Stoeger Double Defense Shotgun Review: 12 Gauge Home Protection

A large number of us have a love of old cowboy guns. The short double barrel shotgun is right up there in popularity. Now why is that? A lot of us grew up in the baby boom generation when the western was king of the screen and black and white TV sets 
The Stoeger Double Defense isn’t exactly like the shotguns of old but they do fit into our use for this day and age. The Stoeger DD is made in Brazil. This one is a 12 gauge with twenty inch barrels with both barrels having improved cylinder chokes. A 20 gauge is also available. It will handle a three-inch shell.
The wood is painted black with the barrels parkerized. Each barrel also has eight vents to cut down on recoil. Standard Picatinny rails are mounted on the top center of the receiver as well as under the barrel from the front of the foregrip to the end of the barrel.
The picture above is from Stoeger. I wouldn’t mount the light that far forward without pad activation mounted on the front stock. The other option is move it back so the index finger of the left hand would activate the button.
The DD has a single trigger setup that I like on a double barrel made for defense. Just pull the trigger twice and reload. When the shooter reloads and closes the action the safety is automatically activated which is good feature. The front sight is fiber optic that is standard. If I put a red dot on mine I would most likely choose a smaller holographic with a wider field of view.
Yes, the sight is going to cost as much as the shotgun so this is certainly a point to consider. If the DD were for home defense only a laser would save some money and work well indoors or out. The laser shown below is a K-15 from LaserLyte. The beam is green that is much more powerful than a red laser not to mention having enough light to identify a target on it’s own. The controls are constant on and selective with the provided adhesive activation pad. I have one on my AR. A very impressive tool!
This gives the reader a number of options for sighting. Manipulating a light and a laser both could be problematic depending on which options are used for mounting and activating. Both the light and laser could be activated at the same time with pads mounted side by side. The laser is bright enough to be easily seen through the flashlight beam. Contrary to Internet myths the beam can’t be traced back to the shotgun. The only part of the beam that is visible is the dot itself.
Many who read this will probably say why a double barrel when I can have more ammunition with a semi-auto or pump? Those are valid considerations of course. My response would be the double barrel is only 36 inches in overall length. That’s about the same as an AR15 carbine. It’s also very easy to maneuver in tight spaces. That makes this DD much shorter than a semi- auto or pump. Double barrels are gaining in popularity. Whether this is a fad or trend only time will tell.
What ammunition should be used for home defense with a shotgun like this? There will be many opinions of course. One round I would put in the no way list are rifled slugs. Those will go through most walls in a home and exit outside into the home next door. My personal choice would be “Remington Duplex Home Defense”. It packs plenty of punch but is less likely to over penetrate. The following is from Remington’s website.
> Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense shotgun ammunition features the same pellet material as the popular Wingmaster HD™ tungsten-bronze hunting ammunition and is offered in two loadings. Consumers can choose from a load of BBs for the highest terminal energy or a duplex mixture of #2 and #4 pellets for excellent pattern density and outstanding stopping power with a reduced chance of over-penetration.
> Both loads are 12 gauge, 2 ¾-inch with 1 1/4 ounces of shot at 1250 feet per second. At the most commonly encountered home defense distances, Remington HD Ultimate Home Defense produces very tight patterns for one-shot confidence.
I’m fairly certain most readers will agree this is fine choice. There are other home defense loads but this is the most appealing to me.
Caliber12 Gauge or 20 Gauge
Capacity2 rounds (double barrel)
Barrel20″ ported
ChokesIC/IC Fixed
Overall Length36.5″
Weight6.5 lbs
SightsFiber optic
MSRP (Price)$479
Range Time
It was an awfully hot day to be on the range but I wanted to get this out to our loyal readers I did purchase two boxes of the Remington ammunition mentioned above. My choice was the duplex load with #2 and #4 pellets. This load clocks 1250 FPS. The price of this load is roughly $10 per 10 round boxes.
I started at ten yards back to twenty yards. Twenty yards is pushing the distance for home defense but I wanted to see what the pattern spread would be that far back. Let me begin by saying that this load is not abusive at all. The Stoeger has a fairly thick butt pad. Also with the eight-barrel vents on each barrel muzzle rise was kept in check.
From the ten yard line the first group was right at 5 inches. The second group was right at 5 1/2 inches. The average for five loads came out to 4 7/8th inches with a very tight pattern. The green fiber optic front sight showed up very well in daylight. I also tried it at dusk and it was still bright enough to be very useable.
Moving back to twenty yards the average group was just a hair over 8 inches a pattern you would expect at that distance. With the permanently installed IC chokes and this ammunition I don’t think you could find a better combination for home defense.
I tried a couple of optics at twenty yards with the DD. The first was a Vortex Strikefire with the second my EoTech 516. The Strikefire worked well with its two MOA dot. The field of view was a bit smaller than I would prefer on a shotgun. The EoTech was much better, at least for my preferences, having a considerably wider field of view. This allowed me to get on target faster and still see a good sized area to either side of the shotgun should a second suspect appear.
The best home defense plan is one the entire family understands and sometimes practices. If possible all family members should be in one room with Dad or Mom covering the door with the shotgun. An older child or other designated person can dial 911 and provide information on where the family is and any other information the dispatcher asks for. It’s never a great idea to go looking for the suspect or suspects. Stand your ground and wait for the Police to arrive.
With that said the Stoeger Double Defense would make a very good choice for home protection. During the time I spent with it I not only fired the Remington ammo but assorted birdshot with a few 00 buck thrown in for good measure. For those who are of smaller stature the 20 gauge may be the better choice. Still the recoil with Remington home defense ammo wasn’t bad at all especially with the ported barrels. Most people with any experience with firearms and shotguns in particular should have no problems handling it.
At 6.5 pounds and 20” barrels it handles well and allows the shooter to move to another target quickly or fire that second round getting back on target fast. I’d have no trouble relying on this shotgun to defend my home. The price is also very good for those on a budget.


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