External Hammer Coach Shotgun Under $300 – Century Arms JW2000 Review

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With some things in life, the hard way is actually better. That’s the way I have always felt about side by side shotguns with external hammers. Going back to the late 1980s when I was one of the first big boom of new SASS shooters (I am 19811), I always preferred to shoot hammer guns to the other options out there. Of course I also used to shoot Colt Patersons back when they were legal as well (these days you can’t shoot them because they only have 5 rounds). For me, when it came to cowboy shooting, I was there to enjoy myself, and really to shoot against myself, not everyone else. And I always came in last, regardless of the class in which I was shooting.

This past year Century Arms figured out a way to get a classic externally hammered coach sized side by side into the hands of American shooters for under $300. As you can see from the video, the gun has a bunch of ugly markings on it, but it works great.

If you are reading this, it could be that you clicked on the SHOT Show video that I did with Cimarron just a few weeks ago. They have been selling a cleaned up version of this gun for some time, for a lot more money. Now they have an even cleaner and more dainty hammer gun from Pakistan. This gun is not in the class of the fit and finish of those guns, but again, it does work. For $300, that’s really all that matters, and they are available from retailers right now.

I noted in the video that even if you aren’t into the cowboy thing, this gun would make a great trappers gun or guide gun, just to take with you in case game should appear. You could carry it either the with the safety off and the hammers down, or hammers back with the safety on. With bird shot in one side and a slug in the other, you’d be really for anything, in a very small investment that you won’t mind if it gets dinged here and there.

For cowboy shooting, I don’t see you winning any competitions with this gun, but if you loosen it up it probably won’t be inferior to the more expensive Cimarron gun, purely from a performance standpoint. Visually, I guess you could get a local gunsmith to buff out the printing and reblue the barrels. I don’t know why they don’t force the Chinese to print less on the gun, and in a hidden location where possible. A black sharpie will probably make the gun tolerable at least. Overall it’s a good buy, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one if you are in the market for a hammer gun.

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  • WCB June 2, 2021, 10:04 am

    After purchasing a JW 2000 double barrel coach gun for under $300 with ammunition and reading some poor comments I put this coach gun through some shooting that I have other 12 gauge double barrel coach guns produce poor results. The JW-2000 far surpassed any coach gun Ive had. I have read that the JW-2000 was vary tight and hard to open, I say bs and whoever wrote that had to be a weakling. Comments regarding the JW-2000 was constructed with Inferior metals, BS. The JW-2000 never failed once after running 500 rounds of 3 inch high brass self defense OO BUCK SHOT through it. Not a single issue. The one and only issue was a hell of a sore arm. This JW-2000 is a bit stiff but that’s better than being loose. At 70 years old I have no problem opening or closing this coach gun. I own some what is advertised as high-quality coach guns and the JW-2000 is twice the gun. Love the hammers, not only do they give this coach gun a nostalgic look hammers offer extra SAFTY. Before theJW-2000 will fire the SAFTY switch has to be in the fire position and the hammers cocked back. I not only hammered the hell out of the JW-2000 with another 100 rounds of 3 inch high brass slugs. I ever pulled both triggers at once several times ( do not do this if your not expecting one hell of a recoil, you could land on your ass). The JW-2000 far surpassed my expectations. The best home defense gun I now own and anyone who gives the JW-2000 a bad rap is 100% full of shit. I Highly recommend the JW-2000 coach gun.

  • J.D. Wilcox October 22, 2020, 12:47 pm

    What the hell does Joe Biden have to do with 12 gauge coach guns??..

  • Joseph Tuso December 25, 2017, 8:52 am

    I had one of the Chinese hammer guns in 410. I got rid of it after 1 trip to the range. The right barrel shot high left and the left barrel shot low right. Plus it weighed as much as a 12. Dont waste your money.

  • AndInConclusion December 25, 2017, 6:48 am

    Very important comment to be made: This coach “double gun” is NOT rated by Century to be slug firing capable. Otherwise a good review. I have one.

  • Les March 10, 2017, 4:09 pm

    CZ’s hammer coach gun will make you think you’re “riding shotgun” from the moment you pick it up. Following in the tradition of the guns used by the stagecoach guards of the 1880’s, our newest cowboy gun features double triggers, 19th century color case-hardening, fully functional external hammers and 20″ barrels.

  • Les March 10, 2017, 11:06 am

    CX USA makes a quality gorgeous SS Hammer Coach Gun in 12ga, $800 when I bought 4 years ago.

    • Les March 10, 2017, 11:08 am

      CZ not cx

  • DRAINO March 4, 2017, 7:13 am

    Would love to see someone come out with a good external hammered 10ga double barrel. One that would hold together…..with a composite stock to keep it cheap…..for about $500….I’d buy that in a second. Would rather it be American made.

    AMERICANISM!!! NOT Globalism!!!

    • markle laws December 25, 2017, 12:25 pm

      I would buy a 10 ga exposed hammer dbl barrel coach gun with 20 inch barrels if someone were to make one. Maybe if there were a market for one someone would make one. I would pay $800 for one if it was reliable and safe to shoot but I prefer two triggers.

  • Jeff February 28, 2017, 4:00 pm

    Pick the Stoeger coach gun with a single trigger as opposed to the doubles. Much better trigger pull and faster follow up shot. I am very pleased with that purchase.

  • Gunner44 February 28, 2017, 5:32 am

    I purchased a Stoger Hammerless Coach 12 Ga. Single trigger. Also very tight, but with much less lettering, looks pretty good. Automatic safety. Invested in pistol caliber inserts. Surprisingly very accurate 10-15 yards. Great home defense and bug-out gun, only draw back is practicing quick reloads.

  • fritz bousigschouer February 28, 2017, 2:01 am

    to bad that rossi dont make the overland anymore but they where not that cheap either. what i dont like on my jw2000 is that the hammer has no checkering on them for a positive grab. its joust plain smooth and i may checker them one day. so fare it works and it sure needed oil.

  • T.A. Yager February 27, 2017, 6:21 pm

    Have an older model of this Chinese “Coach Gun” that had a balsa wood buttstock. Only got to shot 2 rounds before shearing the stock complely in half. Cool looking peice but can not find a replacement stock. Century ?? Tried contacting them on this and other weapons and never heard a peep. Anyone know the Chinese factory website for parts ??

  • Stan Stewart February 27, 2017, 6:08 pm

    I was a fool. I bought this piece of shit and regret it tremendously. Flimsy, unreliable dangerous junk.

  • gl croft February 27, 2017, 4:16 pm

    i have aold dbl. bl.shoygun ,18in. name [ henry arms ] the hamers and forarm is missing.can not find any 2 replace them.woonder if you have any idea where i my find some 2 replace them. mybe centry will fit.

  • jstert February 27, 2017, 10:51 am

    i will take a used h&r/nef or new rossi single shot at half the cost any day over this $300 dubious alloy double.

  • OldSchool44 February 27, 2017, 10:06 am

    The Turks are making some nice hardware now and it’s all ISO9000. Why not have one of their manufacturers produce the clone for a few bucks more and have a quality product. Even on a recreational piece of hardware no one wants one that’s junk metal but again they don’t want to pay the stupid prices that the Italians are charging. And I won’t even mention the ridiculous prices on American made simple design double barrel hammered shotguns.

  • Allen February 27, 2017, 10:02 am

    Stoger makes a nice coach gun for almost that price. I have two in ,410.

    • Whitetail February 27, 2017, 12:24 pm

      I used to be a dealer and have handled the Chinese knock offs … I wont buy one for my self ,so I won’t sell them any more to customers. They were rough in all the actions and required gun smithing to get the parts to operate correctly . I do however have a Stoeger 20ga.Coach gun for a knock around gun I carry on the 4 wheeler,that worked very well and I would recommend. The Century guns…. I hate the roll stamping on the barrel .Ugly .

  • Infidel7.62 February 27, 2017, 8:05 am

    Just like other Chinese junk, improper alloys or improperly heat treated. Just like the M-1A knockoffs of the 80’s where the receiver stretched so much after 100 rounds you would get case head separations. By the time you had the rifle fixed you could have bought a new Springfield for less.

    • Andrew February 27, 2017, 11:48 am

      Or upgrade to a DSA.

    • John Dickinson February 27, 2017, 6:38 pm

      Hey now, I had one of the Norinco M14’s. It held moa out to 500, used it in many matches for thousands of rounds. Sorry I ever sold it.

      • Greg February 28, 2017, 10:41 am

        Only forged m14/m1a reciver ever made. I’ve put a few hundred rounds thru mine, no issues.

    • Patriot December 25, 2017, 8:50 am

      sorry bud,but your bullshit about bad alloys on chinese guns is complete bullshit,the steel used in the new chinese guns way surpass the north american made stuff,,the Norinco M-14 copy’s receiver is a hell of a lot stronger than any US made receiver,,same for their 1911’s,and the fact that we can buy Norinco 1911’s in Canada brand new for about $350.00 candian is a bonus,LOL.we also get a version of this double hammer gun with 12″ barrels that’s kinda cool,,,no SBR required,,but yes,,the rest of our guns laws suck,,

      • WCB June 2, 2021, 10:13 am

        I completely agree with your post.

  • Cyrus February 27, 2017, 7:50 am

    I believe Mossberg makes a nice over under version . . .

  • ToddB February 27, 2017, 7:20 am

    I bought one of the 20ga side by sides a couple years ago. Its a functional shotgun. But yea they do get a bit carried away with the lettering. Done after blueing for whatever reason, rough metal raised, no effort to knock it down. Its even decently accurate w some reloaded slugs.

  • srsquidizen February 27, 2017, 7:17 am

    There are other Chinese-made shotguns that have necessary markings on them much less obvious. OTOH these day you find American-made guns that have a stupid RTFM warning permanently engraved right on the side (Why? Harley doesn’t do that with the required “Duh, motorcycles can kill you” paragraph. They use a “permanent” sticker that’s easily removed with a little patience). But many domestic guns have unnecessary stampings you can’t (not cheaply anyway) remove. Maybe some Chinese makers think the product will look more American with ugly text hammered into them.

  • Kimberwarrior45 February 27, 2017, 4:22 am

    Yea, bought one and after 60 rounds had one of the sears smear off (as in peanut butter smear) because the metal was so soft that resulted in a double discharge. I can’t get a replacement because there are NO parts available. Go ahead and buy one if you can fabricate parts yourself, if not then it will just set in your safe waiting for a new sear (or two if you can ever find them)!

  • Joe McHugh February 27, 2017, 4:17 am

    I too own a Winchester Model 21, double barrel shotgun. It doesn’t have the classic external hammers and it has longer barrels, but I still like it. If you want to purchase one like mine with engraving and gold inlays, you can buy a new one for about
    $75,000.00. Yeah, it’s a little pricey but the characters on the barrel and frame are much neater appearing.

  • Will Drider February 27, 2017, 12:29 am

    A good Straight Up Review. Shot pattern at distance? It is what it is: the good, nothing significant bad but ugly marking will kill a lot of potential sales iMHO. I don’t know what is pushing Chinese Lawyers or Mfg to do it that way. Joe Biden’s perfect house gun!

    • J.W. Fry March 2, 2017, 6:24 pm

      Joe Biden is an heir to the Massengill Fortune.

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