Gun Review: The Multi-Purpose Stoeger 2000 Combo

In today’s climate of getting the most bang for your buck, the concept of purchasing one gun that can handle a number of hunting situations is most appealing.

The idea of interchangeable barrels is not new but for one reason or another I just never owned a gun with interchangeable barrels. But thinking back in time, if they had been around when I first started hunting I would have looked pretty seriously at a shotgun that could, with the swap of a barrel, instantly transform itself from a waterfowl or upland bird gun into a deer gun or even fill the bill as a bear protection gun. Enter the Stoeger 2000 Combo. For a price point that is most affordable, this shotgun was designed with just this hunter in mind.

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The 2000 Combo can be obtained in a variety of options but essentially the primary features remain the same. My particular model, which came in Advantage Max-4 HD camouflage with a 28-inch shotgun barrel and the standard 24-inch slug barrel, had all the features offered by this shotgun combo. As an example and key to its success as a semi-auto, is the Inertia Driven operating system that can handle about every load available from the 1-1/8th ounce field and target loads to the heaviest three-inch goose-busting waterfowl loads without any adjustments. It all centers on the design of the Inertia Driven system, which has only three moving parts in the bolt; the inertia spring, the bolt body and the rotating locking head. Thus, the system is not only simple, but also fast, reliable and lightweight. So lightweight, in fact, that shotguns designed with the Inertia Driven system can be some of the lightest ever produced. Additionally, it does not vent propellant gas, smoke and burnt powder into the operating system, as it is designed to keep them in the barrel where they belong rather than venting them into the gun’s mechanism as they are in a gas operated system. This feature tabulates into a much cleaner system that takes only a fraction of the cleaning time necessary to clean a gas system. The system is also mostly contained in the receiver with no springs, action bar linkage or heavy gas cylinders under the fore-end, giving the 2000 a trimmer fore-end and better overall gun balance.

The combo also includes five choke tubes from cylinder to extra full turkey, both of which I will talk about in more detail later in the field test section. The shotgun barrel is fitted with a red bar front sight to assist in picking up targets in low light while the slug barrel has a rugged set of iron sights for either a clean hold on a turkey or a buck. Which brings me to the slug barrel, a smooth bore that on first brush one might ask, “Why not a rifled barrel?” The answer, from my perspective, lies in its versatility. It allows the barrel with the extra full turkey choke tube and its iron sights to become one lethal turkey gun. And possibly, even more importantly, it will permit the use of buckshot in a sighted barrel for deer hunting or bear protection. That is, of course, in addition to the fact that it can then readily be converted back to a short range slug gun by simply changing choke tubes.

Field Test

My first opportunity to actually use this gun was on a turkey hunt. I didn’t even have a chance to spend any time on the range with it, which was a bit of a first for me. But out of the box it handled so well what when the opportunity to hunt turkey with it arose, I jumped at it. It performed extremely well, as I was fortunate enough to take a uniquely coloured, long-bearded Meriams tom at 40 yards with a single shot. With its sights I was able to hold directly on the head and the bird simply piled up on the spot.

I next had a chance to spend some time on the trap range with it. With its clean lines and ease of handling, busting clays from all stations was smooth whether shooting doubles or singles. In an attempt to check on the gun’s total performance, I even attempted to use a variety of loads to bust some of these clays, from the lightest 1-1/8-ounce loads I could find, right up to some pretty heavy three-inch magnum loads. The gun cycled all the loads without a flaw and while these buster loads didn’t seem to affect my scores too dramatically, it is not something, based on recoil alone, that I would recommend.

I then wanted to see just how effective the use of the iron sighted slug barrel would be on the pattern board when fitted with the extra full turkey coke. The results were excellent right out to 40 yards. With Federal Premium Mag Shok Flightcontrol turkey loads I was able to consistently get killing pellet patterns to 40 yards and beyond, no wonder that turkey piled up at 40 yards. What a fine turkey gun!

Last, I spent considerable effort attempting to analyze its slug barrel performance. As this is a smooth bore barrel, I chose to limit my range to 50 yards. All groups were three-shot groups fired at that range with the use of the cylinder choke tube.

The results were almost as expected, as it sure let me know at the end of the day that it had its likes and dislikes. (Not dissimilar to every other slug gun I have ever used.) Some it simply detested while others shot quite well indeed. Groups of two to 2-¾ inches were common with Federal Vital Shok Truball and Winchester Supreme Partition Gold, however the big winner was Winchester Super X Rifled slugs with sub two-inch groups. I even did a comparison test between this one load, when shot after exchanging the cylinder choke for a Beretta Rifled Mobile choke, to see if these already tight groups could be improved on. Believe it or not, the cylinder choke with this load outperformed the rifled choke. However, if pushed on the matter, I would be hard pressed not to stick with the Federal Truball slug because of its overall consistent accuracy, muzzle velocity of 1,600 foot-pounds and its 2,520 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

For the price there is little question as to the usefulness of this combo, whether you find yourself in a goose blind or on a turkey hunt or, for that matter, in a shotgun only zone where on a deer hunt you need to keep your shots at relatively short range. I, additionally, wouldn’t hesitate to consider it right at home in a hunt camp for bear protection.

Specifications

Shotgun Barrel Length: 28”
Slug Barrel: 24” (w/iron sights)
Stock: Synthetic Advantage Max-4 HD Camouflage
Overall Length: 49¼”
Average Weight: 6.9 lbs

Test Results

Slug

Weight

Length

Average Group Size

Federal Vital Shok Truball 1 oz 2¾” 2-3/8”
Remington Copper Solid Hollow Point Magnum 1 oz 2¾” 10½”
Winchester Supreme Partition Gold Sabot Slug 385-grain 2¾” 2½”
Federal Classic Rifled Slug Magnum 1¼ oz. 3” 9½”
Winchester Super X Rifled Slug 1 oz. 2¾” 1¾”(with cylinder choke) 2 /8” (with Beretta Rifled Mobile choke)

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