View Full Version : Pistol Grip Shotgun

GI Joe
November 22, 2000, 01:57 AM
I was examining one of these at a gun store recently. What is the proper way to hold it so as to minimize felt recoil and maintain good control? Also, does the felt recoil go the wrist or will it also jolt your arm back? For some reason, I have an overwhelming fear that the recoil would somehow dislocate a ribcage or something? Appreciate any advice or information. Thanks.

Eric of IN
November 22, 2000, 08:11 AM
My advice is to avoid pistol-grip-only shotguns at all cost. I don't think your ribs would really be in danger, but unless your shooting from the hip, your teeth may be.

Dave McC
November 22, 2000, 08:12 AM
Joe, darn few people can maintain good control on a PG only shotgun. I taught hundreds of rookie Correctional Officers to shoot,including PG shotguns, and found most had a harder time qualifying with them, and some found it impossible.
As an instructor, I had to qualify 90% or better to keep my certification. I did so, but it took more work than it should. And, after shooting hundreds of rounds this way in demos and qualification, any shotgun of my own will be shot from the shoulder at any range greater than contact distances.

Darn few serious WIHTF types have these PG shotguns, and while I'm no graduate of the fancy schools, I doubt any of the shotgun gurus like Cain, Smith and Saurez even teach it.

But, if you MUST have one, probably for auditioning for Miami Vice II, lean well into it,straight wrist, keep your strong side forearm parallel with the bbl, and lock your support elbow. Then, note after firing how far off you shots were, clean the thing and sell it to someone you don't like...

November 22, 2000, 08:01 PM
I have a Defender that is pistol grip only. I suggest you use light loads in one of these. I've fired it twice with 3" magnum 00 buck. Both times it sent a very sharp pain through my wrist and took about an hour to go completely away.

Johnny Got His Gun.1
November 22, 2000, 08:54 PM
I bought a Mossberg Persuader two weeks ago and love it. I discovered that holding it with the back elbow tight to the side is satisfactory for displacing the recoil--forearm, elbow, and upper arm are all in line with the barrel, and make a nice natural shock absorber. The only drawback is the wrist; at hip level, you lose a lot of up-and-down flexibility, so you do stand a greater chance feeling it there.

To build up my confidence, I tested my grip and overall hold shooting low brass 7 1/2 shot. Not bad at all. 00 buck is a bit stiff on the recoil, but 1 oz. slugs are fun, albeit, full of punch.

Dave McC
November 23, 2000, 06:32 AM
You guys with the PG only shotguns, try this...

Run a drill,darn near any drill, for both score and time. Use both your PG shotgun of choice and the same model with a standard stock. Compare scores and times, and then figure out if you REALLY want to handicap yourself that much.

And this is an educated opinion. I fired hundreds of rounds from PG and folder shotguns as part of my duties for a few years. Even after continuous practice, I still did better with a standard 870, and so did everyone else.

Patrick Graham
November 23, 2000, 09:59 AM
Yea.. My favorite topic, Pistol Grips on a shotgun. :) :)

If you have pistol grips on a shotgun you are stuck with shooting 2-3/4" standard velocity shells, otherwise you could hurt yourself. I recommend pistol grips on the front slide and the back, better to hang on to.

Here it comes..... :) :)

In a home defense situation only:
If you are big guy pistol grips are better than a full stock in tight quarters, like a stair well, it's easier to whip the gun around. If you keep the shotgun under the bed, pistol grips are much easier to grab. If you have to operate the gun from a bed pistol grips are much better than a full stock.

Well, that's my opinion.. :)
Patrick Graham

November 23, 2000, 09:43 PM
had a moss500 with pistol grips....broke my wrist in motorcycle accident, and had to do away with it...got a pistol grip / stock combo that's works much, much better, and takes a lot of strain of my wrist...with the pg, had a real tendancy to shoot high, and forget aiming...got a rem 870 now with a real wooden stock....

November 25, 2000, 05:57 PM
Patrick described what I've described here before.
This big guy (6ft, 210lb) will be likely shooting from the hip (unless I fold out the stock) and under 10 yards - and most likely 5 yards in tight quarters, corners, stuff piled all over - from beside or behind the bed or from within a 2ft wide bathroom doorframe.
The weapon usually lies hidden *in* the bed under a pillow or beside me or next to my reading chair.

If I get out in the hallway with a 10 yard or more shot
then I'm in deep trouble for defending why I did that. But if that were the situation, then a fold-out stock or full stock would be better - for aiming and control.

As to aiming - not likely at 5 yards - about the distance from beside my bed to the entrance hall.

As to ammo - 3" magnums are entirely controllable from most any position except an over the head shot where a solid forearm hold is not likely.

Out of curiousity and due to posts here about the blood and gore resulting from shooting 3" magnums, I tried a few with a two-handed pistol grip hold. Wowser, but no worse than a hot load in a .44 magnum with Hogue grips that direct the recoil backward rather than letting the Super Blackhawk swing upward as the stock grips do.

Now if you're 5ft and 120 lbs, I would NOT recommend the above - either with the 12 gauge magnums or 44 magnums.

Dave McC
November 25, 2000, 08:42 PM
Guys, I'm 6'2", have weighed up to 290 lbs, take a size 52 Long coat, and have no compunctions about using a standard shotgun in CQB scenarios. Have done some practice stuff here at Casa McC, and some rubber room stuff back when I competed. A PG shotgun might come in handy if I have to fight in a phone booth, but I doubt that will happen.

But,you're adults, I've said my piece, the choice is yours...

GI Joe
November 26, 2000, 03:09 AM
Thanks for the replies. This may be something to have more as a novelty rather than a often-used tool. By the way, I ask about the rib problem because I am 6'4 and 135 lbs and have a history of collapsed lungs so I'm concerned that any heavy-recoiling weapon might somehow send a jolt through my chest and cause some problems. I have fired a Marlin 450 and did not find it too bad.

Al Thompson
November 26, 2000, 07:51 AM
I find that a 20 ga. works pretty well with the pistol grips. If your storage needs or tactical planning suggests a PG, think about moving to the 20. Somebody (Ayoob IIRC) mentioned that it gives about 75% of the effectiveness with 50% of the recoil.