Best way into a double-barreled shotgun SBS or AOW?


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MatthewVanitas
April 5, 2010, 04:46 PM
I have a vague interest in getting a "sawed off shotgun" of some sort, and so could use some advice on sXs short shotguns.

I currently have an 18.5" bbl 29" overall Stevens 311 in 20ga, which is fun because it looks short enough to be illegal, but is actually kosher. The stock is too short to fire comfortably (learned that one the hard way), but with a safe backstop it's pretty fun to hip-fire at reactive targets.

So I'm thinking it would be even more fun to have a 5" or so sXs. Would look "brutal", be compact enough to fit in a pistol case, and would presumably be fun to shoot with those little 1 3/4" Aguila mini-shells.


So I think I know vaguely what I want, but not sure the best way to get it. Last I checked, there simply isn't a source of "never had stocks on them" sXs receivers, so there are apparently very, very few true AOW sXs on the market, except some Ithacas bought as bare receivers by John Norrell (he of "made a ton of full-auto 10/22 sears right before the closing of the Registry" fame).

So AOW seems a dead end, or even with the $5 tax would cost as much as making a new SBS.

Is it generally cheaper to make your own SBS (after submitting paperwork) vice buying one pre-made?

If I do so, what long-barreled sXs should I buy to cut down? I hate to be a jerk cutting down an awesome pristine older gun; should I buy an Ithaca someone already Bubba-ed, or just find a less collectible 311, or what? I'd almost do it on my own 20ga 18.5", but I figure an SBS might as well be in 12ga for max "huge bore on a tiny gun."

Thoughts?

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RyanM
April 5, 2010, 05:27 PM
It's a lot cheaper to cut your own, however, you do have to be pretty good gunsmith if you want both barrels to shoot even remotely in the same place. Regulating those things isn't easy.

On the other hand, the cheapest "production" premade double I can find is $780 plus shipping plus $200 tax, with 9" barrels.

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