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  #1  
Old 08-23-2022, 9:44 PM
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Default Your favorite LIGHT WEIGHT O/U upland shotgun?

What’s your favorite for all upland game hunting? Or what is your wish list O/U for upland?

I need and i’m in the market for a new 12ga. O/U modern upland shotgun that can shoot steel, comes with chokes and has auto-eject. I’m looking at around spending $2,500 - $3K, nothing higher.

My current SKB is 45 years old and is a workhorse, but I use it only out of state since the CA lead ban.

I’d like to hear what the experts here are using in that O/U category. I’ve tried two friend’s Citori and a Citori lightening and thought they were way too heavy from what im used to. I also like 26” barrels for fast wing shooting, but I guess 28” would be ok if I can’t find 26’s.

What say you? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2022, 3:58 AM
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Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 1.
https://www.sportsmans.com/shooting-...26in/p/1535796
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2022, 5:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakerloo View Post
Hard to beat that 686, fits TT’s specs except maybe the weight, I would think with 26” barrels they could get it down to 6.7 lbs.; IMO, the grip is a little long for my hand. Beretta’s Optima HP chokes are their top of the line choke option and Beretta’s support in the USA is excellent. These days availability will be key for you TT, especially if you want to hunt with it this season.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2022, 2:06 PM
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I have a question that I think most of you would think I would already know the answer too. However since I have never fired a steel shot round in my life, I need to ask.

What exactly is the difference between a barrel good for steel shot and one that is not? Is it the material? All of them are made from chrome moly steel and have been since WW2. Is it the amount of Carbon in the Steel IE 4130,4140,4150 etc??? Is it the Heat Treat on the barrel. Is it the profile of the choke? Thickness of the barrel walls?

What exactly is it that is different from a "Normal" Barrel for Lead Shot?

I really wanna know.

Randy
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2022, 3:00 PM
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All I can find is the difference between lead and steel "shot."

Nothing about the barrels! What is going on here?

Randy
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2022, 6:26 PM
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Some manufacturers have indicated that their barrels and chokes are "steel safe," and some still caution against using steel in their older guns. Unlike lead, steel does not compress as it moves down the barrel and through the choke, hence the need for more open chokes (in most cases). Harder shot, whether steel vs lead or high-antimony vs lower-antimony lead, patterns more tightly than softer shot. This is because harder shot deforms less and flies more predictably, another reason for more open chokes with steel (or tungsten-based loads). Because the steel shot column does not compress as it goes down the barrel, there is a possibility of barrel bulging or choke bulging in some guns. However, a lot of guns that are not classified as "steel safe," like older 870s and 1100s, Browning BSSs, even SKBs, are fine with steel as long as one is sensible about the steel loads used. Often the risk is not related to the grade or alloy of steel used, but rather to the wall thickness, forcing cone and choke dimension, barrel contour, etc. Another consideration is that steel loads are often generating higher chamber pressures and more recoil than a lead load, and this is the result of the quest for higher velocities to compensate for the ballistic inefficiency of steel vs lead. Higher chamber pressures cause higher hoop stress in the chamber and forcing cone areas, and higher velocities with a given charge weight cause increased recoil that can be hard on the wood with older guns and even some modern guns. A good example of this risk would be the SKBs with the scalloped back on the frame. Those little points on the wood between the scallops concentrate the force of the recoil and can cause the stock to split over time. The Browning BSS, on the other hand, has what is essentially a square back with a dogleg notch that spreads the recoil force over a wider area of the wood, and that makes the BSS pretty nearly ideal as a steel shot SxS, as long as you match shot charge to choke constriction. The age of the gun is not major factor, as long as you know what you are dealing with. The original Fox Sterlingworth from the early 20th century is a genuine antique, but the boys at Ivory Beads declared that it is the best vintage American double for waterfowl with steel. Quality design and heavy barrels and square-back frame make it so, but the condition of the specific gun has to be considered. On the other hand, conventional wisdom is that many "modern" Belgian Superposeds should not risk a diet of steel loads, due mostly to barrel thickness considerations. So bottom line is that the barrel steel is not as important as are all the other factors about the gun and the load. Some guys actually shoot steel waterfowl loads in Damascus doubles with good results, but they are careful about things like shot size, barrel wall thickness, choke constriction, chamber pressures, etc. YMMV

Last edited by Ducky's Dad; 08-24-2022 at 6:30 PM..
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2022, 6:32 PM
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Dunno if it classifies as lightweight, but mine is my 12 ga. Browning Citori Lightning Feather 26"bbls.

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Old 08-24-2022, 6:44 PM
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Back to OP's question. If you want a light weight 12 O/U, I would look at Beretta Ultralight, Citori Feather XS, or the FAIR (Rizzini) Ultralight. I don't own the Beretta, but I do have a Feather XS and a FAIR Ultralight. The Citori is one of my dove guns and the FAIR is one of my pheasant guns. The Citori Feather XS is ostensibly a sporting clays gun, but it is light and handles very well. It's discontinued but worth looking for if (in 12ga) you can llve with 2-3/4" chambers and ported barrels. There are Miroku-branded versions of this gun without the ports, but they are hard to find (I also have one of those). The FAIR guns are/were marketed in this country under various names (Verona, Cortona, FAIR, etc.) and are comparable to Berettas in terms of fit and finish at any given grade level. Mine is a Cortona in 12ga with 28" barrels, 3" chambers, choke tubes, aluminum frame and nice wood. Also discontinued (at least under the Cortona name), but a vey nice gun for the money. It's hard to go wrong with a Beretta, but they tend to be much heavier than the weight claimed by Beretta. Steel frame Citoris are bulkier and heavier than comparable 686s, but they are solid guns. If you like your SKB, think about having it fitted with choke tubes so that you can use steel.
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Old 08-24-2022, 6:47 PM
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Quote:
Dunno if it classifies as lightweight, but mine is my 12 ga. Browning Citori Lightning Feather 26"bbls.
I would choose the Lightning Feather over the regular Lightning.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2022, 6:54 PM
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Ducky’s Dad has good summation, the design of the barrel’s constrictions in both the forcing cone and choke are the main differences between old and newer barrels. Before the advent of plastic wads, fiber wads needed a more abrupt transition between the chamber and bore to minimize gas leaking past the fiber wad, with steel shot these faster transitioning forcing cones increase the stress on the barrel due to the harder density of the steel shot. Here’s a good article that explains it in detail, https://shotgunreport.com/2012/07/03...nes-explained/
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Old 08-24-2022, 7:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
Some manufacturers have indicated that their barrels and chokes are "steel safe," and some still caution against using steel in their older guns. Unlike lead, steel does not compress as it moves down the barrel and through the choke, hence the need for more open chokes (in most cases). Harder shot, whether steel vs lead or high-antimony vs lower-antimony lead, patterns more tightly than softer shot. This is because harder shot deforms less and flies more predictably, another reason for more open chokes with steel (or tungsten-based loads). Because the steel shot column does not compress as it goes down the barrel, there is a possibility of barrel bulging or choke bulging in some guns. However, a lot of guns that are not classified as "steel safe," like older 870s and 1100s, Browning BSSs, even SKBs, are fine with steel as long as one is sensible about the steel loads used. Often the risk is not related to the grade or alloy of steel used, but rather to the wall thickness, forcing cone and choke dimension, barrel contour, etc. Another consideration is that steel loads are often generating higher chamber pressures and more recoil than a lead load, and this is the result of the quest for higher velocities to compensate for the ballistic inefficiency of steel vs lead. Higher chamber pressures cause higher hoop stress in the chamber and forcing cone areas, and higher velocities with a given charge weight cause increased recoil that can be hard on the wood with older guns and even some modern guns. A good example of this risk would be the SKBs with the scalloped back on the frame. Those little points on the wood between the scallops concentrate the force of the recoil and can cause the stock to split over time. The Browning BSS, on the other hand, has what is essentially a square back with a dogleg notch that spreads the recoil force over a wider area of the wood, and that makes the BSS pretty nearly ideal as a steel shot SxS, as long as you match shot charge to choke constriction. The age of the gun is not major factor, as long as you know what you are dealing with. The original Fox Sterlingworth from the early 20th century is a genuine antique, but the boys at Ivory Beads declared that it is the best vintage American double for waterfowl with steel. Quality design and heavy barrels and square-back frame make it so, but the condition of the specific gun has to be considered. On the other hand, conventional wisdom is that many "modern" Belgian Superposeds should not risk a diet of steel loads, due mostly to barrel thickness considerations. So bottom line is that the barrel steel is not as important as are all the other factors about the gun and the load. Some guys actually shoot steel waterfowl loads in Damascus doubles with good results, but they are careful about things like shot size, barrel wall thickness, choke constriction, chamber pressures, etc. YMMV
Thank you for this detailed post. I always love learning something here…
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2022, 5:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky's Dad View Post
If you like your SKB, think about having it fitted with choke tubes so that you can use steel.
I didn’t know that was possible. I might look into that for sure.

It never even dawned on me to consider the Beretta brand for an O/U, until now. I now have some homework and a starting point to compare and contrast the various brands/models as suggested by everyone. I’ve never really been knowledgable about nice O/U doubles, so I appreciate everybody's feedback and suggestions.
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Old 08-25-2022, 9:20 AM
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Bob Day in Pico Rivera can lengthen the forcing cones and install choke tubes.

Search the shotgun forum for his name, he has a good reputation here from members that have used his services.
I wouldn't hesitate to use him, if I had something that I wanted modified.


You might want to give him a call and talk to him about it (562)923-3608.
I'd talk to him about the fact that you want to hunt birds with both steel (CA) and lead (out of state) and see what he recommends.
Forcing cones plus choke tubes or
Forcing cones and opening up the chokes (if that's even possible)

https://www.americhoke.com


Here's a couple of light 12 ga Berettas.

Top is a 687 Ultra Light Deluxe, 28" barrels, 6lb 6oz with flush choke tubes (haven't shot this one yet).
Bottom is a S686 Ultra Light, 26" barrels, 6lb 1oz with flush choke tubes.

These show up for sale on gunbroker every so often, but be prepared to wait, if you want one.


both small.jpg


This last one is the one I've shot the most. But, I've also also owned it 10+ years longer than the others. Lots of use on the skeet field and hunting.
Beretta 686 White Onyx with upgraded wood that lightened the gun a bit.
28" barrels, 7lb 1 oz with flush choke tubes.


Right Side.jpg


You might want to think about the CZ Upland Ultra Light.
Both the 12 & 20 have 26" barrels.

I'm sure you've seen the posts from the guys here that have CZs.
They seem to be happy with them (although we all seem to pat ourselves on the back for whatever we buy ) and have shot a lot of rounds through them.

https://cz-usa.com/product/cz-upland-ultralight/

If I were to get one, I'd probably get it in 20 gauge.
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Old 08-25-2022, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBGBA View Post
Bob Day in Pico Rivera can lengthen the forcing cones and install choke tubes.

Search the shotgun forum for his name, he has a good reputation here from members that have used his services.
I wouldn't hesitate to use him, if I had something that I wanted modified.


You might want to give him a call and talk to him about it (562)923-3608.
I'd talk to him about the fact that you want to hunt birds with both steel (CA) and lead (out of state) and see what he recommends.
Forcing cones plus choke tubes or
Forcing cones and opening up the chokes (if that's even possible)

https://www.americhoke.com


Here's a couple of light 12 ga Berettas.

Top is a 687 Ultra Light Deluxe, 28" barrels, 6lb 6oz with flush choke tubes (haven't shot this one yet).
Bottom is a S686 Ultra Light, 26" barrels, 6lb 1oz with flush choke tubes.

These show up for sale on gunbroker every so often, but be prepared to wait, if you want one.


Attachment 1111584


This last one is the one I've shot the most. But, I've also also owned it 10+ years longer than the others. Lots of use on the skeet field and hunting.
Beretta 686 White Onyx with upgraded wood that lightened the gun a bit.
28" barrels, 7lb 1 oz with flush choke tubes.


Attachment 1111586


You might want to think about the CZ Upland Ultra Light.
Both the 12 & 20 have 26" barrels.

I'm sure you've seen the posts from the guys here that have CZs.
They seem to be happy with them (although we all seem to pat ourselves on the back for whatever we buy ) and have shot a lot of rounds through them.

https://cz-usa.com/product/cz-upland-ultralight/

If I were to get one, I'd probably get it in 20 gauge.
Fantastic, thank you!
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2022, 10:14 AM
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Back in my hunting days my favorite was my 20 gauge BC Muriko skeet gun, shot a lot of doves, quail and pheasant with it but never with steel shot bought two of these a 12 & 20 back in 1969.
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Old 08-25-2022, 10:25 AM
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I had Bob Day cut the stock and install an adjustable butt plate/pad on my Beretta Silver Pigeon 1. It looks like it was installed by the factory. Great work at a good price in a timely manner.
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Old 08-25-2022, 11:33 AM
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Had a barrel threaded by bob day, by far the easiest experience I’ve ever had with a gunsmith. He had it done in well under a week and it works beautifully.
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Old 08-25-2022, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
I didn’t know that was possible. I might look into that for sure.

I’ve never really been knowledgeable about "nice" O/U doubles, so I appreciate everybody's feedback and suggestions.
Please to understand these guns are "Entry Level O/U's" The nicer ones start at about $15K and go right strait up from there!^$^$^$!!!

Both my Citori's were in the $2,000 range and both are really nice looking and good solid shooters, but they are still "entry level guns" in the world of O/U shotguns.

Every year at the SHOT Show Perazzi has a booth and in that booth somewhere is a display with 4 shotguns ranging from a 12 ga. to .410 bore, all with identical engraving and matching wood. They are IMHO Spectacular!!! and the Price for the set is between $400,000 and $500,000.

After talking to the Perazzi Rep I found out these guns were effectively garbage, and that the really good stuff never makes it over here. All the good stuff is sucked up by Royalty in Europe! And we are talking a $million for each gun, not $100K! Must be nice?.

So I guess my new Citori CXS is essentially a Broom Handle or a Toilet Brush? Go figure. However that gun will do whatever i need it to for a very long time and when I get ready to sell it I will get whatever I paid for it back out because nice O/U shotguns don't depreciate. When I traded in my older 2010 Citori XT Trap gun with 10,000 + rounds thru it I got the same amount for it that I had paid for it 12 years ago. Mind you it still looked new because I take really good care of my guns but still when the guy took it out of the box he commented "this gun is new," and being the astute trader I am, I didn't argue with him.

all that said, You don't need a $15,000 shotgun to learn how to shoot Skeet or Trap or Sporting Clays and damn sure don't need one for Hunting, because a $2000 one will do everything you will need out of it. I just shot mine at Skeet Practice today and other than the one squib load I had, it went bang every time and many of the birds I was shooting at actually broke.

The gun I am looking for is a 12ga.Browning Superposed B25 with 26" bbls Choked IC and Modified and the Strait English Style Stock. I have seen two like this and both were way above my $comfort level at $4500.

Randy
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Old 08-25-2022, 6:19 PM
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I have a buddy that has the C.Z ultra light and shoots it a lot and loves it, No issues with it!!
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Old 08-25-2022, 7:17 PM
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A little off the call, but mine is an old Quail Hammerless 410 SxS. I load 2 1/2 inch Bismuth/Tin from Rotometal's for it. Dove season opener just around the corner!!
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Old 08-25-2022, 9:41 PM
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I have a buddy that has the C.Z ultra light and shoots it a lot and loves it, No issues with it!!
Glad to hear about someone that actually that has one and that it's working out.
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Old 08-25-2022, 11:39 PM
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Benelli 828 U

Franchi Instinct SL

Stevens 555 Silver
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Old 08-26-2022, 5:00 AM
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Friend has a beretta 28 gauge o/u. Not sure of the model but very nice gun to handle and shoot.
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Old 08-26-2022, 8:14 AM
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Glad to hear about someone that actually that has one and that it's working out.
I also have 3 C.Z's in 28,20and 12 gauge never had any issues.
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Old 08-26-2022, 10:41 AM
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I also have 3 C.Z's in 28,20and 12 gauge never had any issues.
I haven't forgotten that. We've talked about it via calguns posts in a previous thread or 2.

I was trying to comment on the CZ Ultra Light that you were posting about, but it's good for others to see that the CZs have worked out well for you.

I know you posted your CZ round count a while back, can you update us with the round count by model/gauge?
I think that by quantifying them with a round count, it gives people a better measure of how much they've been shot and that they are built to last.
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Old 09-19-2022, 7:34 PM
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Beretta Ultaleggero

I'd previously read about this gun and today Beretta sent out an email on it, so maybe it's available or will be shortly.

12 Gauge is supposed to weigh 6.4 - 6.6 lbs, depending on barrel length

https://www.beretta.com/en/ultraleggero/

Beretta Ultraleggero.jpg




They mention 20 gauge in this video, I'd like to see one.
Not sure if or when it will show up in the U.S.
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Old 09-19-2022, 8:18 PM
foxtrotuniformlima foxtrotuniformlima is offline
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I have a bunch of Berettas and they are nice guns but I always take the Superposed out to the field.

Sooner or later I'll end up with a 20 Citori Feather Lightening Browning and a White Lightening in 28
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2022, 12:11 PM
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Here's another option I have been looking at. It is a Remington 870 Special Field with Rem Choke tubes 21" bbl.. This one is 12 ga. but they made them in 20 ga. as well.



This gun is light fast handling and won't break the bank. It's obviously a Pump Action Shotgun, but for an upland gun (which is exactly what it was designed for) it would be a very cool gun to shoot and pack around.

Skeet also?

It weighs 6.75 lbs. in 12 ga. and 6.0 lbs. in 20 ga.

Something to think about.

Also there are alternatives to Steel shot. Bismuth, Tungsten and others. They are expensive but considering how many you would shoot while hunting Upland Birds it is better than buying a different shotgun.

If you load your own, you can buy just the shot from BPI and it becomes pretty reasonable.

Randy
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Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 09-20-2022 at 12:17 PM..
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2022, 1:52 PM
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Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
Here's another option I have been looking at. It is a Remington 870 Special Field with Rem Choke tubes 21" bbl.. This one is 12 ga. but they made them in 20 ga. as well...
I've got one in 12. The 20 seems to be harder to find.

One thing to note is that the Special Field takes barrels that were specifically made for it's shorter magazine tube.
Regular 870 Express & Wingmaster barrels have the barrel guide ring mounted to far out to work on the SF.
The forend on the SF is shorter as well.


870 SF vs 870 WM .jpg

A gunsmith could probably modify an Express or Wingmaster barrel to fit the SF by relocating the guide ring, if you wanted to be able to put a longer barrel on it.


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...Skeet also?...
The barrel is too short for use at most public ranges and if it's allowed at Ojai the other shooters will not like how loud it is.
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Old 09-21-2022, 11:45 AM
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Been looking at the CZ Ultra Light. They seem to come in at around 6 pounds.
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  #31  
Old 09-21-2022, 4:00 PM
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Been looking at the CZ Ultra Light. They seem to come in at around 6 pounds.
My buddy has one, It points and shoots great all around good gun, If you are going to shoot a lot of sporting clay's shoot 1 once it can beat you up with a lot of 1 1/8 loads
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Old 09-22-2022, 1:01 AM
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A Beretta 686 field with 28" barrels weighs less than a Citori field of the same weight. I would say that the Beretta would weigh about 7 lbs and a Citori about 7.5lbs. The difference is about half a pound. This of course depends entirely on the wood being used.
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Old 09-23-2022, 4:21 PM
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Bob: another way to go would be to have an existing 870 with a 26" bbl., and just put the English Stock on it.

Here is my primary Upland/Dove Gun. 1940 Ithaca Model 37 with Factory Installed Cutts Compensator. I had it since 1973 and it just got a complete make over a few years ago.

Randy


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File Type: jpg 100464599.JPG (34.7 KB, 75 views)
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Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 09-23-2022 at 4:44 PM..
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  #34  
Old 09-23-2022, 8:22 PM
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I have several Wingmasters in 12, 20, 28 and .410. Before Remington went BK, I contacted them and asked if my older 20ga and 28 Wingmaster could handle steel shot. They said if it was made after 1969, they are safe to use steel.

That all being said, I think I will seriously look at the Beretta O/U’s and buy one when I retire next august, based on the suggestions given here. Thank you all so far for the 411.
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  #35  
Old 09-24-2022, 6:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
I have several Wingmasters in 12, 20, 28 and .410. Before Remington went BK, I contacted them and asked if my older 20ga and 28 Wingmaster could handle steel shot. They said if it was made after 1969, they are safe to use steel...
Did Remington's response include anything in regards to chokes/shot size?
If so, you may want to post it for the benefit of others.

Usually, they caveat their response, excluding certain chokes and they have a restriction on the maximum size of steel shot that can be used.
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  #36  
Old 09-24-2022, 1:24 PM
Tim padilla Tim padilla is online now
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I’m not the expert when it comes to 12 gauge O/U shotguns but the fastest and quickest one I’ve ever shot was a Browning my buddy owned .Dont know the model but it was a English grip with 24” barrels .Never seen another in the flesh , would like to find one today.
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  #37  
Old 09-24-2022, 1:37 PM
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Was it a Citori Superlight Feather?

Although these had 26" barrels.

Citori Superlight Feather.jpg

https://www.browning.com/products/fi...t-feather.html
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  #38  
Old 09-25-2022, 7:57 AM
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That looks like the bugger! Except I’m almost positive the barrels were 24” . I remember putting my Benelli Montifeltro up next to it and it was much shorter than my 26” tube.
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Old 09-25-2022, 8:53 AM
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I have a Browning Citori Feather Combo.. 20ga and 28ga with 27 inch barrels.. Nice and light to carry around hunting but I don’t know the weight.. It took about 500rds for the action to break in and open up fairly easily.. Sporting clays made that easy and got me used to the guns shorter barrels..
I think I actually hunt doves and quail more often with my Rem 1100 in 410.. I gave up the 12ga for upland,, prefer lighter kicking and carrying guns..
Cheers…
Edit… Just looked up the weight,, 6lbs 3oz.. In discontinued section at browning.com ..

Last edited by stevec223; 09-25-2022 at 9:58 AM..
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  #40  
Old 09-25-2022, 9:17 AM
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I just picked up a CZ bobwhite g2 last night. It’s about 6lbs in 20 gauge and is a side by side. I like the old school look of it. We’ll see how it runs. Got it from buds guns with an extra 30$ lifetime warranty just in case it’s a dog but I hear good reviews.
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