Recoil, Recoil, Recoil. Way to much for multipule shots at a clay target event. Also the wide barrels can be a major distraction. These are the main reasons they are not popular for the clay target sports.
And yes I have owned two, I was seduced by their good looks. Sold both after shooting a short time.
Actually, something better came along... but, many were used for trap back in the day, and if you use reasonable loads, and a big ol' heavy barreled SxS, you'll have fun shooting with them...I bought an old AYA Matador with 32" bbls, just for sporting clays and singles trap.... Full/Mod... lot's of fun... make sure you get a single trigger without an auto safety. And, keep it heavy!! Hire a gun bearer...
I have shot Win 21's for trap and skeet, horrible recoil. Also owned Parker, LC Smith and Ithaca doubles in trap and skeet. They were fine guns and until the influx of inexpensive O/U s were very popular. You had to get used to pointing the rib not the bbl. A common fault of people not used to them. All good dbl.s had the point of impact regulated to imprint at the same point at 40 yards.
I would like to have a dollar for every pigeon that a Model 21 has killed in the ring.
I know what you mean as far as "competitive" shooting. I don't think I would want to shoot one 300 times every weekend. But if you can get the hang of them, they DO point well. Balanced, fast and choked for flyers, they are tough to beat.
When my Dad was still alive, he used to love to tell the story about deer hunting with his LC Smith SxS. A 10 point buck stood facing him at 25 yards. He fired the right barrel and the buck just stood there.
He fired the left barrel and he swore the buck laughed at him before casually strolling away. Then he test-fired the gun and found that at 25 yards, the left barrel was 2 feet right and the right barrel was 2 feet left.
He traded the LC Smith in on a new Winchester Model 12.
I like SXS shotguns but they have two disadvantages, both mentioned above, on the trap line. First, the broad sighting plane can cause problems. Second is recoil. I once got a very nice M-21 for doubles. I managed to shoot three pair before I put the gun in the rack. It really smashed my face.
I would only shoot birds in the field with a S X S, just because I like them.
SxS is the BEST for flyers, if you can stand the recoil. It's a game of lateral movement, not so much vertical. If you want to feel the difference, take your O/U bbls. off the receiver & swing them side to side, then turn them 90 degrees so they are like a SxS, and swing them that way. HUGE difference!
I shoot an M21 Trap quite a bit, mostly for fun, mostly doubles, but registered once in a while. For me it is comfortable and I could go all day with it. As some of the previous posters have noted, the width of the barrels are a bit of a liability until you get used to them. I found that on angles I had a tendency to use the leading edge of the barrels as a centerline, much as you would with a single barrel gun, but that put the shot charge behind the bird. Once I realized the problem, things got better. I would lie if I said great, but certainly better.
I don't think I've ever seen but one SXS set up to shoot the game of trap. A fellow at the grand in Vandalia was vaporising targets with his model 21. I heard later he'd shot some terrific scores with his. Hap