Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vulcan, Michigan
Okay, I'll try. First off, I own a Tri-Star O/U (Turkish made) and have used it 3 years for grouse/woodcock hunting. So far it's been completely reliable, but I've only shot maybe an average of 2 or 3 boxes of shells per year thru it, and they were low brass.
You have to consider an O/U or SxS is much more complicated than a break open single shot. You now have one trigger (on most) that has to automatically switch to the second barrel after firing the first. A barrel selector incorporated in the safety (on most), automatic cocking hammers when you open the gun, and selective ejectors on some.
Now, the reason they're priced at $1000 or less is because the fit and finish on the internal working parts is not nearly as nice as on the average $2500 gun. They can't be or they too would cost $2000!
Quality control is usually not as good, so it can be a crapshoot when buying one - you might get a good one and you might get one that needs repair right out of the box. Also, the steel used in the internal parts may not be as good quality, or heat treated properly resulting in faster wear on the parts.
If I were considering buying one for anything approaching high volume shooting (I'd consider 1000 rounds a year high volume for the typical hunting gun) and didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money I'd definitely look for a good quality used gun. Real bargains can be found in the used market, especially if you'd be satisfied with one that doesn't have screw in chokes. Personally I don't view screw in chokes as that big a deal - most guys put in IC/M or M/F and leave the same chokes in for 95% of their hunting anyway.