1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Senior design project

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by brodbeckrt, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    Hello all. I am new here as a member on THR but I have read quite a bit on this site and I decided to join.
    I am a Mechanical Engineering Technology Student in my final year. Another student and I are researching a project we feel could be quite helpful. We are developing, designing and building a one handed shotgun for our senior design project. More of the design is the stock than the gun. We came up with the idea because we feel it would help single arm amputees enjoy shooting more comfortably and more accurately. We also have tossed around the idea of use in tactical situations as well. It would be nice to be able efficiently use a shotgun without even the slightest thought of using you other hand.
    My thoughts are using a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 for the pump version and the Mossberg 935 or Saiga for semi-auto.

    It is a requirement to gain input from other gun-owners and especially amputees.

    I am asking you all for your input, suggestions, products you have seen like this(the more info on them the better. I want to make sure I am not taking anyone's patent or anything), which shotgun(make/model) do you suggest for semi-auto or pump and why?

    We do already have a basic design and features list, but I do not want to put it up yet because I do not want to influence your answers in any way. I am more looking for accessories, features, or other things you have used that you added on, modified, or that came with a gun(i.e. a stock I bought for a mossberg was everything I wanted in a gun stock except the end of the butt stock was really thin and was very uncomfortable to shoot. Also when it folded the shells wouldnt eject properly because the stock folded in front of where the shells came out). Which things did you hate or love about them, and obviously why?

    Thank you all for your input.
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    I'd rather think that an autoloader would be a no-brainer choice for this. Still quite a challenge between supporting the weight, loading, and working all the controls, but at least once it's loaded and a target presents itself, it will fire several times without needing to re-set the shooter's position/stance/grip to handle recharging duties.

    I'd also assume that this isn't a "PGO" (pistol-grip-only) design but a design with a modified stock that somehow lets the shooter's body help with supporting the weight of the gun?
  3. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    Welcome to THR! :)

    That's a great idea for a senior design project, I'd love to see how it turns out.

    Sam's right, an autoloader is definitely going to be MUCH easier to operate one-handed. I can't really even think of a way to pump a shotgun without hands....

    For one-handed shooting, balance is key. The weight needs to sit naturally in one hand, seeing as there's no second hand in front for support. Bullpup design?

    If you're looking for an existing shotgun to use as a base, I'd go for any common autoloader like a Remington, Browning, Beretta, etc.
  4. AI&P Tactical

    AI&P Tactical Well-Known Member

    If the person has only one arm, meaning the other is gone from the below the shoulder down, I can't see them being able to use many shotguns in a defense situation and would recommend a handgun. However, if they practiced with it a .410 or 20ga coach gun would be a reasonable choice.

    Your project if sucessful could bring so great joy into the lives of people in this situation and let them enjoy the shooting sports. The big problem out these is getting it made. It takes close to $60K to get an injection mold into production and without a large market no one in the industry is going to do it. Speedfeed will not even consider an LE type forend for the 870 20ga, yet there are plenty of them out there and plenty of people who would buy it. Even Remington makes several 20ga Home Defense type models but has no LE forend which would allow full use of a side saddle. The numbers are not big enough for these companies to produce it. There are no dedicated forend lights for the 20ga either, yet, there is a market.

    For a project like yours, numbers, cost and all that mess should not even be considered as bringing people into the shooting sports we all love to participate in is an honorable endevor. Good luck with the project.
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    I vote for a short autoloader with the trigger on a vertical foregrip set not too far forward of the balance point. To keep the cost down, I suppose the front trigger could be linked to the rear trigger with a clamp-on bar assembly on the left side (for a righthander.)

    I'm thinking simple is better, because I've driven enough vehicles with off-the-shelf hand controls (and seen many, many more) to know that sometimes the cheapest solution is good enough. This has been drilled into my head over the years by a series of rehab engineers at the office. I've also been around enough zero-effort steering systems to understand the expense of the initial installation and the cost of the upkeep.

    Or maybe I'm just cheap. Nah, I had breakfast this morning with a zero-effort steering user and know the problems complexity can bring to a system.

  6. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    30 years ago I belonged to a Trap Club. We had a member that had lost his right arm, I believe his first name was Bill but his last name escapes me now, that shot regularly in practice, competitions and Fun-n-games (also known as Annie Oakley's. He used a single shot Browning, if I remember correctly and held his own with any of the 2 handed shooters. Usually held the gun between his legs for reloads (2nd photo). This thread got me remembering and I went through my old photographs and found a couple he was in. Scanned in and did a little cropping and resizing using Paint Shop so you can see the shooters including Bill (3rd from the right in the first picture) in line shooting a 2 gun Annie Oakley from the back fence. His handicap never held up the shoots and he certainly didn't need any special accommodation. This does go to show you that despite the loss of a limb a determined person can still have fun doing what they love.

    If you can design something that helps adapt shotguns so the one armed shooter can continue to play the games they like and hunt with their shotguns then that' would be a wonderful accomplishment.


  7. Virginian

    Virginian Well-Known Member

    Tall order. We designed a LNG unit train to transport LNG from the North Slope to the Gulf Coast. Got an A, and a year later our professor "wrote" a paper on the same material that was published in Mechanical Engineering magazine.
    I would tend to autoloaders, but obviously the real amputee disagreed.
    Good luck.
  8. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    Thanks for all of the great replies.

    We are actually building an auto-loader and a pump. The main reason for the pump is the fact that a lot of people may already have one or they can be bought for much cheaper. I would agree with the fact of not having to cycle the action between shots which is why we are doing the auto loader.

    AI&P Tactical: Thanks input... maybe to help clarify a little bit. As of right now our design will not be for defense situations for amputees. I too would recommend a handgun for a that situation. Our design will be geared more towards the sport/hunting aspect of shooting for amputees.
    If all(most) goes close to as planned, we wanted to expand our design to many different platforms other than just shotguns. The options are pretty much unlimited. I know there are some companies that produce other outdoor and hunting equipment for amputees and people with other physical handicaps. We would like to use our ability as engineers to optimize the existing equipment or develop new equipment. I can't imagine a life without being able to hunt/shoot/camp/hike etc.

    Looking at local businesses and corporations for a career choice, there isn't much of a choice in terms of anything I am interested in. I am hoping we can turn it into a business.
    I am picky when it comes to what I want to spend the next 35+ years doing with my life.
    My ideal job would only need to meet a few requirements:
    1. Pays the bills + a little extra spending $$
    2. I actually care and have interest in what I am working on.
    3. I am doing something useful, not just being a zombie button pusher for a corporation.

    Sorry about the side track back to the topic...

    A few comments on the preliminary design ideas:

    We are looking into a bullpup or similar type of design to help redistribute the weight of the gun, making it much easier to control with one hand.

    Also we would like to incorporate some recoil reduction, enhancing recovery after each shot(less fatigue making it more comfortable to shoot for a longer period of time)

    The gun will "anchor" to some point on the shooters body to help with stabilization.

    Lastly this will be a "full size" shotgun handled much like any other long gun. It will not be a pistol like coach gun.

    I would like to hear some recommendations on barrel lengths as well. We want this to be as versatile as possible: Deer hunt, turkey hunt, skeet shooting, tactical(more for competitions and/or non-amputees),etc.

    Keep the great comments and suggestions coming.
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    You might also consider a double barrel shotgun - either SxS or O/U

    We used to have a Maine lobsterman snowbird here in FL and shoot at our club - his left arm was gone just above the elbow - he was a heck of a shot with his Ruger O/U, cradling what he could in that left arm - trigger hand controlled the firing and reloading aspects nicely
  10. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    Double barrel was definitely a consideration and still is for further development after the project/graduation. The advisers turned down the double barrel design due to the lack of difficulty. Then they all openly admitted that they know absolutely know nothing about firearms.
  11. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    brodbeckrt, I thought of a way you could build a pump to use one-handed.

    Keep in mind that this is an idea for recreational use, so it's not exactly "tactical" or "combat-ready".

    Say you use an 870 as a base. Set it up as a bullpup- I'm thinking recoil pad just an inch or two off the back of the receiver, adjustable for use by different people. Have a pistol grip mounted on the pump for use one-handed, with a trigger transfer bar running up under the receiver, through the grip, and the trigger located so that it can be pulled like an ordinary trigger from the front pistol grip. This trigger assembly won't move when the slide is racked, simplifying the design, but requiring that there be an opening through the front grip so that the pump can be moved with the trigger assembly remaining in place going through it. The end of the stock will need an attachment mechanism of some sort (velcro or some kind of clip?) that secures it to a shooting jacket, keeping it in place on the shoulder when the slide is racked forward.

    After the shotgun is fired, the user just moves their trigger finger out of the trigger guard, racks the slide, and puts their finger back in place on the trigger. Kind of annoying compared to an ordinary pump, but it's not an ordinary pump.
  12. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    The SPAS 12 has a hook that can be turned to support the rear of the stock under the arm. It's actually quite comfortable.



    Attached Files:

  13. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    Thanks for the great idea. We were thinking along the same lines for the pump. A lot of great info on here.

    56Hawk I never came across that stock\feature in my searches but it does add an existing alternative to my research. Thanks
  14. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    No problem! :)
    Glad to help. Good luck with the project!
  15. desidog

    desidog Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine lost an arm to an IED, above the elbow.

    We got him shooting again with a "sawed off" 20 o/u; the barrel cut down to 18.5" and threaded for chokes. the stock stayed to balance out the barrel when holding with one hand. Also, you need to use the stock for a second point of stability.

    The hard part, if you could say swinging a shotgun one-handed isn't, was the reload. we solved that by taking the belt hook from my Lyman GPP and affixing it to the side of the fore-stock. That way, after firing, he could point it down, hook the gun onto his belt, break open the action, let go of the gun and have it hanging on his belt (albeit awkwardly), drop two new shells in, swing the butt up, grab the grip, pull up and off the belt, and acquire a target.
  16. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Ever see a High Standard Model 10?


    I have one (a 10-A), and while it's perfectly shootable with one hand, it seems to me it would be hard to fully manipulate safely in a sporting environment with one hand. They're just so SHORT...

    The biggest problem with a bullpup (especially as a defensive shotgun) is loading it - a student in the defensive shotgun class I took yesterday had a KSG, and he was having difficulties running that gun with both hands/arms working just fine.
  17. siglite

    siglite Well-Known Member

    My advice would be a design that lays a pistol grip far forward of the center of balance on the shotgun, with a cup or brace that fits into the shoulder at the rear. Trying to shoot a shotgun one handed like a pistol is going to be nearly devastating to the wrists, thus, a "bullpup-ish" design, where very little of the shotgun is extended forward of the wrist would seem optimal. And an adjustable length of pull, tailored to the shooters's arm length would also seem critical so that the stock reaches the shoulder for recoil absorption.
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member


  19. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    Thanks all. Keep the great info/input coming.
  20. brodbeckrt

    brodbeckrt Member

    We have to give a survey on the project to quantify the importance of each "feature" can you please take our survey at a website we are building for the project.


Share This Page