View Full Version : Butt-cuff or sidesaddle ?

August 17, 1999, 09:15 PM
Most 'tactical' shotgun folks tend to speak highly of the sidesaddle, and give passing mention of the lowly butcuff as a means of carrying extra shells. My gun is not popular with aftermarket vendors, so I have no choice but the universal elastic. Am I losing any tactical advantage ? The only thing I could see is that with a sidesaddle, you would use your weak hand to reload & chamber (pump) the round, while keeping the gun up and finger on trigger. The buttcuff, being it is in your armpit or chest (which side is correct, anyway ?) makes loading a little more tricky. Am I on the right track here ?

Sid Post
August 17, 1999, 11:26 PM
I like the butt cuff myself. Something to consider is where the center of gravity resides. Shotgun shells are heavy and I find a little ballast on the butt to help give my shotgun the "swing" to be stable yet still move easily. I have mixed feeling with Side Saddles. A lot of people swear by them but, they add bulk to catch slings/clothing and, can upset the balance of the shotgun when you lay it on a bench or in a hard case for storage. I have also had shells fall out from side saddle during recoil. Perhaps my unit is defective or I don't know how to use it properly. All in all though, I tend to favor unloading my shotgun so it is responsive to my inputs and, with five in the shotgun a few more in the butt cuff, have enough for most occasions whether I need slugs or buck. If I must fight my way to the house or vehicle I will. If all else fails, my Glock is ready to go as a solid back up for those ocasions when 5 plus rounds of buckshot is not enough.


Long Path
August 17, 1999, 11:55 PM
My vote is the butt cuff. I don't like having the shells right at the center of balance on the shotgun, where I pick it up. It also makes it bigger around at that point, and seems more likely to lose its shells.

You have to practice a little with the shells on the buttcuff, butt it's easy with a little orientation. You have to decide for yourself whether to go rims-up or rims down. I like rims down, so that I can pull the shells out from the bottem with the shotgun shouldered. This means that you'll be replacing it in a few years, however, because you want to make certain that the shells don't fall out, and the elastic gets tired after a while.

Also, with a nylon buttcuff, you need to burn a hole through the bottem of it with a hot nail so that the buttstock sling swivel can just barely push through, as a tight fit. You don't have a sling swivel on your buttstock, you say? Then get one! The swivel stud keeps the cuff from riding up the stock toward the pistolgrip (as it is wont to do), and a sling makes your shotgun far more useable, tactically. (For a shotgun, it needn't be a proper super-adjustable sniper sling; a cheap web carrying strap will actually serve pretty well for carry and hasty sling.)

My cuff came from Uncle Mike's and is called a SideKick. My dad's was some no-name off-brand, and does the exact same thing, but cheaper. (I doubt there's much of a quality difference, though mine was about twice the price at $11.) I think mine holds 6 extra shells, and I always make the front two Brenneke slugs.

[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited August 18, 1999).]

Long Path
August 17, 1999, 11:56 PM
Dad gummit, Sid, you beat me to the punch!

August 18, 1999, 02:15 AM
Sid- I don't think your SS is defective. Mine loses the shells after awhile, too. But it takes more than the seven rounds in the magazine to do it, so I don't see it as a practical disadvantage. It's just a pain during those 100 round practice sessions.


August 19, 1999, 03:44 AM
Might I suggest the "speed-feed" stock as an option?...you've got your shells in the back for balance and out of the way to boot?..I have both sidesaddle and speedfeed stock....what more could I want? Its the perfect combo.


best prices at www.botach.com (http://www.botach.com) BTW. :)

[This message has been edited by Stopdropnroll (edited August 19, 1999).]

August 19, 1999, 08:41 AM
Ive seen some local leo's have a sidesaddle screwed into the side of the stock instead of a slip on or lace on type butt cuff. They just took off the backing plate and screwed the thing onto there synthetic stock....its an option, but i prefer the speed feed stock....fubsy.

August 19, 1999, 05:44 PM
I like the sidesaddle, the problem I see with the butt cuff that no one's mentioned, is shooting left-handed-not really left handed, but mounting the gun on your weak side- you'll be putting those shells into your cheek, rather than the stock.

August 21, 1999, 09:52 PM
I have both on my Winchester 1300 defender. I also use an uncle mike tatical sling. Stay away from bandoleir slings because they get tangled up real easy and add extra weight that is hanging below the weapon. I like both side saddle and butt cuff because it give plenty of extra shells, and with me I am use to pointing with the weight on the weapon.

August 22, 1999, 06:15 PM
Go with both of them! More rounds really can't hurt in a bad situation.

August 22, 1999, 07:00 PM
I prefer neither. I use a belt of 25 shells in addition to whatever is in the shotgun.

I've had a sidesaddle, but that tended to shoot itself loose after even just a few rounds. As mentioned in other posts, I too, thought it threw the balance off, tending to twist the gun in my hand toward the sidesaddle. When the receiver would get hot, the plastic that held the shells in would expand and the recoil would drop the shells out (I had my shells in the sidesaddle, brass down).

I've seen the elastic buttcuff move around on the stock (hadn't thought of the idea to fix it to the sling swivel, I'll keep that in mind). I've also had the shells fall out through a combination of bad elastic, recoil, buttcuff moving around on the stock, and poor hand placement on the grip squeezing rounds out of the crummy elastic.

Sooooo...I go with the belt. No tinkering with the shotgun, no worrying that the rounds might not be there after I shoot a few times, no buttcuff moving around and so on. The downside is that when I'm going to really, really need the shotgun, I'll have to pick up two things (the loaded shotgun and the belt of extra shells) instead of just one thing (the loaded shotgun with the extra shells attached to it).

Ah, well. To each his own, huh?


Long Path
August 24, 1999, 05:55 AM
The belt is GREAT for hunting, pretty good for when you're preparing (?!) to go to a fight (though I wonder how it would interfere with your pisol presentation), is nice for car-gun -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- and git, but STINKS for the grab-the-gun-and-answer-the-threat situation that most of us keep a shotgun ready in our houses for.

Try out the pegging the elastic with a stud (toward the toe of the stock, not toward the pistol grip); it works really well!

August 24, 1999, 06:20 AM

Ran into a similar problem with my Ole Thumbuster shotgun. There is no side-saddle made for it and the butt-cuffs won't work on it either, as it is a bull-pup design. So, I use a nylon & elastic over the shoulder bandolier. Easy to grab and scoot, doesn't mess with my presentation or handling of the shotgun. However, I do carry the band over my Left shoulder only, as I shoot from my right. The HS-10B is very unsociable to Lefties and Ambi's!

"If you really want to know what's going on;
then, you have to follow the money trail."

August 24, 1999, 10:04 AM
I'm under the impression that we're talking about self defense applications here. A couple of you have stated that you only shoot right handed or don't shoot from the left side well. Respectfully, aren't there any right hand halls or corners in your homes that you might have to defend?

Long Path
August 25, 1999, 01:13 AM
That's one reason why A)I have a short-barreled automatic shotgun (1100), which can easily be operated one-handed or with off-hand, and B) I practice fire one, load one. Before you round any corner in a tense situation, you should be loaded. If you can't solve the problem with 5 rounds of rapidly delivered 12 ga, you should reconsider tactics!!!

While I do practice with right turns, I am far more proficient firing from my right strong side, and expect to do so more than 90% of the time. It is really no great hassle to remove a shell from below the stock with my left cheek on the comb. (another reason I put the shells in rims-down)

Another consideration is that, when swinging around a corner in tight areas (esp. hallways and small rooms), I typically will have the shotgun pulled in closer, with the butt under my armpit to get the arm as high as possible, but to get the muzzle as close-in as possible. The stock doesn't come up to the cheek until clearing the near cover. Then, once again in the open, I switch to strong side. It's easy to mount the buttcuff so that the shells are a couple of inches below the line of the comb, providing ample room for your cheek-stock weld.

[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited August 25, 1999).]

August 25, 1999, 04:58 PM
Long Path,

"The belt is GREAT for...(though I wonder how it would interfere with your pisol presentation)"

I wear the belt low on my hips for the express purpose to have access to my pistol. I shoot shotgun matches while still wearing my pistol (even if I have to keep it unloaded) figuring one day my shotgun will crap out on me. In which case, drop shotgun, grab pistol, load and continue the course of fire.

"...but STINKS for the grab-the-gun-and-answer-the-threat situation that most of us keep a shotgun ready in our houses for."

You're very right. So, I keep the shotgun loaded, and the belt handy, with the full intention to use my time as wisely as possible. The worse possible situation for me would be waking up to a "bump in the night". In that event, the only thing I'll be wearing at that moment would be my war face. I can still put a belt around my bare, but soon to be secure, backside. Now...if I could just find a place to carry my pistol.... (-:


August 29, 1999, 08:45 AM
Re: "bump in the night rig"
I bought one of the military 12 rd shotgun pouches and have it on a belt with my holster & 2 mags. As it was so eloquently stated by a previous poster, I can then sling it around my bare but soon to be protected behind and have shotgun & handgun. If I can't solve it with 16 rds of 12 ga and 50 rds of 9mm, I better have fought my way to the rifle!!

p.s. I am still looking for a good buttcuff. I've seen rounds slip out of a sidesaddle under recoil and I don't like having that bulk right at the carry point for my hand. Galco makes a great looking lace on leather butt cuff, but it seems far t0o elegant and classy for my shotgun. If I could only find its duplicate in nylon. I WON'T use a stretchy!

Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys.
-- Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

Long Path
August 29, 1999, 10:24 AM
Dorsai: I was going to go to a leather, as well, until I found how well a stretchy would work when it is pulled tautly to the toe and pinned with a swivel. Static like that, my objections to the stretchy have been quelled, and, so long as I replace the stretchies at the first sign of elastic failure, they're great! Note that you can buy 10 stretchies for one leather lace-ons, ad the stretchies seem to last for a minimum of two years before the odd shell drops out. Even the leather ones will begin to loosen their shell-grip after 10 years, and there's really no way to tighten that up.