View Full Version : Training Day, Part Dva

September 29, 2002, 05:55 PM
Couple of weeks ago I sought the learned counsel of the Elders of TFL regarding a problem I was having instructing a female LEO in the art of the shotgun (and shooting in general). The gun, despite my checking of stance, grip, shoulder mount, elbows, et al was beating her to death. I had never seen a reaction like that before and was dumbfounded. Several members suggest the gas-operated self-loader. It worked!

On Sunday morning I let her hand several different 20 gauge self-loading shotguns. She went with the 21" A303. (Slung it just like I showed her, I was so proud). I threw in a couple of boxes of #6 Activ shotshells that I still had from my gunstore days in undergrad.

After going over the stance and mount again, I let her load one. BOOM! With a smile on her face, "[t]hat was much better!" Before long she was shooting multiple targets and moving well while shooting.

I do not know why I did not consider before. I thought for sure the gun I used at 9 years of age (a single shot H&R) or my heavy 870 with birdshot would just be "perfect" as learner guns. What a mistake.

With no bad habits to deprogram, she did really weapon with the pistols and shot the Glock 17 expertly. As well, she had fun with a Hungarian Kalishaklone, a couple of ARs and a Chinee Sten gun (her first full auto shooting).

My next question for the learned Elders of TFL: how do I make the transition from 20 gauge to 12 gauge? Despite her desk job, she's athletic, 5'7", and willing to learn with seemingly little fear (ever thought the shotguns last time hurt her). Any advice is appreciated!

September 29, 2002, 07:05 PM
If you have don't have access to a 12 ga. gas gun, I'd get a youth stocked 870 w/ 18" barrel, PAST shoulder shield, and leave off the magazine extension. Feed the gun low recoil buck and slugs.

Is there a reason, beyond recreation, she needs to move up to 12 ga.?

P.S. Leave out the switch-to-slug drills. That drill is a fast path to hating shotguns. But, I'm not fond of shotguns anyways :barf:

September 29, 2002, 07:20 PM
G3, I have 12 ga. gas guns, but am thinking about going right to the 870. I did not get a chance to stop by any of my regular haunts and pick up one of those PAST recoil pads. Hopefully my calendar will allow a lunch this week (yeah, right) and I can snag one.

My 870 do not have the gamey/GSC extended mags on them and have the short stocks that I prefer. Will stick to birdshot to begin with.

Yes, there is a reason why it must be the 870. The 870 is the issue weapon for the federal agency for which she (now a state LEO) is applying.

September 29, 2002, 11:26 PM
Caaalll forrrr Daavee Mac Ceee.


September 30, 2002, 12:11 AM
There are a number of ways to ease the transition.

1. GET A RECOIL SHIELD FOR HER!!! The PAST unit is pretty good, and really helps to soak up the kick.

2. Start with 12ga. reduced-recoil law enforcement ammunition (the Federal "Tactical" or Remington stuff is freely available: I have several hundred rounds on tap at the moment, which I'm using to initiate novice shooters). For about a 25% loss in muzzle velocity, you get a 40%+ reduction in felt recoil - and the stopping power is virtually unchanged.

3. Use reactive targets. I find that if novice shooters can see a water jug blow up, or a paint can jump and dance around, they enjoy the shooting much more, and tend to focus more on what they're doing to the target than on what the recoil is doing to them! :D

4. By all means, stay with a gas-operated semi-auto if one is available (and if it will cycle reliably with reduced-recoil ammo): however, if you're stuck with a pump, how about investing in a recoil-absorbing stock for her? The only one I've used is the Hogue CompStock, which I understand is now made by another company: its length-of-pull is a bit long, even for my 6' 1" frame, so it might not be suitable for her. There is another unit out there which is apparently shorter in LOP. I don't recall its name or manufacturer, but a search on TFL should reveal something - I know I've seen it here somewhere...

5. Finally, to ease the transition: how about letting her fire some heavy-recoiling loads in 20ga. before she fires the 12ga.? For example, some 20ga. buckshot or slug loads kick harder than the birdshot equivalent. If her 20ga. can handle 3" shells, try a few of those. I find that the 20ga. buckshot and slug loads in 2¾" shells kick only a little less hard than 12ga. reduced-recoil loads, and the 3" 20ga. loads actually kick harder (according to my shoulder!) than the RR 12ga. loads. In this way, you can "ease her into" the heavier gauge. (Of course, if you really want to, you can use this technique to get her into 3½" 12ga. duck loads - :eek: - but I don't recommend it!).

Well done so far! Keep up the good work.

Dave McC
September 30, 2002, 07:45 AM
Kudoes on what you've done so far, KS. May Heaven grant every neophyte such an instructor.

A coupla things....

First, get that PAST pad or its equivalent. This is the best thing for newbies since gunpowder was invented.

Second, get the stock fitted to her. You may want to consider getting a stock cut to her dimensions and then installing a Decellerator pad that's NOT sanded down to match the stock. More surface area= less PSI kick.If the toe of the pad is a bit pointed, a pass or two across the belt sander will
make things a bit more comfortable.Get the fit right with the Past in place.

Third,RR ammo is a step in the right direction, but Winchester's Super Lite ammo is even less kicking than RR.Or, if you know a reloader, ask for something like 7/8 oz at 1100 FPS. As she becomes adept, she can upgrade the ammo to duty levels.Go slow here...

Fourth, add as much weight to the weapon as she can handle. A 4 round Side Saddle is close to the COG, so handling isn't affected, but that half lb or so of weight will take off kick like nobody's business.Those 20 gauge autos weigh within a few oz of what a riot bbled 870 does, so she should be able to handle a bit more.Or use a 6 round SS, fill it with shells and then take one at a time out as her form and chops improve.

Fifth, you may want to pick up a spare mag tube spring and set up a couple of those homemade kick cutters of mine. This will duplicate the gas autos in spreading the kick out a bit and shorten the spike....


September 30, 2002, 05:23 PM

Thank you for your imput. The stocks at the agency she is applying to will not allow themselves to be cut. I will attempt to procure a PAST pad thingy. Adding weight will not be issue! I use Wilson/ST "FBI Model" with 6 round side saddle. This is the weapon that hurt her the first time. I was using shooting Remington "Dove/Quail" that you can get at Wal-Mart. Will load saddle (slugs?).

"Homemade kick cutters"? WTH?:confused: New one on me.

I was thinking of giving her one of the 870s to work out with to strengthen her upper body. Too zealous?

Al Thompson
September 30, 2002, 06:52 PM
KS, I went to a metal shop and purchased a 1.25 dia steel bar about 3 feet long. Weight is about 12 pounds. I degreased it, wrapped it in red duct tape and carry it when I walk the dog. Makes a dandy eratz firearm for strength training, which was the reason I bought it.

October 1, 2002, 01:53 AM
The only one I've used is the Hogue CompStock, which I understand is now made by another company: its length-of-pull is a bit long, even for my 6' 1" frame, so it might not be suitable for her. There is another unit out there which is apparently shorter in LOP.

Knoxx industries is now selling the CompStock. They were actually the designer of the CompStock. They sold it to Hogue and recently bought it back and are selling it themselves. According to Knoxx, the Compstock is 1/2" LOP than a standard 870 stock. Great people to deal with.

I highly recommend the CompStock. I thought it was a gimmick but bought one to try out. It really does work, cuts recoil down drastically.

Dave McC
October 1, 2002, 05:12 AM
The info on homemade Recoil Reducers can be found in old threads like "An Experiment in Reducing Recoil", KS.

Basically,it takes a spare mag spring,a couple of trash hulls filled with shot and crimped,and a few minutes of time.


October 1, 2002, 07:24 AM
Dave, ahhh, I see.

mrat, thanks for the heads up.