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O/U vs. SxS

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 22x9, Jan 11, 2003.

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  1. 22x9

    22x9 Member

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    Just wondering what everyone's thoughts and preferences are when it comes to these two configurations.

    So Over and Under versus Side by Side, why would you choose one over the other?
     
  2. PJR

    PJR Member

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    I shoot more targets than anything else and prefer the single plane sighting of the o/u. Over/unders are more available, cheaper relative to quality and more durable in my experience. My clay gun is a 32" gun, single trigger, pistol grip, with choke tubes that range from cylinder to light full. I use this gun for skeet, sporting and trap. It weighs 7lbs 15 ounces. When I do my part it's a clay killin' machine.

    However I like my 12 gauge 28" straight gripped, double trigger, auto-safety side by side for hunting upland. It's 6.5 lbs. and easy to carry afield for an entire day. It's custom fitted and no gun comes to the shoulder faster or smoother. The chokes are fixed skeet in the right and light modified in the left. With double triggers I can easily choose between the two depending on the shot that is presented. This gun and I have had some fine times together. This fall on a pheasant hunt the gods smiled upon me and everything fell into place. Eyes locked on the target the barrels were a blur in my peripheral vision as every bird flushed dropped solidly from the sky. Just picking that gun up makes me feel good.

    I've made my choice. One of each at least. :D

    Okay, you said choose one. Make it an o/u because I shoot more targets and I can't match my scores with my sxs. But I'd want a second set of 28 barrels and a straight gripped stock for hunting.

    Paul
     
  3. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    Like PJR I own & use both. In many cases it is just a matter of ergonomics. I happen to like the double triggers on a good quality SxS. Equal setups on O/U's are difficult to find (strangely they appear more often on inexpensive o/'s).

    I look very closely at the quality of the work, and the weight and balance of the gun. For a good, but rather basic discussion of these guns I suggest you read Steve Bodio's book "Good Guns". Another excellent read for someone interested in the subjech would be Michael McIntosh's "Best Guns".
     
  4. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I got both and both have their strong points. Still, the SXS has a lot of charm and I have no prob busting clays with the dbl sighting plane. YMMV
     
  5. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    I find side by sides nice for shooting grounded game, rabbits mainly, or in areas thick areas where a wide sight plane is quick and easy to pick up. Blue sky backgrounds, etc. I prefer an O/U.

    Actually, I prefer fast handling semi-auto's over any of them.
     
  6. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Spend some time and handle both.

    I bought a Citori several years ago and absolutley love it. A couple of years go by and I stumble across a very nice SXS, just have to have it. It swings as good or maybe better than the O/U. It just feels good. Thats what I want out of any shotgun.

    I like the SXS for dove. That big site plane picks up fast moving targets better for me. The O/U I prefer for clay and Quail.

    Any good double whether O/U or SXS will set you back a like amount. I've seen little to no differentiation in price between the two for similar quality.
     
  7. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    There's something about a good SXS that just speaks of a better time. A time when men were men and women forgave us for it. And like my pappy used to say, "If God would have wanted us to shoot an O/U He would have put our eyes that way."
     
  8. Tropical Z

    Tropical Z Member

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    I dont like the looks of over/unders.I have a SxS.
     
  9. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    This is a Ford/Chevy issue. If I were using a hunting shotgun for dove and other open field game, I'd probably prefer an O/U. For brush hunting where backgrounds are darker and motley, MAYBE a SxS.

    Minor points. If I liked a particular example of either,it wouldn't matter.

    The McCRule:

    Get the one that FEELS best....
     
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Okiecruffler, that's a knee slapper! :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2003
  11. 196pc

    196pc Member

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    Beretta 686 vs Citori 525?? Any thoughts?? I know nothing of O/U shotguns........thanks...
     
  12. TaxPhd

    TaxPhd Member

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    "Single Sighting Plane" and "Double Sighting Plane."

    Wide and narrow I can understand, but single and double is silly. A SxS has only one "sighting plane," not two.

    My primary gun is a Beretta 682 Gold Sporting. Everything from skeet to upland. But, I greatly prefer the feel and asthetics of a SxS. Next gun will be a Spanish best.
     
  13. TaxPhd

    TaxPhd Member

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    "Single Sighting Plane" and "Double Sighting Plane."

    Wide and narrow I can understand, but single and double is silly. A SxS has only one "sighting plane," not two.

    My primary gun is a Beretta 682 Gold Sporting. Everything from skeet to upland. But, I greatly prefer the feel and asthetics of a SxS. Next gun will be a Spanish best.
     
  14. TaxPhd

    TaxPhd Member

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    "Single Sighting Plane" and "Double Sighting Plane."

    Wide and narrow I can understand, but single and double is silly. A SxS has only one "sighting plane," not two.

    My primary gun is a Beretta 682 Gold Sporting. Everything from skeet to upland. But, I greatly prefer the feel and asthetics of a SxS. Next gun will be a Spanish best.
     
  15. PJR

    PJR Member

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    TaxPhd

    It's a valid point. Henceforth I shall only refer to the narrow sighting plane of a o/u.

    When you get closer to buying that Spaniard feel free to PM or post a message. I've done the trip to Eibar a couple of times, visited the various gun makers and would be happy to share what I learned through the experience.

    Paul
     
  16. TaxPhd

    TaxPhd Member

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    Wow! Triple post. Don't know how that happened. Must of been a brain lapse.

    PJR, I've got Terry Weiland's "Spanish Best" and have read it several times. Have also read everything else I could find about Spanish guns. Have just about got the wife convinced that we can go to Europe (she doesn't yet know that gun buying is on the agenda).

    Any info. you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
     
  17. SXSMAN

    SXSMAN Member

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    If I have to explain,you wouldn't understand...
    :banghead:
     
  18. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    I'll comment from an upland gamebird-hunting perpective (mainly roughed grouse and woodcock).

    For hunting fast-moving gamebirds in heavy cover, where snap-shooting is common, the side-by-side is the pinnacle of firearms evalution. Here's why:

    1) Sighting plane - The presence of wide sighting plane is more apparent than the single-barrelled profile of the over/under. This is very adavantageous in heavy cover, where a single barrell can quickly disappear against the foliage. It offers little or no advantage when firing against the open sky, though, such as at the trap range or when duck hunting.

    2) Double triggers - Double triggers allow instantaneous selection of which barrell will fire, and thereby an instaneous selection of pattern/load; as each barrell is choked differently. From a mechanical perspective, the physical layout of the o/u make reliable double triggers very difficult to achieve. Remember, a proper game gun should have double triggers and an English (straight) stock to allow thetrigger hand to slide slightly rearwrds to fire the second trigger. Pistol grips on game guns were added for the sake of Americans who were more familiar with rifles than shotguns.

    3) Class - Nothing beats the good looks and sex-appeal of a fine double. The side-by-side with its lines and curves is a like dignified, sensual woman. The over/under is a painted harlot in comparison. You can put all the engraving or make-up on an over/under that you want; she still ain't got no class.

    For an upland game gun, find yourself a double gun with two triggers and an English stock, choked improved cylinder and modified. (Removable choke tubes are for people who enjoy fiddling with things.) Skip the center rib, its useless and adds weight. Ideally the gun should weigh in under 6-1/2 lbs. 26" barrells is about right. The 20-gauge is perfect for roughed grouse and woodcock. Enjoy!

    One last semantic note: Over/unders are not doubles, just as revolvers are not pistols.
     
  19. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    O/U's are not only doubles, they're Best Guns both by definition, and by practice. And if you don't think that's possible just look at a Boss.

    Just for an added bit of trivia, O/U's from the best makers usually cost more, and appreciate faster. (Although that's usually due to the fact that relatively few are made.)
     
  20. TaxPhd

    TaxPhd Member

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    SkunkApe,

    While I agree wholeheartedly with the gist of your post, my understanding of the development of the SxS is somewhat different.

    "For hunting fast-moving gamebirds in heavy cover, where snap-shooting is common, the side-by-side is the pinnacle of firearms evalution."

    Wasn't the SxS game gun developed for aristocracy shooting driven birds in relatively open cover, rather than for snap shooting in heavy cover?

    My understanding of the English shooting technique is that there is no "sighting" along a sighting plane at all. Rather, the eyes find the bird, the leading hand begins moving toward the bird as the gun is started towards the shoulder, as the gun touches the shoulder, the shot is triggered, as the leading hand has already placed the barrels in proper position. Sighting along the barrels just isn't done in that technique.

    "Remember, a proper game gun should have double triggers and an English (straight) stock to allow thetrigger hand to slide slightly rearwrds to fire the second trigger."

    Again, I agree wholeheartedly with how the game gun should be configured. However, my understanding of the purpose of the straight stoke is somewhat different. Consistent with the English technique, the forward hand plays the major role in shooting, and the straight stock puts the rear (dominant) hand in an awkward poition - it somewhat "kinks" the hand/wrist. This causes/allows the forward hand to take over, as necessary. I have triggered a fair number of rounds through straight stocked, double triggered guns, and I can't say as how I have ever had my hand slide to rear to engage the second trigger.
     
  21. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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    TaxPhd

    Perhaps "sighting plane" was the wrong phrase. I tried to qualify it by using the words by refering to an apparent presence, but failed, it seems. Nonetheless, no matter how its called, a shooter's brain is more aware of the position of the barrells on a side-by side gun.

    I remain convinced at least one of the reasons for the straight stock is the rearward motion of the hand. I do it, but its very slight. I also prefer the straight stock for the grip it affords when carrying the gun. I have small hands, and with the straight stock I can easily hold the gun with the barrell out in front and parallel to the ground, while pushing brush out of the way with the other hand. Maybe I'm a weakling, but it takes much greater effort for me to do this with pistol-gripped guns.

    Your other points are insightful and most probably correct.

    By the way, I was just trying to stir the pot a bit with my praise for the double. I like over/unders too (as long as they have English stocks). The single trigger is in reality a small disadvantage; in practice I very rarely fire the rear trigger first.
     
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