View Full Version : Are some HD Shotgun ideas too far-fetched?

Tango Uniform
July 12, 2000, 02:48 AM
I just bought the M1 Benelli S90 Tactical for home defense purposes. I'm still very new to world of shotguns and have been doing as much reading here as I can. I'm very impressed with the shotgun knowledge of a lot of you guys and am thankful for TFL in that regard.

Recently, I've been going back the past 100 days and reading through posts regarding home defense issues, ammunition, chokes, etc. ... all of which has led me to 2 questions:

1. This debate over stock vs. pistol grip vs. PG/stock combo... One thing some folks point out is the apparent ease that someone can take a shotgun out of your hands. My question/thought is: If somebody is reaching for the business end of the loaded shotgun that is in my hands, shouldn't I be pulling the trigger? Seems to me that this is only logical, and if my shotgun is empty, as far as I'm concerned the BG can have at it while I'm drawing the Glock off my hip. Comments/thoughts?

2. I read one post about the legality issues of using a 'combat shotgun' as opposed to a 'hunting shotgun'. Again, the PG v. stock comes into question as to how this gun could/would be portrayed by the jury if you were to be sued. Excuse me if I sound crass, but this seems to be a stupid notion as well.
After all, the BG *broke into my home*, what the hell difference does it make what kind of shotgun I used?

Thanks in advance for your time,

Dave McC
July 12, 2000, 05:33 AM
(Stepping up on soapbox)....

First, I regard ease of weapon retention as a non-issue, for the reason you cite. MY beef with PGs has more to do with Hollywood than not. As for PGs on full stocks, six of one, half dozen of another.

Second issue, considering the political climate of most jurisdictions now, even in a justified shooting the DA(who probably has political aspirations) will go for painting a gun owner/user as a wacked out, violent danger.That applies even if you're an exemplary citizen and a credit to your race(human).SO why give him ammo? The weapon used will be in court, and the appearance will count more than it should. My reply will be something like...

"Sir, I've been shooting that very shotgun since 1958.After becoming a Fireams Instructor, I modified it to serve better as a tool for protecting my family in accordance with what was taught to me by my instructors and what literature in the field that I found.That model,the Remington 870 Wingmaster,was/is also the shotgun used on duty by the Md Dept of Public Safety,and I received training on safety and proper use".

Note that the last can come back and haunt you if you've( or I) shot recklessly or badly.

July 12, 2000, 08:44 AM
1. Assuming you have been using proper clearing tactics, you are correct -- you will get your gun on target before weapon retention becomes an issue and you can basically blow him off the end of your gun.

But Mr. Murphy is alive and well.

Clearing with a shotgun in tight corridors and spaces requires the use of the indoor low ready position, which will require some time for you to get your muzzle up and on target. Thus, you cannot always assume that weapon retention will not be a problem.

I would posit that if a goblin's already on top of you and wrestling for your long arm, unless you are trained specifically in retention for long arms, just do as you said if your gun was empty -- let him have your shotgun, while drawing your Glock and letting him have some of that too!

2. The issue of whether to use an evil, pre-ban AR15 to cap your intruder as opposed to your grandfather's lever action gun -- in terms of jury perception and the like -- is really unclear.

Textbook law on self-defense says that it doesn't matter what kind of weapon you use. The question posed is: did the defendant have legal justification to use lethal force? If the answer is yes, the inquiry stops there. There is no such thing as "too much" lethal force as long as you don't injure innocent bystanders or keep shooting the guy after it's clear he's down (you may get charged with abusing a corpse :)). You could use a small tactical nuclear device or a pea shooter, it really shouldn't make much of a difference.

Now for real life -- will an unethical prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney try to use your evil gun against you? Under the law of self-defense we know it doesn't matter but we also know how much the law is followed to the letter (see the Second Amendment) in this day and age. I have seen a prosecutor make the incredulous argument (in court) that a defendant (who had attended an Ivy League university) was a flight risk because his Ivy League education made him cunning enough to evade the bail system.

So the short answer is: the law, if followed to the letter, says it doesn't matter what evil device you use to eliminate your attacker, as long as you comply with the laws on self defense or defense of others. But since we know the law is often not followed to the letter, be on guard that you may not want to use your Class III M16 with M203 grenade launcher to pop a goblin if your Mossberg 500 pump action, wood-stocked shotgun is nearby.

There is the other part of this argument, which says you should worry about surviving the gunfight first and worry about the legal battle later. I agree with this part -- if you're dead, you're not going to have to worry about getting sued!

To that end, I propose a middle ground -- don't use your M203 but don't use a single-shot 28 gauge shotgun loaded with breath mints either. :) Yes, a nice 40mm HE grenade will do wonders on a bad guy, but 12 gauge buckshot will do the job as well.

Not a legal opinion or legal advice.


Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

July 12, 2000, 11:51 AM
To answer your question: "Are some HD Shotgun ideas too far-fetched?"
In a word, YES. Regarding the SG, you'll find so many myths as it relates to HD. But everyone's entitled to their own opinion I guess. Hang around this forum, it can get quite entertaining.

"Put some rock salt in that scattergun, boy! That'll get 'em."
or, "Up close, you need birdshot my friend. Anything else goes clean through your walls and out 'da udder side."

Dave McC
July 12, 2000, 01:42 PM
Friend Justin, Murphy was a $%&*ing optimist, but....
Picture this, I'm in low ready,goblin steps out and grabs my shotgun. So, I hold on to it, as I let my knees bend in rapid genuflection,shoving the butt down,which points the muzzle back on him someplace north of his knees,and I fire. Next goblin, please.
Or do you think said goblin will holding my 250 lbs up and stopping the pivot by gripping my shotgun? If he can do that, a 12 ga will not be enough(G)...

Tango Uniform
July 12, 2000, 02:50 PM
Well, this is what I don't understand either.
If you've read Gabe Suarez's "Tactical Shotgun" (probably the most professed Holy Bible of Shotguns by shotgun owners), you wouldn't be clearing a house with your shotgun.

No, the only thing I can think of in terms of the BG really being able to get your shotgun is if you were dead asleep, lying on top of the covers of your bed, with your shotgun in your hands. THEN the BG could sneak up on you and take it. Otherwise, your ass should be behind the bed (i.e., behind cover) with shotgun, waiting for the BGs to come to you.
That being the case, I see no way the BG can take the thing from you..

Am I still missing something?

July 12, 2000, 03:50 PM
The BG is probably going to get my shotgun out of my hands if he's already holding a weapon to my kid's head/throat/etc.

At the very least I'm going to be setting it on the floor and backing up a few steps.

<Just playing devil's advocate...>


Patrick Graham
July 12, 2000, 04:11 PM
Did someone say "Pistol grips on a shotgun"?

If you had your home defense shotgun rigged with pistol grips and a long sling, and if you had that sling set so you literally carried the shotgun at your hip it would be very hard for someone to take it away.

Try it sometime, works great. It's how I have my 18 1/2" mossberg set up.


July 12, 2000, 05:16 PM
Patrick - your setup is exactly wrong for home defence.

Picture this - you pie around a corner as big BG comes around as well... He pushes the muzzle out of the way and (assume he's a BIG badguy) proceeds to slam you into the wall a few score times, using your shotgun as a lever. With you tied to it, there's little you can do. Even reaching a secondary while you're being slammed alternately into the wall and into someone's fist is questionable.

Think about it.

July 12, 2000, 05:32 PM

I agree that the semi-speed rock retention technique with a shotgun in low ready is definitely a viable alternative. However, I meant indoor low ready, which (see the pictures in Jim Crews's "Urban Carbine") means the shotgun barrel is virtually alongside your support side leg or (for some people who prefer it) pointed at the ground between your legs. In such a situation, getting the muzzle on the goblin will be very difficult if he jumps you from close distances.

In very cramped quarters, standard low ready (as opposed to indoor low ready) will project your shotgun barrel forward of you as a (very conspicuous) target indicator and therefore may be unusable. For those of us who live in smaller apartments or for those LE/military types who must clear urbanized areas, indoor low ready may be the only option with a shotgun.


Regarding Suarez's Tactical Shotgun it is true that he strongly discourages clearing with the scattergun (at least I think he does). Handguns are much better suited for clearing.

However, we have to remember that there are certain areas of the Union where getting a handgun is all but impossible (e.g., Chicago, Washington DC) and a scattergun may be the home defender's only option. These people are barred by law from handguns and since shotguns are relatively unregulated, that might be all they can purchase.

Also, remember that quality handguns are significantly more expensive than your standard pump action defense gun. There are some individuals and families (especially those on fixed income) who cannot have the luxury of a nice $600-700 SIG or $400-500 Glock for home defense and must settle for the $200 pump action shotgun.

We know that clearing is to be avoided but we also know that if you've got to go get your kids and spouse into the saferoom, sometimes it has to be done. We know that we should avoid clearing with a long arm but then there's the people without the wherewithall or legal ability to obtain the proper weapon (i.e., a handgun) for clearing.

Therefore, I posit that weapon retention with long arms is a real possibility.


Tango Uniform
July 12, 2000, 11:26 PM
Ok, I'll concede the point on having some other family members in the house. That is a variable I did not originally express (maybe I should have). Personally, I'm single with no kids, so from *my* perspective and from the perspectives of those like me, I still don't understand why one would even think to go clearing his apartment/house while toting a shotgun. In a situation such as that, I can most definitely picture the BG taking away your shotgun.

I guess I was originally thinking that if I were alone in my apartment and heard somebody busting down the front door, I'd haul the shotgun and get behind cover, aiming the shotgun at the door of my bedroom. I honestly cannot imagine ANYbody getting one foot inside my bedroom door, much less close enough to grab my gun. Rest assured, the first body I see turning the corner is gonna get blasted. Period. No questions asked.

As to having basically 'tying' yourself to your shotgun, as was suggested by utilizing a sling.. I don't see much problem with that either. After all, I can't invision a BG grabbing the gun and using it as a lever to beat me into the wall as if this were some cheap B-movie. If that happens, why not pull the trigger? You might hit the guy, right?
True, you might hit the guy, but you might miss him and blast through the wall of a bedroom with your wife/kids/dog/neighbors and hit one of them, too.
I accept the fact that I may be assuming too much. We can ALWAYS come up with a enough 'what-ifs' that will eventually be unsolvable or unanswerable.

Ultimately, I guess my point is this:

Folks apparently seem to take into consideration several things when buying a shotgun. Semi-auto vs. pump, polymer stock vs. wood, barrel length, mag tube capacity, pistol grip vs. stock vs. pistol/stock combo.. Amazingly it seems as if this last argument (pistrol grip vs. stock vs. pistol/stock combo) is considered based NOT ONLY on comfort, reliability, accuracy, etc., BUT ALSO 'it's easier to take the shotgun out of your hand if you have such-and-such a setup.'

.... I just don't see how or why this notion should play into why you should go with one setup over another.

Thanks for the responses, guys.. You're helping me learn!

July 13, 2000, 05:35 AM
Always have a sidearm on you, as you can relinquish the long gun, draw the sidearm and shoot faster than the goblin can turn it around and use it on you. (Dependent, of course, upon the specifics of the situation.)

I prefer a standard stock over a pistol grip simply because it can be more effectively used for buttstroking (and, it makes it that much harder for the goblin to get it turned around and on target if he does snatch it.) A goop in court with a few stitches, a bad headache, and a few lumps is much less likely to land YOU in court than a body in the morgue.

But what are you doing going looking for the goblin, anyway? Hole up in the strong room w/the family, call the cops on the cell phone, and sit armed & tight until they arrive.

Shoot straight & make big holes, regards, Richard at The Shottist's Center (http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc)

Dave McC
July 13, 2000, 07:32 AM
Sorry guys, learning retention of a shotgun under those conditions doesn't pack much priority with me. Lots of bad things way more likely to happen.

Since I've tons of experience with real live felons, I doubt many of them will stick around while someone searches for them, probably armed. Any that do will be too stupid, or stoned to be very effective. Committment to a burglary isn't in the cards.

Eric of IN
July 13, 2000, 08:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 45King:

But what are you doing going looking for the goblin, anyway? Hole up in the strong room w/the family, call the cops on the cell phone, and sit armed & tight until they arrive.


There's a lot of split-floor plan houses (MBR on one end, kids BR on other) being built now. You may have to go through half the house just to get to your family to hole up. Everybody's situation differs. Im single, and live in a small apartment. Weapon retention is not really an issue, because if someone breaks in, I'm going to be hunkered down behind my bed talking to the nice lady who answers when you call 911. A friend of mine in the same situation would have to go up stairs and cross a balcony type area to get to his kids bedroom.

To answer the original question, I don't think it would matter much in criminal type court, but it might if goblin's mommy decides to sue you.

Teach a kid to shoot.
It annoys the antis.

July 13, 2000, 10:08 AM
The only advantage of a pistol grip on a full stock is that its much easier to point and shoot with one hand. This is a plus when a BG comes around the corner while your reaching for a door knob.


"In 1789, when used without any qualifying adjective, 'the militia' referred to all citizens capable of bearing arms."
Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University

July 13, 2000, 11:29 AM
I agree with the above posts to the effect that shotgun weapon retention is not much of an issue. However, I'm curious. Does anyone keep a Mossberg 590 or an old Winchester trench gun with a bayonet attached? Seems like for someone with military training on the bayonet, that would be a pretty damn formidable solution to any weapon retention problem.

FYI, the reason this question occurred to me was that I recently saw a Winchester M1897 trench gun in absolutely gorgeous condition at Patiot Arms in Brandon, Florida. I'm no expert but it looked to have the proper markings, if anyone is interested.

NRA Life Member

--G. S. Patton, Jr., Lt. Gen., USA, 6 March 1944

July 13, 2000, 01:32 PM
A bayonet is not a retention aid. It is more offensive in nature (like charging an opponent) and requires a determined attack, it is defensive only when fighting off a similarly armed opponent.

July 13, 2000, 01:53 PM
I have the Mossberg 590A1 and the M7 bayonet that goes with it. It makes a good conversation piece.


BTW, those M7 bayonets will really take a sharp edge.

July 15, 2000, 11:12 AM
I had read a post on another board (Tom Bowers) that recommended using the muzzle of the shotgun offensively instead of the buttstock (or a bayonet). One would make jabs or thrusts at the attacker's sternum, similar to making bayonet thrusts. This would eliminate the need to swing the shotgun around to use the buttstock (taking time and space) and also potentially damage the stock, bolt, or the bolt's anchoring point.

Badger Arms
July 16, 2000, 03:38 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but most home defense situations go like this:

Person awakened by unusual noise.
Person grabs shotgun behind door.
Person racks slide on shotgun.
Loud scurrying noise heard from elsewhere in house.
Person calls 911.
Only trace of burgulary is yellow wet spot on floor by point-of-entry.

I'm sorry but all this crap about retention and idiosynrasies of shotgun design ignores the basic point: the best shotgun for a particular situation is the one in your hand.

Few home intruders are burly guys trained in the art of disarming homeowners. Most are young punks looking for an easy mark. Most are deathly afraid of being SHOT. The vast majority prefer empty houses.

In the ulikely event you are confronted or confront an intruder, a short-barreled standard stocked weapon stops the argument quickly.

The most effective weapon in this situation is the mind. Be willing and ready to KILL the person entering your house... After all, the only reason to shoot is to protect your life. The most effective way to disable is to cut off the blood flow to the brain. Make sure you aren't shooting your mate, a child, a friend of a child, or anybody else who has access to the house.

Badger Arms
July 16, 2000, 03:44 PM
Forgot to add this... Bayonet idea is great. Bayonets certainly would scare the intruder. However, in the unlikely but possible event that you shoot and kill your attacker, the American legal system might look at you differently if you killed him with an "assault shotgun." If you doubt me, think about who our commander in chief is. People on your jury voted for him. Picture the Simpson Defense team parading the Winchester Trench shotgun in front of the jury. If your bayonet wasn't on there, I'd bet they have one on for the cameras.