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12 gauge shotgun - side by side or over under?

4/8/20 @ 2:12 PM
Fisher Doon
Fisher Doon
MEMBER since 1/19/09

I'm in the market for a double barrel shotgun. I'm not looking for any specific brand recommendations, but want to know your preference.  Over/under or side by side, and why? 

Thanks in advance. Stay healthy! 

4/14/20 @ 10:11 AM
User since 12/14/12

Ruger Red Label 12 ga O/U, shot a lot of pheasants with it.

4/14/20 @ 9:55 AM
User since 5/8/10

Regarding the CZ Sharptail if it is anything like CZ's predecessor the Ringneck I'd give it a big thumbs down.  

I bought a Ringneck a few years ago because it was at that time one of few double barrels available in 16 gauge.

The Ringneck was a big disappointment.  

The first one I got had issues with shells sticking in the tubes / the extractors not working and after a couple days of use the 2nd barrel started misfiring.  I brought it back to Scheels and they were great about it they replaced it with another without any trouble.  

The second one has shoddy wood to metal fit in a couple of spots.  The gun is heavy their website specs say 6.8 # but in reality it weighs in at 7.3#.  Worst of all the "case hardening" on the metal seems to be a cheap chemical dip finish.  It is wearing off in spots with very little use of the gun.

Balance and feel of the Ringneck are OK but only in comparison to other cheap or entry grade guns.  If you pick up a nice gun (say a Beretta or Cesaur Guerini) then try the CZ it feels like a log.

In my experience the CZ gets the job done but really has none of the refinement and style people are typically looking for when they go to a double gun.

If you are interested in a fairly inexpensive over under that is a LOT NICER look at a Franchi Instinct.  (It's an over under not a side by side so it might not be what you want.)  I have one in 16 gauge also.  It is the cat's ass.  It's a little plain looking but well balanced, and functions perfectly.  It's also incredibly light weight 5.8 #. This makes it super lively in your hands, quick pointing and easy to carry many miles.  I got one about 3 years ago when they first came out with it in 16 gauge.  It has pretty much become my go to gun for grouse and woodcock getting used more often than a couple 20 gauges I have that cost a lot more.   

4/14/20 @ 7:34 AM
User since 7/19/03

Has anyone purchased or used a CZ sxs sharptail??  They look like beautiful shotguns.  

4/12/20 @ 9:40 PM
User since 3/14/06

Fritz, check out a used SKB/Ithaca. Really nice for the $! I have a model 280 with the English stock. Nice woodcock and grouse gun!

4/12/20 @ 3:15 PM
Fisher Doon
Fisher Doon
MEMBER since 1/19/09

Thank you for all the feedback! 

4/12/20 @ 6:16 AM
User since 10/6/04

I have a couple of O/U that fit well (Fausti Traditions) and seem easier to shoot (I grew up with a Win Model 12).  That being said, there is something special about using an old SXS in the field. You seem to be taken back in time. The one I use the most is a Fox Sterlingworth simply because it feels better than the LC's I have.

4/11/20 @ 7:54 PM
User since 6/27/01

I got a Citori (o/u) in '79.  I still have it and is my go to bird gun.  A couple of years ago I was gifted a SXS which my uncle had and was previously my granddad's.  It has double triggers, which I have struggled with.

I sometimes wish I had gone with the SXS back when I bought the O/U because now I want a single trigger light weight SXS that fits me to add to my collection, but I'm having trouble finding one. Back in '79 there were a couple of good options available. I still feel I made the right decision back then.


4/11/20 @ 11:13 AM
MEMBER since 9/3/11

S×S is more of tradition like

You hv to like the style...I own a Charles Daly 20g. 3in mag sxs mod and full choke originally...bought in the early 60's....when 12 ga lead loads became illegal fr waterfowl....later on my hunting leaned more towards upland ...had chokes opened and back bored ...great experience carrying sxs...

Not for everyone 

4/10/20 @ 7:38 PM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

In Richfield across from Cabell , the is an indoor place called The Range . I think you can rent and try different firearms .

4/10/20 @ 4:11 PM
User since 12/12/03

It ultimately comes down to how it feels in your hands.  I have both ,  my O/U swing better and doesn't miss much when I pull the trigger .  My preferred Citori is a high quality shotgun just feels perfect ...  but those side by sides really have a classic look and bring back  memories of the old timers so ya nostalgia has its place in deciding what to get .  It's probably not that easy to test em out unless you know someone that has a couple ... 

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