Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Best Shotgun Type for New CAS Member

Aunt Jen

Recommended Posts

Aunt Jen, it is so good to see you again! :wub:


A hammerLESS side by side would be much easier for a newcomer to get the hang of and use well.





Thanks, Griz. We're doing the same, here, which is great. Hubby's perkin' along...


Thanks for your input on the SxS, too.


Aunt Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never figured out quite why but I seem to notice that the lady shooters seem to favor the 97s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you load a 97 drawing and loading one at a time with the right hand, it seems to work OK for new shooters. Grabbing more can be a problem for new shooters and should be attempted after loading one is mastered. All shooters will eventually have mechanical issues with any 97. That is why many shooters that have used 97s for years, have switched to doubles more recently. Doubles are easy to shoot for new shooters if they learn how to grab and load their two shells properly first. Some double chamber configurations are a lot harder to load than others-i.e. they have locking mechanisms between the chambers or very large extractors that block a lot of the chambers. On doubles be careful on whether you get a single or double trigger. Many shooters that have used one trigger on guns all their lives have a hard time mastering two trigger doubles-I never did. Hammered doubles are the absolute hardest for new shooters to quickly master. Doubles like 97s require some gunsmithing to make them operate easily for the shooter. This is based on helping many new shooters through our clubs new shooter orientation classes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It primarily depends on the individual. Most find the simplicity of the SxS to be easier (with a caveat). So if they are confident with that, it helps.

The design of the SxS is generally simpler than the 97 and the SxS will generally need less maintenance than the 97.


The caveat - most new shooters actually learn to use the 97 better than the SxS. Why?

Because the loading motion is actually much simpler.

  • Pull the shell,
  • Put it in the chamber,
  • Close and shoot,
  • Open chamber and repeat.

The gun never leaves the shoulder, one hand generally does all the loading with a simple, repetitive motion.


After they learn to do one at a time, they can readily graduate to pulling two at a time.


Now, lets look at the SxS.

  • Pull two shells, have them lined up together so you can quickly load both.
  • Tilt them, then rock them into the chamber.
  • Close the action and fire.
  • Now, take the gun slightly off the shoulder - most will need two hands unless they have good hand/arm strength.
  • Do a quick jerk (or twist) to dump the empty shells.
  • Return gun to shoulder.
  • Grab two more shells,
  • Hold them together.
  • Rock them in.
  • Close the action and fire.

Now, isn't that simple??


Nope, but when you are practice it can be very fast.


Plus, the 97 generally has significantly less felt recoil.


And if the shooter has any elbow problems, the SxS will more likely aggravate that problem.


But, I would say that most shooter are shooting the SxS and enjoy it, so have at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jen,


It seems like ages since you've been around. I hope all is well with you and your family.


You didn't consider the '87. I shoot a '97 and have an '87 for BP stuff and backup.


I've had two women ask to try my '97 after their hubbies started them with SxSs. They switched. I've read that, if you shoot a '97, you'd better have a backup. I've been shooting the same 12 gauge '97 since about 2001 (when I switched from a 16 gauge) without a gun problem. I've had some user error issues since I've cut back on shooting. Gotta be forceful!


I don't shoot a SxS as they are hard on my wrists. However, it seems like they are getting more popular lately.


That's about all I can say on the topic. I hope it helps.




Allie Mo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like everything, there are pros and cons for both a '97 and a double. I find a '97 easier, more instictive to point which increases the chances of a hit. Good thing. Doesn't have quite as much recoil as a double. Good thing. Throwing in a shell is real easy and I got pretty fast at it quickly. Good thing. Hurts my left arm to operate. (old injury) Bad thing. Even with frequent attention, tends to have spectacular failures. Bad thing. I can take it apart to clean but it's a struggle to get it back together by myself, even a takedown model. Bad thing.


A double doesn't point a natural and more care and practice is needed to be accurate. Bad thing. Extra recoil doesn't bother me. No call. Loading and shucking fast is still a work in progress for me. Bad thing. It doesn't hurt my arm. Good thing. After years of use/abuse my main go-to double (The Truck) had an issue with hull jumping the extractor every so often. Minor repair, never has happened since. Good thing. Taking it apart to clean and putting it back together is a no-brainer. 3 parts. Good thing.


Pick the features that matter most to you and then pick your shotgun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.