How to shoot a pistol grip shotgun?


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Monkeybear
March 16, 2007, 06:43 AM
A friend of mine has a pistol grip shotgun the he recently purchased for home defence. I advised him not too, but it was his choice. Because things in his neighborhood have gotten particulary hairy these past couple of weeks he want me to take him to the range so he can develop some familiarity with it.

I know nothing about how to properly shoot a pistol grip shotgun. Dose anyone have any advice on how to properly hold and fire a pistol grip only shotgun or know where I could find information on how to do so? If you know anything at all about firing such a weapon or know where I could look for information it would be greatly appreciated. This is important to me as it is for my friends safety.

A polite request about your post:

Please do not post only to tell me the time you shot a pistol grip and your hurt your hand/face, that dose not help me. Please do not post that just to say that he should get a shoulder stock for his shotgun as this is beyond both of our control. All we can do is try to help him accurately fire the platform he has chosen.

Once again if all you have to add is that it hurts your hand or that a full shoulder stock is better PLEASE DO NOT POST. I understand that a pistol grip shotgun is a difficult format but I need information on technique anyways.

Thanks!

Monkeybear

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doubleg
March 16, 2007, 08:04 AM
From the hip while bumping tupac and smoking a phillie blunt :p .

No seriously you just hold your arms out to where it would be if it had a stock (a safe distance from your face of course) and point it at what you want dead.

Dave McCracken
March 16, 2007, 08:28 AM
The 101s in the archives have a thread on this....

Steelcore
March 16, 2007, 08:41 AM
Get a death grip on the pistol grip when u fite it.A loose grip will hurt more.Start out with some lite field loads.<ag buckshot loads will hurt.
And don't forget the ghetto blaster with Tupac onit. :evil:

Onmilo
March 16, 2007, 11:01 AM
Spread your feet apart a comfortable distance,
Grasp the shotgun in both hands and extend it about 12 inches from your body.
Turn your weak side so that it is parallel to the gun and bring the gun to just below shoulder level.
At this point and assuming you are right handed, you will be looking at the left side of the gun.
Turn you head so that you are sighting down the barrel, use the bead or blade, whatever is upfront on the muzzle as a sighting aid and position that sight to be just below the target, think of the target as the 'dot' of an i and that bead or blade is the 'post' of that i.
Lean slightly forward and grip the gun well while keeping your elbows relaxed.

Fire and reload cycle should be in a smooth flow.

M2 Carbine
March 16, 2007, 11:09 AM
Don't hold the gun in front of you. It can bust you bad. Hold it by your side so it recoils back and out away from you.

The more vertical the grip is, like my Ithaca below, the higher you should hold it to keep your wrist and forearm straight. The lower you hold it the more your wrist will be bent up and the more it will hurt. Best to hold it almost to armpit high, especially if you are going to shoot a lot.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/IthacaTLR2front.jpg


With the "bird's head grip it's comfortable to hold it low, about belt high.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Rem870pistolgrip.jpg

I also use a BSA Red Dot on the Ithaca. If you hold the gun out at arm's length to use a sight you want to have a GOOD grip in it.
If I do that I usually just use a (tight) two hand grip like shooting a pistol. Follow up shots are slow when shooting like that though.

Having your (left) arm extended and holding on the forearm, while sighting, will bring the gun back uncomfortably close to your face. You had better have a good hold.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Ithicapistolgrip.jpg

Like any other shooting it takes practice to do it well but I've found that you can get quite good shooting from the hip and if using a laser/light the gun is pure deadly.

#4 and 00 Buckshot from 17 yards. Slugs from 26 yards.
From the hip and using the laser.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/IthacaTLR2BGtarget.jpg

Fred Fuller
March 16, 2007, 11:25 AM
Monkeybear,

That pistol grip is held on by a bolt. The bolt can be removed. The pistol grip can be replaced by a more user-friendly apparatus on the end of the shotgun. There is nothing keeping that pistol grip that but plain old hard-headedness. Sorry if you don't think this helpful, but 'tis the truth nevertheless.

I would suggest you carry along a shotgun with a conventional stock for this little range session, just so there can be a chance for side-by-side comparison of the two platforms. It might work better than saying "I told you so."

The kind of pistol grip used makes a big difference. If it is one of those abominations that's about 90 degrees to the bore, it's difficult to use without flexing the wrist. That's going to make it hard to get the gun to 'work' with the body's ability to align it so as to control recoil without hurting that flexed wrist. The only way I know of to help with that is to put a 'birdshead' type PG on it, or perhaps replace the forearm with a PG forearm to match. That encourages holding the gun in such a way that the arms can absorb recoil more efficiently.

Most definitely use only the lightest loads you can find for this session. No need to cause more pain than necessary. Full house buck, slug or even heavy birdshot loads will hurt and could easily embed a flinch in the new shooter- not a good thing.

Let both arms hang from the shoulders, flexed about 90 degrees at the elbows. Don't lock the shoulder or elbow joints- let them flex, tensed a bit but not locked. Keep a firm grip on the gun with both hands.

Pivot about 45 degrees off the target line toward the shooting hand side so the gun is not on the body's centerline. Feet about shoulder width apart, weight shifted a bit to the front foot. That's a basic boxing stance, more or less.

This should put the gun about halfway between waist and armpit with the shooting hand's fingers around the pistol grip against the ribcage on that side- BESIDE the ribcage, not in front of it. You want the gun free to recoil back against the 'spring' of the elbows and shoulders without hitting anything in the process.

The fun part in all this is actually hitting something when you shoot at it. This is one of the few applications for which I seriously, strongly, without reservations recommend using a laser. There was a time in my life when I used a PGO (pistol grip only) 20 gauge Winchester Defender pump in private security work, and it had a good laser mounted on it. It was a big help in hitting with that little gun. And it shortened the learning curve to developing muscle memory for where the gun pointed also- saved a lot of range time and ammo, it did, tripping the laser when it felt as if the gun were on target and not having to pull the trigger.

It CAN work, all right. But it is not natural, the learning curve is steep, the ability to hit erodes rapidly without constant practice, and it is hard to shoot heavy loads without hurting even using good form. Unless you live in a telephone booth, it isn't necessary. Five minutes of instruction in using a proper indoor ready position with a full-stocked gun will demonstrate how unnecessary it really is.

All I can say is, good luck- and stay safe.

lpl/nc

Roadwild17
March 16, 2007, 12:43 PM
I don't know if anyone said this, try reduced recoil loads.

Mike U.
March 16, 2007, 01:28 PM
I thoroughly agree with the reduced recoil loads. The big name ammo makers all have them now. My preferred is Winchester Ranger. Normally, Winchester only wants to sell the Ranger loads to LEO's only, but, the shotgun loads are available to regular Joe's like us.

Also, you might want to stick with 2 3/4" shells with that pistol grip. Trust me on this one.

You may want to stick with the buckshot loads too. A slug outta the pistol grip only format is a prescription for pain. At least this was the case with me. It also convinced me to replace it with a pistol grip/shoulder stock combo. The very best on the market right now is from Knoxx Industries and is called the "SPEC-OPS" stock. It reduces felt recoil by up to 90% and it works fantastic. It runs about $109.00 on the 'net and theres a newer version that's about 2/3 that price although the recoil reduction isn't quite as great. I know you don't wanna hear it, but, after you get back from the range, your buddy may very well be willing to look in that direction.

Reduced recoil buckshot still sends 9-00 pellets downrange at 1200 FPS and will do the job without crippling the shooter.

I hope this helps and please(!) try the reduced recoil buckshot. This really is the best option for the pistol-grip-only format, in my experience. OTOH, maybe you might want to try a few slugs just to see how they work for you. It's always a matter of YMMV and what your willing to put up with for the results you desire. So, what the hey!

torpid
March 16, 2007, 02:14 PM
This is one of the few applications for which I seriously, strongly, without reservations recommend using a laser.

Yes, I also used to have a laser on mine, and that helped quite a bit.
(To be fair, the stock, however, really does work infinitely better than the PG/laser combo ever did for me.)



I would suggest you carry along a shotgun with a conventional stock for this little range session, just so there can be a chance for side-by-side comparison of the two platforms. It might work better than saying "I told you so."

Beat me to it. :)

As a former pistol-grip shotgun owner, I can say that it might be very frustrating for your friend if he has problems hitting accurately with his new PG shotgun, and may turn him off entirely. Having a stocked one there to demonstrate and try may help turn what may be able to turn a potentially disappointing experience into a positive learning one.

As Lee mentioned, a swap to a stock is easy, so your friend has that option open to him if he decides he likes it.

Good advice in this thread.

PG shotguns are nice and short, and look cool (to many), and if one takes the time, can be fun to shoot.
As mentioned already, as a serious defensive tool, huge amounts of practice are really what's required to get to the point where you're proficient with the pistol-grip shotgun, since it's bypassing the manner it was initially designed to be shot.

rudolf
March 16, 2007, 03:07 PM
This assumes you're right handed.

Turn your body slightly to the right and rest the wrist of your right hand on your right breast muscle, close to the center of your chest. Try a few shots and you will find the right position. This way your body will take the push, not your wrist. You will also hold the shotgun high enough to have some sighting over the barrel.

DO NOT hold it like a pistol in front of your face unless you want to punch yourself.

The best pistol grip is from Pachmayr, ist is rubber and also distributes the recoil more evenly to the wrist joint than most others. The one I really hate is the Mossberg factory pistol grip, this one will wreck the upper part of your wrist joint.

M2 Carbine
March 16, 2007, 03:31 PM
To back up a little.

Although I'm a fan of pistol grip shotguns I don't advise anyone buy one until they have a chance to give them a good test.
I think too many people get them because of the power of the gun but aren't aware or find out that they can't stand the beating and expense of practicing enough to get good with the gun.

Like any other shooting discipline, if you don't practice with the equipment, you're just fooling yourself that you're ready to use it.

Monkeybear
March 16, 2007, 03:59 PM
That pistol grip is held on by a bolt. The bolt can be removed. The pistol grip can be replaced by a more user-friendly apparatus on the end of the shotgun. There is nothing keeping that pistol grip that but plain old hard-headedness. Sorry if you don't think this helpful, but 'tis the truth nevertheless.

Please keep in mind that I understand the benifits of owning a shotgun with a full stock and I understand the process by which stocks can be changed but you seem to be under the impression that I am still trying to change his mind. Just because you cannot change someones mind dose not make them "hardheaded" for not conforming to your idea of "correct".

He has identified his situation and has come to the conclusion that for his home, a very old one with alot of weird small tight hallways/doorways, and his needs, likely at 2am when he is trying to defend him home from a target(s) a few feet away in the dark, a pistol grip shotgun is desireable. He just needs to be able to hit a man sized target at 10 feet quickly, in the dark and off of mussle memory.

PG shotguns are nice and short, and look cool (to many), and if one takes the time, can be fun to shoot.
As mentioned already, as a serious defensive tool, huge amounts of practice are really what's required to get to the point where you're proficient with the pistol-grip shotgun, since it's bypassing the manner it was initially designed to be shot.

As a former pistol-grip shotgun owner, I can say that it might be very frustrating for your friend if he has problems hitting accurately with his new PG shotgun, and may turn him off entirely.

He is a pretty stocky guy I have no doubt that he has the upper body mass and strength to work about as well as someone can with this platform. Remember that for him this is a defensive tool and not something he is doing for fun. He understands that a great deal of practice and discomfort will be involved. Quitting something that needs to be done just because it is "hard", takes alot of work or maybe even physically hurts is something that neither me nor my friend really understand. He choose his tool, and he has a job to do with it. He will get that job done; he just needs a place to start.

Please do not misunderstand, the information everyone of you provided was exactly what I was looking for. I am just trying to convey the fact that he has made his decision without unrealistic expectations. The responces in this thread have been great. Thanks and keep them coming! :D


Dave- I will do a search on that 101. Edit: I read it and it did not contain any information that would help anyone seeking to learn. It basically just said that shoulder stocked shotguns are eaiser to shoot than pistol grips. Me and my friend both know this but then he isn't trying to match a shoulder stock in comfort or accuracy. He is just looking for information about how to use his weapon reguardless of how easy it will be. If anyone knows anything about shotguns on this forum is you Dave. If you have any knowledge about a good technique, stance, grip, ect. that would help my friend use a pistol grip only shotgun then please post it here.

He is going to try to learn to use a pistol grip and I, who agree that a standard stock is far superior, am trying to make sure my friend succeeds rather than condeming him to failure for choosing a difficult format. I would rather seek out information to try to help him because he has choosen a difficult path than sit back and watch him struggle because I have decided that my way is better. Anything anyone can do to help me help him would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks. :)

M2 Carbine
March 16, 2007, 04:20 PM
You might have your friend think about mounting a light on the gun since the PG shotgun pretty much requires two hands to operate.

Personally I prefer a laser/light like the Streamlight TLR-2.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/laserlightonBG1.jpg

Leadhead
March 16, 2007, 04:30 PM
Howdy, this is my first post on this site.

I've got a Speedfeed Witness protection (bird's head) grip on one of my 870's and I find it quite manageable.
When I'm shooting heavy loads I push forward with my front hand on the foregrip and pull back with the rear hand to tension the gun with both arms and find that this technique helps control the recoil better.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b358/Candown/16.jpg


Your friend should check out the Knoxx Industries recoil reducing stocks though as they do a good job of reducing recoil.

http://www.knoxx.com/NewStyleKnoxx/Products/ProductReview.htm?kSTOREcart=be642e9420c8627076e309637e698da5

The Spec ops folder would probably be a good compromise....

ndh87
March 16, 2007, 05:20 PM
It helps alot if you have both front and rear pistol grips. The best way i've found to shoot pistol grips is to either shoot from the hip, or slightly raised maybe 4 or 5 inches below shoulder level and held out in front of your torso. But one word of warning, especially when shooting something with alot of kick, keep the back of the pistol grip at least 6 or more inches away from your head/face.

Mike U.
March 16, 2007, 05:59 PM
That laser/light combo is an excellent suggestion. They both have outstanding potential in the guy's situation. The only problem with the TLR-2 combo is the price. The cheapest I've ever seen it was on sale for $199.99 @ Sportsman's Guide, I believe. :what:

I suppose if it came down to one or the other, I'd have to go with the flashlight. The laser will guarantee your on target, but, you gotta see the intruder before you can shoot him. If I had the means, I'd have a TLR-2 on my 870, but, I personally had to settle for a three watt LED light for now. Guaranteed to blind the bad guy at across-the-room distances and gives me an idea of where to direct fire.

I also want to re-iterate the reduced recoil load suggestion. If he is big enough to handle that PG shotty fairly well, then maybe reduced recoil slugs are a possibility worth looking into.

At any rate, I'm hoping it works out for him. I feel his pain. My neighborhood began going into decline a few years ago. Break-ins and burglaries happen all too frequently around here these days. Last week, 13 cars on my block were broken into in one night and the guy next door has been burgled three times. I only feel safe when I have a firearm nearby nowadays.

camacho
March 16, 2007, 06:15 PM
Knoxx Industries has some good products. I have the http://www.knoxx.com/NewStyleKnoxx/Products/COPstock.htm and it's great. As to shooting a pistol grip, in my opinion, a lot of it has to do with your physical fitness. Sure, it puts more pressure on the forearms and wrists but if you are fit you will not even feel it. Just work out regularly your forearms at the gym :)

Monkeybear
March 16, 2007, 07:07 PM
My friends brother works in a hardware store that is a streamlight dealer and so he can get a discount on streamlights, they are still not cheap though. I am partial to the surefire foward grip light.

The knox stock is a good idea too, I spoke to him about it and he said his brother is going to get him one.

So far this is the most information I have found on how to fire a psitol grip shotgun. This is why I come to THR, thanks guys! :) :) :)

benelli12
March 16, 2007, 07:20 PM
How to shoot a pistol grip shotgun?

Do as everybody else sais, but make sure you dont put the grip of the shotgun on your hip/upperthigh.

I let my mom shoot it, and she held the grip into her upper leg, and it left a bruise, my friend also did this to,

Just thought I'd warn ya;)

357wheelgunner
March 16, 2007, 10:54 PM
I forget who makes it, but a friend of mine had a mossy 500 with a really soft rubber pistol grip on it. It really helped with recoil. Still couldn't hit anything with it though. I still punched my nose the first time I tried to fire a few shells quickly with it.

You should be a good friend and buy your buddy a cheap shoulder stock and tell him to stop watching cheezy action movies. Or he could buy a pair of cheap auto pistols and shoot them, one in each hand, while he dives sideways behind barriers scoring great hits all the while.....

Banshee
March 16, 2007, 11:17 PM
You don't shoot them from the hip.

The proper technique for such a weapon is...

Shoot from eye level, sight down the barrel, weapon fully extended at arms length. With strong hand (trigger hand) PULL back, with support hand PUSH forward.

Gordon
March 16, 2007, 11:43 PM
I was taught at the DEA academy to shoot an 870 with a factory folding stock. You were supposed to lock the butt ,er rear of the PG ,into the hip and turn your torso to index the shot. I practiced with one of these , in the manly 3" version with 3" buckshot, for about a decade until I saw the first real tactical use of the shotgun at the Chapman academy.
Now after a thousand rounds or more of practicing with the PG, I could pretty regularly hit a torso target to 10 maybe 15 yards. Despite my 'stunt' shooting one or more targets would more than occasionally escape dureing a string of shots. BTW the Pachmayr rubber Pistol grip was the most comfortable of the lot and yes I have used the 'real' witness protection shotguns.
I didn't like those 'escapees' as I got older (wiser?:D ) and started using a shoulder stocked shottie-always!. Then, after John Satterwaite got done with me in the later 80s showing me how to swing and point a shottie, I met Louis Awerbuck in the late 90s and learned what a shotgun can and cannot do tactically. BIG HINT: I have 2 folding stocked 870s in vehicles(they have MX-6 lasers/lights) and the other four 870s and other 40 something shotties ALL have stocks.:cool:

Ritchie
March 17, 2007, 01:05 AM
Monkeybear-

I'm currently enjoying my 870 to which I have added a steel mag
extension to add weight (and rounds) and a Butler Creek PG. The PG
has a sliding cover on the bottom which is secured with a small sheet
metal screw, after putting in the allen wrench that fits the stock screw, and
filling the rest of the hollow with lead shot to add more weight.
I'm pretty sure I have not hit myself in the face with it, as I think I
would remember something like that.:eek: Method is, keep head upright,
grip the forend real tight, and pull the forend forward strongly. The gun is
positioned pretty much like the stock was still there, space between me
& it is the better part of a foot. By this means I have fired a box of S&B
buckshot and several factory slugs, resulting in only the most profound
respect, and surprisingly decent accuracy at ranges of 15-20 large paces.
For closer quarters, try positioning the body at 45 degrees to the target,
press the middle of the right forearm against the side of the right hip. This
will tend to place the barrel along the line of sight and allow recoil movement without things colliding. As before, pull forward with the left hand. Practice with trap loads then move up to light recoil duty loads and see how that goes. I'm a skinny old guy and consider this gun to be great fun.

sm
March 17, 2007, 01:22 AM
Lee Lapin - Post #7.

I agree and how I assisted with Armored Car Guards that were required to qualify with a PGO.

I started out with a full stock to show manual of arms and safety lessons.

Note: For Company reasons the Full stock was taught as if it was a PGO.
My idea , my choice, and I got this approved (cost a bit more for training, but I was able to sell the idea and reasons.). This instead of training "cold" with PGO.

Often times starting with primer only hulls. Correct basic fundamentals, repetition becomes faith, faith becomes habit.
Then super light reloads, and worked up to "duty loads".

I/we went from range to actually using a armored car to learn to shoot out of.

Transition from Full Stock, to PGO, learn the differences, and again start slow, repeat, with light loadings, and end up in armored car. Everything from toting, entering car, exiting - everything.


Now, after all the company lessons and quals done - I would take the same folks and teach using a full stock shotgun. Different levels of experience, and some wanted a home gun, some wanted to bust clay targets, some wanted to hunt.

Yes I still believe and use a BB gun to teach shotgunning. I have used BB Guns to assist with Armored Car Guards and shotgun use.

RawBot
March 17, 2007, 02:18 AM
Looking at these videos might give you some ideas of how to shoot PG only shotgun:
http://www.sabretactical.com/CAR/car.html
Unfortunately there is no direct example, but judging by the look, he doesn't use stock to absorb a recoil.
Disclamer:
I'm not affiliated with CAR and never recived any training from them, but read their materials and tried to imitate his stance from the video and pictures. With my Wichester 1300 it felt pretty manageable and accurate for the short distances. Even my petite wife scored a few good series shooting like that, and it was the only comfortable stance for her, because of the long 14.5" LOP of the stock.

Monkeybear
March 17, 2007, 02:25 AM
Thanks! I am suprised to have so many honest helpfull answers, my searches on more than a couple of boards came up with nothing. I remember why I spend so much time here.

I think I am going to cut and paste alot of your responces and print them out for my buddy. That way he can spend some time practicing technique and we will go shooting next weekend. They are very clearly explained and I am sure he will have no problem understanding them however if he dose you will be informed as I will do my best to update this thread with his progress. Hopefully the next person who is serious about learing to shoot a PG will have this thread as a starting point.

You should be a good friend and buy your buddy a cheap shoulder stock and tell him to stop watching cheezy action movies. Or he could buy a pair of cheap auto pistols and shoot them, one in each hand, while he dives sideways behind barriers scoring great hits all the while.....

I would like this to be a helpful thread, not just for my friend but for anyone else that may end up doing a search on this subject. This is by far the most concentrated source of PG shotgunning information I have found on the internet. I would prefer this thread not to be diluted with the same comments every other unhelpfull thread involving pistol grip shotguns on the internet is comprised of. I do appreciate your grip reccomendation but not insulting comment; that is not what THR is about. Remember that not everyone has the same needs or perceptions that you do.

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