Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stoeger Condor Update

Better late than never, I promised a followup post about my impressions about the Stoeger Condor.

I didn't get nearly the bird hunting in this season that I did last year, so I've only gotten a moderate amount of trigger time on the Condor. However, my latest experiences with the gun have been positive.

Starting late in the season last year, I switched my dove loads over to Remington ShurShot #7-1/2 shot. I found that this load more reliably takes birds and gives better pattern density than the cheap Winchester Super-X that you see on sale during the run-up to dove season. The biggest difference between these two is the Remington loads use 1 1/8oz of shot, while the Winchester loads only use 7/8 oz. That's nearly a 30% increase in shot when comparing the two. To me, the performance is certainly worth the slightly higher price.

Anyhow, I've had great results with the Condor with the few dove hunts I got in this year. Having only hunted dove with an 18" open cylinder previous to this, It took a bit of work to get myself adjusted to a 26" improved/modified pair of barrels. Later in the season when dove are fly further out and higher, this is certainly an advantage. I'm quite happy with the range I was able to make hits with the Condor. My only negative experience when dove hunting was when the doves were swarming above me just as I was reloading. Ejectors would have speed things up here, and I can certainly see their advantage now.

Most impressive, however, was its performance of the Condor hunting duck. I had the opportunity to go on my first wader hunt for wood ducks in the East Texas Piney Woods, and loved the experience. Range and accuracy was most impressive out of the Condor, shooting Remington ShurShot #2 (1-1/4oz) 3" steel. I was able to make a hit on a fast mover just above the trees, flying perpendicular to me. The steel patterned so well that I hit the neck of the bird and nearly shot it clean off, dropping it DRT.

I wish I had more photos to give you, but hunting in waders doesn't exactly lend to lots of photography. Next season, I'll be sure to have a quality point-and-shoot to bring along.