Preferred Shotgun Actions?

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
5,364
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I'm with @Stephen Ausband.
It depends on what I'm doing.

For auto loaders I prefer the Inertia Drive of my SBE2.
Works great for Turkey and Dove.
Turkey for 3" loads, Dove for having more than 2 shots at a time.
Inertia Drive because it's reliable and clean.
Never felt that it was clunky vs. a gas operated shotgun.

For Upland Birds it's a Beretta O/U Silver Pigeon.
Have a 12 and 20 bore so Mrs. BeeMaa can join me.
Otherwise, I just use her 20 bore.
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
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.
View attachment 387965View attachment 387966
Nice! The inertia actions are much better than gas operated for extended shooting as they don't have the gas ports or pistons that need occasional cleaning. I don't clean mine except after several hundred rounds. I'll have to Google it, but the world record (or was recently) for most consecutive shots with a shotgun without CLEANING/maintenance/breakage, belonged to the gas operated Remington 1100. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either?
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
I'm with @Stephen Ausband.
It depends on what I'm doing.

For auto loaders I prefer the Inertia Drive of my SBE2.
Works great for Turkey and Dove.
Turkey for 3" loads, Dove for having more than 2 shots at a time.
Inertia Drive because it's reliable and clean.
Never felt that it was clunky vs. a gas operated shotgun.

For Upland Birds it's a Beretta O/U Silver Pigeon.
Have a 12 and 20 bore so Mrs. BeeMaa can join me.
Otherwise, I just use her 20 bore.
Maybe "clunky" isn't the word I was looking for? The recoil and action are just not as "smooth" to me as my gas operated? Maybe it's just not me shooting an inertia enough to get used to it? I have shot a Beretta A400? gas operated and the feel/recoil is similar to my V3 vs. an inertia.
 
Last edited:

BB416

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
54
Reaction score
48
Location
Durham NC
Media
3
Hunted
SA, Zim
Side x side. I started with American guns. I have a 12 g Parker VH from 1904,16 ga LC Smith field from 1927 and 20 ga Ithaca not sure exact vintage. More recently, over the last 10 y have been shooting English guns. Feel to me nimbler, lighter.
I have a 12 bore 2.5 inch Mortimer from 1894, 12 bore 2.5 inch Westley Richards 2 barrel set droplock from 1921. Most recently I had been looking for a 28 ga and found a Westley Richards that is a more modern gun from the 70s or 80s.
If your interested in side by sides I invite you to the southern side by side championship and exhibition in Sanford NC the last weekend in April each year (except for COVID cancellation last year. ). Thousands of side by sides there.
 

crs

AH elite
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
1,111
Reaction score
1,672
Location
Republic of Texas
Website
sheltontechnologies.com
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
CRS, NRA Patron Member, TSRA, DWWC, DRSS
Hunted
RSA
"CHINESE Ringneck Pheasant?"
Yes and killed with an American Parker 20 gauge.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
5,364
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Maybe "clunky" isn't the word I was looking for? The recoil and action are just not as "smooth" to me as my gas operated? Maybe it's just not me shooting an inertia enough to get used to it? I have shot a Beretta A400? gas operated and the feel/recoil is similar to my V3 vs. an inertia.
I know what you mean.
I had a Win 1500 XTR in the '90's and it ran great.
Very smooth, but lacked the ability to shoot 3" shells.
Yes, I fell victim to the lure of the magnum loads at a young age.
Had some friends with the original SBE...and the die was cast.

I never really noticed a significant difference between the two actions.
Although I was rather young and inexperienced with shotguns at the time.
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
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. View attachment 387957View attachment 387958View attachment 387960View attachment 387961
Nice! I didn’t know swans were hunted? I know some hunt Sandhill cranes here, but I haven’t.
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
I like Winchester model 12s for everything but waterfowl, which I prefer the Remington 870 super mag.
The model 12s are very smooth but kind of heavy. A brother of a friend collects them and let me borrow one that he brought pheasant hunting. I never got a shot off in the one field I hunted with it, but the action was very smooth when cycling it.
 

crs

AH elite
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
1,111
Reaction score
1,672
Location
Republic of Texas
Website
sheltontechnologies.com
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
CRS, NRA Patron Member, TSRA, DWWC, DRSS
Hunted
RSA
"Nice looking shotgun. I’ll bet it’s fairly lightweight too?"
Thanks.
Yes, noticeably lighter than my 12 ga Parker that looks just like it.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,858
Reaction score
3,575
Location
WA St, USA
Media
77
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Here's one that I get to use occasionally, an 0 frame VHE 5 lb 13 oz 16 ga built in 1918. I think it is the best upland gun I have ever used. Most situations don't provide opportunity for more than two shots, but i have found that I can get off four shots faster than others with the 3 shell limit, Shoot, reload, shoot, reload, shoot (6 shots versus shoot, reload shoot 6 shots; about the same time either way to 6 shots; but the birds have to be really thick for those situations.

DSC_1362 (2).JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
Here's one that I get to use occasionally, an 0 frame VHE 5 lb 13 oz 16 ga built in 1918. I think it is the best upland gun I have ever used. Most situations don't provide opportunity for more than two shots, but i have found that I can get off four shots faster than others with the 3 shell limit, Shoot, reload, shoot, reload, shoot (6 shots versus shoot, reload shoot 6 shots; about the same time either way to 6 shots; but the birds have to be really thick for those situations.
Very nice and lightweight too! I’ve read where back in the day, 16ga bore was more popular and available than 12ga.?
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
5,364
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Very nice and lightweight too! I’ve read where back in the day, 16ga bore was more popular and available than 12ga.?
The 16 bore has really gone by the wayside in the past 50 years.
Finding new shotguns in this bore is much less common now.

My Grandfather did all his shotgun hunting with a Belgian Browning Auto-5 16 Bore.
I believe it was a 1953 or 1954 vintage.
He used it for Dove, Upland Birds, Ducks, Goose and Rabbit.
It wasn't until the late 1980's that he started using a O/U 20 bore.
But he really just wanted the 20 for Turkey so he didn't have to mess with his A5 chokes.

Before he died, he gave me the A5 16 bore.
I shot it a few times at the clays range...talk about clunky.
I believe it's recoil operated, but I'm no expert on its operation.
That shotgun beat me up something awful.
Ended up selling it to a friend who LOVES the A5's and had to have it.
I glad someone out there is enjoying it as much as my Grandfather did.
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
The 16 bore has really gone by the wayside in the past 50 years.
Finding new shotguns in this bore is much less common now.

My Grandfather did all his shotgun hunting with a Belgian Browning Auto-5 16 Bore.
I believe it was a 1953 or 1954 vintage.
He used it for Dove, Upland Birds, Ducks, Goose and Rabbit.
It wasn't until the late 1980's that he started using a O/U 20 bore.
But he really just wanted the 20 for Turkey so he didn't have to mess with his A5 chokes.

Before he died, he gave me the A5 16 bore.
I shot it a few times at the clays range...talk about clunky.
I believe it's recoil operated, but I'm no expert on its operation.
That shotgun beat me up something awful.
Ended up selling it to a friend who LOVES the A5's and had to have it.
I glad someone out there is enjoying it as much as my Grandfather did.
Ah yes, the Browning A5 “humpback”. Great “spring “ actioned shotgun in it’s day. You had to turn a screw to change the spring tension (?) to change from light to heavy loads. When I was growing up, a neighbor down the street had two of them. He introduced me to dove hunting in AZ and let me hunt with one of them one morning. Kind of heavy as I remember and the barrel didn’t have a vent rib. It shot OK though. I finished hunting with my Rem 1100. Back in the day, if you wanted a semi auto, the A5 was pretty much it, until the 1100 came out. Maybe Winchester made a semi auto? My father in law has a Win M 12 in 16ga, which was his first shotgun in the 1950s. I think the 16ga was more popular than the 12ga back then. .
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,057
Reaction score
5,364
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Ah yes, the Browning A5 “humpback”. Great “spring “ actioned shotgun in it’s day. You had to turn a screw to change the spring tension (?) to change from light to heavy loads. When I was growing up, a neighbor down the street had two of them. He introduced me to dove hunting in AZ and let me hunt with one of them one morning. Kind of heavy as I remember and the barrel didn’t have a vent rib. It shot OK though. I finished hunting with my Rem 1100. Back in the day, if you wanted a semi auto, the A5 was pretty much it, until the 1100 came out. Maybe Winchester made a semi auto? My father in law has a Win M 12 in 16ga, which was his first shotgun in the 1950s. I think the 16ga was more popular than the 12ga back then. .
I know he had to work some magic on the A5 for different loads.
Through the 80's & 90's I think he just left it and used the same shells for everything.
I believe he was using #4 shot, mid-brass with a modified choke.
Had a Lyman Compensator Choke Tube attached to the barrel.
This is an example, not actually the one he had.
1612700993758.png

Yes, it was heavy...but it never seemed to slow him down.
Lots of dead birds and rabbits came home in the field bag.
 

CoElkHunter

AH legend
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
3,705
Location
Colorado
Media
19
I know he had to work some magic on the A5 for different loads.
Through the 80's & 90's I think he just left it and used the same shells for everything.
I believe he was using #4 shot, mid-brass with a modified choke.
Had a Lyman Compensator Choke Tube attached to the barrel.
This is an example, not actually the one he had.
View attachment 388047
Yes, it was heavy...but it never seemed to slow him down.
Lots of dead birds and rabbits came home in the field bag.
A lot of those older shotguns, including the A5, had full choked barrels from the factory. So, the choke adjustable compensators were the only game in town or you had to buy extra barrels. We’re spoiled now with the removable choke tubes. My early ‘70s 1100 has a modified choke from the factory.
 

WAB

AH legend
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
6,777
Location
Alabama
Media
94
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, England, Canada, Alaska, Ireland
I know he had to work some magic on the A5 for different loads.
Through the 80's & 90's I think he just left it and used the same shells for everything.
I believe he was using #4 shot, mid-brass with a modified choke.
Had a Lyman Compensator Choke Tube attached to the barrel.
This is an example, not actually the one he had.
View attachment 388047
Yes, it was heavy...but it never seemed to slow him down.
Lots of dead birds and rabbits came home in the field bag.

Funny thing, my model 42 skeet gun has a factory installed cutts. Odd for a .410 but it actually really helps with the balance as these guns with std barrels are somewhat whippy.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,707
Messages
721,210
Members
67,467
Latest member
BilichCarte
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
Top