Semi auto or break action shotgun?

Moonster man

New member
Just a whimsical Sunday morning question , when upland game hunting what do you prefer a semi auto or break action shotgun? The seconded part of the question then is why? , Is it balance and handling ? Is it that you shoot that shotgun better then any other in your collection? Is it (if its a semi auto) having the extra round 2 vs 3? Or maybe its sentimental ie...it was dad or grand dads gun passed down to you. I will chime in with my thoughts in a bit after or if this gets any response.
 

jmuller19

Active member
I prefer and automatic, extra ammo and just works well for me. I've got them all action wise but the auto is best for me.
 

Munster927

Well-known member
Auto for me. I have 5 shots available shooting 2.75" shells. And I have used all 5 shots on birds before and have gotten a bird on that final shot if I get into a big group. My dad uses an O/U and he's had a few times where he's standing there empty or trying to throw that 3rd shell in while I'm still going.

That said, aesthetically you can't beat the looks of an O/U.
 

Matt D

Well-known member
I have gone to pretty much all O/U for upland birds. Love the feel and also like having the option of two different choke's. There are times I would like that third shot but I also think knowing I only have 2 makes me concentrate a tick more to make a good first shot. When I did a semi auto I never had an issue with it not performing.
 

Kismet

UPH Guru
Old thread with one of my preferences.

 

Moonster man

New member
I for the most part use o/u shotguns , I will say though that caring my browning Twelvette in the early season when 1 oz of #5.5 shot will do the trick is very enjoyable , of course that gun and holding only 2 shots opens up a whole different can of worms..LOL
 

Munster927

Well-known member
There are times I would like that third shot but I also think knowing I only have 2 makes me concentrate a tick more to make a good first shot. When I did a semi auto I never had an issue with it not performing.
See with my auto I don't have to fight that bad habit haha I don't disagree with you though. For me, my bad habit of rushing a shot is covered up a bit with my auto. I couldn't tell you how many birds I've shot with my second shot.
 

dukxdog

Active member
I started pheasant hunting with a Remington 870 Special Field 12ga with a 21" barrel mod choke. It was very reliable and I killed lots of birds with it.

Then I got older and appreciated things more than just banging birds. I switched to Ithaca/SKB sxs 20ga shotguns. I enjoyed carrying these guns as they were light and quick. I didn't feel handicapped having two shots instead of three. SXS are classic field guns.

Then I decided to switch from single trigger guns to double trigger sxsides. It turned out to be an easy transition that added another level of skill that I enjoyed.

Now I use several old classic sxs bird guns (16ga and 12ga) ranging from 100 to 130 years old. Some have interesting histories which add to my enjoyment of carrying and shooting them in the field. All of these guns use 2 1/2" shells so I load my own low pressure ammo for them. That adds a dimension to my upland hunting.

P.S. I shoot Benelli autoloaders when the weather is raining or snowing so as not to abuse my nice old guns.
 

Wind River

Well-known member
SxS 20ga. Simple, I kill with it. Flush, boom and retrieve. Repeat two more times. Single trigger as my heavier gloves do not accommodate DT. As I get older the gloves are required for colder weather.
 

Lefty76

Well-known member
Shot a heavy over/under 12 gauge for most of my life. Picked up my first semi auto after last season ended. It is much lighter than my over/under. I've run several hundred rounds through it already without a single failure. I shoot it well (knock on wood!) and am looking forward to carrying it this season.
 

s.davis

Active member
I never had any love for semi-autos, and always kind of looked down on them compared to pumps, which seemed more fun, more rugged and more of an tool worthy of some respect. Semi autos always reminded me of electric filet knives, they just seem like an unnecessary and low-value intrusion of technology. In short, uncool. I’ve still got one in the safe, but I just never developed any feeling for it or any of the others I owned. Finally even my pumps got shelved for upland work, then sold. I got tired of looking for hulls and I leaving them behind. Kept a couple for duck hunting, but every year I wonder should I buy a Citori for the duck blind and only keep my turkey pump...
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Oh man, your life will change with an electric fillet knife. My dad, who is in his 60s, loves his electric fillet knife haha
They're life changing, especially if you've got a big mess of panfish.

As for my pheasant gun, I shoot an autoloader because a Browning Auto 5 is an autoloader. I love shooting it. It feels just right.
 

KansasGsp

Active member
Not sure I would clean fish without my electric (Bubba Knife)! Cleaned many without one but man, having one sure makes life easier. To answer the original question, I shoot an O/U 20 gauge Beretta. Love the way it feels in my hands, it's light weight and I shoot it well. The guys I hunt with shoot O/U's as well. There are a few times a year that I'm standing there empty looking at a bird or two in front of my face but it is what it is and I'm not sure I'll ever go back to a pump or semi.
 

91reddog

New member
I for the most part use o/u shotguns , I will say though that caring my browning Twelvette in the early season when 1 oz of #5.5 shot will do the trick is very enjoyable , of course that gun and holding only 2 shots opens up a whole different can of worms..LOL

I really like my Twelvette.....except for the safety location. That alone has cost me plenty of opportunities. I'll typically carry it a couple times a year. I grew up with a 1100 12 Guage with a modified bbl over black labs. Have morphed into a Beretta 686 20 Guage over GSPs Over the last t 15 or so years.
 
O/U or S/S goes so well with upland hunting. Break action is much easier to disarm when crossing obstacles (fences/streams/logs) or taking break/watering the dogs. It helps to keep things safer.

I would be very curious on the stats of upland birds taken with the 3rd shot of a semi/pump. I have a feeling the success rate is much lower on that. Hindsight always makes you wish you had the 3rd shot in a O/U, but if you miss two shots, the bird is almost always out of range. At least that was my experience when I started on a semi. It can be useful on multiple flushing birds, but reloading a break action is very quick for that honestly.
 

gimruis

Well-known member
I started off with a pump when I was a kid because it was all I could afford to buy. When I got older with a real job, I got rid of that fence post and upgraded to a Benelli. I'll never use anything else again.

It hasn't failed in almost 20 years. It doesn't rely on a gas-operated system, its inertia driven. I take good care of it.

I should mention that I only use 3 rounds in it because I don't like the added forward weight of the 2 extra shells in the magazine. I can recall a few times over the years when I used my first 2 rounds to dump a rooster, and then another rooster flushed and I needed that third shot to fold up the second rooster.
 
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