SXS advice

WRO

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Nov 6, 2013
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4k budget, ideally single trigger but I’ll do double, prefer splinter stock over beavertail. Want a little nicer than a cz. Interchangeable chokes a preference:

So what does everyone like?


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Loper

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Jul 1, 2020
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I don’t have one, as I bought a O/U last year, but I really like F.A.I.R. Iside. Was strongly considering that. Another one I was looking at was the Dickinson Estate.
 

PNWGATOR

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Are you on the Upland Journal forum? Be a good place to post the same question if you haven’t already.
 

Jagger0502

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Are you looking for something functional for hunting? Or functional that you can show off? Do you plan to drag it thru the grouse woods or clays?

I have a few SxS but all used for hunting and I don’t mind getting some nicks and scratches here and there. If you are hunting with it, I do really like the CZ. I think for the price it’s hard to beat for a hunting gun, and you could get 4 of them for that price. Only downside is the length of pull is a bit short for my arms and I had to add an extension to the butt. But… if that’s not what you want, take a look at:

Fabarm autumn
Fausti Dea
Winchester DHE
Parker Bros

Out of this list, Fabarm would be my choice or I would start searching Guns International, gun broker or estate sales to find an authentic or original for a steal.
 

Big Ern

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You might be able to find an AYA sidelock in your budget. Nice shotguns for the money. I had an older XXV that was fantastic for quail.

Ugartechea sidelock, as well make some pretty decent sxs for the $$. Stay away from the lower grades and boxlocks.
 

Mighty Mouse

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If a beavertail forend isn't a deal breaker, a Winchester Model 23 would be worth considering. You could probably find a Pigeon Grade version that would leave you with enough budget remaining to have Briley retrofit it if you wanted interchangeable chokes.
 

Dented

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I've got a Fausti DEA that I absolutely love. I ordered it the way I wanted, splinter forend, interchangeable chokes, wooden butt pad, but I went with double triggers. It's right in your budget.
 

406flyfish

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Mar 23, 2022
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. I have a CZ 1012 (semi) that’s been great. I Wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a CZ over/under. Pick one up for under 1k and spend the remaining $3,00 on an upland trip.
 
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Wrench

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I have a few BSS' and parkers, cz and a guild built 16ga. For a working gun, it's hard to beat a BSS.

The AyA mentioned can be a fantastic buy.

With SxS it's important to get the fit right....and to do so as you'll hunt.

Here's a couple of my favorites. My BSS grade 2 and Parker del Greco IMAG0291_zps6425d9fb.jpg jennascamerachrismas08030.jpg
 

Blockcaver

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AYA #2 sidelock....used....should come in around that range. Won't have interchangeable chokes though, and will be likely be double triggers, splinter forend and an English (straight) grip stock. I'd get a 16 or 20 gauge, with 28" barrels (or longer).

I've had my AYA #2 round body 16 gauge for 20 years without issues. Still looks good and I've hunted the heck out of it following a Vizsla all over the West and from Canada down to AZ. Shot a fair amount of sporting clays and some skeet with it as well.

My wife's 20 gauge AYA #2 round body is over 21 years old and has been trouble free as well...in fact I often borrow it to hunt grouse and chukars.

As per AYA boxlock single trigger guns, based on my wife's experience of one model 453 28 gauge with single trigger...stay away from them (year 2000). It was nothing but trouble, and spent more time going to and from the gunsmiths (AYA) than at home. Cabelas finally took it back and we replaced it with the 20 ga AYA #2 twin trigger gun mentioned above.
 

dkell

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For 4K you could get an RFM Zeus with my ideal configurations.. it all depends on what you hunt and what you like. If I were spending 4k on a gun i would either get that Zeus or a Dickinson estate in a 28 gauge and a fair aside .410 SxS for ruffed grouse. If you are in a prairie state or chukar hunting I don’t think it’s as big of deal with wear and tear but I can guarantee you you will incur damage for ruffed grouse hunting. I’m sure you already know that either way. Long story short, anything but ruffed I’m getting a Zeus. If ruffed I’m getting two ones to play with where I won’t feel sick to my stomach if it gets beat up.
 

Clovis

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Jul 6, 2012
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Question for the OP: would this be your first SxS? If so, one thing to watch for is that some of your preferences may change pretty fast once you start hunting with one and it is a big investment. Maybe see if you can borrow one for a couple of hunts or more from a friend to see what you like in practice. For me, before i shot one i would have thought single trigger, shorter barrels and interchangeable chokes because it is closer to what i already knew/had but in practice i prefer the double trigger and got used to it very quickly, like longer barrels and though i would still like the interchangeable chokes in a perfect world, the fixed chokes aren't much of an impediment if they are the ones you would use most of the time anyway. And . . . if you start to see things that way you can open up a big world of older used guns that may be more value for the dollar than new.
 

GreenNDark Timber

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I'm far from an expert on SxS but had an itch for one a couple years ago and went through the same thing. I narrowed my short list down to AH Fox A grade or a really nice Fox Sterlingworth, LC Smith Ideal grade, or a Parker VH. I could never find an A Grade and or Parker in decent condition and if I did it put them out of my price range. I ended up finding a 1938 Sterlingworth 16 ga that was in like new condition and couldn't be happier with it.

I do have a soft spot for the BSS as I grew up watching my Grandfather pheasant hunt with one. I just prefer a splinter forend as opposed to the beavertail that comes on the BSS. They are great guns though and I'll probably own one some day for nostalgia if nothing else. I'd also take a look at the Ithaca / SKB 100 if you like the BSS.
 

Wrench

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My parker above is a vh. If I ever get to the back of the vault, I will show some pics of some neat old sxs'.
 
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