So much Bling-Bling on your gun you can't hold it up


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Sir Aardvark
May 21, 2007, 01:18 AM
I recently took a basic Shotgun class that was taught by a local Police Officer.

I must recommend a class of this sort to anyone who considers using a shotgun as a defensive weapon.

Amongst the many things covered are: patterning, ammo selection, proper sling use, proper shotgun setup, ammo carrying, etc...

But... to get to the reason of the post:

Most of the guys in my class (all guys - 26 of them) had these super-uber black tactical shotguns with so much crap on them that they could barely hold them up for more than 2 minutes.

The instructor would have us hold our shotguns up in either the "on-target-ready-to-shoot" position, or the "high-ready" position, for an extended length of time and almost everyone on the shooting line had the shakes because they had their tactical lights, 8-shot extended magazines, and side-saddles loaded with ammo weighing down their gun.

The instructor was joking that everybody needed "muzzle-Viagra" to keep it up.

I do realize that in the real world you probably would not need to hold your shotgun up in the ready postion for that long, but, I got to admit, it was pretty funny seeing it happen.

The first thing I thought of when I saw everybody getting ready to approach the shooting line was that my wife would have been laughing her butt off at seeing all these "macho" men with their shotguns that had everything stuck on 'em but a can-opener; there was even a guy there who was dressed like a SWAT member ready to storm a house - tactical vest and all - the vest even had a handle on the back so his buddy could pick him up and carry him!.

The shotgun the Instructor had: a plain old Remington 870 Police with the rifle-sighted 18" barrel, 5 shot magazine, Surefire flashlight foreend, and an ammo pouch on the stock to "balance the weight".

The Instructor did mention that he was never in a situation where he had to fire more than 3 rounds from his shotgun.

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Zoogster
May 21, 2007, 01:37 AM
I do realize that in the real world you probably would not need to hold your shotgun up in the ready postion for that long, but, I got to admit, it was pretty funny seeing it happen.

Actualy consider that you confront a home intruder and he complies at gunpoint. You now are going to have to figure out how to hold him at bay while police take 5-10 or if your really out there 20-30 min to arrive and take him into custody. Are you not going to want to be able to shoot him if he rushes at you or attempts to attack you during that time?

You could tie him up, but alone with a long gun that may pose more risk to you than not. If you jumped out of bed to find him chances are you didn't bring handcuffs, a rope, or something else to do it anyways. Now a second person could do it while one keeps him at gunpoint, and a pistol while not as good at ending an attack would lend itself to retention while closer. However would you want to send a loved one in to be physical with a potentialy dangerous criminal? Would you want to go stand on the other side of a shotgun held by a nervous loved one that may not take shooting as important as yourself while you do it? (He may try to make a move againts you at that point endangering you and requiring them to take a shot.)

All things to think about.

So being able to hold the gun on target effortlessly for an extended period of time could actualy be quite important if you run across an unarmed or compliant intruder that you did not shoot. If it makes your arm so tired that you have to lower the muzzle that gives them at least the illusion that they may be able to take you on without being shot at the minimum if not actualy making you more vulnerable. This means you may still end up having to use lethal force when it may have been avoided because they are encouraged to do something stupid.

Avenger29
May 21, 2007, 01:42 AM
My 870 is bare bones, although sometimes it wears a side-saddle, but it is currently not mounted. Heck, all of my guns are that way. Some have upgraded sights or a buttstock ammo carrier, but no tacti-crap.

pdowg881
May 21, 2007, 01:48 AM
what would an 18 inch 870 barrel cost me? Walking through my house with a 26" barrel is hard enough without having to do it in an HD situation.

jonsidneyb
May 21, 2007, 01:57 AM
Don't shoot me for this.

What I like in a defensive shotgun is what that is lively in the hands.

What I did was put a special field stock on an 870 to get it to handle like and upland bird gun. I put a 20inch barrel on it and a plus 2 extention.

What I want to do is put a set of fixed dangerous game sites on it that was mean for an african safari rifle. A shallow V with tritium inserts.

That is my idea of shotgun, steel and wood that points like a bird gun yet has fast sights like a brush gun.

Sir Aardvark
May 21, 2007, 02:21 AM
pdowg881

PM sent.

Dave McCracken
May 21, 2007, 08:46 AM
Weight in a defensive shotgun is a mixed blessing. Fatigue is an issue, so is recoil. The heavier the shotgun, the less kick felt.

My HD 870 weighs around 9 lbs. I can handle it. I'm a big lout and still have good upper body strength. Others may differ.

HD missions vary, and so do we. One persons' "Ultimate HD Shotgun" may be more or less weight than optimum for anyone else.

And where more than one person may need to utilize a HD weapon, it should be usable by the smallest and weakest person who may need it badly. No one else here likes shotguns, but all are familar with and shoot DA revolvers. So, there's those available as needed.

In a situation as described, I'd have the perp lie face down, then I'd tuck the butt into my armpit and clamp down to assist in holding the weapon until the posse arrives.

berettashotgun
May 21, 2007, 09:59 AM
I think 6 from my Beretta 1201fp is a-plenty.
I have never been sold on the light thing, but it is just me and the wife here, and she CARRIES a pistol all day at work- so her personality illuminates the house:neener:
I like vanilla in every aspect of my life, down to the factory billet wheels on my 4x4, no batteries in any scope ('cept the EO), and kinda think that holding a firearm on someone while making a citizens arrest is STUPID.:banghead:
Handcuffs can be made from most everything around the house, and a b.g can't rush you from the floor- face down.

Thin Black Line
May 21, 2007, 10:42 AM
I do realize that in the real world you probably would not need to hold your shotgun up in the ready postion for that long, but, I got to admit, it was pretty funny seeing it happen.


Two minutes isn't very long. It's a long time for people who lift little more than
a TV remote, mouse, or 12-ounce cans. I'm old enough to require an age
waiver, but I actually work out a couple times per week and it makes a
difference.

All I had up front on my mossberg in Iraq was a cheap tactical light/pressure
switch sent to me by ppl back home. I had a side saddle and later added a
folding stock (which really didn't reduce the weight). I also seem to remember
wearing a helmet and IBA during that time, but I have to admit I didn't hold
anyone at gunpoint. I suppose I could have had them lie face down and I
could have sat down on something if I had to as somebody fetched me water
and geritol.

BTW, were any of these guys even hunters --y'know someone who might
spend some time each year walking and stalking or do we have a lot of light-
weight titanium golf clubs being swung around instead after ppl get out of
little carts?

ArmedBear
May 21, 2007, 11:28 AM
Actualy consider that you confront a home intruder and he complies at gunpoint. You now are going to have to figure out how to hold him at bay

Face down, on the floor. It's easier and safer to point the shotgun down at 45 degrees than straight out in front of you anyway, with others in the house.

If he's not face down, on the floor, I wouldn't call him compliant.

In the real world, though, he's probably going to run when he is confronted. That's preferable anyway. You're there to protect yourself and your family, not to catch criminals at great risk to your family.

And in the RARE instance that he doesn't run, he's probably going to attack you and try to kill you. Then you won't need to hold the gun for long.

I agree on using a standard magazine and not much crap on the gun, though. If you think you will have a hard time holding the gun up, put a safari sling on it.

aubie515
May 21, 2007, 11:49 AM
Unfortunately, it's not just with shotguns that people add 5 extra lbs to their weapons. Some items are down right useful, but a lot of the tacticool guys must have the latest and greatest. Lefs face it, there are more commando types compared to the truly serious shooters.

Thin Black Line
May 21, 2007, 11:59 AM
BTW, a properly adjusted sling makes a world of difference, too.

Correia
May 22, 2007, 12:10 PM
This swings both ways however.

Just because some guy has a lot of stuff on his gun doesn't mean he doesn't know how to shoot or how to use it. My guns tend to be on the heavy side for most folks. And I tend to hang lots of stuff on them.

And I do okay.

Plink
May 22, 2007, 03:48 PM
Lefs face it, there are more commando types compared to the truly serious shooters.

After reading many threads here, and seeing many pics posted, I tend to agree. I see it a lot at the range too. It seems that the best shooters there always have the simplest, most streamlined rigs. If their class calls for an accessory, they have it, otherwise they don't.

I see an extended tube as a plus in some cases though. It lets you carry a full load of ammo yet still keep the gun downloaded by a round or two, in case you need to stuff a specialty shell like a slug.

Titan6
May 22, 2007, 03:51 PM
It seems that the best shooters there always have the simplest, most streamlined rigs.

Shooting and using are two different things. If it is a work gun you have to figure out what works for you.

Gordon
May 22, 2007, 04:21 PM
Ha! Everyone seems to miss grand master Dave's answer to the problem:

" tuck the butt into my armpit and clamp down to assist in holding the weapon until the posse arrives."

As taught to me by Scott Reitz and probably Louis Awerbuck, but Scott brings the point accross by originating the covering scenario for 10 minutes or longer!;)

I patrolled my ranch last night for about 10 minutes with the flashlight on and the butt clamped in arm pit about 2" rearward of the pistol grip.:cool:

Snarlingiron
May 22, 2007, 04:30 PM
I took the basic defensive shotgun course at Tac Pro Shooting Center (http://www.tacproshootingcenter.com/). Our instructor, Bill Davison is absolutely opposed to any additional ammunition on the gun, or sling (i.e. side saddles, slings with ammo loops, etc.) With that said, my 870 had a Knoxx Spec-ops stock, a +2 magazine extension that came with the gun from Remington, and a 20" cylinder bore rifle sighted barrel. I found that I could buy the rifle sighted barrel for less than I could buy a set of sights. I added a sling, another thing Bill doesn't like; "Your weapon belongs in your hands, what good will it do you if it is slung?" I also changed the Remington forend for one from Choate (smaller, lighter, has short Picatinny rail for mounting a flashlight, or whatever). At the end of the day, I have modified it a bit, but it is lighter than when I got it, with the Knoxx stock recoil is a non issue, as well as having adjustable LOP. So, as was stated earlier, it is what works for you.

If you are going to rely on the shotgun as your primary defense weapon, by all means get one of these training classes. You will be amazed at the capability of the weapon. There is a write up on the Tac Pro shotgun course in the current edition of SWAT magazine.

Correia
May 22, 2007, 04:54 PM
"Your weapon belongs in your hands, what good will it do you if it is slung?"

No offense intended, but I see that come up all of the time, and it usually originated because the SAS used to teach that like it was some sort of religious doctrine.

Yes, the gun belongs in your hands but there are tons of times where being able to sling the gun, and use your hands is absolutely vital. And from what I've seen of the SAS disciples, is that the gun gets put on the ground, because gee whiz, that's so cooler than slinging it.

What if you need to climb something? What if you need to go up a ladder? What if you need to go to your secondary weapon (why do the hug the gun thing, when I can just drop the longgun, and have it hang attached to me and shoot my pistol with two hands?). What do you do when you're out in the wilderness and you have to relieve yourself? What if you have to grab a wounded comrade and drag them to safety? What if you have to manipulate a piece of equipment?

Snarlingiron
May 22, 2007, 05:27 PM
No offense intended,

And none taken. As I said, there is a sling on my 870 for all of those good reasons that you just mentioned. On the other hand, after Bill tells you that slings are for sissy's, he goes on to teach the Rhodesian carry.

Striker
May 22, 2007, 05:34 PM
Bill tells you that slings are for sissy's

Guess I'm a sissy then!:D:D

Robert Hairless
May 23, 2007, 12:02 AM
The instructor would have us hold our shotguns up in either the "on-target-ready-to-shoot" position, or the "high-ready" position, for an extended length of time and almost everyone on the shooting line had the shakes because they had their tactical lights, 8-shot extended magazines, and side-saddles loaded with ammo weighing down their gun.

...

The shotgun the Instructor had: a plain old Remington 870 Police with the rifle-sighted 18" barrel, 5 shot magazine, Surefire flashlight foreend, and an ammo pouch on the stock to "balance the weight".

Huh? It looks to me as if the only difference between what the students and the instructor carried was a two- or three-round extended magazine tube. What was described doesn't seem to qualify as "Bling Bling" on the students' guns, and it doesn't make the instructor a teacher worth paying for instruction.

Both the instructor and the people who paid to be the butt of his jokes had shotguns with lights: the students had "tactical lights" and the witty instructor had a "Surefire flashlight foreend." The SureFire foreend is a tactical light.

Both the instructor and the students also carried additional ammunition on the shotguns: the students had "side-saddles loaded with ammo weighing down their gun" but the instructor had "an ammo pouch on the stock to 'balance the weight.'" I have an on-again/off-again attitude towards sidesaddles but I don't understand why the instructor's "ammo pouch" is sufficiently superior to the students' sidesaddles to justify his mockery.

Since "The Instructor did mention that he was never in a situation where he had to fire more than 3 rounds from his shotgun," I also don't understand why he carried additional ammunition in the "ammo pouch" on his stock.

Seems to me, from this distance, that the instructor was stroking his own ego at his students' expense.

I'd find that instructor more credible if he removed the SureFire from his shotgun and restored the standard forearm, discarded the "ammo pouch," and plugged the magazine so it couldn't hold more than three rounds. Plugs are readily available or easily made.

I'm not much impressed by teachers who ridicule their students.

normal
May 23, 2007, 03:05 AM
Well said Robert.

Lucky
May 23, 2007, 07:05 AM
In parks here you can only carry long guns when unloaded. So if you cross from crown land to a park you have to unload. Since the gun is carried for protection, it seems like a good idea to have the ammo on the gun or the sling. Or just carry a baseball bat instead.


P.S. Robert great points. And the police models are designed for extended magazines. So that useless feature seems to be a required option on the 'plain' shotgun the instructor had. • The Express model will not allow for the addition of an extension tube without physical modification to the tube and barrel, which can nullify the warranty.

Sir Aardvark
May 24, 2007, 12:13 AM
Robert,

Why are you so angry?

"...butt of his jokes"
"...justify his mockery"
"...stroking his own ego"
"...ridicule their students"

I am frankly amazed that you inferred all of this from my simple statement of "The instructor was joking that everybody needed "muzzle-Viagra" to keep it up".

This was a simple observation by him and I thought it was quite funny.

It was MY observation of the "bling-bling": holographic sights with ghost rings sights on the same gun; 3-rail piccatinny rails on the foreend with a light attached; slings that looked like spider webs because they had so many attachment points; 3-shot extensions that extended past the barrel of the gun; collapsible buttstocks with storage space for extra batteries, light bulbs, and ammo with adjustable cheek rests included - I'm sure you get the picture now.

About the only thing I didn't see installed was a LASER sight.

It was MY point that these guns had so much stuff on them that they were too heavy to hold for any length of time. If it works for you to have all of this gear on your gun, then go for it - please don't let MY observation hinder your happiness.

If you would like to see a picture of my instructor's shotgun then follow the below link:

http://www.ftatv.com/fta_news.html

His name is Bill Murphy and in addition to running FTA he is also the Shotgun Instructor for the Gunsight Academy:

http://www.gunsite.com/info/Instructor.html

I'm sure you've heard of the Gunsight Academy - they are probably THE premier firearms training facility in America - I'm certain that they would never hire an instructor with the qualities you have mentioned.

The reason that I included a description of his shotgun is because Bill has Been-There-And-Done-That!

He has "Real-World" experience in the tactical use of a shotgun - he has even shot and killed people with his shotgun. He states that he has put over 60,000 rounds through his shotgun - enough that he has had to rebuild it because he wore it out.

If Bill were to tell me that the rear sights affixed to the receiver of shotguns tend to break off after a few thousand rounds and that is why he uses a rifle-sighted barrel instead, then do you know what? - I'd believe him!

If he were to tell me that in his experience magazine extensions are useless because in his 25 years of being a police officer/SWAT member he has never had to fire more than 3 rounds in any tactical situation, then do you know what? - I'd believe him!

If he were to tell me that nylon slings tend to be "slippery" and will sometimes work their way loose and just fall off the gun and that is why he uses a canvas sling instead, then do you know what? - I'd believe him!

If he were to tell me that Auto Shotguns need "Full-Power" or "Magnum" loads to function reliably and that Remington 1100's have rubber O-rings that wear out and that he uses a Remington 870 because, for him, it works ALL of the time with ALL kinds of ammo, even the "Reduced" tactical loads, then do you know what? - I'd believe him!

If he were to tell me that he has found that it works best for him to have only 3 shells in his 4-shot magazine, leaving 1 empty space, so that he can immediately transition to a slug if needed, then do you know what? - I'd believe him!

I saw a student in my class who melted his sling right off of his shotgun because he had it attached to the end of his magazine-extension that extended past the barrel of his gun. It took about 15 shots before the muzzle blast took care of it. You could tell that he had never even shot this gun before he brought it to this class or else he would have known about this little "oops!".

Oh yeah... the reason Bill carries additional ammo in an ammo pouch - where else are you going to carry your slugs when you need to transition to something with more punch?

Myself, I am very impressed with instructors who can relay their real-world experience into an effective and informative learning experience.

CZ52GUY
May 24, 2007, 09:37 AM
...these discussions over here are about as frequent as the "caliber wars" on the other boards.

What counts is what you can do with the system you have, and that you put in the range time to find out what works for YOU, and that you can do it COLD, ON DEMAND.

I have a variety of shotties configured in different ways.

What I've found to be essential to me:
- Sights I can see
- An action I can reach (whether short stock or receiver overlap)

Beyond that, I can manage just about anything else.

While I concur that too many new shooters fall into the trap of "commando accessories" without putting in the range time, I'm pretty successful shooting my Mossberg 590 with a Surefire Forend and a side-saddle. I'm built like a Soviet Weightlifter :D, so I guess that helps.

I think the reality for consumers of this board to consider is that GOOD PEOPLE DISAGREE on much of this stuff. I've had more than one very good instructor offer CONTRADICTORY advice. As a student, you have to look beyond dogmatism and assess whether your world relates to the instructor's. The experiences of some instructors and their "real world" priorities as armed professionals may differ from that of an armed civilian.

Per Dave's point, I've also configured a very lightweight Mossberg 500 with Ghost Rings and a side-saddle. It has a 12" LOP Hogue Short Stock, and probably weighs less than 6# even with all those "heavy" shells.

It definitely kicks with a little more thump when shooting full power slugs, but it gets the job done.

Steve nailed it the other day describing the need to fit a shotgun to the shooter and configure it for the task at hand.

Each shooter needs to fit the shotgun to them, select those accessories that can enhance their chances of doing well, and understand that they all come with trade-offs.

Most importantly, there is no accessory that gives you COMMAND of a shotgun. You have to earn that with range time.

Buy Ammo, Use Up, Repeat!!

Keep Safe,

CZ52'

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