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Ripsaw

SKB vs. Stoeger--what's the dif?

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Sitting here looking at the Christmas tree with a nice hot cup of coffee, and watching Trump on FoxNews promise to DTS, I realize, Life is Good! Ammo mostly stockpiled for the coming year, thoughts turn to other fine points of the game...

 

I see many pards on here singing the praises of their SKBs, and many of the top shooters I know also have SKBs. No doubt, beautiful guns. I have a pair of Stoeger Supremes.

 

Interested in what you think makes the SKB better than the Stoeger coachgun? I can see better fit and finish-but functionally? Is it the inertial/mech trigger? Does it break/cock easier? Do the better competitors gravitate to the better guns just because they are more durable, more reliable, more beautiful, or because they are actually faster?

 

Seems to me that loading skills would be way more important than the gun itself...at least that's the skill I need to focus on.

 

Perhaps this discussion will help others make a decision on which 12 ga double to get.

 

 

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Ask a pard to let you shoot one for a match or even several stages. It's best to form your own opinions on matters like these.

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My wives didn't last long. Even with light loads the lugs wore. I know this can be fixed, but we went with a S.K.B

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Certainly loading skill is more important than the gun. The gun, in and of itself, will not make you a better shooter. However, walking to the line and knowing you have the best equipment possible without having to worry that the gun is going to give you a problem and your performance will be solely based on you, does. Not a knock on Stoegers, here. Some have been used to do very well.

But better shooters do prepare their equipment for better reliability.

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Stoeger's cost 1/3 as much as an SKB. Is the SKB three times better? I know National and World class shooters that shoot both. Both guns need to be tuned for competition. The SKB tunes a little easier because the parts are fitted better in the first place. I have worn out an SKB so even they won't last forever. I have had both break. They are both machines. The SKB is without doubt a higher quality machine, but it is a machine. I just bought a Stoeger to do an article for the Chronicle on how to tune them. They are a bit different that the last time I wrote an article about them. I have not and will not fire the gun before tuning it as, for me, it is not suitable for competion out-of-the=box. (Of course, neither is the SKB or BSS.) After working the action a dozen or so times and starting to examine the new Stoeger it will need more "tuning" than I originally anticipated. "Luckily" for me and the readers this one has virtually everything wrong with it that most people will encounter with their own Stoegers. It will take a lot of extreme close up photography to show all the little issues and how to fix them so it will be a few months before the article makes it into the Chronicle.

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like a cadilac and a old style vw,,, both will get you there...

 

I have a skb and a browning now,,, tho Id shoot anywhere with my old stoeger,,,

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Sitting here looking at the Christmas tree with a nice hot cup of coffee, and watching Trump on FoxNews promise to DTS, I realize, Life is Good! Ammo mostly stockpiled for the coming year, thoughts turn to other fine points of the game...

 

I see many pards on here singing the praises of their SKBs, and many of the top shooters I know also have SKBs. No doubt, beautiful guns. I have a pair of Stoeger Supremes.

 

Interested in what you think makes the SKB better than the Stoeger coachgun? I can see better fit and finish-but functionally? Is it the inertial/mech trigger? Does it break/cock easier? Do the better competitors gravitate to the better guns just because they are more durable, more reliable, more beautiful, or because they are actually faster?

 

Seems to me that loading skills would be way more important than the gun itself...at least that's the skill I need to focus on.

 

Perhaps this discussion will help others make a decision on which 12 ga double to get.

 

Kinda like the difference between Corvair versus Corvette. Both will get you down the road. One in style and a bit quicker. One has more built in flaws. If you are just starting a Stoeger is adequate and a lot cheaper. The SKB was the best Japan could make a few years ago. Both need gunsmithing to compete with.

Edited by Gold Canyon Kid #43974

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About 1200.00 dollars

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I've tried skbs brownings bikals and steogers. I shoot steogers because the chambers are closer and thinner. The skb and brownings are high quality and you have less of a chance of getting a lemon. The biakal is tougher but definitely needs work. All of them have guns you can run stock. All have guns that must be worked on. The lower end guns just have a higher chance of getting a lemon.

 

The average shooter will never reach the potential these guns can achieve.

 

Shoot what feels good to you

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For me the differences that matter are:

SKB is lighter

SKB will last longer

SKB has a much thinner wrist which makes controlling it during shucking easier

SKB can have a bump step added which keeps the gun open until you close it.

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I started out with a Stoeger. The gun was heavy, thick and slow...and didn't shoot to point of aim.

I switched to a Baikal which is, in my opinion, the best of the low budget side by sides.

Finally, I switched to an SKB in 2014. It was the single best move I've made in SASS to improve my times. The SKB fits me so well that one would think I had the gun customer built. The fit combined with the light weight and true point of aim has made follow up shots a thing of the past. But don't take my word for it. Get out there and borrow one for a match or two and make up your own mind.

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For our sport many folks point their shotgun with their eyes without using the front bead. If gun fits your build, cheek, etc, you never even notice the front bead. I found the Stoeger, the Browning and even some SKBs did not fit my body. The SKBs with English style flat grip nor full pistol grip stock did not fit. The SKB 100 flat grip stock with small pistol grip fits me perfect.

 

Bottom line you have to consider how the gun fits your shoulder, cheek, etc. A few years ago I took lessons from a top Sporting Clays lady instructor. She had snap caps with built in lasers. My shotgun had a fully adjustable stock. I thought my stock was adjusted properly. To start my lessons, we were in a room about 20 yards long. She put a dot on the wall and had me mount the shotgun rapidly and fire both barrels at the dot. I missed by 1-2 feet each time. We adjusted the stock so that I could mount the shotgun quickly and hit the dot on the wall within in a couple inches each time.

 

In my mind there are several items of importance in picking a shotgun. First is fit. Second is the shape of the area at the chamber entrance. Is it designed to easily get 2 rounds into the chambers? Some shotguns have a large spade sticking up between the barrels part of the locking mechanism, and that is bad. Both the Stoeger and SKB have an hour glassed shaped extractor/ejector. A good gunsmith can remove the sides of the top of the hour glassed extractor to make it more like an upside down T. Gunsmith shaping can give this area a mild knife like edge right in the middle between the barrels facing the shooter to ease separation of the rounds into each chamber. Lastly is how easy is the shotgun to handle and move arouond. In my mind lighter is better, so the SKB wins easily.

 

Between my son and myself we have around 7 SKBs.

Edited by Gold Canyon Kid #43974

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I see lots of shooters spend a nice bank roll on there pistols and rifles only to go cheap with there choice of shotgun. I am for a fact one of those shooters. My choice is old Winnie 97s for smokeless and a Stoeger when shooting B.P. The right equipment can improve your score with practice. It reminds me of the old saying. "You lose it with the pistols, you make it up with the rifle and you win it with the shotgun". I for one will do the switch one day soon to a SxS and i think Ill be contacting Johnny Meadows for an SKB.

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I have shot just about everything in shotguns in SASS. Wore out a Stoeger, just don't like 97's and 87's feel pretty clunky to me. I have 2 SKBs from Johnny Meadows...nothing like em!

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You can try one of mine at the next match or one of Strikers, who has three, if you ask him nicely.

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I've shot a 97 since I started this game a few years ago. The wife and daughter also tried starting with a 97, mainly because we had one. Neither could shoot it very well so we elected to get a sxs for them. we traded another fine cowboy a 70's era 92 rifle for a Stoeger and our daughter has been shooting it ever since and love's it. Last year I bought the wife a very nice SKB. It's as beautiful as she is, so it was fitting. She can shoot the holy heck out of that shotgun! WAY faster than me with a 97.

 

So now, the kid has picked up a few plaques with her Stoeger, the wife with her SKB. I tuned the stoeger by lightening springs and chamfering and honing the chambers. The SKB was bought worked up.

 

Thousand of rounds later they are both functioning perfectly. After deep cleaning both of them a couple of times I am of the opinion that the SKB is a much finer built shotgun. in the SKB you find parts that are ground, stoned, or polished where in the Stoeger that are either left rough or only finished in areas of contact. Of course, the SKB is fully engraved and much nicer on the eyes, checkering it also finer as is the finish on the wood and the sine in the barrels. the SKB's rib is also better quality compared to the one on the Stoeger.

 

I recently picked up a Yildiz double to play with. It's a little on the stiff side but after a few hundred rounds it's starting to loosen up. I enjoy shooting it, but the splinter forearm is very different from what you find on the SKB or Stoeger, preventing it from being a practical backup for someone shooting the other two (and vise versa)

 

Was it worth the $1600 we paid for it? Yup. It certainly is better built, better fit and a much finer machine that the Stoeger. Is it faster than the Stoeger? not at the level most cowboy shoot this game.

 

The SKB is like a fine watch like a Bullova or Citizen, the Stoeger is more like a Timex or upper end Casio. They both keep time, they both function nicely. If you want a shotgun equivalent to a Breitling or Rolex you have to look at Holland and Holland, Purdey or Wesley Richards, and those shotguns have no place in a cowboy match!

Edited by Hurricane Deck 100366

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Something that is really important but not mentioned. The Stoeger single select triggers can be problematic. Their two trigger guns are adequate. But, many folks have had problems with the Stoeger single select triggers. They either fail to fire one side or the other or worse, they fire both barrels at the same time.

If you are set on a single trigger SXS get the SKB.

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I picked up a BSS in March for $20 less than Gander priced Stoeger coachguns. Someone had already cut the barreps to 21" and resoldered the muzzles to the rib. All that I had to was get the auto Safety converted to a manual and learn to stop smiling so hard during a match.

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Ripsaw,

 

You are welcome to try mine the next time I see you. It's lighter than my Stoeger, it swings better, it's got a mechanical reset trigger that's not dependent on recoil to operate, and Johnny made it slick as glass. My SKB won't make me a better shooter, but it's a joy to shoot no matter how badly I may handle it. :)

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Kinda like the difference between Corvair versus Corvette. .

Yep, I always had to park my Corvair on a hill :huh: cause it may start and then again it may not :o:wacko: . The Stoeger may fire the first barrel, but for the second it may not. SKB is a world apart from the feel of a 2x6 Stoeger. IMHO the Baikal is a much better SXS on a budget, they all will need a little action work for this game/sport. I've heard of a few CZ shooters, another one that will need action work and cost a little more than the Baikal. Haven't heard alot about the one Cimarron has now, be interesting to know the cost plus action work compared to the Baikal or CZ, maybe some of our fine gunsmiths will chime in. Good Luck :)

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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For me the differences that matter are:

SKB is lighter

SKB will last longer

SKB has a much thinner wrist which makes controlling it during shucking easier

SKB can have a bump step added which keeps the gun open until you close it.

Smokestack is spot on. I'm amazed at the durability of my SKB. Poor gun has been ABUSED!!

When I was in the process of switching from a stoeger to the SKB, I spent some time comparing the two utilizing the most important tool for a comparison (a timer). I know, I know, I could have just relied on the old "conjecture and pretend" method, but I wanted actual data. I spent a month doing a lot of dryfire and a fair bit of live fire with both. I was on average .75 seconds faster for four shots with the SKB. Mostly due to the lighter weight and handling advantage.

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If you go ahead and spend 1400 on a good skb, its about as good as you'll do, and the cheapest gun in the cart. I've got 2300ish in the pistols, and 2000ish in the rifle, plus 2000ish in the backup rifle......buy the good shotgun. Skb, and Browning sgs are great, and fast too, especially like the single trigger!

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Several hundred dollar bills. You can practice up them shotgunninn' skills for quite a while with that much dinero; and when the Stoeger breaks you'll have all the skills needed to run a shotgun fast... 31 years... and I'm still practicin' them skills... ain't broke that Stoeger, yet!

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The difference? Night and day. I have Stoegers, Baikal and an SKB. Here lately I have been running one of the new Paki Cimarron SKB clones from Johnny who slicked it up right fine. I am now of the opinion that gun is every bit the equal of the SKB and a whale of a lot cheaper

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What's the difference between a BMW and Toyota?

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The quality and craftsmanship differences are so obvious thats it's not worth touching on. Yes Stoegers have been in the winners circle many many many times. But currently there are a hundred shooters than can outrun the best SxS shooter there was in the game 10 years ago. Everything changes. Techniques have evolved over time. I thought I would never stop shooting my BSS. Loved that gun. When I finally broke down and tried a SKB the handling differences alone cut 3/4 of a second instantly. Shotgun is where THE most time is lost in the game. The Stoeger fills a much needed gap in the game by getting many shooters into the sport economically and fairly reliably, still have mine in my safe (first cowboy gun I ever owned). And guys if you don't want to drop the cash for a SKB for yourselves and you are lucky enough to have your wife shooting with you do her a favor and buy her a SKB, she will love you for it.

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After spending money to have top of the line short stroked tuned rifles and pistols. I was skimping on a shotgun, because I thought it wouldn't make a difference. Boy was I wrong! Yes I dropped $1400 on my first SKB. It fists me like a glove and I've dropped at least 2 seconds a stage. I now have a second one and I consider it money well spent.

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I had two Stoegers,never liked them sold them.I have two single trigger Baikals done by Johnny Meadows and I love them.I got a SKB and had Johnny Meadows do his work on it and now my Baikal is my back up and loan shotgun.The SKB is really nice and I like the way it handles.I not fast but I am faster with the SKB.

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Like many others I started with a Stoeger, then I went to a TTN just because I thought it looked more Cowboy, I shot it until the weight started hurting my elbow to much. I then went back to a Stoeger before getting my first SKB, like many others I have two and never looked back. It would be really hard to have to go back to a Stoeger now.

 

Merry Christmas

Randy

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I have shot the Stoeger, Baikal, Browning, and SKB. Every person is going to like something different, so what I think is just what I think. The Stoeger feels like a 2x4 to me. They also don't open very wide so they are harder to load and shuck the way I shuck my shotgun. I know several people that I shoot with monthly that do a good job with one, but for me they are not a good choice. I really like my Baikal double trigger and only went to a single trigger gun when I shot another persons SKB and a Browning. I shot a Browning for about a year and liked it, but a conversation with Duce at EOT one year made me try the SKB. My shotgun times, while nothing like his, have improved since the switch and more importantly I really enjoy shooting the SKB. I know they are expensive, but a good one will last you a long time and you might as well shoot something nice. Give up Pizza on Fridays or that Starbucks coffee for a while till you can pay the difference between the Stoeger and the SKB and you will be thankful you did.

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My only complaint about the skb is that since it does weigh less you feel more of the recoil

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My only complaint about the skb is that since it does weigh less you feel more of the recoil

 

if yer shootin' real black powder like you awtta be, then you won't feel much recoil! :P

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SKB is lighter, and you can lighten it up more without the barrels popping open, the triggers are much better and they shoot straight......those were the big ones for me.

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My only complaint about the skb is that since it does weigh less you feel more of the recoil

 

Mine is running a recoil pad and I had the forcing cones lengthened. With the low recoil loads it is extremely pleasant to shoot and stays down on the target. When I went from the Browning to this at last years regional my train wreck stage was due to me pushing the shotgun down a bit for the second shot like I did with the BSS. I hit low and missed and the rest is in the record books. :-) Oh, and don't switch shotguns right before a big match....not a smart thing to do!

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