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  #1  
Old 11-27-2023, 11:06 PM
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Default The relationship between over-unders and suits

I have long dreamed of getting a nice over/under shotgun. By long, I mean going on a quarter century or so now. For most of that time ?nice? meant something with a wood stock and engraving, say a Beretta 686 or Browning Citori or the like. However, now that I have entered a point in my life where I can finally acquire one of these beauts, I have realized two things:

1) My previous definition of ?nice? is only entry level. To get something really pretty I?ll need at least 8K, more like 10 or 12 and on up the cost of a new Porsche. For the time being (and until I can convince my wife otherwise) I am going to trick myself into believing that a 2K-3K Beretta or Browning is plenty nice.

2) Expecting a shotgun to fit off the rack is precisely like expecting a new suit to fit off the rack? it just does not happen.

Given the anticipation of finally fulfilling a years-long dream, I have been watching far too many YouTube videos and reading far too many articles about over/unders. From what I gather, fit is paramount. Well, I have tried on every over/under in a 70 mile radius of my house and none of them fit. Just like trying to buy a suit off the rack, the Brownings are either too heavy for my purposes or the length of pull is too short or they don?t have the requisite engraving to qualify as ?nice? in my book. The Berettas (and, admittedly, I really want a Silver Pigeon) don?t have enough cast to them for my eye to naturally look straight down the barrel. And getting one with an adjustable stock is beyond unicorn level from what I can tell.

So, it?s looking like I will have to buy one and then alter it to some degree or another. Hopefully it will fit well enough to get a couple points higher on the clays than I currently get with my 870. Or, at least, it will look good on the range and in my safe.

After that, it?s on to the next dream? traveling to London and getting a gun custom fitted, but I?m pretty sure that?s going to cost me more than a suit.

Last edited by BB1776; 11-27-2023 at 11:20 PM.. Reason: Too many question marks
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2023, 8:25 AM
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It looks like you’re in NorCal but don’t specify. Have you tried Coyote Valley Sporting Clays in Morgan Hill? It’s been a while since I’ve been there but they had a vast selection of shotguns to try. Might be worth it if you haven’t all ready tried them out. I bought my Browning from there years ago and remember them being quite helpful.

https://www.coyoteclays.com/
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2023, 8:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB1776 View Post
...Expecting a shotgun to fit off the rack is precisely like expecting a new suit to fit off the rack? it just does not happen...
For the vast majority of people, one or the other will fit off the rack, or will be easily made to fit by adding a different length recoil pad (and/or spacers).

Some may have to choose between a Browning or a Beretta for what feels best.

Others may be ok with the fit of Browning and Beretta.

If they didn't work for most people, Beretta and Browning wouldn't be making many O/U shotguns.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BB1776 View Post
...After that, it?s on to the next dream? traveling to London and getting a gun custom fitted...
There are plenty of places in the USA to get a proper gun fit.

Here's one (read the custom fitting section) :https://wenig.com/products-services/

Here's another: https://colegun.com/cole-customs/

I'm sure you can use google to find more....
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2023, 9:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBGBA View Post
For the vast majority of people, one or the other will fit off the rack, or will be easily made to fit by adding a different length recoil pad (and/or spacers).

Some may have to choose between a Browning or a Beretta for what feels best.

Others may be ok with the fit of Browning and Beretta.

If they didn't work for most people, Beretta and Browning wouldn't be making many O/U shotguns.




There are plenty of places in the USA to get a proper gun fit.

Here's one (read the custom fitting section) :https://wenig.com/products-services/

Here's another: https://colegun.com/cole-customs/

I'm sure you can use google to find more....
I agree. Some can shoot one B and not the other. I shoot both about the same. Adding an adjustable butt piece satisfies many others and it's not a king's ransom to add. Nor is an adjustable comb. All in is maybe $500. An avid clay shooter will eat more than that in ammo in short order.

I do find the Citori 12g's to be a bit blocky. The 20g is quite svelte.

OP might try finding a lightly used Beretta 682 as they had a bit of cast and palm swell. They're on the heavy side (like any actual target gun), but the balance helps them not feel too heavy. Personally I find the Silver Pigeon a bit cheesy with the embossed "engraving".
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2023, 9:29 AM
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For one of my shotguns I went with the gracoil system, allows me to adjust LOP and has an adjustable cheek piece. Was fairly reasonable, company had it back to me fairly quickly. Recoil reduction is a bonus. I shoot lefty, so finding something off the rack is basically impossible without going to a specialty dealer.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2023, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAS View Post
It looks like you?re in NorCal but don?t specify. Have you tried Coyote Valley Sporting Clays in Morgan Hill? It?s been a while since I?ve been there but they had a vast selection of shotguns to try. Might be worth it if you haven?t all ready tried them out. I bought my Browning from there years ago and remember them being quite helpful.

https://www.coyoteclays.com/
Was there last week. Rented, cause I am thinking I want to buy one, an A400. Damn nice shooter that fits me well.

They have a good selection to rent, not as many as they used to.

I have found only two off the shelf perfect fits. The one I own and that A400 They are out there OP, just gotta go out and shoulder as many as you can.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2023, 5:34 PM
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I must be either 'Mr. Average Guy" or extremely lucky cuz every shotgun I pick up fits me perfectly.

I like Browning's best.

I'm shooting my MonkeyBerg tomorrow at a 3 gun in Santa Barbara and I was playing with it, and was not surprised how easily it comes to point and how the Open Sights just seem to line up perfectly as it's mounted.



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Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 12-02-2023 at 5:36 PM..
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2023, 3:00 PM
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BB1776, I?m with you. I was the same way. I was shocked to learn and be educated of the fact that the Citories and Silver Pigeons are considered “entry level” O/U’s for the “sophisticated” shotgun aristocrats (snobs ) out there. (Joking).

I totally agree, that the Citoris are too heavy for hunting. However their added weight is what the sporting clay/trap/skeet folks apparently prefer. I’m a hunter, not really a range dude. I want light weight and fast swinging, shortest possible barrel length boomers for upland game birds.

I wanted something a tad nicer than a 686, so I got the 687 which has upgraded wood and slightly deeper engraving. It looks nice. Plus, anything more expensive and I wouldn’t want to take it out in the harsh fields of Arizona, Texas nor Louisiana where I hunt every year.

I love the 687 so much, that I bought two more as retirement gifts to myself, giving me three different calibers for such a nice light weight gun for fast wing shooting.

Check out the 687. It’s the same and proven bullet-proof lock-up as the 686, but with a finer grade finish.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2023, 9:01 AM
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As a follow up to post 6, the Shotgun Stage had 25 shots. I cleaned the stage which started with 2 poppers holding swingers up. Then 17 Clays at ranges from 7 to 20 yards and finally 4 18x24 steels at 20-25 yards with teh last one having a 3" hole in the center that I shot with a Slug thru the hole for a bonus of 30 "Cool Points!". In 2 min 9 seconds.
I only had 6 rounds on board to start with and I "Port Loaded" the rest of the rounds, and the guy timing me got a close up lesson on Port Loading that he hadn't seen before.

There is always several "Gamers" there" and two of them beat me by 30 seconds, and one by 10 seconds as they were "Quad Loading" and only had to Reload their guns once due to the 15 round mag tubes.

My gun was by far the Fastest Pump Gun there by a wide margin and and I even beat some of the Berettas with 2 foot long mags on. But I was pretty happy with 4th place out of 15 shooters when everybody that beat me used a Semi Auto and was Half my Age!

I shot the Mini 14 as well and only missed 2 8" targets at 150+ yards.

I had a good day at the shoot!!!

Randy
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2023, 11:51 AM
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This is not necessarily addressed to the OP but

I think there is far too much time spent saying "fit is everything". I have to say in my experience "instructors" and people spend far more time on saying a gun does or does not fit and not nearly enough time with their technique. So many new shooters have completely inconsistent or outright poor gun mounts and then are quick to say the gun does not fit them. If a shooter does not attempt to place their cheek on a stock or they mount the gun on the their outer bicep, it would not be fair to say the gun does not fit. Gun "fit" is not everything, it is part of the picture, gun mount and technique are a far greater part of the equation than the stock dimensions.

The Beretta may absolutely not fit you but I think it would be fair to suggest having someone qualified to look at your gun-mount and evaluate both the stock dimensions of the gun you're looking at and how you're mounting the gun.

If someone was being tailored for a suit, they wouldn't stand on one leg and scratch their head while they were being measured. Again, not suggesting there is anything wrong with your gun mount but if someone is evaluating your fit, hopefully they're looking at the whole picture. I've had countless clients say guns don't fit, had instructors tell them their gun doesn't fit but a small adjustment in their gun mount completely solved their issues. There is a reason most gun manufacturers make their stocks the way they do, they are very thought out and they spend a lot of time on them, most off the shelf guns do fit most people very well.

Make the trip down here, we can always help!
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2023, 12:58 PM
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Have you looked at rissini?
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Old 12-04-2023, 1:02 PM
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Auto correct

Rizzini


https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search...izzini&Sort=13
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Old 12-04-2023, 1:04 PM
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https://www.gunbroker.com/item/1021839586

Nice field grades for $2k
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Old 12-04-2023, 5:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
rds.
I love the 687 so much, that I bought two more as retirement gifts to myself, giving me three different calibers for such a nice light weight gun for fast wing shooting.
Check out the 687. It?s the same and proven bullet-proof lock-up as the 686, but with a finer grade finish.
I like the way you think. Life is too short to shoot an ugly gun.
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Old 12-04-2023, 10:24 PM
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OP just fly to dallas,go to the Beretta store and the nice folks there will measure you for a custom fitted gun and ship it to CA.
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Old 12-05-2023, 6:09 AM
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Pacific Sporting Arms in Azusa.

That’s where I bought my CG and they were very helpful.
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Old 12-05-2023, 8:51 AM
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I shoot a Browning Cynergy Hybrid 12ga. It?s very nice looking and shoots well. All in about $2,000.


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Old 12-05-2023, 9:51 AM
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When I picked up my Perazzi MX12 a few years ago, I took it to Perazzi USA to have it evaluated, serviced and repaired. While talking to AL, the President of Perazzi USA, I discovered that they will make a custom fit gun for the same price as off the rack yet, with a +2 year lead time, most people choose to buy off the rack. No, I'm not in a position to buy a Perazzi but, I got this beet up gunsmith special at auction for less than a brand new decent, non Turkish, entry level O/U.
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Old 12-05-2023, 10:46 AM
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Jordan: Thanks for chiming in. It is good to hear from someone who actually knows what he is talking about on this subject. And since I know you've been at PSA for many years? ( 20+?) I'm sure this question has come up thousands of times? How did you ever handle it?

I find it amusing that virtually every gun I pick up "Fits Me???" And I can adapt to it in a matter of a minute or so.

In fact the only shotgun that I have ever mounted that didn't fit me belonged to a guy who was 6'8" tall and the gun had a 16"LOP. It was a Perazzi made for him and I believe he bought it thru you guys at PSA about 20 years ago.

I do have the advantage of 34 Shooting Classes at Front Sight so I've had Gun Mounting down pat for many years. They teach you about proper gun mount in the first half hour of every Rifle and Shotgun class. They also teach you how to find your "Shoulder Pocket" by Sticking your thumb out and folding your arm back towards your shoulder until your thumb contacts your shoulder in the meaty area between your collar bone and shoulder joint.

Just being able to find the Shoulder Pocket on your body is something most shooters have never been taught.

With Tactical Shotgun's (Pumps and SA's) which are generally much lighter than O/U's, Failure to get the Toe of the Stock into the Shoulder Pocket, and your Head firmly on the Comb of the Stock will result in getting smacked in the chops every time you pull the trigger. Been there and done that too. That took 2 Tac Shotgun classes to beat into me, and I had the bruises to show for it. By Class #3 it had sank in and I came home unscathed..

Before any of that, I had one of my 1st M500 Tac Gun mounted with the Butt Pad inside the Pocket on my Collarbone while laying behind a Hay Bail, and when I touched off a High Base Slug It resulted in a dislocated a Rib which took 3 trips to my Chiropractor to get fixed.

That's when I started loading my own Slugs into regular Trap Loads to reduce the recoil down to a very manageable level ! But after a few of those Tactical Shotgun Classes I learned that Recoil Management is more about Shooting Technique than anything else. I can fire a few "Serious Slugs," and not get hurt by simply mounting the gun correctly, keeping my head on the gun. Gun Set up helps but it is not the end all. Technique is supreme!

My other pet peeve is Blaming the Bad Trigger on their guns for poor shooting.

I have a bunch of guns and the triggers are different on every single one. They range from 3 different Glocks to 15-20 different rifles to a dozen shotguns ranging from My new Citori CXS I bought from you last year, to a 1940 Ithaca M37 to 4 different M500's to 2 A5's, and NO two are alike, so how can I shoot above Mid Pack with every one.

I takes me less than 2 minutes to learn any trigger by dry firing it a few times before I shoot. I have 2 #4 Mk1 Enfield's which have arguably the worst Triggers ever made since Crossbows, and yet I shot my best Short Range Silhouette Score of 32/40 with one of those guns. The triggers on both of those guns are above 6 lbs, and there is at least 1/8" of Creep as well, and yet I learned how to use them effectively? How can that be?

I got taught how to learn a trigger by being taught the different stages of a trigger pull. It ain't that hard! Take Up, Preload, Let Off, and Over Travel.

But all of it comes down to what Jordan was saying in his post. Concentrate on your Technique!! You will find the need for gun mods to be much less if you concentrate on that instead of gun fit and triggers.

My .02

Randy.
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Old 12-08-2023, 1:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFortie View Post
Pacific Sporting Arms in Azusa.

That?s where I bought my CG and they were very helpful.
Yup, same here! That place is a museum! No need to fly out to Beretta in Dallas in you live here in Cali. It?s closer.
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Old 01-20-2024, 10:29 PM
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Update—

I’m still learning more everyday, which is one of the reasons Calguns is so great. Thanks for all the input, everyone.

I ended up ordering an SP1 with an adjustable comb and I could not be happier. Someday I will one with fancier wood but, for the time being, the wood on my new gun is a lot better than other SP1s I’ve seen.

Next time I am in SoCal I will be sure to visit Pacific Sporting arms!
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Old 01-21-2024, 8:19 AM
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You can always upgrade just the wood.

That's what I did. Here's where I got mine.

https://www.shop.colegun.com/collect...12ga-wood-sets

Stock Right Reduced small.jpg

Stock Left Reduced small.jpg

englishstock full.jpg
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Old 01-21-2024, 10:03 PM
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Beautiful!
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Old 01-23-2024, 8:55 AM
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Assuming the individual gun isn't way out of whack for you, then you have to get used to it.

Shotgun shooting is about muscle memory. Get your form down with a particular gun, and then shoot it a lot. One of the worst things you can do is chase basic issues with equipment changes - it just leads to frustration.
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Old 01-23-2024, 5:11 PM
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Here are some good instructional videos.





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