Double-barrel for hunting/sporting - Recommendations
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:38 AM   #1
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Default Double-barrel for hunting/sporting - Recommendations

I want to get a good quality double-barrel shotgun, either over/under or side by side, for hunting and sporting. I'm interested in skeet/clay shooting, trap shooting, upland bird and turkey hunting, and possibly home defense. This is my first ever shotgun.

Is there a general double-barrel shotgun that fits the purposes mentioned above? Which gauge is more useful? 12 gauge? How about interchangeable barrels? Chokes?

Also, what's the optimal barrel length? 28" or 30"? And weight? Some brands have "light" version in 6 to 6-1/2 lbs while the majority weighs 7 to 7-1/2 lbs.

What quality brands/models would you recommend? Winchester, Browning, Ruger, CZ? I know double-barrel is expensive - anywhere between $800 to $2500. But I intend to invest in a quality shotgun.

Thanks for your inputs.

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Old 11-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #2
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Unfortunately you've named several purposes that somewhat contradict each other as far as barrel length, gauge, etc., so you would have to compromise a little. Assuming that home defense is your last priority for this gun (that would be my suggestion, as you can buy a second, much cheaper shotgun for home defense that truly fits that purpose), then a double in 12 or 20 gauge is your best option. I prefer a 20 gauge because they are a little trimmer and offer about the same capabilities as the 12 gauge--just my personal preference. I would recommend the following brands in your price range: Browning, Beretta, Remington, Winchester, or SKB. Browning and SKB probably offer the most options in your price range, especially if you want a 20 gauge. I personally like side by sides, but they are more expensive for the same quality, and unless you can find a nice used SKB 385 or 485 (still in the $2000 range) you will be around $3000 for a new Beretta, one of the few manufactures making a quality SxS under $3K. A good skeet or sporting clays version of any of the Manufacturer's OUs listed above would be your best choice--I would NOT recommend a Trap version--trap guns are built with higher combs and ribs to shoot higher than the point of aim as trap is a game of rising targets--they are not normally suited for hunting, skeet, or sporting clays. As far as barrel length, I think 30 inch is a great all-around length today--used to be 28 inch, and that is still good, but for skeet and sporting the longer barrels are becoming the norm (32 inch is becoming the favorite) but that is a little long for hunting IMHO. A 28 inch would be a great choice if hunting is #1, and would be OK for skeet and sporting. So pick them both up and see what you like--the longer barrel will swing smoother for skeet and sporting but also be slower in the field. I would look at a Browning Citori or Cynergy--I prefer the Cynergy because of its mechanical triggers, but they are both great and easy to find. SKB also if you have a dealer in your area. Beretta too, but usually a little more expensive. Can't go wrong with any of those. Good luck!

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Old 11-13-2010, 03:26 AM   #3
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Default Where are the shotgun made?

Thanks a lot for your inputs. It's very informative. I'll look into these brands/models and am sure I'll have more questions later.

BTW, I know the Winchester is made by FN Belgium. Where are the Brownings, Remington, Berrettas made?

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Old 11-13-2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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Brownings (new) Japan, Remington depends on models, older USA, newer Spain or Italy, Beretta Italy.

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Old 11-14-2010, 02:24 AM   #5
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ive got a cz ringneck SxS 12ga 26inch. i love it. i use for everything shotgun related. it retired my mossberg 500 for the most part. its got removable choke tubes and a barrel selector switch. there are better shotguns but your talking 5-15k$ for the jump from the cz to the upper brands. you would have to wear out at least 5-10cz's to make up the diff.

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