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SxS is a Gunmark Black Sable Delux which I bought for £350 several years ago. Cheap I know but an old gun and short stock (like me). Lovely bit of engineering - assisted opener and scary ejectors which if you forget to open with chambers vertical will chuck empties 20ft+ behind you. Although my main gun is the 20g Berreta SP (S) the old gun always gets a few outings and I always shoot very well with it.

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2 hours ago, norfolk dumpling said:

SxS is a Gunmark Black Sable Delux which I bought for £350 several years ago. Cheap I know but an old gun and short stock (like me). Lovely bit of engineering - assisted opener and scary ejectors which if you forget to open with chambers vertical will chuck empties 20ft+ behind you. Although my main gun is the 20g Berreta SP (S) the old gun always gets a few outings and I always shoot very well with it.

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Excellent, one for shooting and one for knocking hide poles in, bashing nettles down, etc, etc.

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3 hours ago, norfolk dumpling said:

SxS is a Gunmark Black Sable Delux which I bought for £350 several years ago. Cheap I know but an old gun and short stock (like me). Lovely bit of engineering - assisted opener and scary ejectors which if you forget to open with chambers vertical will chuck empties 20ft+ behind you. Although my main gun is the 20g Berreta SP (S) the old gun always gets a few outings and I always shoot very well with it.

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I have a Black Sabel deluxe too and it is my first choice if a lot of walking is involved as it is so light. They are a decent, well balanced gun and can be picked up very cheaply these days. Mine is made by Arrieta but some are built by Garbi, two well renowned Spanish gunmakers. Certainly comparable in quality to the cheaper AYA sidelocks.

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My Gunmark is Gamba-produced and in 12yrs of ownership I've only had one firing pin replaced so fairly reliable. It is the gun I pick for pigeons and walked-up days and the odd days on a 'titled' estate where I get a day with the Lord's sons and their wealthy friends. Love it.

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Would you believe this is the first time I have scrolled through this section and am impressed by how many old guns are saved from the scrap heap to live on.

I have three sxs shotguns, one is not worth talking about but the other two have some history. The 16 gauge Army & Navy is, apart from the stock original and almost by the skin of its damascus barrels went to be scrapped.  Fortunately one of my colleagues saw a lady about to hand the gun in for destruction complete with it's origoinal case. He advised that even though the stock was broken it was worth some money and she could easily arrange to sell it.  He told me and I went and did the deal. It came available because her husband had been struck with a stroke and could no longer shoot. I had it restocked to my measurements and used it almost exclusively for driven birds for many years. I then stumbled and broke the stock again and Bob who was the gunsmith alongside Garlands restocked it for me and was sad to hear he was no longer with us.  The second sxs is my Grandfathers 12 gauge, a simple basic BSA and I am not sure how old. I think he purchased it just after WW2 as I seem to recollect it when I was but just a child and remember growing big enough to shoot it when I was 12ish so 1952.

He damaged the barrels shooting some old WW2 cartridges, believe maybe steel shot. I know he had a large box full of all sorts left over from Home Guard days. Anyway the gun was re sleeved and when I took possession when he past away I had the stock adjusted(bent) to fit me by the then stocker at the Grange Gun Company near Redditch.  It gets an outing now and then on a dry day and still does the job.  I have memories of my Grandfather flicking two grey partridges out of a covey flushed from a field of mangols and he had a problem with his right arm and had to shoot almost from the hip. 

One memory which sticks in my mind was when he would visit the gun quarter in Birmingham and take me with him. The sights and smells as we moved shop to shop up Steelhouse Lane and Lower Loveday Street, entering earie dark passages and winding wooden staircases, passing small workshops with men bent over vices fettling small bits of metal.  Last time I was in that area it had almost all been demolished.  The history of the great British gunmaking industry destroyed.

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Edited by Walker570

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On 23/11/2019 at 08:49, Walker570 said:

Would you believe this is the first time I have scrolled through this section and am impressed by how many old guns are saved from the scrap heap to live on.

I have three sxs shotguns, one is not worth talking about but the other two have some history. The 16 gauge Army & Navy is, apart from the stock original and almost by the skin of its damascus barrels went to be scrapped.  Fortunately one of my colleagues saw a lady about to hand the gun in for destruction complete with it's origoinal case. He advised that even though the stock was broken it was worth some money and she could easily arrange to sell it.  He told me and I went and did the deal. It came available because her husband had been struck with a stroke and could no longer shoot. I had it restocked to my measurements and used it almost exclusively for driven birds for many years. I then stumbled and broke the stock again and Bob who was the gunsmith alongside Garlands restocked it for me and was sad to hear he was no longer with us.  The second sxs is my Grandfathers 12 gauge, a simple basic BSA and I am not sure how old. I think he purchased it just after WW2 as I seem to recollect it when I was but just a child and remember growing big enough to shoot it when I was 12ish so 1952.

He damaged the barrels shooting some old WW2 cartridges, believe maybe steel shot. I know he had a large box full of all sorts left over from Home Guard days. Anyway the gun was re sleeved and when I took possession when he past away I had the stock adjusted(bent) to fit me by the then stocker at the Grange Gun Company near Redditch.  It gets an outing now and then on a dry day and still does the job.  I have memories of my Grandfather flicking two grey partridges out of a covey flushed from a field of mangols and he had a problem with his right arm and had to shoot almost from the hip. 

One memory which sticks in my mind was when he would visit the gun quarter in Birmingham and take me with him. The sights and smells as we moved shop to shop up Steelhouse Lane and Lower Loveday Street, entering earie dark passages and winding wooden staircases, passing small workshops with men bent over vices fettling small bits of metal.  Last time I was in that area it had almost all been demolished.  The history of the great British gunmaking industry destroyed.

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Thanks for taking the time to post. It must be lovely to own guns with a personal connection like that.

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I took the 16 for a walk this morning and it performed far better than me but we both enjoyed the outing on a nice cold crisp morning for a change.

Yes the personal value far outweighs the monetry value whatver that is and I hope eventually to be able to pass them to a young friend who will enjoy them as much as i have.

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Probably been asked before but what cartridges do you use in your sxs? I shoot (mainly) a Union Armera 215 and lately have used 30g Gamebore dark storm 6’s I get on ok with them and they are fast but rather punchy. A friend gave me a couple of boxes of Eley Impax 28g 7’s which I have used today. Wow what a beautiful little cartridge! I can see why they were so popular in the 60’s and 70’s when sxs ruled. Does anyone else use them?

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18 minutes ago, triumphant59 said:

Probably been asked before but what cartridges do you use in your sxs? I shoot (mainly) a Union Armera 215 and lately have used 30g Gamebore dark storm 6’s I get on ok with them and they are fast but rather punchy. A friend gave me a couple of boxes of Eley Impax 28g 7’s which I have used today. Wow what a beautiful little cartridge! I can see why they were so popular in the 60’s and 70’s when sxs ruled. Does anyone else use them?

These, anything from 100 to 200+ a week, both sxs are half and full choke. Next to no recoil, cheap as they come and not dirty.

Some may look down their noses at 21gram but they work fine for any clays I've seen.

 

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Edited by Centrepin
Auto correct spells wrong

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43 minutes ago, triumphant59 said:

Probably been asked before but what cartridges do you use in your sxs? I shoot (mainly) a Union Armera 215 and lately have used 30g Gamebore dark storm 6’s I get on ok with them and they are fast but rather punchy. A friend gave me a couple of boxes of Eley Impax 28g 7’s which I have used today. Wow what a beautiful little cartridge! I can see why they were so popular in the 60’s and 70’s when sxs ruled. Does anyone else use them?

I only shoot SxS guns. I use 28 gram Express Supreme Game in 7’s or 6’s or Hull Imperial Game with the same load for game. Hull 21 gram Comp X 7.5’s for messing about with clays, but have used them on game too.

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4 minutes ago, triumphant59 said:

Forgot to mention I shoot driven game, not super high stuff so 28g is as low as I would want to go

Use impax all the time I prefer the paper cases ones although I have the plastic case ones for wet days 


 

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12 hours ago, London Best said:

I only shoot SxS guns. I use 28 gram Express Supreme Game in 7’s or 6’s or Hull Imperial Game with the same load for game. Hull 21 gram Comp X 7.5’s for messing about with clays, but have used them on game too.

28g 7 - I bet they're good.

 

I was umming and arring all of Friday night about whether to take my Silver pigeon 12 bore or 20 bore... on the saturday morning I instead picked up the old spanish master side by side, it's rough as hell, but I had it off my mate who passed away. Its choked 1/2 and FULL and I filled up my pocked with about 20 clear pigeon 30g 6's ... 

First drive of the shoot, I missed a woodcock, another flew past but I left it go as a bit low, followed by a third which twirled through the air, one of the other guns had 2 shots at it but it spun around on him, doubled back and came across me about 35 yards out in front, I give him a few feet lead and dropped it from the air with the 1/2 choke... My first ever woodcock :D ... Very sadly however when the dog went to pick it, it got up and ran into thick hedgerow. 4 different dogs and 2 beaters went into the hedge but could not find the bird 😞

 

On one of the next drives I did not fire a shot (it's only a small syndicate) however after that I was lined up and a big cock bird got up high in the air, I shot at him out front coming towards me with the 1/2 choke but he kept coming. I waited as the gun to my right had a shot (which he missed) after which I gave him the old FULL choke as he was directly overhead, a lovely high bird he was and what a sight to see him fold up in the air and come down stone dead. 

 

On the next drive we were missing a gun as unable to make it. One of the other guns suggested we spread out to cover the gap. Last time I shot here the birds pulled through a gap between two trees so I went and stood covering that. Only one good size cock bird came past me and the other gun on this drive, and the ****** flew right through where I would have been standing :lol:  just my luck! 

 

Onto the final drive, I was lined up on the bottom end of the wood and have been told this was the best drive last time. Once the beaters started pushing through three birds lifted and headed towards us. I noticed the one on my left was low so swung through to the other two, however noticed that they were pulling across me and the other gun who hadn't shot much yet was lifting his gun as they were headed to him... not to be greedy I left them for him to have a go at, yet also swiftly noticed that the low bird that I originally saw had shot up in height and was a good shot now, I swung up onto him, however he crossed directly through the low sun and I could not see a bloody thing, so missed! (That's my excuse, I'm sticking to it!) 

The next few birds however, were not so lucky.One came through afterwards which dropped lovely with the 1/2 choke and down she went folded in the air. Following this a bird got up and came towards me but turned away, it was a long shot at over 50 yards but I had lined it up expecting it to come in, now this is why I love the side by side at times, as I was able to just slip my finger back to the second trigger and give the FULL choke a bang, and my god it didn't half work. The bird folded up lovely in the air and came down hard. 

I finally bagged one more hen coming past which I dropped with the 1/2 choke, which for some reason almost pillow cased. Not ideal, and I thought a bit odd as it was the almost exact place as the other one I shot that was fine 🤷‍♂️ ... followed by a fast crossing woodcock... which I missed completely... We also must have seen 4-5 other woodcock come over us but they were low and we left them go... 

 

Overall a nice little day out, sadly I left my dog at home as we need more training and I wanted to concentrate on the shooting and not him going wrong etc. I hope to be able to bring him in future :) 

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@Lloyd90:  1/2 choke, which for some reason almost pillow-cased.

My best advice would be get rid of the half and full choke. I find that to be FAR too tight for driven game shooting, it is just not necessary. Improved cylinder and quarter or three eights is plenty in my experience, prevents pillow cases and imp cyl and 28 gram sevens or sixes will drop pheasants at 40-45 yards all day.

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3 hours ago, London Best said:

@Lloyd90:  1/2 choke, which for some reason almost pillow-cased.

My best advice would be get rid of the half and full choke. I find that to be FAR too tight for driven game shooting, it is just not necessary. Improved cylinder and quarter or three eights is plenty in my experience, prevents pillow cases and imp cyl and 28 gram sevens or sixes will drop pheasants at 40-45 yards all day.

Good advice 

however lloyde has a spaniel and probably does walked up shooting so the chokes are fine for that 

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Old Farrier, I am afraid I must disagree. IMHO, half and full choke combination is too tight for anything to do with game shooting except silly “extreme” stuff.  I read Lloyd’s post as referring to a day’s driven shooting he had recently done. Just my experience, that’s all. I wouldn’t consider a game gun with even a half choke barrel.

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Just now, London Best said:

Old Farrier, I am afraid I must disagree. IMHO, half and full choke combination is too tight for anything to do with game shooting except silly “extreme” stuff.  I read Lloyd’s post as referring to a day’s driven shooting he had recently done. Just my experience, that’s all. I wouldn’t consider a game gun with even a half choke barrel.

Have you got a spaniel 😂

 

all views are different as are choke choices 

personaly like a bit in my guns for driven days and a bit more for walked up days 

we shall have to agree to disagree on this one 😊👍

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It’s all down to personal confidence in what you are using.

No longer have any spaniels. Been a Labrador man for nearly fifty years, running a team for picking up.  Was given two spaniels at one time but they are now in happy hunting ground.

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39 minutes ago, London Best said:

It’s all down to personal confidence in what you are using.

No longer have any spaniels. Been a Labrador man for nearly fifty years, running a team for picking up.  Was given two spaniels at one time but they are now in happy hunting ground.

I’m sure confidence has a lot to do with it 

have golden retriever at the moment 😊

and spaniels 🙄

they seem to learn to flush birds at about 20 yards and maybe I’ve slowed down as I struggle to get them much before 40 yards 

all the best 

of 

 

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I use a SBS, 2 1/2” chambered gun, with either 28 or 30g x 6/7 shells, choked IC and quarter choker for all my game shooting, both walked up and driven, and have never felt I’ve been under gunned!

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1 hour ago, panoma1 said:

I use a SBS, 2 1/2” chambered gun, with either 28 or 30g x 6/7 shells, choked IC and quarter choker for all my game shooting, both walked up and driven, and have never felt I’ve been under gunned!

Ditto!

And the open bores put more game in the bag than the chokes, day after day.

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Almost all of the Spanish imports came with full and half choke, but it was never intended that they be shot with that combination. One of the resons they were so popular with the trade was that the first thing a new purchaser did was to have the chokes opened out to those of your choice since the degree of choke they came with was generally regarded as way too tight. A quick job for the resident gunsmith that all shops had back in the day and a tidy additional profit for the retailer.

 

 

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Some beautiful guns in this thread. I have recently acquired a Ugartechea, Ignacio 47 years old and also a winchester pigeon grade quite  a bit newer. The winchester has been opened out for steel apparently. The sxs are so nice to handle and quick espeacially the spanish one. 
First walk out with the  Ugartechea dropped a surprise duck with a super steel on the first shot

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They make the old hatsan escort seem so unwieldy 

oh one question snap caps just pop in and pull the trigger ?

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"oh one question snap caps just pop in and pull the trigger ?"

Yup I do in mine. Don't bother doing it with the modern guns though.

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