2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Stoeger Condor...my "Fudd" gun...

The Stoeger Condor Competition.

Now that I have upset all of the "Fudds" out there its time to tell you about my fudd gun...the Stoeger Condor Competition. Maybe I should call it a the "fun gun" instead because that is what it is to me. Actually, I have introduced this last year in my post about the trap course at Blackwing, but let me get a little more in depth now. Last Spring I took a one day trap course with Kev (pic below from last month) at Blackwing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio just to expand my horizons. Had a great time and got so wound up in the entire experience that I bought a gun and membership on the same day! It must have been a sign that the only left handed trap gun they had in stock was this one...or at least that's what I kept saying as I handed over the credit card at the register.

"Fudd 1..this is Fudd 2..over"

I had looked at several other guns prior to the class, just getting a feel for what is out there in the market and was shocked at the price. Most "reasonable" guns from makers like Browning and Benelli started around $1,200 and went straight up from there. I found this Stoeger for $550 and it has served me well over the past year. I have not been able to shoot as much as I would like to have done, but when I have it has worked flawlessly. You do pay for some flash and fit and finish at that price point though. Kevin's Citori comes with an awesome custom fitted case, mine came in a cardboard box. A quick trip to Vance's and $70 got me a decent case with closed cell foam, but nothing like what Browning provides. Oh well...did I mention it goes boom every time I pull the trigger, just like the Browning?

DSCF1717The Condor doesn't come with a fance box to sit in...but then again I bought it for shooting, not just looking at in a box!

A little about the gun itself. The Stoeger Condor is made in Brazil and imported by Stoeger Industries, which itself is now owned by Benelli. I have owned a Stoeger Cougar before that was manufactured in Turkey for them and had nothing but high praise for the craftsmanship of that pistol. I was hoping that Stoeger was as good at picking up quality manufacturers in South America as it was in Europe. Apparently they are. The Condor, while not as refined as the likes of Kevin's $1500 Browning Citori, is a well made gun...or at least mine is. I have read some horror stories people have posted online about the forend and barrel coming off while shooting and the trigger mechanism not working and such...I have not had any issues what-so-ever concerning this firearm. It has performed flawlessly for me so far.

In case you've forgotten this video from last year to prove it works...

The Condor Competition 12 Gauge is a traditional over/under sporting gun aimed at shooting sports crowd (trap, skeep and sporting clays) but also a viable option for the hunter too. While the stock Condor is available in 12, 20 or .410 gauge, the Competition comes with either a 12 or 20 gauge set of barrels as these are the main calibers that can be officially used for trap and skeet competition. It will fire both 2 3/4" and 3" shells. Overall length is 47" and weight comes in at about 7.8 pounds. It comes standard with 30" ported barrels to help reduce muzzle climb. The barrels feature screw replaceable chokes with 2 each of Improved Chock (IC), Modified Choke (M) and Full Choke (F) provided with the gun. Being the "Competition" model the metal gets a better finish on it than the standard model and the stock also gets an upgrade.

DSCF1722Ported barrels helps keep muzzle climb in check.

The stock is high gloss AA grade walnut with an adjustable comb and palm swell. The checkering, while not too fancy or aggressive, does well for its intended purpose. The comb is adjustable with an included allen wrench. To adjust it you must loosen two sets of screws, move the comb into the desired position, and then tighten everything down again. Its not exactly a simple procedure, but I guess once you have it at the correct height you should just tighten it down and locktite it in place anyway.

The high gloss walnut on the Competion model is adequately checkered for my tastes.

DSCF1720The adjustable comb is standard on the competion model.

A long sighting rib sits on the top barrel with both a grey sighting bead half way down the length of the barrel with a brass bead on the tip for aiming purposes. I was taught last year to only use the beads as reference points as I should be naturally bringing the gun to my point of aim at the target with my eyes and pulling the trigger for the shot. I was instructed (correctly from my experience so far) that if you try and "muscle the sights onto the target you will miss...and I have done my fair share of missing.

DSCF1727Simple bead sights are all this needed to shoot clays..

On the rear tang of the stock there is a manual safety for the shotgun which also allows you to select which barrel to fire. Again, the chokes are screw replaceable so you can have two different clokes installed. This would enable you to have a different set of chokes while hunting, one for close work and another for farther out game. The Condor uses and inertia driven trigger reset which means once you fire the first barrel the recoil resets the trigger for the next barrels trigger. Unique I am told but it works. For dry firing you can either bump the bottom of the stock to reset or select the other barrel manually with the safety. Again because it is the Competion model I got a set of shell ejectors instead of the standard extractors with the gun. This means that when I break open the action after shooting any fired shells will be ejected out of the weapon instead of having to manually remove them by hand. The shotgun does not activate the ejectors for any shell remaining that has not been fired but will simply extract them a half inch or so for manual removal.

DSCF1724Tang mounted safety/barrel selector and ejectors. Also note how the latch opens to the right for someone shooting lefty such as myself and you can make out the palm swell on the left side of the stock as well.

So, overall I would say that I am very pleased with the Condor Competition. For the amount of shooting I actually do with it on a trap range it has worked out beautifully for me. It goes bang every time I have asked it to, didn't break the bank (too much) and generally puts the shot on target if I do my part.

Check out the Condor on Stoeger's website. If nothing else just to see what a decent website looks like for a firearm company (are you hearing me GLOCK!)


Anonymous said...

I picked up a stoeger condor comp lefty about 9 months ago. Its been sent back twice and going back again hopefully for a refund. First time the stock cracked. Second time stock cracked and bottom barrel failed to fire. They sent me a new one after that. First time out with the new one the bottom barrel failed again.

Huey said...

sorry to hear that, I do not have mine shooting every weekend but its been solid and reliable so far, count me lucky I guess!

Anonymous said...

Does the safety reset everytime you open/close the gun?

Huey said...

Just checked...no it does not...this would be a concern if you were looking to pick this up as a field gun... I would not worry too much about it if it's destined to be a trap/skeet gun like mine...thanks for posting that question, never thought about looking at that

Anonymous said...

I've had mine almost 30 days and put over 750 rounds thru it. Only One FTF and two FTE both can be attributed to cheap ammo (winchester white box one of them). I'm happy with mine been thru one tournament sporting clays and about to go to another.