View Full Version : Double Barrel Advice?

January 24, 2017, 10:44
I've always been into military and precision rifles, and have never really been into shotguns. Sure, I have several pumps and autoloaders, but consider myself a novice in this field.

One thing I've always fancied is old double barreled side by side shotguns. I recently came across several on Simpson Ltd.'s website http://www.simpsonltd.com/index.php?cPath=350_354_355 , and the prices make these tempting. I know the old saying "you get what you pay for", but budgetary constraints limit me to about $250-300 max......I don't want to throw my money away on garbage, but at the same time, this will be something I shoot only a few times a year.

Any suggestions on what to avoid, and what might be a good deal? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

January 24, 2017, 12:06
You can do better than what Simpsons is offering, and get the same/similar guns cheaper. I am ignoring the Belgian hardware store guns, the higher value German and English guns, and the utility grade Swedish guns.

Common US made doubles in field grade:

A H Fox Sterlingworth: the premier USA made double gun of the early 20th century ($300-800)
Ithaca: another USA maker of fine field grade doubles ($200-400)
Lefever: In the same class as Ithaca ($200-400)
Savage-Fox: some Savage guns labeled Fox Model B, after Savage bought the A H Fox factory in '42 ($250-400)
Savage: good field grade guns, Models 235, 335, 311 ($150-300)
Winchester: more collectible than others and pricey, Model 21 higher than Model 24 ($400-800)
Remington: pre WW1 guns, collectible ($300-600)

Whatever you buy, inspect the butt-stock to action fit and condition. Doubles often crack there or work loose where oil runs down into the stock and ruins the wood. Inspect the tightness of the lock-up of the action, and how easily the gun opens. Expect double triggers (lower cost), and look for broken off tips on firing pins in side-lock external hammer (often) guns and (less frequently) in box lock guns(hammerless).

Look to see if there are ejectors, as well as extractors. Extractors back the cartridges out a bout a 1/4 inch. Ejectors will throw the shells clear on opening, usually only those shells that were fired (high end gun). With single trigger guns, inquire about the "single selective ejector" function. Look thru bores for obvious dings. Look at the rib that joins the barrels (upper and lower rib), to be sure the solder joint is not beginning to separate. Realise that doubles made before 1930 may be chambered for 2, 2.5, or 2.65" shells (B&PUSA.COM is a good source). NO steel shot on guns made before 1950, as the barrel steel is softer than in modern guns

January 24, 2017, 13:06
Thank you, justashooter!

January 24, 2017, 13:43
Or go new and get a CZ ... VERY nice guns, quality stuff.


January 24, 2017, 15:19
Or go new and get a CZ ... VERY nice guns, quality stuff.


Probably my favorite firearms company.......after Fabrique Nationale, of course!

January 24, 2017, 16:07
Or go new and get a CZ ... VERY nice guns, quality stuff.


+1...I've got 3 of their SxS (2 bobwhite, 1 ringneck) and 3 of the O/U... I couldent be happier with.
I've got a bunch of older, more expensive, SxS's & O/U's too, but they havent been out in years and just collect dust.
The CZ's were a true bargain a hand full of years ago,,,not sure if thats still true with today's exchange rates.

January 25, 2017, 00:18
For you first SxS consider SKB, Browning BSS, and similar Miroku built guns; relatively modern guns guilt in the last 40 years or so.

Find a good FN SxS if you so desire.

February 12, 2017, 20:51
Do not get a Stoger double! I got my mits on one and found the left barrel was on but the right was off to the right by almost a foot at twentyfive feet.

February 13, 2017, 20:25
If you got a Stoger with a bad set of barrels the company will take care of you. I sell a lot of Stogers and own and shoot them myself. As much as I like CZ I would not buy one of their shotguns. They kick like a mule compared to a Stoger. We can not sell a CZ because of this.
I have several Stevens Mod.235s in 12 and 16 that I like a lot. One thing I demand in a SXS is two triggers. It is just me but that is what I like.

February 14, 2017, 08:32
If you get a Stoeger, I would shoot the rear trigger first.

February 15, 2017, 18:06
Remember, Marrion Morrison always had Greener :biggrin:

February 15, 2017, 18:28
Big Jake is worth watching many times. I believe they were the first shotgun to have both extractors and ejectors. Am I right Robin?

February 16, 2017, 14:40
Your budget is prohibitive for any quality hinged gun. You can get into a CZ for roughly twice your budget and have a quality entry-level sxs or o/u. Anything less and your risk for disappointment will exceed your chances for being happy with your purchase.

February 16, 2017, 18:19
Believe it or not I bot a Norinco SxS on a lark, took the lockworks apart and polished everything up... GREAT gun - and tons of fun. Cheap but on a $/fun scale - great buy. At the other end I just picked up a Franchi O/U in 20ga really nice mid priced O/U and a little less punishing than my 828u in 12 for SC.