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PG Only Shotguns and Hip Shooting 101...

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Dave McCracken, Oct 13, 2003.

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  1. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Lots of folks who see these things used on TV think they're good for close range combat. They're not. Here's how I know...

    1981 was a busy year for me. I had been promoted to Sgt in near record time, survived the J Dorm Riot at the MD House of Corruption without a scratch, and been made a Firearms Instructor. We had a new prison opening and 300 rookies to qualify on all three weapons, 38 Service revolver, Mini 14, and the 870 shotgun.

    The Powers That Be in MD's prison system had decreed that instead of towers at the new prison, there would be Rapid Response vehicles circling the institution armed with revolvers and shotguns. These last were equipped with the egregious Remington folder that was recalled for its propensity for cutting faces under recoil.

    They also commanded that ALL officers be taught to shoot from the hip with the stocks folded.

    With the help of the FBI, who had run the Instructor's school we attended, we figured out how to accomplish this. We set out to A, learn ourselves, and B, get 300 plus rookies to pass the qualifiers and become safe, effective shooters.

    Few instructors then and now were shotgunners. I was, and got tagged to not only fire demo rounds for each 25 officer segment, but had to qualify past 90% score to keep my certification. I did, but it took work.

    Long story short, I fired hundreds of rounds from the hip that summer. And, I observed hundreds of new officers and some old ones attempt it also. NONE did as well shooting from the hip as from the shoulder. Most had no problem passing the easy qualifier from the shoulder, but they ALL had trouble doing so in the hip shooting portion. By 1991, when I had too much rank to instruct any more, the folders and hip shooting were history, and so were the geniuses who thought that mess up.

    Since then, I've taught some private students. A few have showed up for their first lesson with a PG only shotgun they're never fired. Next session, they'd have a standard stock.

    Except for some use as a door breaching tool, there's few pros that have PG only shotguns. And those few are quite specialized.

    In my somewhat jaundiced but valid opinion, the effort, ammo and time put forth to get one reasonably proficent with a PG only shotgun would,with a standard shotgun, result in being Abso$%^&*ly deadly.

    And for those doubtful of the validity of this opinion or mine, here's a challenge. It's the same one I started on TFL.

    Any PG only fan living close to Central MD is invited to a shootoff.

    We'll shoot your COF.

    We'll use the ammo of your choice.

    YOU can use any PG only shotgun you want to,with any accessories up to belt feed and lazer sights.

    I'll use a standard stocked 870 with few mods or addons.

    We'll shoot for score, time decides ties, but there won't be any. Results posted for all to see.
     
  2. sm

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  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    The use of any rifle or shotgun for "hip" shooting is one of the great Urban Myths.

    In Hollywood epics, the shooter holds the shotgun at hip level, points it vaguely in the general direction of a bad guy and pulls the trigger.
    There is a dull "BOOM", the bad guy is picked up and tossed 8 feet like a rag doll, and an entire 10 foot wide plate glass window is blown out.

    In the real world, if the butt isn't in your shoulder, you won't hit anything RELIABLY.
    Yes, there are people who can hit very close targets, but they can only do this on the range. Give them a realistic combat shooting test, and the stock-less gun somehow looses effectiveness.

    In addition, a simple test proves that it actually takes LONGER to lower the gun to hip level than it does to bring it to the shoulder, when the gun is carried in the normal "port arms" position.

    There is a place for the folding or stock-less shotgun, but these are for very special, very limited circumstances.

    I would very much like to hear the results of a stocked-stock-less shoot-off.
    The one's I know of were no contest at all.

    You may dispute this at will, but before you do, take a stock-less out to a range and run some "real" shooting tests.
     
  4. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I don't have anywhere near the shotty experience of Mr. McCracken and others on this forum, but I have found what works and doesn't work for me...and the Pistol Grip shotty DOESN'T work for me.

    With the PG shotty, I can do just as well by emptying said shotty, then firmly gripping muzzle, charge target while emiiting a primal scream, and using as a club....
     
  5. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    In my opinion, to become barely proficient with a PGO you have to expend so much time, effort, and ammo, that if you were to put half the amount of work into mastering a regular shotgun you would be doing Tom Knapp like demonstrations at the end of American Shooter episodes.

    Seriously, I've never seen anybody able to use a PGO with any sort of proficiency whatsoever. I've had people on the internet tell me that they are really good with them, but I've yet to see it in person. I'll believe it when I see it.
     
  6. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    See I am smart enough to not take Dave up on the challenge. When I went thru the state required course for my license for armed security, the instructor, who was the assistant director of the local police academy, had us fire three strings of fire: buckshot from the shoulder, slugs from the shoulder and buckshot from the hip. Shooting from the hip was to demonstrate to us that it was hollywood bull.
     
  7. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I can usually average about 22 out of 25 from the hip at the skeet range, it really annoys the other shooters that are just trying to hit them from the shoulder. :D On the trap range it goes down to about 15 out of 25. After tens of thousands of rounds its kinda natural to know where your shotgun shoots from almost any position.
     
  8. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Thanks, folks. A coupla things...

    S'funny, the folks on this thread have centuries of shotgunning in aggregate. We don't have PGOs. Catch my drift?

    And Kudu, the key in your statement is "Tens of thousands of rounds".

    Perhaps the best way to regard a PGO shotgun is as a ungainly,inaccurate handgun with bad sights, limited effective range and more kick than the 454 Casull.
     
  9. kotengu

    kotengu Member

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    Just curious Dave - what sort of things did you guys figure out that helped to teach hip shooting? Are there any "techniques" or is it more just "keep doing it until you figure out where your gun is pointed"???
     
  10. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    Dave,

    Thanks for the great info. We're fortunate to be able to benefit from all the great experience on this forum.

    Steve
     
  11. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Useless? Hollywood crap? Inaccurate? Wait just a minute. I've responded to PG only threads this way in the past, let's see what the take is this time. Dave, I'll take you up on your offer on one condition, you come up here and demonstrate. Bring chest waders, a good pair of hiking boots and your fishing gear. Now, you need to go on, say, 10 fishing trips with me hiking through the densest thicket I can find with low branches, muskeg (floating ground!) swamp, vines, etc. See how far you can make it with your full-shotgun. Then, on the 11th trip, we might just happen upon a bear that don't like you too much. You won't have time to unsling your shotgun (if it survived the trips) and take careful aim. Besides, it's hard to claim self defense if the bear is shot in the behind from 50 yards with a slug. If the bear gets close enough, you're only going to need minute-of-barn accuracy anyhow. In this case, give me a Marlin Guide gun any day, but the PG shotty loaded with buck is more likely to hit than a Pistol and a great deal shorter and lighter than a 'proper' rifle or shotgun.

    This type of shotgun is 10 times more likely to fire a warning shot (or a flare, location shot, or suicide shot if you're mauled too bad) as it is to fire in anger at a bear. I'm also about 100 times more likely to have my little Ithaca with me while fishing as I am my Remington anchor which resides in the house and visits the range often.

    My Ithaca also fits snugly in the following places: Boat, Piper Cub Aircraft, Airline Baggage, 4-Wheeled ATV, Snow Mobile, and in the trunk of my car. A doubly-good plus on the ATV and Snow Mobile is that a roll-over does not result in a bent barrel, cracked stock, or worse. Seen many a shotty destroyed this way.
     
  12. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    OOOOHHhhhhhh, onlast thing. When the bear get's bored just mauling you, the lack of a sight on the barrel of my PG shotgun makes the experience much less painful. Alaskans know what I'm talking about.
     
  13. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    badger: that's a pretty epecialized need, and i'm pretty sure that need could be filled by a folding stock shotgun just as well, seeing as it's darn short when folded, and still has a stock on it.


    heck, a properly designed pullpup'd work too.
     
  14. sm

    sm member

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    Badger Arms.

    You are an exception to the rule. Dave has posted so. :)

    There is a place for the PGO Shotgun, your environs are an excellent example. Armored car guards another. Heck I was req'd to have one in my trunk for awhile once upon a time.

    What I percieve Dave is trying to do with new shooters to shotguns is the same problem new shooters fall into or get lured into regardless of shotgun, rifle or handgun.

    Instead of getting educated, taking training, trying various makes for fit, patterning for themselve for that particular gun...etc. They see the movies and read the write ups.

    Iwannacoolgunvirus .

    They never practice, maybe so much $ tied up in the add ons they can't afford ammo. They show up at a range and either the bbl length is too short and not allowed, or they get hurt (physically/embarrassed) and never go back out again.

    Nope, you have a legit need and use for a PGO.

    One learns from mistakes...just a whole lot cheaper and less costly if someone else's
     
  15. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Yes, and I agree with Dave on all counts. I don't wanna be laughed at by anybody when I pull out my PG Shotty, though, so I always add my 2 cents worth on these threads.
     
  16. sm

    sm member

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    Well sir , I assure you I never laugh when a shotgun is pulled...I don't care what kind of material, grip, make, model or whatnot. :)

    By posting your environs, and unique situation perhaps someone else can see the benefit for themselves in a similar situation, or. realize for them the PGO is not the best choice for them.

    Hey, we are all on the same side. Enough disention exists already that needs to be quelled , IMO, In "promoting responsible firearm ownership".
     
  17. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Badger, rein thy choler. We've discussed this until we're blue in the monitor, and for your special situation and mission, a PGO makes some sense.

    But, you're not a new shotgunner trying to separate wheat from chaff. This IS directed thus.

    Kotengu, here's the best method for shooting from the hip with either a standard stock or a $%^&*()PG....

    Stand facing the target, and advance your forward foot a short step's distance. Holding your firing arm parallel to the ground, push the inside of your forearm against your love handles and lock the elbow on your support side arm. LEAN into the shot until you're almost falling forward, and use the barrel in the lower part of your peripheral vision as a guide to pointing it towards the target.

    I suggest using a backstop that's ludicrously high.

    Once this is learned, chamber a live round, preferably a very light one and fire it off. Note it takes longer to get back on the target you probably missed. Quit before the carpal tunnel syndrome kicks in.

    After lots of practice, paid for by the State of MD, I got to where I could traverse fire on 5 tombstones in 5 seconds with good hits. Better trained and co-ordinated shotgunners can beat that easily. But....

    The same amount of practice with a standard shotgun would have ended with Tom Knapp pondering a career change. We went through hundreds of rounds.

    Steve, glad to help.

    And 73, I tend to not annoy folks holding shotguns....
     
  18. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Badger, my question is this. An 18" barreled shotgun with a regular stock probably isn't considerably more unweildy than an 18" barrled levergun with a regular stock.

    So why do you say one is unusable whereas the other is not? I'm not questioning your choice of shotgun, just curious.
     
  19. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    There's a guy who comes in to my favorite gunshop now and again. He has an interesting scar from under his right eye, across the cheek, to a bit in front of his right ear. His nose is also a bit crooked. I asked him once what had happened...

    He said that in his younger days, he'd been enamored of the PG-only shotgun concept, and had so equipped an 870. He decided to test it out at the trap range, and arrived at the range carrying his PG weapon. The rangemaster was more than a little amazed at his wanting to shoot trap with it, but reluctantly agreed to let him try a round. As the first bird was launched, he instinctively put the shotgun up to a shoulder-shooting position, holding the PG just under his eye. The inevitable result - the recoil drove the PG hard into his face, breaking his nose, putting a deep gash (right down to the cheekbone) into his face, and dropping him unconscious on the floor!

    The rangemaster called for an ambulance, but he regained consciousness and refused to go to hospital, opting for his local doctor instead. Seventeen stitches and a nose-plaster later, he went home, to be greeted by his wife's succint comments about shooters and their stupidity... :D

    He put a regular stock back on his 870 the next day, and hasn't used a PG since!
     
  20. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Nightcrawler:

    It's a difference of about 10" and it does make a considerable difference, yes. A PG shotgun is just slightly over the 26" limit. That's the minimum length I can have with such a weapon. That extra 10" sticks out below the behind when you sit down or above your head when you are walking. With the PG, I can sling the gun across my back and have complete freedom and range of motion. The gun is there, but it never gets in the way sitting, ducking, walking, or anything else. Very tidy. Imagine the difference between an 18" barrelled gun and a 32" barreled gun.

    Uses: I'll list them again. Agreed, very limited, but here they are: Hiking off-trail, fishing in waders, fishing along thickly wooded rivers (where bears reside) Snowmobiles, 4-wheeled ATV's, Boats, Light Aircraft, and Airline baggage. Sure, you can take the gun down for the last two, but in the other instances the gun should be ready to fire. Where a PG would be preferable is when it will be carried often, and shot little in protection of life and limb from four-legged critters. Lesser-48 folks might not see the utility here, but it's a common, everyday event up here.
     
  21. sm

    sm member

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    Badger Arms,
    Makes sense to me. Hey ,post some pics of your PGO in the environs you speak. Don't really care about the shotgun, just an on topic way to see the wonderful sights you have...:D
     
  22. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Got Pictures, but no digital pix of me in the environments I speak of. Maybe this winter. And, no, I've never had the 'comfortable sights' used on me! :what:

    [​IMG]
     

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  23. sm

    sm member

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    "sights"

    Geez Badger, you've been in the bush too long. I mean "sights" like scenery, fish, bears ( from a distance prefebly) from the plane.:D

    Ok the guns have character,looks like they still need a little breaking in...:) Reminds me of some I use...I like simple, I can see we agree on no doodads, gidgets, and such. I learned to shoot with what you refer to as comfortable sights.

    I'll let you explain the "comfortable sights" to new guys. :p

    Thanks,
    some day I gotta see your neck of the woods, been to Canada 30 or so yrs ago...never Alaska...
     
  24. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    I've got a PGO shotgun story as told to me by a local gun dealer.

    Seems the dealer has "a friend" who thought it would be cool and cheap to get one of those $90 H&R top break shotguns from Wal-Mart and chop that into a a PGO style.

    He hack-sawed off the buttstock and then the resulting pistol grip smooth. Cut the barrel down to 18 inches long.

    Put camo duct tape all over it just to heighten the "coolness" factor.

    Took it fishing with him to a small country road with a small bridge over a rather deep portion of a stream.

    While fishing, he spied a large cottonmouth cruising along and decided it was a good target to break in his new gangsta 12 gauge.

    He got the shotgun out of his car, loaded it with one bird shot shell, and went back up on the bridge. The snake came swimming by again.

    The guy aimed with only one hand, old West duelist style.....Well, since it's a pistol grip shotgun, you shoot it like a pistol, right????

    Pulled the trigger and BOOOOOM.....the shotgun recoiled back and up, ripping a gash in his trigger finger. The shotgun tore loose from his grip and went spinning through the air over his head in a big arc all the way across the bridge, and SPLASH landed not far from the frightened snake and immediately sank forever into about 30 feet of water.

    hillbilly
     
  25. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    I fired a pistol grip shotgun for the first time about a week ago, an 870P with a folded Butler Creek stock. Even loaded with buck the recoil was mild and after an embarrassing miss initially I was able to able to do some good work with it, however never to the point that I would choose to go forth stockless unless I were in an environment where handling space and engagement ranges were minimal.
     
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