Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

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idahomarine
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Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by idahomarine » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:33 am

I am looking for a little help and direction re: a 20 gauge over/under. I have decided that I would like to get a 20 gauge over/under for upland hunting, but I don’t have enough first-hand information to decide which model. My price range is up to about $1,000 with $1,200 being doable if the stars align and the deal is worth it (I understand that I will likely be getting a used gun at these prices). I will primarily use it for sharptail and sage grouse, pheasant, forest grouse, and chukar. I do not care at all for fancy wood or engraving. I am going to hunt hard with this for several years, so I want whatever I get to look good with some dings and scratches.

Other than fit (which only I can decide by getting my hands on it), I’d like to get some opinions on the Ruger Red Label vs. the Beretta 686 vs. the Browning Citori in 20 gauge. I’ve handled the Citori in 12 gauge and thought it was too bulky for my taste. I’m looking for opinions on reliability and point of aim vs point of impact.

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deseeker
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by deseeker » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:57 am

I have had 2 red labels--one in 20 ga. & one in 12 ga. The 12 gauge was a little heavy and blocky for what I like(I sold it). I like the 20 ga.(28" bbls) Red Label--It's lite, fits me good, swings good, & hits where I point it. JMO I haven't shot any of the others to compare to.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by randomnut » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:01 pm

I'd go with the Ruger out of those.

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Gertie
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by Gertie » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:35 pm

I have a 20 gauge Citori Feather Lightening that I use mostly for chukar hunting but also Huns, sharp-tail, and pheasant and love it. It's nice and light and fits me really well.
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Gordon Guy
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by Gordon Guy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:57 pm

Gertie wrote:I have a 20 gauge Citori Feather Lightening that I use mostly for chukar hunting but also Huns, sharp-tail, and pheasant and love it. It's nice and light and fits me really well.
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by jetjockey » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:25 pm

The Red Label isn't in the same league as the Beretta or Browning. You will be hard pressed to find a Beretta or Browning at your price though. You can however get a Miroku for the price your looking at, and they are much nicer guns than the Red Label as well. Miroku builds many of the Brownings, so you can rest assured they are very, very good guns. If I were in your shoes and my budget was $1200 or less, a Miroku would be a no brainer.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by nevermind » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:03 pm

I bought a red label 20ga new in the late 80's , but sold it a quite few years ago. I thought the gun was great until handling my beretta 687 (I have them in 20ga and 12ga). the red label was a reliable gun, but was a clunker compared to the beretta. you could probably find a used beretta silver pigeon 686 for around $1200 or a white onyx for under that...the onyx is same platform as the 686 just not some of the frills of a silver pigeon. a browning citori' used can be found for around $1200... I haven't owned one as they don't feel right in the fore stock to me.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by nikegundog » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:58 pm

'They are all great guns, I have a preference toward the Red Label, which doesn't have the cheap engravings you see on the others (-Black Onyx). If you get a Beretta stay away from their XTRA wood.

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tekoa
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by tekoa » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:05 pm

Stevens just started producing a very nice O/U (the 555) in .410, 28, 20 and 12 gauge. I have handled them in the gun shop but not fired them. Seem well made and very well balanced. They are very light weight (under 6 pounds) and you can probably get two of them for $1200.

I have 12 and 20 Rugers which I've carried for the last 10 years. Very reliable and handle well. But a bit heavy. Ruger claims they weigh 6.5 pounds but both of mine ( a 12 and a 20) weigh well in excess of 7.5 pounds.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by klewis » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:43 pm

you cant go wrong with the rugers. I have owned 12 20 & 28 I'm not a big person so I really like the 28

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idahomarine
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by idahomarine » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:51 pm

Thanks for the input. I looked at the Stevens 555 and frankly, it fit me better than any other shotgun I've handled. However, the reviews all seem to say that there is a substantial chance of a double-firing gun and they only have a one year warranty, with the buyer paying shipping. I've also looked at CZ and the Drake seems nice and I haven't heard anything bad yet, but I'd rather spend a little extra and not take the chance. I've wanted a Ruger since I shot one in the boy scouts 25 years ago, but my fascination was probably just because it was something nicer than Dad's Winchester 37. I still think they are the best looking over/under for my taste, but I do hear that they are heavy.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by jetjockey » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:56 am

Not only are they heavy, they typically shoot lose with wear. Open a Red Label that has been used some and you will
see what a I mean. As far as the other guns go, be very, very leary of Turkish made guns. They are getting better, but they still have a LONG way to go. CZ's are Turkish made guns, and so are many of the other inexpensive doubles.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by Dakotazeb » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:40 pm

I would opt for either a Beretta or a Browning Citori. I personally have a 16 ga. Citori White Lightning and love it. The 16 ga. is actually built on a modified 20 ga. frame. For $1,200 you should be able to fine a very nice used Beretta or Citori.
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by nikegundog » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:10 pm

jetjockey wrote:Not only are they heavy, they typically shoot lose with wear. Open a Red Label that has been used some and you will
see what a I mean. As far as the other guns go, be very, very leary of Turkish made guns. They are getting better, but they still have a LONG way to go. CZ's are Turkish made guns, and so are many of the other inexpensive doubles.
They are designed to be easy opening, they should almost fall open, and lock up tight. Has anyone here that has owned one, had their gun actually shoot loose? And how long did the repair take?

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by nevermind » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:15 am

as I mentioned I had a red label... I shot quite a few shells through it and the gun still locked up tight when I sold it. I will say when opening the gun up the barrels would drop like you were tossing a anchor out of a boat in fact that's what I called it my "boat anchor"... also got tired of packing a 20ga that weighed as much as a 12ga.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by DeLo727 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:04 pm

depends on the kind of hunting you do and where. I don't know near as much about bird dogs as most people here but I know a thing or two about guns. Based on your budget I put you in the same category as me. Is this gun going to get beat up a lot, meaning do you hunt thick cover and you are maybe hard on equipment? That can mean a lot. Personally, I don't want to take a really nice gun into my grouse covers because they get torn up. In the 20g department I shoot a mossberg Silver Reserve II when I'm in rough country. Its not expense, reliable as heck and shoots true, at its price tag Im not afraid to put it to work. Also I just refinished the stock myself and it looks as good as any gun I've ever had or have. When I'm hunting more sparse territory I have a Browning Citori Privilege I bought years ago for sporting clays. I'll take that out because Im not afraid of roughing it up in the open cover. I do find myself leaning more and more towards the Silver Reserve because it shoots as good as any gun I have ever bought, and I have put thousands of rounds through it. Im not telling you to buy a Citori because I don't think it fits what your asking for but the point being to take into consideration what your doing with it.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by vols fan » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:40 am

I shoot a SKB o/u that has has 1000's of rounds ran thru it and still tight. Great gun and in your price range. Thing i like is the safety is in top , up and down and not crooked to look at. The barrel select is by trigger, i have never changed it. This gun has taken abuse and is built on a 20 g frame, not a 12. I have a 20,12 and 28 that i use on grouse. My 20 is over 22 years old and still in awesome shape. I tried other guns but the fit was good where some of the others i couldnt get comfort. It took a few months to make up my mind but glad i picked it.

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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by Troy08er » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:28 pm

I personally like my CZ mallard. I pefer the double trigger over the switch.
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Re: Help selecting a 20 GA O/U

Post by Big Dave » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:03 pm

SKB GC7, 28" barrels, 20 gauge. You would have to find a used one but they are a very good gun within your budget.

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