View Full Version : Coach Gun for Self/Home Defense

July 24, 2008, 09:12 AM
I just picked up a Stoeger supreme coach gun and I'm pretty happy with it so far. I also have a Benelli M1 super 90. Despite the fact that I have a modern auto loader with rifle sights, high(er) ammo capacity etc. I bought the coach gun for home defense. I've owned two Mossberg 500s and an 870 police magnum for home defense, and I actually prefer the double gun.

It seems to me that the common opinion is that pump guns are the best for home defense. There are good reasons I suppose: higher ammo capacity, reliability, and that ominous sound of a homeowner racking the gun to show he or she means business.

But, I think there's a good argument to be made for the humble coach gun. While the pump gun has it beat hands down in the ammo capacity dept., I think the coach gun can hold its own in the other areas. A coach gun is more reliable than a pump gun. Once the action is closed, both shells are ready to roll. No feeding of shells means no possible feeding problems. Moreover, if one barrel failed to fire, it is far faster to pull the other trigger than it is to rack another round.

With respect to the intimidation factor, I think too much is made out of the fear a racked shotgun will instill in an attacker. Sure, it tells him that you're armed and you mean business. But, it also tells him where you are. And, if he's armed too, it might actually start a gunfight. Underlying the belief that the sound of a racked pump gun will scare off a perp is the assumption that the perp will choose "flight" when the fight or flight instinct kicks in. But, what if he chooses "fight"? Having a good shotgun in close quarters might give you an edge, but the last thing you want are bullets and buckshot flying around your home (esp. when some are flying at you).

Besides, if you put a standard riot gun next to a coach gun, the coach gun wins hands down in the visual intimidation factor. Rather than racking a slide and hoping the perp runs or gives up, what if the first the perp knew of your armed status was when he was looking down two 12 gauge barrels? If he still wants to fight, you've certainly got the jump on him. In America, anyway, I think pop culture has instilled a certain fear of and respect for the short barreled double gun (all the cowboy and mafia movies, I suppose). We Americans instinctually understand what the gun means.

As far as ammo capacity, I watched Clint Smith do a piece on Self Defense TV about using whatever gun is around for self defense. He showed how a buttcuff and a little technique will enable you to keep up a decent rate of fire with a coach gun. I have my doubts, however, that a reload would be necessary if I fired both barrels of the coach gun at a perp.

I keep a Glock 19 next to my bed and my HD shotgun (now the coach gun) a few steps away from my bed. My HD plan has always involved grabbing the handgun first and then making my way to the shotgun if time allows. I think it's always a good idea to back up your long gun with a handgun when you are defending your life. The reason is clear: in case the long gun malfunctions, it's faster to grab your handgun than to fix the long gun. The same is true for reloading. Especially with shotguns (even pumps or autos), it's far faster to grab your pistol than it is to spend the time reloading.

Bottom line, I think the coach gun is as good as the pump gun for self/home defense. Rather than getting another pump gun, I opted for the nostalgia of a double gun. It's now up to me to make sure that I know how to use it effectively. But that can be said for every gun on the market today.

The longer I own guns (and I have owned plenty) the more I agree with the K.I.S.S. principle. There are few guns as simple as the coach gun.

July 24, 2008, 09:28 AM
I love my 18-1/2" barreled Baikal Bounty Hunter coach gun! :cool:
Mine is stoked with Aguila Mini-Slugs [385gr @ 1250 fps] and i also have a tactical flashlight taped to the barrel like Clint Smith in the below short video clip:


I agree, the double-barrel shotgun has the intimidation factor in spades

45Marlin carbine
July 24, 2008, 09:46 AM
me too! I keep my Stoeger Coach leaning in near corner by bed/nite lite and Makarov in spare holster velcroed to bedpost. right bbl hi-brass #6, left bbl 3" Mag #4 Buck.

July 24, 2008, 10:15 AM
right bbl hi-brass #6, left bbl 3" Mag #4 Buck.

That's another good point. Two barrels means you can load different loads and choose the most appropriate one for the job. I read an article where the author used his coach gun for protection in bear country. He loaded bbl #1 with a magnum slug and bbl #2 with 000 buckshot. The only way to do this with a pump gun or auto is to stagger different loads in the mag tube and cycle the action until you chamber the round you want to use.

July 24, 2008, 10:27 AM
I would have no problem with a coach gun for hd. 2 rounds of 00 buck should definitely do the trick.

July 24, 2008, 10:32 AM
you said exactly what I think about HD with a shotgun. I use a baikal short bareled coach gun for home defense too, covered by a Glock 19 and a CZ SP01, Jeff Cooper said once that most of the gunfights involving shotguns very rarely involved more than one or two shots, I trust the man!
Beside, in front of a jury a coach gun don't look as "evil" as the black tactical made for kill semi auto or pump shotgun. Don't make me wrong I love my remington 1100, but...

July 24, 2008, 12:21 PM
My wife has said she'd like a nice double 20 for a home defense long gun...now to find one cheap.

July 24, 2008, 02:50 PM
mine too :D

http://images.imagup.com/04/1216932611_09092007326.jpg (http://www.imagup.com/imgs/1216932611.html)

July 24, 2008, 03:03 PM
A coach gun is fine. An 18" pump with a mag extension is finer.

July 24, 2008, 03:11 PM
Plom, I like them sandals. lol.;) I just never got the feel for the short barrels and dont get a good follow thru with it because their so short. I got a Baikal(Remington) Bounty Hunter 12ga. coach for sale cheap. If anyone is interested, PM me.

July 24, 2008, 09:54 PM
I have NEVER been a believer in "racking a round in" as being anything more than some Macho talk and secondly, absolutly telling a bad guy where you are. If he is armed, his fear factor may drop a lot. I don't want a BG to have any idea of where I am, which will most likely be near the floor behing a door frame at least. He isn't going to EXPECT a shot or victum near the floor. You need to surprise them and never let yourself be a target.
I think in actuality, most "bad guys" really do NOT want to confront ANYONE. Generally, they break into homes they "think" are empty, owners out for the night.etc.
I sure don't get paranoid about being broken into, I had it happen one time in 50 years and of course, I was 50 miles away. They KNEW I was gone, I am sure they rang the doorbell, knocked on the door and tried to get me to turn a light on or something. I didn't do any of the above, they knew I was gone and of course they broke into the basement.
I don't have a problem at all with people having a gun nearby for safety sake, but SOOOO many in here sound like they HOPE and CAN'T WAIT to have a home intrusion so they can waste someone. I mean all they talk about is an 870 with extended mags, sidesaddles and all.
I admire your thinking, at least you (as I do) figure any situation can be handled within 2 shots.
I really doubt I will get broken into where I am in a running gun battle with BG's that will take 8 to 10 or more shots to stop it. That just seems like the old Rambo mentality and the stuff movies are made of, including bullets that make sparks, good guys never get hit and machine guns that can't hit anybody. It makes for fun movies, but is far from real life.
I actually just have a Berreta 390 with a 28"barrel. I really don't think a shorty barrel is a real help. It is pretty easy to prove to yourself too. All you need to do is go to a range and try hittting a man size target in a kill zone with any gun held close or short. Try it again with the gun shouldered. It is much like trying to point accurately at something with your finger held at your side as opposed to at arms length.
Anyhow, I am sure the flames will start from the Ramboesque crowd.
Best of luck and I hope you never have to defend yourself for real.

July 25, 2008, 07:45 AM
Double guns have played a role in HD since forever ..haven't heard or read many complaints about them..the perps are all dead :D

I to like those little coach guns ..ones on my list. :)

July 25, 2008, 10:42 AM
don't have a problem at all with people having a gun nearby for safety sake, but SOOOO many in here sound like they HOPE and CAN'T WAIT to have a home intrusion so they can waste someone. I mean all they talk about is an 870 with extended mags, sidesaddles and all.
I admire your thinking, at least you (as I do) figure any situation can be handled within 2 shots.

I have actually been the victim of home invasion robbery. In fact, it's why I became a gun owner (I was unarmed at the time). Of course I hope that I never have to shoot anyone. But, I will never allow myself or my family to be the victim of someone depraved enough to attack a person in his or her own home. Any robbery is scary, but a home invasion robbery adds an addition dimension because it happens in the one place you expect to be safe.

So, my choice of home defense firearms is informed by the actual experience of having an up close and personal encounter with an armed intruder. There is very little time to react and you really have to take into account that adding a gun to the equation could actually make things more dangerous. In my case, if I had a gun in the house, it would have been very easy for the perp to get to it before I did (which would have been an error in planning, not an error in owning a gun). That's why I keep the handgun close and the shotgun hidden and a few steps away. And, in this instance, even with multiple perps, you'd be lucky to get off two shots with a long gun. If you even have time to get to your long gun, it needs to be COMPACT. moving around in the dark with a long gun and a perp hot on your heals seems impossible (to me anyway) with a 28 inch barrel shotgun. Coach guns, even with 20 inch barrels are much shorter overall than a pump gun or a semi-auto with an 18 inch barrel.

I don't relish the thought of "wasting" some perp. But, someone who is crazy enough to enter an occupied home and harm those inside needs to be put down difinitively.

July 25, 2008, 10:58 AM
How much, Mike?

July 25, 2008, 01:20 PM
Nice post Ruger4570; personally I feel the same way.

There are a lot of folks in here that seem to think a "shotty", (now THAT'S a dumb word), is only good for HD and needs a ton of "tacticool" accessories in order to function.......

When I see these posts from folks who barely seem to know which end to point talking "all bad" about their HD gun, I just go to another forum for a while

Oh well, it makes me realize that there are some VERY uneducated people out there when it comes to guns, and more "edjumacashun" is needed....

Flame on!...:eek:

July 25, 2008, 01:22 PM
Provided two or less shots only are needed, you're all set. Otherwise...


July 25, 2008, 04:48 PM
Flyby, I got the bounty hunter but dont like it. Too short for me.
+1 Ruger4570, My thoughts 100%.

45Marlin carbine
July 25, 2008, 05:47 PM
I watched some cable awhile back the show was about women Cowboy Action shooters. I don't doubt that one or more of the featured women shooters will shoot somebody. weapon of choice? the SXS shotgun. next is revolver.

July 25, 2008, 05:49 PM
FWIW - i keep my coach gun loaded with hammers down to keep the tension off of the springs

- With the action open, i squeeze [U]both triggers all the way back and close the action.

- With the gun loaded, point it in a safe direction, and pull one trigger at a time to make sure that both hammers are down and the gun is safe.

- Now all that is needed is to break open the action, cocking the hammers

- I recommend a quality leather shellholder like Galco [they're not cheap, but are well worth it]

July 25, 2008, 08:14 PM
I have a 20 gauge Stoeger Coachgun with an Oklahaoma Leather shellholder that holds 6 shells (#3 Buck) in addition to a .357 mag Winchester Trapper model with a 16" barrel. I leave the Coachgun unloaded but shells nearby, I figure I can crack it open and plop 2 shell in in a jiffy. The Lever action Winchester is around if I have more time to react. This may not be the perfect home defense plan but it is better than nothing and a fair balance when you take into account the child safety (visiting grandchildren) factor.
I figure that in the case of a home invasion one shot from the shotgun would probably scatter the lowlifes. Sleeping with a .44 mag under your pillow and having an arsenal in every room would probably be some peoples fantasy but that would just creep out my wife!
BTW, my home has been broken into when I have not been here and much stuff stolen so I really am holding a grudge against anyone in my home without my permission!

July 25, 2008, 08:31 PM
I'm personally concerned with trying to load a shotgun during a robbery, especially if I have been in sleepy-land....why I use a 357 first, keep the shotgun in a closet.....but I don't have small kids around anymore.....

July 25, 2008, 08:48 PM
Besides having a good HD firearm, Always keep a good sharp knife along side you at all times. Never know when it will come in handy if you cant get to your HD gun. I keep a nice razor sharp folder on my belt wherever I go. Its like the thing of a knife at a gun fight but if its all you got, It will do. I have always relied on a regular 26" barrel shotgun for HD and see no reason to get all tacked out for something that may never happen. If it ever came down to it, My bird gun would work just fine on the BG. And theres no lights, lasers or folding items on it to get caught up on things if im ducking and weaving thru my house. Its the gun im using all the time and feel very confident with the way I shoot it. I have seen alot of HD guns with all kinds of junk hanging off them and its so much more stuff to get in the way or caught on a curtain or bed sheet.

Bill DeShivs
July 25, 2008, 09:13 PM
Instead of a knife (which will probably get you hurt,) why not just have a small handgun? After all you will be in your home.....

July 25, 2008, 10:34 PM
I keep my coach gun in the same condition as Rampant_Colt, although I get there differently. I drop the hammers on snap caps, remove the forearm, crack open the barrels and replace the snaps caps with live rounds, close the action and replace the forearm. My coachgun has rebounding internal hammers. This results in a loaded but un-cocked coachgun which is made ready the same as described by Rampant_Colt. (Don't think this works too well on Stoegers, though.) I do have pumpguns, including an 18 incher but generally don't rely on them for HD. If the War of the Worlds begins, I'll reconsider. Of course, being a curmudgeonly troglodyte, my home defense revolver is most often a single-action also.

July 26, 2008, 02:38 AM
Hey plom:

WOW! You really know how to pick 'em!

44 AMP
July 26, 2008, 03:57 AM
Double barrel shotguns, and the short "coach guns" have done good service since the day they were invented. They don't work any less effectively today than they did well over 100 years ago.

Stopping/putting down a home invader with mayhem on their mind does the trick, but so does driving them off. And a shotgun is something that really gives good service for that.

I keep a coach gun loaded and close at hand, one of the chinese made ones with double triggers and "rabbit ear" hammers. it is a cheap gun, but made well enough to go bang every time, and nothing more is needed. With a butt cuff holding a couple more shells it is just the thing.

July 26, 2008, 08:40 AM
I have an old 16ga SxS that I cut the barrel down to 18.5". I keep it loaded with #1 buck. This is the gun my wife tells me she would grab is there were a problem in our house. This is the ultimate "keep it simple stupid" gun!

July 27, 2008, 05:07 AM
you can see it on her smile, no way to take it from her :D here for you TXgun :p

http://uploads.imagup.com/02/1217156682_IMG_1397.JPG (http://www.imagup.com)

http://uploads.imagup.com/02/1217156833_IMG_1398.JPG (http://www.imagup.com)

July 27, 2008, 11:23 AM
I love ladies with a 12 gauge and some ink lol.;)

July 27, 2008, 04:27 PM
This old Stevens 311 SxS in 16 Ga has served well for over 25 years now. I bought it used, with the barrels shortened.
With #1 Buck, its a comfort on those dark and stormy nights.


July 29, 2008, 01:43 AM
A fellow took Clint Smiths shotgun course at Thunder Ranch, and showed up with a single shot. Clint was impressed by the ol' timers' ability to use it and incorperated a single shot in his shotgun video.

Not because he recommends a single shot for defense, but to show that you can defend yourself with such a weapon if you have to.

It can be reloaded faster than you might think, as can a double. Break it open, give it a strong shake to the rear to eject the empties over your shoulder (on a non ejector type gun), reload, and keep going. Attached ammo supply is a must.

I won't be replacing my 870 with either a single or double anytime soon, but they're both tools that can be used.

I think the Coachgun would be good as one part of a defensive arsenal-- like stashed in a strategic place in a jewelry or pawn shop, etc,-- or even in the home. Two quick powerful shots, but it wouldn't be the only accessible gun I'd want.

July 29, 2008, 09:43 AM
Nnobby45 wrote I think the Coachgun would be good as one part of a defensive arsenal-- like stashed in a strategic place in a jewelry or pawn shop, etc,-- or even in the home. Two quick powerful shots, but it wouldn't be the only accessible gun I'd want.

Bingo! That's the key.

February 9, 2015, 01:56 AM
I think my 311 16 would work fine just the it is for HD. even with longer barrels...