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Outlaw Bill Wilson

Savage Side By Side Shotguns

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Does anybody on here use a Savage Side by Side for CAS?   If so are they reliable?  I hunted with one as kid and always liked them.   I am considering converting one to a coach gun for CAS.  

 

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What makes a GREAT SASS shotgun is one that's easy to modify so it will shoot fast. Folks like them to open a tad farther for better loading & easier shucking and the extractor area is modified for easier loading as well. The Savages have a extractor system that makes loading them really fast harder and it's in the way and can't be modified. 

 

If you aren't trying to win a match most any shotgun will work fine for SASS but if you are trying to compete the Baikal or Stoeger and better choices for low cost doubles IMO. 

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I would agree with Cowboy Junky there are better low cost shotguns for CAS. The Stoeger would be my choice. 

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I used mine for the 1st 8 years that I cowboy shot. It was my grandpa's built like a tank heavy only modification I did was shortened the barrel and a slight bevel on the chambers. Not fast but did a good job, had to retire it when the trigger sear wore out could not find parts. Well known sass gunsmith tig wielded and shaped it but warned me it would eventually wear out again. 

Rafe

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On 4/8/2019 at 8:28 PM, Outlaw Bill Wilson said:

Does anybody on here use a Savage Side by Side for CAS?   If so are they reliable?  I hunted with one as kid and always liked them.   I am considering converting one to a coach gun for CAS.  

 

 

savage.thumb.jpg.c4dcd929fee33cf09295489517a2c646.jpg

 

My first SxS was a Savage Stevens 311.  Here's a top view a Savage SxS shotgun.   That big blocky locking lug between the chambers really gets in the way when you're trying to load two shells quickly.  When the shotgun is opened, it depends on the weight of the barrels to open wide and stay open.  If you cut the barrels to make it into a "coach gun", the barrels do not want to open wide.  The can be overcome, somewhat by shortening and reprofiling the cocking lever.  (what we used to call the $7 fix, when the shorter cocking lever was an available part).   

Yes, there are some folks that have successfully modified the Savage shotgun into a nice CAS gun.  Red Cent has done one, but he's worked with gunsmiths and is an inveterate tinkerer.  (Makes good leather too!) 

For the money, there are better choices for a starter CAS SxS.  The Stoeger probably has the widest availability of entry-level shotguns right now, as Baikals aren't being imported until relations with Russia thaw.   

 

There are some nice Turkish-made and CZ shotguns also, they are a step up in price.

 

For a shotgun with external hammers, it's hard to beat the Cimarron Hammered Double, but it is a heavier gun than the others mentioned.  And, external hammers are only required in one of the main categories, Classic Cowboy.

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1 hour ago, McCandless said:

That big blocky locking lug between the chambers really gets in the way when you're trying to load two shells quickly. 

 

Lots of popular doubles have a lug extension.   Some shooters even have said it's an aid to loading as you can cram two over the top and the extension devides them and help guide the shells into chamber.  Just practice and what you're comfortable with. 

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I have a Charles Daly that my dad bought several years ago with the center lug. It does make it more difficult to load quickly, but not impossible. 

 

Imis

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3 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Lots of popular doubles have a lug extension.   Some shooters even have said it's an aid to loading as you can cram two over the top and the extension devides them and help guide the shells into chamber.  Just practice and what you're comfortable with. 

 

Ok, let me put it this way.  I ran that 311 for several years and I found that lug to be a royal pain in the patootie, for me.   It plain got in my way.  The happiest day in my cowboy shooting life was when I ditched it and went to a Winchester Mod. 24 that Jim Bowie worked up for me. 

 

As in all things, your mileage may vary.

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20 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Lots of popular doubles have a lug extension.   Some shooters even have said it's an aid to loading as you can cram two over the top and the extension devides them and help guide the shells into chamber.  Just practice and what you're comfortable with. 

 

 

I ran a Stevens 315 single trigger my first two years shooting CAS. I switched to a single trigger Baikal just this year. I agree, the lug actually helped load the shells faster but the amount of strength and time needed to open and cock the Stevens negates the lug advantage. I'm still 50/50 on which gun I like better...

 

I need someone to time me with the two different guns...

 

Btw, those single trigger 315's are more rare than hens teeth... I've never seen another and haven't met anyone who has either...

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Unless you want to be First on the scoresheet, the Stevens Savage 311 or 315 is cheap and a workhorse.  You can can never break the 2 cocking levers snapping the barrel open to eject your spent case as is an issue with many other SxS shotguns

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I have a 311, It's a bird gun, and reloading it in the field with no stress the lug gets in the way. There is a reason why most fine English shotguns don't have a rising bite. Yes it's makes them weaker if it's a two bite gun but it make for a cleaner and easy to load weapon. Extensions, dolls heads, & Rising bites, are only need on the strongest of actions. That said the 311 is built like a truck

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When buying a used Savage SxS, look hard at where the FP's come through the rec'r, for cracks in the rec'r.

OLG

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I have seen many 311s break right where OLG said and I have seen several wear out the race where the bar cocks the hammers.  I have not found them to be built like a tank.   I have had several 311 that were unrepairable after 1-2 years of use.   My cheap stoeger has lasted since 1994.  I now shoot a browning BSS.  Bullett 19707

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10 hours ago, Bullett Sass 19707 said:

I have seen many 311s break right where OLG said and I have seen several wear out the race where the bar cocks the hammers.  I have not found them to be built like a tank.   I have had several 311 that were unrepairable after 1-2 years of use.   My cheap stoeger has lasted since 1994.  I now shoot a browning BSS.  Bullett 19707

I said Truck, not tank, Big difference:D
As to unrepairable, that's only because it would cost more than they are worth to fix. 

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Sorry I didn't read close enough.  Bullett

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Thanks for responding everybody.  I am using a Cimarron hammer gun now.  My first hammer gun was a Baikal.  It's a good shotgun but not a good cowboy gun.  Trying not to make the same mistake.   

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Baikal made several lousy hammered doubles.  Their non-hammered doubles were a lot better designed.   I would not hold that experience against a Baikal, as I have found them to be a better cheap shotgun than a Stoeger for folks who run guns hard.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Howdy

 

Picture is worth a thousand words department:

 

This is my old 16 gauge Stevens Model 311. The big lug between the barrels is what everybody is talking about. It can slow shooters who are trying to load quickly.

 

The other thing about the Stevens Model 311 is it is not a good candidate for turning into a coach gun. The weight of the barrels helps keep them down , clear of the frame when loading. If the barrels are cut short, there is less weight up front and more tendency for the barrels to try to close when loading.

 

Stevens%20311%2016%20gauge%20open_zpsf7v

 

 

 

There is the old $7 fox, but it probably costs a lot more than $7 these days.

 

http://marauder.homestead.com/stevens311.html

 

 

 

While we're on the subject, here is my lovely little old Stevens Hammer gun. It has a similar lug between the barrels, but because it is a hammer gun there are no cocking springs trying to close the barrels. It stays open when I open it. And since I am slow as molasses, the lug between the barrels does not slow me down much.

 

Hammered%20Double%20Extractor_zpssg4gy2d

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I have a Stevens 311 12ga with a 26” barrel. Even with that barrel length opening is a bit stiff. I was going to cut it down but decided to just leave alone. After researching everything it would take to get it to open, and stay open, with shorter barrels I opted to leave the barrels alone.

 Currently it is disassembled and I will be installing a new set of springs one of these days.

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