True sixteen gauge over and under shotguns are tough to find. By “true” I mean O/Us with actions scaled for sixteen gauge barrels. When a 16-gauge O/U is built on a 12-gauge action, it looses these handling benefits and makes itself obsolete.
This 16 gauge FAIR over-under is far from that. In fact, it’s a great double, a true step up from a 20, but lighter and quicker than a 12. FAIR shotguns were imported by New England Arms from about 1999-2005. I’ve seen a lot of them and most of them have been nice guns.
Over and Under double barrel shotguns don’t seem innovative to us. But back in the 1920s, shotguns with stacked barrels were still a new idea to most shooter. This old add from Boss shows how they sold these new-fangled things.
I like the “Vertical Gun” description, as well as the claims of “Perfect and quicker alignment, better balance, less recoil.” I’m not sure these claims are true (less recoil definitely isn’t), but that’s salesmanship for you.
I’m really liking these short videos produced by Midway USA. This next one is about how to lubricate a break open shotgun. Even though the double barrel shown is an over-and-under (a Pigeon-grade Browning, I think), the same guidelines should apply to any side-by-side, too.
To go along with post about gun fitting, I thought I would add this quick video about drop on a double-barrel shotgun. If you’ve ever wondered why drop matters and how to measure it, check it out. Very helpful.
If you go here and run a search for shotguns, you see a complete list of all the doubles in the sale. So if you’re in the area, or if you’re feeling lucky enough to bid online without viewing the guns, go for it. You might get yourself a good deal and a nice double.
Starting in 1949 and running though the 1960s (and maybe later), Beretta made a line of boxlock over & under shotguns called the AS grades.
Most Beretta guys agree that they are the finest boxlock double barrel O/Us shotguns ever made by Beretta. They came in 12g and 20g and were offered in a handful of different grades and with a number of different options.
This is one of the more desirable grades & configurations: the ASEL 20 gauge. If you’re looking for a great O/U and you don’t mind a single trigger and pistol grip, it’s a great gun. Because it’s at auction, you may be able to get a good deal on it. I think $4000-$4500 is a fair price for this gun, so anything less than that is a good deal.