Preferred Shotgun Actions?

CoElkHunter

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My preferred action type in a shotgun is a gas operated semi auto. The main reason is reduced recoil when shooting heavier loads and/or several boxes of shells at a time. My first was a 12ga Remington 1100 (2.75” chamber) in the early ‘70s. I bought a Remington Lightweight 1100 20ga for dove and quail hunting in the early ‘80s. When the use of steel shot for waterfowl became mandatory, I wanted a 3” chamber and found a used 12ga Remington 11-87. Great shotgun, but heavy (8.2lbs) for carrying hunting pheasants all day. But, I used it for many years, until two years ago I bought a 12ga Remington V3 (7.2lbs) and use that for pheasants. Of course, these are all lower end guns. But, I’ve shot my father in law’s fairly new higher end inertia actioned Benelli Super Black Eagle a number of times and frankly, I don’t care for the action? It’s not as smooth as my gas operated and has a kind of “klunk, klunk” feel when the bolt cycles? I’ve shot pump actioned and several O/U shotguns. I really like the O/U style, but when I think back on how many birds (especially doves) I would have lost by not having that third shot, I’ve stayed with my semi autos. I’ve seen many beautiful doubles and O/Us in photos here on AH, and was curious as to what shotgun actions are preferred? Maybe it depends on the bird species hunted?
 

Firebird

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I own most of them and will honestly claim to not having a preference. I grew up with a pump and am still good with one with one. That old pump has saved the day more than once when other guns broke or failed. I use semi autos for waterfowling and prefer light over unders for doves on up to heavy grouse. Some guns just seem better suited to certain things. It’s familiarity with each gun that makes it deadly in its masters hands. Once in awhile I do wish I had a third shot, but I’m ok without it-
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BnC 04

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Can't say which I prefer because the setting dictates. Quail over dogs I will have my M21 or 23. Early season pheasant it will be a 26" 101 with later season has me toting a 28" barrel 101.
Ducks is a 390 or SX. Goose my Benelli SBE will always be in my hands unless I hunt pressured birds which will force me to bring out one of the Mag 10's.
 

Firebird

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Here’s what I’m talking about-Swan with beretta over/ under 12, swan with Winchester sx2 semi, swan with browning 10 pump. Love all those guns and “proficient” with them-but for chukars, something light and smooth with a bit of gold on the side is the appropriate companion.
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mark-hunter

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I hunt mostly with rifle. But, on occasion, in winter, phaesant and hares over dogs.
Sometimes I take it out with slugs, for driven boar hunt.

My preffered action is O/U.
Never felt necessity for third shot.

FInally, two different chokes, help with close and more distant shots. Cant have that in single barrel shotgun, regardless of action. (pump, semi, bolt, lever, or break action)

For me personally same stands for clay pigeons, which I occasionaly shoot, as well

Bottom line, two different chokes, in O/U gives advantage to other actions.

When compared S/S, to O/U - O/U has better field of view.
So, I see, only advatages, compared to the rest.

SO, for me O/U!
 

Tanks

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I am new to the shotgun game. For sporting clays I prefer O/U. For upland game SxS. If I were ever to hunt ducks, geese etc., I think I would want a semi-auto as I would not want to break open to reload.

For social work, I do prefer semi-autos.
 

roverandbrew

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We actually had this discussion in a pit blind yesterday. I have run the Super Black Eagle 2 as my utility shotgun for the last ten years on waterfowl, Upland, and Turkey. It’s hunted very hard. Sub zero snow and temperatures in Colorado and Wyoming to the nastiest storms on the Chesapeake Bay. Never an issue from 2 3/4 to 3 1/2 shells. I do use a cheaper CZ O/U for upland on nice days. I found the inertia system to be pretty bullet proof.
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Alistair

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I shoot best with an o/u, but my favorite is still a classic side by side.

I can see the practical benefits of a semi auto for wildfowling or pigeons and I had one for that purpose, but theres just a bit too much stuff going on in front of my face and they're too fiddly to clean to be my preference.

I've never used a pump and honestly can't see any advantage to one vs a semi-auto.
 

Stephen Ausband

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Depends partly on the situation as well as the game. If I'm hunting in a really rough swamp, it's probably going to be the battered but dependable Remington 870 pump. Other duck/goose hunts it will be either a Ruger Red Label 12 or the new Browning A5. (First semi-auto I've ever really liked a lot.) Quail and dove--a Red Label 20. For Turkeys, always the very old L.C. Smith Ideal Grade, just because Elsie and I go back a ways together.

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WAB

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Typically an o/u for upland and a semi for waterfowl and turkey. However I’ve got a couple of pump guns that I enjoy, particularly my model 42 skeet gun.
 

CoElkHunter

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I hunt mostly with rifle. But, on occasion, in winter, phaesant and hares over dogs.
Sometimes I take it out with slugs, for driven boar hunt.

My preffered action is O/U.
Never felt necessity for third shot.

FInally, two different chokes, help with close and more distant shots. Cant have that in single barrel shotgun, regardless of action. (pump, semi, bolt, lever, or break action)

For me personally same stands for clay pigeons, which I occasionaly shoot, as well

Bottom line, two different chokes, in O/U gives advantage to other actions.

When compared S/S, to O/U - O/U has better field of view.
So, I see, only advatages, compared to the rest.

SO, for me O/U!
Good point about having the two chokes. I stay with a modified for all upland bird shooting. I know I'm handicapping myself for the close shots, but nothing reaches out and touches them like a modified, except a full, but then you'll have nothing left to eat. Lol
 

CoElkHunter

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I am new to the shotgun game. For sporting clays I prefer O/U. For upland game SxS. If I were ever to hunt ducks, geese etc., I think I would want a semi-auto as I would not want to break open to reload.

For social work, I do prefer semi-autos.
Don't forget the reduction in recoil with a semi auto? That's mostly my preference for them.
Even shooting a box of 12ga. 3" waterfowl loads, let alone the 3.5" or 10 ga., (which I don't own yet) in a pump or O/U, will make you beg for your heavy recoiling large bore rifle's recoil. Recoil is a time on thing. My hunting buddy uses a 12ga. Mossberg pump. SOMETIMES, we'll each shoot three or four boxes of light dove loads. I have no issues with my Rem. 12 or 20ga., whereas his shoulder is really bothered by that many rounds. Although, a less than ideal stock design can also attribute to that?
 

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