When most people look at Stoeger Condor over/under shotguns, all they can see is a firearm that costs more than their monthly rent. And yet, they hold fewer shells! So, why would anyone consider purchasing one of these firearms?
Well, there are a couple of reasons why these shotguns are so expensive. One, they have two barrels. Right there, you’ve increased their production cost by at least $300.
Two, over-under shotguns can work with any good quality ammo. As long as the shell can fit in the chamber, then you can shoot it. I particularly love this feature because it means I can use cheaper brands of ammunition, which would otherwise jam in pump-action or semi-autos.
While these benefits justify the high price tag of over/under, there are some models that are affordable. We’re talking about the Stoeger Condor line of shotguns, which goes for as little as $400. Considering that its counterparts like the Browning Citori cost 5 times as much, then you understand that the Stoeger Condor is a big deal.
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Things to Consider before Buying an Over/ Under Shotgun
First, you should know the ultimate purpose of purchasing the Condor. Do you want to use it primarily for hunting or will you also use it for competitive shotgun sports? Keep in mind that some sports place restrictions on the shotgun models that you can use. Also, some Condor shotguns are designed for specific activities. So, once you establish the purpose, you can find the most suited Condor for the job.
Shotgun Feel and Balance
After figuring out the purpose, the next thing to check is the balance of the shotgun. If you’ve practiced with a shotgun that felt significantly over-sized for you, then you know what I’m referring to.
Most buyers go wrong when they consider only the weight of the gun. When using a shotgun, it’s not so much about its overall weight but how well this weight is distributed. To find a well-balanced shotgun, check whether the weight of the gun is equally distributed or whether it’s on one end of the firearm.
Too much weight in the front half of the shotgun and you’ll have difficulty tracking a moving target. On the other hand, if the shotgun is heavier on the stock than the muzzle, the muzzle will feel wobbly.
The beauty of using shotguns like the Stoeger Condor is that they offer a high level of customization. You can change out the choke tube, and install one that suits your hunting technique or needs. The choke tube is simply the part that controls the opening and constriction of the muzzle.
A choke tube that is too wide results in loosely-scattered shot patterns while a tighter opening leads to more consistent patterns. These choke tubes come in a variety of shapes such as:
- Cylindrical—it’s best for clay pigeon shooting.
- Improved cylindrical shape—ideal for hunting squirrels.
- Modified—this is the best all-purpose choice for hunting small game.
- Full—leads to a fairly tight pattern and is great for hunting waterfowl and pheasants.
Overview of Stoeger Condor
The Stoeger Condor is made by E.R. Amantino in Veranópolis, Brazil, but it’s marketed and distributed by Stoeger Industries in Maryland, United States. Stoeger is actually a subsidiary of Benelli, which is in turn operated by an Italian firearms manufacturer known as Beretta.
When Stoeger was acquired by Beretta in 2000, it ventured into making a whole new repertoire of shotguns. And, although this company now makes incredible semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, it is their revolutionary adaptations to double-barreled shotguns that have given them a competitive edge.
If you’re in the market for an effective over/under, we recommend that you check out Stoeger Condor. There are three key facts that make the Stoeger Condor unique:
- Affordable—while high-end models go for $1500 or more Stoeger Condor retails at $400.
- Design—the Condor looks like a traditionally-built shotgun with a couple of improvements. Its rugged design makes it a very reliable tool.
- Low-maintenance—disassembling and cleaning this shotgun is easy.
One of the variants in this product line is the Condor Competition. This shotgun comes in 12 gauge with a 30-inch barrel. It also has AA-Grade gloss walnut finish and weighs about 7.8 lbs.
Another model is the Condor Field, which comes in 28 gauge size. It has a shorter barrel length of about 26 inches. It’s also lighter, weighing 6.0 lbs., and its coating consists of A-Grade satin walnut.
The Supreme is one of the most popular models in the Condor product line. This one is available in 12 gauge and 20 gauge sizes. Other features include brass bead sights and a 28-inch barrel.
Features and Benefits
As mentioned earlier, Stoeger Condor is an over/under shotgun. So unlike side-by-side shotguns where the two barrels are positioned horizontally, the over/under design has the two barrels stacked vertically, one over the other.
It’s important to take note of this design because it’s what makes this shotgun so popular among skeet shooters. The placement of the barrels renders it to be more accurate than other types of shotguns.
That said, the Stoeger Condor is not the best shotgun to use in competitive sports. It’s more of an entry-level shotgun—and is more suitable for the occasional field use. So, if you’re just beginning to learn how to use over/under shotguns, the Condor will come in handy. But once you master the art, you can upgrade to more advanced shotguns.
Apart from its design, the Stoeger Condor has a pretty sturdy build. The stock is made of A-grade walnut, which boasts some very good-looking mineral streaks. Generally, high-quality walnut wood always looks stunning when incorporated into the design of shotguns. What’s more, the finish on the stock consists of satin walnut.
Stoeger Condor’s receiver is completely blued, which means it won’t rust regardless of the elements it’s exposed to. It’s also machine-tuned and has monobloc sides. Both the shell extractor and bead front sight are constructed from brass.
Another feature that makes this shotgun stand out involves the recoil pads. They are well-cushioned, which is a big plus considering that this is a budget-friendly option.
What to Look For
As mentioned earlier, you have a wide range of Condor shotguns that you can pick from. This is ultra-convenient for buyers, who may want to add or otherwise change some of the attributes.
For instance, if you want a shotgun that works with different lengths of the barrel, then you can go for Condor Field. The 12 gauge Condor field comes with 28” and 26” barrels while the 20 gauge and .410 models only come with 26” barrel.
Performance-wise, the Stoeger Condor does not match up to the likes of Benelli or Beretta, or it’s larger counterpart the Stoeger M3000. However, it shoots better than you’d expect for an entry-level shotgun. Its incredible shooting performance can be attributed to the affiliation with the two aforementioned Italian manufacturers.
The Condor line of guns has a single trigger design. The advantage this offers is that it makes it easy to assemble, disassemble, lubricate and clean. On the flipside, this design isn’t the best for long-term use.
Also, if you’d like a shotgun that rarely jams during use, you’re better off with the Condor Supreme that has a selective trigger. With a selective trigger, you can switch up the barrel that you’re firing. If you can’t fire with either barrel, then you’ll have to send your shotgun to Stoeger Industries for repair.
Pros and Cons
- Although the price is the number one factor that makes the Stoeger Condor a great choice, there are a ton of other features to like about it. For instance, this shotgun has a very sturdy construction. Unlike other cheaply-made over/under, the Condor is not some piece of junk that will start falling apart after firing a few times. It’s made using the most reliable components, which makes it capable of withstanding a decent amount of abuse.
- Another advantage is that it comes in a variety of sizes. This single-triggered shotgun is available in .410 bore, 12, 20 and 28 gauges as well as a 12/20 gauge combo. And, to add to this versatility, the manufacturer provides IC and M chokes with all the 28, 20 and 12 gauge fields. You can also purchase flush and extended chokes like the C, IC, M, IM, and F, as aftermarket accessories.
- The Stoeger Condor is suitable for all types of hunting. You’ll be able to take down any game, be it fox, squirrel or waterfowl. Aside from hunting, you can occasionally, use the Condor for target shooting and sporting.
- Despite these benefits, there are a few things you might not like about Stoeger Condor. For instance, it’s one of the few Stoeger shotguns that doesn’t use the Inertia Driven System.
- Invented in 1967, this system functions cleanly and reliably, and it doesn’t need additional modifications. When we say clearly, we’re referring to the fact that gas, smoke and gun powder all remain in the barrel after firing. And since it operates more cleanly than gas-operated shotguns, it’s also easier to clean and maintain.
- Unfortunately, Stoeger Condor doesn’t have Benelli’s inertia driven technology, which means you won’t get any of these benefits.
General User Impressions
- The majority of customers are really pleased with Condor over/under shotguns. They have been able to fire thousands of rounds without a hitch.
- These buyers claim that the weight and balance of the Condor are great and that the integrated features guarantee a flawless performance.
- The only thing that many complained about is that the gun is a little too tight for the break action. But once you’ve used your Condor a couple of times, you won’t experience this problem.
We have found Stoeger Condor to be a great budget shotgun. It has a solid build, so it won’t disappoint whether you’re going bird hunting or clay shooting. Moreover, the controls on this shotgun are straightforward, so they should be familiar to any individual who’s used a shotgun before. The fit and design of the Stoeger Condor are also quite impressive given its price. The walnut finish gives it that elegant look of traditional guns.
Stoeger Condor FAQ
What is the best oil to use on Stoeger Condor shotgun in cold weather?
When it’s cold, you should use a low-viscous synthetic gun oil to lubricate your Condor. Synthetic is better than regular gun oil because it’s less likely to solidify and lead to cycling problems.
What should I do if there’s a problem with my Stoeger Condor shotgun?
Stoeger recommends that you collect as much data as you can. For instance, take note of what exactly you were doing with the shotgun when it malfunctioned. Also, establish whether the problem occurred sporadically or consistently over a period of time.
Next, call Stoeger Industries customer service. You can find their contact information on their website.
Does Stoeger Condor shotgun come with a warranty?
Yes, all of Stoeger’s firearms have a 5-year warranty. If Stoeger has to replace one of your shotguns, then you can get another warranty on your new firearm.
The Stoeger Condor over/under gives you the best bang for your back. It is marketed for significantly less than other over-under shotguns yet it has the same features as high-end models. It’s available in .410 bore, 12, 20 and 28 gauge and it also comes in different barrel lengths.