Double barrel shotgun

phsycle

Adventurer
Looking to pick up a double barrel (side x side or over/under) 12ga shot gun. Not anything fancy. But something to mostly just do some target shooting and maybe bird hunting.

What’s the equivalent of a Rem 870 in the double barrel segment? I have an 870, it just works. Not fancy at all, but cheap and reliable. Looking for the same in a double barrel. Thanks.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Stoegers are what most of the cowboy action shooters (who use a double instead of a pump) seem to use. Most of them have extractors instead of ejectors so you need to be sure of which model you want. The general recommendation is to try to inspect them before purchase as fit and finish can vary a bit but overall most folks seem to be happy with them from what I've seen. They are relatively inexpensive so folks don't mind running them hard including more or less dropping them on tables or in barrels and snapping them open and shut. I've shot a couple of them and with a little tuning they seem to be perfectly serviceable; I'd like to have one of their coach gun models just because.

If you don't mind a used gun, I like the old Stevens 311 guns for a utility gun. Again, you're not going to win any beauty or style points but they just work. There are some other Turkish guns out there along with the Russian Baikals that were also popular with the CAS crowd until they weren't allowed to be imported anymore. Remington rebranded some of them so you'll find them under that moniker sometimes.
 

malibubts

Adventurer
Honestly I don't know that there is a Rem 870 in the double barrel world.

Most people will be quick to recommend either a Browning or Beretta, but you're going to be looking at an entry price of around $2,000 for a field model. My dad has had great luck with his 12 and 20 Silver Pigeons over the last 10-15 years and I've been happy with my 20 Citori for about the past 3. I've put thousands of rounds through the Browning and each of the Berettas have to have tens of thousands on them.

I personally won't recommend a Stoeger if you're looking for a quality long term gun; both my dad and a friend of mine had a firing pin stop working. My friend's was out of warranty and they didn't even bother having it looked at due to the initial price of the gun. My dad's may have actually been in warranty and was either fixed and failed again and/or wasn't worth the hassle of dealing with the warranty. If you want something cheap and don't care too much about it lasting though, it might not be a bad choice.

When I was shopping for my Citori I also considered the Franchi and CZ guns pretty heavily. I've read decent things about them, but didn't know anyone with any experience with them. Another friend of mine does have a Turkish .410 but as Robert mentioned that distributer stopped importing years ago, nice gun though wish you could still get them. I believe CZ is actually still sourcing their guns out of Turkey for what it's worth.

At the end of the day I wanted a gun that I knew would last and ended up with the Browning since I shoot left handed and the Berettas are cast for a right hander. In short Beretta or Browning if you can stomach it, maybe take a look at the CZ or Franchi for something a bit cheaper, but I'd stay away from the Stoegers.

Edit: You could also look at the used market to bring the price down on a Browning or Beretta. I had a really tough time finding much of anything in 20 ga though, most everything out there I found was in 12 ga.
 
For a best value, I’d look at a Stevens, TriStar or CZ O/U. Check your local gun shops for used if that would help. I was in my local Cabelas today and saw a very roughly handled Beretta for under $500. Look for sales at Cabelas as well. They knocked $300 off the CZ Teal I bought a few years back.

Have a good idea what you want to hunt before you start your search. Weight, barrel length, choke and gauge are somewhat determined by hunting style. I’m in my 70s now, and have migrated from heavy 12 gauges to much lighter 20 gauges so I can still walk the steep country and chase chukars.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Problem is the OP is looking for something along the lines of an 870 so the better grade guns like Brownings, Berettas, etc are out, at least that's the way I took it since you can pick up a new 870 for under $300. Shooting doubles is definitely different than pumps and the way they feel is very subjective and fit is more important- a pump is more or less a pump as long as the action is smooth and the gun not overly heavy but a double, side by side or over under, is very much a subjective thing. Some of the Russian guns for example could easily be used to beat your quarry to death and they feel like swinging a 2x4 while a Winchester Pigeon grade or better quality can be like dancing with a talented partner.

For a field use, akin to an 870 gun, I'd look for a clean used Stevens 311 series. If you decide you like doubles and want to spend more money then you can buy a better gun for hunting (then drop $200 on a tax stamp for the Stevens and chop the barrels down to about 12". :cool:)
 

Milamr

New member
Probably can pick up a used Weatherby under over for $600-700. Nothing fancy but good quality weapon. Looking at Gunbroker app you can get a new one for less than $800.


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mep1811

Gentleman Adventurer
I bought a nice Stoeger side by side in .410 for dove and Quail . The price was right and the quality perfect for field gun.
 

Riptide

Explorer
I vote for a Ruger Red Label. Well-built like any Ruger, classic design, understated appearance, and made right here in the USA.

They've made them since 1977, so a nice used one is certainly a possibility.
 

CCH

Adventurer
There really isn't an 870 double barrel, although to be fair, 870s aren't what they used to be. The most value you will probably find will be a used Ithaca/SKB in sxs as long as you are willing to forgo interchangeable chokes and possibly be restricted to 2 3/4" shells. A Weatherby/SKB over under would also fill that niche, and an over under will be a better clays gun than a SxS. You'll also find more available.
 
I vote for a Ruger Red Label. Well-built like any Ruger, classic design, understated appearance, and made right here in the USA.

They've made them since 1977, so a nice used one is certainly a possibility.
I love the Red Label, they are elegant shotguns, but they are also damned heavy. The older you get, the less weight you want to carry.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
I love the Red Label, they are elegant shotguns, but they are also damned heavy. The older you get, the less weight you want to carry.
Heck, you don't have to be old. I passed on one probably ten yeas ago that was for sale for a really good price, primarily because it was in 28ga and nobody around here carried ammo for them, but the thing was typical Ruger, way overbuilt, and it did not handle worth a damn in my opinion. Oddly, 28ga seems to have made some resurgence and I even saw some shells in Walmart last time I was in there. They had more 28ga loads than they did 16ga- I can't think of anyone I know who owns a 28ga but I do know folks with Sweet Sixteens and other 16s including me.

Most shotguns, excluding examples like the thin walled European doubles, can be threaded for choke tubes if desired.
 

CCH

Adventurer
I want one when I exit the camper. Nothing creates a pucker factor quite like seeing a double barrel pointed at ya.
Not knowing what is or how many are outside the camper, I prefer more than two shots on tap. ;)

Some other "budget" over unders that can be bought new to consider are the Franchi Instinct and Winchester Belgium made 101. Neither of these are cheap in actual dollars, but relative to other over unders, they are a lot for the money.
 
I want one when I exit the camper. Nothing creates a pucker factor quite like seeing a double barrel pointed at ya.
True, but the sound of buckshot being jacked into a 12 gauge pump helps stupid people make informed decisions.

For birds, a nice light 20 gauge double is great, but I’ve found I can miss on a third shot from a pump/auto just as easy as the second shot from a double. For home defense, a good pump is my choice.
 
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