The Stoeger Coach’s design is based on the “Old West” style of double-barreled shotguns, the same kind our founding fathers used. The Coach comes in your choice of 12-gauge, 20-gauge, or .410 bore; the 12 and 20-gauge models include a fixed IC choke on the right barrel and a fixed modified choke on the left barrel, while the .410 features F&F chokes. The A-grade satin walnut stock fits nicely with your choice of blue, matte nickel, or nickel-plated metal work, and it features a checkered grip for a better hold.
The break-open action is simple to operate and the shotgun itself is very fast-handling. The top-tang safety automatically moves into the safe position when the action is open, which is a great point for safety. Overall, the Coach is well-made, well-balanced, and never malfunctions.
With a traditional rib and brass bead front sight, along with two Picatinny top rails for attaching whatever optics you’d like (like a red dot with the perfect reticle), the Stoeger Coach offers high hit potential and quick follow-up shots. It’s dead-on accurate at medium distances of around 30-40 yards. Weighing just 6.5 lbs (a similar weight to the popular JR Carbine Gen 3), recoil can be excessive. However, that’s often the trade you make for a lighter-weight, easily packable firearm. There is a decent rubber recoil pad attached to the rear and if you need a little more cushioning, go for the Supreme model with a thicker pad.
The Coach is chambered for 2.5,” 2.75,” or 3” loads and has a 2 round capacity. The shells have to be loaded in one at a time and there are no automatic ejectors, so you’ll have to pick the casings out before you can load it again. Most of the Coach models feature double triggers, although there are single-trigger models available. They’re kind of heavy and double triggers definitely take some getting used to for anyone who isn’t experienced using them, but it’s pretty easy to pick up.
Overall, the Stoeger Coach is 36.5” long, with the barrel accounting for 20” of the length. It is a bit stock-heavy, but moves smoothly and swings easily. It’s ideal for home defense and survival situations, but has a wide range of other appropriate uses including hunting, cowboy shooting, and use as a truck gun.
Stoeger is known for their high-quality, affordable firearms, and the Coach is no exception. Prices start at $449 and go up to $549, depending on the options you choose. It’s very budget-friendly, way more affordable than a semi-automatic rifle, and offers a good value for your money.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller and other publications. Image: Reuters.