The Stoeger Double Defense is a side-by-side tactical shotgun chambered for 12 gauge and 20 gauge. The Double Defense, like most double barrel shotguns, is easy to use and has a simple design. Just break open the barrel, slide in the shells, snap it shut–it’s ready to go.
Stoeger, however, built the Double Defense specifically for home defense by adding several functional and aesthetic features such as a safety on the tang, or where action hand’s thumb naturally falls. It uses a single trigger for both barrels. It has a green fiber optic front sight that’s easy to see with limited light. But it also has two Picatinny rails: one up top to mount a speed sight or red dot sight, and one below for a light or laser.
However, unlike many tactical weapons it has a matte black wooden stock as opposed to synthetic. And, the barrel is matte blue too.
|Sights:||Fiber-optic front sight|
|Features:||Two Picatinny Rails; single-trigger design; and tang-mounted automatic safety|
|Chokes:||Full improved cylinder|
|Length of Pull:||14.5"|
|Drop at Comb:||1.375"|
|Drop at Heel:||2.5"|
We’ve all heard the term ‘riding shotgun,’ which dates back to the days of the old west when anyone with the duty of driving a stagecoach through wild country generally preferred to have a guy sitting beside him with a double-barreled shotgun in case trouble showed up. Over time, shotgun designs and fads have changed and today we tend to think of a pump action or possibly a semi-auto as being a more practical option for self-defense in the shotgun department.
Stoeger has boldly decided to look past the last 130 years or so of firearms history and introduce the first tactical double since the days of Wyatt Earp. It is hard to deny that regardless of the practicality, this is a really cool thing.
Since we are talking about a weapon intended for home defense, practicality is an issue that really cannot be avoided. A gun with only a two round capacity would appear to fly in the face of conventional logic these days, but in fact there is an excellent precedent for this. In the hands of the vast majority of professional hunters taking clients on hunting safaris for dangerous game in Africa is an old-fashioned double rifle. Not a high-capacity semi-auto and not a pump action. The professionals who have to face down wounded lions and cape buffalo on a regular basis favor doubles because that second shot is right there and ready to go instantly with no chance of something jamming or malfunctioning en route from magazine to chamber. They figure that being limited to two sure shots beats having five or more shots that have some slight chance of failing to make it into the chamber.
It seems to me that if smart people still trust their lives to a double-barreled, two-round weapon in Africa than perhaps the same concept is worth considering elsewhere.
The Double Defense is more than just a side-by-side shotgun in black. It sports a fiber-optic front sight for fast target acquisition and a pair of Picatinny rails that allow a red dot sight or the like to be mounted on top and a flashlight or laser below the 20 inch barrels. 20 inches seems a bit long to me for maneuvering in close quarters but the shotgun should still be easy to spin around with in a typical residential hallway.
The gun comes in either 12 or 20 gauge. It uses choke tubes and could theoretically do double duty as a hunting weapon. Stoeger has fortunately opted for a single trigger, avoiding the hesitation between shots that is common among shooters who are not accustomed to one trigger per barrel.