Best under $3000 SxS


February 22, 2006, 04:27 AM
Greetings all,

I am wondering about what yous guys think the best SxS shotgun for between $0 and about $3,000 would be? I am looking for a nice 20ga to hunt with. I have several fine guns but I like the way a SxS swings. I will be hunting in NW Oregon. I have another 12ga for duck and goose so this will be an upland gun more or less. What say ye all?


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February 22, 2006, 07:37 AM
Beretta Silverhawk.
english grip, double triggers, 20ga, 26 to 28" barrells.
Yes, I think that would do you fine.

February 22, 2006, 08:19 AM
Sorry I don't have any actual experience with it but it is within your price range.

Weatherby SBS Athena D'Italia
Like the Beretta it has Dual Triggers, 26" or 28" available in 20ga, english stock and screw-in chokes.


Dave McCracken
February 22, 2006, 08:45 AM
Lots of choices, including Ruger's new Gold Label.

I'd go with one of the classics, you may be able to find a lower grade Parker within that range. Or an Elsie, Ithaca, Fox, LeFever, Baker et al.

February 22, 2006, 09:20 AM
CZ new Turkish imports are very nice and not overpriced.

February 22, 2006, 10:43 AM
Grulla, Ugartechea, Merkel, Dakota Arms all come to mind.

All very high quality and will probably last forever.

February 22, 2006, 10:52 AM
Could you go $3355 for an AyA No.4/53?

This is a 12 ga., but they make it 20 ga.

February 22, 2006, 02:05 PM
Old Ithacas are available for a few hundred bucks and balance very well.

New L.C. Smiths, Weatherbys, Berettas, Rugers, etc. are nice. New CZ Huglus are a nice and a real good value.

$3000 can still buy you a nice gun.:)

February 22, 2006, 02:14 PM
I don't think you can beat a low end Merkle for value and quality. Top bolt, side-clips, double under-bolts; all typically over-built German engineering. Nice lines, handles well and you should be able to find one well under $3,000.00.

Some Spanish gunmakers (AyA and Arrieta come to mind) also make nice shotguns that are reasonably priced.

February 22, 2006, 04:37 PM
Lots of good choices available with a 3K budget.

If somebody gave me that much toward a SxS, I'd give serious consideration to a 700.00 Elsie plus a 2300.00 payment to Doug Turnbull, then awaiting results. Especially given that I already have the Elsie.

February 22, 2006, 04:47 PM
Incidentally, the Beretta 20 Ga O/U's are so low profile that they feel much like a SxS, but they'll take less adjustment if you're used to a gun with one barrel.

The Silver Pigeon is pricey but not so pricey as a Silver Hawk.

One swing and I wanted one.

Can't afford it at the moment, but nevertheless...:)

February 22, 2006, 07:30 PM
A real good Browning BSS can be gotten for $1000 (12ga) to $2000(20ga) . I don't think a better all around SxS exists for anything close to that . O/U are a differrent ball game and it IS all Beretta in that ball game and price range IMHO.

Of course at the top of your price range you can get THIS , which is compared to H&H Royals by those who know!

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 07:55 PM
Greetings all,

I am wondering about what yous guys think the best SxS shotgun for between $0 and about $3,000 would be? I am looking for a nice 20ga to hunt with. I have several fine guns but I like the way a SxS swings. I will be hunting in NW Oregon. I have another 12ga for duck and goose so this will be an upland gun more or less. What say ye all?

azYou can get an old Parker in good shape for hunting for within that range. They are about the best shotguns made.

February 22, 2006, 08:17 PM
Could you go $3355 for an AyA No.4/53?
You could get a sub 3K price at Glenn Rea ( They get their AyAs from NECG (

February 22, 2006, 10:43 PM
Another thought is a Winchester 23 (used, of course). A nice little shotgun, readily available for under $3,000.00.

February 23, 2006, 08:52 AM
"You could get a sub 3K price at Glenn Rea."

Thank you. I hadn't heard of them.


February 23, 2006, 04:50 PM
If it's going to be carried a lot, you want a light gun. On the used market, the Browning BSS is nice, but haevy for a 12 gauge. Look out for an Ithaca/SKB. there are modes with extractors(100 &150) and ejectors (200 & 280). You can also find English stock madfels (280E) if you look hard enough.

Another great gun on the used market is the Abercrombie & Fitch Zoli/Rizzini's frmo the 50's or 60's.

February 23, 2006, 07:48 PM
Connecticut Shotgun Manfacturing Company
They are making a new 20 gauge for $2500. It is called the RBL and looks like a wondeful shotgun.

March 4, 2006, 12:21 AM
I have arranged for a BSA Royal, 20ga, 26". I decided to go with something a little less expensive to see how it will function for my hunting environment here in NW Oregon. I have a Franchi 48AL for duck and goose so this gun will be mainly for upland use. I like the way a 20ga swings and the 26" with chokes should be good for chukar, grouse, Phesant, et al. The BSA Royal is the same gun as the Weatherby Athena. I have printed this thread as this gun is what I am considering a experiment on the qwest for "the one". I much appreciate all the comments, feedback, and help from all of you.

Thanks again,


March 4, 2006, 01:55 AM
The BSA Royal is the same gun as the Weatherby Athena.

How did you come to the conclusion that these are the same gun? :confused:

The BSA model is a Spanish import I believe and the Weatherby is an SKB made in Japan? :confused:

March 4, 2006, 04:29 AM
I'm confused (nothing new): The BSA Royal is a SxS I believe to be Spanish. The Weatherby Athena is an O/U made by SKB in Japan.

The Weatherby SxS is made in Italy - not surprising given that it's marketed under the "D'Italia" name.

Confusion notwithstanding, what I've seen of the BSA Royal looks like a fine piece of equipment.


March 4, 2006, 04:35 AM
Well a web search will tell you Fausti Stefano Arms of Italy, Ithaca, SKB, and "Made in Japan". I had both in my hands side by side and other than the stamp saying who manufactured them they were the same gun. Look at all the pictures of the guns, they have a fairly unique checkering pattern in the wood. I always have a problem with manufacture of origin in the first place. In the US if it says "Made in the USA" then there is a certain percentage of the processes that have to be done in the US. In other countries that is not so. Outsourcing is big busines worldwide. I do believe there is a slight difference in the wood quality. The Weatherby SxS had a bit more figure and the BSA grain was more straight.


March 4, 2006, 05:44 AM
This is a quote from "Outdoor Life" magazine gun reviews.

Weatherby Athena
($1,549; 800-227-2016)
Gauge tested: 12-gauge
Weight as delivered: 7 lb., 2 oz.
Barrel length: 26 in.
Metal finish: Blue
Stock: Walnut
Sights: Bead
Trigger pull: 4 lb., 7 oz.
Intended purpose: General field
One of the pitfalls of our new gun tests is that in order to make our spring deadline we sometimes have to test pre-production samples. These may be one-of-a-kind samples that lack the refinements in mechanism and finish that will appear in production models. And so it was with both of the new Weatherby shotguns. But with this caveat duly noted, we have to call 'em the way we see 'em.

The Athena side-by-side is a typically Spanish mid-to-upper-class shotgun in that it struggles mightily to imitate a British best-grade sidelock (no fault in that) but falls way short on the details in order to keep production costs at a minimum (no blame there either). Fair-to-nice engraving and checkering on our sample, augmented by nicely contrasting oil-finished walnut, were pleasing, as was the cleanly sculpted, English-style stock.

I did add the bold to the above content:evil:


March 4, 2006, 07:52 AM
Well something doesn't add up here.

You quoted that the Weatherby Athena D'ITALIA was made by Stefano Fausti, in which you are correct. But, that is made in Brescia, Italy. Not Spain as your bold text emphasizes.

The BSA, which I'm assuming is the Classic or Royal model, is made in Spain.

Check out some information on each. Weatherby's website clearly states Weatherby offers an Italian-made side-by-side that is certain to stir a response from the most discriminating enthusiasts, bringing together classic styling and craftsmanship with modern production techniques in a truly stunning way.

The BSA is described on several sites that sell them; Truly a masterpiece in design and functionality, the BSA Royal side-by-side shotgun embodies the quintessential spirit of traditional European hunting guns. Handcrafted in Spain, the design features classic details such as a checkered English stock made of select European walnut with a checkered splinter forearm, case-colored side plate and a beautiful elongated trigger guard.

Therefore again I ask, how can they be the same gun? :confused:

March 4, 2006, 09:33 AM
One dealer was handing out the theory that the BSA Spanish SxS was to have been the Weatherby SxS. The deal went south, Weatherby bought Italian, leaving a pile of Spanish SxSs which BSA picked up.

Meantime, both were made to Weatherby's specs, hence they're near identical. Rather then being the same gun, they were made to the same specs by competing firms from Spain and Italy. This would presumably include such details as checkering.

I had filed the story, along with most gunshop anecdotes, with the emails I get saying Bill Gates will send me money for forwarding emails. Now I'm beginning to wonder. Convoluted, but it's pretty close to describing how the "same" shotgun can be fabricated in two different countries.

Becomes somewhat more plausible in that magazines often get pre-production samples and, had Weatherby stuck with their Spanish vendor, may well have called the thing an "Athena SxS, made in Spain". Outdoor Life goes to press, Weatherby's deal blows up and SxS becomes the Italian "D'Italia".

Neat, if it happened. Note that I'm not taking any ownership of the gunstore legend.

Who cares anyway? They're both nice.

Edited to add: Somebody has put that conjecture in writing. listing (

The guy does like "all caps":

March 4, 2006, 09:56 AM
It's definitely confusing.

The Weatherby o/u is made by SKB in Japan.

The current sxs, the D'Italia is made by Fausti in Italy.

Their preceeding sxs was made by Hermanos Zabala in Spain although that didn't work out and Weatherby switched to an Italian supplier.

Hermanos Zabala makes the current BSA and the lower-priced Charles Day imports. Zabala also markets under their own name.

You might also come across an older BSA shotgun made in England but they haven't been made for many years.

March 4, 2006, 10:15 AM
That helps clear some of it up. Thanks guys! :)

March 4, 2006, 01:42 PM
You might also come across an older BSA shotgun made in England but they haven't been made for many years.

I was wondering how they stole that name (BSA) from the britts ?

March 5, 2006, 02:06 AM
There were a few Spanish Weatherby Athena's imported (aprox. 100) from what I understand before the deal went south. I very much doubt that Zabala would have built a one off for the Outdoor Life review. That review was in the March '06 mag so I don't see it being more than 6 months between the actual review and publication, not in the magazine world. I will however try to call Weatherby and get someone there to spill the beans (long shot) on exactly how many made it here with the Weatherby name.

I agree with Hawk on why I had two identical guns in my hands. Same specs, same gun. CNC machines and lasers don't know who their owner is, just the program to be run.

I really don't care one way or the other as long as the gun functions as designed with reasonable asthetics. I just hope I have purchased a nice SxS shotgun. It was shipped my direction last Friday, should be here by Thursday in my hot not-so-little hands:D

March 19, 2006, 01:44 AM
Well folks, I have an update on the BSA Royal. I received it a Friday before last and it has been back to the dealer for a few days now. It had beautiful wood. The wood to metal fit was acceptable. The barrels were nice. The metalwork and finish on the receiver was horrible.

There were grinder marks near and around the barrel pivot pin that were finished over. The bluing was uneven and partially missing in the right side. The edge of the receiver extended past the barrel edge and the distance of the lip was uneven around the edge. The edge of the receiver face was not finished well, it was rough on the edges, filed but not de-burred. The gun fit together well and I am sure would have been a serviceable tool but did not have the finish I would have expected for a shotgun that was supposed to retail for near $1,500. Even at half that it was no deal and I sent it back. This gun could have been an anomaly but it is not "the one" for me. I was really hoping for a nice gun. :( I can understand why the Weatherby deal went south if this was an example of what they were expected to sell under their name. Poopy!


March 19, 2006, 08:53 PM
Sorry to hear about that.

A local dealer has the base model Weatherby's and they looked really well executed to me. But they were closer to 2,500.00.

Sometimes the search is fun in itself. Keep it up and keep us posted.

March 19, 2006, 09:08 PM
Makes me appreciate the fit and finish of those $1000 Browning BSS I told you about:rolleyes:

Scott E Mayer
March 19, 2006, 10:41 PM
It's near the top end of your price range, but it's a lot of gun for the money

March 20, 2006, 08:51 AM
It's near the top end of your price range, but it's a lot of gun for the money

WOW!:what: I think I wet my pants.


March 20, 2006, 10:41 AM
I like the idea of Connecticut Shotgun's RBL (aka RBL), especially the made in the U.S.A. craftsmanship.


Scott E Mayer
March 20, 2006, 08:24 PM
You going to get one?

March 21, 2006, 09:55 AM
Of the two lists (lottery, realistic), it's on the former..


March 22, 2006, 04:06 AM
I think I may go Italian; a Sabatti in 28ga. Does anyone know if I am going to have to shave the dang thing;)


P. S. - The dealer I bought the BSA from said this one must have been a lemmon. He has sold a bunch of them and had repeat sales. He agreed that the gun he sent me was not good and well below standards. It was new in the box.

March 22, 2006, 06:21 AM
Not trying to be smarta$$ but if the 50,000$ custom dont fit and point,but the 50$ garage sale one does then for hunting purposes your better with the cheapy..I got some real dandys in the gun room.Lots of rupels tied up,but when I got to go swat a bird down its the ol parker. It just goes where I want it. If you got to start this whole shaving thing,put it down and try another

March 22, 2006, 12:45 PM
You must have a friend who has one being made now. If you order today I heard it's a 2 year wait...
Give me about 6 months and I will try one of those RBL's.


Freedom in theSkies
October 9, 2007, 01:13 AM
I managed to luck in to a Sabatti SxS that was at a shop as part of an estate sale. They wanted $375 for it and I offered $325. We settled on $350...
Found out about the gun after a long search thru the many companies in the Gardone Valley in Italy (by way of a wonderful Breda records person reffering me to Sabatti, and providing an intro for me). the letter I got back from Sabatti said that my particular gun was custom made to order in 1972 and was shipped with 30" Breda made barrels.
The engraving is both extensive and ornate. the fit is amazing, the recoil is barely perceptable and it swings very well. Wookwork is a med to light walnut burl.
Finish is about98- 99%
Maybe I can post some pictures if anyone is interested...

Tom Held
October 10, 2007, 09:12 PM
The $2500 RBL by Galazan is a price out of the past now. If you can find one for sale it will start at $3500 and they quit taking orders at the first of the year. The first addition was completely sold out. I ordered one two years ago and it just went into production about six weeks ago.

Ruger stopped production on the Gold Label 12 gauge a year ago with no plans to complete the orders they have. Too many quality control problems.

Winchester 101s and 23s are readily available and great values, really quality guns in the small guages.


October 10, 2007, 09:19 PM
I'll sell you a gently used Wingmaster for $2,999.99, heck, I'll throw in the shipping for free.

:neener: $3,000.00 We's regular folk 'round here 'bouts. Did you say $3,000.00?! Did he say $3,000.00?! My wife would wouldn't kill me...oh no. She'd beat me for certain. But she'd transfuse me to make durned sure I lived for the subsequent beating.

I would look to Browning. Slickest, smoothest, firmest-locking, most natural point in a shotgun that I ever had the delight of lifting. Then, my friend wanted it back. :( You did say $3,000.00, didn't cha?!

Doc kicks the stone and shuffles his feet as he mumbles to himself as he walks off into the distance.

He did say $3,000.00. I know I heard it. Who pays $3,000.00 for a shotgun? Now a Colt 1911, that I can see $3,000.00; oh I'd pay $4,000.00 for one of those...mumble mumble.


October 14, 2007, 02:27 PM
I would go +1 on the AYA.

I have a .410 from them that is an amazing gun. I have never had a hickup with it, and it has plenty of rabbits under its belt.

The quality, and old world feel are great.

October 14, 2007, 09:13 PM
Werent there high end stevens 311's made?

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