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4+1... Enough?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Panzerschwein, Jul 17, 2016.

?

Is 4+1 shots enough for Law Enforcement use?

Poll closed Aug 16, 2016.
  1. No, it is not enough for a police shotgun

    25 vote(s)
    29.1%
  2. Yes, it is enough for a police shotgun

    36 vote(s)
    41.9%
  3. No, but it is enough for home defense

    25 vote(s)
    29.1%
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  1. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Hey guys!

    I noticed an interesting thing on Remington's Law Enforcement website:

    http://www.remingtonle.com/shotguns/870standard.htm

    They still offer their 870 Police model with a 4-shot magazine tube. But, they also have ones with 2 and 3 shot extensions. I am wondering why any department would choose to go with the 4-shot magazine tube? What is interesting is that in the recent body cam video of the police shooting in Fresno, CA, one of the officers has what appears to be one of these 4-shot 870 Police models and uses it to shoot the suspect. (PS: let's NOT make this thread about that shooting, let's focus on the equipment ONLY).

    So it seems strange to me that any cops would still be using shotguns with just 4+1 capacity in 2016, but apparently some are and Remington still sells it as an option. That just doesn't seem like much firepower to me. That should work fine for hunting and maybe even less lethal (with lethal backup of course) but not for use with lethal loads or for home defense either.

    So what do you think about this? Is 4+1 enough capacity for the police shotgun? Thanks!
     
  2. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    If it is what I had, I wouldn't run out and buy a new one. Personally I would want something with more capacity assuming it doesn't impact reliability (don't know Rem 870s that well) if I were buying new.
     
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    When things go to shootin one realizes, no matter what they are carrying, that the gun is too small and they don't have enough bullets in their blaster...
     
  4. JSH1

    JSH1 Member

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    For several years my home defense gun was a single shot and I didn't feel I was lacking in firepower.
     
  5. Shane in MT

    Shane in MT Member

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    4+1 is enough....except when it isn't.

    Spent some time using 4+1 and 6+1 Rem 870 shotguns, while serving as a Marine embassy guard.

    The 6+1 is comforting, but the 4+1 with a 14" barrel is really fast and handy in close quarters.

    Either way, it's important to always be topping off your magazine if there is a pause in the action.

    I have a 6+1 870 at the house, and an AR15 and a couple Glocks all ready to go.
     
  6. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Here's the issue regarding shotguns for close quarters work and the ammunition load on board... Yes, it's always nice to have more ammo than less - but in a shotgun those extra rounds equal extra weight - and that directly affects how quick you are with that popper since rounds in the tube directly work on how well the shotgun handles when you need quickness and fluid movement from one target to the next... That's why many who really know riot guns still prefer a four shot tube instead of an extended mag (me included -and if you'll look at the sticky at the top of this board on "fighting shotguns" you'll see that Dave McCracken also recommended that configuration...).

    Here's the thing about a properly used shotgun, loaded with 00buck, at close range (15 meters or closer...). One shot to center of mass pretty reliably ends that target... and you're on to your next target - in the blink of an eye, with a bit of practice -so the overwhelming need for a six shot tube just isn't there in my opinion. I always carried my poppers with a butt cuff with four or five additional rounds in a position where it didn't weight down the barrel end of my shotgun...

    Many myths about shotguns - and the vast majority of folks who own them have never (and will never) use one in a gunfight... Me, I carried one on the street for many years and it was always in my hands on any call where weapons were even a possibility... I pointed a shotgun at many, many live targets over the years - yet only fired one shot in all that time (and the shotgun, with only one shot, absolutely ended the problem on that occasion -and I was in and out of court for the following year as a result...).
     
  7. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Not law enforcement, but I'd imagine that those who serve would want the most possible.

    My 870p holds 4+1. Don't feel like messing with mag tube extensions, so just going to leave it as it is. The only thing I want to get for it is another barrels so I can take it out hunting.
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Cooldill

    I voted "No, it is not enough for a police shotgun" but I would have voted for "No, it is not enough for a police shotgun or for home defense" if it was an additional choice.
     
  9. Shane in MT

    Shane in MT Member

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    I agree with all of this.
     
  10. shafter

    shafter Member

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    I think it's enough. A 12ga isn't like a 5 shot 38spl where it's likely to need more than one round to stop a determined attacker.
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    If you need more than four then it becomes a matter of how fast you can get shells in the the gun (a skill that everyone really needs to acquire). I used to keep an 12 gauge with a 7 round magazine (+1) for a house gun but I am now back to a standard police configuration with a four round magazine and short bbl. simply because I found the long heavy "combat" setup too hard to maneuver around and too heavy to swing and stop. My thoughts are if I haven't solved the problem with 4+1 then I'm going for hard cover ASAP and reload (or head for the "gun room").
     
  12. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    5 is enough if he has a 17 round handgun to back it up!
    I pity a cop who works for a district that has not gone to carbines.
     
  13. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    The two scenarios (LE vs HD) are very different, almost an apples-to-oranges kinda comparison.
    Law enforcement scenarios include a literally endless number of possibilities, environments, conditions, etc. as well as the expectation (even obligation) to pursue an unknown number of badguys, into unfamiliar buildings,rooms,alleys,woods, etc.
    As mentioned above, hi-cap pistols and rifles are more than merely ideal, they're critical for modern LA scenarios.
    In a HD scenario, you have the home-field advantage, and your responsibilities are very limited, and fairly predictable. Also, you're intimately familair with the area, which is relatively small, and there's virtually no chance of any change in that (none of this applies to a LE scenario).
    And contrary to what I'm sure lots of people are imagining, you're highly unlikely to be doing any room-to-room house clearing. You're most likely going to end up behind a locked bedroom door, waiting for the cops to arrive, in which case being armed with a shotgun and 5 rounds makes you very formidable.
    But, as also mentioned above, having some sort of device attached to the shotgun that holds a few extra rounds is a very good idea, that doesn't impair the handiness of the weapon.
     
  14. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    A well designed gun that doesn't add a ton of extra weight and bulk to the shotgun for extra rounds is certainly not a bad choice. A Mossberg 590 with a 20" barrel and an 8 shot tube, isn't particularly less maneuverable then an 18.5" barreled gun with 6 rounds. However you take a Remington 870, and stick a 2-3 shell extension tube that by itself weights a lb, and then stick a lighted forearm on the gun that also weighs another lb if not more; then we have a issue.

    A 14" barreled gun with a 4 shot tube and a light on the fore end is my preferred choice for interior work on a call. It's light, very handy, and has enough ammo to handle most situations. I used to stick on a 5 shell ammo card to the velcro on my ballistic vest on the front before we'd go inside, and I'd top the tube off right before we'd go in. So of course our issued shotguns at 20" with 6 shot tubes, and weighed more then a fully tricked out AR. The two extra rounds in tube will most likely be immaterial. Either they are simply extra weight that wont be shot, or two extra shells aren't going to be enough to solve the problem. The nice thing about a shotgun is that unlike almost pretty much every other firearm an officer carries, it can easily be topped off from loose ammunition. This dramatically helps to mitigate it's lower ammunition capacity.

    IF, I repeat, IF a shotgun can carry the extra on board ammunition without it causing the gun to become cumbersome then I don't view it as a bad thing. However most "extended capacity" shotguns don't managed to achieve that. I'm willing to deal with some extra weight from a semi-auto, but the extra weight simply for 1 or 2 extra shells has never struck me as a good trade off.

    -Jenrick
     
  15. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Police officers generally use what they are issued, with little flexibility to modify their duty weapons in any way. As far as the agency selecting a particular model, it may have been $25 cheaper per unit (which adds up when a whole bunch are being bought) or it may have been that wherever the agency sources their shotguns from didn't have sufficient numbers of x configuration available when they were ordered. That being said, it makes sense to put a 2 shot extension on a 18" or longer shotgun since it doesn't make the weapon longer, and the additional weight is negligible.
     
  16. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    I believe it was Louis Awerbuck who once said it does not matter how big the magazine is on a shotgun, you still have to keep it loaded.

    When I shoot the shotgun or teach the shotgun, operating the shotgun and hitting the target is first, keeping the shotgun loaded and keeping the magazine topped off is a close second. A 4+1 magazine is enough if you never let it run empty :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  17. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    For "less lethal" police work, 4rds is enough. However, an AR15 trumps a shotgun for most any kind of duty use. Why stop at 6, when you can have 30?;)
     
  18. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Hmm... the poll results are... interesting, to say the least.

    It appears that people are divided on weather this capacity is enough for police work, but most agree it's enough for home defense usage. A few think more capacity is needed for both uses.
     
  19. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Jackal ... none of my "shotgun usage" was ever "less lethal" and that was for 22 years on the street. At pistol ranges you don't ever want to get into contact with someone that knows how to use a standard four shot riot gun, with the proper ammo...

    I'll be the first guy to want a carbine at ranges over 25 meters -but "up close"... it will end a fight every time with a single center of mass impact.
     
  20. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    I feel that learning these skills is more of a priority than 4+1 vs 5+1 vs 8+1.

    - Loading a shotgun under stress
    - Keeping it topped off while shooting

    Considering I'm fine with 5 rounds of 38 special all day every day, I'd be perfectly fine with 4+1 buckshot.
     
  21. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    When I have to hold the shotgun with one hand, be it either hand, for any length of time, I would rather it be a gun without an extension on the magazine tube. Fights are dynamic; I may well need a free hand, at any moment. When I have to swing onto a target, I would rather not deal with the momentum of the extra shells in an extended magazine tube.

    On the other hand, when defending a fixed post against a number of attackers, and those attackers are coming from a single direction, an extended magazine tube could be a nice thing to have. This indicates a home-defender, who can concentrate upon a doorway or hallway, might be better-served with an extended magazine.

    When I chamber a round, in anticipation of trouble, it is very normal for me to then insert another round into the magazine. I also train to combat-load into the ejection port of an empty shotgun, and to keep the tube filled.

    I have two 870P shotguns. Neither has a magazine extension tube. I work night shift police patrol for a big-city PD, and the 870P is my long gun of choice. Some of the reasons are personal, but one is policy-related: Deployment of a patrol rifle is only to be done when specific circumstances exist, whereas I can deploy a shotgun at my discretion. (Body-worn camera encourage compliance with policy!)

    If I worked in daylight hours, I would probably prefer a rifle, but I work straight nights.

    Perhaps a one-shot extension tube could be an ideal compromise? The extra weight, and therefore added momentum when swinging the gun, might be sufficiently minimal.

    Let's all be safe! :)
     
  22. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    As for what and why "departments" issue what they do, I cannot say, but in this region of the USA, it the norm for LEOs to own their firearms used on duty, within guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  23. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    Obviously because you never needed the gun in a fight.
     
  24. JSH1

    JSH1 Member

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    You are correct. I have never been in a gunfight. I don't know anyone personally that has been in a gunfight (including two family members that retired after decades of service as police officers). The only people I know that have fired a gun in anger did so in the military.

    MIL-DOT must be a super-secret spy because he found out my top secret plan for the VERY unlikely case I encounter an intruder in my home. Lock bedroom door, call police, cover door with gun.

    Today I have a pair of 6 shot revolvers on top of the wardrobe. I didn't worry about home invasions back when I had the single shot 410 and I don't worry about it today.
     
  25. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I voted No, not enough.

    If I'm ever in a situation where I'm going to have to use a firearm with deadly intent;
    That means that every preventive measure has failed. That means that the statistically insignificant possibility of a home invasion is actually happening.
    And that means that the odds, so far up to that point, have worked against me.
    One, two, three or more criminals? Who knows?
    I'm not going to do lady bad luck any more favors by not having as many rounds as possible.

    if my career entailed searching for the bad guys, I wouldn't even want a shotgun. Not enough mag capacity, even at 8+1.

    I bet lots of fights are lost, from hedging bets against a thing being "not likely".
    But hey, that's just me.
     
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