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Howdy all, 

 

Was wondering what everyone prefers 1897 or side by side? Was just wondering which direction to go in? 

 

Thank you

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Get both. You'll gravitate to one or the other. 

 

May have to get a half dozen doubles.  There are hammer doubles, hammerless doubles and hammerless doubles with two triggers and those with one trigger. The singe trigger models may switch mechanically or by recoil. 

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That's like asking which is better--Ford, GM or Chrysler.  My wife started out with a SxS.  She tried my 97 and hasn't shot the SxS since.  I tried the SxS and couldn't do well with it so I went back to my 97---but I'd been shooting the 97 for about 50 years before I got into this game.  I know several people who shoot both interchangeably--sometimes in the same match.

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I shoot both.  For black powder I prefer a SxS for ease of cleaning.  For pop-up targets I also prefer a SxS.  Cheap shotgun shells eject better from a '97 than a SxS so if you shoot big box store, promo shotgun shells I recommend a '97.

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Missouri Lefty and Matt Black shot side-by-sides to set their world records.  Not that we should automatically use what they use, but proof that a good shooter is not at a disadvantage using a double.

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I have two Parkers and two Winchester 97s, one of each with short and long barrels.

 

I started out with the 97 short barrel, and it was my preferred main match gun until I got the long barrel 97.   I would take out the short Parker maybe once every couple of years just to mix things up, and while it is a fun gun to shoot, it has a pretty mean kick.   But then I got the long barreled Parker, and the kick is gone.   

 

Except of course when you get frustrated with a stubborn KD target and give it both barrels.  Not a good thing to do, in spite of how tempting it is to find an excuse to do it now and again....

I still prefer the 97, but I have a feeling that I'll be swapping back and forth a little more often now.  To say nothing of occasionally throwing my 87 it the mix.  Why limit myself to just one shotgun when I rotate through a large collection of pistols and rifles depending on what suits my fancy on any given Saturday that has a shoot?

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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Both can be fast.

 

But have seen to many train wrecks with the 97. When things go bad it is much harder to

recover with the 97 than with the SxS.

 

I know some of the best shooters out there that can flat out run a 97 with the best of them. BUT. Switched to

the SxS because of consistency. Because it does not matter if you are the fastest with one on every stage. Only to

have that one train wreck on that one stage that will cost you the match.

 

And see way more 97's go down in the middle of a match than I have SxS.

 

Of course. All this is just my opinion with what I have seen over the years.

 

 

P.S. This is also just my opinion. But if going with a 97. Plan on buying at least 3.

You will need parts from 3 to keep one running.  

Edited by Anvil Al #59168
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In my weak and sordid mind  :o  the '97 ain't cowboy.  Ever see the "Duke" wid da '97 ??  Double guns were the rule.  Double guns wid Hammers iffy you want to be specific.  So .. :huh: .. MY choice and suggestion is for a Hammer Double.  With as short a set of barrels as is legal  :D  Never met a barrel too short  :rolleyes:

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How much you want to spend and how competitive do you hope to be?

Edited by Marshal Chance Morgun

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I shoot a double most often by a long shot, but a '97, '87, or even a single shot occasionally too. Even when shooting a double, I have several "sub-category" oddballs like a Darne, a Fox Patent Side Swing, a Davenport Central Hung Double, etc. There are a lot of odd old shotgun designs.

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Forgot to add.

 

Some might find the 97 more fun.

 

Pulling 4 and doing what I call the flying chicken wing thing.:blink::o:lol:

Edited by Anvil Al #59168

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Go to your local matches.  Try some out before you buy.  What you like may be different from what the last Cowboy shooter you asked likes.

 

Good luck, GJ

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SXS, single trigger... easier and faster for me... plus a pump gun just doesn't seem very "western"

 

 

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3 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

In my weak and sordid mind  :o  the '97 ain't cowboy.  Ever see the "Duke" wid da '97 ??  Double guns were the rule.  Double guns wid Hammers iffy you want to be specific.  So .. :huh: .. MY choice and suggestion is for a Hammer Double.  With as short a set of barrels as is legal  :D  Never met a barrel too short  :rolleyes:

 

1900 is the magic cut off date.  The 97 (upgraded 93) just makes it under the wire. In my mind, the golden age western expansion and the cowboy life was over by the time smokeless powder was introduced.  

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Howdy

 

Pretty much if you want to be competitive with a '97 you have to perfect the technique of loading one shot after another by grabbing a round from you belt loops and throwing it into the chamber. Loading and shooting a '97 any other way is not very competitive.

 

I have a lovely old '97 that left the factory in 1909. But I realized right away I was not going to be competitive with it. Was not going to be able to perfect that technique.

 

model%201897_zpsixqd0ezb.jpg

 

 

 

 

So instead I went with a SXS. This nice old Stevens Model 250 was probably made around 1908. Somebody before me cut the barrels down to 24".

 

stevens%20hammergun%2003_zpsi2udi3im.jpg

 

 

 

 

I'm not very competitive with it, but I sure like blasting targets with it.

 

Reiner%20NH%20SASS-0010_zpsmdmcyky6.jpg

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I’ve tried the 97 and the 87 ‘s and I always go back to the old trusty hammerless double. 

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Get the 97, if you ever want to shoot Wild Bunch, you already have the shotgun.  I started out with a Bakail double, just could not get it to work for me.

 

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Yep.  Like Attica Jack said, buy a 97 and keep your options open.  I've tried doubles and 97s.  I prefer the 97s.  But then, I just picked up and 87.  OLG, does that mean I'm eligible for cool points?

 

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3 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Go to your local matches.  Try some out before you buy.  What you like may be different from what the last Cowboy shooter you asked likes.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

THIS ^^^^

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1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

THIS ^^^^

Everybody is different-- different build, different strength, different eyesight, and so on.  The best shotgun for you is the one that you can shoot accurately, load fast and has the fewest malfunctions.  So follow the above advice. 

The malfunction item can largely be dealt with by caring for the gun properly and taking very close care on ammo sizing and uniformity.   

 

I would say if your arms are short, or hands are smaller, a double gun might make it more fun for you, because of its shorter operational length and no need to hold rounds in your hand while shooting. That applies to me.  The reach to extend the slide of a 97 with a left hand full of rounds can be a reach for me.  I tend to drop the rounds.  Consequently, I shoot a double. 

 

One word (actually paragraph) of caution.  If you plan to keep doing this sport very long, then try to buy quality, regardless of your choice of shotgun type.   Cheap price isn't the only parameter to look at.  There are a lot of very good modified and unmodified guns of both types out there.  But there are a lot of people's problems on the market too.  So try to  buy from someone reputable or whom you know, if at all possible. 

 An example: at a recent match a new shooter was having problems shucking empties from the used double he had just bought for a very good price.   He also had several light primer hits/ misfires that day.  Upon looking, the extractors had not been removed when the chambers were honed out by a prior owner, so they were rounded over and enlarged.  His shell heads would occasionally slip under the extractors, too low for the firing pins to reach properly and many hulls required tools to get free.   Needles to say, he was pretty disappointed in what should have been a fun new gun experience. 

 

You are in the right place here.  A lot of helpful advice is available from some excellent shotguners and shotgun repair people right here on the Wire. 

So please don't be rushed and look carefully before you make a purchase, or at least be aware of the risks.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale

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8 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

We shoot '87 levers for the 'kool-points'. ^_^

OLG

 

We? One of you two is cool and it ain’t Ima’s husband. :P

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When I started in the fall of 2013, I was advised to get a 97. The 97 was in the majority at that club at that time. But my only experience was with doubles so I staid with them.  Now I would say the balance has switched to doubles. 

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I prefer Winchester 1897’s. I’ve got SxS’s but like 1897’s. You might try them both at a local match just to see what tickles you. In the end you’ll maybe end up with both.

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Buy one of each type, buy quality, experiment with each until you become adept with each, then let nature take its course. You will naturally choose what works for you. Then you can sell the others for close to what you have invested. sound expensive, mebbe. Or go to lots of matches, help work, talk to everybody and some will offer to let you try theirs. You can make a choice that way. I like to have lots of seldom used guns in the safe, variety, you know.  Oh, and get yourself a good hat.

 

Imis

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I love my 97 (last run of the China made ones).  I shoot left handed so grabbing and stuffing into the port for me is easy peasy and I run a bit faster i think then with a SxS.  However, that being said, because these are more complicated guns, I have decided to save the 97 only for WB (has the 6 round conversion) and have been going with the Stoeger SxS. 

87s look cool and so do hammered jobs but I tell myself no, no, no.  Work on getting decent with one thing.

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Hammerless, SxS, double trigger seems to be most "in the groove" for CAS.  Kind of synergistic.  Seems designed to perform stages painlessly.  Stages seem designed to use the type.

Others, such as pumps and levers, seem to swim against the rules.  You need to do a lot of gyrations in order to obey the rules.  If you could use the repeater's magazine and other features, the SxS would be obsolete tomorrow, as in the real world it is.

As things are, you're doing a lot of unnecessary work to make a repeater do what a SxS does naturally.  

Just my $0.02.

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Got both; shoot both.

The 97 is easier for me to shoot well since one barrel/one bead, and it is much easier to make a single shot.

The SxS is suited to stages with double targets.

I tend to shoot the double now since I am mostly shooting bp categories.

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Try them BOTH.   You may find you have a technique that adapts to one over the other that suits

you best.   And maybe the 87 also.

 

I actually started SASS with a SxS for the first couple years but never seem to adapt to it well.

Then I tried the 97 and found it was better for me.

 

Good Luck.

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

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get what you want to start but know that you will end up with both in one format or another in the end , some of us have multiples of each because we keep finding just one more we have to have , 

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Do you plan on mainly shooting age based categories? If yes, you will really have to try both and see which you prefer.  

 

I personally have no love for the 97 and always shoot in a black powder category so I am pretty much limited to a SxS or an 87.  I have two slick SxS SKB 280s (English stocks) with single triggers and mechanical resets.  I really only shoot at monthly matches and get very little live fire practice in between matches, so for me the very simple and reliable SxS is the way to go.

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On 10/12/2019 at 10:55 AM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

We shoot '87 levers for the 'kool-points'. ^_^

OLG

With brass hulls and black powder if you really wanna be cool. :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

With brass hulls and black powder if you really wanna be cool. :ph34r:

I have many times-;)

Getting the timing 'rite' on the 87 to feed all brass was a challenge.

OLG

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