed like a good gun. The Weatherbys were made by SKB and are a great gun.

http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=409126

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

I have a Baikal 20g. O/U shotgun that i chukar hunted hard with for 10 years and shot tons of sporting clays, skeet and trap with. It is built very solid. I switched to an autoloader and just use it for grouse anymore. They were around 400 bucks new about 15 years ago. It came with 3 chokes and i found some other constrictions from Carlsons i think so i have 6 for it now. Very good price for a solid hunting gun.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Have to agree with Toad67, used would be the way I would go, and what I did a couple years ago. I purchased a used SKB, looked like new, and the action is very tight for it's age. Shoots wonderful and is engraved everywhere. The best part is I paid just a bit over $400.00 for it. 12ga, 26" barrels. You would never believe it is about 30 years old.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

emmagator,
I would seriously try and borrow the model you want to buy and check to see if it fits YOU.

How a gun shoots for someone else is irrelevant to how it will shoot for you.
You should check it on a pattern board for poa . Then shoot a few clays if poa is good. If it doesnt fit , move to second choice unless you want the stock bent or put an adjustable comb on which would be a good investment on whatever you get.


Freediver and Dogzilla were shooting guns that didnt fit.
There is no reason you shouldnt shoot a well fitted O/U as well as any thing else that fits.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

I got a great deal on a tri star and love it its camp dipped in a waterfowl pattern and shoots 3 1/2 shells only down side is no ejecters
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Llama: My wife's Citori doesn't fit, that's obvious. Some of the others fit just fine. The problem is with their center of gravity, aka balance. They are so quick to swing, I found myself stopping the swing because I caught up with the clay birds so quick, then shot behind them. Or I'd just flinch like crazy. Lots and lots of flinching. No amount of "fit" will cure that. I'm sure I could "learn" to shoot them just fine if I shot just one gun all the time.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by llama77 View Post
emmagator,
I would seriously try and borrow the model you want to buy and check to see if it fits YOU.

How a gun shoots for someone else is irrelevant to how it will shoot for you.
You should check it on a pattern board for poa . Then shoot a few clays if poa is good. If it doesnt fit , move to second choice unless you want the stock bent or put an adjustable comb on which would be a good investment on whatever you get.


Freediver and Dogzilla were shooting guns that didnt fit.
There is no reason you shouldnt shoot a well fitted O/U as well as any thing else that fits.
Of course we were shooting guns that didn't fit properly, that's why we said it was us and not the gun.......here's the thing, and you know this, but an O/U that doesn't fit is much more expensive to be made to fit you then a large number of other guns that come with shim kits.
The CZ doesn't fit me well, that's obvious, but why should I bother spending the $$ on getting it bent to fit me when we can just go out and buy any number of guns that come with shim kits? Now if I was really into O/U's and spent the money on a Krieg that might be a different story........and who has the luxury to go out and shoot a bunch of guns to see if they fit? I'm asking that question seriously? I have never been to a store that let you pattern or shoot clays before you buy the gun.
That's probably one of the biggest reasons I don't shoot O/U's.....and I like 3 rounds.
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Last edited by freediver111; 10-23-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Freediver: Ha ha, one of the guns I couldn't shoot was a "K" model 32.

I was in the Holland & Holland store in NYC last month. They had racks full of guns costing upwards of $200,000 that I can't shoot.

Wood stocks are easy to "adjust" with plenty of sandpaper and elbow grease if the combs are too high or too thick which is usually the case with me. Gives a person a chance to get rid of the crappy factory finish anyhow.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by afp View Post
I bought a Stoeger Condor 12 Ga from BiMart three years ago for $299. It just plain works. It always fires when I pull the trigger and, though not as smooth as a higher end O/U, it opens smoothly without excessive effort. I hit as well with it as I hit with anything else and I have taken several pheasant with it. It is perfect for a casual shotgunner like me. If I got serious about shotgunning I would get a shotgun that would be on par with my big game rifles, but for me the Condor works well.
I won a Condor at a DU banquet. I used a couple years before selling it to upgrade.

They work. The ergonomics are not great...... and fit and finish is much more industrial than higher end guns. While they may be like swinging a 2x4, they hit and do what they are supposed to every time. This also happens at a price that doesn't make you feel bad about falling down a hill with it..........

Last edited by FireHead; 10-23-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Fit is important. One of the nice things about shooting with an informal group is that we shoot each others guns. I'm pretty lucky, most factory guns fit me fairly well. One reason in my sporting group the Beretta autos are the most common is because they can be shimmed.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
Llama: My wife's Citori doesn't fit, that's obvious. Some of the others fit just fine. The problem is with their center of gravity, aka balance. They are so quick to swing, I found myself stopping the swing because I caught up with the clay birds so quick, then shot behind them. Or I'd just flinch like crazy. Lots and lots of flinching. No amount of "fit" will cure that. I'm sure I could "learn" to shoot them just fine if I shot just one gun all the time.
Baby steps DZ, trade that heavy old A5 in on an 1187 learn to shoot it then trade that 1187 in on a nice light auto loader learn to shoot it, then switch to an O/U.

Just kidding of course, but you do shoot about the heaviest gun around so if you go light of course you will have swing problems.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #17
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Sunny... Had an 1187, it didn't fit, shot low. Would have needed to to do a whole new buttstock or get the barrel bent. Loved the gun, functioned with whatever it was fed. When I get so old I can't carry the humpgun, I'll get a 390.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

CZ redhead is an OK gun, for those of us who like redheads
But if ya gotta economize, why do ya want to go with an over/under?
Seems other styles give ya more bang for the buck, if you'll pardon the pun.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

While I have not shot one yet, I have shouldered more than one.

And I am seriously looking at the Stevens 20 gauge.

They are really light and seem to track very well. Great gun for chasing devil birds.

They point as well as most guns that are much more expensive.

Another thing that I noticed was that they are put together well. Not sloppy like some other inexpensive guns.

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #20
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Baikal is a good gun. Been slayin water foul with mine for the last 6 years. Something to keep in mind that I never realized was the difference between ejectors an extractors.. Most the cheaper ones you mentioned dont eject. Might not be an issue for you but reload speed was a factor in my purchase! Good luck
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #21
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Freediver and dogzilla,
Thanks for helping make my point.

Fit is important. Getting an O/U to fit properly is more difficult than a gun with shims. However, the shims system is not as good as getting a custom stock or Adjustable comb. Adjustable combs arent that expensive around 250 and solve a bunch of problems you cant with a shim system.
Both my 390s have wenigs stocks and my sons a 303 has an adjustable comb. Like I said shim systems arent perfect. So you could have easily put an adjustable comb on the 1187.

Check out Tron space .com

Flinch. Actually a well fitted stock will reduce perceived recoil and cheek slap that can help with flinch. The fact you were flinching with the gun has no bearing on whether the OP would flinch with an O/U. (although he might for different reasons)

The reason I didnt suggest an auto with a shim system is the OP was asking about O/U's.
The reason I suggested trying guns is that a bunch of ifishers said they have these different guns, thought maybe he could ask to try a few, Kind of like James from Idaho suggested. Ill let him shoot mine.

I have a nice beretta 686 20 ga. Havent used it for years upland hunting. Fits me great. But only holds two shells. cant shoot triples with two shells.
Cant get as many shots off as fast with an O/U.

Most people would find that if they got a new gun and practiced mounting it for a few weeks that it would become part of them and any other gun would feel foreign. And as long as it fit they would shoot it well.

You cant really tell how you will shoot a gun or where it shoots without actually shooting it.

Emmagrator. whatever gun you get make sure you check its POI first thing and if its an O/u check to make sure the barrells are regulated, that is they both shoot the same place. You can do this by shooting it off a sandbag like and aiming like a rifle.

If any of you havent shot at a pattern plate to check POI, you should, you might be surprised. Its funny how much effort people go through to get the right choke , but wont spend 3 cheap shells to see if the shot goes where it is supposed to!
James from Idaho is one of the ones that the gun makers build their guns for. Hes lucky he can pick most guns and shoot them well.
I cant, only about 40% of the population can.

Around 1970 my dad took me and my model 12 out and had me shoot at a gopher mound about 20 yards away. He then took the stock off and bent the stud for the stock and reshaped the stock to fit. Even depression era guy knew a shotgun needed to fit! I have my grandads double muzzleloader 12 ga made by W Richards. Not a westley richards but a cheaper knock off. even its stock has cast built in and it fits me great!

Wenigs actually makes a stock that has the correct dimesion for "most" people. The dimensions that they have found that most right handers can shoot well.

this really isnt that complicate. Just a few steps to make sure its right.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
Sunny... Had an 1187, it didn't fit, shot low. Would have needed to to do a whole new buttstock or get the barrel bent. Loved the gun, functioned with whatever it was fed. When I get so old I can't carry the humpgun, I'll get a 390.
Yeah, just poking a little fun at the humpgun. I thought it was funny. But I respect that's the gun you like.

I shoot a remington premier 20ga O/U, made it Italy by Sabatti (not the Russian made one). I love that gun it has become an extension of my arm. No third shot but that cheating anyways right. Set me back just under 1k witch I consider budget when it comes to O/U's. If you can find one pick it up.

As all others have said fit is most important when choosing any shotgun.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:05 PM   #23
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toad67 View Post
As with most guns you get what you pay for. That being said you don't have to pay a fortune to get a good gun. It seems with most of the cheaper o/u's trigger problems/complaints are the most common since fit and finish are not a main concern on an inexpensive shotgun. IMO you should look for a higher quality used gun that will fit your needs. The nice thing about this is that you will probably be able to shoot every used one you come across until you find one that's right for you. There was a used Weatherby Orion on the hunting classifieds a few days ago that seemed like a good gun. The Weatherbys were made by SKB and are a great gun.

http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=409126

T67
Don't go "cheap" with an O/U, you'll end up regretting it.

I'd look for a Browning Citori or a Beretta (maybe one of the Weatherby's would be o.k. too?)

When you have one that fits and shoots good you won't get rid of it, so buy it right the first time.

The Browning's and Berettas fit differently. I like the Berettas but they don't fit me so I shoot a Citori and it works well, it fits.

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Old 10-24-2012, 07:13 AM   #24
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

forgive my ignorance

What is POI, POA? How do you check that?

I bought a Huglu 103, same as CZ redhead/canvasback 3 years ago. My first shotgun, I favored the safety aspects of a break-open gun and that is why I wanted an O/U. At first I couldn't hit anything with it. But I read up on proper mounting and practiced at home, and now I am better. Shooting trap I get around 17-20 clays of 25. I have no idea if that is good or not, but I'm satisfied as I've probably fired less than 1000 shotgun rounds in my life.

Chukars, well, my percentage isn't so good, but it's good excercise lugging that heavy gun around. It goes bang everytime, I will say that it takes a little work to open the gun after firing. Not sure if that will get smoother over time with more rounds.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Quote:
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forgive my ignorance
What is POI, POA? How do you check that?
POA = Point of Aim, POI = Point of Impact.
Basically determined by simply shooting stationary target, like a pattern board.
With cheap O/U's both barrels do not always shoot POI to the same POA.
IOW they aren't regulated very well.

I know of no way, through visual inspection in the store, to determine is both barrels are regulated well.
So it can be a crap shoot unless you have done you research to determine those maker that have a good handle on regulating their barrels.
Fit, Finish, & reliability are other factors.

Honestly, as a hunter and not an elitist, I'd take a nice light semi-auto over a double barrel any day.
Zero issues w/ regulation, and POI/POA differances can be fixed with fit adjustments.
But that said, I do have a soft spot for a clean Browning Superposed.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:02 AM   #26
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Nothing elitist about shooting a double barrel.

(Full disclosure - I shoot double barrels.)

Now having a gun custom made for you in Italy or Spain with the family crest emblazoned on the receiver . . . that's maybe a little elitist . . . but if I had the time and money I might do it (would have to make up the family crest of course).
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #27
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I have 2 Stoeger Condors and have shot 1000's of rounds thru them. I have never had a problem with either one of them.
Somewhere on the net there is an article about the Condor and Dove hunting in Argentina. They field tested this gun, shooting 1000's of rounds and killing 1000's of Doves and the reviews where outstanding.
I wanted a gun to use on the Lower Columbia and one I could throw around the boat and blind and not have to worry to much about. Both have withstood the test of time!
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:32 AM   #28
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Elitist.
I have been called a lot worst things. I actually shoot the double for a few main reasons. I like the safety, nothing safer than a gun broke open. In order to gun AKC events you must shoot a break action, part of the reason I got the gun. I like having two chokes. I feel my O/U is lighter than most autos and pumps. The gun just fits me and shoots well for me, I love the way it feels and swings.

I have an auto, and I will use it for upland birds too sometimes. And always use it for waterfowl.

No I don't know if it is better or not but I like it. And I also like giving folks a hard time that any thing more than 2 shots of 20ga for upland birds is cheating. And you can rest assured if you come to chukar camp with me and shoot an auto I will mess with you. If you shoot more birds than me I will say you cheated. And if I shoot more birds than you I will give you crap for cheating and still not shooting more birds. It is all in fun though, I really could care less what you shoot so long as you are having fun.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:33 AM   #29
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870 reminton good all around
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #30
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POA.
Point of Aim. when you shoot the shotgun off a rest and use the bead a sight. We do this to check if the barrell is truly shooting straight. (sometimes chokes are not correct also) Also used to check regulation.

POI
Point of impact. We check this by standing about 15 or so yards from a pattern plate or paper. Full choke. (dont use steel shot on a metal plate)

You focus on a target on the plate mount the gun and as the gun hits your cheek you pull the trigger. NO AIMING just focus on the target. Repeat 2 more times. If the shots are not all impacting the same, then you are not mounting consistently. If they are all in the same place but not where you want, then you know know how much you need to adjust the stock. If the impact is high and left you need to move the comb right and down.

Sunny,
Whenever I go hunting I put the Beretta O/U and the beretta 390 out. I ask my golden to select which gun I should use. They always pick the 390. I guess my golden prefers to hunt with a cheater! Course this is only with the Golden, stella the weim just looks at me like "whats a gun"?
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #31
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Do yourself a favor and buy a gun that :

- Fits.
- Is well finished.
- Will retain its value.

Life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #32
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Love, Love, Love my CZ Malard
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #33
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I don't think one qualifies as an elitist unless they use only Parker shotguns and H&H double rifles...............
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #34
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

I had a SKB 500 that was sweet. I had to sell it when I was out of work.I shot AKC pointing dog trials with it when I was in Sacto.Had one problem with a firing pin.Wonderful upland gun. Recently I shot a Stoeger at a Lab trial as a fill in.Shot ok but could tell it wouldn't last long.Also shot a Ruger Red Label stainless.Very nice gun.When I run my dogs I leave my 101 at home.If I am out then I'll gun if needed. I got the 101 trap grade for $500 with aftermarket chokes.It's an original not the second series.Very nice gun for the money.You can still get them from Cabelas pretty inexpensively for that nice a gun.

Jeff Gruber
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:50 PM   #35
jlg
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I don't think one qualifies as an elitist unless they use only Parker shotguns and H&H double rifles...............
Good thing I don't own any H&H doubles!
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:04 AM   #36
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Good thing I don't own any H&H doubles!
Yeah but if you did, you wouldn't care if anyone called you "elitist"............
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:15 AM   #37
Hunt'nFish
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

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Yeah but if you did, you wouldn't care if anyone called you "elitist"............
Ha, ha, ha.....Very true, very true. I hope you guys saw through my elitist comment.
That's just me being jealous that I don't have one (or two) myself.
I did own a Parker SxS at one time, but it was old rough and a wall hanger, which I didn't have use for.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:18 PM   #38
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It is a major goal of mine to one day be an elitist...........
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #39
SecondSeason
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

Ok so I am not sure what you may call a budget O/U shotgun... so I will say my idea is a decent gun for 5-600 bucks. What to look for: nice lines, opens and closes without an issue, fits, shoots well and looks like it cost more than it did.

I was looking at the Hugulas a couple of years back, price looked good but they were tight. dealer said that it would loosen up after some serious shooting.

called another friend that is a dealer and he told me to check out a Silma pointer. I picked up the M-80 pointer which is now the M-70. Cool part was it is an Italian gun at a decent price. Think I paid around 600 for it.

Shoot great, looks great, have received many compliments without shopping at Ross.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #40
jlg
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It is a major goal of mine to one day be an elitist...........
There is still time. I'm hearing that I'm half way there. I do love my Parker trap gun. The reverse trigger takes a bit of getting used to, but it's worth it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:13 PM   #41
Lucky Guy
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

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Don't go "cheap" with an O/U, you'll end up regretting it.

I'd look for a Browning Citori or a Beretta (maybe one of the Weatherby's would be o.k. too?)



I agree, you can find a used one at a decent price if you aren't in a hurry. I paid $600 for my Citori.

The sporting clays place at Brooks has a rack full of demo/loaners you can try to see what fits and shoots well for you. That's the only place I know of where you can do that. Knowledgeable folks too.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #42
tonedef89
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Default Re: Budget o/u shotgun?

CDNN Investments is closing out Lanber O/U's at good prices. I believe they are made in Spain. They get good reviews on another forum, google Lanber and you will find it. Problem is that customer service will be nonexistent if you have a problem and you might not be able to find one to test before buying. Cabela's in Springfield has/had one and I thought it looked and felt pretty good.
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