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Is the SxS dead these days?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 357smallbore, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    I was wiping my weapons down today and I have two shotguns that I personally think are wonderful shotguns. The first being a "hardware gun". It is an old Eastern Arms side by side 12 gauge. I believe I've got it dated to the late 30s.
    It is an excellent condition. It's fun to shoot andl it locks up like a bank vault. The second is a Stevens 5100. 101.6 12 ga. It also is an excellent condition and I have a letter from Savage Stevens it was made in 1939.
    I don't shoot these that much. When I do, it is just target rounds.
    Does anyone still shoot side by sides or hunt with them?. I know up through the fifties they were very popular and then they seem to have lost their luster.
    I would never trade, sell or get rid of mine.
     
  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Every once in a while I see a nice SxS at the range. I can't recall the last time I saw one in the hunting field, but I don't really move in those circles anyway.

    The cowboy action folks seem to be keeping that market in business, though. I recently bought a fairly nice Italian hammer gun in 12 gauge. I doubt it would exist were it not for the cowboy action market.
     
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  3. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I actually prefer them irrationally. There is a guy on here that likes to say people only use lever actions for nostalgia (which is a bunch of nonsense) but that IS the reason I prefer a SxS.

    I have a Bernadelli Gamecock 20ga SxS and a Browning Citori upland O/U 20ga. I shoot the Browning much better but the SxS just has so much class.
     
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  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Do tell, which one? We have a poster looking for a "coach gun" or Lupara and something nicer than a Stoeger might catch his eye.
     
  5. George P

    George P Member

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  6. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Never owned or shot a double gun - but from what I've read it takes a bit of skilled craftsmanship to build them properly... In today's world not surprising that their not as common as they were.

    With notable exceptions most firearms today aren't brought to market unless they can be done up relatively cheaply with computer controlled machining at every point. Carefully hand made... not a recipe for a profitable operation with rare exception... Wish it weren't so and greatly envy anyone that has one passed down to them.
     
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  7. George P

    George P Member

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    One of the most expensive shotguns made is the Fabbri
    Most-expensive-gun-in-the-world-Fabbri-over-and-under.jpg

    This is an O/U, but they make SxS too:

    Another facet they failed to mention is that every component of the gun is made in house on some of the most sophisticated machinery available for any industry today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  8. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    There is just something about the shape of the typical SxS stock that make them fit me well. So that is what I use for dove and quail. I currently have two of them, both Fox Sterlingworths. 12 and 20 gauge. I shoot the 12 gauge much better.
     
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  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Here is my SxS.

    [​IMG]

    Sorry @George P but I like the semi-beavertail forend. I dont however, like the full beavertail. But yes, the splinter is what is proper.
     
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  10. George P

    George P Member

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    Why I will wear a golf glove or use a leather-wrapped spring steel handguard
     
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  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    It is the Pedersoli "Wyatt Earp" coach gun.

    full.jpg
    (Photo credit: Jeff John, from this review.)

    It is better quality than the usual cowboy action guns, but the triggers definitely needed a good gunsmith right away. I'm happy enough with it, but it probably isn't good enough to justify the $1500 price tag.
     
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  12. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    Well I feel really good about mine and the small price I paid for them.
    Eastern Arms was $175 in 2004
    Stevens was $200 in 2018
     
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  13. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Upland, I hunt with nothing else.
     
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  14. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    You use on Pheasant?
     
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  15. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Pheasant, grouse, chukkar, woodcock.

    Have never had the chance to hunt quail.
     
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  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I really like a SXS, but the cost of a decent one is more than I'm willing to pay, and the quality of the cheap ones is lower than I'm willing to tolerate. If upland game were something I did a lot I'd probably bite the bullet and get a good one. I still think they are the best tool for that job. But for what I use a shotgun for a repeater is probably a better option anyway.

    My dad started me hunting with my great grandfathers old 20 ga SXS. Neither of us understood at the time, but the old Damascus barrels were really dangerous to shoot. But I killed a bunch of squirrel and a few quail with it. Love the old gun, but it hasn't been fired since about 1975 when we decided it wasn't safe to continue using it.

    101_0690.JPG
    I saved up enough money by mowing neighborhood lawns @ $3 each to buy a new Savage/Fox 311 in 12 ga to replace my great grandfathers gun. The gun broke the 1st time out. Got it fixed and to this day I've never shot anything better. But it broke again, and again, and again. I finally sold it around 1985 or 86 and at that time it had literally spent more time in gunsmith shops than in my home.

    I tried some of the other affordable imported guns over the years but none really yanked my chain. I finally decided to buy the best semi I could afford and never looked back.

    I do have my dads SXS shotgun with an interesting history. Dad was in a small German village at the end of the WW-2. They had confiscated all weapons, piled them in the street. An officer told the men they could have anything they wanted and the rest would be destroyed. Dad picked this 32" barreled SXS 12 ga made in the FN factory, most likely in the 1930's. He built a wooden box and mailed it home.

    The gun fits me terribly with a very long LOP and the triggers must be 10-15 lbs each. But I make a point to hunt with it at least once each year. Even bought some bismuth shells for duck hunting. I suppose I could have the stock modified to fit better, but I won't alter the gun.

    101_0686.JPG 101_0687.JPG
     
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  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    An interesting shotgun @jmr40

    Greener crossbolt and scallops on the breech sides indicate strong German inspiration. Germans shotguns also liked long barrels and tight chokes.

    An interesting gun with infinite sentimental value from the story behind it.
     
  18. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    What little bird hunting I do involves either my Ithaca 100 20 ga (ic/mod) or my AYA custom 410 double (m/f). Mainly dove but once in a while pheasant.
    For games, deer, turkey usually an 870 variant.
     
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  19. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    The SxS will always live in Upland game fields. It is, if well fitted, ideal for grouse, woodcock, quail, and pheasant.
     
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  20. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    I look at them. Yildiz are in my (upper) price range. Don't know if they are worth it, though. Would be mostly for clays in 12 gauge. I had thought about one in 410 for small game, but I can't justify that kind of expense after my separation. I don't need one, but would like one. What are your thoughts about them? Worth it, or not? I shot approximately 800 shots last year, maybe a little more than that, but not much more, I think. No season this year due to the pandemic, so no hurry.
     
  21. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Look for an old Stevens or Savage, 311, 5100 or such. I bought a really clean 311 20 gauge last year at a gun shop for $150.
     
  22. Cvans

    Cvans Member

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    I'm too old to hunt seriously anymore but the dog and I will walk the trees this fall and I'll be carrying an old 20 ga. Stevens 311. There's just something makes me feel good when looking down those two barrels. 20200216_145428.jpg
     
  23. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    I love an old double. I wish they weren’t getting rare. Side note I have an old single shot 16 that is a eastern arms. I have hunted so many rabbits with it.
     
  24. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    I've got an old 311 20 gauge that rarely sees use anymore. I haven't hunted much in the last few years, but if I were to go afield in search of bunnies or birds, I'd happily carry it.
     
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  25. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    Mine isn't that nice though...
     
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