Preferred Shotgun Actions?

SFRanger7GP

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My favorite shotgun is an 1883 Charles Lancaster 12 bore, side lever, hammer gun. It was proofed for 2 3/4", 1 1/8oz loads but I mostly shoot 1oz or 7/8oz, 2 1/2" loads. My other shotguns have become safe queens. A buddy of mine said it best when he told me "with that gun, you look good even when you miss!"

Safe shooting!
 

justin wiles

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Inertia. Benelli. Franchi. Only shotguns I shoot.
 

Round Ball

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Remington 870 12 ga. with Round Ball loads for deer - pump action.

Remington 870 12 ga. for all waterfowl - pump action

Beretta Silver Pigeon I Sporting model with 32" barrels for dove and pheasant - double barrel.

Weatherby SA-08 20 ga. for quail - gas operated semi-auto.

Everything else, Ithaca M37 Featherweight - pump action.

Round Ball
 

rookhawk

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So many good actions:

The Dickson Round Action
The Lancaster sidelock Bar Action
The Holland & Holland 7-pin sidelock action
The SuperBritte side opening over/under action
The MacNaughton skeleton action
The Rigby Rising Bite Action
The Purdey auto-opening rising bite action
The Jones Rotary Underlever action
The Stephen Grant sidelever 8-pin sidelock action


None of those are gas based, or inertia driven, or lever based actions. I'd have to say that any quality action for a double that provides double triggers and barrels with two chokings is going to be ideal for scatterguns.
 

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I would love to get my hands on the Purdey ultra round body sidelock.
 

Ray B

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Being of simple tastes I find I'm satisfied with Parker and Winchester shotguns although I do have a fondness for Rigby double rifles.
 

Velo Dog

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I’m too lazy to clean all the moving parts in a semi-auto shotgun.
Furthermore, of the very very few I’ve owned during my lifetime, I was seriously annoyed by their occasional malfunction.
I have one pump shotgun (vintage Model 12 Winchester in 12 bore, solid rib, semi-pistol grip) and the rest are all double barreled (SxS) shotguns.
 

ducmarc

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For upland I like my browning double autos with a modifed barrel .have a super light Breda over and under in 28 ga.thats fun. Otherwise it's show and tell with my hunting buddies.ducks last year was a browning gold hunter but traded it for another 1911 colt. So on the hunt for another duck gun maybe a 935 mossberg.have one for home defense and it's fast shooting.other than that have all kinds of the others.most of mine start with trap grade.m12 Winchester's. really like my trap grade b2000 browning. My dad's old lc smith trap grade is fun. I don't have any doubles that don't have ejectors.picked up a nice cogswell and Harrison side by side for the money the fit and finish is incredible.dont think it is considered a true self opener but it works fast.i think purdy has the name rights for that.
 

RockSlinger404

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As with rifles, the shotgun needs to be designed for the type of hunting/shooting. Mine are as follows:
Geese/ducks: Browning Citori O/U 30"
Upland: Beretta 486 SxS (round action) 30"
Pigeons/clays: Krieghoff K80 Sporting 32"
 

Nevada Mike

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...picked up a nice cogswell and Harrison side by side for the money the fit and finish is incredible.dont think it is considered a true self opener but it works fast.i think purdy has the name rights for that.
The Purdey 'Self Opener' action is a unique design they acquired from Beesley. It is also made by Henry Atkin (who worked at Purdey for some years) - the only other producer that I know that adopted the Self Opener as their standard action. Basically the action uses a singe spring to operate both the tumblers and the self opening function. It is very precise and somewhat difficult to build. The Purdey and Atkin actions are not identical... the Atkin is an improved version introduced in 1909. I own one made in 1930 and it is a true pleasure to shoot.
Atkin in case.JPG
 

ducmarc

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Thanks for the info.ive only handled a purdey at shows but never shot one.they open like it's wornout but in mint condition.no wonder they are the holy grail of side by sides.
 

rookhawk

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My favorite shotgun is an 1883 Charles Lancaster 12 bore, side lever, hammer gun. It was proofed for 2 3/4", 1 1/8oz loads but I mostly shoot 1oz or 7/8oz, 2 1/2" loads. My other shotguns have become safe queens. A buddy of mine said it best when he told me "with that gun, you look good even when you miss!"

Safe shooting!


That’s a good move. It is not proofed for 2-3/4”, 1-1/8 ounce MODERN nitro loads unless it went back for reproof.

Original guns of that era that were proofed for 2-3/4” length shells were proofed for black powder which had the same service pressure and proof pressure as a 2-1/2” black powder shell.

The gun is built to easily handle 6200-6850psi vintage loads of either chamber length.

***Unless it was reproofed with a NP nitro proof mark. Then still shoot the same pressures as above, but sleep knowing it was subsequently nitro proven which means absolutely nothing at the service pressures such a gun will operate with vintage 2.5” loads.
 

rookhawk

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Thanks for the info.ive only handled a purdey at shows but never shot one.they open like it's wornout but in mint condition.no wonder they are the holy grail of side by sides.

Not all Purdey’s were auto-openers, but many were. The holy grail is really a holy triumvirate. Boss-Purdey-Holland. Hardcore collectors often add equally or rarer guns to that “Best of best grade” that includes Woodward, Dickson, MacNaughton, Westley, Rigby, Grant, Lang, and Atkin to the mix.

Some of the less known guns are their equals so you’ll find closeted, top-secret collectors of Edwinson Green, Harkom, Mortimer, and others that output some pretty fantastic best-grade stuff that is really undervalued.

If simplicity is the measure of what is extraordinary, the best there ever was is probably Dickson and MacNaughton. Their designs for 5lb to 6lb game guns have been copied and enhanced to handle 11lb competition guns of today. They designed the trigger-plate action. Plenty of wood left for strength, all maintenance happens on the trigger plate where the entire action sits. The “box” is nothing but an inert shell.

Going off the path a bit here, but I had the privilege to hold a few dicksons recently including 7/8ths of all the 28 bore dicksons ever made sitting in front of me at one time. Truly, truly, incredible guns. And honestly, pretty cheap for what they are. Best guns for $15,000-$45,000 made in a finite amount, about 1600 made over 200 years.
 

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If simplicity is the measure of what is extraordinary, the best there ever was is probably Dickson and MacNaughton. Their designs for 5lb to 6lb game guns have been copied and enhanced to handle 11lb competition guns of today. They designed the trigger-plate action. Plenty of wood left for strength, all maintenance happens on the trigger plate where the entire action sits. The “box” is nothing but an inert shell.
The MacNaughton bar in wood round action is a thing of exquisite beauty.
 

ducmarc

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I'm late in the game of British doubles but found that some of the more obscure guns are pretty reasonable I paid a good knot for my cogswell 470 double but it had history.wanting a shotgun to match I found a huntig model 12 gage.un abused with the classic checkered butt and auto ejectors for 2200$ shoots great but has long tubes I think 33" the first hard case I shipped the owner was too short had to send him another.lol
 

freefall

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For birds I like a sxs 20, for late season pheasant a sxs 12, for something that could hurt me I want an 870 12 ga.
 

SFRanger7GP

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That’s a good move. It is not proofed for 2-3/4”, 1-1/8 ounce MODERN nitro loads unless it went back for reproof.

Original guns of that era that were proofed for 2-3/4” length shells were proofed for black powder which had the same service pressure and proof pressure as a 2-1/2” black powder shell.

The gun is built to easily handle 6200-6850psi vintage loads of either chamber length.

***Unless it was reproofed with a NP nitro proof mark. Then still shoot the same pressures as above, but sleep knowing it was subsequently nitro proven which means absolutely nothing at the service pressures such a gun will operate with vintage 2.5” loads.
Yes Sir. I should have said reproofed. It was reproofed in 2004 but I still take it easy with the lighter loads.
 

Nevada Mike

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Not all Purdey’s were auto-openers, but many were. The holy grail is really a holy triumvirate. Boss-Purdey-Holland. Hardcore collectors often add equally or rarer guns to that “Best of best grade” that includes Woodward, Dickson, MacNaughton, Westley, Rigby, Grant, Lang, and Atkin to the mix.

Some of the less known guns are their equals so you’ll find closeted, top-secret collectors of Edwinson Green, Harkom, Mortimer, and others that output some pretty fantastic best-grade stuff that is really undervalued.

If simplicity is the measure of what is extraordinary, the best there ever was is probably Dickson and MacNaughton. Their designs for 5lb to 6lb game guns have been copied and enhanced to handle 11lb competition guns of today. They designed the trigger-plate action. Plenty of wood left for strength, all maintenance happens on the trigger plate where the entire action sits. The “box” is nothing but an inert shell.

Going off the path a bit here, but I had the privilege to hold a few dicksons recently including 7/8ths of all the 28 bore dicksons ever made sitting in front of me at one time. Truly, truly, incredible guns. And honestly, pretty cheap for what they are. Best guns for $15,000-$45,000 made in a finite amount, about 1600 made over 200 years.
A friend of mine has a 20 Gauge Dickson RA. Delightful little bird gun. I owned a very Nice Dickson lightweight 12 gauge for many years, sold it to a guy who really wanted it badly.
dickson in caseJPG.jpg

Side X Side bird guns are a passion of mine. My Harkom 16 gauge, Lindner Daly 20 gauge, and A H Foxes in 16 gauge and 20 gauge are some that I will probably not sell. I have been on a low level search for a subgauge Woodward for some time, but, like Dickson subgauge guns, they are very rare.
 

mark-hunter

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I alway think, smaller the gauges, finer the gentleman owner! Wonderful gun!
 

Velo Dog

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“The gentleman’s gauge” - 2 & 3/4 inch 16 bore ….. swings like a 20, hits like a 12.
 

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