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Shotguns

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Ghostface Charlie:
Howdy Folks,
After a year of buying, trading up, trading down, scrimping & saving, I just need a shotgun to complete my SASS "arsenal". I'm physically lightweight, and am hoping that a 20 ga. will do the trick. My local gun shop (who have been very good to me) has 3 coach gun prospects: a new 20 ga. Biakal for $299, a used 12 ga Biakal for $249 and a used "Pride Of Spain" 20 ga for $299. I'm not familiar with either of these brands, and a quick web-search gave poor reviews on Pride Of Spain firearms in general. My budget is around $250-300, and my question...can anyone tell me more about these shotguns, and my thinking of going 20 ga instead of 12 ga for SASS shooting. Any & all knowledgeable advice is welcome. Sincere thanks in advance for your help!
GFC

Also: I just received ownership of my Grandfather's 12 ga single shot. It's from the 1920's, and US made, with no ejectors. Would a single barrel gun be a true disadvantage?   

Sir Charles deMouton-Black:
I feel that an ideal shotgun load for most purposes is about an ounce of shot over a load giving around 1200 fps.  This is a perfect 16 gauge load.  BUT; try to find ammo or components! I have some sixteens, and I know how hard it is!

Many 20 gauges are loaded these days with that same 16 ga. load, but so are 12 gauges.  With the availability of 12 ga. discount ammo & universaly available components the twelve will end up the cheapest to feed,  A bit of extra gun weight is no matter and it might soak up a bit of recoil.

Each to his own, but if the twelve feels right, I'd consider it.

Bow View Haymaker:
My experience has been that a 12 gauge using Winchesters Low noise/low recoil load has less felt recoil than a 20 gauge.  Plus other 12 gauge ammo is available  if needed.  And ,yes you single barrel 12 gauge will work if you want to use it, but you will probably be bombarded with offers shotguns to use. 

Professor Marvel:
Greetings My Good Charlie -

I have foiund tha tthe Baikal shotguns are very stout, and built like tanks. It is unlikely that you would ever wear one out, and
several places can gets parts - http://www.eaacorp.com/ is one.

here is a little article from shooting times on a baikal O/U:

http://www.shootingtimes.co.uk/guns/197256/Baikal_12bore_shotgun_test.html
"Neat workmanship
You do not buy a Baikal for fancy stockwork but for the quality of the steel parts. The Russians have for many years been excellent metallurgists.

It is worth remembering the factory which now makes Baikal shotguns once produced military firearms that were among the toughest in the world"

I would definitely choose a Baikal over the "pride of Spain" .....   :-X

However I would also go with the 12 ga instead of the 20 ga. You can get cheap factory "light trap" loads at Walmart that will not really bruise you. I get the 1 1/8 oz #7 1/2  and those work perfectly for me at CAS ranges as well as trap (also for close bunnies and land birds) and I really don't notice the recoil. I am told it's a "3 dram load" and kicks the same or less than the equivalent "3 dram load" out of a lighter 20 gauge. If the Baikal does not already have one, you can easily add a soft recoil pad and cover it with a leather butt-cover if the sight of rubber offends you :-)  

You may also find in the future that the 12 ga is a tad more "versatile" with loads available from bruisingly heavy slug, to reduced recoil poofy-light 3/4 oz or even 5/8 oz  loads!

as always, ymmv

good luck, have fun.
yhs
prof marvel

Tornado:
To a fellow newbie,

I can say that the single barrel will work but it is very slow,  I shot my first match with my dad's old 20ga Ithica single.   I  was slow but had a blast!

I almost bought a Baikal for all the reasons already stated, it is a good gun for the money,  but I got a 26" hammered Rossi for the cool factor and for future use in Classic Cowboy catagory.

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