In the last couple of weeks we have been studying double barrel side by side shotguns. Now let’s look at the SxS’ sibling, the over-under (O/U) double barrel shotgun.
Like the SxS, the O/U uses both the sidelock and the boxlock designs that we recently covered; the difference is the barrel arrangement. The barrels of an O/U are aligned vertically rather than horizontally. Thus O/Us are often referred to as “stack barrels.” Over/under guns took over the double barrel market in the US after John M. Browning (there’s that genius guy again) perfected the design in the 1930s with his “Superpose” design. This boxlock design brought the O/U to the forefront of double barrel shotgun sales. Browning still markets the Superpose; it is a custom gun that is manufactured in Belgium. The very same design is a production gun made in Japan by Miroku and marketed by Browning as the Citori model O/U.
The boxlock O/U is the most common and most popular double gun in not only the US, but also around the globe. The O/U has a single sighting plane, the option of different choke restrictions, single or double triggers, and can be had with or without ejectors. They are found in all gauges and barrel lengths, extremely lightweight field guns, and heavy target guns. In fact, the overwhelming majority of clay target sports competitors use some form of the over/under double gun. Beginning with next week’s post we’ll take a good look at the various styles of O/Us available to shooters.
Last weekend, I completed two NRA Pistol Instructor’s courses in Eugene Oregon. I’d like to thank Training Councilor Annette Miller for a great learning experience. The Smoothbore Shooting School will soon be adding handgun classes to our menu. Stay tuned at www.guncoach.net.
Be safe and good shooting.