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Questions about S by S/ coach guns

Discussion in 'Tactical Shotguns' started by Jamesey, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Jamesey


    Jul 1, 2009
    Galt's Gulch
    That's side by side, double barrel, coach guns. Some have double triggers, some single, some have exposed hammers, etc. Saw an article on a Stoeger double by Clint Smith who seemed to like it as a home defense shotgun. I know they've been around a long time; probably used more for hunting than anything else. I'm curious about the inner workings and manual of arms for these guns; also appreciate opinions about usefulness for personal/home defense. Online info sources appreciated as well. Thanks in advance.
  2. cloudbuster


    Mar 17, 2005
    I've got a Century S/S with exposed hammers and double triggers and it's more of a fun gun than a serious home defense weapon. It's not really practical after the first two rounds in an emergency simply because of the extra step of cocking both hammers after you reload.

    I'd suggest one of the non-exposed hammer models that automatically cock when you break them open. I've seen videos of people reloading and firing those amazingly quickly.

    That said, it is one of the guns I keep loaded (with 00 buck). I'd probably fire its two rounds and fall back to a different weapon rather than try to reload it, unless I knew I had a lot of time.

    ETA: Inner workings. The hammers are fully functional, not just cosmetic. When they fall, they strike exposed nipples that activate the firing pins. When the hammers are dropped and there is no pressure on its trigger, there is a detent that keeps the hammer from contacting the nipple, but there is no actual block on the nipple. There is also a slide safety on top of the action that prevents the cocked hammers from being released.

    The right barrel is IC and the left barrel is MC. the triggers have a nice feel with the right trigger being forward of the left trigger. I find this placement very comfortable for a lefty, as your trigger finger slides naturally from the front to rear triggers, a righty might find it more of a deliberate repositioning. Since most guns are made for righties, that is clearly how it is intended: one might suggest that for a lefty it's too easy to fire both barrels by accident. I've never had that problem.

    There is an eject plate that pops forward when you break open the action.

    There is a simple disassembly lever on the forestock that allow you to break the gun into three pieces for cleaning/storage in a matter of seconds. Reassembly is as fast.

    Simple bead sight.

    A nice fun gun for casual trap/skeet/sporting clays use and small game or bird hunting. In Ohio, you can't hunt deer with buckshot, slugs only, and I am unwilling to try putting slugs through the MC barrel. The IC barrel should be fine for slugs, but I really don't want to stress the gun for more than it was intended for. I have a black powder rifle or 870 with slug barrel for deer.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

  3. I had a Stoeger coach gun that I shot SASS with. It was an older model
    with the double trigger. Satin nickel finish and wood stock.
    I had it as a bedside gun for several years, loaded with low recoil buckshot,
    and I slept just fine.
    I now have an 870 for that. The little Stoeger served me fine in SASS and
    was fun to shoot. It went with me in my truck lot's of times and on camping trips for SD. It would not be my first choice for a home defense gun, but
    will fit the bill, It's not the finest fit and finish shotgun that I own, but it
    has always been solid and dependable, and fun to shoot.
  4. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Agreed. They've gotten the job done for centuries in various formats.

    They are far from my first pick but if it's what's at hand it'll do.

    As long as you don't need more than 2 rounds......that's where pumps and semis come into play. Less 'speed' than continuity of fire.
  5. Nestor

    Nestor Lean & Mean

    Jul 13, 2003
    CZ shotguns are your best bet or if a used one is an option look around for one made by Brno (also Czech Republic).
  6. hank327


    Oct 5, 2004
    One thing to remember about hammerless doubles is that they cock when you break them open. There is no way to uncock the shotgun other than pulling the triggers. So if you store one of these loaded, know that it will be cocked and ready to fire with tension on the firing pin springs. I've read that some of the springs in some of the less expensive hammerless doubles aren't up for long term storage while cocked.

    I think a double with real functioning outside rebounding hammers is the way to go if you decide on a double for home defense. You can keep it loaded with no tension on the springs yet still in one small movement cock both hammers in an instant.

    I too would be tempted to drop the double after firing and transition to another gun instead of trying to reload it. Using it as a sort of handheld Claymore mine for my final protective fire. :)
  7. Reb 56

    Reb 56

    Mar 12, 2007
    South Texas
    I have an old Stevens 311 SxS that I used to hunt with. Since I don't hunt anymore was thinking of having the barrels cut down to 18.5" just for kicks and maybe HD. Worthwhile project or not.
    I've had this shotgun since I bought it new in 1961 sorta like to put to some use. Still in good shape and barrels still lock up tight.
  8. First shotgun I ever had as a teenager was a 311 16ga..
    I remember when Savage Stevens came out with the 311R. It had the
    factory 18.5 inch barrels and bead sight. I always wanted one, but
    never bought one. You can still find them used from time to time on
    the net, if I ever find a good one, I'll buy it.
    You can have it cut down professionally and a gold bead installed, it
    would make a good SD gun. The older ones are good solid guns.