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Joined: Dec 2001
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Now dont blast me, but will someone please tell me why it is sooooo important to someone to own a gun that only safely shoots 2.5 inch shells when there is a myriad of choices of others that will shoot 2.75, or even, God forbid, 3 inch shells. Are the 2.5 inch shooters THAT much more appealing than guns with longer chambers? Obviously I dont own any of these 2.5 inch shooters so I would simply appreciate it if someone will calmly tell me what the allure is about them?? Thanks, and NO, I am not trying to start any arguments or criticize anyones personal choices. I simply want to know. Again, thanks.


Perry M. Kissam
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Many of the most quality guns made were made between 1900 -1935 which mean short chambers. Now you can buy modern best guns with 70mm chambers but odds are they will cost several thousands more. Much easier for me to buy a fine German bird gun with 2.5” chambers for say 3k vs a Piotti BSEE 70mm chambered equivalent for 15k. Not much difference in quality between the 2, Hence reloading room with 2.5in 12 and 16ga press and lots of supply’s. Often thought of selling 5 to buy the one but 5 is more fun!

Last edited by Jtplumb; 10/24/22 08:10 PM.
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Originally Posted by Perry M. Kissam
Now dont blast me, but will someone please tell me why it is sooooo important to someone to own a gun that only safely shoots 2.5 inch shells when there is a myriad of choices of others that will shoot 2.75, or even, God forbid, 3 inch shells. Are the 2.5 inch shooters THAT much more appealing than guns with longer chambers? Obviously I dont own any of these 2.5 inch shooters so I would simply appreciate it if someone will calmly tell me what the allure is about them?? Thanks, and NO, I am not trying to start any arguments or criticize anyones personal choices. I simply want to know. Again, thanks.

Good question, no offense taken.

The answer is not as technical as it is aesthetic. I derive significant pleasure from hunting a 120 yr old gun which was the top of the line in its day and still performs beautifully in terms of function and balance (MOI). As JTplumb notes I am able to shoot an older project gun properly restored for a fraction of what I would have to pay for a modern (last 25 year) original 2 3/4 proofed Boss SLE. I do not even know the current price of a new bespoke Boss or Purdey as I could sell my entire collection and would still be unwilling to pay that much. Even a bespoke Fox from CSMC, though very nice, lacks just a little bit.

It further amuses me to shoot a gun from a time my Grandfathers could not have afforded to buy, it is confirmation their sacrifices resulted in something as they were both bird hunters. I believe they would approve.

I own several vintage guns made with 70mm chambers in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, but they lack for me what my late 1800’s early 1900’s guns have. One can claim a degree of affectation for the old guns, which maybe true, but I think it is much, much more than that.

Last edited by old colonel; 10/24/22 08:13 PM. Reason: Added more

Michael Dittamo
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Remember, Parker cut chambers 2 5/8” but recommended shooting 2 3/4” ammunition. They wanted the hulls to open part way into the forcing cone, feeling that provided a better gas seal. Other American makers did the same. Me? All my ancient doubles, some 150+ years old, fire the long hulls with zero Ill effects. As long as the mouth of the fired hull is smooth and not frayed I feel the long hull is perfectly acceptable. Tens of thousands of rounds in American and English guns with zero problems. And as far as I can learn pressures only increase a minimal amount, well within acceptable limits. To each his own……much about nothing.


It ain't whether you hit a bird that matters, it's the fun you have even if you don't.
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Originally Posted by canvasback
And I accept the inconvenience of the whole endeavor. If I wanted easy, I'd shoot a modern 20 gauge auto. Easy isn't why I do this. I wave guys off this route if they want easy. I like it the way it is, headaches and all.

+1

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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Originally Posted by Stanton Hillis
Originally Posted by canvasback
And I accept the inconvenience of the whole endeavor. If I wanted easy, I'd shoot a modern 20 gauge auto. Easy isn't why I do this. I wave guys off this route if they want easy. I like it the way it is, headaches and all.

+1

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
I wonder if this is sort of private club, top rail drink talk. After a little venting, it's time to settle on dates for the estate .410 shoot.

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Back in the late 80's to early 90's I was sailing a mid 30+ foot Hunter sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay for a break from school. That was an expensive hobby even done on the cheap. I do not care for easy. I like old, unique, odd and obsolete. I have taken dove and wood ducks with a 20 bore muzzle loader percussion double, built or converted from flintlock in 1825. I broke 80 on a sporting clay's course, with a WR crab joint 12 bore hammer gun, beating a friend using his O/U K 80. He was not happy. Shoot better I told him. I have been shooting a central vision 12 and crossover 12's just for th fun of it. I shoot 42's on dove with short shells. I am going to take a Ithaca 20 bore Flues with 30" barrels dove shooting next rip. It has 2 1/2" chambers and is choked F and F which I hope is a great long range gun for late season dove. I am going to find out. All my guns are bought with the intention to shoot them, even the nice ones.

I have one or more example of almost all American made pump guns that I am shooting skeet and trap with just so they get some use. They range from Bannerman Spencer, to Winchester 97, 12, 42, Remington 10, 17, 29, 31, three Toldeo Arms models, Browning designed pumps built by Stevens and Savage, Ithaca 37's, Marlin 28, 31, 42, 43 and 44, High Standard/ JC Higigns model 20, Weatherby Patrician, Mossberg 500/835 and a few even odder oddballs, that time has forgotten. Pump guns are American gun type for the most part and they have fallen out of favor with many. But they are just fun to use and not very expensive to collect for the most part.

You are right that loading our own shells makes things ever so much easier. I am still working through 30,000 Federal Paper hulls I got from the Olympic shooting training facility over 20 years ago. Nothing is as classic to me as a paper hull, loaded with Red Dot powder, shot on a cool morning. They trim down nicely to 2" or 2 1/2" and look great rolled crimped. It has taken me decades to figure out what are safe and effective load for classic guns and now being able to load them makes a ton of difference. I now have over five thousand 2 1/2" 20 gauge shells loaded up for future use and about the same in 12 gauge. All safe to use in my short chambered, classic guns, without worry about pressure or being too long. It is so much easier to just grab boxes already loaded rather than trying to locate safe factory shells when I want to go shooting.

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" Browning designed pumps built by Stevens and Savage," in Europe these are exotic items. For some of us their art Deco streamlined shapes rival the appeal of classic best. And gunsmithing on them is simple and cheap.

Personally I rate the Stevens 620 as a classic, maybe because I can't get one anywhere in Europe.

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Originally Posted by Shotgunlover
" Browning designed pumps built by Stevens and Savage," in Europe these are exotic items. For some of us their art Deco streamlined shapes rival the appeal of classic best. And gunsmithing on them is simple and cheap.

Personally I rate the Stevens 620 as a classic, maybe because I can't get one anywhere in Europe.

I never thought of mine as exotic, but never it never fails to wow viewers when I take it apart and they see the genius of Jonathan Browning on display. I admit to not being a pumpgun enthusiast like KY Jon, but the uniqueness of this design was not lost on me when Lloyd offered a 20 ga. for sale on here years ago. It is certainly fun on the dove field, as I expect it would be in a wood duck bog. I may just have to see, one morning soon.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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I’ve cut back on clay shooting but lack of ammo is just part of that equation. Shooting real game is where it’s at and you really don’t need that many shells for it. We are also doing more deer hunting and fishing.

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