Side x Side Recomendation

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GrayGhost
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Side x Side Recomendation

Post by GrayGhost » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:24 pm

So after a post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check out out some side x side guns. It seems like most of my internet research came up empty, a lot of talk about old english guns that were priced higher than what I'm willing to spend right now (≈$2500). In searching the local area gunstores (I'm in the Salt Lake Valley) I came up with only one old Ithaca 12 GA that was in need of a lot of work, and of course I found a Dickinson Estate when I wandered through Cabela's. So any advice for a rookie on what sxs to look for? Or even a place to check out? I travel a lot for work around the U.S., so I have some freedom to look around, I'm just nervous to buy an internet gun without having first held a similar style.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Dakotazeb » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:41 pm

For around $2,500 you should be able to buy a very nice used SxS. Tell us a little more what you are looking for in a SxS. Gauge? Single trigger or Double trigger? Older or a newer SxS? There are some nice Ithaca/SKB SxS's out there for less than you want to spend. Also look at the Browning BSS. I would search GunBroker.com as there are a lot of SxS's listed for sale.
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Side x Side Recomendation

Post by GSPONPOINT32 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:40 pm

I'm in the same boat sort of...looking for a sxs 20g for grouse. Really want a used gun with some wear so I don't feel bad scratching it up in the woods. Skb seems to fit the bill bit I'm having a tough time finding a decent one at local gun shops. The search continues.


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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Meller » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:57 pm

Look on Armslist!

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Ms. Cage » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:59 pm

The one that fits. We have several diff. makes of S x S and my husbands go to is a CZ Ringneck 20 ga. Howie's answer because it fits well

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Steve007 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:31 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:For around $2,500 you should be able to buy a very nice used SxS. Tell us a little more what you are looking for in a SxS. Gauge? Single trigger or Double trigger? Older or a newer SxS? There are some nice Ithaca/SKB SxS's out there for less than you want to spend. Also look at the Browning BSS. I would search GunBroker.com as there are a lot of SxS's listed for sale.
I'll second this poster's questions."SxS" is too broad. For that matter, what birds do you hunt or what clays shooting do you do? Do you want a 12, 16 or 20?

The Browning BSS Sporter has a lot to recommend it if you want a single trigger. English (straight stock), oil finish and much lighter than the plain BSS ,which has a BIG pistol grip and bowling ball finish. Fixed chokes, which is true of many SxS. What's your preference? I sent my 20 to Briley for thinwalls,and it adds great flexibility to the gun.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Tooling » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:14 am

Do yourself a favor & stretch the budget a bit..

http://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-f ... =100812126

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Pedro » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:39 am

I shoot an o/u. I thought I wanted a sxs also, after spending $2500 found out I wasn't comfortable with the sight plane, and didn't shoot it particularly well. The gun fit fine.

A friend of mine has put untold rounds through a 20 ga CZ bob white, he shoots it very well. Solid little gun for $800 new. You can handle them at some of the major sporting goods retailers.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Timewise65 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:51 am

I already have an old 12 ga S/S Winchester....

When I get another one it will be a 16ga. I consider that the best overall gage for bird hunters, even though finding a good selection of shells can be a challenge. The internet has made this a lot easier than it used to be. Once I find the gun I want, I probably will set up to making my own ammo, I am retired and I do have the time....

Good Luck

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by setterpoint » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:11 pm

check acadamy sports they carry a gun called a yildiz goob looking gun im going to get me one the price is 479 dollars for the money you cant beat it. those who own them give them good remarks also cz has a nice gun also thats not bad on the pocket book you can spend a lot more money but these guns will shoot just as well as a three thousand dollar gun

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by GrayGhost » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:15 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:For around $2,500 you should be able to buy a very nice used SxS. Tell us a little more what you are looking for in a SxS. Gauge? Single trigger or Double trigger? Older or a newer SxS? There are some nice Ithaca/SKB SxS's out there for less than you want to spend. Also look at the Browning BSS. I would search GunBroker.com as there are a lot of SxS's listed for sale.
Thanks for your answers guys, already a lot of guns to check out. I should have been a little more specific, I'm looking for a 20 gauge, mostly I hunt pheasant and chukars, as for trigger selection, I was initially leaning toward double trigger, but I wouldn't be opposed to a single trigger if I liked the gun. No preference on old or new, just want to find the right gun that would be solid and reliable.

I've been on Gunbroker looking around, its just tough when your not familiar with the guns and how they feel to purchase one off of the internet. We don't have an Academy Sports in Utah, but next time I'm on the road I'll look at the Yildez.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Steve007 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:00 pm

GrayGhost wrote:just want to find the right gun that would be solid and reliable.

I've been on Gunbroker looking around, its just tough when your not familiar with the guns and how they feel to purchase one off of the internet. We don't have an Academy Sports in Utah, but next time I'm on the road I'll look at the Yildez.
Many have found Turkish guns, while inexpensive, to be of, um, inconsistent quality. Worth considering,especially if you're shooting heavier 20g. loads for pheasant or chukar.

If you know the measurements that work well for you, it's a good starting point. LOP can be easily altered,though. Wouldn't hurt to read Michael McIntosh's book"Gun Reviews". I still stand by my BSS Sporter suggestion, but there are plenty of good guns around. Plenty of reviews from qualified evaluators, too.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jstevens » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:18 pm

I have an Ugartechea 28 ga that I love and shoot well. Unfortunately, they closed up shop recently, but there should be plenty around in the $700-$1200 range. They are light, straight grip, double trigger guns for the most part and point like a bird gun.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:26 pm

It seems strange but I have heard nothing but good comments on the Turkey made guns over the years.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:32 pm

Jaquas is a reputable outfit from which to purchase and they have a couple 20 gauge CZs which have received general praise at their price point.

http://www.jaquas.com

Most scatterguns will survive the little use they receive.....greater use will normally find folks being a bit more solid in what they want and why.
Kudos tho to the BSS shotguns and the Mirokus for value per shekel delivered.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Skip the Yildiz, or any other Turkish gun for that matter. There's no reason to buy one if those when you can buy an American classic, which is 10x the gun, for $1500-$2000. If you want to really shop, or throw another $500 in the game, you can REALLY expand your options. There's a lot of British boxlocks on the market in the $2500-$3000 range, and your also getting into RBL and Spanish gun range. These guns will hold their value very well and you should be able to sell them for as much, and more than you paid for them. Here a really nice RBL that should be able to be had for around $3000.

http://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-f ... =100787311

Here's an AYA 453 for $3000. Again, this will by 10x the gun of the Turkish guns.
http://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-f ... =100812251

Both the above guns get you into a fairly modern guns that are well built and doent cut too many corners (SxS's aren't cheap to build), and both guns are very good guns.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:44 pm

Then there's the classics! This is Pandora's Box! You open this lid, and you may never come back. This will lead to future divorces, slobbering on yourself in pawnshops when you find that hidden gem, and worn brakes from slamming on them every time you pass a garage sale in plantation country in the Deep South. Yes these guns will lead to blowing your life savings and counseling. They are a drug there is no know cure for...OK that may be a slight over exaggeration , but it's close. There is nothing like watching a bird fold beyond the barrels of a 100+ year old gun that was built by true American Craftsman. These guns are true history, and if you shop smart, every bit as good today as they were back then, and maybe even better with today's ammo specifically designed for classic guns. These guns require you be a smart shopper however. You need to know what chamber lengths to expect, what the inside barrel diameter should have been from the factory, barrel wall thickness, etc. These guns require a lot more than just going down to you local gun shop and throwing one up to your shoulder, but once you learn what to look for, become very addicting.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:46 pm


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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:48 pm

ezzy333 wrote:It seems strange but I have heard nothing but good comments on the Turkey made guns over the years.

Ezzy
It seems strange to me you havent heard all the bad comments. Turkish guns are notoriously unreliable, and often finished poorly. They are getting better, but have a long way to go.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:17 pm

I think we travel in a different crowd. I always operated on the theory that birds die just as well from one gun as another. I do not buy guns as investments as I would rather buy stock or land. And to date I have never worn a gun out but that may change if I can just last for another couple of years. However. I see nothing wrong with your method if that is what makes you happy. I am still shooting a Ted Williams 20 guage, a 1400 Winchester that is probably 30 years old but I paid 200 for it a few years ago but I wanted the light weight. I have several other 20 gauges and a couple of 12's that stay in the safe. I also had one of those foreign 20's but my grand daughter wanted it so she has it now. I think it is thirty years old and in excellent shape. I am guessing my 15 pr so guns didn't cost me over 3000 all together.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:31 pm

I'm a firm believer that birds only die when you hit them, they don't care what you hit them with. It's hitting them that's the problem with most shooters. The notoriously heavy triggers and varied POI of Turkish guns doesn't help when hitting birds.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Tooling » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:24 pm

By no means do you have to pay a small fortune for a good sxs that will provide years of hunting pleasure provided it is reasonably cared for. In fact, I'll second the outstanding value that the CZ Bobwhite represents. The Dickinson's (previously branded by S&W) have been getting some good press the last few years as well, but I've never owned one.

Your budget of $2500.00 should get you a nice gun for sure and you will definitely get more gun on the used market..educate yourself first and your diligence will pay off with some patience.

I'll firmly stand by my suggestion to increase the budget a bit and look for a Parker Reproduction in 20ga..that's a whole lot of gun for the money on every level. The PR represents a very unique story in gunmaking that's likely to never repeat itself again.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by GrayGhost » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:00 am

jetjockey wrote:Then there's the classics! This is Pandora's Box! You open this lid, and you may never come back. This will lead to future divorces, slobbering on yourself in pawnshops when you find that hidden gem, and worn brakes from slamming on them every time you pass a garage sale in plantation country in the Deep South. Yes these guns will lead to blowing your life savings and counseling. They are a drug there is no know cure for...OK that may be a slight over exaggeration , but it's close. There is nothing like watching a bird fold beyond the barrels of a 100+ year old gun that was built by true American Craftsman. These guns are true history, and if you shop smart, every bit as good today as they were back then, and maybe even better with today's ammo specifically designed for classic guns. These guns require you be a smart shopper however. You need to know what chamber lengths to expect, what the inside barrel diameter should have been from the factory, barrel wall thickness, etc. These guns require a lot more than just going down to you local gun shop and throwing one up to your shoulder, but once you learn what to look for, become very addicting.
So you guys were right, I started down this rabbit hole and now I spend all my free time on the road looking for an old sxs. I have found an old Parker SxS from 1925 and I can get it for a decent price. To me the gun seems nice, has a tight action, barrel looks clean, no chunks of wood missing. Any advice on what else I might look for or be careful of in these older guns?

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Tooling » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:38 am

Be very cautious if you are not educated. Look very closely at the barrels to be certain they have not been honed out or have been repaired, you really should measure the wall thickness of the barrels following a thorough look for any pitting etc. Also, check the chamber length b/c you really don't want to be stuffing 2-3/4" shells into a 2-1/2" chamber.

*Note - Parker chamber length for a 2-3/4" shell is 2-5/8" - the 1/8" allowance was engineered into the design to ensure a tight seal of a paper shell which was common at the time. Different era's of Parkers sometimes have different specs - do your research!!!

And I will STILL beat this horse and maintain that the Parker Reproduction is the best buy of any side x side in todays market : )

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Tooling » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:49 am

Here's one that looks to be an honest gun for a fair price (I have no connection to this gun)

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/625254425

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Meller » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:22 pm

Have a friend that has a L C Smith for sale; if interested send me a pm and I will give you his number.
ps It is a 12ga. Real nice gun. :)

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by nikegundog » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:26 pm

GrayGhost wrote:So after a post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check out out some side x side guns. It seems like most of my internet research came up empty, a lot of talk about old english guns that were priced higher than what I'm willing to spend right now (≈$2500). In searching the local area gunstores (I'm in the Salt Lake Valley) I came up with only one old Ithaca 12 GA that was in need of a lot of work, and of course I found a Dickinson Estate when I wandered through Cabela's. So any advice for a rookie on what sxs to look for? Or even a place to check out? I travel a lot for work around the U.S., so I have some freedom to look around, I'm just nervous to buy an internet gun without having first held a similar style.
This thread might be of interest to you.
http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubb ... 908&page=1

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Tooling » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:36 pm

For general shotgun knowledge and good old fashioned wisdom, I would strongly suggest a book written by Charles Askins, "The American Shotgun"

https://www.amazon.com/American-shotgun ... B00069XAKW

...probably the best twelve bucks you'll spend at Amazon and a good way to channel your growing obsession

Also, here's a good place to start if the Parker Gun has caught your attention.
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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by Carolina Gundogs » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:39 pm

nikegundog wrote:
GrayGhost wrote:So after a post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check out out some side x side guns. It seems like most of my internet research came up empty, a lot of talk about old english guns that were priced higher than what I'm willing to spend right now (≈$2500). In searching the local area gunstores (I'm in the Salt Lake Valley) I came up with only one old Ithaca 12 GA that was in need of a lot of work, and of course I found a Dickinson Estate when I wandered through Cabela's. So any advice for a rookie on what sxs to look for? Or even a place to check out? I travel a lot for work around the U.S., so I have some freedom to look around, I'm just nervous to buy an internet gun without having first held a similar style.
This thread might be of interest to you.
http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubb ... 908&page=1
These guns look very nice! The reviews give them very good ratings.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by GrayGhost » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:24 pm

Hey guys thanks for all your replies. I have now ordered a new book from Amazon to check out. I backed away from the gun after doing some more reading, I just don't think I have the knowledge right now to be messing around with a 92 year old gun. But it is a fun new thing to learn up on while I'm traveling all the time and can't be working with my dogs.

I do love the looks of the Parker Reproduction and I may end up going that way. Mostly I'm having fun looking while its not hunting season. So any other advice you want to throw my way I'm more than happy to learn something new.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by jetjockey » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:07 pm

In order to swim, you have to jump in the water. Same thing with doubles. There are 4 measurements you really need to know and understand with old doubles, and they all have to do with the barrels. They are all easily measurable with the proper equipment as well. The first and most important is barrel wall thickness. If the barrels aren't thick enough, they aren't safe to shoot. More or less, there's two ways the barrel walls could become thin. The most common way is overhoning to take out pits in the bores. The other way is if someone removed metal on the outside of the barrel. That could also occur is someone is trying to remove rust. It takes a Smith with the proper equipment a couple of minutes to measure those, and often times the seller will already have those measurements. I'm always weary of old guns that have "mirror" bores advertised because that often means honed bores. Now, there is nothing wrong with bores that have been slightly honed, and that's where the next measurement is important. If you know what the factory bores should measure, you can typically determine if the bores have been honed or not, and by how much. For instance, LC Smith 20 gauge bores should measure right about .615. When I found my LC Smith 20, the bores measured .613 and .614, so they were actually smaller than average. With that in mind, we knew they had never been honed. If they had measured .620 and looked like a mirror finish, you could easily determine they had been honed.

You also want to know what the chamber length should be, and understand chamber markings. For instance, older 20's and 16's typically had short chambers. I'll use my LC Smith as an example again. It was built in 1922 when LC Smith was chambering their 20's with 2 1/2" chambers. When LC Smith started chambering 20's with 2-3/4" chambers, they marked the barrel flats with a football shaped oval that said 2-3/4. Since my gun is not market 2-3/4, I know it had 2-1/2" chambers from the factory. A quick measurement will verify that, and if it had measured 2 3/4", I would have known the chambers had been lengthened at some point. Done properly, there is nothing wrong with lengthend chambers provided they weren't lengthend to shoot modern super velocity shells, which these guns weren't built for. Finally, you also want to know what chokes the gun has. Choke measurement is the least important and many older guns have been opened up because they often came very tightly choked from the factory. You can often take a guess what the chokes should have been from ths factory, but without a factory letter stating exactly what chokes it was built with, there's really no sure fire way to know. A really competent Smith can probably look in the barrels and see, but it's unnecesary IMO... Finally, remember that these old guns were not built to handle today's ultra magnum velocity shot shells. Will the metal handle it? Absolutely (providing they aren't Damascus), but will the 100 year old wood? Probably not. With today's large variety of incredibly well made low pressure and short chambered shells, why feed them modern ammo? I feed my LC Smith 7/8oz RST's at 1125FPS and I'm never undefined in the upland world. Heck, I'm even going to feed my Griffin and Howe 12 ga RST 1 1/4oz loads at 1200FPS. My Griffin and Howe as made in 2000 and is magnum proofed, so it will shoot whatever I want it to, but why? RST's are a lot easier on my shoulder and the gun, and kill just as effectively.

My advice to you is to learn as much about old guns as you can, and find a Smith in your area who can measure bores, chokes, barrel walls, etc. Dont relay on the seller to know what they are selling, and then go find some guns. Have fun and don't get carried away, which is very easy to do.

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Re: Side x Side Recomendation

Post by fishvik » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:48 pm

I have a Stoeger 20 ga. Uplander. I paid $325, it takes 2 3/4 and 3 in shells. It came with 2 chokes (IC & M), I also bought a full. Nothing fancy but it swings well and birds fall.

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