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I’m needing some advice from someone more experienced…I’ve always wanted a exposed hammer stagecoach shotty…I know they make more modern ones but I recently notice an old shotgun for sale, and this question struck my mind for future purchases..why can’t you shoot modern rounds through the old paperhulls..? I’ve always heard various excuses as to why not but are they just wise tales of have any of you actually tested to see if it will…appreciate any info you’ll can provide on this subject..👍🏻
 

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I’m needing some advice from someone more experienced…I’ve always wanted a exposed hammer stagecoach shotty…I know they make more modern ones but I recently notice an old shotgun for sale, and this question struck my mind for future purchases..why can’t you shoot modern rounds through the old paperhulls..? I’ve always heard various excuses as to why not but are they just wise tales of have any of you actually tested to see if it will…appreciate any info you’ll can provide on this subject..👍🏻
Many of those old guns were chambered for 2 1/2" black powder shells. Which means a modern 2 3/4" shell would be a problem. I have an old double (1880's) with that chambering and also has damacus barrels. So 2 strikes against it for modern shells. That said I did fire one mini shell thru each barrel once, just to see if it would stand up. It did, but that was the last time. Don't want to push my luck.
 

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Ahhh. So it’s a different chamber length…I see…thanks
If you're talking about the one for sale in the classifieds now, it's ad says it has 2 3/4 in chambers
 
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2.5“ shells are still available due to a limited demand by some folks who own fine doubles from around the turn of the last century. Demand is probably stronger in Europe than this side of the pond. This manufacturer claims their shells to be safe in vintage and even damascus guns. There are probably more manufacturers, this was just the first that I came across.

 

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Be aware that shotguns designed for black powder were not proofed for the higher pressures of smokeless powder. Regardless of the shell material (except maybe brass shells), the pressures in the chamber will be higher with smokeless powder and may cause a failure in metal of older shotguns. Just be aware.
 

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I would like to add that in my limited experience, if you can find and older SxS with exposed hammers it will be much better balanced and better handling than some/most of the new ones that I've handled during Cowboy Action Shooting. One of the most prolific of the modern imports is TTN (Chinese) and while they are overall really good/strong guns, they are HEAVY.
 

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Not sure what you're looking at, but I had a Rossi with hammers and it was a great. I later had a Stoeger that did not have the hammers and while it was a good gun, I really liked the Rossi better. Wish I still had it. Oh, and BTW, the Rossi had 3" chambers. If you shoot 3" shells in a coach gun, hang on tight. :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not sure what you're looking at, but I had a Rossi with hammers and it was a great. I later had a Stoeger that did not have the hammers and while it was a good gun, I really liked the Rossi better. Wish I still had it. Oh, and BTW, the Rossi had 3" chambers. If you shoot 3" shells in a coach gun, hang on tight. :LOL:
Yeah after the input from other members I believe I’ll stick to what your talking about. A little more modern version…but I definitely got to have exposed hammers..just for personal preference
 

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Another thing I like about external hammer guns, is you are not cocking it when you open or close it Some guns with internal hammers cock on closing, others when opening. This makes the open or closing a bit more difficult, and possibly slower. Of course with an external hammer gun, you still have to clock the hammers.
 
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With reference to the OP, paper hulls have nothing to do with your question. Paper hulls were made in both BP and smokeless (and of different lengths). The only important question is if your shotgun was designed to use smokeless or not. As a safety matter, you should not shoot smokeless rounds in a shotgun - or anything else - designed for black powder.

On a related note, since I reload, I treat all really old smokeless firearms rather gently and shoot them with reduced load ammunition. Better safe than sorry.

Best
Doc
 

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Another thing I like about external hammer guns, is you are not cocking it when you open or close it Some guns with internal hammers cock on closing, others when opening. This makes the open or closing a bit more difficult, and possibly slower. Of course with an external hammer gun, you still have to clock the hammers.
Inexpensive factory shotguns (Stoeger and Baikal) are typically very over sprung from the factory because the mating surfaces are not fitted by hand. The heavy springs make up for poor surface-to-surface contact.

A good gunsmith versed in these shotguns can fit the metal and reduce the springs, yet still have a very functional shotgun. The single-trigger Stoegers are not as reliable as those with double-triggers. Most often, the single trigger Stoegers will double (fire both barrels at the same time - quite the eye-opener). Sometimes they will only fire one barrel and not switch over to the unfired barrel.

By far the most popular hammerless shotguns in CAS are the Ithaca SKB and Browning BSS. Even these can benefit from a good gunsmith, to allow the chamber to open slightly wider and reduce the force required to cock the hammers when opening.

The newer CZ Sharptails seem to be getting mostly good reviews after they have been worked on by competent 'smiths.

I have competed with both the TTN hammer double and the Ithaca SKB but both were worked on.

If you go to my YouTube channel you can look through a bunch of videos I have taken at some bigger matches to see different people using different types of SxS's. Chances are, if the video is of me it's from my hat mounted camera and you can't see the shotgun. (Also, I'm not the fastest or smoothest.) I take the videos of me to try to help make better transitions. The playlists with the larger number of shooters would probably give you better observations.
 

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Inexpensive factory shotguns (Stoeger and Baikal) are typically very over sprung from the factory because the mating surfaces are not fitted by hand. The heavy springs make up for poor surface-to-surface contact.

A good gunsmith versed in these shotguns can fit the metal and reduce the springs, yet still have a very functional shotgun. The single-trigger Stoegers are not as reliable as those with double-triggers. Most often, the single trigger Stoegers will double (fire both barrels at the same time - quite the eye-opener). Sometimes they will only fire one barrel and not switch over to the unfired barrel.

By far the most popular hammerless shotguns in CAS are the Ithaca SKB and Browning BSS. Even these can benefit from a good gunsmith, to allow the chamber to open slightly wider and reduce the force required to cock the hammers when opening.

The newer CZ Sharptails seem to be getting mostly good reviews after they have been worked on by competent 'smiths.

I have competed with both the TTN hammer double and the Ithaca SKB but both were worked on.

If you go to my YouTube channel you can look through a bunch of videos I have taken at some bigger matches to see different people using different types of SxS's. Chances are, if the video is of me it's from my hat mounted camera and you can't see the shotgun. (Also, I'm not the fastest or smoothest.) I take the videos of me to try to help make better transitions. The playlists with the larger number of shooters would probably give you better observations.
Good information that I did not already know. Thanks. Even though I am physically unable to get out and shoot and no longer own a sxs, I can't use it for myself but it's still good to know.
 
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