Wyatt Earp famously avenged his brother Morgan’s murder by killing Frank Stillwell at point blank range with two shots from a sawed-off side-by-side shotgun (SxS) followed by four pistol shots. Taylor’s Wyatt Earp model, built by Pedersoli, proves such guns still have a place in our modern polymer world of high-capacity arms.
What was true then is true now, and the Pedersoli SxS (emblazoned with Wyatt’s name on the side or not—your choice) is two guns in one with true working sidelocks and twin triggers. Two guns in one was what made the double-barrel gun so popular and comforting back in the day, especially when misfires were more common.
Today, just two shots sounds so yesterday, but the assurance one barrel will discharge if—for any reason—the other doesn’t is just as sound. There’s no worry about reset of a single trigger, no manipulation to “clear,” just squeeze the second trigger and unleash the fury.
If there is a fly in the ointment, it’s the tang safety. While unnecessary on a gun with rebounding hammers as used for the Earp, it has some use in the hunting fields if you like to hunt brush for bunnies or upland birds. On a self-defense gun, it could prove beneficial if the arm is wrested from you, or a nightmare if you haven’t learned and practiced the manual-of-arms for going into action.
I’ve only had one misfire from factory shotshell ammunition in 30 years. All it did was shorten my hunt. In a self-defense situation, I would’ve been fighting with a club. With a SxS like the “Earp” I’d have another immediate chance to throw some lead.
In the test, I shot 12-gauge Winchester No. 7-1/2 high-base game load, Federal Tactical buckshot and, in the spirit of the Old West, black powder loads in brass hulls with nine pellets of Hornady 00 Buckshot. Right barrel patterns were centered and just over the bead at 15 yards. Left barrel patterns were to the left, but both 00 Buck loads were still in the 8- and 9-ring of the Birchwood Casey target. For the Cowboy Action shooter, fully 1/4 of the 7-1/2 shot landed in the scoring area, and no “Kentucky windage” was necessary for scoring hits.
Fit and finish of the arm is excellent, and no malfunctions occurred during the test. The stock fit well, ends in a steel buttplate came to the shoulder smoothly. The 7-pound gun kicked with the high base, but was comfortable double tapping with the black powder and Federal low-recoil Tactical Buckshot. The black powder load “double taps” with authority, giving a bright flash from the 20 1/8-inch barrels, a huge cloud of smoke and a very healthy BOOM!
The fore-end is a beavertail style and gives sure control over the front of the gun. It is held by a nice upscale Deely-style latch. The hammers cock easily, but the trigger pull is 11 pounds in each trigger. While no impediment in the double taps, they proved hard to control when shooting the patterns. Being a true sidelock, the trigger pulls can be adjusted by any good gunsmith.
With extractors only, spent hulls must be plucked out. The chambers are well polished, and even hard-kicking high-base hulls could be tossed out over the shoulder using the method called a “Cowboy” reload. The Taylor’s & Co. “Wyatt Earp” sells for $1,535. It’s expensive, but you’re buying two guns in one.
Are you a fan SxS Shotguns? How does The Taylor’s & Co. Wyatt Earp model rank against your favorite? Share your answer in the comment section.
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