Over Under Shotguns
Article Posted: July 18, 2012
The following is a brief overview of the over-under shotgun, in addition to its practical uses into today's market.
The article details a brief history, types, and benefits of the over-under shotgun that helped it become a popular choice of firearm in America.
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Double Barrel Shotguns
Double barrel shotguns come in two forms, the side by side, and the over-under model. Double barrel shotguns originally came with two triggers that allowed for each barrel to be discharged when firing. As time passed the single selective trigger was introduced that allowed it to alternate between barrels when firing. The over-under shotgun is used for clay target sports, hunting waterfowl, in addition to trap and skeet shooting. Double barrel shotguns are made with a choke design that allows their shot groups to converge at a certain range. Settings can be changed so one barrel can either be closer or further away than the other one at the point of convergence. This allows for one barrel to be set-up so it can shoot at a closer range while the other can shoot further away. The most common type of over under shotgun is the break-open action that allows for opening movement of breach-loading to cock the shotgun at the same time.
History of O/U Shotguns
Experimentation on "needlefire" firearms dates back to the 1830's, where breech-loader shotgun designs by people such as Joseph Needham were widely used in Great Britain. Although information is unknown who made the first true hammerless shotgun; the first series of hammerless shotgun was introduced in Europe sometime in the early 19th century. When hammerless shotgun models started to be produced, the o/u design started to replace the side by side versions in America during the 1930's, after John M. Browning introduced the Browning Superpose to the market.
Types of O/U Shotguns
Over-Under shotguns are generally more of a style choice for people who are in the market to buy shotguns. The majority of o/u shotguns cost more than other types of shotguns, but they generally are crafted to have a sleek design. The design along with popularity of the o/u is the central reason it has a higher market price than other types of shotguns. The o/u shotgun can come in style choices such as hand-crafted walnut stocks, engraved details, and cosmetic designs.
Benefits of O/U Shotguns
The main reason why a lot of people use o/u shotguns is because of the reduced recoil they provide compared to other types of shotguns. Consistent accuracy has always been an issue with every type of shotgun; change any one aspect from the pellet size to the shell length and you get a different pattern each time. Shotguns based on the o/u format have been considered less accurate compared to other types of shotguns, but the distance shots have to travel makes it less of a concern than with other firearms such as rifles. The recoil on an over-under shotgun is less significant than on other types of shotgun models, and people who choose to shoot long term (skeet, trap, adding more pellet payload for bigger waterfowl) choose to use it due to the benefit of the two different recoils each barrel gives a shooter. Weight also plays a role when it comes to o/u shotguns. The more a shotgun weighs the less kick it gives a person when they shoot. Most o/u shotguns are designed to weigh more than other types, which in-turn helps to reduce recoil from each shot as well.
Contributing Author: Jason Brumett