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Old June 9, 1999, 10:33 AM   #1
Join Date: May 26, 1999
Posts: 26
In an all-out combat situation would there be any use in trying to carry a rifle *and* a pistol-grip shotgun as a backup gun? If such a thing were attempted, how would you carry the shotgun?
Or is this just too much of a DOOM-style approach? In "Blackhawk Down" on one or two occasions, a soldier's gun is shot/broken/out of ammo. Then he reaches for his pistol. I don't have a pistol, which is why I ask this question.
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Old June 9, 1999, 08:20 PM   #2
Join Date: February 26, 1999
Location: Loveland, CO USA
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Personally, if my shotgun had a pistol grip and I didn't have a pistol, I'd sell the shotgun and buy a handgun!!
In all seriousness, I personally believe in a backup. I've read lots of opinions that you are better off carrying an equivalent weight of ammo & magazines than you are carrying a handgun. They are entitled to their opinion, but I don't agree. The nature of the world is such that the unexpected, unintended, and undesired happens at the most inconvenient time. Just a month ago I was at a gunshow where one exhibitor had several rifles that had been struck by enemy gunfire. The chance of a round disabling my rifle, running dry at the wrong time, etc. has convinced me that if possible, I would always carry a handgun as my secondary weapon.
The pistol gripped shotgun however has too much against it. It is too heavy, cumbersome, slow to reload and inaccurate to carry as a backup. If you could hit someone with it, great, but my handguns have 3-4 times the effective range at least, can be fired faster, hold more ammo and can be reloaded faster.
The pistol gripped shotgun has been glamorized by Hollywood, but has minimal practical value. Not a flame on you, just the gun.

Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal
weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the
monarch of all he surveys.
-- Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle
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Old June 9, 1999, 09:29 PM   #3
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Amazing what people can do in a Hollywood script. I should write one each time I go out shooting--maybe I'd never miss.

Back to subject--I tried the pistol grip that came with my Mossberg and tossed into the spare parts/junk bin. I would never carry such a weapon.
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Old June 10, 1999, 04:46 PM   #4
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Hi Pete,

The same thought has bounced in and out of my head for years.

Although I've never fired a pistol grip equipped shotgun, I have concluded that a custom Remington 870 using the "Witness Protection" style of pistol grips is feasible for close range tactics. These grips are available in both synthetic and wood. They duplicate the same angle of the pistol grip portion of a standard sporting shotgun stock and yield a much more friendly gun. The specific maker escapes me, but Scattergun Technologies used to utilize them on a few of their models. Perhaps they could sell you a set.

A few years ago I noticed Tex Shoemaker and Son were marketing a backpack style pouch (something like an arrow quiver) to hold a short shotgun or rifle. I think they called it the Grizzly Pack or something. You might give that a try.

With that said, as a general practice, I would not carry a pistol grip shotgun over a handgun. It is feasible, however, for situations in which you intend to do work in which a pistol gripped shotgun in trained hands can excel. Clearing a house comes to mind. Then again, one could always carry the primary rifle, pistol gripped shotgun, and a handgun...but that's another story...

Good hunting.

- Anthony
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Old June 14, 1999, 11:53 AM   #5
Al Thompson
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Hi Pete, Not sure if you simply don't have a handgun or can't get one. I would try to carry another weapon. If a handgun is not available, go with the shotgun. Try to either get a 20 or stock up on tactical buckshot. The recoil is tough. I have shot one (12) more than a bit and switched to a 20.

Give us some more details and we'll see if we can't help out a bit more.

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Old June 18, 1999, 11:34 PM   #6
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first question has gotta be, are you considering a scenario where you are defending a fixed position, fighting from a vehicle, or out on foot?

if on foot, the weight thing is going to dominate the decisionmaking, thus a handgun is the likely choice (unless you are a retired linebacker, in which case do the Jesse Ventura thing and carry a minigun).

if operating from a vehicle, a backup long gun can be in a rack, but it'd still be nice to have a gun strapped to your bod if you have to run for cover. plus, it's hard to wear a shotgun while in the sitting position.

if defending a fixed position, a shotgun *and* a handgun for backup sounds pretty good to me. work out a good sling setup for the shotgun to keep it from flopping around. use the handgun to get to cover so you can reload or transition to the shotgun.

while the old saw, "beware the man who owns just one gun" has truth to it, I sure would feel stupid while bleeding to death to have spent time and money acquiring a shotgun and not having access to it during a melee.

if you're trying to justify a new purchase, then my opinion is that a shotgun is critical life-saving equipment.

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Old June 26, 1999, 11:26 PM   #7
Join Date: February 26, 1999
Location: Loveland, CO USA
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Your pistol gripped shotgun isn't as useless as I thought. I shot an IDPA match this morning that included a shotgun stage. One guy brought a pistol gripped mossberg. He hit 1 of 5 paper targets with slugs shooting from the hip. But, when it came to the 4 clay targets and 4 steel plates, he dusted them quite handily and with as much speed as most everyone else. For those, he raised the shotgun up to eye level instead of shooting from the hip. When he shot that way, no misses. I have to admit, I was impressed! Much better than I assumed he would.
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Old June 30, 1999, 03:56 PM   #8
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Pete...Tactical Shotguns have many uses in combat. During the first World War the US Army used them to clear trenches, prompting the Germans to complain about the inhuman use of the guns. Apparently they were very effective once you got in the trench with the enemy.

During the battle of Hue City in Vietnam, the Marines found that Shotguns were more effective in the city at close range than the M14/M16's they normally carried. As the Marines normally don't use shotguns they obtained them from Army and Air Force units assigned to protect airfields. How they went about obtaining them is often a heated discussion among Viet Vets.

Most military shotguns use a full stock , as the recoil from buckshot using just a pistol grip would be quite an unpleasant experience. Many old winchester model 12's from tne First World War had bayonet lugs.

Remember when you have to carry equipment in the field weight and fatigue becomes a factor. More equipment has been thrown away by GI's and Marines than the military would like to know about! In my day as a grunt we not only had to carry our own basic load of ammo and grenades but additional smoke grenades for the platoon leader, boxes of M60 ammo for the MG teams and even on one occasion each member carried a mortar shell for the mortar crew attached to our platoon! Try walking any distance with a load like that and you quickly learn to carry as little as possible.

In combat if your primary weapon became disabled you looked quickly for another weapon, from a dead or wounded buddy or from a dead opponent, same with ammunition when you ran out. Private sidearms are frowned upon by the US military, although the German Army in WW2 often issued small pistols to infantrymen as backup weapons.
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Old June 30, 1999, 04:36 PM   #9
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For what's its worth I would never consider carrying a rifle and a shotgun at the same time (for 95% of possibilities). The extra weight/bulk makes it just to impractical IMHO. I am a big fan however of carrying a backup handgun. The great thing about carrying a handgun, in a shoulder holster for example, is that you don't tend to put it down like you do with a rifle (yeah...I hear some of you saying "I never put down my rifle";-).
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Old July 1, 1999, 09:29 AM   #10
Join Date: May 26, 1999
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Anyone know where I can find information about Tex Shoemaker's "Grizzly Pack" on the internet. I'd be interested in checking it out.
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