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O/U or Semi-auto for upland bird hunting?

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For those who regularly hunt pheasant, grouse, quail, etc., I'm interested in a discussion on pros/ cons. I have both and like the 3rd shot I get with the auto, but HATE the extra weight. I also am so incredibly tired of the cleaning regime for auto loading shotguns. It's a serious PITA. I can clean my O/U in about 10 minutes. The auto has a strap which is somewhat handy for carry for long walks, but I don't use it much for it's intended "bracing" purpose. What are your thoughts?
 
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When I was younger used my 1100 and a few 870 wingmasters. I never has a sling on one I used for hunting. I do not see why a semi auto is so hard to clean. The trigger group comes out with two pins , barrel comes off. Pretty simple. Because there are two barrels on an over under cant imagine them being that much lighter - could be wrong as I have not owned one.
 
OP
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When I was younger used my 1100 and a few 870 wingmasters. I never has a sling on one I used for hunting. I do not see why a semi auto is so hard to clean. The trigger group comes out with two pins , barrel comes off. Pretty simple. Because there are two barrels on an over under cant imagine them being that much lighter - could be wrong as I have not owned one.
Field length over unders are typically much lighter than autos. I have a Beretta Auto (gas assist) and while yes, the takedown is simple, there are a few smaller parts to clean that get VERY dirty even with one shot.
 

Twodogs

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I shoot a Benelli semiauto the people I hunt with shoot over unders or pumps, never gone home at the end of the day wishing I had a different shotgun, I clean it every year or so.
 

AndyinEverson

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Having owned only two types of semi auto shotguns ( The Browning A5 and Remington 1100 ) I can say that those two types weren't hard to clean...but a Over Under is much simpler.

For my "upland hunting" I want a gun that is easy to carry and quick to shoot....
( quick as in handy to shoot , not always fast shooting...)

Most of my grouse is shot with a :
Winchester 37 in 20 gauge...
H&R "Pardner in 20 gauge...
Antique flintlock fowler in 20 gauge...
Or my first gun , a 1962 Remington Wingmaster in , you guessed it... 20 gauge...:D
Andy
 

DirectDrive

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The recoil impulse is generally smoother with an auto and you have 3 shots.
The O/U is a nice gun with a beautiful build and the ladies will think you are a more sporting type when you are seen using one.

:)


So in summary:

Auto = Duck Dynasty
O/U = Ascots and Tweed
 
OP
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One huge benefit to O/U that I neglected to mention initially is that one can run two different chokes! For grouse I run a CL and an IM. For pheasant I run an M and and F. Both in that order. I even use two different loads sometimes. Of course you could use alternating loads in an auto, but it’s a pain to remember to load them in the reverse order
 
Benelli Ethos;
Easy on the shoulder.
Easy to clean.
O/U;
Clunky.

As far as benefits of multiple chokes go, (for me) I found the more I practiced, the less I played around with chokes ending up with modified for everything from Clay to turkey, primarily because of required and sporadic use of steel shot, otherwise it would be IM for everything.
 

ZigZagZeke

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I've shot everything in my lifetime as far as shotguns. The two I have settled on are a 12 ga Browning Citori O/U, and a Model 37 Ithaca 20 ga that's as old as I am. I use the 20 ga with full choke for doves. I use the Citori for everything else (Mod & Full chokes). I rarely fire a third shot with the pump, and I rarely wish I had a third shot with the O/U.
 
OP
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bbbass

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Yes, I had a simple nylon strap with loops on both ends... one for barrel, and one for stock. Used it for duck hunting while carrying decoy sacks or anytime carrying harvested birds back to the PU.

I started out hunting rabbits and doves with a pump shotgun back in the day. Later on, I was invited to go duck hunting in the morning, and quail in the afternoon. Quickly learned that a lighter, faster pointing/swinging shotgun was needed for quail over a pointing dog. Bought my first 20ga O/U that had modified and IC chokes. Started using a Browning Auto 5 for ducks, because I shot it well, it cycled quickly, and it was easy on the shoulder. Full choke, but ducks over decoys required some adjustment of shooting distance... had to shoot before they got too close.

When I moved to NE Oregon, I added all our upland birds, plus geese. Used the 20ga for Huns and grouse, and both a 28" full choke and 26" modified choke pump 12ga for chukar and pheasant respectively. Bought a 30" barreled, 3" chamber, Charles Daly O/U for ducks and geese. Was choked full and full, but I had the bottom barrel taken out to modified. It was not a fast swinging shotgun (not generally needed for waterfowl), but I liked the flexibility to shoot at differing distances. My last purchase was a Mossberg 500 with replaceable chokes, but it is so heavy that as I aged I struggled with swinging it and pumping with a chance of hitting a fleeing bird before it got out of range.

IMO, three shots... usually the bird is out of range by the third shot, so it's not needed. Unless one is pass shooting doves/ducks/geese.

Hardly ever cleaned my O/U shotguns, and rarely my pumps. Modern propellants, unlike black powder, just don't hurt the barrel and a bit of debris seems to make no difference. Met a guy with a vintage SxS black powder shotgun... it was the coolest thing and I wanted one for a long time.

Why O/U rather than SxS??? ... Because I don't shoot SxS for sh!t... dang things make my eyes cross!!
 
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For those who regularly hunt pheasant, grouse, quail, etc., I'm interested in a discussion on pros/ cons. I have both and like the 3rd shot I get with the auto, but HATE the extra weight. I also am so incredibly tired of the cleaning regime for auto loading shotguns. It's a serious PITA. I can clean my O/U in about 10 minutes. The auto has a strap which is somewhat handy for carry for long walks, but I don't use it much for it's intended "bracing" purpose. What are your thoughts?
Can I carry it all day, up and down hills washouts etc. without spending an hour a week at the chiropractor? The next thing I ask myself is; is the gun safe and reliable? Third and final question I ask myself is; can I connect with flushing or flying birds, most of the time. Beyond those three questions it’s pretty simple. I have o/u, sxs, autos and, pumps that all work well and I have others that I never take hunting. What do you enjoy the most?
 

mortar maggot

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Get the one you like to shoot the most or best.

They both get the job done, you can buy some really light autos and O/Us, or you can buy heavy ones.

I like the look and feel of a Citori, and it seems as if each model is a perfect fit for me, so that is my choice generally speaking.
 

afsgtpapa

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I love the look, the feel, the handling of a beautiful, well-made and balanced Side-by-Side, especially a SxS without hammers, with double triggers, and will drool all over a 16 gauge. I recently purchased a fantastic 28" SxS, with choke tubes and double triggers, from the Italian firm F.A.I.R. For those who claim not to be able to shoot a SxS, I say "Bull". One has to practice! And then practice some more. Just go to UTube and watch the Brits shoot driven Pheasants or clay targets. Some will use O/Us, but those using SxSs get more than their share.
 
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Lots of experience here to draw from as usual here at NWFA. I've been fortunate to grow up bird hunting and have a father who collected shotguns...so I've carried more than my share I guess. The last 13 years have been behind pretty fair german shorthair pointers. For me it came together when I switched to smaller gauges. My "go to" shotgun 80% of the time is a superposed 20ga O/U that just points wherever my eyes go. I think for most folks, a double just handles better and is a joy to carry. (safer too IMO) I had the chokes opened to skeet and IC because of the shooting over points. If I need more choke I will switch to shells I know from the pattern board are tighter...either lead or steel. I also have a Benelli 20ga M1 in camo. If I'm hunting chukar or know I may do a duck hunt I use the M2 with various chokes in including a mid range patternmaster.. 3rd shot is good for hard to find chukar and if I shoot 3" hevi-shot, the 20 is as good as any 12ga shooting steel on waterfowl. OH...and there are muzleloading shotguns too. Hope this helps a little.
BTW a great read on double guns is " The Double Shotgun" by Don Zutz ... a classic
 
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For those who regularly hunt pheasant, grouse, quail, etc., I'm interested in a discussion on pros/ cons. I have both and like the 3rd shot I get with the auto, but HATE the extra weight. I also am so incredibly tired of the cleaning regime for auto loading shotguns. It's a serious PITA. I can clean my O/U in about 10 minutes. The auto has a strap which is somewhat handy for carry for long walks, but I don't use it much for it's intended "bracing" purpose. What are your thoughts?
When I was younger, I didn’t mind the extra weight of my 11-87 or 1100. Chasing empties was and alway will be a chore with the pumps and auto’s and I always picked up after myself and insisted those who hunted with me did the same. Several years ago, I picked up a gorgeous little Spanish SXS 20ga. Even with the 28” barrels, it was just a tick over 6 lbs. I opened up the left side barrel from modified to imp. cyl. The right side is modified choke. The beautiful little SXS was so quick to mount and shoot. I gave the gun to one of my nephews who is hammering grouse and pheasants with it. Today, I hunt with a Browning Citori Lightning in 20ga or a Stevens 311a in 16ga. When I need that little extra knock down power. I do use detachable sling swivels on both. Be safe and represent well.
 

afsgtpapa

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An update for those who might be curious as to how my purchase through the bidding process has gone. It's Friday afternoon. Just got back to the house from picking up my shotguns. A quick glance revealed that they are in amazingly good shape, clean both inside and out. All four lock up tight with lever centered. Nice engraving on several. Will start later this afternoon trying to fully ID what I have. *=chamber depth measured **=choke measured
measured with GALAZAN, NEW BRITAIN, CT CHAMBER/CHOKE TOOL (A great little tool to own and use when looking at used shotguns)
==============================================================
1. One 12ga SxS S/N 370096 [I consider its weight to be kinda heavy.]
- 3" chambers
- Chokes: left looks to be Extra Full; Right - Full.
- stamped on under-side left barrel: "FUSIL ROBUST BREVETE S.G.D.G."
Made in France
- stamped on under-side right barrel: "MANUFRANCE - SAINT- ETTENNE Robust No. 234".
- [web states it is a respected gun-maker].
- Single trigger with barrel selector on trigger; which is slightly hard to operate, but may loosen up with use or additional cleaning and/or addition of oil.
- rubber recoil pad in fair condition; small wooden Monte Carlo added to top of stock [very professional job]; nice checkering on forearm and stock.
- may have slight problem with safety; will see how it functions at the range.
- similar models on Internet list for $995 to $2,245, usually with double triggers and retractable slings.
==============================================================
2. One 20ga SxS S/N 6026
- 2 3/4" chambers* and double triggers.
- Chokes**: measured almost CYC on one and one appears Extra Full.
- stamped on barrel " 'P. A. "DISCOVERER' - EIBAR Made in Spain".
- double triggers; wood forearm and stock did not quiet match; both show handling marks.
- metal has nice engraving; auto safety; might be a 'greener cross bolt'
- could not find anything on internet. SHOULD YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SHOTGUN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
==============================================================
3. One 12ga SxS S/N 48818
- 3" chambers*.
- Chokes**: between Imp Mod and CYC on both.
- made in Spain; " RENO" appears on lever.
- double triggers; nice engraving and checkering; safety auto resets; locks up solid with lever centered.
- forearm wood does not quiet match stock (which shows handling scratches).
- could not find anything on internet. SHOULD YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SHOTGUN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
==============================================================
4. One .410 SxS S/N 84544
- 3" chambers (barrel labeled).
- Choked Full and Full (barrels are labeled).
- some engraving.
-made in Spain; marked on barrel "FABRICA AGUIRRE Y ARANZABAL FIREARMS INTERNATIONAL CORP WASHINGTON, D.C. Aguirre y Aranzabal (AyA)" [they are one of the firms that greatly improved the reputation of Spanish shotgun markers.].
- single trigger, selector on trigger; safety auto reset; locks up solid with lever centered.
- nice checkering on wood.
- "EBAR" on plastic cap on pistol grip.
==============================================================
So far I am pleased. Will let you know how things go after the range. At this point I'm planning to keep #3 and #4 - UNLESS SOMEONE WITH DEEP POCKETS COMES ALONG.
 

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