Does Buttstock with a pistol grip offer any signifficant tactical advantage?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Roman2in, Sep 30, 2008.

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  1. Roman2in

    Roman2in Member

    Jun 10, 2008
    A while ago I've posted a thread in the shotgun section asking people about the differences between classic busstock and a buttstock WITH a pistol grip (not PGO) (here is a thread BTW: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=389555)
    I also did some more independent research, and also visited a gun shop to try both types of buttstocks.

    So now I know exactly what are the pros and cons of each type. To summarize:


    *Much quicker to grab and make a proper grip with a firing hand. IMO, it's the most significant advantage it has.

    * should you have to use it an an impact weapon you do not have to change a firing hand grip. ( I think for HD, it is a significant advantage since in confined spaces it is quite possible to get in a situation where you can only hit the adversary.)

    *Less likely for the shotgun to get stock somewhere when you are trying to pull it out in a hurry.

    With a pistol grip:

    *Much harder for someone to take the weapon away from you. IMO, that's the most important advantage of this type of buttstocks.

    *More comfortable to fire from the hip. (At least for me)

    *As an impact weapon, you can hit someone much harder with a forward thrust. (but other things like butt-stroke can be done quicker with the classic stock)

    *More comfortable to fire with a single hand. (You might be wounded, carrying a baby, opening a door, dialing 911, etc...)

    *More comfortable to carry in a low ready. (or other ways of caring it while maintaining firing grip)

    Now, the question I have is, based on the advantages of each type, that I listed above. What would be a better choice for me, considering that it will be used primarily for home defense (probably 98% of it's use, not considering practice) and occasional defence in wilderness and very rarely in the vehicle?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. lloydkristmas

    lloydkristmas Member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Im a fan of pistol grip/stock styles. In my experience it seems to reduce felt recoil more than a standard stock...
  3. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I'd say that at this point you're your own best judge of that. I know trainers are all over the spectrum as to which is best. A lot of guys think that the PG makes manipulations easier, but the regular stock tends to be a little faster shooting.

    I think I would lean toward the pistol grip for weapon retention reasons if I shot right handed. Since I shoot left handed it makes the safety tough to get off. On Mossbergs the safety is a no-go regardless of which hand you use. Cav Arms makes an extension for the Mossberg, but I don't know how it would work with a PG stock.
  4. jpsimms

    jpsimms Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    I can only offer my opinion, The classic stock is the right one for me, it's faster, I'm more used to it and as you said you don't have to change grips to strike with it. They can be fired one handed, though it can get uncomfortable after a few rounds.

    And I just like the classic look, and the fact that it doesn't look all "tactical" and "scary"
  5. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA


    One more advantage for the "straight" stock and disadvantage for the pistol grip stock.

    The p.g. stock has a structural weakness right at the grip.
    Here is what I have seen; time after time.
    Some one mentioned butt strokes with the stock. That is where your trigger hand arcs the stock up into the target so that the shoulder piece strikes a hooking blow. I don't remember how many broken M-14 stocks I have seen from this. They were wood stocks, average in their dimentions, compared to the sporter stocks, and a vigorous strike would snap them.

    Your post / Pistol Grip/ "impact weapon" statement refers to the technique named the "smash." Where the shoulder piece; usually with a metal plate for military weapon, but with the rubber piece on sporter rifle, is driven in a straight line into the target by the opening up of the elbow joints.
    Then, too, I have seen those same stocks snap at the same place when the soldier would "hit the dirt," that is, fall face first on the ground and raise the rifle above the face and plant it in the ground to absorb some of the impact of falling. A "smash" into the ground.

    It may be peculiar to the M-14, but I think it is inherent in the cut of the grip which gives a weakening to the stock at that point. Whether that is consistent with other pistol grip stocks I can't say, but my guess is yes for many.

    I cannot give witness to how a straight stock would hold up under similar stress, but with no shaping; cutting away of wood in that area, my conjecture is that they would be more sound than the pistol grip counter part.
  6. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Aug 4, 2008
    eastern Massachusetts
    Bingo. I don't want to fire a SG one-handed, but I may have to.

    SG as an impact weapon? There are these things called shells you put inside the SG--it makes it a much more effective weapon.

    No. With a pistol grip, a disarmer who knows what he's doing will have an easier time dislocating you thumb. With or without a pistol grip, if you know what you're doing, you will retain control of the SG.
  7. bobbarker

    bobbarker Member

    May 26, 2008
    I like the PG, because I'm used to it. Been shooting shotguns my entire life, but the last 4 years have been all military shotguns, M-16's, and Pistols, so, I've gotten used to the PG. I prefer the Pistol Grip now, because I feel more comfortable manipulating the weapon with the pistol grip on.

    As for it being an impact weapon, you can still do the buttstroke with a PG on, you can muzzle thump with more force, and, if it breaks when I hit someone with it, well, I think it paid for itself in that case. Yeah, I'd rather shoot the guy, but, as someone mentioned with not wanting to shoot one handed, but realizing they may have too, once you get to the point of shooting a home invader, things very rarely will go as you want them too.

    Overall, I like the PG, but it's a choice that only you can make as to what's best for you.
  8. xx7grant7x

    xx7grant7x Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    I like the PG too and would vote for the speedfeed as you can carry four extra slugs in it and use the select a slug manuver if need be and keep slugs separate from extra shells you may have on a side saddle carrier
  9. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    "*Much harder for someone to take the weapon away from you. IMO, that's the most important advantage of this type of buttstocks."

    I don't agree with this, and must echo the concern mentioned by Loosedhorse about getting your thumb dislocated during a takeaway. I will agree that a PG-with-full-stock simplifies one-handed shooting.

    I don't use a PG stock on my duty 870, though I could if I wished; it is my own shotgun to start with, and a PG stock is still within agency guidelines. The one-hand issue is solved by my duty/carry and backup handguns. If in an environment where the shotgun was the only available firearm, I might want a PG stock, but then, I would prefer an autoloader in that case.
  10. Dave Williams

    Dave Williams Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    I think that full length PG stocks like the Speedfeed III/IV are awesome for real life use, where there is more going on than just shooting. Control of the weapon one handed is greatly improved, and is something that comes up often in real life, as opposed to the range.

    There is a reason major SWAT units across the nation that utilize shotguns us full PG stocks.

    Dave Williams
  11. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    James Thomas, I don't think he meant this to be a "pistol grip".


    In fact, I think that's what he means when he says "regular stock".

    I think by "pistol grip" he meant something like this.
  12. Soldiersurfs

    Soldiersurfs Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    I'd say the stock with the most tactical advantages is the one you are most comfortable / proficient with.
  13. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA


    I never thought of that, and you probably are correct.
    I carried the M-16, in addition to the M-14.

    Put it down to advanced age, and please overlook my mistake.

  14. foghornl

    foghornl Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    For some folks, the pg w/standard stock on a shotgun is just the bee's knees. For me, the plain every day normal stock fits me best.

    Now, for "Military" applications, like M-16/M-4 rifles & combat shotguns, probably a very good thing.
  15. Dope

    Dope Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Kudos to the OP for the fair comparison. In the end it seems to mostly come down to preference, regardless of inherent strengths and weakness. Personally, being a newer firearms enthusiast, none of my firearms lack pistol grips. I only have an AR, a Ruger 22/45, and a Mossberg 590 with a Knoxx specops stock (PG + shoulder stock). Naturally I favor pistol grips. An old time shooter would probably feel the exact opposite.

    Come to think of it, I did just purchase an M39, and it feels really weird to hold (no PG, naturally). Just seems like an unnatural angle of the wrist, whereas with a PG my wrist is straight with my forearm (more or less horizontal).


  16. Six Feet Under

    Six Feet Under Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    I prefer a traditional-style stock on my 870.
  17. strambo

    strambo Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    I'd say it's a wash and too minute to worry about. The theoretical advantages/disadvantages of ea. can be mitigated by training. When it comes to something like getting disarmed...stock type won't be the deciding factor.
  18. NonConformist

    NonConformist member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I guess you arent familiar w/ a muzzle thump? :evil:
  19. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    Fort Myers, Florida
    PG is a bit easier to fire from around cover w/out exposing yourself.

  20. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 25, 2002
    Down East in NC
    From John Farnam:

    Which is IMO a point in favor of the pistol grip.

    Your wrist must have unusual flexibility; I'm not seeing this one. My hand is mostly horizontal if I hold it relaxed at waist level, meaning that to hold a long gun well below shoulder level, the wrist has to be flexed upward in order to bring the muzzle up to horizontal. A classic straight stock requires very little flexion to level the muzzle; a pistol grip stock is impossible for me to raise to horizontal without losing a full grip on the pistol grip (I hit the wrist motion limit before the barrel is fully up), and almost impossible to shoot upward to hit COM from the hip.

    For me, with the hand in firing position and firing hand at hip level, the gun's natural point of aim is at the ground 2 or 3 feet in front of my feet, not COM on a target in front of me.

    Are you really talking about hip shooting, or something more like a Fairburn/Applegate "shoulder point" in which the buttstock is tucked under the arm somewhat, but next to your upper ribcage rather than down at hip level?
  21. Kwanger

    Kwanger Member

    Mar 30, 2009
    I just joined in order to add my 2c to this old thread that I stumbled across.

    BenEzra above is 100% bang on. Having a pistol grip is, just in itself, a significant tactical advantage. We're not really talking firing the weapon; that's all down to personal preference. The number one reason why pretty much all military assault rifles have pistol grips is for the purpose of maneuverability.

    Anyone who has spent any time in the military fighting in a built up area will will tell you that the pistol grip will basically allow you to keep your rifle in a somewhat ready condition (and therefore brought to bear much faster) no matter what you are doing - edging around a corner; going through a door/window, scaling a ladder, whatever. It gives you that degree of movement a rifle grip does not (which inevitably ends up under you armpit facing skyward, as BenEzra says, or carried overhand, and not useful so quickly.

    "Firing from the hip" - is all a bit Hollywood and I don't think is a consideration in this.

    So long story short, what you want is your rifle into your shoulder in a stable firing position in the shortest possible amount of time, no matter what you are doing - while at the same time, being able to carry in a safe and non threatening fashion to locals or your squad (when on patrol, etc).
  22. Dragk913

    Dragk913 Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    Lol at "carrying a baby" :D
  23. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Mar 26, 2004
    AL, NC

    Welcome aboard!

    A much better protocol when you discover a more-than-a-year-old thread of interest is to start a new thread on the topic and post a link back to the old thread.

    Thanks for your contribution,

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