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I'm hoping to get a new shotgun this summer and am hoping to get into a nice over/under, primarily for pheasant/club hunts and the occasional sporting clays course. I have my eye on a few models but would really like to shoot some of them before investing in one. So my question to all of you is two fold:

1- What is your o/u of choice?

2- Is there any good place/method to test out some of these guns before buying them? Preferably with clays...

PS I already have a dedicated waterfowl and beater pump (aka chukar) gun, so no need for a 3-shot gun.

Any info would be greatly appreciated...
 

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I do. Anything up to $2500. Hoping to have it be a family heirloom... (first child is on the way)
 

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I was going to say the Stoeger Condor O/U but it's only $500. Not sure it's heirloom quality but it'll certainly last long enough to be handed down. Mine has been all over quail hunting and never given me an ounce of trouble. Love it. It's not as pretty as some of the other O/U but I would never take a nice gun upland hunting. They get beat up too easily.
 

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See if you can find a Ruger Red Label shotgun. I have one of the old ones in 20 ga and love it. They also made it in 12ga. Rumor has it that they are going to be made again but one of the older used ones should be quite nice.
 

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They are making the Red Label again and they are much improved over the older model. That would be an excellent choice as well and under your budget.
 

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Browning Citori or Beretta silver pigeon. Look at a light 20 gauge. These are the two best guns in your price range. Make sure to take the time to shoulder them for fit and feel or better yet with the 500 you have left over at there price point have them fitted.
 

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It's way under your price point, but have you considered a Maverick over/under?

Here's the thing. They have, shall we say, a mixed reputation. I bought four of them. Three were good. One had a manufacturing defect. Mossberg took care of it with a replacement unit, but it took them about ten months.

They are utilitarian shotguns: extractors (no ejectors), black synthetic stock, screw in chokes. The actions are stiff at first, but get better as they wear in.

Actually, I like the gun.Other than the manufacturing defect on one unit I mentioned concerning one of the guns, they have worked fine.

They sell for around $400, plus or minus.
 

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If I had that kind of cash for a gun, I would get a Beretta Silver Pigeon I, II, or III in a 20ga with 28" barrels that would be perfect for pheasants and trap. If I wanted it more for doves, I take 26" barrels. The fit, finish, weight, and balance of that gun will blow away many of the other guns mentioned. Try as many out as you can and go with the one that fits you the best.

I don't know of anywhere you can rent them, but Cabelas or Scheels have a lot of the models mentioned you could compare. One way I will check fit is mount the gun a bunch and then closer your eyes and mount the gun and open your eyes. You will want to see the full bead and no rib. Repeat this a bunch of times. Another idea is to pick a target on the wall at about 30 yards and pull onto the target and then close your non dominant eye, again, you should see a full bead and no rib.

For a $2500 budget, you would have enough left over to get a professional fit which could include stock bending, adjustable comb, and stock. The other options is to go with a higher end gun like a Caesar Guerini that had adjustable comb and stock already.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lots of great feedback and advice here. Yesterday I made some rounds and held some of the guns you've mentioned. I'm pretty sure it'll be between the Beretta Silver Pigeon and Browning Citori 725 field models with 28" barrels. I'd still really like to find a place I could shoot them before dropping that kind of coin though...
 

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I vote for a Browning Citori! I absolutely love mine (white lightning)and had I the cash I'd buy my son one as well.
 

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I sure like my Citori. But a Cesar Guerini would be the bee's knees. You can go hold lots of em at Scheels to see what feels best in your hands.
 

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Without getting way too pricey the Beretta Silver Pigeon is where you wanna be IMHO. Of course you may want to hold off just a little bit and start saving some scratch. Benneli is putting out a super sweet O/U. Should be coming out pretty soon I hear. scheels really does have a nice selection to get your hands on and they can tell you a good bit about the Benneli. I don't however know of anywhere that will let you shoot the guns first. The Citori is also a great gun. I have several friends that shoot them and they all love them. For me however Browning shotguns are way, way to dang heavy to be toting around all day. I would also recommend looking at some of the guns from CZ. They make some nice guns that are pretty affordable. In the end it's gonna be all about how the gun feels to you. Your always gonna shoot better when your comfortable swinging your gun.
 

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I have a Citori made by Browning and it is a beautiful gun. Shoots really well too and I've never had problems with it. (would make for a nice family heirloom too)
 
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