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Learned a big leason today! Very humbled (long)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mikefln, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Mikefln

    Mikefln Active Member

    This whole time I had nothing but false security sitting in my gun cabinet. Ok here is the background on my shooting experience. I have been shooting for 11 years now, mostly handguns, but shotgunning and rifle shooting too. Back in my single days I was shooting handguns 3-5 times a week and easily over 1,000 rounds a week. I was shooting a minimum of 2 local IDPA matches a month and I generally placed in the top 3 in the class I was shooting that match, generally SSP. But I generally shoot my shotgun and rifles occasionally and informally, never in any competition. A lot of my shotgun shooting was throwing some clays on my father in laws farm. I generally used an over under or a semi when I did this. So it was load and point and shoot nothing to think of. I was proficient enough that I figured if I needed to use a shotgun in a defensive situation I could since I could hit the clays.

    Now my home defense shotgun is a Mossberg 500 pump that I use to keep loaded and ready to go without the safety on, in the gun cabinet that would be unlocked every night. I only shot about 10 rounds a year through this. About 3 years ago when my son was two, I made the decision to keep the mag loaded but the chamber empty and keep the safety on just in case. If anything would have happened my family would have been screwed because I am not skilled enough to use a pump as I learned today.

    So most of my shooting which is now only once a month about 100 rounds in the spring and summer months, and it’s still mostly handgun. Today I decided I was going to shoot 50 rounds out of the Mossberg for the fun of it. I took off the 18" barrel and switched to the 28" and went on the farm and shot it. My father in law was releasing some clay, now I wasn't concerned with my accuracy as I hit my fair share. My problem was with my familiarity of the weapon.

    I tried shooting it the way I have it in my house. I lost track at how many times I tried to shoot where I either had the safety on or no round chambered or both. I realized I was not familiar with this weapon and if I ever needed to protect my family with it, that I was not prepared. I realized today I need more practice with this platform before I can use it to protect my family. So for now, I will just use my handgun if I need to defend my family until I get some shotgun training and practice a lot more.

    As to my main point, please learn from my own stupidity. Just because you are proficient enough in one platform please don't think you will be proficient in another platform.
  2. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    I had a similar problem but in reverse. My first shotgun was a Mossberg 600 12 gague pump. I used this gun for many years before purchasing a Rem 1100 semiauto 12 gague. Every time I took a shot I instinctively tried to rip the fore grip off of the 1100 and spoiling any follow up shots. Pump it was so well fixed in my brain that the 1100 sat in the safe a long time before I finally decided to overcome the problem. After a few hundred rounds it seemed to get through my thick skull but I'm still more comfortable with a pump.
    My home defence weapon of choice is always going to be a pump because under stress it is my default action.
    Glad you found the problem before it was life or death. Stick to the weapon you are able to use in the dark under stress untill you get it sorted out.
    Oh and please keep that safety on untill you are ready to fire.
  3. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    LOL just go to the Range and practice.
  4. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Well-Known Member

    And buy some snap caps to practice loading and cycling.
  5. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    I had the same issue when I'd been shooting a semi-auto and single trigger double for some time. Swaped guns while shooting with my brother and couldn't remember to work that pump action of his for the life of me. Being that I don't much care for pumps anyway, I happily went back to my semi and simgle trigger OU. The semi is my house gun anyways, FN SLP which I'm quite happy with.

    My house pistols are either a Ruger SP101 or a Glock 34 or 17L, both point and shoot interface. I am NOT a professional shooter, just an interested and motivated amature so I want to keep every thing as simple to use as possible.
    I'm sure you can overcome your issue with training, but for me sticking with the semi or single trigger double works. I shoot either enough to be comfortable.
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Wise words to be heeded.
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    This is part of why I believe in the KISS principle. Whatever you want, be it a revolver, 1911, Glock, shotgun, rifle, etc...if you're going to use it for the SD/HD role, it should be the same basic MOA as everything else in that role, and you should practice with it.

    Personally, all my handguns are kept loaded, chamber loaded, with no manual safety, and my long guns are stored chamber unloaded, safety off.

    With that said, if you know you have to use it, get it ready when you get it from the cabinet. Don't wait until you actually have to shoot to take off the safety and cycle a round.
  8. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    -Owen Meredith-

    -Estelle Smith-

    Humility: it's not a bad thing.

    For all firearms kept ready for defense of life and limb (whether on my person or inside the home), I often imagine a scenario where I would need to use that particular firearm and go through a step-by-step, from retrieval to use.

    This may sound silly, but I do believe it assists in maintaining proficiency. When things get boring, shake things up by imagining more than one intruder at different locations or from more than one entry point.

    Run through a mental checklist as to your actions after experiencing a catastrophic malfunction that necessitates the need to retrieve and use an alternate weapon stored in a different room.

    This continually reminds the user what condition the firearms are kept in and what steps are needed to get them into action.

    Certainly anything to keep the mind sharp plays in your favor.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  9. hang fire

    hang fire Well-Known Member

    My HD weapon is a Ruger P90 DC in .45 acp, with one in the chamber under my pillow and ready to go. With no manual safety, only thing to remember is point and pull the trigger.
  10. dickz

    dickz Member

    Under your pillow? GEEEZ!!!
  11. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    You guys mean that you don't open carry while sleeping!!! :D That way right there means you have no need to reach for your handgun and possibly miss and drop it on the floor----OOPS.:scrutiny:

    Yeah as said often, practice until it is second nature and then it will become automatic when all else fails you.
  12. Mikefln

    Mikefln Active Member

    I do plan on training enough with that pump so that it does become second nature. Until I do I will stick with my Beretta 92 or Ruger SP101 since I can handle those platforms while in stress from firing to reloading to handling a jam, etc. The barrels on my OU and semi are way too long to use in my house.

    Snowdog I more or less do the same thing as you when you stated that you imagine certain scenarios and walk through them. I realized a long time ago that I am not a professional no matter how good I am at a game like IDPA. I am not SWAT, Marine or Ranger, etc I do not have those skills. So I determined I would only clear my house as far as I had to in order to get everyone into a safe room. Once everyone is in that safe room, I am waiting for the threat to come to me, while I await the police to arrive. Again just a decision I made for myself.

    Hang Fire that is hardcore keeping a fully load handgun under your pillow. The way I move when I sleep I would be too scared to. My cabinet is only two steps from my bed, which is good enough for me. You might want to look at crossbred as they make a product that holsters your handgun in between the mattress and box springs.
  13. Gtimothy

    Gtimothy Well-Known Member

    I just got a new XDs for CC but until I've actually spent some time with it on the range, it will not be carried. I know my limitations and realize that without practice, if SHTF, you don't want to be fumbling around with your gun!
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The pump shotgun is very frequently recommended for home defense. Powerful and cheap, what's not to like about it, right? Well, we see here what there is not to like about it.
    You can have fun while you get valuable practice shooting a pistol or rifle. A riot gun, not so much, unless you get into 3-gun or similar. Just standing on the range, loading shooting and shucking at static targets is dull and uncomfortable. Maybe low gun Skeet would help.
  15. Sgt_R

    Sgt_R Well-Known Member

    A similar realization inspired me to retire my Mossberg from bedside duty and replace it with a 16" AR. I don't get much practice with the shotty, but I can run an M4gery in my sleep.

  16. pharmer

    pharmer Well-Known Member

    I have a Mossberg 590 that I keep the mag charged (5rds 00 buck, not the full 8), but the hammer down on an empty chamber. You cannot engage the safety in this condition and the hammer spring is at rest. Rack it and go. Joe
  17. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    Kind of a related note.. with my newly-acquired Taurus PT-22. Though I don't have this gun assuming a defensive role, anyone who does will get no disrespect from me. But, here's the thing: being a blowback-operated weapon with a tilt-open barrel, there is no extractor. Should anyone have a misfire (in thousands and thousands of rimfire rounds fired, I never have.), racking the slide would only make things worse. It would feed the next round into the back of the chambered round, and there is no slide-lock to hold it open for you while you now clear your double-feed. So, your TRB drill becomes a FDTRB drill ((Flip barrel open, Drop round from it, Tap, Rack, Bang.)I found that out the first time I loaded it. I wasn't headed out to shoot it, so I was loading it to only try it out, and then unload it.
  18. MtnSpur

    MtnSpur Well-Known Member

    Very wise words. Increasingly, gun owners own more than one type/platform of weapon. One might carry HIS/HERS most reliable or most familiar to them handgun all day every day and be very proficient but Murphy's Law is always lurking. Safe weapon handling and practice exercises on loading, unloading, clearing a FTF/FTE, etc on a regular basis can only decrease ones likelihood of an accident rearing it's ugly head. Safety and practice are the two most important words for a gun owner, IMHO.
  19. Captaingyro

    Captaingyro Well-Known Member

    For this very reason we only keep two kinds of weapons available for home defense: pump shotguns and semi-auto pistols.
    Every one is kept in the same condition: mag loaded, chamber empty, safety off.
    Every one requires the same drill to get into action: rack it, and pull the trigger.

    KISS. And practice.
  20. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    This is why I like the philosophy of using only firearms with a very simple the manual of arms for defense:

    Load the cylinder, close it, lock it into battery, put the gun where it goes. Or, load the mag, insert it, click it into position, rack the slide, check the chamber, put the gun where it goes. No safety/decocker, no need to cock, just a nice, long, 6+ pound DA pull, every time.

    But it also reminds me I need to get one of my BPSs to the range more often.

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