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There are hundreds of auctions for classic American doubles on GB with zero bids, across several brands. In fact, I would say at the moment around 98% of the items have no bids. Pages and pages of Lefevers, Parkers, Smiths, and others with no takers. Most of the items with bids are penny start auction basket cases.

Has the time passed for these grand old guns?
 

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Yes indeed. I see 80 year old ones come in for repair she the cost to repair exceeds the value of the piece. If someone REALLY wants a SxS they go and have one fitted and made. That's the market of today for the SxS.
 

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It is the advancement of technology. Even O/U are fading rapidly. I think that the only thing really keeping O/U shotguns going is competitive trap and skeet shooting. I like the balance of a good SxS, and still use my Dad's old Ithaca for bird hunting, although now limited to what you can still use lead shot for.
This trend is following the ways of plastic guns taking the place of steel ones, autos taking the place of revolvers, etc. People don't seem to want to learn to shoot nowadays, but instead rely on technology. How many new hunting rifles come with open sights? Very few. When telescopic sights came out, they were relatively simple, now you have BDC and range finders, so the only thing you need to know, above the basics, when shooting, is to turn this dial, that dial, hold steady and pull the trigger.
 

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American side x sides are fine. I just paid almost 5k for a near mint 12 gauge DH. Last year I paid 3k for a slightly worn 2 barrel set DH frame 3. Gunbroker is a horrible place to buy side x sides. Most greatly overvalue their guns that are no where near the condition they think they are. A heavily worn non original condition parker DH isn't a 3 or 4k gun. It's a 1500 to 2k gun, but some people don't understand what they do and don't have. Gunsinternational is much better for parkers, or the parker gun collectors association.

Condition is big, especially with the types of prices they are asking on gunbroker and 99% of em don't have it.

Heck Collectors Firearms has had a monoblocked BHE for close to 10 years that while a lovely gun, no one who actually buys those quality of guns is going to drop 12 large on a monoblocked gun.
 

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Don't forget about trap shooting. I still shoot competition with my 45 plus year old Browning Superposed Broadway Trap and love it. It is such a pleasure to shoot and the 5/8" rib makes the center sight look like a BB on a 6 lane highway.

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I have lots of admiration for a well done sxs. I can only hope nice Parker’s, 21’s, etc. come down but smaller gauge higher end high condition models coming down to were I coud afford one I just think is wishful thinking but I wouldn’t mind if they did. .
 

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High grade or rare models will always bring top dollar. Having said that, I think price is what keeps most doubles sitting on the shelves. Shops around here seem to be full of run of the mill doubles priced way above what most people can afford.
 

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High grade or rare models will always bring top dollar. Having said that, I think price is what keeps most doubles sitting on the shelves. Shops around here seem to be full of run of the mill doubles priced way above what most people can afford.
And for the "run of the mill doubles" there is also the inability to use steel shot. So those shotguns which lack condition for the big-buck sales are of reduced utility for the hunter in the field.
 

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I think they sell slow because compared to other vintage guns, its only collectors that buy them, not users. Other than Cowboy Action that can shoot short double barrels, bird hunting is way down in America. When I was a kid and visited my grandparents and great uncles in South Carolina, everyone duck hunted. They all had doubles, and all had duck boats, stuffed ducks on their mantles, etc. I suspect the water that supported huge flyways of ducks and goose are about gone. The smaller game birds are sometimes still hunted, like Pheasant and dove and quail. But people want a modern gun for hitting those.

So that leaves skeet and trap, which again people want modern guns. Pistols and rifles can always be used for plinking, legacy events, defense, target shooting. But a double barrel isn't used for much anymore. Demand is down, so prices of the field grades should be low.
 

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"Shops around here seem to be full of run of the mill doubles priced way above what most people can afford."

As others have pointed out, the guns are not priced above what people can afford, they're priced more than they are worth. Gunbroker sellers are some of the worst. If you really want to sell your gun, sell it at no reserve, and the market will determine what it's worth.

Please note that this is not what I think they should do; it's their stuff, and if they want to hold on to it or wait for the right buyer that's their business.
 

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The market is not dead. The dearth of bids is due to seller ignorance and unreasonable greed.
Gunbroker (much like eBay) is rapidly ceasing to be a true auction site, and is becoming an overpriced boutique.

If sellers started EVERY auction at one cent, with NO Reserve, there would be plenty of bids, and plenty of sales. (This is how I sell everything I sell on Gunbroker. My auctions invariably get lots of bids, and the unseen hand of the market dictates the price.) But too many sellers have no guts and unbelievably high opinions of the value of their guns! So they set a wildly inflated opening bid, and then wonder why no one is biting.

It says not as much about the market for classic side by sides, and more about the failed marketing strategy of idiotic sellers.

BRP
 

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I still upland game with what once was a moderately priced double gun, a 16 gauge Ithaca. I've outlived all my old duck hunting partners, and besides, none of the doubles I own will accept steel shot. Still, someone is buying the relatively inexpensive doubles coming in from Turkey. Hardware store single shots line the used shelves hereabouts. New shotguns tend to look all tacticool with folding stocks, holographic sights and magazine tubes that extend past the "aggressive muzzle attachment"
 

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I'm another Parker, LeFever and Winchester shotgun collector/hunter but sadly, the quail are gone around here except for pen-raised birds on preserves which I refuse to frequent. I still appreciate quality and rarity and, more recently have been collecting nice Winchester Model 42 .410's.
 
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I shoot Ducks, Geese, quail, and Dove with my Parkers. Hope to someday get pheasants or partridges....

There are plenty of steel shot substitutes by Kent, RST, and others that are perfectly fine for your classic doubles. They are a little more pricey then what you get off the shelf at walmart, but you don't need 200 shells to go duck hunting.
 
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