The Pros and Cons of an Over/Under for Ducks

Kyle Wintersteen has been mulling the thought of swapping his autoloader out for an over/under. Follow along as he discusses the potential pros and cons of such a move.

For several waterfowl seasons I’ve tossed around the idea of swapping my autoloader for a double gun. This year I may finally get serious about it. My grandfather has gifted me an old Franchi over/under, and I relish the idea of sending him a photo of me holding his shotgun and a brace of mallards. Still, I’m torn as to what to do. As I see it, here are the pros and cons of shooting an over/under in the duck blind.

Pros:

Shootability
I don’t know why, but I’ve just always shot a double barrel better than a pump or autoloader. Do they balance better? Some say so, but I think it boils down more to personal preference.

No Side-Ejection
An over/under doesn’t eject shells into your buddy’s face or scatter them haphazardly, requiring cleanup.

Class/Nostalgia
Call me a snob if you will, but to my eye no firearm surpasses the beauty of an over/under shotgun. Plus, before there were magazine guns, there were only sidelocks. A gun with two barrels is a connection to waterfowling’s past.

Cons:

Two Shots Only
I don’t often use my semi-auto’s third shell to shoot a duck from the sky. They’re typically out of range by then. But it sure comes in handy for giving ducks the coup de grace on the water.

Durability
If you want something to rust or get dinged up, take it duck hunting. I don’t worry about getting my magazine guns covered in salt spray or caked in mud—that’s what I bought them for and their synthetic stocks are built to handle it. However, most over/unders—including grandpa’s—have wood stocks and blued barrels. Many are also expensive, but with grandpa’s gun I’m mostly concerned about the sentimental value—I do not want to destroy it.

Shine
Most of today’s magazine guns for duck hunting reduce shine with blackened finishes or camo dips. Most over/unders sport blued barrels and often oiled wood finishes. Fancy, shiny guns don’t exactly keep a low profile for all those eyes in the sky.

Given my indecisiveness, I say we take a vote: Should I take grandpa’s over/under duck hunting? Have you ever shot ducks with a double-barreled shotgun?

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4 Responses to The Pros and Cons of an Over/Under for Ducks

Damien Sansano wrote:
October 24, 2014

I use over /under it's what you prefer and feel comfortable shooting don't worry about 3rd shot if you can't hit with 1st 2 them it's out of range

PIOBill wrote:
July 31, 2013

Go for it and make Grandpa proud. Try using Strike Force on the gun before and after the hunt to prevent rust.

Mitch Barkett wrote:
July 30, 2013

I shoot better with my superposed than any other gun I own but a concrete duck pit would ruin it plus it takes more valuable space to break open and reload. My A5 or Benelli is better suited for the duck hole.

DSMbirddog wrote:
July 29, 2013

I have but not in recent years. I use my 870 now. It is too hard on a fine looking O/U.