View Full Version : Pistol grips look cool but.........

October 12, 2001, 02:48 PM
Does anyone on this board actually own and shoot a pistol-gripped shotgun on a regular basis?
I am not talking about full stocks with a pistol handle built in but a shotgun that has no butt stock or perhaps a folder.
I am primarily interested in hearing if anyone can report that they have had good success shooting a shotgun this way, not ten or twenty rounds either. Success defined for me is being able to consistantly hit the target at let's say 15-20 yards.
I'll admit that I do not get the concept of the pistol grip since I can shoot my full-stocked shotgun from the hip if I wish and yet I can still mount and shoot with the sights. I get the impression that a lot of these shotguns that get dressed up like this wind up staying home while other more usable guns get to go to the dance.
I just can not see the sense in the pistol grip except for a Hollywood movie. Followup shots must be a real pain as well but I could be wrong. Maybe the semi's work OK and I'm thinking more along the lines of the pumps.
I have always found them to be a bit silly but I like the classic looks of a nice set of wood stocks so I'm probably not the person best qualified to comment on the pistol grip.
I would just like to read some reviews from folks who've used 'em, whether you like 'em or not.
This is kind of a post for posterity as I know that there are quite a few folks who have considered the pistol grip but are unsure of its true worth.

Cavè Canem
October 12, 2001, 03:22 PM
I never saw the point of them either except to shrink down the overall size for CC which isn't legal in most states.

I currently have a full stock with a pistol grip on my MB500a and I love it. Makes handling the gun much easier and adds a character.

Maybe if you were to carry the shotgun in a pack or something as back up you would want a pistolgrip only but I see no point.

October 12, 2001, 03:44 PM
I don't know if this is a "post for posterity" since there are already a couple of discussions about this subject here.

Do a search on pistol grips in this forum.

By the way, the general consensus is that it pretty much sucks.

October 12, 2001, 04:01 PM
Did the search. I did not find an overwhelming number of threads with the title "pistol grip" in them which is what I would look for if I was looking for this information. Digging into every thread that may have mentioned a pistol grip, while fun, is not actually the quickest way to find this info. So....... "for posterity" and for folks who may be interested in finding the information quickly, I have put the words "pistol grip" in the title of the thread. Pretty clever, huh?
Thanks for you input.

Correction: I did fine a very good thread titled "Pistol Grip Shotgun" which had a bunch of good stuff but it was fairly deep in the archives. That is the kind of title that I look for for quicky searches.

October 12, 2001, 05:33 PM
Pistol grips on shotguns look cool?!? Yikes! To whom? Gun shop commandos?

Pistol grip stink because, let me count the ways:

1. hard to aim;
2. you'll bust your face open;
3. mall ninjas love them (and should know better);
4. hard to shoot (contrary to Hollywood and gun shop commandos a shotgun does not shoot a Boulder Of Death out the muzzle);
5. It is much easier to take away.

October 12, 2001, 07:32 PM
I'm thinking about getting a factory PG for these reasons:

1) When I hike and camp, it would be a little more discreet to carry than a full size longarm. Will probably use a folding stock. If I have to use it, the lacerations in my shoulder will be minor to the chunks taken out of the BG.

2) stock PG so I can have the option of paying $15 for an AOW (14" barrel) instead of the $200 tax for a shotgun that started off with a full stock. Can always upgrade to a folding stock or full sized stock in the future, etc... IF you have the money to burn.

It's nice to have options, better to have practice.

Bottom line, I'm considering a PG for portability while camping + hiking... little cylindrical padded case, fits right in there with a tent or sleeping bag. For HD or barricade... fixed stock for sure.

October 12, 2001, 07:40 PM
KSFreeman, you telling me this doesn't look cool? ;) Though this is just 'bout the only rig I'd want a pistol grip on....


October 12, 2001, 08:48 PM
There's good reason that is a 20 ga. Dangerous to all around without bein a larger bore.

Very few can shoot one safely and even fewer can shoot one accurately. Even worse was the AutoBurgler 20, which had a flat forend. Very easy to hit somebody behind the shooter with the second shot.


Dave McC
October 13, 2001, 09:10 AM
It's been written here before, Mike, but for posterity....

in 1981, I was a Firearms Instructor for MD DOC. The Powers That Be had decreed that folding stocks were to be used in some Rapid Response vehicles and that the troops had to learn to shoot them from the hip. So, we instructors got together on the range with a couple of these and lots of ammo, and tried to figure them out.

Like others, I had been taught by a Fed Agency in how to shoot from the hip. We busted butts establishing some techniques, and then set out to teach about 300 rookies how to shoot all the weapons.

The Remington Folders were painful to shoot from the shoulder, and occasionally cheeks got cut. From the hip, most troops had more trouble qualifying, some found it impossible.

As instructors, we had to qualify to 90% or better on the course to keep our status. I did it, but it took much more work.

In the course of this, between firing some shots to test techniques, doing demos, qualifying, and then doing it again in front of another buncha rookies, I fired a coupla hundred rounds from the hip that summer, mixed 00 and light 8s. I've wrists like my blachsmith GG-Father, and they still hurt after a COF or two.

Take it from me, any shotgun I may need to use in a "Serious" role will have a full stock on it and WILL be fired from the shoulder at anything past contact distance.

If there's any further info you need, please ask...

October 13, 2001, 08:04 PM
pistol grips on shotguns are for the very few people in the world who have hands large enough to handle the recoil and any follow-up shots. So far I only know of 2 guys that fit the bill, Me and my cousin. I have large hands (size 20 wedding band) and can fire my mossberg 20 HD gun, empty the mag and hit a 12 inch gong at 25 yds every shot. useing slugs or buckshot. I do this at least twice a month.
My cousin can hit 5 out of six most of the time but his ring is only size 17.

October 14, 2001, 08:05 AM
I've posted this before, but for posterity: I can hit a soda can four times with my PG from 20-25 yards (it moves when shot). It is usually destroyed when I'm done. It takes some practice, but I think it is worth it, because I find it to be faster than my full stock SG. I don't have huge hands, I do however have strong forearms (rock climber). My palms usually hurt a little after a day at the range. I don't take it too much, because I got sick of the confrontations.

October 14, 2001, 10:42 AM
Pistol grips are like a lot of other things in the world. They tell everyone else a bunch of information about the owner without any words.

Pistol grips say one of two things:

1. I am a BG - cuz I intend to carry this weapon in a concealed manner.

2. I am new and don't know much.

Al Thompson
October 14, 2001, 12:01 PM
Or they tell a third item - could be someone who has made a choice based on their requirements.

While I'm firmly in the non-PG camp, I would not hesitate to acknowledge that they have their place.

The biggest thrust of the non-PG crowd is that you don't gain anything except portability/storage advantages. I have the pachymeyer set-up for one of my 870's. If I need to start lugging it around in the truck, I have the option to put the PG on.

I don't have Dave's extensive experiance, but I have shot a few shotgun matches with a PG shotgun. With some effort, they can be quite effective. For someone starting off, that's another hurdle they have to jump - better (IMHO) to get comfy with a standard stock.


October 16, 2001, 10:08 AM
Mo, which one an I?

October 16, 2001, 01:02 PM
Had one of my 870s fitted with a pistol grip and a 18.5 barrel, never again. One gunshop would not even take it in a trade-in, stating he was not sure if it was legal. I have a 870 with a 18.5 inch barrel for hd, but the full stock stays on.

Dave McC
October 17, 2001, 10:08 AM
Maybe we can settle this once and for all. I'm gonna take the chance of making a complete and utter fool out of myself and issue a challenge.

I'm located in Central Md. If any of the hotshots with PG only shotguns live fairly near the area,you're invited to a "Friendly" match. Using YOUR COF of choice,let's have a Mano A Mano test.

We'll shoot for score and time.High score wins, shortest time decides ties.

Targets can be plates,silohuettes, B-34s,

We'll use similiar ammo. If you use full powered buck, I'll shoot the same.

Reduced recoil buck, I'll use some Estate SWAT 00.

Light loads, I'll use a 1 oz trap load of 8.5s.

Loser buys the coffee and donuts afterwards, and the results get posted rat cheer on the BB.

All in all,it should be fun, a chance to meet some folks I've talked to over the Net, and a fun match.

Since I retired, I no longer have access to the institutional ranges I did, so it'll have to be at your facilities. I'm willing to travel!

How about it?....

October 17, 2001, 12:16 PM
I am not an expert.....but I play one on TFL

Some years back, I bought a Mossy 500 that came with an optional pistol grip.

I decided to try it out in the desert to see what it was like (just seen terminator 2 or 3 )

With full power 00buck it was pretty easy to handle (for me) but I noticed I had to aim for the bad guys feet to hit the 10ring. There was a definite tendency to aim high.

More training probably would have cured it, but I was mostly just curious.

Unless size is a big concern for some reason, I can't see the point. Unless it is carried as a seconary weapon with specialized munitions...even then I would probably lean towards a folding stock.

October 17, 2001, 03:38 PM
I plan on getting a folding stock for mine. As soon as I find a good one that I'm sure won't cut my face. Until then, I am happy, and comfortable with the PG.

Dave, you would most likely do better than me, unless you totaly screw up. Especailly after we have fired many shots, but for most HD situations, the PG works for me. If we are being invaded and I expect to take many shots, then I will put the full stock back on (which I can go rather quickly), or get out another SG to use.

October 17, 2001, 06:52 PM
i sure would like to play but we live so far apart.
I don't believe I am a hotshot but I use my pg shotgun as home defense because it fits nicely velcroed to the side of my dresser, and I feel that because I do use it for HD then I MUST be proficient with it . thats why I fire it several times a month.

I do believe that most folks would do much better with a full stock on a HD gun.

I have been a firearms/marksmanship instructor for 21 years now.

Dave McC
October 18, 2001, 06:03 AM
Too bad, guys, it'd make a great test....

October 18, 2001, 10:47 AM
where do you live in relation to I-81? if you're close enough maybe I'll stop in on ya in mid-april. Even if we only have coffee.
I go south every april and early october. it might make a long trip a little better.

old hawk
October 18, 2001, 01:40 PM
on one of my former acquisitions was a pistol gripped full stock setup,believe me i i hated it,BUT if you go to the bike shop and get the neoprene handlebar tubes that are nice and sqwaushy feeling you can slit one and tape or rubber cement iton that nasty little section behind the grip to save a few teeth from chopping your gums to ratwhiz.i sold that one off long ago to a l.e.o. who has had it ever since and liked it alot.in his off time he says its better for benching slugs at the range but me myself and i would take the standard nylon regular looking non stars wars stock anyday of the week.interesting posts tho.the neoprene trick works ok for the topfolders too.

October 18, 2001, 05:17 PM
not that we are gonna be a fielding pistol gripped shotguns this weekend but...

the MD ar15 shooters sites October shoot is Saturday at the Marriotsville AGC range

come on over & meet the gang


October 18, 2001, 08:28 PM

Here's an example of a pistol grip shotgun telling everyone "I am new and don't know much."

My best friend and I had just turned 18, I went with him to buy a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip. We took it to the local shooting range and started shooting magnum slugs through it.

After my friend shot it a few times, his hand was dripping with blood from the recoil!

So, I gave it a try. My first shot went way high, broke the wire that sends the targets back and forth and blew a large chunk out of the ceiling!

The staff at the shooting range kicked us out and told us to never bring that gun back there again. My friend sold it very soon after that.

October 18, 2001, 08:46 PM

Here's an example of a pistol grip shotgun telling everyone "I am new and don't know much."

My best friend and I had just turned 18, I went with him to buy a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip. We took it to the local shooting range and started shooting magnum slugs through it.

After my friend shot it a few times, his hand was dripping with blood from the recoil!

So, I gave it a try. My first shot went way high, broke the wire that sends the targets back and forth and blew a large chunk out of the ceiling!

The staff at the shooting range kicked us out and told us to never bring that gun back there again. My friend sold it very soon after that.

Dave McC
October 19, 2001, 06:15 AM
DZ,Saturday I'll be in NY for a family thing. But keep me posted, I like to meet the various folks I talk to.

Also, I can often be found at AGC on Wednesdays around noon, shooting trap. Same thing at PGC, on Tuesdays mornings and the occasional Friday. Ask around either place, I'm known.

Big, check your PMs.

October 19, 2001, 12:21 PM
As Mom said...you'll shoot your eye out:eek: Pistol grips stink.

October 19, 2001, 12:42 PM
gbelleh, LMAO - gawd what a story - glad it all turned out ok in the end (no one really hurt).

Truth is - myself and a friend did much the same thing when we were about the same age. Took an old double with a blow out in one of the barrels (about 1/3 of the way down) and hacked it (at 12" - yes BATF, the gun has been destroyed over a decade ago now) We also thought of the bright idea of a pistol grip.

I think we each fired it 4 times. To say the least - we learned alot. I like shoulder stocks today.

Good luck. Great story.

October 19, 2001, 09:51 PM
I bought a Mossberg Cruiser (500 w/ PG) because it was cheaper than the standard model and I was going to replace the stock anyway. I've since sold the gun but I'm gonna pick up another one just like it. I like the PG because it cuts down on size. I hate the PG because it's difficult to shoot. My solution? A top folding stock.

October 23, 2001, 06:24 PM
I had a Mossberg 12ga pump. At a show, I saw a PG and figured, why not, I'll give it a try.

After the first shot, I realized my hands are too small. In order to get my hand around the grip far enough for my finger to squeeze the trigger, I had to hold it so that the recoil was sending its force not into my arm, but onto my thumb.

For home defense, I like the idea that the BG has to get that much closer before he is too close for the shotgun. But until I can find one that I can shoot without losing my thumb a few feet behind me, I have to stick with the majority on this thread and vote against the PG.

Sergey Podgirin
October 24, 2001, 10:41 AM
I'm not a PG fan, as far as shotguns with pistol grip only prevent any precise shooting and uncomfortable with heavy loads. Nevertheless I really like folding stocks. My favorite shotguns are Remington 870 and Saiga 20K (a Kalashnikov AK in 20 gauge) and both have sidefolding stocks with pistol grips.
With my Remington I use a Butler Creek sidefolder, with which I've fired innumerous thousands of 12 gauge rounds including 3"Magnums. Of course metal folding buttstock is less comfortable when shooting than a fixed standard wood stock, but with both stocks I can hit a pepsi can at 40 yards and the speed of cycling is almost equal. In the same time I often need my Remington to be in the ready to fire position in my car or house, so I prefer folding stock to a solid fixed one.
Concerning Saiga-20K shotgun, it has an almost perfect stock for this caliber. The Saiga-12K uses the same AK-74M-type stock and it is uncomfortable when using heavy 12-ga loads. In 20 gauge most problems don't exist, so I have a perfect 20 gauge semiauto which is 24 inches long when stock folded.

Best regards,
Sergey Podgirin.

October 24, 2001, 11:25 PM
Once at fire-arms training for my first police academy (don't ask- I put myself through school then got hired by a PD that sent me through their academy) a good-ole-boy who is probably still and will be forevermore a Mall Ninja brought his trusty Mossberg Tactical Deathspewer, a VERY short barreled 12g pump gun with a pistol grip, no stock. Everyone else had standard stocked SGs, either 870s or mossbergs, with barrels from 20-28". He was blathering on about how this was a great CQB weapon and yadda yadda yadda. The old timers just nodded and smiled.

We did a few courses of fire with pistol, then did a fairly lengthy session with the shotgun, to 'acclimate' us to the weapon. We noted that towards the end the Mall Ninja wasn't maintaining a very good continuity of fire, but he was no longer running at the suck, so we counted this a Good Thing.

We then broke for lunch, and when we came back, and he had traded in his Deathspewer for his hunting shotgun. We never saw the PG-mossberg again.