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On Fighting Shotguns....

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dave McCracken, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. akwilly

    akwilly Member

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    Mr. McCracken,
    What, if any, accessories would you add to a defensive shotgun. I just picked up an inexpensive mossberg 930 house gun for the lady and have some coin to spare. I was thinking of adding a light for utility and purpose but she doesnt really care for alot of googads.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You are a little late to ask him.
    This is an old thread started in 2008 if you noticed the date.

    Dave McCracken passed away in Nov. 2012.

    rc
     
  3. akwilly

    akwilly Member

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    Yes it appears I am a few years late of asking this of the OP. My condolences to those concerned.
     
  4. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    His posts are still available if you wish to read them, and he can probably still offer better advice than I can.
     
  5. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    From reading the thread, he was never really a fan of doo-dads hanging off the gun. Or froo-fraws, for that matter.

    But he did favor adapting the gun to the task at hand-for example, adding a sling for hunting, but not using a sling for HD. That kind of thing.

    Both these observations are found in this thread.
     
  6. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    I am certainly not Dave McCraken, but I might offer that for HD work a shotgun should have three things:

    1) A way to light up and identify a threat - this doesn't have to be a weapon light, but they are usually the most ergonomic way to do so.

    2) A way to maintain control of the shotgun when you need your hands - a sling basically. A simple 2 point, with one end fixed to the butt stock and the other somewhere on the mag tube will work just fine. When your hands are shaking so hards your finger nails are clicking against each other after it's all done, it's nice to be able to just let the shotgun hang on the sling, rather than having to set it down (you may just end up hugging it like a teddy bear).

    3) A workable sighting system - a lot of folks are big fans of bead sights, other ghost rings, and some rifle sights. The big thing is the sights need to familiar and easy to use for the shooter. Those that grew up hunting (or do so extensively currently) are probably comfortable and fast with a bead sight, those coming from the military may be more comfortable and faster with ghost rings, etc. The big thing is to have a sight that the end user can use without having to think about what to do.

    Extras like onboard ammunition are nice, but require a shooter to be practiced in their use particularly under stress. A simple weapon light, 2 point sling, and the shooters prefered sighting system are simple quick additions that will make a very capable HD system.

    -Jenrick
     
  7. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    For purely HD, depending on your scenario in your abode, you may not need a light and I too am opposed to a sling. I have neither.
     
  8. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    Practice ammo is what you should buy with your spare coin. I believe it is the only addition necessary to make a shotgun a serviceable fighting shotgun. :)
     
  9. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    I agree that a light and a sling might not be needed, but I have found that they often are better to have then not have.

    Frostbite: I fully second that all else being equal practice time is the best route.

    -Jenrick
     
  10. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    For those who've never done so... everyone of those old posts by McCracken on any shotgun topic are worth a careful read. He was an outstanding teacher in my view....
     
  11. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    He was also a first class guy. RIP
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Until it gets hung up on a doorknob or bedpost or similar.

    Dave always practiced KISS when it came to hd/sd guns. No need to tempt Mr. Murphy any more than necessary.
     
  13. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    That is why you wear the sling... Use it of don't have it.

    Goodness I will never understand how so many of you would manage to get tangled up in your own home with gear you supposedly train with.
     
  14. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I was fortunate to have taken many classes from Louis Awerbuck (who has also passed). Light, sling, spare ammo were his usually recommendations. As for the sling, he was aware that folks were concerned with it tangling up. He said that if that were an issue, SWAT officers would have noticed the problem by now and we would have heard of it. Clint Smith (who is still with us so train with him) encourages grabbing the slack in the sling in your front hand to minimize it snagging on things. Also, Louis, who didn't normally comment on gear selection DID comment that he really thought the Velcro removable side saddles were the way to go. I did have a long conversation with Louis about bead sights vs ghost ring sight as I shoot a lot of trap. He recommended I leave ghost rings on my home defense shotgun. My feeling was he felt they were more precise and that with a bead we have a tendency to look over it resulting in us shooting low.
     
  15. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I've got a sling, cinched up tight, on my HD shotgun, along with a mount for a Streamlight flashlight. The light itself sits on my dresser with my nightstand pistol, but can be snapped into the holder on the shotgun with ease. The sling gives up some slack when pumping the action, but stays up tight and out of the way until I need to sling it. A flick of the sling and it loosens with an easy pull, sling the weapon and free up my hands.

    Butt cuff of extra shells is the only other accessory on it. It does also sport a receiver mounted pic rail but I don't currently have an optic mounted on it, but it doesn't interfere with sighting the bead.

    Slings, just like anything, need training to use. Use it when you need it, but I keep mine out of the way until then.
     
  16. Ash

    Ash Member

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    As a kid growing up, I spent a bunch of time on the farm with my grandfather during the summers. He wasn't a gun kind of guy in that he had plenty but they were tools and for him nothing more. He was no more excited about his Remington Model 11 with US Military markings than he was his bronze pipe wrench. But it, his S&W Model 10, and a Winchester 94 were in his inventory (I know of others, including a .22lr and the family heirloom Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol his grandfather carried in the War of Succession).

    The Model 11 was in it's military configuration (short barreled, so I figure it was for guards - it came from Eglin Air Force Base) and he kept it behind the door in the corner. By this time, he had dealt with a home invasion some 30 years prior (used a Hopkins and Allen Safety Police in that instance, which led him to buying the Model 10). The main use for that shotgun was to dispatch armadillos from the yard or for rabid racoons. He carried the Winchester in a sling behind his truck seat (not in the window).

    From him I learned that a good shotgun needed to be free of encumbering devices. That Remington lacked slings, had no lights (flashlights were still pretty bulky), no glowing sights, no protruding pistol grip, no side saddles, no rails, no adjustable stock, etc. It sat, ready to use, and every time I saw him reach for it, I knew a critter was about to get it (and I would have to get a paper sack to carry it in). He was very effective with it. I never recall a time when he grabbed that shotgun that I didn't have to get a sack, which is to say he always bagged what ever he was shooting at.

    He was, along with my dad, the wisest person I knew. It worked. My dad copied him (his father-in-law, which say something as his own dad was a WWII vet) with a Savage 720 (dad would pinch a dollar hard) that he kept, though we lived in town. I have a Savage 720 at my place in the woods.

    There are some folks who would point to that as sentiment and nothing more, that I should face modernity and get a plastic-fanstastic combat shogun, something phased with plasma, preferably in the 40 watt range. For me, based on observation and wing/rabbit shooting, that is to say, experience, a shotgun that has a plain stock and nothing hanging off of it is just about perfect. Anything else might just get in the way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  17. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I'm one of those that wants a sling on my defensive shotgun (and pick up the slack as I'm grabbing that foregrip...). I carried and used a shotgun as my primary weapon on any call where weapons were a possibility for a lot of years as a cop down here in south Florida. I learned time and time again that if you needed to go hands on, having a sling to secure your shotgun was pretty important (even if "hands on" meant having to go over a fence on a fluid scene where mobility was everything). To this day I keep a butt cuff with five spare rounds on the stock and that sling on whatever my primary is (though long retired out of police work). I know many who want a light as well -but I'm not one of them. For contact under 20 meters nothing beats a standard, riot configured shotgun in my opinion.....
     
  18. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    Lemay,

    I did not retire from, but was with Brevard County SO. I agree I f I was to step out of my own house, any rifle or shotgun will have a sling.

    In my house, fighting on my own personal ground as a civilian, I see no need for a sling, for myself. If I go hands on it means I will be hitting the bad guy up side the head, with either the butt stock or both barrels, and most likely both chambers will be empty. If necessary to go to my secondary, most likely either a 1911 45, or a HK P30L LEM V1 9mm, I will simply drop the the shotty on my own floor.

    The butt stock/barrel technique I had learned in the Corps, and unfortunately refined and applied in Vietnam all to often, while with the 3rdMarDiv. (Most of my two 13 month tours I had and used an M14, by choice.

    Going out the door I will most often choose a rifle, these days that would be a SCAR. Although if a shotgun is still the ticket, I would go with my Benelli M4. Inside the house I am still a double barrel type of guy.

    I hope no one ever has to apply this stuff. What ever you use, know how to use and apply it effectively. I hope your way is the best for you if that elephant shows up. Remember the fight is very rarely how you planned and prepared for it.

    Good luck.

    Fred
     
  19. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I was always at high port if moving (and more than once had to use my weapon to get past a group or crowd to get where it was needed....). Since I'm also a VN vet (1971) I'm perfectly familiar with how to use it for a butt stroke (long or short series...) but never had to go that route fortunately.

    The main reason I learned to value a sling was that 99.9% of the time the fact that I was prepared and equipped properly caused the other side of the confrontation to drop their weapons (if they had them in hand). At that point a shotgun is a liability since without a sling you're either going to unload it then ground it - or you're just going to be standing there, weapon in hand -and that just takes you out of the party... Being able to sling your weapon before wading in and assisting (or wrestling, or removing injured parties, along with everything else that can go on at a chaotic, fast moving, violent scene...) proved invaluable. Most never think about the things you might have to do when your weapon isn't needed (at least not right then....). With a sidearm you can holster it (or secure it in your waistband etc.) -long guns can get in the way something fierce when they're not needed....

    From personal experience I do know that I pointed a locked and loaded shotgun many, many times at one or another subject - but only once in 22 years actually fired a shot. Once again for me a sling is basic gear if you're on the street or anywhere else that you might need your hands free but still be able to go back to 'weapons hot' at a moment's notice.
     
  20. Vernon1

    Vernon1 Member

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    Benelli 20 Gauge Demo Nova $329.00

    Man has a Benelli Nova factory rep gun. It is 20 gauge pump.

    He wants $329.00.....

    Any experience or input from you folks?


    Man says it's 18 months old.....

    My money comes pretty hard for me...

    Better off with a new one???

    Thank you for any comments.
     
  21. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Most used shotguns are very low mileage, round count and a bargain. I'd double check the round count. A shotgun would likely get you at least 100,000 rounds of use. Folks I know who have Novas seem to like them. What percent discount is the used vs new price?
     
  22. Vernon1

    Vernon1 Member

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    Used Benelli Factory Rep Gun

    A new one would be about $200.00 more.


    This one is $329.00 plus shipping of $40.00.

    New would be like $210.00 plus FFL Fees...:)
     
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    +1. International trap, particularly when shot from 16 yds. with a full choke, is excellent training. Grouse hunting is excellent training for self-defense shotgunning.

    True. some will FTE, particularly with light loads, when not shouldered or snugged up agaist the hip.

    I have a nice 870 Tactical Mag., need to replace the light my son 'borrowed'. The only stuff on it is the (IIRC) Surefire mount that slides in behind the mag cap, the light itself, and a jumbo safety. The mag extention was on it. It sits in my safe until deer season, when the Hastings rifled slug barrel goes on it.. The shotgun in my bedroom is an Ithaca 37 Featerweight with a John Masen pistol grip stock that can become just a pistol grip. (BTDT, too Dave. Fun to play with at the range, but give me a buttplate to slap on my shoulder) I bought it from a load that the shop I worked in took in from the Sherriff's Dept. It had no stock, and the barrel was cut to 18.5" I trimmed the rib back to the next section, put a Spark II on it, and for @ $150, the nicest HD/SD shotgun I've ever owned!
     
  24. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    That's a great discount. It is most likely worth getting if you want that make, model, and caliber, which are all fine by the way.
     
  25. akwilly

    akwilly Member

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    We did add a sling, however keep in drawn tight so I don't know its purpose but might aid in control of weapon in close quarters, a mount for my surefire flashlight and mag tube extension. My wife liked the feel of the pistol grip butt stock but seems to negate the excellent position of Mossberg's thumb safety so we passed. She is comfortable shooting nine ball, which we keep in it, however some have recommended #4. Any opinions? The longest room in my house is probably 30' or so.
     
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