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Old August 26, 2009, 04:10 PM   #1
bababooey32
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Practicing with HD Shotgun

How do you all practice with your HD shotgun? My HD shotgun is my only shotgun - I am not a hunter, so I have no other reason to ever fire a shotgun. I haven't asked, but I'm not really sure where at my local range I could effectively practice in the 7 - 25 yd area. Will they let me do it on the pistol range? An 18inch bbl seems inadequate for clays/skeet/trap, though at least it would give me a chance to pull the trigger some.

Just looking to see what others do. Please don't make me feel worse by telling me about your private range on your acreage!
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Old August 26, 2009, 06:11 PM   #2
inSight-NEO
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First off, even though Im not much a skeet shooter, I have considered just buying the necessary equipment in order to get in a bit of "following" practice whenever I get the chance. While I do not have any land myself, I have several friends who I regularly shoot with who have access to such land. This would be ideal for the skeet setup.

However, to answer your question more specifically, I currently shoot at either paper targets or "plinkers." But, again, this is mainly done while on my friends land. I dont do much shooting at the range (with a shotgun) anymore. Now, paper targets and plinkers are static and certainly not as much fun as shooting skeet, but when set up at varying distances, they can be useful...particularly if such practice includes moving + shooting "drills."

Now, if you can only fire at the local range (for now), this is still good enough in order to become familiar with the weapon and its patterning characteristics. When I went to my local range, using either the rifle bay or handgun bay (depending on the status), I was able to accomplish the beforementioned goals. For me, this was a good start. After that, I started making some calls in order to find a more "realistic" shooting environment. To expand on this, you could also spend a bit of time working on loading/unloading drills at home while using high quality dummy ammo. Of course, you could also add "mounting" or "shouldering" practice to the list. After a while, you can try doing some of these "drills" in the dark...concentrating on safety and the accurate use of speed/readiness. Of course, it should go without saying, make absolutely sure your gun contains no live ammo when practicing at home.

One more thing: consider "training as you fight." For example, if you tend to only keep 4 or 5 rounds in the tube for HD use, load no more than this while at the range. Also, while at the range, practice such things as loading/unloading, safety engagement/disengagement, trigger control, etc. (all within the safety mandates of your local range, of course); all of these mimicking what you would do during an HD encounter. This kind of stuff helps develop certain habits...hopefully good/safe ones. After all, if you should ever encounter a violent HD situation, Im thinking that you would "automatically" resort to techniques/habits most used in the past.

Whether shooting at paper, skeet, plinkers, whatever...practice, practice and practice some more. Just keep in mind, there is more to HD than merely firing a weapon!
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Last edited by inSight-NEO; August 26, 2009 at 06:41 PM.
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Old August 26, 2009, 11:52 PM   #3
zippy13
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I'm a lifelong Skeet shooter. Hundreds of thousand of practice and tournament rounds have done nothing to prepare me for what to do when something goes bump in the night beyond making me very familiar with my gun of choice. But, my gun of choice for Skeet is a far cry from your typical HD gun.

There's no reason you can't shoot Skeet with an 18-inch barrel beyond a prohibition by your local club. Usually they say excess noise from a short barrel is the reason. Although a 18-inch pump is not the ideal gun for Skeet, it's better than no gun. We have a few members who break-out their HD guns from time-to-time and shoot some respectable Skeet scores. Try a different club, or ask to shoot alone (or with sympathetic buddies) on one of their remote fields during a slow time.

Shooting range short-barrel prohibitions have been discussed at length in previous threads.
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Old August 27, 2009, 12:05 AM   #4
Mossy500
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I have a pistol grip mossberg with a 18.75" barrel, ive never been to a actual range so i couldnt tell you anything about that stuff, but my buddies and i usually go out to some old power line service roads or unknown wheelin spots. we just bring a bag of cans and bottles and have someone wing em' we try and get as many shots as possible out on the cans before they hit the ground. thats helped my reflexes and i know where my guns gonna shoot every time, even without a "proper" stock.
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Old August 27, 2009, 07:32 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Shoot some clays.

If you can hit a 4" disc moving fast on an unknown vector or better yet a true pair of them, larger, slower,closer targets will be much easier,even under adrenaline boost.

And there's nothing like clays with its high round counts to make you KNOW your shotgun the way your tongue knows your teeth.

And it's fun.

My HD shotguns are 870s. My hunting guns are 870s and until I got the Beretta O/U I used them for clay slaying also.

Commonality of controls, similar triggers and feel, etc.

HTH....
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Old August 27, 2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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Remember to practice your breach-loads! It takes muscle memory to get those things smooth, fast, and reliable - which demands practice. My house-gun holds seven in the mag, but I keep it ready with only five. Even if I had the opportunity to chamber one and top off the mag before a goblin encounter, those eight will be gone in no time flat. I don't want to be caught for long with an empty gun in the middle of a firefight!

I've shot a lot of paper. I've shot the torso targets at the range, and been to a defensive shotgun class twice where we did some high-volume shooting at multiple targets. I won't tell you about the acreage, but I've shot at multiple targets on my own as well. Last weekend, my brother and I went out with our wives and shot clays for the first time, and that is FUN! Our pump guns range between 18 and 20.5-inches in barrel length, and it was interesting to see how a vent rib helps with fast, accurate target acquisition on a moving target(s).

I've been through countless shells of bird shot. I've shot different sizes of buck in 2-3/4 and 3-in varieties, and done slug plinking at different distances. When you know the machine, it's amazing how tight you can plant rifled slugs at distance! Once, I shot at a phone book after dark to see how the tritium bead I installed works for night targeting, and to see how muzzle flash affected my night vision. Sight acquisition was still quick and accurate, and the flash amounted to no more than an orange halo at the muzzle from the mounted position. It was very interesting.

I only wish I could CCW my 12-gauge!
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Old August 27, 2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Fartlek: Speed play in Swedish. Used it in training when I was in highschool for long distance running. We would jog along while the man in back had to sprint to the front of the line then holler HO! and the next guy would come up. or jog between telephone poles, sprint the next one walk the next one do the next one backwards and on and on. It broke up the monotony.

When I was doing competitive pistol shooting I ended my practices by bouncing a hunk of 2x4 or ammo box or a golf ball with one of my pistols trying to get it into a specific spot like inside a cardboard box or over the berm. Helped with my handgun hunting and made the 1 1/2 hours every night not so painful a chore.

Now I do the same with my shotguns with water or ice filled liter bottles. on the ground, suspended from cord and on top of posts at varying distances. No 2 practices are the same and except for the post height all shots vary in angle traverse and elevation. It helps that I have 12 acres to do this in but I do it with every shotgun I have not just my designated HD gun so it doesn't matter what I have to use. It's a fun exercise but it has a serious application. Surprising how hard a balloon on a string dangling from a tree on a windy day can be to hit. At least for me, I'm not a skeet or trap shooter.
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Old August 27, 2009, 05:52 PM   #8
Russ5924
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I don't think most pistol ranges will allow a shotgun. I know where I shoot You would be asked to leave very quickly. Please try to find someone to help you learn to shoot the gun safely and accurately
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Old August 27, 2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
those eight will be gone in no time flat. I don't want to be caught for long with an empty gun in the middle of a firefight!
And if this a reality for you, maybe you need to move......this sounds just a tad much...if you can't defend yourself with that many rounds rounds from a shotgun, something else would appear to be wrong......or folks are playing way too many video games.......
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Old August 27, 2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
those eight will be gone in no time flat. I don't want to be caught for long with an empty gun in the middle of a firefight!
And if this a reality for you, maybe you need to move......this sounds just a tad much...if you can't defend yourself with that many rounds rounds from a shotgun, something else would appear to be wrong......or folks are playing way too many video games.......
there could be 9 robbers, he would defiantly be screwed.. lol
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Old August 27, 2009, 06:43 PM   #11
inSight-NEO
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Quote:
those eight will be gone in no time flat. I don't want to be caught for long with an empty gun in the middle of a firefight!
If eight rounds out of a SG isnt enough to deal with the matter at hand, then something is wrong. As has been mentioned before, using the noodle upstairs (brain) would hopefully help in avoiding such a dire situation.

Outside of that, I would strongly consider using a "New York reload."
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Old August 27, 2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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And if this a reality for you, maybe you need to move......this sounds just a tad much...if you can't defend yourself with that many rounds rounds from a shotgun, something else would appear to be wrong......or folks are playing way too many video games.......
Quote:
If eight rounds out of a SG isnt enough to deal with the matter at hand, then something is wrong. As has been mentioned before, using the noodle upstairs (brain) would hopefully help in avoiding such a dire situation.
Alright, fair enough. Ideally, I want to live my entire life, firing exactly zero rounds at an attacker. I'm not much of a video game fan either, and I like my guns to wear wood furniture and to be devoid of extra gizmos, so don't even try to spin me as some kind of mall-ninja. But, we live in a fallen world. It is unlikely that I will ever fire on one person, much less many. However, have you ever heard of a little country called South Africa? Gangs will invade farm houses and rape, pillage, and murder. Do a couple Google image searches, and you'll have nightmares. The fact of the matter is that where I currently live is stable and safe, but our fallen world is not static. Nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition, Hurricane Katrina, or bombs from North Korea. Maybe you guys would like to gamble a little looser on such things, but I have fun honing the valuable skills. And, I am using my noodle to learn these skills. Why then should you criticize me for it?
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Old August 27, 2009, 07:53 PM   #13
inSight-NEO
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Quote:
However, have you ever heard of a little country called South Africa? Gangs will invade farm houses and rape, pillage, and murder.
Yes...violence of the utmost is certainly rampant there. However, Id wager you are far more likely to encounter such atrocities (on a semi-regular to regular basis) living in South Africa than Oklahoma.

Quote:
Why then should you criticize me for it?
I personally did not mean to criticize you and I apologize if my comments came off as a bit harsh. My comments were actually meant to be more broad in scope.

Frankly, I say do what you want and feel is necessary. After all, its your life you may be defending one day, not mine. Carry on brother...
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Guns are similar, for instance, to automobiles; in the hands of the sane and responsible, they are generally harmless. In the hands of the insane, careless or malicious, they both become deadly. Blame the person, not the means....mechanical/inanimate objects have no mind of their own.

Last edited by inSight-NEO; August 27, 2009 at 08:05 PM.
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Old August 27, 2009, 09:32 PM   #14
Evyl Robot
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I personally did not mean to criticize you and I apologize if my comments came off as a bit harsh. My comments were actually meant to be more broad in scope.

Frankly, I say do what you want and feel is necessary. After all, its your life you may be defending one day, not mine. Carry on brother...
More than reasonable, and more than fair. Maybe I was a little on the sensitive side. I really hope that I never have to use what I've trained and practiced for, but I'm having a lot of fun in the process, and I'd hate to be caught without.
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Old August 28, 2009, 08:32 AM   #15
bababooey32
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If eight rounds out of a SG isnt enough to deal with the matter at hand, then something is wrong.
Incorrect. Something is wrong the second you feel you need a firearm in your hands. At that point, why limit your ability to respond by some preconceived notion about how these encounters "should" go down? Carrying a full mag or a couple extra rounds takes exactly zero effort but, if needed, may save your life.

The chances of ever needing to use your HD shotgun are already infinitesimally small. Trying to predict how many BGs will be there when it happens is silly. Erring on the low side is even more silly.

Thanks for the info guys...I think I need to make friends with someone that has a lease, or talk to the range where I shoot about their thoughts on the matter.

Last edited by bababooey32; August 28, 2009 at 08:56 AM.
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Old August 28, 2009, 09:25 AM   #16
Scattergun Bob
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bababooey32

This is one of the questions on the forum that I try to respond to each time asked. My thoughts on training for personal defense with a fighting scattergun are here buried in the archives.

In my opinion, practicing with a fighting scattergun has more to do with how well we wrap our bodies around the gun, than how well the gun shoots! Another-words, how well do we understand the effectiveness of our scattergun, how efficiently do we operate the working parts of our scattergun, how well do we "manage recoil", how quickly can we sweep onto the next threat becomes the important focus of consistent training.

With absolute certainty, patterning at appropriate HD distances is critical to understanding the effective use of our fighting scatterguns, shooting enough rounds to accomplish this is important. Understanding the recoil cycle of our particular flavor of fighting scatterguns is very important, shoot enough rounds to accomplish this. However, I have found that most of the hard work necessary to truly become accomplished at defensive shotgun shooting is with dummy rounds and the sweat equity of Dry Fire exercises. No amount of money or "cool" add on stuff will make up for the lack of correct operation of your Fighting Scattergun.

I have had a long relationship with Fighting Scatterguns, since 1967. Still today two or three times a month I drag out the 870 and action proving rounds and "sweat" through the same drills that have kept me alive for this long.

I would love to give you all the do's and don't, not enough time or space. Instead i direct you to two titans in the field.

The Defensive Shotgun by Louis Awerbuck ISBN 0-07947-412-2

and

StressFire II by Massad F. Ayoob ISBN 0-936279-11-7

I know both these gentlemen and their books will do much better than I at giving you the skills.

As far as the above discussions on muti-threat incidents, The World Is a Target Rich Enviroment, we still have to fight it ONE shot at a time, learn well how how to do that.

Good Luck in your endeavor, and Be Safe.
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Last edited by Scattergun Bob; August 28, 2009 at 09:31 AM.
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Old August 28, 2009, 09:55 AM   #17
greyson97
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Eagle peak

bababooey32

HEY! I LIVE IN AUSTIN TOO!

in austin, there are 3 ranges, 2 Red's indoor ranges and eagle peak.
At the reds, you can bring your shotgun and shoot at paper at whatever yardage you want with whatever load you want.

I like eagle peak better though. Between their rifle range and shotgun range, they have a small mound of dirt where you can shoot slugs from about 10 feet. all you need to do is toss out some clay pigeons on the mound of dirt and shoot them

but i have an 18" benelli m4. with the proper choke, you can shoot clay at 20-40 yards
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Old August 28, 2009, 10:53 AM   #18
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there could be 9 robbers, he would defiantly be screwed.. lol
I thought about that for a minute then decided he would be alright. If there were 9 boogermen and he took 8 down the defiant last man would most likely be groveling in the dirt, reaching for the sky or running at a high rate of speed back to his hovel with tears in his eyes and momma feebly whispered between gasps of breath.

Practice and attitude make all the difference in the world, more so than what weapon they are using.
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Old August 28, 2009, 01:22 PM   #19
bababooey32
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Greyson,

Red's south is slugs only...And frankly I find shooting in there to be creepy. i shoot at Eagle Peak regularly with my pistols...never ventured over by the mound you are talking about. I'll have to ask them next time I am there...Thanks!
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Old August 28, 2009, 08:02 PM   #20
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A home defense shotgun is perfectly fine on the skeet range. I have used an 18" 20 guage and it's actually easier than with a longer barreled tighter choked gun. It's the most practical because it will teach you about loading and handling safety and shotgun principles like lead and follow through. Any idiot can point a shotgun and pull the trigger. It doesn't take practice to hit a stationary target with a shotgun. It is not practical practice to shoot at a human target that is 7 yards away. It's a complete waste of ammo. Pick up some 7.5 or 8 shot at Wally world. 1oz blue box ammo is cheapest and will work fine on the skeet range. You don't need heavy 1 1/8 oz field/trap loads and you certainly would not fire buckshot on a skeet range as it is dangerous to a much greater distance beyond which the range is designed to protect the public. You can also do some trap shooting with a 12 guage cylinder bore but don't expect to hit much as ranges are much longer and it gets harder to hit with thin patterns. If you have a friend with some country property get a hand trap or spring loaded trap that attached to the reciever hitch of a truck. Works great and you can see how fast you can load and shoot and reload and shoot your shotgun. Chances are after your first magazine full you won't be able to keep up with the person throwing targets. You should be able to shoot and reload with your eyes closed by touch. Then you'll know your shotgun skills are good enough for a defense situation likely to happen after dark.
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Old August 28, 2009, 09:28 PM   #21
oneounceload
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The main issue with 18" barrels on the skeet field, RC, is the stopping of the swing due to the short barrels. Most folks whip those things and then stop - resulting in a miss. Most folks think they need an 18" barrel for HD. If your idea is trying to "sweep" your house, then so be it. Most folks would do better to hunker down in their bedroom while calling 911 and protecting that room from invasion. For THAT purpose, ANY barrel length positioned over the bed you're barricaded behind will work.....
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Old August 29, 2009, 12:24 AM   #22
Mossy500
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i have a friend who went to prison for 10 years because he waited in his bedroom for the robber to come and killed him. he was mainly found guilty of murder because he was there waiting with out making his presence known and trying to scare off the intruder. the man had what my friend thought was a pistol (ended up being fake) and he took the shot, and spent 10 years because he didnt say get the F*** out of my house. "hunker down and wait".. not in western Washington

it may be different now, but im not taking the chance
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Old August 29, 2009, 07:27 AM   #23
mike72712
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I'd move...
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Old August 29, 2009, 08:29 AM   #24
olddrum1
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Why did you not buy a shotgun that you could actually use with a 26 or 28 inch barrel? Unless your locked in a closet, that 18 inch barrel has no advantage. At least a 26 to 28 inch barrel can be taken to a local range with out drawing alot of akward stares.
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Old August 29, 2009, 09:01 AM   #25
Willie Lowman
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To heck with 'em if they want to give you weird stares!

My friends and I like to shoot trap with our cylinder bore defensive shotguns because it teaches you to get on the target FAST. A valuable skill when shooting because you have to.

And the looks you get at a sporting clays range when you show up with a M590 is priceless. The feeling of accomplishment is greater when you break clays with one of those guns than a Superposed.
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