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Old November 21, 2002, 06:02 PM   #1
Dave McC
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HD preparation for shotgunners....

OK, we've worn out the keyboards talking about brands, mods and addons, ammo and so on. Let's get into the important stuff. And some of this has been covered in the past, I'd like to coalesce it all into one thread for the benefit of new folks.

First,know your weapon well enough that you can make it function SAFELY in near total darkness at zero dark 30 with a warm liquid running down your leg,15 seconds out of a deep sleep, because you may have to. This requires regular use, thought out practice, and a mindset not often found in "Civilized" places. You're out to win, as Bill Jordan said,there's "No second place winner" here.

Regular use is the only way to achieve expertise. Lack of expertise will kill you.

And knowing your weapon means knowing how much spread will occur at the longest shot opp possible in your house using your "Duty" load. I recommend measuring the longest distance possible in your house, adding a yard for GPs, then checking the pattern at that range. Most likely, the load will make one ragged hole. IOW, a HD shot NEEDS to be aimed.Choice of that load is covered elsewhere. Choose that load with an eye to what's past any target, through walls and doors. All shotgun ammo is very effective at room range.

Second, know your house.It's rare that it's a good idea to clear your house, usually it's best to hold a position at a strong point and wait for the cavalry to arrive.

With a shotgun KNOWN TO BE EMPTY, a walkthrough will turn up any possible weak points, strong points and problem areas in your house. Of course, you do have window locks, outside lights, charley bars etc,right? Note what areas and positions may require working from the support side, what may give cover to you or an adversary. Now try it from the other end, imagine you're the invader and see how and where you can move safely or not.

Third, let's go shooting...

Any use of a shotgun will aid you gain that expertise. Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, informal clays with a hand trap, hunting, "Practical" matches, etc, can all help. Shoot safely and often. And have fun!

Here's a couple COFs strictly for HD practice.Try light loads at first, then "Duty" ammo as you improve. Of course, use eye and ear protection, and be safe.

Have some laths ready, and some clay targets. Drive or stick the laths in the ground, and tape or hang the clays about 4 ft off the deck. Pace off the distance to your longest shot opp, and load up. Have someone give a signal and time you.

From whatever condition you keep your shotgun in whan stored ready and a ready stance, bust a clay. Return the shotgun to that ready condition and repeat until time runs about 2 seconds.Repeat several times, slowing down if you miss and trying to get the move smoother,not faster.

Keep returning the shotgun to ready condition EVERY time. When this is nicely grooved in, stop for a moment and breathe deeply. Now run in place until you can feel your pulse pounding to simulate an adrenaline inducing situation. Repeat the drill a few times until you're able to duplicate your times and hits.

Next,try it with two separate clays on different laths.First from a relaxed state, then from the elevated state.

When you feel like this is grooved in, do it from the support side.

Why use clays? Instant gratification,seeing those things bust. This serves as reinforcement and aids learning. The small size helps focus.

COF III:

Do not move into this until you're comfortable with doing the first two, This is much harder. Go for smoothness first, speed will come.

Have your shooting partner stand behind you and either somewhat to the right or left. W/o warning, have them hand throw a clay like a Frisbee in front of you. Bust it. Have them move back and forth behind you, throwing the clay w/o your foreknowledge from various angles.Again,start from ready condition.

When you get good at this, have your partner throw one, then a second on report.When you can obliterate one target, acquire another and bust that one also, you'll be well on your way.

How's this for starters?
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Old November 21, 2002, 06:28 PM   #2
sm
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Excellent!!

I especially like the pattern board at distance
Clays for positive re-enforcement
shoot on report
shoot low light or less conditions
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Old November 21, 2002, 08:19 PM   #3
Matthew Courtney
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The main reason my HD shotgun is a Remington 1100 is that I have been shooting an 1100 while duck hunting for over 25 years. Loading and shooting a gun thousands of times in low light and under the stress/adrenal rush of flying birds makes handling that gun close to second nature. My HD shotgun handles a little different with the 19" barrel and the choate mag extension. That's why I shoot skeet with in a few times per year. My shooting buddy and I are also always thinking up shooting games that simulate potential SD challenges. Try shooting skeet with one hand in your pocket to simulate an arm injury!
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Old November 21, 2002, 08:28 PM   #4
beetlefang
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Good Points...

I think the main thing is to have a plan.

One basic plan that we have used before....

1) Call 911 (the phone is by the bed).

2) Grab kids and bring to the 'safe room' (the bed room w/ the phone).

3) Grab shotgun. Close the bedroom door. Be ready to shoot whatever comes through it...

4) Stay in the bedroom 'til authorities arrive.

Our plan notifies authorities first. Gets fellow housemembers out of harms way. Then arms the person for defense. If any part of the plan fails...hopefully 911 is activated to arrive in time.

We also have a couple of inside dogs that serve as early warning.

-beetle
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Old November 21, 2002, 10:42 PM   #5
Coronach
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Here is something for the apartment dwellers:

Do you live in a secured building? If the answer to this is "yes," then how do you plan to let the authorities in upon their arrival? If you hole up in your safe room (highly recommended!), you must have a method of getting the cops into your residence once they get on scene. They're not gonna kick down the front door to your building.

Even homeowners are going to need a way to get the front door open for the boys in blue. This needs to be figured in to your HD plans. Working it all out on the fly would kinda suck...

Mike
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Old November 22, 2002, 04:22 AM   #6
Dave McC
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Thanks for the input, guys. A coupla points to consider....

Matt,that's how I feel about 870s,working them is as natural as breathing for me.While most of my shooting these days is trap,handling and operation is still instinctive. I will do some meatmaking with one of my "Serious" 870s,but that's typically a one shot,close to medium range deal.

Beetlefang, good plan. Similar to ours, for the most part. One difference, more than myself will be armed.

Mike, the plan here is to drop the keys out the bedroom window to the cops when they arrive.
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Old November 22, 2002, 04:43 AM   #7
archeryfanatic
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Opening doors..

if the door opens towards you, make sure you don't get your barrel trapped behind the door as it is opening.
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Old November 22, 2002, 09:08 PM   #8
Dave McC
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Good point, but it's been a while since I crowded cover. And here, the best strong point is near the top of the stairs, not inside the BR.

It's one more thing to think and train about.
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Old November 25, 2002, 08:31 PM   #9
Peetmoss
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This maybe a stupid question but I have to ask

How do you guys plan to avoid shooting the 5-0 as they clear your dwelling. It seems to me they would eventuly end up at your safe room while clearing your house. Also how do plan on not getting shot by the scared more then you rookie who just craqpped his pants when he opend the door to your safe room and see's a 12gauge?

These are just some questions that came to mind that might help me with my own plan.
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Old November 26, 2002, 05:35 AM   #10
Dave McC
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The key is communication,Peet. The phone call to 911 sets up the channel, further dialog can be on that or by voice. I doubt any perps still mobile would try to imitate a cop.Or stick around...
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Old November 26, 2002, 09:13 AM   #11
Coronach
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I would say a key point is having your firearm pointed in a safe direction when the popo arrives at your room. And, as Dave said, communication.

Mike
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old November 26, 2002, 02:45 PM   #12
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What's a lath?
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Old November 26, 2002, 03:37 PM   #13
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Skunkabilly...

"What's a lath?"

Lath is/are wooden pieces, about 1" wide, by about 1/4" thick by about 36" long. Used in gardening, light carpentry maybe.

I make range targets by stapling two pieces of lath on either side of an IPSC target, then propping the whole thing up in a "H"-shaped target stand I make out of a piece of 2 x 4.
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