Shopping for Shotgun Tips from Colonel Smoothebore
By Kelsey

Posted: February 24, 2013


ou1There are an immense number of over/under break action shotguns available to shooters. Hunters, clay target competitors, plinkers, and collectors can fill just about any want or need that they have.


Most hunters choose either a 12 or 20 gauge O/U with 26 or 28 inch barrels being the most common length. The 12 gauges guns usually weigh between 7 and 8 pounds, although some manufacturers build guns with alloy receivers that lower the weight about 1 to 1 ½ pounds. 20 gauge guns are usually built on a smaller frame and on average weigh 6 to 7 pounds. Hunters can also find O/Us in 16 and 28 gauge, as well as 410 bore. There are some really nice 5 pound small bore guns available that make for terrific upland bird guns. They are a real treat to carry on steep Montana slopes.


One can find inexpensive field guns starting around $ 500.00. These are quite plain, with dull stocks, no engraving, and quite likely lack ejectors. I have limited experience with these guns, but if one uses them for hunting and limited target practice, they provide yeoman’s service. However, I have seen very few that hold up well to the thousands of rounds fired by competitive shooters. Very reliable, good looking, and long lasting O/U s can be had for $ 1200.00 to $2000.00. These are the kinds of guns that last a shooter’s lifetime and become heirlooms.


There really is no limit to the amount one might spend on hunting over/under shotguns. Only the shooter’s desires and budget is the determining factor. One can have special engraving, high grade wood, special barrel lengths, and custom fit stocks. The world of over/unders is truly limitless.

If you want an O/U, do your research. Talk to shooters who own them, check out the gun magazines and websites, and try to shoot several before you buy. An over/under shotgun that fits you well, will bring a lifetime of fun shotgunning.



Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore