View Full Version : Disappointments in shotgunning; ammo issues with Berttta 92; loads for 38 snubbie

Oleg Volk
March 8, 2000, 11:51 PM
Tried several 110gr loads for Taurus 85UL. I shoot them all fairly centered when rapid firing but using sights had produced a group to the right of POA. Not sure why as I used to shoot stright with it.

Green&yellow Remingtons had less muzzle flash but were also less accurate. Federal PD had more flash and better accuracy. Handloaded 125gr JSPs had no flash at all.

Got an incomplete ejection with a 115gr UMC in a Beretta 92fs. Same ammo failed to lock the slide back a couple of time last range trip, must be too whimpy to cycle the slide fully. 147gr Remingron, 124gr Blazer and 125hr Triton JHPs all fed fine and were much more accurate than generic ball.

The Winchester Lady Defender 1300 20ga came back from repairs. Now it ejects cleanly. Now for the disappointments:

- trigger requires relaxing the finger to re-set. Very unnatural for my taste, wonder if I'd prefer Ithasca 37...

- magazine is supposed to take 7 2.75" shells. That is true with some brands of birdshot but with most other ammo, incl. slugs and buckshot, #7 just fails to latch in properly. Ack, so much for truth in advertising...

- Slide does unlock after a shot but, if I do not cycle it all the way at one, required moving the slide forward before pumping.

- Crossbolt safety is shoddy and doesn't feel very positive.

- Accuracy with slugs isn't all that great...provided I did my job which isn't certain. At 15m I couldn't get slugs to come closer than just barely touching at best (Remington Sluggers) or way away from each other (Federal).

- Shot pattern seemed to be slightly left of POA. The #3 buck 20-pellet load did not pattern worth a damn (either Remington or plated Federal)...most pellets struck in clusters leaving some paper unmarked. #4 birdshot was a little better. With cylinder bore the pattern was "human-wide" at 15-18m. At 25m neither buck nor shot were dense enough to be reliable, IMO. Fortunately, I do not have rooms longer than 20ft diagonally but it did underscore the short-range nature of the beast.

With practice, I did learn to operate the gun fairly well but I would still prefer an M1 carbine or an AKM to it. Recoil is mostly a problem is proper cheek weld isn't maintained.

Reloading is also annoying because the underside of the port has some sharp edges. Hopefully six or seven rounds would be enough.

This is my second tube-fed gun (after Remingtom 11 12ga) and I am again unimpressed by the design. Waaaay too many ways in which one could dump the round instead of chambering it or jam the action. Also requires vigorous cycling which is noisy.

All in all, I do not care for the gun itself or the concept (I am sure improved proficiency would have improved my opinion a great deal) and also think that folks relying on smallshot would be better served with buck or at least larger birdshot (#4 or BBs). It is also not the kind of gun I'd recommend to newbies (a SxS 20ga or a revolver would be more like it).

Now for the good sides: trueglo sight is very nice. Ejector design is ingenuous. Recoil is brisk but not too bad. The gun isn't designed for using support for better aim but handles OK from the shoulder and points naturally from retention.

Advice on fixing the abovementioned flaws (mag capacity esp.) would be much appreciated.

Oleg "cornered rat" Volk (JPFO,NRA)


Daniel Watters
March 9, 2000, 02:30 AM
A lot of the time, tube capacity is based upon star-crimped shells instead of roll-crimped shells. This makes a difference since the quoted hull length is measured from the open/fired length instead of the crimped/unfired length.

March 9, 2000, 09:37 PM
Oleg, Slugs are a little longer than shot shells. I have the same problem with my Rem 1100. It holds 1 less slug. I would have thought that buckshot was the same length as birdshot. As far as the noise when operating the slide. There used to be a similar argument among police officers about the difference in the noise of snaps or velcro on the speedloader carrier. If you have just fired 6 rounds of 125 grain .357 Magnums no one is going to notice the difference. :) BILL

Oleg Volk
March 9, 2000, 10:34 PM
On noise, I meant that loading the chamber before the fight ought to be a quieter activity...

I found that Federal plated buck is shorter than Winchester Super X by enough to make loading all seven possible.

Dave McC
March 13, 2000, 07:29 PM
Oleg, my friend, a coupla things....

First, I've been preaching the Gospel of the shotgun as a close weapon of awesome power and immense capabilities. But, they're not for everyone.If you're happier with that M-1 carbine, so be it.

Second, expertise comes with time and experience.

Third, since your home has 20 foot shots max, try a few patterns at that distance. I think you'll think a bit better of the setup then.

Fourth, use a crockstick or a machinist's hard Arkansas stone to knock those sharp edges down. Might take 15 minutes to fix.

Fifth, baby stroking most pump guns is a mistake. They're built to function when racked hard, by someone running on adrenaline. Sure they make noise, so?....

Sixth,the trigger return spring on that 1300 may be on the light side. Your gunsmith can check it for function and install a new one if necessary.

Seventh and last, run a case of field loads through that Winchester. I'll wager the usual flagon of mead you and the 1300 are much happier with each other then. Trust me(G)....

Oleg Volk
March 13, 2000, 07:36 PM
At 20ft is patterns fine for a headshot, fits just right. What is "crockstick"?
M1 carbine is much shorter and easier to swing in confined space. I understand that 110gr at 1900fps isn't as good as 300gr at 1300fps but I am more comfortable with it.

I also noticed that the sling eyelet is on the magazine tube cap: wouldn't muzzle blast damage the sling?

Dave McC
March 14, 2000, 07:52 AM
Never had muzzle blast damage a sling,Oleg. A crockstick is a ceramic compound that's used as a whetstone or hone. They come as little sticks about pencil size. Your local sporting goods store should have them as knife sharpeners.

While an M-1 carbine does not pack the power of a shotgun, you're far from helpless with one. Good luck....