Gun Review: Stoeger Silverado Coach Gun (12 Gauge)

When I found out that I was getting a coach gun to review, I had the same reaction that your Uncle Bob does when he finds out you got him new underwear and socks for Christmas . . . again. When the Silverado arrived at my local gun dealer, I swear I thought Stoeger had sent me some promotional T-shirts instead of a shotgun. I had to crack-open the box to verify that it did, indeed, contain a gun. The box was that light. But, as I was soon to discover, the Silverado was no lightweight. Nor, as it turned out, underwear, T-shirts or a pair of socks. No sir. Not at all . . .

When I got it home, I peeled the Coach Gun out the plastic bags surrounding its three pieces. There it was: a stock and action section, forearm piece, and the barrels. And that’s it. The 20-inch barrels are the longest single chunk of the gun. When assembled it was 36.5  inches long overall.

I know, I know: most side-by-sides break down the same way. But I was still taken by the bonzai tree of it all. The Silverado is a not-so-long gun you can stick in a backpack, wrap in a waterproof bag for a canoe trip, or stow behind the seat of a light aircraft. A go-anywhere-where-it’s-legal 12-gauge shotgun. And it’s hard to find a gun more versatile than a 12 gauge.

In contrast to all my collection of pistol-gripped shotguns, the Stoeger Silverado features a straight, English-style stock. The matte nickel action and barrels contrast nicely with the dark and figured walnut. Made by E.R. Amantino in Brazil, the Silverado looks classy, maybe even beautiful.

I wasted no time taking the Silverado into the great Arkansas outdoors for a work-out. I’m used to firing a Remington 870 equipped with a slug barrel and rifle sights, that gets its long barrel back during dove season. It took a little while to adjust to the Silverado, looking down a pair of barrels with a rib in between. But it was well worth it.

Firing light field loads containing 7.5 shot, the Coach Gun’s recoil was noticeable, but not unpleasant. Even better: the gun felt lively to my shoulder. It was light and fast to mount. The 20-inch barrels meant I could move from target to target by just twitching a little. The straight, English stock also made the piece feel more “shotgunny” and easier to swing than my Remington 870.

I felt my prejudice against the Stoeger Coach Gun slowly melting like the winter snow. Cantankerous bastard that I am, I remained determined to dislike it. So I decided to subject it to some tests to ferret out its weaknesses, and thus validate my preconceived notions.

I patterned the gun with shotshells, buckshot, and slugs at distances from 25 to 40 yards. With the shotshells at 25 yards, I discovered that the right barrel shot a little high and right, whereas the left barrel patterned right down the middle. The same applied with the buckshot and the slugs: the left barrel was dead on, and the right barrel was a little high and right in comparison.

With birdshot and buckshot, the groups were also different sizes. The right barrel threw a wider pattern than the left.

Aha, I thought! I’ve got you, Coach Gun!

I called TTAG’s main man at Benelli, Stoeger’s parent company. He informed me that the Coach Gun’s right barrel is an improved cylinder choke, with the left a modified choke. Two different chokes is a standard setup for twin-barreled shotguns. Since the Coach Gun is marketed specifically to Cowboy Action shooters who shoot large steel targets at fairly close ranges, a pair of chokes on the wider end of spectrum makes perfect sense.

Live and learn. So, back to the field with maximum firepower.

Compared to the light field loads, the recoil produced by Remington Express Magnum buckshot was super brutto. D’uh! If you shoot buckshot loads labeled “Express Magnum” out of a 12 gauge shotgun that weighs slightly more than a bag of sugar (6.5 pounds), you can expect a significant ballistic noogie. Not even an Italian-American-Brazilian firearms conglomerate can change the laws of physics.

I tried two types of slugs, Federal Reduced Recoil and Remington Sluggers, with similar pattern results.

At 25 yards, the Federal Slugs from the left barrel hit in the middle. From the right barrel, they hit about four or five inches to the right and an inch or two high. When I backed up to 40 yards, the left barrel remained in the middle, with the right barrel putting slugs about 10 inches to the high right. Once I figured out the pattern, I could easily put a slug from the right barrel into the same group made by  the left barrel by merely sighting down the top of the right barrel, instead of using the brass bead in the middle.

The same held true for the Remington Slugs, which kicked quite a bit harder than the Federal Reduced Recoil slugs, but nowhere near the beating dished out by the Express Magnum buckshot. Think angry-as-hell-donkey vs. ornery jackass vs. slightly miffed mule.

I thought I had the Coach Gun nailed for a major weakness, as the two barrels were not exactly, totally, 100-percent regulated to the same pinpoint of aim.

Damn facts! Research into the matter revealed that I was being unrealistic. The vast majority of less-expensive doubles produce results similar to the Stoeger Silverado Coach Gun’s. Some owners reported patterns that differed as much as three feet between the barrels. To get side-by-side guns, shotguns or rifles regulated to shoot to exactly the same point of aim requires a lot of tedious hand-fitting and work—which is why double-barrel guns that perform that way usually cost more than my pickup truck.

When I took another look at the pictures of my targets, the differential between the left and right barrels really wasn’t that much. With bird shot, there was a good deal of overlap with the pellet clouds. With the buckshot at 25 yards, both barrels put plenty of good hits in a good place on the target. Firing slugs, I was able to get hits plenty accurate enough for deer hunting with both barrels at 25 yards, and back at 40 yards, I could easily compensate and get that right barrel to hit a target the size of a deer’s vitals.

But I still wasn’t sold.

And then I made my fatal mistake with the Coach Gun. I broke out my Do-All trap machine, and got a box of clay targets. Much to my chagrin, I found that I could absolutely crush clay birds with the coach gun. Smoke, disintegrate, obliterate, clobber. The coach gun turned me into a clay-bird-destroying machine of death. It was awesome!

Typically, I hit about five or six clay birds out of 10 with my Remington 870. The reason is that I’m a rifle shooter in my soul. I love rifles. I even coach rifle as a sport. When I see the bird fly, my elbows drop under the gun, my left eye closes, and I try to pressssssss the trigger slowly and smoothly, which is all completely, totally and utterly wrong with a shotgun.

But the configuration of the Coach Gun just wouldn’t let me revert to my old, bad shotgun habits. The Coach Gun’s stock fits me very well, and because it feels so different from a rifle, it’s easier for me to not shoot it like a rifle.

I hit so many clay birds that I reconfigured the trap, and begin flinging doubles. Now with my trusty 870 pump, with its very rifle-like stock and sights, I’m lucky if I complete one double out of three or four. With the coach gun, I wasn’t so much shooting doubles as I was wiling them to turn into little clouds of clay dust. Transitioning  trigger to trigger on the Coach Gun felt light years ahead of racking the 870′s pump between shots.

And that’s when it happened. The Stoeger Coach Gun passed one of the most stringent tests I apply to guns: the giggle test. If I shoot a gun for an extended period and don’t once giggle or gleefully exclaim something like “Oh, Hell yeah!” I know the gun isn’t for me. After about the sixth or seventh consecutive clay double I erased out of the sky, I heard a loud voice whooping and hollering, and then realized it was me. “I gotta get one of these!”

The Stoeger Coach Gun is a lot of fun in a lightweight, easy-to-handle package. It’s great for backyard clay shooting, and plenty of Cowboy Action shooters have picked one up to use in their game.

Obviously, there are better guns for home defense. I own several of them. But I would certainly not be unarmed if all I had was a Stoeger Coach Gun and six spare shells. It’s easy to maneuver through the house, and 12-gauge is absolutely devastating at across-the-living-room distances, even with birdshot.

With the correct ammo,  I could also use the coach gun to hunt everything that walks or flies in the state of Arkansas. Again, there are purpose-built guns that are better for specific types of game animals. But if I’m hunting when deer and squirrel seasons overlap, the coach gun is the only gun I own with which I can legally hunt both animals simultaneously. I can put a slug in the left barrel, and a charge of number 6 shot in the right barrel, ready for any large or small game that might cross my path.

While I can carry shells for both critters in my 870 pump, I cannot control which critter appears first, and thus might have to try to switch ammo with the pump gun. With the coach gun, all I have to do is choose which of the two triggers is connected to the correctly charged barrel.

And yes, I do mean guns that I own. I thought I’d find the Coach Gun boring and vanilla. But I liked it so much, that I bought one. There are cheaper guns. There are more accurate guns. There are guns that do certain things better. But the Silverado is a lightweight, compact, do-it-all shotgun that does one thing as well as any firearm on the planet: make me smile.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Caliber: .12 gauge
Barrel: 20  inches. Right barrel IC choke. Left barrel Modified choke
Overall Length: 36,5   inches
Weight (unloaded):6.5 pounds
Stock: English-style American walnut
Sights: brass bead
Action: boxlock side-by-side
Trigger: Double
Finish: Matte Matte nickel
Capacity: 2
Price: $479

RATINGS (Out of Five):

Style * * ** 1/2
Looks classy and cowboy, sort of like if Sean Connery had been the lead character in “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” instead Clint Eastwood.

Ergonomics * * * *
Light and handy; easy to swing on clay birds or move around corners.

Reliability * * * * *
Went boom every time.

Overall Rating * * * * 1/2
A good value that has a lot more going for it than you might think by just looking at it.

34 Responses to Gun Review: Stoeger Silverado Coach Gun (12 Gauge)

  1. avatarPhil says:

    Great review!

    I love my Stoeger. I just have the plain-jane model…stock is standard, not English, and it isn’t finished quite as nicely. The barrels are standard blued as well. Still looks great though, very traditional. Other specs are more or less the same. Price point is about $80-$100 less, so one can be had easily for $350-$400 bucks.

    I did check out the Silverado when I bought mine, and the fit and finish are pretty sweet. You’re right, the finish on the stock is almost a thing of beauty, and those nickel barrels/action contrast quite nicely with the dark walnut.

    And yes, it does kill pigeons like nobody’s business!

  2. avatarRalph says:

    Another great review from Roy! I gots to get me one of them Coach Guns.

  3. avatarTravis Leibold says:

    I luz me summa dat!!!

  4. avatarChristopher says:

    We have had a Coach Gun in the family since ’91. Dad and I both love that rig. He has made good use of it in his “War Of The Birds”.

  5. avatarJoel says:

    Nice review. I recently bought the plain jane model stoeger coach gun, however mine is the single trigger. It’s a fun little no frills gun that really packs a bang behind it. I took it to the local gun range and set it at an average “in-the-home” distance. using regular bird shot i blew the entire black area out of the target. The only problem i’ve had with it was that the screws in the forarm came loose. All you have to do it tighten those screws up and you’re back to business. Good gun for the money considering you could spend double or triple on a side by side shotgun.

  6. avatarAaron says:

    Nice review, but one question left unanswered for me: how is the extraction/reloading? Finicky? Fast? Easy?

    • avatarNigil says:

      This model is equipped with standard extractors (not ejectors) which push shells out of the chamber by about 1/4″ when fully open. It is a cock-on-break style, meaning that once you’ve fired, opening the action takes a little more effort (doesn’t just fall open). I hear the cowboy action guys polish up the chambers so that fired shells fall out simply with a quick jerk backwards.
      Mine in particular can be opened without removing it from my shoulder; you can then either hold it with the forward hand and spin it until the shells drop, or reach forward and flick them out with your fingertips. All in all pretty easy and smooth.

  7. avatarAdam says:

    Nice review, I own a few coach guns. Right now, I have one at the gun smith’s shop. Having him make me a .460 barrel set for it. It’s going to be my pack gun/ go every where gun.

  8. avatarBill says:

    Would it be possible to put a modified choke in the right barrel so it would shot streight?

    • avatarRyan N says:

      The Stoeger Coach Gun Supreme has removable chokes and come with a set of both so for the extra 50.00 it seams like its worth it, plus it has a recoil pad installed too.

  9. avatarJames says:

    The Coach Gun Supreme is a thing of wonder on the trap range. Out of the box, 1st time shooting trap ever, and I started at 13/25 the first day out, and my last round was 24/25 on the second trip to the range. Every score has been better than the previous. I love this gun.

  10. avatarrudie says:

    love my coach gun..have the plain jane model…didnt know the ic was r barrell and modified was left barrel…shoots great with 7.5 shot dove loads..bought some number 6 today..i use it for rattlesnakes on our texas deer lease..also love to watch cactus disappear

  11. avatarchris hardesty says:

    I traded an old flintlock kit gun to my ex brother inlaw for his never fired coachman nickleplate. Think he bought it to look at himself in the mirror .lol. hes a trip. Thought my daughter could use it for home protection a bit quicker, she’s fifteen and I’m a single dad. I trained her to load it, shoot it, and break it down. Moved into deep ruel kentucky, from the city, where the coyote packs run and the meth heads cook!…If im late from work, sure does feel good to know, with a phone call she’ll get that gun, jack two rounds,and eight more in the sling, till i get home. It would be a bad place to find yourself at the other end of those two barrels…….Love My Coachman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. avatarMark says:

    I was fearful of barrel misalignment when I got a Baikal “coach gun” but the darned thing hits on the bead with both barrels and when we got another one for my wife, we found it’s the same. The folks in the Russian AK factory know how to build a side by side!

  13. I bought new Stoeger single trigger 12 ga. last summer when I started CAS. I had trouble with it firing both barrels simultaneously……..sometimes. Did the same with other guys shooting it. Sent back to Stoeger. They basically said I was not holding it properly. Since getting it back still does it. See on a CAS forum that others have had problems too. Will be sending back again. Would like a refund. I don’t want it.
    Regards,
    Doug Preston

  14. avatarkoolaidguzzler says:

    great review. one quibble– it’s bonsai for the tree, instead of bonzai. the battle cry is banzai.

  15. avatarlanternlad says:

    Stoeger’s parent company isn’t Benelli. Its Beretta. The Stoeger Cougar is a Beretta 8000 series. Stoeger is a Beretta company.

    • avatarJ.R. says:

      It’s benelli go to there site it’s right there

      • avatarscottAB says:

        I think they’re all related

        • avatarJoce says:

          Here is an excerpt from the Beretta Wikipedia page:

          “The parent company, Beretta Holding, also owns Beretta USA, Benelli, Franchi, SAKO, Stoeger, Tikka, Uberti, and the Burris Optics company.”

  16. avatarRandy Hebb says:

    In resopnes to Doug Preston; Unfortunatly the single trigger Stoeger Coach Guns seem to be problematic. Most work well from the factory, some just seem to be un-repairable for some reason. Ask Stoeger to replace it with a duel trigger model, you will have no more issues. Part of the problem is this fact; the Stoeger is a very low cost gun. They only have so much time in the factory to “tune” the gun. If they took more time you would have to pay more money. Single trigger SxS’s take a lot of “tuning” to get just right. That’s way the duel trigger are better, they require less “tuning” and are easy for the local gunsmith to adjust or repair.
    Stoeger is one of the last low cost SxS makers left in the world and they make a good gun for the money. If you talk to enough people who own guns you will hear horror stories about every brand. Best of luck to you!

  17. avatarLex says:

    I have a 12 ga. Stoeger coach gun and absolutely love it. I have rid my garden of groundhogs with #5 turkey loads. Killed two at 40 yards and they never moved out of their tracks. One still had string beans hanging out of his mouth. It is death on black birds. I can put it under the seat of my Honda Ruckus, in a case, and head to the woods.

  18. avatarFred says:

    Great review!! And great writing style!

  19. avatarDavid Higginbotham says:

    have purchase a Stoeger Coach Gun 20ga double barrell from a gun show, request where I can purchase the removable chokes. also is there a manual for this gun? Thank you.

  20. avatarCoyote says:

    David, Provided you have the Supreme Model, you can change the Chokes with
    Win-Chokes, available at MOST Gun supply outlet stores. The NON Supreme Model Shotgun has Fixed Chokes and are not removable.
    You can View a Copy of the Owner’s Manual here > http://youtu.be/X2UwWJ3x6ew
    or you could call Stoeger @ (301) 283-6300 and request a Hard Copy.

    Coyote

  21. avatarDrew Holtwisch says:

    Has anyone else had problems with re-assembly? I was told the gun must be cocked to get the barrel back into place, but mine currently isn’t…is there a fix anyone knows of? Thanks!

    Drew

    • avatarCoyote says:

      Drew, You will find the INFORMATION your seeking in the Post
      Just PRIOR TO YOURS. (posted on the 5th of Feb) THE YOUTUBE LINK
      If you watch the Video of the Instruction Manuel, at the very end,
      AFTER THE VIDEO, there is a seperate SET OF INSTRUCTIONS
      on just what YOU NEED TO DO

  22. avatarCoyote Hunter says:

    Drew, Easy IF YOU know how, BUT TUFF OTHER WISE
    First a little coach gun anatomy. Ever notice the two little hinged things sticking out of the forward end of the receiver that sort of just flop around after the barrels are removed. You probably played with them, wondering what they actually do. These hinged bits are part of the hammer cocking mechanism. When the forward grip is fitted onto the barrels they actually protrude into the rear portion of the grip. When the action is opened after shooting the grip presses against these hinged bits and presses them rearward. This cocks the hammers as you are opening the shotgun.

    Once this is understood, the rest is simple for our predicament. All you have to do is push these hinged parts rearward to cock the hammers. The easiest way is to grip the butt stock as if ready to shoot and position the shotgun receiver so that you can press the hinged parts (making sure that they are positioned in their forward orientation) against a board or bench. Not too much pressure is needed, you will hear the hammers cock and you are quickly be back into the game.
    In my comment, above on FEB.5th, if you watch the Video provided, at the end of the Video, IT ALSO EXPLAINS THE PROCEDURE>

  23. avatarPaul Stokes says:

    Wrere can I by a coach gun?

    • avatarCoyote Hunter says:

      I was just in a Sportsmans Wearhouse Store yesterday, and they had 4 on their shelf. If you have one of their stores in your area, that would be a good place to look. (they can also do inner store transfers if need be) Check Bass Pro / Cabelas / Gander Mountain, or any of the LARGER BIG BOX Sporting goods stores. It shouldn’t be too difacult to find a Stoeger.

  24. avatarGhoastrider says:

    We’re moving out to the sticks , so I’m claiming that I want this for my wife – which is kinda true . The possibility of snakes , varmints ( 2 & 4 legs ) is real , I prefer ” point & shoot ” with a scattergun over her looking for her CCW Sig P225 , and it is SO SIMPLE to operate .

    My initial thought was to go cheap – a Norinco w/ external hammers & sling for ~ $250 . Strictly for Home defense . Not anymore . Sheila don’t know or care about choke or an English stock , external hammers vs. internal hammers … but I do .

    This little critter has the potential to be a fine ” multi- tasker ” . Make Momma feel safe , home defense , nice truck / bird gun & I won’t cry too much if it gets scratched due to the price .

    I got away from reloading shotgun shells because of problems with them feeding after 3 reloads through my automatics – and factory new WERE cheap @ Bass Pro / Cabela’s . Now that almost EVERY round is a buck a shot , I could deal with a reasonable quality SXS . Never had a problem with reloads in any O/U or SXS I’ve ever had . Gonna part company with my old Winchester 101′s & L.C. Smith’s , a Browning & a Benneli and rely upon the Stoeger as a farm / ranch tool .

  25. avatarRon says:

    Big 5 in northern CA has them on sale now for $389 until 09/21/2013. Gonna get one.

  26. I just bought a satin nickel 12 GA for $349 including shipping on the web. I can’t wait for it to get here. I also bought some 12 to 20 GA converters in stainless steel for flexibility. I’m ready for the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. avatargooxjmygle says:

    The current trailing twelve months (ttm) P/E ratio is 17.753 and the forward P/E ratio is 13.79. The falling P/E ratio is the result of future earnings increasing relative to the current price and suggests bullishness in the company by analysts. DPS has a price to book ratio (ttm) of 3.47 and a price to sales ratio of 1.51.

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