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The 1887 Winnie lever shotguns are great. They can be modified to load two rounds at a time into the action. Drop 2, shoot 2. However, they are very heavy. And hard to find. And expensive. Designed by John Moses Browning at the insistence of Winchester--who demanded another lever action to go with the rest of their line--Browning knew that the 12 and 10 gages were better suited to a slide action. Eventually Winchester produced his design of the model 1897 shotgun.

Depending on your budget, and I'm assuming your shooting Cowboy Action...? I'd suggest you look at a gun show for a Lefever or Ithaca SxS. Look for one with character. Aged patina, used stock, etc. Cut the barrels to 20 or 22 inches and hone the cylinders so the hulls drop out. That's what I did. Make sure whatever you buy has smokeless rated barrels--no Damascus--and make sure it locks up without movement. Condition of the barrels isn't important. Should be able to get a very decent Cowboy Action double for under 250.

Once you cut the barrels you will have a cylinder bore (no choke) which will do very well for competition. Look for a box lock rather than a side lock as the stock will be stronger through the action. You can also customize the stock and the balance without feeling guilty.

I've done this with three SxS's and preferred each of them to the Stoeger I SxS I bought for the same purpose. The feel and balance was off for me. Didn't keep it long. You don't need interchangeable chokes.

Good luck.
 

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I would suggest a Spencer (think Spencer Carbine) Repeating Shotgun, as shot by Annie Oakley..It was the FIRST pump, predating the Winchester by well over a decade. Had one for years and sold it. It was in my accumulation for years and often shot it with low brass field loads. I took it to a show in S Western TN not expecting to sell it and 3 locals, a father and 2 sons jumped on it. Glad the got it as they looked as though their ancestors had one. . ...Interesting history on it and when Spencer went bankrupt in 1882-3, and sold the rights to Bannerman. They are a little scarce, but show up on occasion...It would be a truly unique to any collection...It is the pump in the middle of the pic.
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Just checked the recent sales......I sold way too low! Good luck.
 

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I would go with the Taylor Wyatt Earp. Are you cowboy shooting?
 

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The Stoeger Coach guns SxS shotguns are excellent for Cowboy action shooting. I have one in 12 and 20 ga. Both have never failed to fire. Double triggers 20 in barrels.
 

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Mike, You’ve got to reload to be able to compete in any of the gun games except .22 matches. I shoot one sass match and a two gun .22 match monthly. Try to find a shooting bud that will let you share his equipment if you supply the components for yourself and some for him. You only need 120-150 rds of centerfire loads per 6 stage sass match. Not counting sg. Powder and bullets are coming back onto the shelves, primers are the problem. Plenty of guns for sale in eastern nc.
 

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You can shoot SASS events without being a reloader, but you won't be able to practice enough to improve your times. When I shot, I was loading about 5000 rounds a year. And that really wasn't enough practice.

Reloaders, don't spend less on ammo. But they do shoot a lot more.
 

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I can't shoot a side by side very well. That aim left aim right depending upon which barrel is up is just more than my slow brain can keep up with. I like the 1897 Winchester pump guns. You can get a Cimaron reproduction for under $500. I've never owned one so would check out the reputation before purchase. My Father in law had an original 1897. It was quite worn out and clunky.
 

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I WAS going to do SASS or cowboy shoots - even joined-up for a year. But I don't reload. The notion of replacing that much .45(LC) ammo so often became alarming.
yep, pretty much a reloaders game. If you joined a club, you might be able to have a member teach you to reload or you might be able to purchase reloads at a fair price. It costs me about $5.50 for a 50 round box of 44-40 or 44 magnum cowboy loads (but I bought powder, primers and brass during the Bush years). I bought my press in the 70's and started casting bullets in the 80's. If I had to buy ammo at todays prices, I could not play.
 

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I've had good luck with mid-1980's vintage Rossi Coachgun, 20" barrels, exposed hammers. Also a Stoeger Coachgun Supreme has worked well for me. I would recommend staying away from the cheap versions of the 1887 Winchester shotgun. I bought a Century model (made in China), and it works reasonably well, although it is a bit rough, and is plagued with occasional feeding issues.
 
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