This paper addresses the stability problem of pump controlled asymmetric hydraulic actuators and proposes a physical solution for it. The system under consideration utilizes a shuttle valve to compensate for unequal flow rates due to the asymmetry in the actuator. Possible hydraulic circuit configurations resulting from various valve positions are defined on the load pressure versus velocity plane and a generalized linear model of the system is derived. The investigation shows that there exists a critical load pressure region in which any equilibrium point requiring a partially open spool position is unstable during the retraction of the actuator. A particular valve underlap is proposed in order to avoid the instability and a shuttle valve selection guide is presented. Theoretical findings are validated by both numerical simulations and experimental tests. Results show that the undesired pressure oscillations are removed up to certain actuator velocities with the use of an underlapped shuttle valve.