I have this Stevens double that was too heavy for its first owner. He told me it went into the Mississippi for a bath while hunting. It never got a proper cleaning. I had the bbls cut to 20" and it swings fine. With no chokes, I call it "'ol cant miss". It was the critter gitter and loaner when I lived in Wis.
Now, to be certain it fires, I dry fire it before shooting to loosen up the springs. If I take it to a good gunsmith will it be worthy of home defence? Or will that gunsmith bill be money better spent on a new gun?
For critters, its reliable enough. I'm looking at a $299 'Mossberg
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January 25, 2012, 06:11 PM
A pump is a much better choice.
You can leave it chamber empty with a full mag of ammo and put it in action in a heart beat.
Loaded double-guns setting around make me very nervous.
BTW: Keep dry firing it and you are gonna be looking for new firing pins to replace the broken ones.
January 25, 2012, 06:25 PM
I guess a lot of folks throw them in water. I fixed a friends the other week. It was rusted pretty bad and one barrel would not fire. I don't fully remember how it looked inside, but I do remember the triggers pivoted and had long extensions that held the hammers in 'cocked'. the pin where the triggers pivoted were rusted (along w/ most of the gun) and that wouldn't allow the trigger to hold the hammer. Took it apart, cleaned it and polished some of the surfaces with a drimel. Worked great after that.
January 25, 2012, 06:40 PM
I wouldn't be dry firing a double barrel myself, without using snap caps.
Nothing wrong with a SxS for defense, if you can hit what you shoot at with it.
January 25, 2012, 07:04 PM
Regarding your question as to whether the 'smithing money would be better spent on a pump, I say "yes". Even a stock Remington 870 has a 5-shot capacity, and most Mossberg 500's I've had hold 5 in the tube and 1 in the hole for a 6-shot total. Why handicap yourself to only 2 shots when you can TRIPLE your capacity with a pump? You can even add a mag tube extender for up to 8 shots with a still-handy 20" barrel length. If the intent is home defense AND you have the money to spend, my vote goes toward the pump.
January 25, 2012, 08:31 PM
Pump. More buckshot brought to the party.
January 25, 2012, 09:08 PM
And no holes in the bedroom ceiling, or yourself, when you jump out of bed half asleep and grab a loaded double by the muzzles.
January 25, 2012, 09:28 PM
If you can rock the SxS then rock it.
January 25, 2012, 09:36 PM
Here's my answer
January 25, 2012, 10:46 PM
If you get the pump, practice with it. Don't want to short-shuck it when the time you really need it comes.
January 26, 2012, 02:08 AM
If I was looking for a practical cheap home defense shotgun I would strongly consider the 12 GA H&R Pardner Pump Protector with 18.5 inch barrel and 5 round magazine, it is a Chinese copy of the Remington 870, which strangely enough is now imported by Remington's parent company. It is a bit rougher finish the the 870 Express, and weighs a bit more at 7.5 pounds, but has a good reputation online and sells for well under $200 at most big box stores that sell such things, of if you prefer a 20 Gauge they also make the Pardner Pump Compact in 20GA with a 21 inch barrel and 5 round magazine. (I have also seen a varient of the 20 GA with an 18.5 inch barrel and black stocks at a local sporting goods chain even though it is not listed on the H&R web site). Sure it is no Remington 870 Wingmaster, but it is also less than 1/3 of the price.
January 26, 2012, 12:47 PM
I would prefer a pump in 12 gauge. On a budget I recommend looking around for a used WingMaster. Sorta like this one.