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On Fighting Shotguns....

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

  1. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Ok, Dave, let's mod my shotgun. I have a early 80's 870 Express 12ga, wood stock, 28" barrel. NIB, don't ask why I've never put a round down, I really couldn't say.

    1) Measure length of pull so the thumb is 1.5" from the cheek, and shorten as necessary (5'6", 30" sleeve.) Pitch being the complication, which is linked to barrel length?

    2) How to shorten the barrel from 28 to 20" +/-? Cylinder choke now, which really dedicates it to home defense, and how does the bead go back on - or can I hillbilly a large dot on front?

    3) Any recommended alterations to the standard hunting forearm? I think I'd prefer Police style to fit my smaller hands - it is just an easier/better thing to install that, over cutting up the other?

    I'm not bolting on a bunch of farkle, and low cost operations are a priority.

    And please let Dave reply to all three before we tackle whirled peas again? :evil:
     
  2. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    I would be very careful of early Remington's. The reason I would NOT use one for a combat situation was my experience with shotguns in Vietnam. I agree with an earlier poster who was singing the praises of the Ithaca 37. The Remington was one of the few, shot guns that would often jam in combat. In fact they split the follower at one time and advertised, that you could now get a knife blade in to work out the double shucked shell. A very possible fatal problem in a fire fight. Particularly when you remember that most shotguns were deployed with in pistol range, meaning up close and personal. When the Black hats are that close and your weapon fails, it usually does not bode well for our hero's.

    It wasn't until about 5 - 8 years ago that I learned that Remington fixed that possibly fatal problem, sometime in the mid 80's. I had avoided Remington 870's for any type of fighting because of that fatal flaw. I would make sure your NIB 870 was a post fix model or get the modification necessary to bring it up to spec. Personally because of my experience, I still tend toward the Mossy. My primary fighting pump is one of my 590 Mossy's, of course. (I may try one of those very nice Bennelli's Nova's someday, but with my return to the double hammer gun being my primary go to shotgun inside the home for home defense, I may not.)

    I am not as enamored of the shotgun as I once was, except for very specialized applications, like inside home defense.

    It appears the later model Remington's solved their fatal flaw. Just check it out. The middle of a fire fight is not the place to learn your gun is not what you thought it was.

    Go figure.

    Fred
     
  3. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Well, my memory is not what I thought it was. The "RK" date code on the barrel makes it October of 1990. It's not as old as I thought - which in this case is OK so far.

    Further searching I've found barrels are $100 to $150 minimum for a 18-20" Police cylinder or Remchoke, and full wood sets with Police fore end as low as $30.

    For a home defense gun I think an 870 is fine as long as it stays simple and to the point. Sure, an Ithaca 37 would be nice, or even Remington 97, but the cost of mods or acquisition is my focal point - how do I change what I have for the least amount of money?
     
  4. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    OK.....

    The standard stock LOP may just work for you. After ensuring it's empty,twice, mount it and have a friend lay a couple fingers in between nose and thumb. Two fingers should do.

    Length just has to be "close enough". We adjust by gripping the forearm in divers places.

    One prob with shortening the stock is the shorter it is, the smaller it is. The smaller it is, the more recoil is felt.

    The more recoil is felt, the less that shotgun gets shot. The less it's shot, the less effective it is in the hands of THAT owner.

    Short barrels abound for the 870. One of my favorites is also one of the most common. The 20" version with rifle (open) style sights, with or without a choke is a very good choice for a fighting shotgun.

    I'd prefer buying a barrel rather than shortening yours. I've lopped barrels with some after action regret.

    Do invest in a premium pad. Trust me.

    HTH.....
     
  5. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Two fingers is about what it is, Dave. I agree about "divers" places - consistency is a few 1000 shells down the road for me.

    Hacking my barrel to sporter length does inhibit other uses - and for the little money a new one costs, the versatility is doubled. I'll keep looking, I like nothing better than getting a dirt cheap bargain. It may well be sitting in a bucket of barrels just a few miles from me.

    Having gotten to handle a 97 once that served over 60 years in a state penitentiary, I have to say a corncob slide is really uppermost in my mind. Knowing that a light wouldn't hurt either, I'll keep an open mind on what to do there in the long run.
     
  6. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Consistency's the key, Tirod. Learn your gun by shooting it plenty.

    Once the pile of empty hulls hides your ankles, I shan't question any addon you install.

    I'm blessed with long arms and big hands. I can reach any forearm made, but the old style corncob feels best. That may be due to familiarity and a hint of nostalgia.
     
  7. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    Being ankle deep in hulls has to be a lot better than knee deep in grenade pins . . .

    Having handled an old 97, I find my smaller hands and shorter arms seem to fit the size.

    And I've begun to appreciate nostalgia a lot more in this light: much of the good stuff comes at the peak of it's historical development.

    It's hard to improve revolvers, synchomesh transmissions, and pump shotguns. You can finesse some details - Mossberg 590 vs. Remington 870P vs. Ithaca 37 - but you won't get a quantum leap better out of them. They are just about as good as it gets.

    It would behoove our younger members to study milsurps and such to get an understanding of what it takes to really get the job done. It just might bring enlightenment about why the latest greatest is really a big yawner for oldsters.

    Just marketing and all.
     
  8. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Amen.

    There's some things that would require a major paradigm shift to be improved.

    The C-47.

    The P 38 canopener.

    The 03 Springfield.

    The 1911.

    Gibson's ES 300 series, the L 5 and the Les Paul guitars.

    Fenders' Telecaster and Stratocaster. Most of their old amps also.

    And modern, US made pumpguns, and I'll allow the 97 Winchester in there too.

    Some folks just do not get it.

    The software is much more sensitive than the hardware.
     
    sixgunner455 likes this.
  9. Plinkeriffic

    Plinkeriffic Member

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    Hear hear!

    I have a Mossberg 88 6-shot (18.5" barrel) that I have no problems with and gained proficiency on the skeet range. Could get three shots off on two clays almost as fast as the autoloader-shooting guy next to me (but he missed all three at least once!).

    A buddy has the 590 and I cannot tell the difference from the innards, only the safety position (I'm guessing the trigger group is better-made); but at $180 before sales tax that model 88 is a gem! I'm moving to the 20" 9-shot version as soon as it arrives, hoping a 50% increase in capacity doesn't make it too muzzle-heavy to bust pigeons on the range the way I have with the 6-shot.
     
  10. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    The higher capacity doesn't mean you need to fill that magazine. For skeet it's plenty easy to load a couple rounds at a time between rounds.
     
  11. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret member

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    I have a stock Mossberg 500 12ga 20" barrel 7+1 Cruiser. It is perfect for close combat within the confines of my house as designed. Total cost $265.00 plus $15 FFL fee. I have one mod, the barrel has been ported to reduce barrel rise and recoil. Can't see any reduction in recoil. I practice at least two weekends per month with target and HD ammo.
     
  12. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    Mine's the same, but I added a folding stock for ummm... "storage and transport" reasons.
     
  13. Plinkeriffic

    Plinkeriffic Member

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    "The higher capacity doesn't mean you need to fill that magazine. For skeet it's plenty easy to load a couple rounds at a time between rounds."
    and yet totally unnecessary...
    I figure I'll make the adjustment, I want to be able to move it around fully loaded (maybe 5 more on the stock).
     
  14. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    If you consider a gun that handles better "unnecessary." Leave it fully loaded for home defense, but stick to two or three at a time for skeet. You'll be glad you did.
     
  15. Plinkeriffic

    Plinkeriffic Member

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    Wouldn't it be better to practice with a fully loaded weapon? The skeet don't know...
     
  16. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    If you're using the skeet as training for home defense, then yeah, I guess. But I wouldn't.
     
  17. Plinkeriffic

    Plinkeriffic Member

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    I'm confused; what's the harm in learning to shoot skeet with a full magazine? Apparently I'm pretty good at it!
     
  18. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    It's just that you seemed to be saying that the bigger magazine was better for shooting skeet. It ain't. Unless not having to reload when you're not shooting anyway is more important to you than a gun that handles well.
     
  19. Plinkeriffic

    Plinkeriffic Member

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    "you seemed to be saying that the bigger magazine was better for shooting skeet"
    Never said anything of the kind. Said reloading every few shots was unnecessary; figured handling a full load well was good too.
     
  20. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    OK. A larger magazine offers one very slim advantage for skeet (that of not having to reload between rounds) and a hefty disadvantage (the gun handles poorly). If, for your taste, that advantage is enough to make up for that disadvantage, more power to ya.
     
  21. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    Not that this is anywhere near on topic, but also bear in mind that the official rules of skeet, the rules of every club I've ever been to, safety, and good manners, preclude more than two shells in the gun at one time.
     
  22. txman321

    txman321 Member

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    if i add a 18.5 inch bead sighted barrel to my 12 ga mossberg 500a Field model with wood furniture will it make a decent HD shotgun? I dont think need all that plastic add on stuff like pistol grips and side saddles do i??
     
  23. DRZinn

    DRZinn Member

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    Ummm, read the thread? Yes, if you know how to use it. Some of the other stuff could help, though.
     
  24. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    I just picked up an 870 Express Magnum with an 18.5" barrel w/ bead. Also picked up close to 260 rounds of Fiocchi 00 buck and 500 rounds of bulk shells from Wally World.

    I thought I could use the bulk packs (1 1/8 oz. birdshot) for practice and upland game, and use the 00 buck for around the property. I was thinking that I really don't need an extension tube, but would like to have easy access to additional ammo. I'm just not sure if a side-saddle or butt-cuff carrier would be the way to go. And what about some sort of bandolier/pouch? Another question is whether or not it'd be a good idea to replace the standard bead front sight with some sort of illuminating bead front sight.

    I'm hoping that I can pretty much "run what I brung". It's my belief that simplicity is perfection, and I'm hoping I can put together an effective tool without a ton of doodads (but maybe a metric ton of ammo). What say all?
     
  25. sm

    sm member

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    ojibweindian,

    Just my take if you will.

    First, I would learn the gun just as it is, bone stock.

    Reason: Anytime we do something , we should first have a "base" or "control" . If we don't, and instead do a lot of things, then if we have a problem, it is much more difficult to diagnose the problem.

    Control, do "this", access, diagnose, result.

    This includes gun fit.
    I do not know how many times I have seen a shooter add things to a shotgun, and then have problems, only to find out, the gun does not fit.
    Length of Pull (LOP), and Drop at Comb, are the two most common. In addition to being able to hit, or have the pattern/group arrive where it is supposed to, the shooter also has less felt recoil.

    Less Perceived Felt recoil means the human body is less likely to develop a flinch.
    The human body is designed to protect itself.
    "When he/she does that it hurts" and the body will flinch, to protect itself. It may also close eye(s), or stop swing, to protect itself.

    What one is doing is "ingraining" flinch, instead of correct basic fundamentals.
    Not good.

    In addition, felt recoil affects quick effective follow up shots.

    Oh you might get the first shot off just fine and then for the next one, or subsequent "Nuh Uh, it hurts when he/she does that, I ain't going stand here and get hurt!"

    Administrative.

    A shotgun has to be loaded, and unloaded. With a bone stock /factory gun, one can learn to load, and unload the gun.

    On a 870, one uses the shell latch, instead of cycling shells. This is safe, and is less wear and tear on shells.

    Mag extensions change the balance of the gun, and side saddles do so as well, plus, in learning to do Load, Unload, and Adminstrative, that dad-burn thing is in the way.

    Learn to keep the gun fed with basics, ingrain these, and learn to check condition of gun using magazine, loading through magazine, and so much more.

    Snap Caps, and Dummy Shells are suggested.
    Just like IDPA/IPSC, shooters stand over the bed, and do nothing but drop mags, and insert mags, to ingrain mag changes.

    Rules of Safety, still loading, checking to see if a shell is in the chamber, and doing the Administrative drill of unloading the shotgun.

    Once the gun fits you, and you have done these other things, including with live fire, then access your environments and tasks.

    This is what Awerbuck, Clint Smith, Cain, ...etc, will do , if you take a class.


    Re: Skeet.

    Yes I shot Skeet, who knows how clays and shells downrange I have on a skeet field alone.
    Plus other things one does with a shotgun...

    A Skeet field to me, is more than just a field to shoot skeet on. I was raised using a skeet field for all sorts of uses, besides skeet, and includes defensive shotgun use.

    Note: Safety is paramount, and the fields I come up were private. I was also raised with 3 Rules of Gun Safety, Hot Ranges, and Big Boy Rules.

    We did not know what a Tueller Drill was, simply because Tueller had not had his incident yet, still Low 8, is an incoming "target" , and if you crank the machine down, that clay is coming out at 55 mph, "flat", and not where a "registered" clay is checked going through the hoop.

    Now, who says you have to stand on the station. You stand more in line with the low house, and that clay will do serious damage to you, if it hits you.
    Stop that threat by breaking it, before it breaks you.

    Crazy Quail.
    I learned from the best.
    I have had 3 Gunners, HRT, SWAT, and others, get so tripped up, with Crazy Quail.

    I was raised to not be a programmed shooter. Anyone can break clays on a skeet field.
    Programmed Shooters became worse, when the rules changed allowing one to pre mount the gun.
    There have always been "fair weather shooters" that did not want to mess up score cards and class. So these folks stayed on the porch when it rained, or there was wind, or anything but a nice, pretty day where the skeet targets came out the same way , every time, and always went through the hoop and if not broken, had the same perfect flight path.

    These same programmed shooters with B, A, AA class ratings, could not hit a quail, or dove, or duck.
    The darn critter did not come out when they said "pull" and the nerve of that critter not flying a flight pattern of one of the eight stations.

    Seriously, I watched a A shooter go through a box of shells and he only felled 3 doves.
    His dad, just a country boy, using that old worn shotgun, that he used for everything, felled his limit of 15 doves with 17 shells.
    Not bad for a 65 year old fella, recovered from knee surgery and with arthritis from a injury.
    Just a old well worn Model 12, slicker than owl poop.

    On a public range, or club range, with permission, there are things one can do that are within the rules, such as Crazy Quail.

    Crazy Quail pits puller against shooter.
    Like I said, I learned from the best.
    Still on a private range, shooting Crazy Quail, I am not the only one that has beaten a shooter, with a full mag, extended mag, even with side saddle, as the puller.

    I have beaten Benneli, Mossberg, Rem, Winchester ...etc, guns set up for serious defense, and used for 3 gun, pulling Crazy Quail.

    "This is the fastest shotgun!"

    hehehe

    "Well it was not fast enough, and you still ran out of shells"

    Benneli Folks, do not let that gun go dry, I will drive you nuts , to the insane asylum, if you do.
    You had better know how to keep that gun fed.

    Now I warn about new shooters with side saddles.
    I will stop, and have, as folks are getting hurt, and I am afraid they will get cut.

    My trick is to take Hook-n-Loop [Velcro] and use a hole punch for bolt holes.
    This protects the finish of receiver, and more important, is acting like a "lock washer" to keep the bolt and nut "snug".

    I have seen too many guns that ran reliable without a side saddle, not run with one.
    So the velcro assists with "snug" and allowing the gun to run.

    That said, quite a few folks removed side saddles, as they cut themselves up, trying to do Crazy Quail and other things one can do for some quality stuff for defensive shotgun use.

    Some learn the gun, all over again, going back to square one, then when they put on a side saddle, the correct basics allow them to transition to its use, and they can more effectively use a side saddle.

    Others, sell that gun, and go buy another one...
    The old "buying skill and targets" bit, I utterly detest.

    Crazy Quail: I know I have my work cut out for me, if some country boy, or some country gal steps out with a well worn gun.
    It does not matter what make, model , type of action, or gauge, I know I have to be at the best of my game, pulling Crazy Quail.

    These same folks will blow your mind how well they shoot a Tueller Drill , with a shotgun as well.


    At one time, we had tennis ball throwers. I forget what speed these can be adjusted to throw a tennis ball.
    A bit safer than clays coming at you, still a tennis ball will hurt.

    Set these up, to toss from 21 steps. One of the things me and mine "added" to a skeet field.
    We set these all sorts of ways...
    Still I guess we did 21 steps, as the center stake is 21 yards in skeet, and just the number "21" stuck with us.

    (We protected the thrower, and some fields were "in" a square range where we incorporated handgun use too. Like a said a "skeet field" to me, is not just what most folks "see" or "think of")

    Still we, shot incoming tennis balls.
    Set up five machines to throw, and one has to "walk the gaunlet".
    The threat might be coming at you, or it could be, to some one else.

    We would use scarecrows, to represent good guys and shoot the threat before it could hit the scarecrow.

    Learn in open air, then build a "set up" , much like stages are done.

    Never laugh at fella with a J.C.Higgins 20 bore pump gun, with 26" fixed IC choke.
    He will beat you like a drum.
    He also stopped a serious threat with that same gun, twice.
     
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