Earlier in this series of posts we looked at the single shot, external hammer, hinged or break open shotgun. This is a simple, safe, and reliable design. Now we’ll review another type of hinged shotgun, the double barreled guns.
Double barreled shotguns take two forms; side by side (SxS) shotguns and over-under (OU) shotguns. Side by side guns have their barrels in the same horizontal plane, while the over-under gun’s barrels are stacked or in the same vertical plane. The construction of both styles is similar. Each has a receiver/butt stock unit that contains the locking and fire control mechanisms and a second unit, the monobloc that connects and aligns the barrels with the receiver. The forearm completes the connection.
The receivers on double guns are about half of the length of a pump or autoloader. This decreases weight and usually results in a well-balanced, extremely pointable, and smooth swinging shotgun. This is why OUs are the guns of choice for large majority of target shooters. Double guns with a selectable trigger or two triggers give the shooter the choice of two chokes and the ability to pick the best constriction for a close up target or a shot at longer distance.
There are an almost infinite number of configurations for double guns. They can cost as little as a few hundred dollars or range into the hundreds of thousands. The guns can have simple blued or parkerized finishes; or they may be works or art with very fine engraving and gold adornments that take hundreds, even thousands of hours to create. Stocks made from plain birch and progressing to extremely expensive exotic hardwoods from all over the globe are some of the choices available to shooters.
Over the next few posts we’ll look at the design and uses of the double barrel shotgun. I hope you enjoy the journey. If you have questions or comments, just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe and good shooting.