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Thread: Please suggest an old double barrel in the $1K-$2K range.

  1. #1
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    Please suggest an old double barrel in the $1K-$2K range.

    Hi, all. A friend of mine wants to buy a double barrel shotgun for his next door neighbor as a thank you for helping him through a rough time. The target price range is between $1K and $2K. He wants it to be a "quality beautiful old shotgun." My friend doesn't have any preference on gauge or barrel length, O/U or S/S. The tough part is that the neighbor collects old shotguns. I don't have any knowledge of the neighbor's collection, so I'm really flying blind here. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've spent some time looking at Gunbroker, but since my shotgun expertise is limited to Remington 870s, I don't really know what would be a good choice. If I had to provide a recommendation this very moment, I'd suggest making an offer for $2K on this Beretta (https://www.gunbroker.com/item/975248587).

    If anyone who is more knowledgeable about old double barrels has a suggestion, I'd greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Caballoflaco's Avatar
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    Buying something for a collector who knows what he is interested in and likes can be very difficult for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. If we had an idea about what dude had in his collection we might be able to provide more advice. Somebody who likes Parker shotguns might consider LC Smith’s to be garbage.

    Also, anything sub 12 gauge is going to bring a premium, I believe in part because in the south amongst the rich and gentried, or those who pretend they are, it’s a social faux pax to quail hunt with anything bigger than a 20ga.

    I would say that Guns International will probably have a better selection of interesting ol shotguns than you would find on gunbroker.

    Here’s a link to American made shotguns on guns international

    https://www.gunsinternational.com/gu...c662_p1_o3.cfm

    Hopefully somebody way more knowledgeable than me can give you some better ideas.

    Eta: If he isn’t set on buying something really old 28 gauge is making a bit of a comeback and there are a couple of newer Berettas and Brownings on guns international in his price range.
    Last edited by Caballoflaco; 05-24-2023 at 11:37 PM.
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  3. #3
    STAFF Hambo's Avatar
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    @Caballoflaco is right. I started collecting mid-century working shotguns, meaning the stuff I saw people hunt with when I was a kid. You could make me happy with an 11-48 with a Poly-choke or a Western Auto (Revelation) Mossberg. Most people don't collect that kind of junk, and $2K for a good double is low. What about spending $1-2K a class, hunt, shooting match? There's at least one big vintage double shooting match (a friend goes to it) every year.
    "Gunfighting is a thinking man's game. So we might want to bring thinking back into it."-MDFA

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangloss View Post
    Hi, all. A friend of mine wants to buy a double barrel shotgun for his next door neighbor as a thank you for helping him through a rough time. The target price range is between $1K and $2K. He wants it to be a "quality beautiful old shotgun." My friend doesn't have any preference on gauge or barrel length, O/U or S/S. The tough part is that the neighbor collects old shotguns. I don't have any knowledge of the neighbor's collection, so I'm really flying blind here. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've spent some time looking at Gunbroker, but since my shotgun expertise is limited to Remington 870s, I don't really know what would be a good choice. If I had to provide a recommendation this very moment, I'd suggest making an offer for $2K on this Beretta (https://www.gunbroker.com/item/975248587).

    If anyone who is more knowledgeable about old double barrels has a suggestion, I'd greatly appreciate it.
    You run the risk of buying a shotgun that does not appeal to the recipient. Also, in this market paying too much for too little is another risk. Further, if the item is defective, repairing it will be expensive. My suggestion is letting this man select a really nice shotgun and then contributing $2000.

  5. #5
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    I'd start out looking for an Ithaca SKB albeit I'm not sure what they're bringing nowadays but hunch is they'd fall into your range. The ones we had in the late 60s and early 70s were very nice.
    “Remember, being healthy is basically just dying as slowly as possible,” Ricky Gervais

  6. #6
    The Miroku and SKB-built Japanese shotguns are a great value. They were imported under a variety of labels, including Charles Daly, Browning and others.

    In American SxS shotguns, a Fox Sterlingworth is a good choice. They were robust guns that generally have held up well, although if you want to really use them a good gunsmith should go through them first.

    If you are looking for a "beautiful" old shotgun, you are likely going to spend more than $2,000. A look at the online inventory at Champlin Arms will give you a good feel for where the market is.

  7. #7
    I'd give him a ratty old Crescent as a humorous novelty, not trying to anticipate his tastes on a limited budget.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  8. #8
    Stop and think about your own preferences in firearms. Do you know anyone in your circle of friends that would know what to get you for a gift that you would treasure for what it is, rather than just the thought.

    I would suggest some different way to show appreciation.

  9. #9
    Abducted by Aliens Borderland's Avatar
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    I've had a number of SxS's and O/U's. I collected British guns for awhile. I also had Beretta's, SKB's, Browning's and an L.C. Smith.

    I have no idea about prices these days as I don't keep up on doubles anymore. If a person collects those they usually have a preference for gauge, triggers, stocks, chokes on and on. It's a rabbit hole deeper than one can ever imagine. Gauge would be specific to the game birds as was mentioned, as would be chokes. Older guns had double triggers, newer ones single triggers with trigger selectors. Stocks could be straight or pistol grip. British guns were mostly straight and American guns mostly pistol grip. Chokes could be tubes that can be changed or fixed without tubes. Doubles have faded in popularity for hunting being replaced by auto loaders and pumps. O/U's are still popular for clays.

    These days it's difficult to find a gunsmith that can work on an old double but they're very sexy. Nothing more appealing to my eye than an old Fox. I preferred to hunt with a Beretta 426E though because they were just functionally better shotguns. I hunted with a Merkel 47E for awhile but found I preferred a pistol grip stock.

    Shooting clays is easier because almost everyone uses an O/U with tubes and a pistol grip stock. That's not my idea of an old classic shotgun however.

    Having gone down the rabbit hole again just thinking about it, I couldn't make a recommendation without knowing more about what this person collects. Hardly anyone wants the old American doubles anymore except collectors. They stopped producing those shortly before WW2. You might find a good deal there. Beretta's are exceptionally good shotguns if one actually wants to use it. Not much in the way of collectability though. More of a tool than anything else. I won't go into the German guns much. Just be aware that they've been around a long time and you might stumble across a nice one in your price range.
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  10. #10
    Gray Hobbyist Wondering Beard's Avatar
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    What about buying the man tools and equipment that would help him care for his collection?

    It would seem less likely to create disappointment.
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