View Full Version : must (or not) have accessories?

March 31, 1999, 11:24 PM
Still have not bought my home defense shotgun.

For a purely defensive shotgun which of the following do you consider to be worth the money or waste of money?

1. tritum sights
2. flashlight mount
3. ghostring sights
4. speed feed stock
5. side shell carrier
6. sling
7. extended mag tube

Please add any add'l accessories you consider useful!


[This message has been edited by bk40 (edited March 31, 1999).]

Rosco Benson
April 1, 1999, 08:18 AM
Well, you didn't list anything that was counterproductive, like a folding stock...or totally without merit, like a ventilated barrel shroud, so you're on the right track.

I don't care for the speed-feed buttstock. The Sidesaddle or the butt-cuff (Spark's Cold Comfort) are a better answer for carrying "on-gun" ammo. For purely home-defense use, I don't like slings. They can snag on things or be grabbed by an adversary. Of course, you will need a sling for any defensive shotgun classes you might attend. Just take it off at home.

The extended mag tube is nice...not so much for the extra ammo capacity, but for the fact that it allows you to leave a "dead space" or two in the tube, which facilitates getting a slug into the chamber quickly (load it in the mag tube, hit the action release, and cycle the action...buck out, slug in). One item that you don't mention is a "big-head" safety button. These can be helpful.


Art Eatman
April 2, 1999, 12:57 AM
To me, "Defensive" means close range, or if indoors, "too close!" range.

So, why ghostring sights? Sights? "We don' need no..."

Defense, to me, means somebody might shoot at me. I've never awakened to a totally dark house. Starlight, moonlight, streetlights--some combination provides enough light to locate a bad guy, even if you can't identify him more accurately than "not-family". A flashlight attached to a defensive weapon seems to me to provide an aiming point for a bad guy. I think I'd rather use a shotgun one-handed, with the light held out to the side with the other, if the flashlight is needed.

My Model 12 holds 7 rounds. I'm not sure I'd need shell-holders in a "normal" self-defense situation. I'm thinking of in-the-house or near it, for usage.

No pistol grips, no folding stocks, no fancy stuff. Extended mag-tube, yeah, but seven rounds is either more than you'll need, or nowhere near enough and you're dead.

Folks been doing pretty well for the last 150 years or so with single- or double-barrel guns...

There are lots of good articles on the strategy and tactics of home defense. In most of them, weapons are secondary to common sense and planning. I like shotguns for home defense, but I also believe in the KISS principle.

Best regards, Art

April 2, 1999, 02:16 AM
The flashlight mount is a good idea cause it lets you keep both hands on the weapon.
Truth is that nothing on your list is must have. Question is what do you want on it?

April 2, 1999, 10:35 AM
I guess my personal philosophy about guns and gun accessories is the simpler the better. So, when in doubt, I do not accessorize, but rather stick with factory features. Just my $0.02.

Rosco Benson
April 5, 1999, 08:06 AM
Art wrote expressed a couple ideas that I want to address....
>To me, "Defensive" means close range, or if >indoors, "too close!" range.
>So, why ghostring sights? Sights? "We don' >need no..."

At across-the-den ranges, the shot charge has not spread sufficiently to give us the advantage of a "pattern". Thus, the shotgun must be aimed precisely. At short range, this CAN be done with just a bead, but a ghost-ring setup is more precise and no slower. Ghost-rings also facilitate accurate slug shooting...probably not real important in a home defense situation, but it gives the shotgun some "reach" if it ever must be pressed into service as a substitute rifle.

If our hypothetical home-defender had chosen a pistol-caliber carbine, would you suggest that he take the sights off of it and substitute a bead?

>A flashlight attached to a defensive weapon >seems to me to provide an aiming point for >a bad guy. I think I'd rather use a shotgun >one-handed, with the light held out to the >side with the other, if the flashlight is >needed.

An on-gun flashlight can be vital for target identification. While I won't discount the possibility that a bad guy could shoot for the beam source, I think that the efficiency gained by the on-gun lights outweighs this. The Surefire forend lights are in wide use and I've not heard of any user injuries attributable to bad guys shooting at the light. As to the notion of holding the light out and away from the shotgun, thus requiring that the shotgun be operated with one-hand; well, doing so effectively turns your Model 12 pump into a single-shot. It is also difficult to hit well when using the shotgun with one hand. We practice one-handed use of the shotgun for emergencies in which one hand is injured. It can be done, but with much lost efficiency. If you plan to utilize this technique, then be sure to practice it.

>My Model 12 holds 7 rounds. I'm not sure >I'd need shell-holders in a "normal" self->defense situation. I'm thinking of in-the->house or near it, for usage.

No less authority than Jeff Cooper says that the typical number of rounds expended in a fight by a shotgun user is ONE. Still, a few more is comforting. The on-gun shell holders permit one to "top off" their shotgun during a lull in the fight or when (one thinks) the fight is over. The on-weapon shell carriers also facilitate taking along a couple slugs...just in case the situation develops into a hostage-situation or an adversary at a longer distance.

>but seven rounds is either more than you'll >need, or nowhere near enough and you're >dead.
>Folks been doing pretty well for the last >150 years or so with single- or double->barrel guns...

As always...it's the man, not the gun, who wins or loses the fight. Still, if we have the opportunity to outfit ourselves with the best available tool, we should do so. Splendid results have been had with unsuitable equipment in many situations. While there are many stories of single and double-barrel shotguns being successfully used in defensive situations, it is well to remember that those who found them inadequate are in no position to tell their stories.

Just my thoughts on the subject...respectfully offered, Art.


[This message has been edited by Rosco Benson (edited April 05, 1999).]

April 14, 1999, 08:43 PM
I use a butt sleeve shell holder.
I hunt this way, too.

another reason is that my shotgun
is not kept loaded. so I can pick
up the gun and have five rounds available
without looking around for the shells.
grab shotgun and run to sound of the
trouble, if necessary.

consider an 18 inch barrel gun if you're
thinking in-house use. more compact for
moving around.

for in-house, a bead is all you need.
just shoot a few rounds at the range
to make sure it hits where the bead is.
if not, an elevated bead may fix it.

April 17, 1999, 01:25 AM
I am always somewhat disturbed to hear folks say things like, "Well, 1.78 rounds should be more than I ever need..."

I tend to believe it is wiser (within reason, of course :)) to train for RBD. BG's really seem kind of easy, savvy? Central American revolutionaries on cocaine, that seems harder. We may not want to get carried away, but if one can easily have another 5 (or 10) manstoppers, why not?

April 17, 1999, 02:29 PM
".....it is well to remember that those who found them inadequate are in no position to tell their stories." Excellent, Rosco! I've never heard it quite put that way. So true!

bk40, it might help others to answer your question if you mention the specific scenario you intend to utilize your shotgun. By this I mean, are you looking for primarily a home-kept shotgun, in a urban, apartment dwelling, or perhaps more of a rural setting where you may need to use it in longer exchanges. Of course, you may also be asking about a compromise firearm, or one with which can do it all.

As Rosco says, slings should not be used on a "house" shotgun.They give an adversary something additional to grab on to, swing around and possibly distract you, and worse yet, hang up on something and not allow you to shoulder your weapon when you most need it.

In addition to giving you a dead space which is needed to perform a slug select, an extended magazine, allowing for a couple of extra rounds, gives you a little extra safety. In a gunfight, reloading under pressure will be the most difficult task you have to undertake. If you can get around that by starting off with a weapon with higher capacity, do so. It is not mainly for more rounds to throw downrange, it is merely to lesson your chances of having to do a reload under tremendous pressure, with an adrenalin flow that will hamper your fine motor skills.

As for my opinions on the items you mentioned, I don't believe any of them are a waste of money. My Marine Mag 870 has tritium (front only) ghostrings, sidesaddle, extended magazine tube, sling, and porting. I do believe in weapon mounted lights for longarms, and will someday purchase a dedicated one for mine.


April 17, 1999, 09:22 PM
You didn't mention what shotgun would be so equipped. I've read that some autoloaders don't' like the added weight that a sidesaddle would add. Shotguns, like the Benelli series that rely on inertia, are supposed to malfunction more often as their total weight has been changed by the addition of the extra 5 shells.

Otherwise, my ammo philosophy is, "the more the merrier, just as long as the more doesn't get in the way."

April 18, 1999, 02:06 AM
Thursday 4/15 I purchased Remingtons 870 Marine Magnum. 12ga, 18" barrel, nickel plated ... Looks to me like it will serve my intended purpose well
Semi-rural home, only intended use is for in-home or small perimeter around home defensive purposes. Only other possible usage would be for dispatching varmints, feral dogs and cats... close to house. This aint going to be no quail/deer/duck s/g! I envision target distances to be less than 20 yards, 5 to 10yds more likely

At the moment, the only accessories I'm considering are the Surefire flashlight forend, side saddle shell carrier and tritum front sight.

Maybe this helps clarify my needs and intentions for this s/g.


- bk40

April 21, 1999, 08:49 PM
Must haves:

2. Cleaning Kit
3. Range time to practice and have fun.

All other accessories are just chi-chi's!
(ooo-ahh- expensive trinkets)

April 21, 1999, 10:27 PM
How about a duck bill? heh heh heh