If you’re an avid hunting enthusiast, you’re no stranger to the wide array of firearms that are available on the market. And among the many types of shotguns available, side by side models are a popular choice for those who enjoy hunting game birds, such as pheasants and ducks. But are side by side shotguns good for hunting? That’s a question that many hunters ponder when they’re considering which shotgun to add to their collection.
Side by side shotguns have been around for centuries and have a long and prestigious history in the hunting world. They’re typically lighter and easier to maneuver than other types of shotguns, making them well-suited for hunting in dense brush or thick forests. Additionally, they offer an exceptional level of accuracy, which is crucial when you’re trying to take down a fast-moving bird or other game. So it’s no wonder that many hunters prefer these classic firearms when they’re out in the field.
At the same time, there are some downsides to side by side shotguns that hunters should be aware of. For example, they may not be as durable or reliable as other types of shotguns, and their double-barrel design can limit the number of shots you can take without stopping to reload. These are important factors to consider when you’re trying to decide whether a side by side shotgun is right for you. However, for many hunters, the benefits of these classic firearms outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Advantages of using side by side shotguns for hunting
Side by side shotguns are a classic choice for hunting enthusiasts. Although over-under shotguns have gained popularity over the years, side by side shotguns still have several advantages that make them a great option for hunting.
- Maneuverability: Side by side shotguns are shorter and lighter than over-under shotguns, making them easier to carry and maneuver in the field. Hunters can easily swing the shotgun to track moving targets, making it an ideal choice for fast-paced hunting such as upland bird hunting or clay shooting.
- Quick follow-up shots: Shooting with a side by side shotgun allows for faster follow-up shots compared to over-under shotguns. Since the barrels are side by side, the shooter can get back on target quickly after the first shot, making it easier to take down multiple targets in quick succession.
- Wide field of view: The side by side barrel arrangement provides a wide field of view, making it easier to aim at distant or fast-moving targets. This benefit is especially crucial for sporting clays, trap, and skeet shooting.
In addition to these benefits, there are several other advantages to using a side by side shotgun for hunting. However, it is important to note that choosing the right shotgun for hunting ultimately depends on the hunter’s needs and preferences.
Disadvantages of using side by side shotguns for hunting
While side by side shotguns may have their benefits when hunting, they also come with a few disadvantages that hunters should consider before making a purchase.
- Limited capacity: Side by side shotguns typically have two barrels, which means they can only hold a maximum of two rounds at a time. This can be a significant disadvantage for hunters facing a large target or group of game animals.
- Less accuracy: The side by side barrel configuration makes it more difficult to achieve the same level of accuracy as with a single barrel shotgun. This is because the barrels are further apart, which can affect the shooter’s aim and cause the shot to spread wider.
- Higher recoil: Because the barrels are aligned next to each other, side by side shotguns tend to have a higher felt recoil than other types of shotguns. This can make them more difficult to shoot accurately, especially for less experienced hunters.
Despite these drawbacks, many hunters still prefer side by side shotguns for their classic style and elegant beauty. However, for those looking for the most effective and efficient hunting firearm, other types of shotguns or rifles may be better options.
Types of game best suited for side by side shotguns
Side by side shotguns have been around for hundreds of years and have remained a popular choice for hunters. They offer easy maneuverability in tight spaces, quick pointing, and a classic look. But are they good for all types of game?
- Upland Birds: Side by side shotguns are a classic choice for hunting upland birds like quail, pheasant, and grouse. They offer a quick swing and good balance, allowing for fast target acquisition in the field. Upland game birds often flush quickly and unexpectedly, and the side by side is perfect for those situations.
- Waterfowl: While not as popular as over/under shotguns, side by sides can still be effective for waterfowl hunting. However, they require skilled shooting and a good eye for leading the bird. A 12 or 10 gauge side by side with tight chokes can work well for ducks and geese.
- Small Game: Rabbits, squirrels, and other small game can be taken with a side by side shotgun, especially if you want a challenge. A 20 or 28 gauge side by side with improved cylinder chokes is a good choice for small game hunting.
It’s important to note that side by side shotguns may not be the best choice for all hunting situations. They typically have less capacity than other types of shotguns, and may not be as effective at longer ranges. However, with proper technique and practice, they can be a great choice for many types of game.
For those interested in using a side by side shotgun for hunting, it is important to choose the right shotgun for the game you are pursuing. The chart below summarizes some of the best options:
|12 or 20
|Modified or improved cylinder
|10 or 12
|Full or modified
|20 or 28
|Improved cylinder or skeet
Overall, side by side shotguns can be a great choice for hunting a variety of game. They offer a classic look and feel, and can be effective in the field with the right technique and shotgun selection.
Proper maintenance of side by side shotguns
When it comes to maintaining your side by side shotgun, proper care can make all the difference in maintaining its quality and function. Here are some tips on how to keep your shotgun in great condition:
- Clean your shotgun: It is essential to clean your shotgun regularly to ensure it stays in good working order. After every shooting session, make sure to clean the barrel and action of the shotgun thoroughly.
- Proper storage: Store your shotgun in a dry location free of moisture and dirt. Make sure to clean and dry it before storing to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Oil the shotgun: Use a lubricant to oil the shotgun, protecting it from rust and keeping it functioning smoothly. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the moving parts of the shotgun.
As with any mechanical device, there are particular tools you need to have to maintain it properly:
- Cotton patches
- Bore brush
- Cleaning solvent
- Cotton swabs
Regular maintenance can also help you detect potential damages in the shotgun. For instance, broken or cracked stock or barrel will need fixing before you can safely use the shotgun again. It is essential to get it checked by a professional gunsmith before you use it again.
Side by side shotgun maintenance checklist
|When to do it
|Wipe down the shotgun
|After every use
|Inspect the barrel and action
|After every use
|Clean the choke tubes
|Every 500 to 1,000 shots
|Clean and lubricate the shotgun
|After every use or every six months, whichever comes first.
|Store the shotgun in a dry location
In conclusion, keeping your side by side shotgun in excellent condition requires effort, but the results are worth it. Regular maintenance will keep the shotgun functioning well and also lengthen its lifespan.
Side by side shotguns vs over and under shotguns for hunting
When it comes to choosing a shotgun for hunting, two popular options are the side by side and the over and under shotgun. Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the type of hunting you plan on doing.
- Accuracy: Over and under shotguns are known for their superior accuracy due to their vertical barrel alignment. However, side by side shotguns have a wider sight picture, making it easier to aim at moving targets.
- Recoil: Side by side shotguns tend to have a harsher recoil due to their weight distribution, whereas over and under shotguns have a more balanced weight distribution, making them more comfortable to shoot.
- Price: In general, over and under shotguns tend to be more expensive than side by side shotguns. However, there are exceptions depending on the brand and features of the shotgun.
Ultimately, the choice between a side by side or over and under shotgun for hunting comes down to personal preference and the type of hunting you plan on doing. If you are hunting smaller game or birds and need a wider sight picture, a side by side shotgun may be the better option. If you are hunting larger game and value accuracy, an over and under shotgun may be the better option.
If you’re still unsure which one to choose, it’s always best to try out both and see which one feels more comfortable and natural for you to shoot.
Historical significance of side by side shotguns in hunting culture
Side by side shotguns have been an integral part of hunting culture for centuries. These classic firearms have a rich history and hold a special place in the hearts of many hunting enthusiasts.
Here are six reasons why side by side shotguns are good for hunting:
- Classic design: Side by side shotguns have a timeless design that dates back to the 1800s. They were originally used for hunting game birds and have since become a popular choice for upland game and waterfowl hunting.
- Quick target acquisition: The side by side barrel configuration allows hunters to acquire their targets quickly and easily. This makes them an ideal choice for wing shooting and other fast-paced hunting scenarios.
- Lightweight: Side by side shotguns are typically lighter than other types of shotguns, making them easy to carry on long hunts. They also tend to be more maneuverable, allowing hunters to navigate through rough terrain with ease.
- Reliable: Side by side shotguns are known for their reliability and durability. They are built to withstand the rigors of hunting and can often last for generations if properly cared for.
- Increased challenge: Hunting with a side by side shotgun requires a higher level of skill and precision than other types of firearms. This can make the hunting experience more challenging and rewarding for those who appreciate the art of the hunt.
- Nostalgia: Many hunters feel a deep connection to side by side shotguns due to their historical significance and classic design. For some, hunting with a side by side shotgun is a way to connect with the past and honor the traditions of the sport.
To get a better idea of the history and evolution of side by side shotguns, take a look at this table:
|Side by side shotguns first developed for hunting game birds
|Side by side shotguns gain popularity for upland game and waterfowl hunting
|Introduction of the over/under shotgun, causing a decline in side by side shotgun popularity
|Resurgence of side by side shotguns, with many manufacturers offering new models
|Side by side shotguns continue to appeal to hunters for their classic design and superior performance in certain hunting scenarios
Overall, side by side shotguns have played an important role in hunting culture and continue to be a beloved choice for many hunters today.
Unique features of modern side by side shotguns for hunting
Side by side shotguns have been in use for centuries, but modern technology and materials have brought significant advancements in their design and functionality. Here are some unique features of modern side by side shotguns for hunting:
- Lightweight materials: Modern shotguns are manufactured using lightweight materials such as titanium and carbon fiber, making them easier to carry and handle for long periods of time.
- Improved balance: The center of gravity in modern shotguns has been shifted slightly forward, producing a more balanced feel and greater control while aiming.
- Reduced recoil: Advanced recoil-reducing technologies, including built-in shock absorbers and recoil pads, make modern side by side shotguns more comfortable to shoot, especially for new hunters or those sensitive to recoil.
Another unique feature of modern side by side shotguns is their improved accuracy, thanks to innovation in barrel design. The use of choke tubes allows hunters to adjust the shotgun’s spread pattern, allowing for more precision in targeting certain game.
Here is a comparison table of the features of a traditional side by side shotgun versus a modern side by side shotgun:
|Traditional Side by Side Shotgun
|Modern Side by Side Shotgun
|Wood and steel
|Titanium and carbon fiber
|Slightly rear heavy
Overall, modern side by side shotguns offer hunters numerous advantages, thanks to their innovative features and technologies. These shotguns can help hunters improve their accuracy while enjoying greater comfort and control in the field.
Are side by side shotguns good for hunting?
1. What is a side by side shotgun?
A side by side shotgun is a type of firearm where the barrels are positioned side by side instead of the more common over-and-under configuration.
2. What are the advantages of using a side by side shotgun for hunting?
Side by side shotguns are often lighter and more compact, making them easier to carry while hunting. They also have a wide field of vision, which can be an advantage when shooting at moving targets.
3. Are side by side shotguns more difficult to use than other types of shotguns?
Side by side shotguns can be more challenging to use because they require more skill and experience to aim and fire accurately. However, some hunters prefer them because they offer a more traditional hunting experience.
4. What types of game are best suited for hunting with a side by side shotgun?
Side by side shotguns are often used for upland game birds such as pheasants and quail, as well as for hunting small game like rabbits and squirrels.
5. How do I choose the right side by side shotgun for hunting?
When choosing a side by side shotgun for hunting, it is important to consider factors such as barrel length, weight, and choke configuration. It is also essential to ensure that the gun is properly sized for the shooter.
6. Are side by side shotguns more expensive than other types of shotguns?
Side by side shotguns can be more expensive than other types of shotguns due to their traditional design and the fact that they are often handmade. However, there are also less expensive options available.
In conclusion, side by side shotguns can be an excellent choice for hunting, especially for those who value a more traditional hunting experience. While they may require more skill and experience to use, many hunters find them to be more rewarding. As always, it is important to choose a shotgun that is right for your needs and to practice proper safety measures when hunting. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit again soon for more helpful articles on hunting and firearms!