Here is a Rossi (Overland, AKA Overlund), 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun, a nice little coach gun I picked up as part of an estate sale several years ago. It will chamber 2 3/4" or 3" shells, and has a 20" barrel. Made in Brazil and imported until somewhere around 1988, it was also available in 12-gauge. It has functional dual hammers and dual triggers. There is a definite choke in the barrel, but there is no way for me to measure how much choke; it seems a bit more than improved cylinder but that is just a guess.
Participants of “Cowboy Action Shooting,” aka CAS, are the most common owners these guns. Some people think they are ideal for home defense, others think they are an abomination. Although it is not a Lupara, its legal compactness could have some advantages for a defender. Some feel the external hammers make it safer and offer tactical advantages while others disagree. My humble opinion is that almost any gun can serve for home defense if the owner does his or her part. What is ideal for others may not be ideal for you. Some say the 20-gauge is too light for home defense, other say the lower recoil is an asset. All choices are for you to make. It is nice to have options. Click here for article evaluating the 20-gauge for home defense.
I have read where some people have used these Rossi guns heavily with no problems, and I have also read where the external portion of the firing pin peens readily; one writer said 50 rounds, another said in 250 rounds. If you are considering buying and using a gun that is no longer made, be forewarned that repair parts may be difficult to arrange.
For safety reasons, in 1960 Federal began to set the standard in the U.S.A. of using the color yellow for 20-gauge shotshells. Some may notice the blue color of the 2 ¾’’ 20-gauge shotshells in the photo. These 0 buckshot loads were made in Mexico.
Click here to read some history of the shotshell.
This blog entry gets a lot of attention, and the Rossi gun is no longer available factory new. If you are considering a coach gun for home defense, take a good look at the Stoeger Double Defender as profiled on The Firearm Blog (Click here).