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Choosing a Good "Original" SxS Shotgun


El Sobrante Kid
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Maybe one of those new CZs, they are awfully elegant and downright pretty!

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30 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Do yourself a favor and DON'T get a NEW Stoeger. The OLD Stoeger's(5+ year) were pretty good, the more recent ones are very hit and miss.

My newest Stoeger is about 5-6 yrs old my other one is probably 10. I wasn’t aware of any problems with new ones. :o

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32 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

My newest Stoeger is about 5-6 yrs old my other one is probably 10. I wasn’t aware of any problems with new ones. :o

 

Ask @bgavin his opinion of New Stoegers. His is not an isolated incident.

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I waited a half year for the new Stoeger Coach Supreme to finally come back into stock.
I took it to the trap range for break-in... and it died on the 12th shell.
It broke the barrel lug, which utterly destroyed the gun.

Stoeger does not repair these... they replace them.
This meant paying to ship it back to the importer and wait a week or longer to arrive.
Then another week or two while their warranty dept got around to inspecting it and making a warranty decision.
Then,  another week of shipping delay while it came back to my FFL.
Then another $40 FFL fee, another $40 background check fee, and another 10 day CA waiting period.

All to get the same crappy gun quality with a new gun and serial number and the same problem.

The Stoeger is beautiful on the outside, but a primitive ugly pig on the inside.
There is no "fit and finish".  It looks like a grade school machine shop project.
I could not believe how damn awful it was on the inside.

The metal is crap, the workmanship is crap, and the reliability is crap.
A number of cowboys have broken the barrel lug, same as I did.
Others have broken the stock.

Fortunately, I shamed Stoeger into giving me a full refund for this lemon.
I bought a 1970s era Charles Daly 500 (Miroku, Japan) which is superb workmanship and materials... and no longer made by Miroku.
These are the same folks that produce top quality Browning firearms... first rate quality and workmanship.

This Miroku will be the only side by side or other cowboy shotgun I will own at my age.
I'm glad to have found the Miroku.
 

Edited by bgavin
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I have 4 L.C Smiths, one of which was my original SASS shotgun from when I started in 1999. I did have to re-solder up the lug on the bottom of the barrel once, but now it works fine. My wife uses another of my LC's for the last 10 years with no problems, but she is relatively easy on shotguns. They all have 24-29" barrels.

     LC's open far enough for SASS, but they have non-retracting firing pins, which means they drag on the firing pin when opened. I have found that shortening them a bit from the back side works well, just don't take off too much, just enough to clear the firing pin when the hammer is down.

  They do have v springs in them, which are a bit heavy, but not as bad as most old guns. So it isn't a simple matter to lighten them like guns with coil springs, but it can be done. I have only lightened the ones in my wifes gun, as I have not found it to be an impediment. Maybe when I get into my 70's (5 years to go) I may have to lighten them, but not yet.  

    To be clear, mine are all underhammer guns, I don't like messing with boxlock guns, even the newer LC/Hunter guns.  Bad enough I have to work on my kids Stoegers. Both of which, by the way, have worked fine for over 5 years, with just a bit of spring lightening and stoning of working surfaces. 

    I have also used Crescent brand guns, which also worked OK, I just like the way LC's automaticlly adjust for tightenning of the opening lever.  My Husqvarna Greener style hammer guns are especially difficult to adjust for wear, had to make some new parts and hand fit them when I bought them. Not really a big deal with SASS light loads, I just don't like loose machinery.

   As for new stocks costing thousands of dollars, you just need to shop around more. And maybe learn to inlet a bit. Our guns don't have to look like brand new Parkers, after all.

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Hey Slim,   thanks for the useful info on the LC Smiths. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for "Elsies". It's nice to hear from both you and Johnny Meadows, that they should be fine for CAS. What should one expect to pay for an LC that has been cut down to 24"/26" (has no collector value), in good shape, with a solid lock-up?   THX!

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I haven't bought an LC in over 8 years so I am sure any price I paid is way out of date. I still catch myself thinking 10.00 worth a gas in my truck is actually going to get me somewhere and back! 

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3 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

I haven't bought an LC in over 8 years so I am sure any price I paid is way out of date. I still catch myself thinking 10.00 worth a gas in my truck is actually going to get me somewhere and back! 

 

Well... I guess not knowing the current prices really isn't that big a deal. As my grandfather always said to me, "Kid, would you rather have the thing you want, or the money in your pocket to buy something else?"

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Interesting post, and I can fully understand where the OP is coming from.  I was fortunate in the past year to find a Berreta SxS that shoots beautifully, and easily throws the empties out with a slight shrug backwards.  No slicking up was done.  Longer barrels, but again not a real problem.  This is a 1960-70 vintage.

The other new to me item was a Merkel SxS, probably made in the 1950s.  I have only fired a couple of shots so far, but it comes up nice, and is really solid.

So, perhaps others than Fox or LC Smith to consider.

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On 9/3/2021 at 5:20 PM, El Sobrante Kid said:

Jack Spade, finding an old SxS is easy, including the Stevens. BUT, I'm hoping for some suggestions as to what makes and models just won't work well (don't open far enough, have auto safety engagement that can't be modified, etc.). Or the opposite, makes and models that open up more than average, and have generally proved themselves over time as good CAS guns. What I need most... is the experience(s) of those that have gone down this same road, before me. THX!

I have never heard of a stock shotgun that was game ready.

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On 9/10/2021 at 5:28 AM, Roscoe Regulator said:

I have never heard of a stock shotgun that was game ready.

 

It depends on what "game' you are playing. Do you shoot for fun, and don't care about your time?. Or do you shoot for the fastest time, and have fun that way? If the former, plenty of stock shotguns are game ready. If the latter, then as you say, not too many are game ready.   The Kid

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I would suggest that the two best shotguns (SxS) would be Browning BSS and SKB 200 and other varients of SKB200. I've found SKBs at various gun shops where the dealer did not know what they had for as little as $400! My wife uses an Ithaca 100 which is identical and made by SKB. I bought that one in like new, unfired condition for $600. To be extremely reliable, the SKBs need to be modified to mechanical trigger. Johnny Meadows did my wife's and it a pearl! I like my BSS better as it is heavier and really settles down fast after the first barrel is fired. I cut barrels to 22 or 24 inches as I like the longer sight plane and a little extra weight so the barrels drop a bit faster and always open all the way. Spend a few more $$ and get a BSS/SKB.....you can't take the $$ with you!

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I've got a nice older Miroku made Charles Daly 500 if interested shoot me a PM and we can work out a deal.  In my opinion they are one of the better internal hammered SxS with double triggers ever made. 

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