I bought a break open shotgun because:


February 8, 2008, 11:30 PM
Folks choose Single Shot, Side-by-Side, Over-n-Under and Under-n-Over shotguns for various reasons.

Under-n-Over ?

Hey silly Americans call these by the wrong name, I may be a dumb Southern Boy, but I at least had some British cussing education / input coming up. *wink*.

Some of the reasons I have heard when the topic come up of
I bought a break open shotgun because:

-My Husband & Son bought me one for Mother's day as they got tired of policing my hulls.

-I was born shooting SxS's. Dang Fools- yer eyes are "OO" not stacked one atop another!

-My wife got a new Beretta as her adopted uncle let her shoot one, and that uncle , that is not even related to her, assisted in ordering one,and like a dummy I go see what the Gun Fella called me about it and I wrote a check for the darn thing when I showed up. *hehehe*

-I can't count past one, and I have never had a problem with a shotgun feeding the shell in a H&R Topper...

-My dawg said he would do his business in the house if I did not buy that O/U.


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February 8, 2008, 11:53 PM
Because they were the "in thing" when I started shooting sporting clays about 20 years ago. And because they're really nice looking guns. I've owned 3 O/U's -- a Ruger Red Label, a Beretta 682, and a Browning 425 Citori. I still have the Browing, but I sold the Ruger and Beretta years ago.

However, most of my clay shooting these days is done with a Beretta 391 gas gun. Less recoil and lighter weight -- a winning combination. The O/U is mostly a safe queen which only gets used once or twice a year.

February 9, 2008, 01:39 AM
I shoot H&R/N.E.F. single shot, I have several.I started ith one at 9 years old. I have shot auto's pump's and side x side's a lot O/U a little I am left handed so some guns have safeties that are unhandy for me .the location of the opening lever is perfect for me and most of all I have not found any gun that fits me better A partner shotgun feels right and points natural for me I reckon I have come full circle started with a 410 single shot went through got to have the biggest fastest shooting pump auto etc and now I am back to a little single shot (28 ga) I shoot fewer shells with a single but seem to kill more game . guys I hunt with hassle me because I have a new left handed 870 and carry my frankenstein (put together to suit me) H&R 28 ga single shot,I alway seem to kill just as much game as they do with doubles, pump or autos:D

Bud Tugly
February 9, 2008, 01:43 AM
Because a break-open is about 3-4" shorter than other guns with similar barrel lengths, and that makes them handier in thick cover and tight spaces.

And because a break-open single shot is about as simple and basic as a shotgun comes and is cheap as dirt.

And because I love the challenge and focus that comes from knowing that you'd better make that first shot a good one.

And because with a little bit of practice you can get off second and third and fourth shots amazingly fast even with a simple single shot.

And because that's what I learned on nearly 50 years ago because that's all I could afford on my paper route money.

February 9, 2008, 01:49 AM
because i can trick it out, like this:


February 9, 2008, 02:28 AM
Once upon a time when I could still see my toes in a standing position, me and my buddies hunted a old fella's land (Ole McDonald, believe it or not) and he had that thing cross fenced seemed like every 5 feet. Sure was easier clearing my SXS than it was clearing all their semi's.

February 9, 2008, 02:39 AM
Wow, Surprised by the reponces here already. I picked a SXS just cause I like the look. I shoot it in sporting clays, and had a hard tiime at first converting from a O/U, but love the fact that there are only a few of over 100 shooting sxs. It does command respect, but, it truly is a nice view to see clays breack from both eyes.........

February 9, 2008, 11:38 AM
Gun #1: 870 Express. Wanted to try out shotgunning, and $235 brand new sounded good. Tried hunting quail with it. Not good. Too sluggish. It now sits upstairs locked up where I keep guns I seldom or never use. It will probably emerge next waterfowl season.

Gun #2: BT-99. Was trap shooting a lot with the 870, wanted a trap gun. Turns out I never shot it as well as the 870, and I'm not the only person who's found this. I sold it happily.

Gun #3: Old 1100 Magnum. Found it for a good price. Used it for quail and it worked great. It's heavy enough that I needed a sling for comfortable all-day carry in the mountains, though. It remains my "backup" gun; I got it cheap enough that I would rather keep it than sell it, and it shoots well.

Gun #4: 20 Gauge 26" Ithaca SKB 500 O/U. Now THAT'S a quail gun. Love it!

Gun #5: 12 Gauge 28" Beretta 686 White Onyx a month and a half ago. So far, it's the gun that I'd keep if I could have only one, without question. It plain just works well for me.

I have O/U's because I found that I like them, and because I'd rather have 2 shots with different chokes than 3 with one, especially on fast-moving birds like quail. Shot #3 is a waste of ammo, if I use it at all.:)

February 9, 2008, 11:42 AM
"I bought a break open shotgun because:"

No honest man needs 3 shots? I heard that somewhere. Maybe I dreamed it.

When I got my first SxS back in the early '60s I didn't know anybody made U/Os. I should have bought a Model 12 like my father had instead of that Model B. Live and learn.


February 9, 2008, 12:29 PM
I started with an 870 wingmaster, but wanted a side by side and got one when I was 18, freshman in college in 1971. I have a little 20 gauge Spartan now, too, and my old single shot 16 that I used when I was a kid for goose hunting. I like the instant choke selection on a double trigger side by side, the compact size, the fact that it breaks down for transport in tight places, the quick pointing characteristics, the between hands balance that makes it point so quick, and it's light on long hikes.

Besides, rarely has a third round out of one of my repeaters ever done the trick, usually just wasting ammo and steel shot in particular is not cheap.

February 9, 2008, 12:51 PM
I agree it's hard to beat a break open. Especially if you shoot a lot and reload.
I have a few:
Browning Lightening Sporting Clays 12 ga o/u, With Briley tube set for 20, 28, .410 For registered skeet, sporting clays, and trap
Stoeger IGA 12ga SxS mostly for hunting, sometimes skeet
H&R Topper Deluxe 12ga 3 1/2" single, goose and sandhill crane hunting
Baikal IZH-27EM 20 ga o/u, my trap gun
Stoeger IGA 20 ga SxS, dove's, quail, and skeet
Stoeger IGA 28ga SxS, dove and quail
Stoeger IGA .410 SxS, doves and quail
I really enjoy them all and have had no mentionable problem with any of them, and believe me they have all had a lot of rounds thru each of them.

February 9, 2008, 12:52 PM
20 gauge single shot. Cheap, so it fit into the college budget. The apartment is laid out kinda funky, so one shot works for HD, backed with 2 hand guns.

February 9, 2008, 01:19 PM
Because when shooting at a tom, one shot is about all you get, so a 3.5" shell in a break-open NEF will work just fine :)

February 9, 2008, 01:23 PM
hi, new to the forum, so I'm adding my input. My first gun was a N.E.F partner, cheap, reliable, simple, and durn near bomb-proof, I used it at least 4 times a week for six years for small to medium game and pest control, and as was said above, I regularly racked up more kills than any of my buddys carrying pumps or autos, It really pissed them off, but the thing I really liked was that since it was a 50 dollar pawn shop gun, I could be as rough on it as I liked without feeling guilty about damage, but it never got any. Overall it has been the most often used, carried or fired of any of my firearms, and a hell of a deal

February 9, 2008, 01:26 PM

because i did trick mine out like this. (gradfather gave it to me for first shotgun to get into skeet/trap, then i tricked it out just because)

February 10, 2008, 12:06 AM
Because when shooting at a tom, one shot is about all you get, so a 3.5" shell in a break-open NEF will work just fine

Yeah, I can totally understand why you'd want a Benelli for a lot of things, but their $1700 turkey gun I just don't get -- from the customer's perspective, anyway.:)

February 10, 2008, 12:43 AM
Because all the cool kids have one. :D

February 10, 2008, 01:48 AM
Let's see...

Started with a Model 12, then got a Benelli. Liked the pump. Liked the auto. However, O/Us were what a lot of people were shooting. Also, I was into reloading and gathering up my hulls was a royal pain. So I picked up a Browning 425.

While I've moved on from that gun (and have a bunch of others), I find that I just prefer O/Us for high-volume shooting. Part of it is functional. Part of it is mental. Breaking a shotgun open, catching the ejected hulls, and stuffing in two fresh shells has a rhythm and timing that I find satisfying. It may sound silly, but shooting an O/U just seems to flow. I'm proficient with autos and pumps, but they always seem a little mechanical, while the operation of an O/U is more fluid.

It helps my Zen. :)

February 10, 2008, 10:32 AM
Simple,rugged,reliablility make me happy:D:D:D

February 10, 2008, 11:00 AM
I'm proficient with autos and pumps, but they always seem a little mechanical, while the operation of an O/U is more fluid.

Yeah, a pump feels like I should be Charles Bronson in Death Hunt, and it's hard to shoot a semiauto without feeling like you're operating some Rube Goldberg contraption.

And cleaning the O/U is a pleasant activity befitting a gentleman, not a frustrating ordeal involving too much Hoppes and fouled parts rolling around on the floor being chased by dogs.:)

Another "reason", though I don't need a reason really: NAVHDA requires break-action guns at dog trainings and tests. It's a lot safer, since it's easy to see whether a gun is loaded from 1/2 mile away.

February 10, 2008, 12:03 PM
1st one?
cuz it's safer

It's clearly obvious when it's unloaded and safe (broken open)

I was new to shotguns, my friend was new to guns, it made good sense to both of us.
It's not so clear with a pump or a semi-auto. Sure, after you get good at it, ti's obvious, but not to a newbie. Much easier manual of arms too.

something to think about when you take a newbie out.

February 10, 2008, 12:07 PM
Nice article on Briley's website:


February 10, 2008, 12:31 PM
Oh, I ain't sellin' my auto or my pump, they have their place. But, more and more I like using a double....again. It's sort of a back to the future thing for me cause for years all I used was a 12 gauge side by side. Then, steel shot laws came along and doubles were way expensive, not too many affordable ones in the 80s, so I got my hands on a Mossberg. But, doubles are in a resurgence right now, lots of affordable ones around, so I got the little Spartan 20 gauge and I'm enjoying the heck out of it.:D

February 10, 2008, 01:31 PM
MCgunner, which Spartan did you buy, the single or double trigger? In my old age, I am changing over to a 20 and am set on getting a Spartan.

February 10, 2008, 03:43 PM
I bought a break open shotgun because:

They are safer and more convenient in the field,

They have two choke options for sporting clays,

They are damn handsome, and

Because Perazzi doesn't make a pump gun. :)

July 29, 2009, 08:42 PM
Just bought my son (19 years old) a Baikal single barrel break open for skeet. We have been using the Mossberg pump and while it works, it just looks wrong on the range:rolleyes: We will be trying the new Baikal out soon and will report back.

I bought a break open because it was cheap ($120), looked really nice, was light and balanced esp. compared to the 'berg and is made like a Russian tank. I think there are three moving parts and they all look well made.

I also like the trigger guard break/cocking action.

My FIL has a nice Savage Fox sxs he picked up at a Sears catalog store 30 years ago. That is a sweet gun.

July 29, 2009, 09:09 PM
I have a Spartan (Baikal) SxS and love it, very rugged gun and shoots where I look. That Baikal should serve well.

MCgunner, which Spartan did you buy, the single or double trigger? In my old age, I am changing over to a 20 and am set on getting a Spartan.

Mmm, a little late, but mine has double triggers. It's the SPR220.

Oh, and since this thread was last alive, I added an H&R 10 gauge turkey gun to my collection. I've used it on geese, awesome. :D

July 29, 2009, 10:19 PM
Because Perazzi doesn't make a pump gun

Absatively, posilutely!

The utmost in reliability combined with the ability to out fox the worst human jamming individual, makes a break open supreme

July 29, 2009, 10:24 PM
I have never had a problem with a shotgun feeding the shell in a H&R Topper...

Heh, I saw one fail last week. Not sure what happened, I'm guessing the hull had been reloaded one too many times, but he got the rim of the shell to hop over the ejector while loading. We had to take a pair of pliers to the shell and mangle the rim to get it back out.

Never thought I'd see that happen.

July 29, 2009, 10:44 PM
No honest man needs 3 shots? I heard that somewhere. Maybe I dreamed it.

I think you're referring to the Ruger Letter, the quote was: "no honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun"

As for why I bought a break-open...I wanted a shotgun (at that point I only had a 10/22), it was cheap and hard to mess up, and it's versatile - you can shoot 2-3/4" or 3" shells and slugs, and older autoloaders can't do it (i.e. my later-purchased 11-48).

July 29, 2009, 10:53 PM
I've seen several HR/NEF's fail to eject, had a .223 that was really bad about it.

I think the saying is the 3rd shot is a prayer anyway. But it sure would feel good to get that trifecta on a quail covey. :D

Tom Held
July 30, 2009, 08:19 AM
In case one barrels falls off.

July 30, 2009, 08:31 PM
-they have better balance without the 1.5 lb receiver.
-they are 5-6" shorter for the same barrel length
-they give you 2 chokes instead of one.
-they are much faster for a second shot than a pump.
-they allow me to shoot a field load for the first shot and a 3" mag for no. 2
-they are lighter
-they are faster to unload at a fence line or road.
-they are prettier
-they are easier to clean
-the trigger is usually much better (a + for competition shooters)

Two Cold Soakers
July 31, 2009, 10:16 PM
Back gets a little stiff bendin' over pickin' up my litter.

August 1, 2009, 03:38 AM
I picked up a SxS b/c I like the look. Then I sold it, but I still want another. It'll be a coach gun this time, though.

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