The Coonan .357 Magnum Automatic Review
Sure Shot Nicole handles the Coonan like a pro.
"Looking for your first Pistol?
This isn't it." -- Or so says Coonan's ad campaign, and it intrigued me enough that I contacted Coonan and asked them to send me one for me and the ladies of the Sure Shots to try out, and they happily did.
The Coonan .357 Magnum is a 1911-style stainless steel semiautomatic (Coonan calls it an "automatic" vs. "semiautomatic"; my best guess is they do this to stress that it is NOT a revolver). When I received it and took it out of the case, my first thought upon seeing it was that it looked and felt heavy and clunky, at least in comparison to the guns I am used to shooting. Also, I felt the walnut grip was very nice, but wondered how it would feel while shooting. Speaking of grip, since the caliber of this pistol is .357 Magnum, the magazine must be wide to accommodate for the longer round, and thus the grip must be wide to hold that magazine. So, I was skeptical.
However, once I got it out on the range it was a whole different story. The wide grip actually provided a lot of "real estate" for both hands to make a lot of good, solid contact, and get a proper and comfortable grip. The weight of the gun truly mitigated the recoil, and this is what surprised me the most, especially since Coonan's ad campaign made it sound like the pistol may be a hand-cannon (and the giant ball of fire in the ad's photo didn't say otherwise!). In fact, the shots I fired felt smooth, and the trigger had the perfect weight for an easy—but not too easy—press. I shot accurately from the very first shot, and from 10 yards, all my shots were within the 9-ring.
Soon after, I took fellow Sure Shot Nicole out to the range to try it out. I was interested in what her experience would be, because at 5'1", Nicole is definitely petite. I thought for sure she'd find that grip impossible to manage, but as soon as I handed it to her, she wrapped her hand around it and said it felt comfortable, and I had to agree it certainly looked so. She took some shots and although the pistol looked giant compared to her small frame, she shot it like it was any other gun she was used to shooting. We were shooting steel that day, and soon she began to ring the steel every time!
The only issue both Nicole and I found was that both of us couldn't reach the mag release button without changing our grip. It didn't surprise me so much with Nicole, since she's so small, but I have long fingers and still couldn't reach it without turning my shooting hand clockwise to try to get to it. I find that this happens with other pistols, so it isn't just the Coonan. It's just an adjustment I'd need to make if I planned on using the Coonan as one of my primary guns.
Then it was time to take it to a few Sure Shots practices, to see what the ladies thought of it. I had been promoting the opportunity to demo the Coonan in our online group, and the interest was high. But once they saw it out on the counter, ready to go, some got a bit intimidated. I promised them they'd be pleasantly surprised, and of the eight Sure Shots who tried it, every single one LOVED shooting it! Not one was even ambivalent about it. Everyone had a smile once they realized it was actually comfortable to shoot such a big gun. Some of the ladies called it smooth, while others marveled that there wasn't the recoil they were expecting
I'm really glad at the outcome of this demo. Coonan has been a huge supporter of the Sure Shots, and of women shooters in general, and I'm happy to see that they can be successful in expanding their demographic to include us women as fans of this extremely unique gun!
reviewed by Niki Jones
Femme Fatale Corset Holster