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There’s nothing like seeing yourself on video to make you feel self-conscious and awkward, unless you’re Anthony Weiner. On the orders of, uh, I mean gentle request of our Fearless Leader, I videoed myself going through a house with the Stoeger Coach Gun I reviewed a while back for TTAG, and learned several things in the process. First, I’ve got to get better camera technology. Second, even though I moved through a house against cardboard silhouettes, my adrenaline still pumped quite a bit, causing me to get tunnel vision and forget several things I was supposed to do . . .

I cannot imagine the stark terror that must accompany a situation involving real live home invaders who hold bad intentions.

In such a situation, holing up and waiting for the cavalry to arrive would almost always be the best choice to make. Going through a building containing real bad guys is something best left to an entire squad, team, or platoon of trained professionals. The only way I would ever attempt moving through a house containing bad guys would be if I knew my son, wife, or somebody else I loved was trapped in that house, and had to be reached right then.

Third, old habits die very hard. Very early in my life, I was taught to shoot by an old Marine. He had learned the “chicken wing” technique in boot camp, (watch my right elbow to see what I mean) and thus taught it to me. Behold how the chicken wing manifests itself, appearing considerably before the twin barrels of the coach gun when I move to my right.

Fourth, I shouldn’t stand framed by a doorway to reload, and should take a step to one side instead. Again, that adrenaline and tunnel vision thing got to me, even though I knew the targets were just cardboard. Note, some of the targets were recycled ones, and already had holes shot in them. In fact, the last target I hold up contains several holes made by a 5.56 rifle at 300 yards.  But that’ s another TTAG post for the future.

Fifth, even though I practiced, practiced, practiced my loading and reloading technique, I wasn’t able perform it as smoothly once I added in the twin pressures of being in front of a camera and looking for targets whose locations I did not know. Magnify that by several hundred times if the targets are mobile, agile and hostile.

In short, there are no guarantees in a self-defense situation. If you buy a Stoeger Coach Gun for self-defense, you are buying an extremely simple, potent and reliable firearm. Using it effectively requires training; it’s not so easy to reload under pressure. As always, the weak link will be . . . you.

I’ll have the tubes polished and try again . . .

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  1. Very good post, Roy. Despite the auto’s and several types of pump actions I have (I have a real weakness for simple riot shotguns), I also have a 12 ga side by side Stoeger Coach gun. It has textured upholstery tacks around the stock for grip and the old Native American look. Momma Cujo has a 20 ga Stoeger ”Double Defense” side by side with the matte black finish, and the accessory rail under the barrels-where I mounted a tactical Streamlight pistol light for her. It’s simple, is lighter than a pump for her, and easier to load and operate. At 68 she has had a radical double masectomy and is weakened in the upper muscles. I put an extra wrap recoil pad on for her. She pairs that with the Kabar pack that holds the old Ruger 4” Police Service Six .357 that she confiscated from me! It stays loaded with .38 Special Extreme Shock Fang Face rounds. The .20 ga rounds I got for her are strictly buckshot. She can use it for the large snakes we get, coyotes and thugs. I feel good with her ability with either. She also has an old Charter Arms .38 under cover and a Taurus 85 snub .38 that was my Dad’s. She is in the boonies, she’s well protected. She also has a Kimber Pepper Blaster II, a medium size can of Cold Steel’s Inferno OC and black pepper spray, and a fogger size Inferno in the house-it’ll fill the landing/foyer.

  2. Yes yes you do indeed have a severe case of “chicken wing”…

    Other than that fantastic post! It’s great to show an older design can still be useful in a HD scenario.

    • Yeah, but they are reliable, easy for people like my Mom to operate, and I test specialty rounds out in mine-they won’t jam. Plus you can smack the crap out of somebody with it!


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