Steoger Coach Gun Pros and Cons


March 24, 2013, 01:48 PM
In my shooting years I have switched from Pump to a double barrel, to a pump and now back to the double barrel. The double barrel just makes more sense to me for several reasons and I will list the pros and cons as best I can. I must add that mine has double triggers and I disengaged the automatic safety.

1. Capacity, only holds 2.
2. Must take gun out of battery to add additional shells. Unlike a pump where you can always have one in the chamber and keep the magazine topped off.

1. Shorter over all length than a pump with 18" barrels. The stoeger has 20" barrels but it's OAL is still at least 2" shorter than an 18" pump. This is due to the added length of the chamber on a pump.
2. Ease of use. Simply swing the lever to the side, break open the action, remove spent shells and add new shells, pull triggers and repeat as necessary.
3. Versatility, Has the ability to have two different types of shot at your disposal. Such as bird shot in one barrel and buck shot or a slug in the other. This is great for a survival type situation where you need to eat but dont know what you are going to come across.
4. Reliability, if you pull the trigger and it doesnt go bang then pull the other trigger.
5. Compactability, In just seconds it breaks down into 3 components with over all length of just over 20", the barrels. The stuck and forend are substantially shorter. This allows the whole setup to easily fit in a brief case or a backpack and you to move among the general population undetected.

It is because of the above mentioned reasons that I have recently added one to my bug out bag. It doesnt take up much space and gives me peace of mind knowing that it is always near by.

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March 24, 2013, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the assessment. I've been eying the Coach Gun Supreme if they ever come back in stock anywhere.

I've read that the barrels don't hit to the same point of aim. Have you noticed this, and if so, how hard is it to compensate?

March 24, 2013, 02:40 PM
I haven't patterned this particular one just yet but I did pattern my last one and it wasnt exact. It doesnt make a difference when shooting skeet or dove because they overlap at center of aim so I havent noticed having to compensate for them.

March 24, 2013, 02:51 PM
I have a 20ga. Stoeger coach gun, and the pattern is one of the best of all my scatterguns. Both dead on the money.

March 24, 2013, 03:16 PM
I had a Stoeger coach gun for a while. The barrels would shake when it was locked, I sent it back. They sent me a new shotgun with the prettiest wood I have seen in a while. It needed some break in, and was still pretty rough to open after 250 rounds through it. Ended up trading it off. The wood was too pretty, I was afraid to muck it up. I miss it occasionally, but I've got a few other SxS's to scratch that itch.

March 26, 2013, 09:59 PM
They can often be a bit rough to open with low brass but with high brass they open just fine. Considering that high brass is all I carry in my BOB or when I go hunting it isnt an issue.

Mat, not doormat
March 26, 2013, 10:18 PM
I used one for CAS for a couple seasons. They're nice guns, but not really up to the strain of continuous hard use, bordering on abuse. I managed to break most of the small parts, at one time or another.

As a hunting gun, or other light duty use, they'd be fine.

evan price
March 27, 2013, 06:13 AM
The one thing that really bugged me about my Stoeger coach gun was that the lever to open the action did not stay pushed over to the side while the action was open. It sprang back to center. You really need to hold the lever over to the side when you close the gun to not chew up the lock.
It's a silly detail, but something that bugged me. I like my old doubles where the lock lever stays over to the side until you close the gun action.
I also didn't like the shape of the fore-end. I like the splinter style, again, of the older shotguns, and not the beavertail style of the Stoeger.

March 27, 2013, 06:27 AM
They are cheap. They work. The double trigger extractor guns hold up pretty well to hard use in my opinion. The single trigger guns not - at all. I had one I bought when getting into CAS. Never bobbled once. Did not handle like a Purdey.

March 27, 2013, 09:00 AM
I just bought one about two weeks ago but have not shot it yet. I am 70 and this is my first side by side and a gun I have wanted to have for years. I hope to shoot it soon. Don

March 31, 2013, 06:55 PM
The coach gun is definitely not my first choice of shotgun for defense use, due to capacity, but there are circumstances where it is a wonderful gun to have! It makes good sense to have a coach gun along with one's pumps and semi-auto shotguns. No need to have just a pump or just a coach gun. They compliment each other well for different applications.

It makes a good car gun, due to compact size and it makes a good carry-into-a-motel room gun, due to very small break down size.

It would be a formidable defense tool against someone trying to break into your bedroom or trying to enter your motel room.

All in all, I would prefer a pump for defense use, but I really like having my coach gun handy at all times.

Carries like a nice, little camera tripod. ;-) Easy to always have close at hand, whether at home, or traveling by car or RV.

March 31, 2013, 07:06 PM
I own 3 steoger side by sides in 12 guage one is the longer barreled uplander and the other 2 are coach guns. I use them all for target shooting and hunting. I think they are great inexpensive range/range guns. I dont use them for defensive guns but they could be used in a pinch and a well trained person can lay down some decent firepower. I prefer pump shot guns and semi auto rifles for home defence use.

March 31, 2013, 07:19 PM
Had a Stroger Double Defense....would not break open after first rd fired. Sent it back....second one would not break open after first rd....tired of fooling with a problems and I got eight tries to find the target.

May 11, 2013, 08:53 AM
Jason - "I've read that the barrels don't hit to the same point of aim. Have you noticed this, and if so, how hard is it to compensate?"

I was recently at the local shot, and since I know next to nothing about over-unders or side-by-sides, enquired on the exact same information myself. The gray-haired, knowledgeable man behind the counter told me that he prefered over/unders because with a side-by-side, the barrel patterns don't shoot STRAIGHT out from each barrel, but rather cross at a certain point (I forget how far out the patterns need to get before they cross).

I can niether confirm nor deny whether or not this is true, but I tend to trust people 3X's my age :D

May 11, 2013, 09:32 AM
I have the Steoger Coach gun with a single trigger in 20 ga and never had a problem with it. My double barrel of choice is a 24" barreled Liberty (now sold by CZ) with double hammer/trigger. It really is a good shot gun but as I said no complaints with the Steoger either.

Marlin 45 carbine
May 11, 2013, 09:35 AM
I have one. it patterns fine and merges at 60'. handles great. I had to shape 2 tack head and set them in the cocking grooves as the arms had depressed the wood, it's sort of a standby gun. improved cyl r/bbl modified l/bbl.

May 11, 2013, 11:42 AM
For a dedicated home defense weapon I personally would want a pump. For something to hunt or go to the range or even be your only long arm on some of your road trips (I always bring a pistol as well) I personally see no issues with a side by side or over under. Heck, on some overnight trips away from home all I have had is a 22 and I slept fine. If I had to choose only one it would be a pump for me personally. Luckily we dont have to limit ourselves to one.

May 11, 2013, 11:49 AM
I put maybe 2000 rounds through one as my main shotgun in Cowboy Action Shooting. The left barrel was choked very tight, but both barrels shot to approximately point of aim. After those 2000 rounds, it started opening when fired. I had it worked on, helped some. I retired it to starling and ring necked dove shooter. Bought a CZ for about three times the money, but it has been flawless.

May 11, 2013, 07:15 PM
I've heard some negative comments about Stoeger quality, some positive too, but wow DHart, that is one very nice looking shotgun, with beautiful photography too. What a nice set up for travel. I've been looking for a coach gun and that Stoeger deserves a second look.

May 11, 2013, 07:25 PM
Thanks, Dennis. Yes, the two-trigger coach gun is a winner for a modest price. And Stoeger offers some upgraded versions of the gun as well (nickel plated, etc.). (I would AVOID the single-trigger models!)

A 'cowboy' gunsmith can polish the action so that it will open and close with no effort and polish the chambers so you can literally "throw" the empty shells out with a jerk back on the gun. The safety can also be converted to "manual" rather than automatically go on every time the action is opened. This is what is routinely done to coach guns for use in cowboy action shooting (CAS). To find a good, local cowboy gunsmith, contact your local "CAS" group for referrals. ( ( (

I really love shotguns and have a nice variety of great pump, semi-auto, and O/U shotguns and even having those, I still would not want to be without my coach gun. It's an awesome option to have on hand. In spite of the 2-round capacity, remember that coach guns have successfully provided very potent and effective defense services to people for well over a century. The coach gun is a formidable weapon indeed.

With the coach gun, there is no reason not to have a nice 12 ga. defense gun close at hand almost wherever you are. This picture really makes the practicality quite clear: (

May 11, 2013, 09:35 PM
They can often be a bit rough to open with low brass but with high brass they open just fine.

???? HUH???? what shells should have no bearing on opening the gun.

These are VERY inexpensive and built to an inexpensive price point. Some folks have good luck, and-as noted -some have not

For about the same money (or less), I would look at the older Savage/Fox 311 or BSE or the older AyA Matadors made for Sears in the 50s and 60s - all very reliable

I have found Stoegers to have very crappy triggers - heavy and gritty, and short barrels have lousy swing dynamics should you need to use it for flying birds in your BUG scenario

May 11, 2013, 10:24 PM
For occasional use, great portability, good defensive capability, gun-in-the-trunk or under-the-seat, a motel/travel gun... perhaps a little emergency close-in hunting in SHTF situations... the Stoeger Coachgun is a great choice.

The triggers on mine are fine. Nothing wrong with them at all. Not especially heavy, nor light. Not especially smooth, nor gritty. They just work and do the job fine.

Certainly, you can always seek out a more expensive, more finely-crafted gun. Or a harder-to-find, out-of-production gun, if you think that's going to serve you better and wish to do so.

And, if you expect to shoot the gun a LOT, use it for hunting, clays, etc., you might want to consider something higher end or more costly. Let's get real... the Stoeger isn't a "fine" grade highly crafter gun. It's a simple design. Reliable. And not very expensive. The Stoeger is designed for moderate use, particular applications, for a modest (not terribly cheap) price. Certainly, no gun is perfect for anything and everything, but this gun is ideal for a lot of folks who want a short double barrel shotgun, SxS, something simple, reliable, economical, and versatile. It does all of that quite well at it's price point.

There are a few other options, as well, for those who might want something a bit different. Begin your search and see what you come up with.

May 11, 2013, 11:10 PM
I was just out clay shooting with mine today. Loved it. I actually did better than my friend with a Benelli Super Nova complete with pattern master choke!

only complaint is a little stock wobble.

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