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Pump or short side by side?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by gregp74, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    I don't have a shotgun at the moment. I don't really have a pressing need for one but I figure they're good for a lot of things -- hunting, home defense, and just fun.

    When someone says shotgun my mind immediately goes to pump guns. I've owned a few of them over the years but honestly none of them fit me all that well. I'm a short fat guy with little "midget" arms and I always feel like I'm stretched out when I hold one. Back in the mid 90s I had a Mossberg with a youth stock stock and fore end that didn't feel bad but I didn't care that much for the gun itself.

    A few years back I picked up a used CAI JW2000 12ga coach gun at a show. The one with the external hammers. I actually liked how that thing felt when I held it up, but the one I had ended up being pretty junky and I sold it a few weeks later.

    I still kind of a have a hankering for a short side by side though. Would one of them make a good general purpose gun?

    I'm probably opening a whole can of worms if I ask about internal vs external hammers. I like the old fashioned look of the external ones, and if I was going to have it around for home defense it seems like it could be loaded up with the hammers left down until it's needed. And they're easier to open since that action isn't used to cock them. On the other hand the internal hammer models have their advantages too. They're smooth and don't have anything to get hung up on. I suppose it's probably just a matter of what you like better?
     
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I very much prefer internal hammers. In the heat of the moment you don’t have to remember to cock the gun. Look up the origin of the phrase going off “half cocked” and you will get the picture. If your arms are short or small then you might want to consider other youth guns. An 870 youth gun is a decent platform and just as able as the full sized variety, only the youth guns are normally 20ga. Still worth a look though, and it’s what I had beside the bed for a long time. Used it a few times to perforate the ring tailed bandits getting in the trash and in the dog food bowl.
     
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  3. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    Now days the only inexpensive double barrel shotguns are kinda bad, used utility grade might be more what your looking for like one mfg by Braziltec CBC, or Savage 311 but your looking at $300+
    You can have a gunsmith adjust stock length to your particular length of pull.
    And fit it with a nice new recoil pad.
    A new pump in youth configuration (shorter lop) like Mossberg 500 or the Maverick 88 might make a nice shooting shotgun, coupled with a police style short barrel.
    https://www.sportsmansoutdoorsuperstore.com/category.cfm/sportsman/used-firearms/of3/12-ga

    Used police rem wingmasters for less than $300
    https://www.sportsmansoutdoorsuperstore.com/products2.cfm/ID/164536

    Savage makes a nifty stack barrel .22lr over 410 called the model 42 (mostly plastic) ($400)
    H&R imported some chinese copies of the Remington 870 called the H&R Pardner Pump in all the vanilla gauge flavors($300) that have medium reviews.
    Turkish imports have been coming in and seem to be really inexpensive.
    So if your at least going through a couple boxes a year this type import might fill the bill.
    Or you could look around and find yourself a 1950's utility boltaction shotgun ($50-$300)

    Be prepaired to spend some hard earned covid era scratch for a new scatter gun.
    Due to the current situation people have been snaping up anything that shoots so its a sellers market.
    Expect to spend over $300 for anything that shoots.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/gundig.../affordable-double-barrel-shotgun-options/amp
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  4. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Yeah I had taken a look at some 870 youth models but it looked like they were all 20ga. I'm a sucker for that classic wood on blued steel too. It seems like most of the youth models these days are synthetic. I guess that's not a huge issue, but all things being equal I prefer the wood.

    Back before all this virus mess I kept looking at that CZ Hammer Coach. It looks like a beauty of a gun but $900 was kinda pricey. And they've gone up now if you can even find them.

    For what I'm going to be doing I would think that Stoeger Coach Gun Supreme could be a nice
     
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  5. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Yeah these days everything's pricey and seemingly in short supply. I'm not in any hurry to buy but it's something to keep my eyes open for.

    I'm not opposed to a project gun either. A couple years back I found an old Mossberg 500 (or was it an Remington 870? Doesn't matter) that was in kinda cruddy shape. I cleaned it up and gave it a shorter barrel and extended mag tube. Then I realized it didn't fit me very well. I had a buyer for it though and made a few bucks off it rather than looking for kid sized furniture.
     
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  6. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

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    Dont let the term youth size be a stigma, if it fits and you can hit what your shooting at is all that matters.
    I like shooting my kids 20ga H&R Pardner Pump that uses Rem-chokes.
    It has the 26" vent rib barrel but the great thing is its new manufacture and is compatable with Steel waterfowl shot.
    I like the idea of the Italian style Luparas or coach guns.
    Short double barrel with a sling.

    https://www.southerncrossmilitaria.com/shotguns1.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  7. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Unless you plan to spend big bucks on a side by side, steer clear of ejectors, and single triggers. They have proven problematic in these guns. A standard Stoeger Uplander is popular in cowboy shooting, which is hard on guns.
     
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  8. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Thanks! I do think I prefer the idea of double triggers. And I'm not too concerned about ejectors. As long as it's got extractors that work I don't mind tossing the empties aside myself.

    I just looked up that uplander. Looks nice just a bit longer than the coach model. I suppose that extra 6-8" of barrel would give some extra weight and help with felt recoil.

    I wish they made a 24" model halfway between that and the coach one!

    EDIT: Actually I see this uplander youth model. https://www.stoegerindustries.com/uplander-youth-shotgun

    20ga 22" barrel hmm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  9. magyars4

    magyars4 Member

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    I have owned a number of pump shotguns over the years. I have the same issues as you...I'm like a 45 ACP...short, fat and slow, with ...never worried me to cut down a stock to make it fit.
     
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  10. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    A pump is probably better and I say that as as coach gun owner that has no plan to get rid of it. I have a Russian Baikal and it feels tank-ish as compared to the 12ga Mav 88 I have.

    As a shorter guy with shorter arms, what I learned is that the LOP isn't as important as the distance to the forend in terms of feeling stretched out.

    I swapped forend to something with a shorter reach on my Mav 88 and it substantially changed the gun for the better.... for me.
     
  11. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Agreed my right arm doesn't feel stretched. Although a shorter LOP will being the front end that much closer too. I futzed around with an 870 at the shop that had a kit for an m4 stock to be mounted. The adjustability was great but I wasn't sure how comfortable the thing would be to shoot. And the fore end on it seemed really tiny and felt like it was a mile away.
     
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  12. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    I am with you and like the external hammers. It's just my preference :)
     
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  13. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    If you're willing to forget about all the combat-readiness criteria specified by the Internet What-if Brigade, that are awfully hard to meet, you can get what you like and enjoy it. Personally, I like single shots because they have the short receiver without the weight of two barrels. A high quality side by side costs more two equal quality single shots because the barrels must be painstakingly regulated, and while there are some specific disciplines where the second shot is indispensable, you'd know if you really needed it. Pump guns give you plenty of shots or at least as many as any shotgun will, but the receivers are long and that puts the weight farther forward, even more so with long barrels and long high capacity magazines. For my casual purposes, the single shot is easily the best handling, best fitting, easiest to carry, and most satisfying, all for less expense than an equivalent-quality model of another type. Unfortunately, you may come across a lot of poor quality single shots. Look carefully and buy the best you can find and you won't likely regret it. If you do the same with a double, you'll need a second mortgage. If you do it with a pump, well, it will probably be a Wingmaster or an Ithaca. Quality guns but nothing to get really excited about.
     
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  14. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Yeah... your trigger hand is up close to your body and the stock is also supported by your shoulder pocket. An inch or too further out doesn't make a huge difference.

    Your support hand.. on the other hand ;)... is far from your chest and every inch increases the leverage/weight exponentially where 2-3 inches can make a huge difference... for me it did.
     
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  15. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    I'm really not too concerned about combat readiness. I hadn't really thought much about a single shot. I like the simplicity factor but the light weight would make it kick a lot harder. I suppose a nice recoil pad would help with that though. I don't mind spending some money for something that's well made. My collection's down to about 1/5 of what it was a few years back I've started focusing on quality over quantity.
     
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  16. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    There are a couple of people that will disagree vehemently but I’ll say it anyway: $900.00 isn’t even remotely pricey for a good quality SxS.
    Short barreled shotguns and hunting, specifically wing shooting are not a good match.
     
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  17. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Point taken.

    Also a good point. I'm always looking for something that's "good enough for everything" but sometimes you need more that one tool.
     
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  18. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Better a used pump, possibly inexpensive, from a reputable maker than a cheap SxS. No matter how obvious the economics are, some people want to believe that the Turks, the Brazilians, and the Chinese have some magic fairy dust that they blow on SxS guns that somehow turn cheaply made guns into well-made inexpensive guns.

    They don't.

    The Turks can make a good gun for less money than the Spanish and the Italians, but they can't make a good gun cheap. The Brazilians cannot make a good SxS. Period. The Chinese probably can, but Chinese guns are like a box of chocolates...

    Any SxS selling for less than $1,000 has had substantial compromises made. If you intend to do any volume of shooting, spend more for a used classic that parts remain available for, or plump for something decent. If you aren't going to do much volume, at least make sure that manufacturer has decent customer service.
     
  19. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Very true you get what you pay for. If I go the pump route I'm probably looking at an Rem 870 or Mossberg 500 variant. There's no shortage of parts for either if something goes wrong and plenty of add ons to tweak it just how I like. Come to think of it a vintage 870 in decent shape would be fun to fix up, and it'd remind me of my grandpa.
     
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  20. George P

    George P Member

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    A high quality SxS from Spain right now starts about $8K; used ones have been creeping up in price as well since the number of makers have declined.

    The best inexpensive shotgun would be a Remington 870 Wingmaster.........
     
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  21. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    I want something reliable and utilitarian. I don't need it to be a work of art.
     
  22. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Touché, I couldn’t have said it any better.
     
  23. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    You are approaching this with a great attitude. I’m not being facetious, I really mean it and you are to be commended.
     
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  24. entropy

    entropy Member

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    They're actually great for grouse and woodcock, as well as rabbit and squirrel.
    You cannot beat the utility of the pump guns for utility, particularly the 870; It, and the 500 you did not care for, are the lego shotguns. You can configure them any way you want to, and quickly with minimum fuss. I recommend looking at the Magpul stock available for both of these guns. Not only is the LOP adjustable, the comb height is also. I actually was considering one of these for my 870 for Trap, and a friend did have one on his Trap Win. SPX. (Note to George P: He has an a400 Parallel now, and is shooting it well!)
    One of those stocks, an 18 or 20" Choke tubed barrel, and you have most everything covered; add a 28 or 30" choke tubed barrel, and you have everything covered.

    If you are set on a SxS, and will be putting a couple boxes a year through it, the Stoegers will suffice, but not excel at any one thing.
     
  25. gregp74

    gregp74 Member

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    Thanks!
     
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