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Joined: Dec 2001
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Sidelock
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Let's assume we have a game gun type shotgun, maybe a 6 1/2 pound 12 gauge SxS with good steel and well-fitted parts. You're shooting mild 7/8 oz. loads at clay targets along with reasonable hunting loads while hunting.

How much shooting can it take? Can you get 2,000 off-season rounds without feeling like you're going to shoot it to pieces?


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Given that the gun is well built and in like new condition when the 2,000 rounds per season begins, yes, IMO. The big question is, how much stress has a particular gun undergone before it came into your hands? Hard to know. My BSS would not be considered a "game gun", I don't think, because it is thought to be built stronger than an average game gun, and heavier. However, I have shot one off face shooting clays and ducks. Granted, most of those duck loads were 1 1/4 oz. medium velocity loads. And, I don't know how many rounds had been put through it before it came to me but, the lever was right of center when I got it. I shimmed it .003" a few years ago and it shoots on without any problem. Comparatively, seven-eighths ounce loads, of moderate velocity, should run a long, long time in most any good 12 ga. gun.

SRH


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Originally Posted By: Dave Erickson
Let's assume we have a game gun type shotgun, maybe a 6 1/2 pound 12 gauge SxS with good steel and well-fitted parts. You're shooting mild 7/8 oz. loads at clay targets along with reasonable hunting loads while hunting.

How much shooting can it take? Can you get 2,000 off-season rounds without feeling like you're going to shoot it to pieces?



You mean, wearing it out?

I’m thinking guys that are our age, using the parameters you laid out, would have a hard time pulling that off, Dave.

God bless you for trying.

Best,
Ted

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Ted, I guess I'm cowering a little after a Beretta 409 just about bankrupted me with repairs including a lifted lower rib. I suspect the guy before me shot the hell out of it with factory loads.

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You won't shoot it to pieces, Dave.

These things grind themselves loose rather than shooting loose.

Best thing you can do is keep the lugs and bolts and hinge pin free of abrasive grit and use fresh grease for each outing.

Needless to say, a snap action gun should be closed with just enough force to fully engage the locking mechanism.

I acquired a 1901 made Parker 1 1/2 frame about 7 years ago that has seen perhaps 5,000 7/8 oz. loads since I've owned it with no change in condition whatever and I expect it to stay serviceable for the rest of my life. I do keep it clean and treat it with the respect it deserves.

Not to worry. They are made to shoot.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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I'd opine that rib problems are usually the result of corrosion.


"The price of good shotgunnery is constant practice" - Fred Kimble
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I have been giving this question a lot of thought. I have been shooting 4 to 8 rounds of skeet a week between hunting season. My guns are basically game guns: 5-14 CSMC 20 gauge fox, 6-4 BSS sidelock 20, 6-10 Webley & Scott 12, and a 7-3 Parker Repro Steel Shot special. I do almost exclusively use 3/4 ounce loads of less than 1200 fps. I also use the Repro and Browning the most since they are a little heavier. Actually the Repro is fairly well suited for skeet shooting I think.
I like my bird guns and hate to think I am using them up on recreational clays. But part of my logic of clay shooting is to become a better wing shot, so I like using my hunting guns.
I have formed friendships at the gun range so I want to keep going. I have thought about getting some heavier guns such as a Parker on a 2 frame or maybe Winchester 21 (hard to find with double triggers). I have even considered looking at OU such as Merkels or older Berettas with double triggers.
I would like to stay with side by sides, but the big question in my mind is will they hold up. May be buy more guns to put in the rotation, lessening the strain on each. I like that idea.

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Dave,
Sorry to hear about that trouble. You hate to be the guy that gets a bad one. But, I’d bet you would have a hard time finding another Beretta that did the same thing. I know there are guys here who believe Winchester 21s are tough, or durable, or, whatever, but, I’ve seen or handled at least a dozen that had loose ribs or loops or both. I think if you want to avoid the problems that come with old guns, you might want to avoid old guns.
The Japanese Double you came into seems like a good start down that road.

Hey, best of luck.

Best,
Ted

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The question is rather difficult to truly answer. I think first of all the gun has to have a head start in quality of manufacture plus be of a design that lends its self to reliability and above all regular maintenance. So that does narrow things down a lot, I will put forward two guns one that has "walked the walk and talked the talk" and another that I feel with a little luck on its side will do the same, though each of the guns are a world apart in every way.



This gun has all the right things in its favor, firstly it is a true side lock with digitally operated hammers so no complicated cocking leavers and other add on parts to cause problems. It is built from the finest materials available the 1860's could offer and built by a top maker, but above all it has been carefully looked after and serviced though there was one bad patch in its life that nearly put pay to it pertinently. The gun has been in continuous use give or take the time for a restoration, plus there is enough metal left in the bores British Proof to do at least another two life times of the lucky owners without the need for a re proof. It is hard to calculate the number of cartridges it has been fed over its lifetime but I think that it must be pushing close to the million.



The other is a 1050's Baikal, The build quality is far from the best though the material quality especially the barrel steel is of the highest quality. It is a Box Lock with twin trigger so no complications there in fact very simple design altogether, one small down side coil main springs though showing no signs of weakening so far. If this gun is given the same attention of care as the first gun there is no good reason why it should not live and work and have the same cartridge count as the first, well it has done the first fifty years with no problems so far.

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Originally Posted By: damascus

it is a true side lock with digitally operated hammers


It's barely after 5 a.m., coffee is still not ready but I immediately went to this post with a foggier than usual set of eyes and brain. When I saw the word "digitally" I first wondered "why?", "what for?" and "how?" he put a chip inside that old beauty? Wonderful looking gun and excellent stewardship of a true analog of a shotgun. smile Gil

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