Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday Gunday: This is a stupid, useless thing

This monstrosity has been making the rounds of the gun-sphere lately. If you buy this you are an idiot, because
this abomination is only one step above putting a tactical rail on a flintlock.

The Stoeger "Oh You're Fucking Kidding Me Right?"

Now as I've said before, shotguns are awesome for home defense, and I fully endorse the notion of having a flashlight attached to see whom you're shooting. I don't even have a problem with a red-dot sight on it, though that strikes me as expensive overkill. No, here is the problem: this is a double-barreled shotgun with only one trigger.

As I see it, there are only three reasons to own a Coach Gun (so named because they were favorite defense weapons on Stagecoaches by those riding -- you guessed it -- shotgun):
  1. You are a traditionalist who prefers an old-fashioned classic.
  2. You want the massive traumatic power of shooting someone with both barrels at once. 
  3. You want the versatility of putting different rounds (say, buckshot and solid slug) in separate barrels.
If your reasoning is option one, then I say, "More power to you." Of course, you're also likely to know your guns and know what is worth your money, i.e. Not This.  But if your choices were two or three, then this is not the gun for you, because without dual triggers, those options are useless.

This is a PROPER Coach Gun. Ironically, also made by Stoeger.

Traditional Coach Guns have two triggers: the front fires the right barrel, the rear fires the left barrel. (Or, if you have an up-and-under, top and bottom barrels respectively.) If you're really good, you can shoot both at the same time with index and middle finger. But this piece of foolishness only comes with one trigger. So, answer me this: does it fire both barrels at once (giving you massive stopping power but reducing this gun to a glorified single-shot weapon), or does it fire each barrel in order (giving you some degree of versatility in exchange for stopping power)?

Go and read that magnificent piece of ad copy BS again. You know, the one where it states that the Double Defense is "chambered for both 2.75 and 3 inch rounds." (Of course it does, fucknut, it's a breech-loader. As long as you have the proper gauge, you can fire shells of any length from it.) Does it say anything about how the gun fires?

No. No, it does not. All it says is that is has a "fast, single-trigger design." (After scouring YouTube, I discovered that it fires the barrels in order.)

I asked two friends of mine, both of whom are not familiar with guns, what they thought of this. One of them said "I don't like it for some reason." The other said "It looks all right, but don't other shotguns come with more than two rounds?"  Both of them got it exactly right, and they aren't even experts -- they just saw through the hype.

The Stoeger Double Defense is nothing more than a marketing gimmick aimed at people who know nothing about shotguns but want one for self-defense.

Oh, it looks all intimidating and "tacticool," what with its all-black exterior and flashlight (sold separately) and red-dot scope (also sold separately). But it's a double-barrel gun with none of the actual advantages of a traditional Coach Gun. Sure, you could pay $500 for a two-shot weapon with tactical rails -- or you could buy a used pump-action shotgun, which holds 5 rounds in the magazine and one in chamber, for around $150, and add the flashlight later.

Please, don't be an idiot. If you don't know anything about guns but want to buy one, find someone knowledgeable on the subject and get their opinion.


  1. Nice review, I don't own any guns but have often thought about it. I grew up using shotguns and rifles for hunting. I keep thinking of home defense in the future, I am factoring in either guns, dogs or both.

  2. I'm of the opinion that if you don't know anything about guns you shouldn't buy one. Unless you're in the middle of nowhere (and thus probably already have some basic knowledge of guns, because people in the middle of nowhere tend to) you're somewhere near a shooting range or gun shop. At both locations you can probably find out how to find an instructor to teach you the basics (possibly even home defense basics if you're in one of the countries/states where this is encouraged) as well as let you test a few different shotguns to find the one (and the type of ammo) that suits you.
    The only thing I'll say is that I recommend a 20-12 gauge pump shotgun (the lower the gauge, the larger the calibre. 10 gauge is overkill. Military shotguns, intended for CQC and jungle warfare are most often 12 gauge) and the shortest legal barrel length (something like 18" in most states where shotguns are legal for home defense).
    Combine that with a round that's at least intended for something larger than rabbit hunting. Rounds suited for killing moose is overkill, even rounds suitable against deer might be overkill (as the most likely engagement range in home defense is 1-3 yards, not the 20-50 yards which is the most likely range to engage deer. Also, you're not looking for 100% killing power. You're looking for a round that will incapacitate at any home defense range).

  3. While everything you say is true, the bloody-minded pragmatist in me would like to point out that a dead intruder is one hundred percent incapacitated.

  4. But at the cost of:
    a. Recoil. A lower powered round is more accurate and easy to control. The speed with which you fire that second shot might be what saves you if you miss or fail to incapacitate (although that's usually a miss unless you're dealing with someone that's high or in a berserker rage)
    b. Overpenetration. Powerful rounds are powerful against things other than flesh. Like "walls not made out of solid one feet thick concrete". If the shot isn't lodged in its intended target there is a distinct possibility that it's lodged in something you didn't want it to be lodged in. Like an innocent bystander.
    c. Your conscience. It's not easy living with having killed someone. Even if they kind of deserved it. It's slightly easier to live with if you started out with "I'm out to protect myself and I'm going to use the minimum amount of force necessary to do so" and not "I'm going to kill every fucker who gives me the slightest justification".
    Given the nature of a shotgun blast it's quite likely that any hit (even if it's not lethal) will incapacitate through chock.


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