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I picked up a used SBE a few years back after having my Browning Gold 3.5" freeze up every other year in 10-20 degree weather while hunting geese. If I didn't keep it emaculately clean, it would turn into a single shot.

Since then, I have laid in dry, dusty rice fields of Arkansas for geese and crawled through mud at the local reservoir for woodies. That SBE just keeps asking for more.

I took it for chickens (a.k.a. pheasants) at a local hunt club once and it got a bit heavy lugging it around all day, but still cycled the light 2 3/4" loads I was using that day.

I plan on it being my turkey gun this year.

In my mind, the SBE is the hand's down leader in the semi world.

One note: If you plan on shooting a lot of 3.5" shells on any given day, invest in the mercury recoil reducer and a good quality aftermarket recoil pad. You won't regret it, in fact, you'll shoulder will thank you.

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This is in response to bwnr. Maybe I'm a bit ignorant, I haven't owned too many guns, but I'm surprised you'd say the SBE got heavy while hunting pheasants. What's lighter? I know the Browning 3 1/2 and the Winchester X2 are not. Doesn't really matter I guess, I wouldn't trade my SBE for any other, except the SBE II.


[ 02-27-2004, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: Wingman ]

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  • 2 weeks later...


By the time I added the mercury dampening on my SBE with a 28" barrel, it was noticeable heavier than say, an Ithaca featherlight in 16 ga.

All I was saying is that for a typical duck, goose or turkey hunt, your position is sitting for most of the day with the gun resting somewhere close. For pheasants, grouse, rabbit, etc., my personal preference is a lighter O/U or featherlight pump model where reaction times matter.

I agree the SBE is comparably weighted to the Browning or X2, but given the same reasoning above, I wouldn't prefer to carry these after pheasants either. Hope that explains my position a bit better and again, these are just my preferences/opinions. Trust me, my SBE is going to the grave with me.

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