Stoeger Condor Competition Shotgun (over/under 12 gauge)

I really enjoy shooting trap at my local trap club. I enjoy it so much, I bought three pump or semi-auto shotguns I picked and for all of them it wasn't until a year after purchase that I discovered they had hunting round restrictors in the magazines. I'd just been shooting one round at a time with all of them, so it never occured to me to check.

One thing that quickly becomes aparant at the trap range, is that the overwhelming majority of experienced shooters have trap specific single barrel, or over under shotguns. Even if you're not a conformist, the mess you make on the line compared to others is cringe worth. Worse than that is pelting your neighbor with ejected casings, or worse having your eject shell hit a microphone and trigger a release. In the interest of at least being respectful to those around you, those trap and single barrel shotguns start to look pretty darn appealing.

The desire to get such a shotgun though ends almost immediately with the price tag. Middle of the road over unders run far more than some of the best Italian semi-automatics from Benelli or Beretta. Then add in the nice adjustable features that ensure your expensive purchase will work for you, and well now you're into a ridiculous price range.

This is where the Steoger Condor Competition Shotgun comes in.

While chatting with various people about how expensive over unders could be, some one mentioned some cheap brands. Tri-star was one that came up, but received a lot of instant heckling (more on this later). Steoger got mentioned, and few people knew anything about it. I was intrigued, so I checked it out, and found a deal that seemed too reasonable to be true in the Trap world. A double barreled  adjustable comb over under for under $600? Reasonable weight, nice wood, good finish. It seemed like a solid cusp of intermediate level over/under to get going with.

I picked the shotgun up locally and have since shot about 32 rounds of trap with it over the course of a year and a half. I am a hobbyist after all with other interests commanding a lot of my time as well. Here's my overall take aways from ownership thus far.

CON - This is one heavy beast. It's felt weight is quite notable. My arms get tired shooting this thing, mostly from swinging it around and holding it between rounds. When my arms get tired, my swing suffers, and I just don't post great scores with this. I'm not exactly small either, paddling whitewater kayaks 2-3 times a week alog with pursuing krav maga, I got some decent upper body strength going on.

CON -The barrel finish is garbage. I've taken this shooting a bunch, sometimes in light rain. I clean it quite often. I recently let it sit in my safe for four months as I wasn't shooting trap, and when I took it out I noticed it was covered in rust. Some #0000 steel wool took it right off, but NONE of the other firearms in my safe had the issue, even the notably cheaper Tri-star I had gotten for my girlfriend to shoot and had been out in all the same rain shoots.

PRO - Recoil is minimal to non-existant: This is mostly because the damn thing is so heavy. It's not just me either saying that, I've had a few people compliment the gun saying they watch me shoot and I don't recoil at all taking down clays, leaving them rather jealous. I must admit, I had heard O/U shotguns kick harder, but this one surely does not.

CON - Barrel trajectories don't seem to line up: Patterning this on a grease board at my local trap club, I was able to adjust the shotgun so as the bottom barrel gave me the correct pattern of 60% over center while also getting a decent enough sight picture. In theory, shooting the top barrel now I should be dead nuts on target for those long range shots where it falls into your follow up shot. The second barrel's shot was insanely high. Perhaps I got wrong advice from the old timers at the club, but something seems amiss.

CON- Plenty adjustable comb, but the stock seems so off you'll wind up in a wierd position. Being able to adjust the comb was nice and all, but after fiddling with it a bunch, I had to move it into a fairly odd placement to get decent patterning out of the shotgun. High and right. It fits and feels odd but patterns well enough I suppose? I'm still pretty darn underwhelmed.

CON - Ejector not extractor. I couldn't find an extractor model, just ejector. That means when the barrel pops open, it ejects the rounds out. This might help hunting, but definitely isn't what you want at the trap club. Also, god forbid you have to log this thing around hunting, that would suck! You can work around it by tilting the shotgun so it ejects right up against your shirt/vest/jacket and the shells don't go anywhere, but it's still not what I was looking for.

CON - Excessively tight fit. A tight fight sounds nice right? You can surely work with that over a loose fit? Well, in this case, it just doesn't work right and hasn't broken in over two years of ownership. The gun still doesn't like to open all the way. Yes, I've oiled it, greased it, and cleaned the heck out of it. Sometimes it won't quite all the way despite my earnest effort, until to go that last little bit at the worst moment and eject the shells into your face or somewhere else less than exciting.

Overall... this shotgun does work, but in hindsight I'd put the money towards a BT-99. I have broken many a clay with it. I can shoot it okay. It is adjustable, you will look like you fit in and all that. However, the shotgun just stinks in most of the necessary regards. I'd pass over it in the future I can also report now having bought my girlfriend a Tri-star shotgun, that those are notably lighter and of significantly respectable quality.