View Full Version : Theoretical exercise: Lets design the perfect "serious social" shotgun

June 26, 2002, 09:55 PM
I was giving this some thought today. It seems to me that there are plenty of good home defense (or offense :p ) shotguns on the market. But they all seem to have some trade offs. Most of our fighting shotguns are just modified sporting guns, with a few standard additions.

I'm a huge 870 fan. For simplicty and durability I don't think there is anything out there that even comes close. I love my 870, and I've been using the same gun since I was 12 years old. But at the same time, I've come to recognize that it does have a few weaknesses.

Most of that stems from the fact that it is a basic pump action design. I love pumps, and I can shoot them very fast. But with that said, how many of us have tried to shoot prone with our pump? Or how many of us have had to shoot them from strange positions, around barricades, or from under a car? (ever have the shell fall off the carrier when pumping the gun on its side?)

Also even the best of us can shortstroke a pump. This doesn't happen very often, and I find that it usually only happens to an experienced shotgunner when they are shooting very fast under pressure, or shooting loads that are much hotter than their standard. I've done it myself, and I've seen some really extraordinary shotgunners do it once or twice. Probably not a very big problem overall, but it does happen.

On the other end of the spectrum you have semi-auto shotguns. The most common gas operated guns are the 1100 or 1187. These are softshooting, and usually reliable, but at the same time they have gotten a bad rap for reliability, and they do have a few weak parts (O rings).

The recoil operated guns like the Super 90 or 1201fp tend to have greater felt recoil due to their operation, and sometimes only work well with higher power shells, which can get costly for practice. In their defense, when they work, they work really really well.

And that is just the basic action type. Then we move into how the weapons are sighted, and how they are stocked. We have gotten into this craze that serious shotguns have to have ghost rings sights, so they are better with slugs, but I've seen way to many shooters struggling with them because the sights are too high and they can't get a proper cheek weld on the standard stock. Beads are fast, but imprecise for slugs. So whats the answer? Beats me. :)

The new Benelli M4 has got to have the goofiest stock I've ever seen. But hey, they get points for trying.

So I'm just throwing this out for discussion. Lets start with a clean slate, no preconceived notions about what a scattergun should look like or function like. What do we really want in a fighting shotgun?

June 26, 2002, 11:16 PM

1. 100% reliability
2. Unlimited capacity
3. Full, 3 round burst, semi and safe
4. Accurate to 2500 yards or so
5. Will penetrate 1" plate steel but not a bad guy or wallboard
6. Light weight
7. Low cost (gun and ammo)
8. 50-state legal
9. Can stop charging rhino with near-miss
10. Concealable while wearing shorts and t-shirt
11. Durable sights that allow instantaneous sight acquisition.
12. Recoil of .22 LR
13. Fits everyone from 4'0" to 7'5"

Oh wait, you wanted something you could actually use! :)

Actually, the above are the factors, it's just how much of a compromise you can get.

1. Reliability
2. Capacity
3. Cyclic rate
4. Accuracy
5. Enough penetration to do the job but not too much
6. Weight
7. Cost
8. Legality
9. Stopping power
10. Concealability (for those states like PA that allow concealment of SBS)
11. Sighting system
12. Recoil
13. Fit to user

Let's elaborate on a few of these:

1. Reliable. Pump-type reliability in an auto, without short-shucking. I say this means a reliable semi-auto. Inertia autos don't work well when loaded down with accessories. Gas autos don't work well when not maintained -- or if it's a Remington, without that stupid o-ring. My take is to use an inertia-auto and not weigh it down.

2. Capacity: Enough to get the job done -- and also comply with the +1 rule. 5-7 rounds should do it.

3. Not much to be said here.

4. Nice tight buckshot patterns and good slug groupings. Solution? Vang Comp or Patternmaster.

5. Shotgun ammo doesn't need much help here.

6. Weight to fit the user. Lighter is better but means the gun will whomp you harder. Heavier will soak up recoil but is a PITA to lug around. Solution: moderate weight and use a sling!

7. Cheaper is clearly better when it comes to how much money you'd have to spend.

8. Shotguns are already pretty good in this respect, although the 1994 Crime Bill limited some semi-auto shotguns.

9. Shotguns are pretty good here already.

10. Not much of an issue unless you live in a state like PA that allows carry of SBSs.

11. What can you say? Most GRs are durable and allow fast target acquisition. If they are mounted too high, that must be addressed. Now if only we could do some sort of see-through setup like a flat-top AR15 with a EOTech 552 holosight and backup ghost rings. :)

12. Low recoil defensive ammo helps here -- or just go to a 20 gauge.

13. This is really up to the user. Typical line manufacturers will put out the "medium" flavor and it is up to the user to get fit to his or her gun.


June 27, 2002, 12:15 AM
Of primary importance is the gunner.

Capacity, keep it topped off.

Reliability from any position, double

All else is a compromise of most of the factors.


Andrew Wyatt
June 27, 2002, 12:56 AM
personally, I think the perfect shotgun would be an 870,1300, or 500 with a butt cuff, ghost ring sights, a good user to shotgun fit, a small tactical light of some kind, and a good sidemount sling.

a shotgun shouldn't have a bunch of crap hanging off of it.

Duke of Lawnchair
June 27, 2002, 03:16 AM

Excellent post.


June 27, 2002, 04:29 AM
I carried a shotgun in the Marines for 2 years, mine was a Mossberg 590, I actually felt good with a pump, I had very little fear it would fail since it is human powered, you can cycle a pump well past the point of dirt buildup a semi would fail.

Also with most Semis you need to press a button after you top off the rounds to make it load properly (Bernelli, mossberg,...) a pump you can top off easly with no fear of forgeting to press the button. Besides if your in a situation you need to put alot of rounds downrange fast then a shotgun is the wrong tool anyways.

Dave McC
June 27, 2002, 05:25 AM
Great thread, guys. Justin,good to see you again.

A coupla points....

First, much as I love my 870s, the fighting shotgun of the future will be a semi-auto, for the same reasons our military isn't still using 1903 Springfields.

Second, I see limited military use for the shotgun,so R&D and product development is likely to be police and civilian oriented. IOW, not much in the way of better bayonet lugs.

Third, while much ado has been made about box mags, the tube still is the best approach for compactness and ergonomics.

Fourth, the big reasons shotgun triggers tend towards heaviness, creep and so on are litigation and the simple fact that shotgunners are not demanding good,clean triggers. 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs on a trigger is safe and effective.

Fifth, The modern 12 gauge can be a bit much for some folks to control, so either reduce the gauge, or use a gas venting action to cut kick a bit.

So, here's the Dave McC Signature Model Loudenboomer of the future.

Weight, 7 to 8 lbs empty.

Length, as short as possible(within Fed regs) so 26" minimum, 32" max.

Gauge and shell length, 16-20 gauge, 2 3/4" shells.3" mags not needed for this mission.

Trigger, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs, with a sear intercepting safety, and possibly a grip safety also.Ambidextrous, of course.

Stock, straight like an AR for better recoil control. This necessitates high sights.LOP,around 12 1/2-13 inches. Good pad, of course.

Action, gas venting.Bullpup style a possibility,
polywhatever or alloy for weight savings.AN accessory rail for red dot sights or scopes.

Barrel, 18 inches, interior threaded for chokes or accessories. Mounted in action as low as possible for straight back recoil. Mount the magazine OVER the bbl.

Forearm, sure gripping surfaces, with accessory rail for mounting lights, lazers, grenade launcher(Sarcasm alert) etc.

Sights, bead with GR option,highly visible in low light and durable.

How's this sound?....

Al Thompson
June 27, 2002, 06:10 AM
I strongly agree with Dave about the 16 to 20 guage. I'd also add that the cartridge shoud be rimless for ease in feeding.

I'd like to see the basic Garand action bumped up a bit to handle the McC Special. I always appreciated the simplicty and speed of the Garand/M14 action.

Would not want the SG much bigger than an M1.


June 27, 2002, 07:10 AM
I believe ST came close with their "FBI model." I like the 870 because even morons like me can strip it and replace parts! In addition, I can whack it with a hammer and not hurt it (this is why I carry a 23 oz. framing hammer with me to the gun store--try before you buy).

Whatever magic sword you decide upon you must receive training and practice with it.

June 27, 2002, 01:06 PM
Dave, here is a question. If the weapon has an AR style stock for recoil control, thereby needing higher sights, would we still want the magazine tube on top of the barrel? This would increase the distance between the sight and barrel quite a bit.

What is the capacity limit on a semi auto with a pistol grip. (damn laws, hard to keep straight). 5+1?

We see arguments about pushbutton safeties vs. Mossberg style safeties, but if a pistol grip is used there is no reason that an ambidextrous AR style safety couldn't be used.

Is being able to switch from pump to semi operation like on the M3 Super 90, or SPAS a good idea?

How about dual switchable magazines? One for slugs, one for buck, and the ability to switch rapidly between them.

June 27, 2002, 01:08 PM
And KS, I'm not much of a magic sword fan myself. I've got quite a few various guns, but my favorite 3 are my well abused 870, my carry gun 1911 that has been scratched, dented and discolored from sweat, and a FAL built out of spare parts. :) I don't commonly hit any of them with hammers though. :p

Dave McC
June 27, 2002, 02:43 PM
Putting the mag over the bbl would increase the distance between bore and sights. As long as they're close to parallel and adjustable, no prob.

With the gas system under the bbl, it's more protected.Not by much...

A simple manual of arms beats a complicated one. Let's skip convertability for that reason.

As for dual mags, see above. I've no idea what the Fed limit is, but a single mag on the weapon I've posited here would handle maybe 6+1 at most.

Any situation that won't be handled by 7 rounds of shotgun ammo likely will not be handled by 10 or 20.

And an AR type safety should work well....

June 27, 2002, 03:21 PM
How about chroming the bore in this serious social bad boy?

June 27, 2002, 04:46 PM
I believe many of you folks are confusing the typical home defense scenario with those shooting games that have become popular.

The typical HD situation is one perp you have to face down and convince he should be somewhere else. You have no need for ghost rings, side saddles and all the other trinkets the magazines say you need.

A simple SXS with two triggers will do the job nicely. If you can't find one a Pump like the 870 with 20" bbl and no gadgets will do nicely. A defensive firearm that has to be shot a lot has failed in it's mission.

If a dirtbag is standing in your kitchen 8feet from the end of your gun and you need more than two shots you should not be holding a shotgun or any gun for that matter.

A good shotgunner doesn't need sights, not even a bead.

Military shotguns have been very simple SXS and pumps for over a century and have performed adequately.

A shotgun is NOT a rifle and we should stop trying to make rifles out of them. If you need a lot of rounds get an AR or M1 carbine.

K80's rant for this week:D

June 27, 2002, 05:34 PM
Geoff, ah but what is the fun in that? :)

Come on man, let your imagination run wild. Sure all I need is my trusty 870, but why not have something that can do more? We have the knowledge, we have the skills. Lets build more cool guns.

And I guess I look at this a bit differently in that I compete in 3 gun matches with my home defense gun. Sure I'll probably never need to fire 20 rounds in a standard defensive situation, but it doesn't hurt to have the skills and tools neccesary to do so.

Then again I can put 5 shots on 5 IDPA targets with my 870 in 2.15 seconds. I probably won't ever need to do that in real life either, but it doesn't hurt to have the ability.

So if we practice harder, and work through scenarios more difficult than anything we can reasonably expect to encounter in real life, why shouldn't we have shotguns capable of that same level?

So :p

Andrew Wyatt
June 27, 2002, 06:18 PM
I don't keep my shotgun loaded, so having a butt cuff is ESSENTIAL.
I also think that a shotgun needs to have a low sight axis so there's little descrpeancy between where the sights are pointed and where thst shot hits at close range. having a gun be pump/auto convertable is confusing and makes the gun more fragile. If you need a pump action gun, buy a pump gun.

Navy joe
June 27, 2002, 08:06 PM
870 Police, sidesaddle full of slugs, tube full of #4 buck and 00. Zippered buttbag/cheekpad (eagle industries rifle bag) stuffed full of more #4 buck allows me to have a grab and go gun with 20+ rounds on it, that's seriously anti-social enough for me. No slings, I'm not patrolling or standing watch. Transitions involve the ever popular extend arm and drop it. If I get a chance to recover it I'm sure it will suffer no ill effects to function during the fall. No lasers, no phasers, no nightvision scopes. The butt bag actually makes the cheekweld much nicer, weight of shells in it dampens recoil (Fiocchi slugs OW!) and the bag supports the underside of my forearm making the gun pretty easy to point and shoot one handed.

If you are ever bored, try tucking one hand in a pocket then load, run, hide, shoot, reload, cycle gun etc. with the free hand. Just when you think you're smart do it with the weak hand. ;)

Right now I can hold 5 slugs in 4-6" (Fiocchi Aeroslugs fly nice! Max dram OW!) rapid fire at 25 yds with the bead sight, certainly MOF (minute of felon) but I think I will try a ring rear and fiberoptic/tritium front, ghostrings work very well for me.

So basically I think I have my perfect serious SG. The chamber is loaded, the tube is loaded, no "scare the felon by racking my pump gun" crap from me. I would like to figure out an external mag cut-off for the 870 so slug/shot selection could be simplified, I can cut the tube off by restraining the shell with my finger and pushing it back until it catches the retainer again, but it takes time and finesse.

June 27, 2002, 08:11 PM
What is the capacity limit on a semi auto with a pistol grip. (damn laws, hard to keep straight). 5+1?

We see arguments about pushbutton safeties vs. Mossberg style safeties, but if a pistol grip is used there is no reason that an ambidextrous AR style safety couldn't be used.

Is being able to switch from pump to semi operation like on the M3 Super 90, or SPAS a good idea?

How about dual switchable magazines? One for slugs, one for buck, and the ability to switch rapidly between them

Capacity limit under federal law on semi-auto with pistol grip is 5 rounds in the mag tube.

Switching from pump to auto really only matters when using specialty rounds that cannot reliably cycle the semi-auto action (e.g., breaching arounds).

Dual mag tubes might be a good idea (a la the Neostad). The switch-to-slug drill is a PITA.


June 27, 2002, 08:57 PM
Butt cuffs, Side Saddles, ghost rings!

I prefer the Sicilian Style. A short barreled SXS with a shell belt around the waist. :D

All that other stuff is pure hollywood.

If you want to become proficient. Get a plain Pump and buy ammo, lots of it. The best shotgunners are the ones who shoot, a lot. Found that out the hard way when I was into competition. When I shot 3X+ a week I was a winner. When I stopped they guys who still shot 3X a week left me in the dust.

Stupid trinkets will never replace practice, you can't buy competence with gadgets, only with practice.

June 27, 2002, 10:54 PM
While competence cannot be purchased with gadgets, there are things you can't do without gadgets ... for example, see in the dark.

Also, remember the +1 rule before you dismiss extra mag capacity or supplemental shell carriers.


June 27, 2002, 11:00 PM
Add another vote for the SXS,
it seems the more do-dads and add-ons give murphys law a chance to work ;) Seems that if someone would come out with a new 12ga like the old 311R (short barrels open choke ) for under $500. it would do the trick.

Andrew Wyatt
June 27, 2002, 11:51 PM
I fail to see how a butt cuff could make the gun stop working.

Dave McC
June 28, 2002, 05:48 AM
Geoff, this is only an intellectual exercise.

I doubt that going to one of these models would make me any more effective than I am with my HD 870 or Great Uncle Salvatore's Lupara. More training and practice will.

June 28, 2002, 08:03 AM
Another vote for the sxs but designed thusly:

20" barrels, rifle sights, half pistol grip (formally known in the trade as a Prince of Wales grip, informally and coarsely known as the limp d**k grip).

The right barrel would be choked Light Modified. The left barrel would be rifled. The gun would have twin triggers and I could instantly buckshot or a slug. The ammo would be Federal Tactical 00 or 000Buck and Federal Tactical Slugs so I could get the gun with 2-3/4" chambers.

It would be a true sidelock ensuring that should a spring or firing pin break I would have full use of the other barrel. The lock would be made with coil springs which are more reliable. It would be a self-opener for those rapid reloads.

Weight would be around 7lbs and I would have a second barrel, 29 inches choked IC and Mod for upland game hunting. The longer barrels would struck thinner and weigh the same as the shorter tubes to ensure consistent balance.

The gun would come with a custom stock of fancy Turkish walnut with a very slim Silver's recoil pad. It would come in a French-fitted case with all of the accessories including a monogramed, Kevlar-lined, bathrobe with shell loops and a slight recoil pad on the shoulder. Just the ticket for those late night intrusions.

For the truly well-heeled home defender, a matched pair might be in order. You could give one to your wife or, more appropriately, train her to be your loader. ;)

This is not entirely a flight of fancy. Ugartechea in Spain makes a short barrelled rifle-sighted sxs gun for boar hunters. I'm sure they could make a similar barrel set for one of their higher grade sidelocks.

Now, all I have to do is win the lottery.:D


Andrew Wyatt
June 28, 2002, 03:46 PM
I did some more thinking on the subject last night.

I think the first step in designing the perfect surface to surface shotgun is an examination of what exactly the role will be.

since it's useless if you don' take it out and train with it, this shotgun will probably be required to make it through shotgun classes, 3 gun matches, and the like. It'll probably also get used while hunting, in addition to ventilating 2 legged thin skinned air breathers both outside and inside buildings.

as such, it should :

1. have a good sighting system. ghost ring sights, a reflex sight like the ACOG or an eotech holosight with a dual retical for shot and slugs.

2. it should be easy to reload. a detachable magazine would be best, but you can't do ammunition changes very well.

3. ammunition should be readily and easily changed to fit the situation. perhaps a detachable magazine with some kind of "slug port" on the side of the reciever where you can toss a round in that is loaded instead of the rounds in the magazine.

4. it should be compact. since this shotgun is going to be maneuvered inside buildings, it needs to be short enough that you're not banging into things.

5. it needs to be reliable.

6. it needs to be ambidextrous.

7. it either needs to have an adjustable stock or it needs to fit everyone perfectly the stock should have a recoil pad on it that's both effective and is easy to mount. 12 gauge recoil isn't bad if the gun fits you.

8. it should have a capacity comperable to most shotguns today, which is 6-10 rounds.

9. it should have a light on it.

10. it should not weigh more than 9 pounds, and it should have a giles type sling on it.

June 28, 2002, 04:06 PM
One thing I learned in my not too illustrious career as a soldier is that at night, when people are trying to whack your butt, lights are bad. Last thing you want to do is give away your position to the other side.

I do not understand the fascination with attaching lights to gun barrels.

Would not a remote source of light, controlled by the homeowner, that would illuminate the skell (s) be more efficient and less hazardous.

You know your home and it's layout better than any intruder. Using that knowledge and remote lights to startle him would be much more effective than shining a light on your gun barrel trying to find him in the dark.

And if this scenario unfolds you better be able to shoot instinctively as the ghost ring will take too long to line up.

Andrew Wyatt
June 28, 2002, 05:34 PM
the main advantage of a light on a gin is it's on the gun, and wherever the gun is, it is. It decreases liability by allowing tou to identify your target before you punch holes in it.

ghost ring sights are just as quick and more precise as a bead, and they offer the ability to hot things with slug at any reasonable range.

June 29, 2002, 11:37 PM
Benelli M1 Super 90, short barrel (NFA requirements suck), ghost ring sights, sidesaddle (despite so many people repeating that inertia-operated systems don't work with sidesaddles and light mounts, neither me nor any of my friends have ever had any problems with our Benellis with crap hung off of them)...and, my biggest bitch of all about the Benelli, make it with a steel receiver so that it is as tough as an 870.

Al Thompson
June 30, 2002, 06:45 AM
Geoff, for military use I tend to agree except for actions on the objective. For civilian use, I( want to see what I'm fixing to center punch.

The first forearm light on an 870 I saw made me giggle. I thought it was a joke. Borrowed it from a buddy and went to sleep. About two in the morning I tried it out on myself. Got up, grabbed the 870 and illuminated my self in the mirror. That Surefire did a good job of blinding me for 20 seconds or so. The new ones are even stronger.

June 30, 2002, 07:46 AM
K80, despite the pontificating of GSCs your domicile is not a free fire zone. Rule #4--drunken neighbor girls, UPS men, GFs jumping out of closets--need to tell the good guys from Charlie. Or, as TFLer Erich put it, "It's only polite to identify who you are going to shoot.":D

July 2, 2002, 07:20 PM
Or put another way: "know your target and what is beyond it".


July 3, 2002, 03:38 PM
870 with a decent carry strap set up, rifle sights, 20 inch tube extended mag. KISS right? 12 gauge naturally.

On the other hand, a robust AK action (like a saiga 12) with a tube magazine and an 18 inch barrel would be a kick in the ass. Black composite stock touch enough to club somebody with (if need be), good carry strap, tritium front sight. 12 gauge of course.

July 3, 2002, 03:50 PM
"with a tube magazine and an 18 inch barrel would be a kick in the ass."

Dr.Rob. A kick in the ass? Wouldn't that be a bad thing? :p :)

July 3, 2002, 03:52 PM
Like this?

July 3, 2002, 05:20 PM
sorry i'm getting into this so late but...

there is alot to recommend the saiga, but...wouldn't the perfect social shotgun be the neostead from south africa

bullpup design for urban/CQB handiness
twin 6 shot magazines with selective feed...slugs or buck?
pump action and downward ejection

now all we need to do is get it imported or manufactured domesticly

Andrew Wyatt
July 3, 2002, 07:43 PM
bullpups aren't really my favorite design. they leave an awful lot of the shooter exposed when firing around corners, you can't really hang much off them, and the loading port is in a hard to get to place. the neostead has too high of a sight line in relation to it's bore, and the (neostead) sight radius is laughably small.

you also can't chop the stock shorter. if you're not large like the typical south african, you're SOL.

A mossberg, defender, or 870 with a light, sidemount sling, and butt cuff is just the ticket.

July 6, 2002, 07:48 PM
I think I could make about any shotgun work, but I GOTTA HAVE one of those kevlar lined bathrobes. Still laughing on that one.

July 7, 2002, 09:34 PM
Has anyone but me ever tested weapon mounted lights in force on force? A Surefire may blind you but you KNOW where that friggin light is and it is faster to shoot at or attack (ie rush/charge) the light than it is to ID a target, with weapon mounted light, if your eyes are night adapted in the first place. Remember a goblin isn't concerned about ID of target, everything will be hostile and he can use recon by fire or suppressive fire.

And in a HOME DEFENSE situation your family is probably going to be behind you, so even if goblins shots miss you they may still hit one of yours. The light will only illuminate what it is pointed at but can be seen from anywhere.

If you need light it should be a remote source, ideally somewhere that draws fire AWAY from you for home defense. You can buy little remote switches that use the house wiring to carry signal and set up lamps all thru the house that turn on with one remote switch. Or you can get fancy and get emergency lights that use rechargable batteries but plug into AC that come on when power goes OFF. The advantage is that if power goes out [storm, goblin, fire] the lights come on, the remote switch is left in the on position and switch off to activate emrgency lights.


I have found butt cuff with slugs very handy. I keep chamber empty and 7 shot mag loaded with 5 of Fed's low recoil OO buck. If I step outside I usually switch to slug before leaving the house.

IMO the slug is better choice for dealing with big problem like deer, cattle, or other animals that have been hit by car or are trying to attack someone (I live in the country...have one friend that grabbed his SG after the bull tried to gore him). I would use a rifle but I live in the Midwest & we can see the neighbor's house unlike in the West :) Also because I live in the country it is more likely that someone shooting at people would be using a SG or 30-30 [2 most common non varmint guns] or maybe a '06

Andrew Wyatt
July 7, 2002, 11:56 PM
Remote lighting does have it's place in a home defense application, but it is no replacement for a surefire.

Remote lighting costs about twice as much as a single surefire tactical foreend light.

in a home defense situation, my family will be in the same position it'll be in every other situation, which means somewhere at random within the house.

The people tasked with home defense could (when my brother has all three kids over) possibly have to find and dispatch a bad guy in a house with up to seven people in it.

I think you can see the problem.

Andy stanford has a very good book on the subject entitled "fight at night" that's available from paladin press and www'ops.com that explains the situation in more detail.

July 8, 2002, 01:43 AM
KSFreemen said:
Rule #4--drunken neighbor girls, UPS men, GFs jumping out of closets--need to tell the good guys from Charlie. Or, as TFLer Erich put it, "It's only polite to identify who you are going to shoot."

God I wish I had the problem of having to tell the BGs from the "drunken neighbor girls" in my house..... Well there was that one dream.......

Glamdring said:
Has anyone but me ever tested weapon mounted lights in force on force?

Yes I did, doing CQB tactics tactics in a paint house. Was againts our CO, XO, and the Gunny. Gunny was laughing at the maglight taped to my paintball gun the whole time...... until we started shooting. He said he was planning to take me out first because the light would be an easy target.... but the second I came around the corner in the dark house all he saw was white... yes his eyes adapted after a few seconds, but by that time he had 2 yellow marks center mass of his chest.

A light can be a great help with proper training, and a pressure switch is almost a must. The trick is not to turn the light on till the last second before you shoot. Don't bop down the stairs shining a light in every direction, but once you see the outline of a person in the light thru a window or such hit it with the light for a split second before you shoot. Helps your aim and target identification.

Only downside I would see would be against multiple BGs, but then a muzzle flash would give your position away too so it can't hurt too much, just remember to turn the light off right after you down the guy, and make sure you don't stand in the same place, move and survey for more targets.

Glamdring, have you ever tried to get a sight picture on someone shining a light at you? Yes you could point and shoot at it, but you could do the same to a muzzle flash or sound.