Is an over-under shotgun any good?

I remember a while back I was looking at a Stoeger Double Defense 12 ga over under shotgun. I mentioned it to my coworker and he said I’d be better off with a pump.
Thoughts? (Stoeger shotgun had the 16" tactical barrel 🤷)

4 Likes

Better for what? It’s a simple machine for sure, but only 2 shots, and no mechanism that absorbs recoil. Pump guns are straight forward. Gas operated semi autos are more complex, but handle recoil the best.

7 Likes

The people ive known who are serious about trap shooting won’t use anything other than over-unders. My thought is an over-under is a gun for a specific purpose. If your purpose is more than one specific scenario, a pump or semi-auto is more flexible. It’s also personal taste… I think Glocks look good, so theres that. If you like it, go for it.

4 Likes

Well I don’t shoot traps or anything like that so I figure it’d be good for house defense or farm defense (against all kinds of legged critters). 🤷 But I was wondering if the action in the shotgun really made a difference in how good it would be for defense.

3 Likes

That make sense. I just wasn’t sure if there were things that perhaps I didn’t know about shotguns that maybe someone else did.

3 Likes

The over under suffers from only being a 2 shot piece. Pump and semiautos are plenty reliable, and even the lowest capacity is 5+1. If you want a Stoeger, they are nice guns.

4 Likes

2 shots and your done. I had Stoeger over/under some years but was for clay targets not home defense. The company has good shotguns however the over/under isn’t exactly what you want but any port in a storm, it’s better than having nothing. Like others said you need a tactically built shotgun a pump gun

2 Likes

Every kind of weapon is often just what you are comfortable with and can use. What works for one person may not work for another.
If you trap shoot, then you may be able to effectively reload and use this type of shotgun very effectively. SASS shooters go from an unloaded to loaded and reloaded in events measured in tenths of a second. You don’t have problems with jams. The weapons are designed to be kept with a round in the chamber.
I prefer the 20 Ga to 12 Ga in the home defense mode.
What really counts is rounds on target. The pump may be more forgiving if you miss the first round.
The real bottom line is what are you comfortable with. Can you place that two rounds on target and reload quickly. A skill that has to be developed.
Or would you rather have pump? In the short tactical configuration, you are commonly limited to 5 rounds. Unless you keep a round racked in the chamber. Then you have the question of having a cocked and loaded weapon around all the time.
The only person that can truly answer this is by you taking the time to go shoot the differing choices open to you. Either borrow or go to a range and rent, a pump, over/under, and semi shotgun. Find out which you are comfortable with.

4 Likes

For the money I would go with a pump like a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 series, you will get more capacity and reliability. If you really want a double barrel gun that you are going to trust your life to consider getting a gun with double triggers or a mechanical single trigger. The Stoger is an inertia trigger that requires the recoil of the first shot to reset it for the second shot. My cousin’s inertia trigger has provided me with hours of laughter when it fails to reset for him after he takes his first shot at a bird.

In a self defense situation the trigger not resetting could be fatal for you. Everything can fail but a inertia trigger is too much of a risk (even a bad shell could leave you with a gun that is not functional).

3 Likes

Trap shotguns, Skeet shotguns and ‘stage coach’ guns are usually double barrel, are sport specific, and used where you never need more than 2 shots to quell the rapidly approaching horde of Zombies. BUT as they say, in an emergency ANY gun will do, including the only one you have access to in the emergency.
It has been ‘accepted wisdom’ for generations that a 18" barreled 12 ga pump like a Mossberg 500/590 or a Win 870 is the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’ in home defense, using the right ammo. That is ok to think, but not necessarily the only good answer to home defense.
An auto, either shotgun or pistol, might also be a good choice, with more rounds and less recoil, if you can trust your life to its reliability. With modern autos, with a long track record, a lot of people do, as autos have been proven in demanding military, hunting and competitive shooting sports for years.
I have to admit, I have a pump in the hall closet along with a modern 38Super Sig. Both worlds covered. There is always more than one ‘right for you’ choice.

4 Likes

Good answer, and raises what few do, the use of 20GA instead of 12. I switched from 12 to 20 for
ALL uses years ago, Trap. Skeet, upland birds, waterfowl, home defense, etc. Easier on my shoulder and my retinas previously damaged by high recoil rifles [dr recommended], and equally effective on the targets I aim at. To me there is no down side to the switch.

3 Likes

Actually Rem 879. Slip of the pen.

1 Like

I’m no expert, but the years have accumulated some experiences here and there…

It’s my understanding that you are still young. IMO, find someone skilled and familiar with the shotgun that might teach you in person, go to a range that allows for shotgun (preferably with a specific shotgun area and targets), and get some experience with it. This might answer some questions, and raise ones that you hadn’t thought of before.

2 Likes

Regardless of weapon choice consider getting some TACTICAL home defense training with your shotgun. Skeet shooting has little to do with tactical manipulation of a 590A1 or a similar tool. One handed shooting, reloads under force on force pressures, etc…

Side note: does USCCA offer an instructor cert for tactical shotgun in home defense? Lots of places offer shotgun instruction but its very basic (skeet, hunting, etc.) and not tactical home defense. I have never seen anyone mention such a certification here. ???

Way back in the day we had a stoeger side by side next to our bed. When I was first getting into firearms this was a perfect choice. Literally: close the break, point and pull the trigger. Reloading, fail fires, etc were incredibly easy to handle if needed. At the time I was comfortable with it especially if I woulda had to use it. Nowadays the side by side hit the curb and is replaced with a pump. But, when it comes down to, what are you comfortable with? Anything is better than nothing.

1 Like

@luke_ouellette

When you come up to Birmingham, I will bring a good pump shotgun along as well as a few other odds and sods. You will have to help me unload all of it from my car though.

I think I have enough diversity in weapons to make it fun for you and your girlfriend. Let’s try and make it on the weekend though, that way we can use my wife’s SUV. My car ain’t carrying that many guns and that much ammo.

1 Like

That’s fine! I don’t mind having to help you unload from your car lol
The only pump action shotgun Ive shot is a Mossberg 500A 12 gauge. Sold to us by a friend $150. Good shotgun but more for hunting than home defense. But it worked fine when we had to shoot a fox in defense of the chickens 🤷

1 Like

Get an 18 inch barrel for it. That would be better for a home defense shotgun. If your real brave, get the “Cruiser” pistol grip, and the “Chainsaw” for-end.
Like this
image

4 Likes

I’ve seen the chainsaw fore grip thing before but since the shotgun has a stock it wouldn’t work. But I’ll see what I can find for an 18" barrel for a 500A. The catch is money lately. So much to pay for and things to get the question is always “what to get first?”

You can order one directly from Mossberg.

1 Like