The Stoeger Double Defense 12 gauge shotgun is designed as a home defense weapon. It is available in either over-and-under or side-by-side model and available in either 12 or 20 gauge. This example is the over-and-under 12 gauge, chambered for either 2-¾ or 3 inch shells. It has 20 inch barrels with rails mounted on either side that are perfect for lights or lasers. It also has a rail on top of the receiver for optics. MSPR is $479 and street price is around $400.
Surprisingly the grips are matte black wood and not composite as I expected, this means it is quite a bit heavier than it should be, weighing in at almost 9 pounds unloaded and no accessories. The trigger is fairly lackluster with little or no feel, making trigger control difficult and with out external hammers you can’t tell by looking at it if its loaded or cocked. Opening and closing the action cocks it. The thing to remember about the Double Defense is it’s a $400 field gun and not a $4000 skeet gun.
It comes equipped with a fiber optic front sight but with the rail on top a red dot or holographic sight is a perfect for shooting in low light conditions.
I’ve shown it here with a Bushnell holo sight and a light. A small red dot sight like the Bushnell TRS-25 would be perfect on this shotgun.
Shooting the Double Defense is not as bad as I expected. Recoil while quite stout is very manageable. It has a single trigger that fires the bottom barrel first then the top. There is no way to fire both barrels at the same time. If this happens it means the gun has a firing issue and should be serviced immediately to prevent any further accidental discharges or a serious malfunction that could result in injury. However, firing one barrel at a time allows you to mix your loads or use an adapter like the one shown that lets you shoot .22 lr in a 12 gauge. They are available from Short Lane and come in .22, 9mm, 45 long/.410, quite a handy piece and the one shown is $25.00.
Because of the short barrels the Double Defense would make a great home defense, room clearing or backup weapon, but it should not be your primary weapon for two reasons. First and most obvious it only holds two rounds and second it has extractors and not ejectors. What this means is that when you break it open to remove the expended rounds it pops them out far enough for them to be removed by hand.
The video will give you and idea of the recoil and what I mean by extractors.
It will take lots of practice to quickly reload which will be a big problem in a high threat environment. It would however be a perfect backup weapon and when loaded with specialty ammunition like a door breaching, flechette or bolo rounds, it could get you out of trouble.
Caliber: 12 gauge (.729 inches)
Action: Break open
Capacity: 2 rounds
Overall Length: 36 ½ inches
Barrel Length: 20″
Weight: 7.1 lbs. unloaded
Choke: Fixed Improved Cylinder (IC)
Sight: green fiber-optic front sight
Finish: matte blue metal, matte black stained hardwood
Price: $479 (MSRP) $350-400 (street price)