The Auto Loader
If you count Richard's Benelli (I know its not an auto!) Dave's Gold and Manny's Fusion then half of us can go shooting looking like a posse of tooled up Septic stormtroopers from YouTube. But for gentlemen of a certain age, suffering from all the infirmities that flesh is heir to, the Semi with its lighter weight and lower felt recoil might be a good investment. But why an auto loader I hear you cry?
There are some definite Pros:
Only one barrel to clean,
Only one choke to worry about, if you are given to choking worries that is.
They are lighter for carrying around big grounds.
Less felt recoil, a softer shooting gun, at least if it is gas operated..
Really satisfying loading action when you press that little button and the bolt slams forward. Brownings of course have the Speed Load feature which is neat and actually very useful to the bird shooter.
Cheaper purchase price, both new and second hand.
If you are out after pigeon or something, then you can load three, yes three, shells into the gun, though of course on a clay ground you will restrict yourself to a max of one in the mag and one in the chamber,
Most of them come with a set of shims that allow you to adjust cast and drop at comb. It may not be adjustable to the Nth degree, but it allows some adjust-to-fit, unlike a fixed stock gun.
Available in Camo, if you're a bit of an SAS walt.
However, there is also quite a long list of Cons:
There may be only one barrel to attend to, but the bolt and receiver take some effort to get clean.
One can't easily check the barrel is clear.
They can be a finicky about the ammunition they will reliably cycle.
You're not likely to get many invites to game days if folks know you are going to bring an auto loader.
Shooting at night can be disconcerting if you are not a fan of fiery flames within inches of your face.
If you are left handed then you really ought to go for a left handed gun, and they aren't that common.
Open and empty doesn't mean much with a semi, you need breech flags and carrying them properly makes one look very uncool, but safety is at stake so you have to do it!
You only get one choke on both targets.
That single barrel can get really hot! Though it can act as a hand warmer on cold days too.
The trigger. The first time your author shot an auto, he thought the trigger had jammed, it hadn't, it was just that it needed hauling back with some real determination. Many autos will have triggers that can be described as 'agricultural' compared to a modern over and under.
Semis always seem to have short stocks. I think it's because they are designed for colonials who shoot in the freezing winter wastes of North Dakota, wrapped up like the Michelin Man.
You really ought to change the recoil spring every 10k rounds or so, most shooters dont know or dont bother, but at least it is a job you can do yourself rather than have to hand it over to a gunsmith.
Its possible to reassemble it after cleaning and have some bits left over, which is nice.
Back surgery means it's a long way down to pick up those spent shells.
Looking at the list of Pros vs Cons, I guess you can see why most folks prefer an over and under.