Best Over Under Shotguns in 2020

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Classy, sporty, and elegant. An over/under is the quintessence of shotguns used for sports or leisure shooting.

These shotguns have been the go-to choice for clay sports and upland bird hunting for decades. Buying an over/under is more like an investment than a simple purchase. These shotguns have their own place in the lives and hearts of people, so it is crucial to get one that you’ll love. 

Here, we have compiled and reviewed the best over/under shotguns available on the market and arranged them based upon a process of strategic selection. From budget to purpose, you’ll definitely find a suitable option for yourself. So keep scrolling.

Comparison of the Best Over Under Shotguns

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Durable and aesthetically pleasing design with gold plated alloy trigger
  • Ivory bead sight and mid bead plus includes three midas grade choke tubes
  • Adjustable LOP is ideal for hunting and clay shooting sports
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  • Laser cut checkered turkish walnut stock and pistol grip
  • Single selectible trigger, vented barrel and mid rib space
  • 20 gauge caliber is suitable for both hunting and defense
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  • A-grade satin walnut stock and red fiber optic bead front sight
  • Automatic ejectors automatic safety for convenience and easy handling
  • Medium overall length and perfect for shooting fast moving birds
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What is an Over Under Shotgun?

An over and under shotgun is a type of double-barrel shotgun with two barrels stacked on top of one another. Thus the name over and under, with reference to the central axis(mid-rib) between these two barrels. 

These shotguns are more recoil-friendly, inexpensive, and balanced than their SxS (side-by-side) counterparts due to the stacked positioning of the barrels. These shotguns have a concealed hammer and can have a single-selective or double trigger mechanism. Plus they are breech loaded weapons and can be carried open for extra safety.

The barrels of an over/under shotgun are slightly angled and the shots fired usually converge at 40 yards out. After that, the discharge from the under (lower) barrel will travel higher than from the over (upper) barrel. 

When Would I Use an Over Under Shotgun

Here's the main cases where an over-under gives you an edge:

Clay Shooting

The most common use for over and under shotguns is for clay shooting sports. Almost every shooter has an over/under shotgun on a trap or skeet shooting range. That’s because these guns are exceptionally accurate, reliable, and very controllable for a shotgun. Especially when compared with SxS shotguns. 

Upland Bird/Game Hunting

Over/under shotguns are widely used for upland game hunting. These guns are very controllable and deliver natural pointability and swing. Which is the most crucial prerequisite for bird hunting. 

Home Defense

Having two barrels also allows you to use two chokes simultaneously for short or long-range shots. While it is not a dedicated home defense firearm because of its low capacity and long reloading times. Over/under shotguns can also be used for defense in desperate situations when it is the only firearm you have at hand. 

Teaching Beginners

These shotguns are a reliable, accurate, low recoil, and safe option to teach beginners the basics of shotgun shooting. Especially when you are preparing for competitions or precision shooting. 

What Makes a Great Over Under Shotgun 

Gauge

While 12 gauge shotguns are more versatile, 20-gauge shotguns are suitable for small game and have a comparatively lower recoil. 16 gauge is a more mixed choice between these two calibers. While 28 and 410s are also an option for young shooters. Larger gauges will allow longer shots and pack a heavier punch. 

Interchangeable Chokes

Being a shotgun, an over/under should give the user an option to switch chokes when needed. Since chokes are an important and unique feature of double-barrel shotguns, having the capability to change them is essential.

Trigger

Over/under shotguns with a mechanical selective trigger are more useful than ones with recoil set triggers. Since the trigger automatically switches to the next round if the round fires or comes out be a dud. Selective triggers let you choose the order of barrels for firing. 

Extractor or Ejector

While an extractor raises the spent shells a bit for easily plucking them out. Ejectors pop out the spent shells automatically upon opening the action. While exactors are also viable, many people opt for ejectors. 

Weight, Size, and Fit

A compact shotgun allows better handling and swing while shooting. Plus weight can also be a considerable factor if you plan on carrying your gun on foot for hunting or camping trips. However, heavier guns also compensate for recoil. Additionally, guns with a vent rib help with pointability and accuracy. 

Quick Take - The Best Over Under Shotguns

These are our recommendations for the best over under shotguns:

  1. Browning Citori CX Micro-Adjustable
  2. CZ Drake 20 GA 28"
  3. Franchi Instinct L 12 GA 28" 

Review of the Best Over Under Shotguns

Pros

  • Suitable for shooters of all sizes
  • Perfect pointability and recoil mitigation
  • High-end competition-grade over/under shotgun
  • Adjustable (toe in/out, up/down) butt with inflex recoil pad
  • Versatile 60/40 POI is ideal for hunting and all clay target sports

Cons

  • A tad bit heavy (8 lbs. 3 oz.)
  • Too pricey for low-end use

What Recent Buyers Report 

Almost every user praised the CX as an ideal sporting over/under shotgun which shoots flawlessly and accurately. This gun has to be found functioning perfectly well after shooting thousands of rounds. Which justifies its cost. It has very low recoil and the inflex recoil pad greatly adds to the overall comfort.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Browning Citori series of shotguns has a prestigious reputation in the world of clay shooting sports. This gun features an adjustable buttpad which combined with the short LOP makes it very ergonomic. The gun has a 30” barrel and ideal pointability with an amazing 60/40 POI. This is the kind of O/U that’ll last your family for generations. 

Who Will Use This Most

The shotgun is ideal for skeet and trap shooting. The long barrel, low recoil, vent rib, directional deflection comb-pull along with other features make this a perfect shotgun for clay shooting sports. It comes with 3 different chokes to offer versatility and can also be employed as a bird hunting shotgun if needed. 

Bottom Line

The Browning Citori CX is an adjustable variation for the Citori line of over/under guns. This shotgun offers a perfect point of impact while attenuating the recoil for quick follow up shots. It is a crossover model for hunting/sporting clays/skeet/trap making it a very versatile and useful sporting shotgun in your collection. 

Pros

  • Mid-rib delete for better heat dissipation 
  • Includes a set of 5 interchangeable chokes
  • Single mechanical trigger and automatic safety
  • An economical and good quality over/under shotgun
  • Lightweight and compact design delivering good swing

Cons

  • Recoil pad may feel a bit thin
  • Slightly heavy (but clean) trigger pull at 5.5 lbs

What Recent Buyers Report 

Buyers seem to be using this gun extensively for hunting upland birds like quail and pheasants. The shotgun is simple, affordable, and effective. The gun was reported to have a short breaking-in period, but that was just an occasional case. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of those reasonably priced over/under shotguns that will suit low budgets and acts as a versatile shotgun. The 60/40 POI is just amazing, and the compact and forward heavy design improves swing. The mid-rib delete feature is both cosmetic and functionally effective. Plus it includes a five-piece choke set. 

Who Will Use This Most

Due to its gauge, the gun is suitable for young shooters and beginners. Additionally, the gauge also makes it suitable for upland bird hunting and even some early-stage competitions for amateurs. This is a budget-friendly over/under shotgun for people who want one without burning a hole through their wallet. 

Bottom Line

The CZ Drake 20 gauge is an affordable, widely appreciated, and versatile shotgun that’ll help bring food to your table. The gun is perfect for upland bird hunting and comes with a variety of chokes to suit different applications. A great gun for beginners, youngsters, and budget shoppers. 

Pros

  • Dedicated trap shooting gun 
  • Double trap and unsingle barrels
  • Raised target rib with 3 adjustment points
  • Adjustable comb height and LOP for the perfect fit
  • Fiber optic sight, drop-out trigger, and color-coded chokes

Cons

  • Not for 3” or higher shells
  • Rib should have a center bead
  • Heavier than most O/U shotguns (8.9 lbs)

What Recent Buyers Report 

The TT-15 has a good overall fit and function and is the most feature-loaded over/under shotgun at its price. The trigger movement is very good, as is the wooden finish. The gun is very reliable and performs amazingly well in trap shooting competitions. Some users did suggest the gun to have a mid-bead on the rib. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The gun is feature-packed and suitable for the most sophisticated over/under shotgun applications. The comb height and LOP can be adjusted instantly. The drop-out trigger and barrels are easy to remove and clean. Plus the gun has a long barrel with good pointability and swing to shoot accurately. Which is quite imperative for competitions. 

Who Will Use This Most

The gun has been selectively designed for competitive shooting. The weight of the gun is definitely not suitable for hunting trips. But it is quite reasonable for managing recoil. This gun is perfect for pro-competitive shooters looking for an aptly priced over/under. 

Bottom Line

The Tristar Sporting Arms TT-15 is not a very popular shotgun on the market. But that doesn’t disapprove of its flawless and precise performance on the field. This gun is loaded with features and perfect for over/under sports like clay, trap, or skeet shooting. 

Best Over Under Shotgun Under $1000:
Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Combo

Pros

  • Comes with a total of 10 chokes
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • 28 and 26 inches vent rib barrels
  • Combo model with 2 receivers in 12 and 20 ga.
  • Suitable for hunting and informal competitions

Cons

  • Break action is a little stiff at first

What Recent Buyers Report 

The shotgun is sturdy, shoots straight, and looks quite opulent. The overall fit and finish of the gun are great and it shoots all suitable loads flawlessly. Some users reported initial breaking-in, but overall the gun shot perfectly well for an o/u at this price point. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The price is exceptionally great for a combo. Plus you get a 12 and 20 gauge O/U shotgun for a better price. This gun can shoot flawlessly for hundreds of rounds without a hiccup. The performance is quite close to other high-end shotguns. Plus the amazing scrollwork makes it look very expensive. 

Who Will Use This Most

Being a combo, this shotgun is suitable for upland hunting and informal shooting competitions and sports. The gun busts up clays pretty well and is widely used for trap and skeet sports. This is an affordable combo that’ll get the job done no matter what the conditions.  

Bottom Line

The Mossberg Silver Reserve II is a popular field over/under shotgun and is widely used for hunting and competitions. The gun is covered by Mossberg’s reliable customer support and has been machined to a perfect fit. It shoots flawlessly.

Best Over Under Shotgun Under $2000:
Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon 30" 20 Gauge

Pros

  • Compact design and low recoil
  • Includes 5 interchangeable choke tubes
  • Scroll engraving provides stupendous appearance
  • 30-inch hammer-forged steelium barrel with vent rib
  • Low profile receiver with natural pointability and quick follow up 

Cons

  • Packs lesser punch than a 12 gauge 
  • Aftermarket Optima-HP chokes can be hard to find

 What Recent Buyers Report

The gun points great, feels natural, runs smooth, and it looks good. The gun has an amazing design and is well built that it’ll last for generations. It functions flawlessly and almost no user reported a misfire or other functional issues. The manual tang safety is also a relief instead of the automatic safety.

Why it Stands Out to Us​

The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon has been around for decades and was improved with the new Silver Pigeon I version. This shotgun has a long barrel, amazing scrollwork, reliable function and prompt safety. The low profile receiver helps with target acquisition and makes shooting more intuitive. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Beretta 686 was designed as an upland hunting over/under shotgun. It can also be used for clay sports as the long 30-inch barrel helps with pointability, range, and accuracy. The gun is a ‘lasting’ over/under that’ll serve its purpose for years to come. Except for use in extremely professional competitions, this gun will prove useful in every situation suitable for an o/u

Bottom Line

The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I is durable and reliable over/under shotgun for hunting and casual clay sporting. This stands among the most popular and widely used over/under shotguns across the world, and perfectly justifies its price tag. 

Best Over Under Shotgun Under $1500:
Franchi Instinct L 12 GA 28"

Pros

  • Red fiber optic bead sight
  • Accurate with a smooth trigger pull
  • Comes covered with a 7-year warranty
  • 3 chokes included and also works with Beretta Chokes
  • Tang mounted automatic safety and internal barrel selector

Cons

  • The wood is not really A-grade
  • Automatic safety requires getting used to

What Recent Buyers Report 

Almost every buyer seems satisfied with the performance of this shotgun. Even with its price tag. The gun points well, shoots well and ejects well. However, some users reported a break-in time. Which is not a big deal and doesn’t happen often. The 7-year warranty also gives the user a good reason to trust this shotgun. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Franchi is a subsidiary of Beretta. The chokes are interchangeable and the gun exhibits quality somewhat similar to that of the expensive Beretta guns. The shotgun is very ergonomic and has an automatic safety and good ejectors. It is very well balanced and won’t require extra care like more expensive shotguns. 

Who Will Use This Most

The gun is perfect for bird hunting. It is a good entry-level shotgun for hunters and skeet shooters. It serves the purpose well if you are not planning on spending too much money on an over/under, and want an optimal mix of price and features. 

Bottom Line

The Franchi Instinct L is an utterly reliable, mid-budget over/under shotgun that offers the perfect balance between cheap and expensive options. The gun has all the features of a high-end shotgun, and is covered by a 7-year warranty to make buying it a win-win situation. 

What Are the Benefits of an Over Under Shotgun

Double Chokes

Due to their double-barrel design, over/under shotguns allow the user to shoot through two different chokes without swapping. This can be very helpful when you have to take close-range and long-range shots simultaneously. 

Weight Balance and Ambidextrous

The stacked barrels of o/u’s keep the equilibrium very stable, unlike SxS shotguns. This helps with aiming and maintaining the balance. Thus improving the swing and pointability. These shotguns are also ambidextrous so there’s no right or left nitpicking. 

Ease of Maintenance

These shotguns have minimal moving parts and do not require extensive and complicated disassembly like other shotguns. All you have to do is clean the barrel and wipe the gun clean with appropriate solvents and you’re good to go. 

Reliability

Over/unders will definitely fire when you load the breach and pull the trigger. You don’t have to worry about a short-stroke or an incompetent or misadjusted gas system or shot load. Since the only thing that has to move is the firing pin.

Safety and Durability (in All Weather and Design)

These shotguns are the easiest to maintain and follow the safety rules. The gun can’t fire unless the breech is open, and that’s why most shooters carry it that way. Plus the minimal moving parts and a meticulous design makes these shotguns very durable. 

Spent Shells

These shotguns allow easy collection of spent shells. Whether it is a simple extractor or an ejector with skilled catching hands. 

Pride and Legacy 

Since O/U’s can last for decades if not centuries, you can hand it over as an heirloom to your children or even grandchildren. 

Conclusion 

Over/under shotguns are extensively used for clay shooting sports and bird hunting. These guns have a very balanced, ergonomic and naturally-pointing design which delivers reliability and accuracy. An over under is easy to maintain and lets you use two different chokes at once. While good models can cost upwards of 2000 dollars, there are quite a few budget picks to suit the average joe. 

People Also Ask

Buying an over/under shotgun is a lifelong investment. So it is better to clarify some common doubts before you plan on buying one.

What Does Over/Under Shotgun Mean?

An over/under shotgun is a double-barrel shotgun with both barrels stacked vertically. This offers a central axis for aiming and keeps the shotgun more balanced. Over/under shotguns are very popular for clay shooting sports and upland bird hunting. 

How Much Should You Spend on an Over Under Shotgun?

That’s clearly a matter of your own budget and preference. New over/unders can be found for as low as $700 and can cost upwards of $30,000 and even more. A good rule of thumb is to spare a budget of about $1,500 - $2,000 for buying a good over/under shotgun. 

Which is Better Over Under or Side by Side Shotgun?

Each has its own benefits. But an over/under shotgun is more accurate and balanced compared to a side by side. Plus the over/under barrel setup helps with easy aiming and acquisition of the target. Side by side with double triggers is good when you have to fire both barrels at once. As in a bear-defense situation. 

How Does Trigger Work on Over Under Shotgun?

An over/under shotgun can have a single selective mechanical trigger or an inertia trigger. The SST allows you to choose which barrel fires first and automatically switches to the second barrel no matter if the shell in the first one fires or not. Inertia triggers rely upon the blowback of the shells to switch. 

Do Over Under Shotguns Have 2 Triggers?

While not a very common feature, some over/under shotguns do have 2 triggers. For example, the CZ-USA Mallard (discontinued by factory in 2015) is an over/under with a double trigger. While SxS with double triggers are a very common sight, over/unders with double triggers are extremely rare. 

Are Over Under Shotguns Good?

An over/under shotgun is more reliable, easy-to-maintain, and accurate than any semi-auto or pump-action shotgun. That’s why you see them in the hands of pro clay shooters and bird hunters. These guns are better balanced and amazing to swing. Mostly falling into the category of classic guns rather than workhorses. 

Does Remington Make Over Under Shotgun?

Yes. Remington has been making over/under shotguns for a long time. Some popular O/U models from Remington are series 31, 32, 33, Peerless, and Premium. 

Are Over Under Shotguns Good For Duck Hunting?

Over/under shotguns are indeed, perfect for duck hunting and it is one of the most common uses of these guns. They offer amazing shootability(swing, pointing, balance) and allow you to add double chokes for mitigating spread.

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!