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Old March 10, 2007, 12:33 PM   #1
Join Date: December 12, 2000
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Plain Jane or tactical?

I am setting up my home defense shotgun and wonder if there are any downsides to mounting a surefure or any other light. Has anyone ever thought that a light and sidesaddle carrier make their shotgun unbalanced or feel too bulky?

Part of me thinks not to dress it up too much.
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Old March 10, 2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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There really isnt a downside to mounting a light on your HD shotgun. Most people, including me would encourage you to do it. You need to be able to identify your target so you dont accidentally shoot a family member or something. If a side saddle makes your shotgun feel too bulky you could always look into speedfeed stocks which have ammo storage in the but-stock.

just my two cents
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Old March 10, 2007, 01:28 PM   #3
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I don't see a problem with a flashlight for practical purposes and it seems that it would be jury-friendly.

I tend to shy away from Tacti-cool accessories because I think an overzealous prosecutor might use them to try to make a case against you as some kind of Rambo-wannabe or vigilante.
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Old March 10, 2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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I like mine.
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Old March 10, 2007, 01:46 PM   #5
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1. On my Remington 870P, I have a Surefire forend light. I like the feel of the shotgun better, without the light. With the light, and a 2 round mag-extension, the gun doesn't swing as quickly as I'd like. However, if it's dark, I can be lighting up a threat and perhaps blinding that threat, too.

But if it's your only shotgun, you may not have the luxury of deciding if your gunfight will occur in lightness or darkness. I suppose you could constantly remove and install the forend when it gets dark, each day...

2. The light is another item to maintain. Be sure the batteries & bulb work. Of course, each time one tests the light, the batteries drain and the bulb could blow. "Murphy's Law" would have the Surefire forend's light malfunction just when one needs it. Perhaps a backup flashlight in one's pocket would be a good thing.

3. The Side-Saddle products are a good thing. In fact, I still need to buy 2 more Side-saddles for my other shotguns. The shotgun is limited in available ammo capacity and more ammo is a good thing. Right now, I compromised and bought a 4-round Side-saddle. If you get the 6-round version (although there's the Mesa Tactical brand which comes with even more round capacity), be sure you have a short-type forend for clearance. The Surefire forend light is already short enough.

I also use shotguns with the Speedfeed stocks with the built-in ammo holders as well as shotguns with butt-cuffs to hold extra ammo. I prefer the Side-saddles for balance and ease of pulling the round for loading into the gun. For me, I don't like the Speedfeed stocks as I find the standard 14"+ length a bit too long for me.
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Old March 10, 2007, 01:49 PM   #6
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I lean way to the Plain Jane side....a simple short barrel shotgun. The tactical stuff is really cool to look at and play with, but does it really make any difference? I don't know..... Maybe..... if you practice with it alot like some one would/could in the military.

As a general rule (for me at least) the more gadgets you stick on some thing the harder it is to use well.

In a time of stress that could be real bad.
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Old March 10, 2007, 02:04 PM   #7
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I am in agrement with the keep it simple crew. A light is nice, but your gun can no longer be used for such simple things has hunting. Sidesaddles have alot going for them, but you can get most of the same benifit from a butt cuff. Mag extension..if you think the threat is high enough I suppose so. That said a know at least two high end instructors who's HD guns don't have them.

The two additions I am highly in favor of is a trinium front sight. It is a good aid in indexing your gun in the dark and last but not least a sling.

If you are building a gun for serious offensive opperations then go for this:

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Old March 10, 2007, 02:05 PM   #8
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MO, Keep it simple. Less maintenance, less chances of it getting "snagged" on anything, and less chances of malfunctions.

For a strictly HD SG its less of an issue, but still worth consideration.

A light and side saddle (depending on their formatting/spec.'s) shouldn't prove to much of a detractor at home. I would add a light even at the expense of some mobilty.

You also didnt specify whether your SG is pump or auto and that would also have a bearing on my decision.
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Old March 10, 2007, 02:31 PM   #9
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I prefer to keep things simple and use a mule eared double barreled coach gun...just kidding. I do keep mine basic, with no frills, but a friend of mine dresses his shotgun up. Everyone is different. Perhaps you should take a shotgun class. You might find that it will help you make up your mind about whether or not you need/want a light, side saddle, etc.

EJJR, why would an auto vs pump influence your decision? Just curious.
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Old March 10, 2007, 04:08 PM   #10
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The way I understand it is that the amount/type of accessories can have an effect on handling and performance (recoil,flip) on a SG, and as autos typically have less recoil they would theoretically handle accessories better. Of course other factors such a type of shells used, guage, etc. will have a bearing in the equation as well.

It's an oversimplifyed and generalized answer I realize...

Maybe one of the pro.'s can give a more eloquent answer or help me out here if Ive got it all wrong.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. Thomas Jefferson

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Old March 11, 2007, 11:54 AM   #11
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What to get?

Yesterday I got a New England model "Pardner" Single Shot 12 Ga. The barrell has been cut to 18.5" and most of the stock cut off too. (done nicely though) Is there a way to mount a light to this? If so how and is there a kit for doing so? I've read some threads about what ammo to shoot for home protection. What would be the best bet for knock down power since it's a single shot & would have to reload. The furthes distance in my home would be 25'. I appreciate your help.
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Old March 11, 2007, 01:30 PM   #12
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I never have understood the light or other items added to a gun.
Last thing I want is a light disclosing where I am.
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Old March 11, 2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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I don't want to backlight myself, so no flashlight.

I MIGHT add a fiberoptic front sight just because I'm slow at picking up the bead.

I'm a purist. Don't fudge with it. That's when problems creep up.

Don't give an attorney any more ammunition than they already have.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8
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Old March 11, 2007, 02:09 PM   #14
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I don't want to backlight myself, so no flashlight
How is having a light in front of you going to backlight you?

A light is a very essential piece of equipment on adefensive firearm that will be used at night, especially a long gun. There will be a time when you need two hands, and without a mounted light, its impossible.
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Old March 11, 2007, 02:11 PM   #15
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Ok I misspoke on that one.

Folks got along just fine for a looooooooooong time without all of this "Ubertactical" equipment. And for ME, a flashlight on the forend screws up the balance of the gun.!
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8
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Old March 11, 2007, 03:04 PM   #16
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For me the only potential downside, I could imagine to having a flashlight on a SG is, that it may give your position away and may make you an easier target if one was approached/attacked from behind.

The benefit, for me, trumps that consideration. With a light I would be much more competant in identifying my target. I deff. would regret shooting someone if it ultimately could have been avoided. A recent thread about such a situation come to mind.

It all depends on ones circumstances and environment.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. Thomas Jefferson

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Old March 11, 2007, 03:18 PM   #17
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I guess it's how you plan to use the weapon...

All of my weapons with the lone exception of my little 10/22
are or soon will be dedicated Homeland Defense Weapons.

Anything that helps me defend my home and property is worth having.
Katrina survivors learned quick lessons on what one needs for protection
during a natural disaster and weapon lights were very high on the list.

I have a light on my G21 and I will soon have one on by Benelli.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
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Old March 11, 2007, 10:56 PM   #18
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Plain jane for me.

Remington 870 Express Magnum (wood stock & fore end) with 18" barrel loaded 4 in the tube 1 in the chamber, safety on. Uncle Mike's 5 shot slip-on sidesaddle on the buttstock /w 5 extra rounds. All shells Winchester Super-X 3" 00 buckshot. It's standing in the corner beside my bed, and the G26 loaded with 10 in the mag 1 in the chamber of 147gr is right beside me on the nightstand. Between those two, I'm covered during the night.

The only time the shotgun is changed is when hunting, I slip on the 28" ribbed barrel and install a magazine plug before heading out.

I shoot so many shells per month I can pretty much hit anything I need to with the gun stock and no extra accessories.

Take my sig line and don't just read it.
Southern born and Southern bred, when I die I'll be Southern dead.
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Old March 11, 2007, 11:07 PM   #19
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I think for HD a good flashlight is very usfull but it dosent have to be on your gun. (Althow your hands would be full with a shot gun)
Everything you point the light at your pointing a loaded gun at.
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Old March 12, 2007, 09:16 AM   #20
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Plain jane for me. Not even a bead on the 19" barrel.
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Old March 12, 2007, 05:06 PM   #21
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split down the middle

Side saddle- I find them to be heavy,unbalancing and rarely needed.
Flashlight- the plastic small light from streamlight with 2 cr123 3amp batteries is very light. An instant on presssure swith aloows you to control the light.
I also like the Hogue overmolded stock\forend for suregrip.(hands sweat under stress.)
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Old March 16, 2007, 06:58 AM   #22
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Ref to the org question -Depends on your setup and what you believe is the worst case scenario.

AFA lights I like them but only if they have a switch that you can easily and quickly turn on and off.

SideSaddles I have not got used to but find they are handy so I put up with them.

Optics/sights are a personnel thing. My views are sights need to be fast. It doesn't matter the type or how you use them they have to be fast. In a HD situation you need nothing more than a bead if you even see that in a stressful situation.

Be safe,

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Old March 18, 2007, 12:34 AM   #23
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For some time now I have been using a NEF Youth 20 gauge single shot shotgun loaded with slugs.

Came with factor recoil pad and I added a Koplin elastic butt shell keeper. Quite a bit of trigger time with this one, and others like it.
I have shot quite a number straights in regular skeet with it, and taken a number of 15 dove bird limits with less than 15 shells.
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