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Shotgun action types and their relative costs

Posted on March 13, 2012 by admin Posted in Old Coach’s Corner

Break open action, single shot, exposed hammer, light weight. Shotguns of this general description are often considered entry-level guns and are quite often found in the hands of young and beginning shooters. These guns are rather inexpensive but are reliable and occupy a useful niche in the gun buying market. They can often be found for as little as $125.00.

Slide action shotguns, often called pump guns are available with price tags varying from $400 all the way to several thousands for those very high quality and expensively engraved models. However, for those of us without deep pockets, pump guns toward the lower end of the price range will be found to be very satisfactory. They are repeating shotguns and probably have interchangeable choke tubes, which makes them useful for hunting and sporting clays as well as for skeet and trap shooting. Safe, easy to load, and reliable the slide action shotgun is popular and serves quite well for a very large percentage of the shooting public.

Auto Loaders – often mistakenly called automatics, are repeating shotguns preferred by a large number of shooters for several reasons. First of all, the gas operated models produce considerably less felt recoil. To most of us that’s a very nice feature. Furthermore autoloaders offer very fast second shots- making them desirable as hunting guns, skeet guns, and sporting clays guns. Safe and very reliable if kept clean, autoloaders can be found both new and used for around five hundred dollars for the less expensive models. Of course the prices can go considerably higher depending on the manufacturer and the model.

Side by side double barreled shotguns, while seen less frequently than other action types, are favored by many shooters- especially upland bird hunters. Most, especially some of the older guns, are of high quality and are much sought after. Prices will vary from a few hundred dollars to many many thousands. While not seen as especially effective target guns because of their wide sighting- two barrel arrangement this action type was the main-stay of shotgun production in the United States many decades ago.

Over/Under shotguns are the big sellers today. Manufactured by practically every gun maker on the planet this action type is extremely popular. It is highly regarded as a target gun for trap shooting, skeet shooting, and sporting clays. And of course it is used in the field as an upland bird gun as well. The two-barrel configuration and two trigger mechanism make it rather expensive to manufacture and prices will vary considerably depending on brand and model. Except to pay about a thousand dollars or perhaps a little more for a good quality used over/under. New o/u guns of high quality are can be found in the $2000-$3000 price range. Many o/u guns are sold for considerably more.

The choice is yours but remember to become familiar with your gun and always keep the action open at the shooting range.

~ Safety is a shared responsibility ~