January 2, 2009, 11:25 PM
These are probably here on THR already, but I did a little digging this evening and thought they might be good to be grouped in a single thread post so maybe someone looking for them will be able to access them faster one day.
Duck guns for defense? You don't have to put ol' Long Tom away after waterfowl season is over. It can still do yeoman duty for home defense
GUNS Magazine, April, 2005, Clint Smith
Shotguns: still a great option
Guns Magazine, June, 2008, Clint Smith
Affordable home defense: it doesn't need to cost as much as you think
GUNS Magazine, July 2008, Clint Smith
Ya'll have a good day, hea'! :evil:
January 3, 2009, 12:20 AM
Thank You! I enjoyed reading the articles. :)
January 3, 2009, 04:32 AM
I've always liked Clint Smith's no-nonsense attitude towards personal defense. I agree with him - use what you've got, even if its humble. What matters is that you're good with it.
A well practiced homeowner with a single-shot 30 year old shotgun that gets maintained is going to be far better off than someone with the latest tacticool semi-auto triple pistol grip, quadruple holo sight, 46 round magazine shotgun who has only shot it a few times and otherwise it just sits in a closet collecting dust.
Use what you've got - a nice warrior's attitude.
January 3, 2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the links- some great articles by one of the country's- heck, the PLANET'S- best instructors.
Shotguns in various guises are relatively simple, relatively inexpensive, and pretty widely available too. There tend to be fewer legal hassles with the basic fowling piece than is sometimes the case with handguns or ugly rifles with big box magazines. And a shotgun, when properly applied, is about as good as it gets for close range defense of self, family, hearth and home.
A little thought, planning, preparation and even some training can go a long way in helping the average person get the most out of whatever shotgun they have on hand. Some knowledge of defensive tactics, and the abilities and limitations of shotgun and load at various ranges, will go a long way. With all these things, experience is the best teacher- and that means trigger time, well applied, with specific learning goals in mind.
Mastery of specific skills like loading the gun without looking at it, while keeping attention focused on a threat downrange, comes best with practice in live fire. Ammunition management is a critical skill with a defensive shotgun- no magazine is ever big enough. Learning to feed the gun under pressure without losing target focus is important. Yes, most gunfights involving shotguns are very short- that's one of the reasons to like shotguns for defensive use. But there are no guarantees in life. It's best to be prepared, and it doesn't take long to learn how to properly load a shotgun under pressure.
One thing to keep in mind- shotgun shells will load into tubular magazines backwards just as well as they will forwards. And that will produce an awful, awful stoppage when you get to that backwards shell. It usually takes clearing out the magazine tube from the front to reduce it- that means taking off the magazine cap, taking off the barrel, removing the magazine spring retainer if there is one, taking out the magazine spring and follower, and finally extracting the backward shell.
You want to really avoid all that- and the way to do it is to learn the feel of a shell that is properly oriented before you load it. Letting the shell rest across the middle two fingers of your support hand, with the brass sort of pinched against your little finger and the crimp against your pointing finger is the usual way this is taught. That makes it easier to control the shell while locating the loading port on the bottom of the gun (without looking!) and getting the shell started into it. Then it's easy enough to reverse your hand and bring the thumb up to the brass, pushing it all the way into the magazine.
One more advantage the 870 has is that its trigger guard also serves as a ramp, leading right into the loading port. With the trigger finger of the shooting hand properly indexed on the receiver outside the trigger guard, the support hand with a shell properly held has a good body index on where to start- the tip of the trigger finger is going to be about the place where the little finger of the support hand which is cupping a shell needs to land to get that shell onto the ramp into the loading port. It's hard to find that hole where you're trying to stuff a shell sometimes when the pressure is on, and this has proven to be a good method for a lot of people. It's easy to reach too far forward under the gun and miss the loading port, if you don't have some signposts to guide you. Finish wear on the action bars, magazine tube and along the front slope of the trigger guard is a sure sign of a serious 870 user- and this practice works quite well in the dove field too, by the way.
Well, that's enough thread jacking for this one. If you ever do get a chance to train on your shotgun with Clint Smith- or Louis Awerbuck, Randy Cain, John Farnam or any other professional instructor- don't miss it.
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