The single barrel shotgun brings a lot to the table. Having no complex reciprocating action to load and unload shells as with pump and semi-auto guns, it has both fewer parts to break, and offers a shorter receiver. This makes for a more inexpensive gun, that is lighter, has a shorter overall length, and is easier to make, clean, replace the occasional broken part, and maintain. Beyond that, you can teach a new shotgunner how to load, reload, and unload a single shot break action gun in a morning before the dew burns off the grass. Even though it’s a nearly 150-year old basic design, they are safe and easy to carry to and from the field or range, their action broken open to be visibly 100% sure they are unloaded.
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Why Won’t the Single Shot Shotgun Die?
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I own a rather nice break action single and I love it. That said, it's an utterly obsolete design outside of the Trap field. Is it useless? No. I'd certainly take it over a club or harsh words. but it is sub-optimal for any other application. Also, while the operation is simple, the mechanisms are actually quite complex and don't lend themselves to field repair and they are no more durable or reliable then modern pumps or even semis with occasional cleaning.
I own a couple of single shots for just those reasons. The .410 is a lightweight woods carry gun that for 'potshooting' works great. A shortened 12 or 20 is a great pack gun with a lot of versatility (but loud, very LOUD). And they take loads that would cause an auto or even pump to hiccup.
I'm keeping mine.
It can be made into a spigot mortar. Some guys down in Texas did it a few years ago.
It launched a home made inactive grenade over 200 yards.
They also lend themselves to multi calibers, and they break down nicely into a compact package. I have a Thompson TCR with different barrels. I don't have the shotgun barrel but one was available. It's turned into a safe queen but I did get a lot of use from it years ago.
I enjoy my single shot .410. I've lost count of all the varmints I've dispatched. Although, I do have a Mossie 590A1 for dangerous two-legged varmints.
The ol' Pipe & Pin is a good example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." They're affordable and they work.
I hunted with a single shot shotgun for years. They are probably responsible for putting large amounts of meat on the table and in the pot in the hands of young hunters then any other design. I started with a 20 gauge single and then got a 12 gauge. Took deer, ducks, geese, rabbits, pheasants, partridge, squirrels. You get the picture. I have always valued the single shot shotgun and still to this day have two in the collection for use in training young shooters or for doing a little hunting while taking a trip down memory lane. I spent many sunny fall afternoons in the woods with a single in my hands and bringing home a limit of Fox squirrels or other small game. Don't discount the design because it is old. It is still viable and one of the best gun values for the money. You can do almost anything with one.
Follows the KIS principle:
It's kinda funny, was out skeet shooting with a new to firearms friend. He had my pump shotgun, and I had my single shot. I reloaded 3 times before the skeet were out of range, and he said he didn't even seen me reload once, which seemed to freak him out a bit. ;)
Of course, I had adjusted the weight in the stock with dimes and BBs so I could do fast and smooth reloads. I just never knew how fast the perceived speed was to newbies. To me it was just a cheapie sears/savage single shot I picked up for $60-70 to use as a beater gun for whitetail season.
Eventually gave it to a friend to use for home defense. He seemed to think it was gold plated or something, but then again, he was ex-air force, and not really of the gun culture. He didn't quite understand he could buy one for about half the monthly cost of his nicotine habit. ;P
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