I attended an SASS Cowboy Shoot this weekend and stopped into the Pioneer Arms Co. Booth and met with Kage Brower, logicistics god for Pioneer.
Some of you know how much I like the hammered shotgun for defensive use. I have been wanting to get my hands on one for testing since my friends and customers have been telling me about how good these guns are compared to the other makers.
Let me tell you right now, hands down, this is quite possibly the best side by side coach gun that I have ever handled. Excellent fit and finish, nice wood, decent balance and an action that opened and closed like on greased ball bearings…..a pleasure to handle and use.
This gun is built on a Greener style action which was explained to me as a strong action that is reliable for this use.
I was impressed with Kage’s knowledge of shotguns and his enthusiam for the Pioneer products and his support for the Cowboy Shooting industry. I had the chance to handle the gun that Ted Nugent was filmed with at a recent show (SHOT or NRA…unsure…).
The ONLY bad thing I have to say is that I did not shoot it! I recently had shoulder surgery and cannot shoot ANYTHING with recoil for a V ERY LONG TIME….disappointing to me, but I have heard VERY good reports on the Pioneer from some avid shooters/competitors on it’s reliability and handling. Not one bad report from anyone.
Side Note: I am not a cowboy shooter and my interest in this shotgun is for a purely defensive role. I have shot and owned most of the other hammered doubles out there and find Pioneers offerings FAR FAR above the rest in fit and finish.
PS the dog in the photo’s is the Official Guard Dog for the Pioneer booth! Bring treats when you visit!
Update November 2010:
I had the chance to speak with a number of Pioneer shotgun owners while fitting them for leather ammo cuffs (and other leather goods, http://www.andysleather.com and http://www.shottist.com are my pages) EVERYONE is ecstatic with their shotguns and have lots of great things to say about them. One the main comments is that they cannot break it. Apparently MANY of the cheaper coach guns will have “issues” and lots of people keep spare side by sides on hand for when they go down. Not an issue with this shotgun!