View Full Version : Questions about shotgun combat shooting matches

October 6, 2002, 10:17 PM
I haven't attended a combat match were shotguns were used, but I have read about them several places.

One thing ALWAYS puzzles me. Why does the range get to tell the shooter what to shoot (ie buck or slugs) for anything other than safety concerns?

There are lots of different techniques for shotgun loading. From using slugs for everything, to "candy cain" loading slug/buck/slug/buck; to one or two rounds of bird followed by one or two rounds of buck followed by slug.

I would think if the shooters were allowed to used their own plans with certain minimums (ie birdshot not counted as effective @ 50 yards, powerfloor minimums) we might actually learn something about pros and cons of different ammo combo's.

I think that a slug only gun has something going for it for trunk/squad car carry. Specifically a rifled semi auto with Barnes X hp since they seem to have enough accruacy for most police sniper shots (ie under 75 yards) so they should provide enough precision and range for most situations. And since they expand to almost 1.5" they don't overpenetrate as much as one might think (for long gun).

I know of some LEO's that have carried two SG's in the squad. One loaded with buck and one loaded with slugs. Stored in different locations so they could grab slug gun if they needed/had time (say for containment).

But I wouldn't want slug only for HD. Though it would work.
My HD SG has buck in mag tube with slugs on butt cuff.

Do any of the combat shoots actually run stages were you could find out what pros and cons your loading scheme gives you vs how easy or hard the stage is to shoot with the required load? It seem to me with most SG stages it is like playing golf were someone else tells you which club you have to use...and then your ranked or scored based on that. Which makes sense if it is a game, you don't want everyone to get perfect scores when playing because then nobody wins. But for actual combat you want things as much in your favor as possible.

October 6, 2002, 11:14 PM
The range gets to dictate the type of ammo because it's their range. Safety is a major factor but wear-and-tear on equipment is a biggy. Most ranges have gear built for handgun matches (USPSA or IDPA). If ya start hitting those steal targets with slugs, the life expectancey drops dramatically (welds break, plates "dish",...). Additionally, the range facility has to be taken into account: how does the impact zone change, are the back stops suitable (indoor matches), etc.

I have shot "blind stages" at local matches. They were all paper, no steal. This prevents flyback when targets are up close and damage to range equipment. Fun-fun-fun!!! You could load anyway you wanted. There was lots of taping and replacing targets. It's up to the stage designer/match director to setup (feel free to make suggests and help build a stage, they'll probably welcome it).

Side bar: It worked out that a tube of bird or buck with a few slugs ready for quick access (and more bird or buck available) was the ticket. With all slugs, you may as well have brought out a semi-auto rifle.

October 7, 2002, 11:56 AM
A couple of reasons; one, if you're shooting at paper targets, using slugs makes it quick and easy to score, two, if you're using steel "knock-over" targets, a lot of them won't stand up to repeated slug hits, so the match doesn't want to cause unnecessary range equipment damage.