View Full Version : Sidesaddle Haters Anonymous

July 16, 2000, 02:49 PM
Am I the only person in the world who hates sidesaddles?

I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with the sidesaddle. When we’re on again, it’s on the shotgun; when we’re off, it’s off. As of yesterday, it’s off; permanently this time. In theory I love the idea. I love having 6 additional rounds attached to the gun. Where the gun goes, the reload goes. In practice though, I hate it:
<LI> There was always the concern the sidesaddle would eventually make my shotgun hiccup. Over-tightening the side saddle is notorious for pinching benelli receivers and causing functioning problems, and being recoil operated, benellis can choke if they have too many doo dads hanging off of them. That said, my shotgun functioned as perfectly with the sidesaddle installed or not, but it was still a concern.

<LI> The sidesaddle was very inconvenient to use with a 3 point sling. The sling tended to lay across the shells making them inaccessible. The sidesaddle also caused the shotgun to turn when hanging at the low ready. This made the shotgun’s pointy parts jab into my tender (and flabby) parts. I decided I would rather have a sling over a sidesaddle.

<LI> With or without the sling, I didn’t care for the location of the shells. I’m so used to reaching for my belt for reloads (from pistols), that I couldn’t get used to looking for them on the gun. This is probably a training issue. I was also constantly concerned with the shells falling out from recoil.

<LI> Finally, I hated the way my shotgun handled with the sidesaddle attached. My svelte fast handling shotgun suddenly felt like it had a brick attached to the side of the receiver. This more then anything is what resulted in the sidesaddle being removed.</UL>

Am I the only person in the world who hates sidesaddles? Does anyone have any shell carriers, that are not attached to the shotgun, they will recommend? I’m leaning towards the blade-tech model seen at here (http://blade-tech.com/shell_pouch.html). I think a couple could be stowed near the gun, and placed on a belt very quickly. Has anyone used one?


Anyone worth shooting, is worth shooting twice...

Mike Baugh
July 16, 2000, 03:08 PM
I too dislike the sidesaddle . I have tried them several times and removed them after a day or two each time . They really throw off the balance of the gun and can snag easily in vehicle deployment . I use a Blackhawk shell holder on my belt . Good luck , Mike...

Badger Arms
July 16, 2000, 03:51 PM
I'd question a shotgun that would malfunction because you "pinched" the reciever too much. My Ithaca doesn't skip a beat with it's sidesaddle.

Jeff, CA
July 16, 2000, 04:00 PM
I don't care for them either. I use a butt cuff, but I only keep slugs in it, and I only use it for the slug select drill. Shot loads on the belt, for me.

If you want belt carry, try an Uncle Mike's shell belt. It's a nylon belt with about 25 elastic loops on it. It won't work as a regular belt, but you can keep it loaded, with the gun, and just throw it on if you need it.

A company called Choate www.choatemachinetool.com (http://www.choatemachinetool.com) makes an item built like a single-stack magazine that goes on your belt. Go to "shot shell caddy" in the product search.

July 16, 2000, 04:42 PM
Dorcus, if never tried a sidesaddle carrier but your reasoning for not liking them seem sound. What do you think of the stock carriers?

keep your options open &
never miss!

Al Thompson
July 16, 2000, 04:55 PM
I've used them for years and have one on my bedside gun as we speak. (Win 1300)

If I was looking at going out of the house, might be different.


Blue Jays
July 16, 2000, 09:55 PM
Good Evening Everyone-

"Hi. My name is Blue Jays. I'm not a fan of Sidesaddles." ;)

In terms of HD, a few extra shells dropped in the pocket of your shorts/pajamas generally will do the trick. Anyone looking to fight after having a half-dozen rounds shot at him is really determined!

For hunting, I think C.C. Filson & Co. makes some nice bags to hold both live and spent shells. It's worth a look.

Regards to all,

~ Blue Jays ~

July 16, 2000, 10:18 PM
Whew, I knew I wasn't alone :D

For home defense (and assuming you're using a fixed position) there is no reason you shouldn't have a whole case of shells sitting next to you. :)

I like the idea of the sidesaddle if for some strange reason you had to leave the house. But there has to be other options that don't piss me off so bad.

Steve M,
I have not used a speedfeed stock. I keep hearing that they eject rounds at the most inopportune time.


Anyone worth shooting, is worth shooting twice...

July 17, 2000, 07:49 PM
My current opinion (which may change &lt;g&gt; ) is that it's like democracy -- a terrible idea, but the best around. I've heard too many funny stories about SpeedFeed stocks, and I've used (and not liked) a butt cuff, so I'm back to a sidesaddle.

Dunno 'bout you, but there ain't no pockets in my skivvies! &lt;g&gt;

I will say that I was a lot less happy with the sidesaddle on the 500 than the current version on the 870. But then again, I was a lot less happy with the 500 than the 870...

[This message has been edited by JNewell (edited July 17, 2000).]

July 18, 2000, 12:03 AM
gee.i am glad to see so many people that hate side saddle's.i too like the butt cuff's.

erick.you are just plain wierd.that is why you like the side saddle's. :) :) :) :)

July 18, 2000, 07:36 AM
my dad had sling swivels put on his shotgun
and sewed shell loops onto a gitaur strap.
gun and bandoleir in one set. he liked it.


July 20, 2000, 07:15 PM
Fwiw,I had two Benelli's. One choked with the Sidesaddle. The other works fine with it. Go figure. Sold the first one to a friend who ended up trying one those side carrier variants that mounts on by velcro to a Velcro tape base that just sticks on the side of the receiver with adhesive. So far, no more cycling problems... Setup seems secure, so far, too. Forget the exact name of the maker, maybe Bagmaster or something like that (?). They had a table at the Gunsite Invitational Pistol Match last May.

My problem with Sidesaddles is some have loose holders. After firing a few rounds, sometimes the shells start shifting out (or at least down). I end up storing the shells base side up to avoid dropping ammo...

Is this common or did I just luck out with loose fitting holders?


Dave McC
July 21, 2000, 05:10 AM
Whatever works for YOU, folks. No Benellis here,just 870s and only one of them has a SS. No problems to report in a good 15 years of use.

Butt cuffs get in the way, a sling bandolier is bad for the reason Erick gave, and I've no experience with the Speedfeed stock.

Personally, if I am involved in an AS scenario that involves running out of what's in the mag and needing a reload, I need backup(like a heavily armed Marine platoon) more than a few more 00 or slug rounds.

An upside nobody's mentioned. My HD 870, with the 2 shot mag extension, SS,and so on, runs pretty close to 9 1/2 lbs. Recoil? What recoil?

That weight would be egregious is a quail gun, but we've different parameters here. And, few of us would have any problem using that 870 WIHTF...

July 21, 2000, 05:43 PM
Had a Side Saddle on my first Mossy - rounds kept falling out of it from recoil so I said never again. Don't want to risk it on my Benelli either - I'd rather go with a bandolier or a butt cuff.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com
www.bladeforums.com (http://www.bladeforums.com)

July 22, 2000, 06:58 AM
Saddle both my 870 and benelli both work fine though the speed of the benelli does seem to dislocate some shell downward will have to try the inside out loading. Usually use 3"15pellet on saddle and benelli never stalled. Wouldnt weight help with recoil as the gun is for all practicle purposes attached to the shooter during recoil? If the gun were put in a vice would it stall?

I like having extra for the M1 as it runs out of food in very little time.

Patrick Graham
July 22, 2000, 09:11 AM
Hmmm.. This is all very disconserting for me, a potential side saddle user. I have a an Uncle Mikes thingy on the stock and I'm not real fond of it. I was thinking about going to a side saddle, now I don't know what to do.

The elastic on the stock shell holder just seems to die. This is the second Uncle mikes shotgun shell holder I've had and the elastic decayed over time on each of them.

July 22, 2000, 07:14 PM
Thanks,guys, you've saved me a few bucks. I too was considering a side saddle, but ya'll addressed some of my concerns. Oh well, I'm sure I can find something else to spend my money on.

July 23, 2000, 04:16 AM
Hmmmm . . .

"Skivies" and home defense. No problems if you want to dispatch a bad guy in your skivies -- whatever works for you.

But make sure you have decent shoes on. Sometimes the defense gets really crazy, and you need to have something you can get seriously mobile in.

Thumbs down on the side-saddle. It gets snagged coming out from behind the seat in the truck.

--I'm looking for a decent sling swivel for the front end of a 870. Any suggestions?

Rosco Benson
July 23, 2000, 10:51 AM
I like the Sidesaddle. I've been using them since back when the shells loops were elastic. Previously, I used a Milt Sparks Cold Comfort butt-cuff. The Cold Comfort was a good solution to having some ammo on-board, but it unbalances the shotgun more than does the centrally-located Sidesaddle. For a time I used both (Louis Awerbuck told me that my 870 was "as heavy as a locomotive").

The Sidesaddle facilitates easy eyes & muzzle-on-threat-area topping off of the magazine. In my experience, both the earlier elastic loops and the current plastic ones have been adequately secure (with the rounds loaded base down). The little screws that hold the loops onto the plate can loosen, but a dab of loctite solves that. The Sidesaddle DOES interfere with carrying the shotgun in one-hand, with the hand clamped around the receiver. This isn't a problem, since one shouldn't carry their shotgun that way, anyway (it is the shotgun equivalent of "dangling" with a pistol).

I think the Sidesaddle is a useful addition to any combat shotgun.


Dave T
July 23, 2000, 01:10 PM
If the elastic on your butt stock carriers is weak or failing, the solution is the Cold Comfort from Milt Sparks holsters. I bought one at the shotgun class at Gunsight in 1982 and still use it. They lace on and can be cut to fit over your rear sling attachment. Very secure and hold seven rounds.

Dave T

July 23, 2000, 02:53 PM

I too share your experience with the side saddle. After trying them on my Benelli, my Mossberg, my 870's, I've finally come to the conclusion that that "brick" attached to the receiver just makes any shotgun too unhandy.

And you're absolutely right about the Benelli; screw one on tight enough to make it secure, and there's a good chance you'll turn an absolutely reliable semi auto shotgun into a single shot shotgun. I've observed it at matches several times.


"Happiness is a warm gun" John Lennon 1966