Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The ladies and I spent most of this past weekend in Maryland for Jay and Ash's wedding. I'd wish them the best, but seeing their faces, it seems completely unnecessary. In any case, good luck anyway, guys; welcome to the married club. Now when do I get grandchildren?!

It was a lovely ceremony, I had just enough too much local beer, and through all the hippy vegan food, I discovered that seared asparagus is freakin' delicious.

But obviously, I'm not here to talk about all that. I'm here to talk about the guns.

For Jay's bachelor party on Saturday, we shot sporting clays.

Y'know, I'd never gotten the whole shotgun thing before. They're short ranged, imprecise, heavy... Why would you want to inelegantly lob a handful of shot at a close target when you could be standing tall, clearing your mind, and punching holes in something a quarter mile away?

I was so very, very wrong. Acting on instinct, swinging the gun like it's part of your body and making a fast-moving target freakin' explode in front of you is an absolute blast. The shoulder bruises are just gravy. The three of us are soundly in love with scatterguns now, and will start saving up for our own as soon as we're done with the wedding. I get it now.

Danielle and I are reasonably good natural shots. Genevieve won the informal competition (and so didn't have to pay for dinner). G&D are both infatuated with Beretta semiautos (AL391s, I think), while I've already started feeling like an over/under double barrel is part of my body. It makes me feel a bit dirty, contemplating owning one of the most PC firearms on the planet, but I'll manage somehow. The little single shot .410 was wonderfully light in the hand, but frankly too light to swing naturally (another "I get it now" moment). It kind of makes me want a .410/.22 combo gun, though.

So. Gunnies. Any input on modern Beretta semis? Are they worth the money? We have no problem saving up longer for "use it your whole life and give it to your grandkids" guns, but would hate to pay a hefty designer premium on an okay gun (G loves black plastic and D won't accept anything but wood; is there a difference, qualitywise?). And any suggestions on an over/under grandkids gun whose price isn't quadrupled due to being engraved by blind monks and quenched in the blood of Italian virgins?


  1. What's your range on prices considered "reasonable" for an over and under? I freaking adore my Browning Citori Lightning, but they're not what I'd call cheap. They're not Benelli-expensive either though.

  2. Honestly, that's part of the learning process here. The NJ gun market is so depressed that it's often hard to get a handle on what things cost.

    Locally, I'm seeing Stoeger over/unders (which is what I shot with at the range) for around $450, and everything else is a canvas-gun for well over $1000. The Stoeger price tag is very attractive, but it seems likely paying more could buy improvement in quality or durability.

    And that's what it comes down to. It's a one-time purchase of something I expect to have for the rest of my life, so saving up for a bit longer isn't a big deal; I just don't want to shell out extra money for embellishment or go up into what look like the diminishing returns of the high end shotgun market. I'm looking for a working over-under with wood furniture, good fit and finish, and reliability enough that I can be confident the grandkids will inherit it. I'll pay the least necessary to get that but won't compromise quality to go lower.

    What do you think of the Citori's overall quality and durability, and do you mind if I ask what you paid for it?

  3. It's beautiful, reliable, accurate, durable and fits my arm and shoulder like it was built for it- of course, I'm 5'3". Shotgun "fit" is enormously important, even more so than with handguns. Never buy one you haven't had a chance to shoot, and if you like the Stoeger fit... that would go a long way toward purchase for me.

    I paid $400 for mine in a private deal with someone whom it didn't fit, which is a story that never fails to infuriate people who know what a Citori can actually go for in an open market. They're going for around a grand at the lowest for the model I have on gunbroker.com, which is rather more spendy than where they were when I bought it.

  4. Yeah, I've heard of people having high end shotguns "tailored" to their measurements.

    I obviously have some research to do on Stoegers. The low prices make me skeptical, but if they're rugged, reliable no-frills guns, I'd be very happy to pay that much less.

    Thanks for the input, and congratulations on your good deal.