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Old August 12, 2012, 09:36 PM   #1
shootsafe
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Coonan 357 pistol

Ran accross an older model Coonan and liked how it shot. Liked it enough to think about acquiring the newer production model.

Any current owners who have both the older and newer versions?

I would appreciate your input on reliability and what ammo you are using and how the gun feeds and handles.

How long is it taking to get one of these?

Thanks,
Shootsafe
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:21 PM   #2
DFrame
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I wasn't aware they were being manufactured again. If so, thats good news. I long admired them but could never bring myself to part with that much money.
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Old August 21, 2012, 01:48 PM   #3
Sevens
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I do NOT have an older one and I've never shot an older one. I do have a new one and it's a fantastic handgun and runs like a top in my hands when:

--I run full power loads and nothing light
--I shoot it, though I've seen it fail to feed in other folks hand

Literally, I can shoot four straight mags, then hand it off and watch someone else have 2 or 3 failures in one mag, then I'll take it back and run the rest of the day with it. In my experience, it's got to be related to how it's held. I have no struggles with it.

The new pistol also comes with a lighter 10 lb recoil spring intended to be used with .38 Special, but it's my experience that you've got to run hard and hot ".38 Special" through it to make it run well with that spring. I'm a handloader and shoot handloads EXCLUSIVELY, I've not yet fired even one factory round through my Coonan. I'm still perfecting .38 Special loads to run my pistol with the 10-lb spring and I'm close to that point, but they are ever so slightly beyond the max published loads for .38 Special +P.

Let me put that another way... if all new Coonan Classic pistols are like mine, don't buy the pistol if you hope and intend to shoot mostly .38 Special through it, as you'll likely be disappointed.

Coonan tells you that it needs a good 200-250 through it before you should expect .38 Special success... mine is over a thousand rounds.

It's reliable, well built and very accurate. It's likely the most fun gun that I own. If I have to make one complaint is that is desperately needs checkering on the front strap of the grip, and on the back strap wouldn't hurt. I don't particular care for the monolith style, but it likely helps with the muzzle flip.

The older Coonans typically have a decent reputation for quality and performance, but with what I've seen, I wouldn't buy one unless it was a steal. And I don't see them sell for enough under a new one to make it worth it. I believe the frames weren't produced under as close or repeatable tolerances and that makes the magazine well a bit erratic in how they will or will not handle the new magazines. And you will want the new magazines because they are flawless AND available where the older magazines are hard to get and expensive. I have heard that Coonan can modify an older Model A or Model B to work reliably with the new magazines, but you'd have to investigate that.

There is one thing that the older Coonans have over the current Coonan -- the new one is hard as heck to find right now as they have sold these pistols before they are produced and it may be a while before they catch up.

I absolutely love mine and it's (by far) the most I've yet spent on one single firearm, but I have zero regret and no manner of any buyer's remorse whatsoever. It's not a low priced handgun, but when you consider how many choices you have for a .357 Magnum chambered 1911 on the market... I believe it's a bargain.
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Old August 21, 2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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To be more specific about the ammo I feed mine:

I've chrono'd my handloads as running 125gr TMJ slugs as slow as 1,255 and as fast as 1,455 average FPS.

130gr FMJ at 1,400 FPS.

158gr TMJ and JSP between 1,196 and 1,436 average FPS. (that last number works out to 723 ft/lbs energy, but there's no doubt that it's a warm load.)

And lately I've been playing with a 180gr lead truncated cone slug... some loads just under 1,000 FPS and many at 1,220 FPS and of everything I have chrono'd, these loads give me the most consistent performance as far as extreme spread and standard deviation. And they are one-hole accurate.

The bullet is a Penn bullet, and I'm soon going to buy a lot more of them.

All of the above loads feed, fire and function with 100% reliability in my Coonan Classic.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old August 21, 2012, 03:09 PM   #5
DFrame
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Thanks for the information sevens. If you don't mind my asking what did yours cost?
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Old August 22, 2012, 12:43 PM   #6
Sevens
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I was extremely fortunate to find mine used, if you can believe it. The previous owner bought it new and ran 150 rounds through it, all with success except for some Fiocchi (or was it Magtech?) 125gr factory rounds that just didn't have enough punch to operate it 100% of the time. He had also owned a Colt Delta Elite that he had previously sent across the country for some serious, high dollar custom work. When it came back to him, he fell head over heels in love with the Delta Elite and decided that the Coonan, while neat, wasn't going to get much range time with the Delta Elite now being the king of his roost. So he put the hardly used Coonan Classic up for sale and I took that as a sign from the gun gods and I begged, borrowed and stole to get my funds in order and I jumped on his "for sale" ad.

The pistol included the slick aluminum grips (an $80 option) and four total magazines. When the dust had settled, I basically paid around $200 under MSRP for all that I got. The price shown on the Coonan website is what you'll pay if you order the gun from Coonan, which is exactly what this gentleman had done and also what my local buddy had done to get his. If you are a dealer, you can get them cheaper -- but you can't get them quickly. My local shop has two great gun cranks in it and between mine & my buddy's, they elected to become Authorized, stocking Coonan dealers and they made that commitment in April and they still don't have any guns and don't know when they will.

For certain, this is a small group of people in a small place that is building these pistols. There is a wait for them and I can't fathom any scenario where that situation is going to change at anytime in the next handful of years.

If you want one -- order it yesterday. If you see a used (current model) for sale, buy it now. If you MUST have one RIGHT NOW, keep an eye on Gunbroker because a few dealers have them and do sell over MSRP so it is possible to get one if the cost isn't the largest concern.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:11 PM   #7
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I have a Coonan classic. I have been feeding it about a box of ammo every saturday for 1.5 years.

It feeds every thing well except CCI shot shells. The spring will break open the blue plastic and the BBs will fall out the end of the barrel unless you feed it 1 at a time.

I have a short review here of the 6 inch barrel and buffalo bore 125 grain high velocity ammo http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ghlight=coonan

My gun seems more accurate with the 125-158 grain ammo but I have shot as light as 110 grain bullets and as heavy as 230 grain bullet through it.

The gun is very accurate and reliable (its mostly just me that shoots it) The only weak point I see is the cosmetic. While I would still rate it 7 out of 10 but I see that as the weak point in an otherwise great gun.

I love my Coonan so much I finally broke down and got a leather shoulder rig from it from Black hills leather http://www.bhlstore.com/shop/category.asp?catid=208 . The rig is a horizontal rig with a 4 mag pouch on the off side. Between the 5 mags (+1 in the chamber) and my J-frame in my pocket with 2 speed loaders that is 51 rounds of 357 magnum. Stack 5 more rounds of 22 short (my back up gun) and I am pretty well armed if needed.

I am thinking about using my Coonan in the "short range hunt" this year. The hunt is limited to handguns chambered in a hand gun that fires hand gun rounds (no 30-06 encores) and bows/cross bows as well as black powder and shotguns with buck shot.

If you want custom grips this guy does great work and he owns two Coonans him self. http://shop.thefinergrain.com/catego...?categoryId=27

As far as 38 specials I have fed mine a few 38+P and they ran fine. I have not tried any normal 38 specials.

The recoil is not bad as all (to me) but I do shoot a Magnum research BFR chambered in 45/70 and 450 marlin.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old August 24, 2012, 02:29 PM   #8
shootsafe
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Thanks for info

I have one on order.

Sevens, what is your load recipe for the 158gr bullets?
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Old August 24, 2012, 05:33 PM   #9
Dain Bramage
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Quote:
I have one on order.
We knew you couldn't resist.

It took about five months to get mine last year, from order to delivery.

Only disadvantage compared to a revolver is it has a power range floor, below which it will not cycle. It needs +P for the .38 Spl spring, and moderate .357 loadings (considered "normal power" factory loads nowadays) for the magnum spring.

Mine failed to cycle properly with mild .357 reloads using HP-38 powder. It also, expectedly, didn't like the LSWC bullet profile.

With any sort of reasonable curve to the bullet ogive, and decent power, I've had no problems at all. It has shot hundreds of factory Magtech and Federal 158g JHP, and reloaded 158g hard cast TC and RNFP with zero problems. The latter tested through a range of 13.0g to 15.0g Alliant 2400 powder. I don't go for lower bullet weights, although I have no doubt it would function with 125g at the proper power level.

It's a fun and accurate weapon, and is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.
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Old August 25, 2012, 04:03 AM   #10
Sevens
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Quote:
Sevens, what is your load recipe for the 158gr bullets?
I've run a handful of different loads, but generally speaking, these have worked for me with 158gr bullets:
13.5 to 14.0 grains of 2400
8.3gr Hodgdon Longshot
16.0 to 18.0gr Hodgdon Lil'Gun

6.3 grains of Universal, a much lighter & middle of the road .357 Mag load would not run the Coonan.

I tend to run more 125 and 130 grain slugs lately, because I got a very good deal on them so I have a large supply on hand. I've also been playing a bit with cast lead 180gr slugs with fantastic results.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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I have been drooling over this gun for a long time. Every time I thought I had the money for it the money went to something that filled a shooting need more than a want. Now I have the money for this want and I can not seam to get Coonan to return calls or website inquiries. This is frustrating after having to put this purchase off many times.

Anyone know how long it normally takes for them to respond or if they are having problems?
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old October 2, 2012, 11:20 PM   #12
Deja vu
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Hmm... that is odd, you may want to try to call them again.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old October 3, 2012, 02:03 PM   #13
Sevens
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I don't have a decent answer for why you can't contact them, but I can tell you that it's a SMALL operation with a small handful of people. I know we say that all the time, but this is the real deal, couple of people and no more than that.

My local FFL was so enamored with the Coonan that my buddy bought (and maybe mine, shortly thereafter!) that they elected to become an Authorized Coonan Dealer. That was months ago and they still don't have any handguns to sell in the store.

As a side note, the same dealer was able to find a used Coonan Classic (that's what we call the current production models) and I don't know if he snagged it in a buy somewhere or if it walked in to the shop... but it needed a minor repair and he contacted Coonan and sent it to them and he had it back in a WEEK, ready to run. For the curious, the "problem" was the spring housing on the left side of the pistol that keeps the dual-ended spring for the slide stop and safety lever was coming unstaked. Yes, I know there is a term for that part, but I can't come up with it.

It's my opinion that the SHOT show probably blew up the list of guns that have been ordered and it's blocked up the operation something fierce.

Suggestion: Not your first choice, but there ARE some new Coonan Classic pistols on Gunbroker here and there, not a lot and not with the specific options you may want, but with decent prices. If you really want one right now, they do appear on there for a good price and brand new. For example, there is the base model with the fixed sights and one mag for $1,250, the same price that Coonan sells it at right off their website.

Check it out as an option.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old October 3, 2012, 03:25 PM   #14
Deja vu
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I wanted a Coonan when I was a kid. Late in 2010 I was finally in position to buy some more guns. I was looking at a 357 magnum Desert Eagle when I saw that Coonan was back in business. I ordered it the next day with the fully adjustable night sights.

I love to shoot it. I make sure I bring no more than 2 boxes with me or ill shoot it all up and have no more ammo next time.

I was also reading on a different forum about a guy that messed up his desert eagle with cast bullets. My Coonan loves cast bullets. The Coonan also feeds 38 specials once you break in the 10 LBS spring.

I am very happy with my purchase. I have bought several other accessories for it including multiple mags and a 6 inch barrel as well as two sets of custom grips from thefinergrain.com
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:51 PM   #15
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The price of the used ones must be artificially high. I bought mine lightly used for two thirds of new prices. I just love my LGS. They apparently prefer to move the inventory.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:37 PM   #16
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I am a member of the Clint Eastwood AutoMag fan club...yeah, I was a teenager when those movies were current.

For many years, I was looking to buy an AutoMag, but the opportunities were few and far between. I had one shot back in 2003...a .357 Hollywood AutoMag for (IIRC) $1100.

Problem was, I was really looking for a .44 AutoMag and second, I didn't have $1100 in my wallet.

With regard to Coonans, I have looked at a nice older one "in person" and have looked at a bunch of both used and new ones on the 'net.

One day, perhaps I will own one.
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:04 PM   #17
Chaz88
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I will try some more to contact them. If I can not work something out soon the money is starting to edge over to a new o/u 12g 26" or 28" for skeet and maybe trap. I need a shorter gun for skeet more than another trap gun though.
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

No spelun and grammar is not my specialty. So please don't hurt my sensitive little feelings by teasing me about it.
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:05 AM   #18
Deja vu
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Coonan recently released there 6 inch barrel (see the review I did on this forum with buffalo bore ammo and 900 foot pounds of energy) They also have a compensated and a threaded version.

They have a video blog that they update pretty frequently. I tried there contact number and the phone was answered by a real person.

My Coonan functions really well.

I know they are a small shop. When I ordered my pistol a in early 2011 The customer service was great infact after I had the gun for about 2 month Dan Coonan him self called me and asked me how it was going.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple

Last edited by Mal H; October 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Removed response to defamatory post.
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Old October 14, 2012, 06:50 AM   #19
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I have one of these pistols, a new model, and love it. I went to their website after reading your( Deja Vu's) post about a 6" barrel, but don't see it listed. How can I get one? Is it a 6" drop-in barrel or a whole new pistol? I would gladly order a 6" version. They are worth the wait, in my opinion.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:55 AM   #20
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Saw a new one at a gun show yesterday. I will see what they go for there.
Back...
I was NIB or bag. The wanted $1500.

Last edited by Master Blaster 2; October 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:55 PM   #21
Deja vu
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Just ask for the 6 inch barrel. I did not know they had them but I asked and they have 3 other barrels. They have a 6 inch (hunter) barrel. A 5.5 inch threaded barrel and a 5.5 inch compensated barrel.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:01 AM   #22
cmdc
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OK. Thanks
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:20 PM   #23
Deja vu
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They also have a few other Colors avalable such as pink and purple... They have a chrome grip as well.
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old October 16, 2012, 01:55 PM   #24
Dain Bramage
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Don't know about going out of business, but when replying to my correspondence on magazine availability, they did say they were moving. Maybe that's where this started.

Quote:
** Please Note** Do not ship anything to the address below starting 9/24/12.
We are in the process of moving.

Our old address: 2033 105th Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55449.

Our new address is:
4501 103rd CT NE #120, Blaine, MN 55014

Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

Regards,

Coonan Team
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Old October 17, 2012, 01:41 PM   #25
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Deleted

Last edited by MNGearhead; October 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Edited by request
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