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Old March 20, 2000, 06:40 PM   #1
Dave McC
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Folks, I appreciate the,uh, diversity of opinions here on this BB. And, I'm not trying to roil the waters or start any fights, BUT...

There seems to be a mindset that bothers the heckouta me.We've spent many an hour debating the merits of 870s and 500s,590, 1300s et al. We've discussed extension mags,ghost ring sights,ammo and so on until we're blue in the monitors.

But,there's been very little on tactics, and folks here seem to think that an unmodifed, just like from the factory, shotgun is little better than bare hands.
That's far from the truth...

The riot guns we use in our prison systems are what I'm trained on, no bells,no whistles, and no addons at all. They still work rather well.

Back when I was training, I'd give demos. A standard one was a 5 shot exercise, loaded 4+1, weapon shouldered, safety on. At a signal, I'd traverse 5 tombstone targets at 25 yards, getting 90% of the pellets on target or better. Timed, I could do it in 5 seconds,and some said I did it in four occasionally.

A variation,based on our qualifier had me with 4 in the weapon, start on a signal and traverse again, with a combat load for the fifth. Time, around 7 seconds.Again, 90% hits or better.

This isn't bragging. While I'm good, there's no red S on my chest,and other instructors did it also. Anyone think these times and hits are extraordinary? This was done with a stock 870, bead sight, no accessories except sling swivels.

Good form and practice are the keys, not addons and gizmos.

And maybe some of us should shift the focus to more practice and expertise and a little less on the neat toys and contraptions we can buy.

Again, not trying to fight here, but y'all seem to be good folks, but a trifle misguided.

Thanks, and looking forward to some debate here...
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Old March 20, 2000, 07:31 PM   #2
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true true can be done but that 90% hits on the target things bothers a tactical situation the 10% of shot that you lostjust cost you your farm and home and car that you worked so hard for.the district attourney is filling charges on you as we speak and klinton is feeling your pain.why not give yourself every advantage in a fight and come out on top a winner and not the loser?
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Old March 20, 2000, 08:23 PM   #3
Art Eatman
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Having watched John Satterwhite throw seven claybirds out in front of him, and hit them with seven shots from his 870 before they hit the ground, your times seem quite reasonable.

I've stayed out of many of the discussions here, solely because I'm in accord with your view. The caveat I would offer you, and under which I operate, has to do with scenario. That is, a prolonged situation with multiple bad guys in a fluid and obstructed situation. A couple of missed shots in one of those situations leads to serious problems. I believe, however, that such a scenario for a typical homeowner is highly unlikely.

Which is what makes horse races: Opinions.

:-), Art
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Old March 20, 2000, 08:24 PM   #4
Young Kiwi
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Practice counts lots, as does confidence in your firearm.

A good shooter with a stock firearm is a delight to watch.
Here's a variation of the shoot you describe and one we (a club) shoot quite often. The best I have seen it done was by a fellow shooter with a well worn Winchester 1300 (no fancy parts).

(Shot with #4's)
10 Tombstones. Start with the gun on the hip, safety off, 6 rounds only loaded at start. I watched this man fire 6, reload 4 and fire those, hit all the targets and the last shot on the timer was recorded at 7.8 seconds.
Very impressive.

I think that the gadget fixation comes about a little like mine did. You start with a stock gun, you learn to shoot it well and then you see things and meet people with additions and of course the 'fun' factor of adding bits and pieces to your favourate toy.
I use 870's. One is still stock, the other has a extended mag, pistol grip full stock, side saddle.

I think the main cause of these threads is people just like to 'play' with their favourate toy.

[This message has been edited by Young Kiwi (edited March 20, 2000).]
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Old March 20, 2000, 09:49 PM   #5
General Tso
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I guess I haven't been on the forums long enough to see that sort of attitude. I've been in on a little of the mod discussion but it didn't seem that severe to me. I didn't see anyone claiming you HAD to have a custom 870 or some such thing for it to be any good.

In general I agree with you, there's nothing wrong with a stock riot gun as it comes from the factory. Most of the guns I've had have been stock (2 Defenders, a 500, an Ithaca 37, an 870 and that stupid SPAS). Any mods I did were minimal. I had a tritium bead on one Defender which I think was nice for a HD gun. Had a side saddle on it too which again was nice for an HD gun. Other than that, the only thing I have non-standard is a full choke in my 870 and that's because the guy I got it from had it installed. I didn't go looking for one. I personally feel quite comfortable with a stock factory riot gun. Sure, I have some preferances and there's some stuff I'd like to try but they're just items of interest, not requirements. I'd feel no better armed with a tricked out 870 than I would with a stock Mossberg to be honest. Both perform the same tactical role and perform it similarly, with or without ghostrings, etc.

I suspect that one reason folks like to putz with their shotguns is that it's cheap and easy to do. Aftermarket items for shotguns are generally a good bit cheaper than many custom pistol upgrades and most are do it yourself projects. It's more a matter of the fact that you CAN do them than that you NEED to do them. It's fun to customize a gun to your own tastes and preferances.

As to tactics discussions, I dunno. I'm not a cop, I'm not issued a shotgun in the Reserves and my HD situation is pretty basic, I'm looking at a static defense. While I'm sure learning some advanced tactics wouldn't hurt I just don't use shotguns for serious enough purposes to get really wound up over it. I feel competant with one and in my situation that's probably good enough. I'm not putting myself in a situation where I feel I need police or military tactical training on them. I'd feel disingenious talking about an issue I don't really have much experience about. Ask me about shootig milk jugs or steel plates though and I'll tell you all about that! I suspect a lot of folks here are in the same boat.

I shoot .12's a lot because I like to blast jugs and stuff wth them. I also use a pump 97 in CAS competition. Neither requires that much in the way of "tactical" training I'm pretty fast and accurate engaging multiple targets from both sorts of practice. My shotgun times are always very good and I don't think I've missed or failed to knockdown a target yet in the year or so I've been shooting competition. I use game loads, not traploads and that's usually what I practice with too in addition to slugs and some occasional buck. In the house I use #6 or #4 shot generally. Presumably some of this practice would still carry over to a defense situation though.

I dunno, I guess I just don't get your gripe. So some people want to modify their guns. So what? Lot's of guys customize their pistols too. I don't think that the fact that you want a personalized gun or like ghost rings over a bead etc means you think it's a supergun. If people were argueing that you HAD to have those things I'd agree with you, but if just that they want them I don't get the beef. To each his own. I kinda though the whole point of the forum was to discuss firearms and what we can do with them

If you aren't seeing as much discussion of tactics here then start some posts of your own on the subject. I'm sure other's will gravitate towards them, but don't get mad because you have a forum full of gun buffs who LIKE to sit around and talk about guns! Remember, most of us here are probably enthusiests and hobbiests, not cops or soldiers. For you the interest is tactics, for some it's just the gear itself. There's nothing wrong with being in the sport just for the gadgets you know
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Old March 20, 2000, 10:38 PM   #6
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What you say has already been said ad nauseum. I don't think anyone here believes mods replace training.
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Old March 21, 2000, 03:23 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> accessories except sling swivels.[/quote]

What sling swivels did you use? I've been looking for the right sling swivel combination to give me that extra performance out of my shotgun.

All kidding aside, lots of good info. I pretty much feel that all shotguns are pretty much equal, the difference is in the operator. Somebody proficient with an 870 won't be comfortable using a 590 and vice-versa. We should all be familiar with the tools we need to use.
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Old March 21, 2000, 06:28 AM   #8
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Dave McC,
What I found interesting in your post is that at 25 yards you could get 90% of the pellets on the target. Also, that this was training for the prison system in which I assume you were employed. Now, in such a target rich environment I guess if some buck shot strikes other persons nearby it really isn't the same as the liability of collateral injuries on the city streets, is it?
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Old March 21, 2000, 07:09 AM   #9
Dave McC
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Gunmart, that course of fire was at 25 yards. NO choke/load/shooter combo I know of will put 100% of the pellets on target at that distance in a short time interval. OTOH, shooting the course at 15 yards w/ 100% hits can be done.And try shooting that course yourself and see how you and your pet shotgun stack up. And while liability is an issue in this ligitation- dependent society, survival is also.

Thanks, Art. Great minds move in parallel paths(G).

Good exercise, Kiwi. You mentioned one guy shooting it. How did YOU do on it? That's a rhetorical question. And if you didn't do so well, was it equipment or expertise that came up short? IMO the first and best accessory for a shotgun is lots of ammo and some cash for range fees. If someone is spending more on gadgets and gizmos than practice, their priorities may require rethinking.

GT,good point about the ease and lower cost of shotgun addons. IMO, lots of folks add stuff to their shotguns because, hummpphhh, they know heavy shotguns kick less. I did.

A stock riot 870(About 6lbs,12 oz) with the old 12 pellet load of 00 is not fun,even for me. But, add a Sidesaddle,mag extension and a few more shells, the tiger turns into a pussycat.

Not all my shotgun usage has been LE or HD related. But,if I miss a duck, I miss a duck. IF someone misses an armed, violent, perp, we all lose something. The bad guys win, and I've a real, gut deep problem with that.

Shin Tao, if all this has been discussed "Ad nauseam" why aren't the threads in the archives? And there's lots of turnover with new folks coming in all the time. Otherwise, there's wouldn't be so many repetitive threads on "500 vs 870", etc.

JCOYoung, the only sling swivels worth a darn are my Dave McC Signature models, carefully made of armory grade steel alloy and now available to the public for a mere $79.95. No checks, credit cards,cash, and money orders only. Disregard the Michael's of Oregon packaging, a mixup at the shop(G).
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Old March 21, 2000, 10:18 AM   #10
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Maybe we can take a page from the various tactics mailing lists and post a "weekly scenario" in which you would have to propose a solution, using a shotgun in a defensive role?

As for drills, we could do the same thing (kinda like your thread over on Suarez's shotgun book has good training drills. Farnam's book did not. Anyone have Louis Awerbuck's book on the defensive shotgun? That's next on my "to buy" list.

I will be at Insights's rifle class next month so maybe I will come away with some drills I can share with the group. The shotgun class isn't until August.


Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Old March 21, 2000, 10:49 AM   #11
Dave McC
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TUC, I spent many an hour in Federal Court getting sued for denying inmates their rights. They never won but a day away from the prison and chance to gitover was reward enough for them to keep trying.

A stray pellet would be easy money for an inmate unless the State could PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt he was involved in something requiring Deadly Force to stop. Other matters here would involve all your training records getting scrutinized microscopically by folks who haven't the faintest idea about real shootings.
Correctional shootings are investigated thoroughly, probably more so than most street shootings.

Good idea, Justin. Some years back, on the old Prodigy Shooting Sports BB, writer Dean Speir ran a series of scenarios that everyone was invited to chip in on resolving.

Maybe we can come up with something similiar.
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Old March 22, 2000, 04:17 AM   #12
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I've been using my 12ga S+W 916 Stainless Riot pump for better than 17 years with zero mods. My shot placement parrots the 90% mentioned earlier and as a homeowner, I can live with that! And it's beautiful to look at too. The cylinder bore takes anything I put through it with no complaints. I've fired rifeled slugs outta my baby and taken out decent sized tree trunks with it. All in all, It is THE best home defense weapon possible.

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Old March 22, 2000, 10:14 AM   #13
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WARNING - product endorsement - WARNING

The motto of Front Sight Firearms Training Accademy is "Any gun will do, if you will."
Their focus is teaching you how to use what you have. The implied message is that you can't buy competence and ability as add on accessories; only through dilligent practice and practical training can one gain competence.

That said, I LIKE my M590 and eagerly look forward to adding several goodies to it as the budget allows.
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Old March 22, 2000, 11:37 AM   #14
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Last side match I shot with a 12 gauge i noted 2 things... I didn't miss a single target with slugs or shot, and I wasn't using a tricked out shotgun. Guess all that pigeon busting and deer chasing DID pay off. It was pretty amazing to see guys with milspec modified 590's with ghostrings and heat shield and semi autos with vang coms etc etc . MISS steels at 15 yards. Pratcice practice kids and PATTERN your gun. For the record we had two stages of fire one with slugs requiring 9 shots and a round of steels requiring 10 shots. I used a remington sportsman 12 pump (4+1) with a 21 inch deer barrel with rifle sights and a rifled tube for both stages. (too bad we don't score the targets like we do in handgun.. I think I impressed morgan with the number of heart shots) Shooting ANY "handgun" stage with a shotgun should show you if you KNOW you are going into harm's way.. take your scattergun. Its a hell of a lot of fun.

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Old March 22, 2000, 01:51 PM   #15
Dave McC
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Amen, Keifer. Technology cannot sub for expertise.

Rob,my bird/clay 870 has the following mods:
Lengthened forcing cone, stock shimmed to reduce drop about 1/2", period. Bet I could use that w/ 00 and hit any reasonable handgun qualifier with 90% or better. Bet you could too!!

Addons are fun, but a standard shotgun is a great defensive weapon, within its intended range....
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Old March 22, 2000, 03:52 PM   #16
Gopher a 45
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Ignorant question here all, but what exactly is a forcing cone? I kind of have a rough idea and I've only seen it applied to wheelguns and now shotguns, but never semiautos. Always looking to learn. Thanks.

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Old March 22, 2000, 09:30 PM   #17
Dave McC
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Ignorant questions are the ones that don't get asked, Gopher.

The forcing cone is the funnel ahead of the chamber that squeezes the load down into the bore.

Competition shooters and folks that build competition guns found that a longer forcing cone lowers the pressure spike at firing and deforms the shot less,so pellets stay in the pattern. The pattern's the same size, just more pellets. Recoil is slightly lower, but the difference is not all that noticeable.

The longer forcing cone is nothing new, Nash Buckingham was working on it well before WWII. His last AH Fox 12 effectively had NO forcing cones and shot tight patterns at long range.
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Old March 23, 2000, 01:52 AM   #18
Mr. Pub
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Dave McC:

What kind of ammunition did you use (or do they use now) at the prison. What would you recommend for self-defense?

Also do you have any thoughts on the duck bill choak that spreads the shot pattern 4 across and 1 up/down? Below is a link that shows the duck bill.

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Old March 23, 2000, 02:46 AM   #19
Gopher a 45
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Thanks sir,

That's kind of what I figured. I see now why people say that the forcing cone gets worn out and accuracy suffers (or at least the pattern). Thanks again.

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Old March 23, 2000, 06:51 AM   #20
Dave McC
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Mr Pub, the duty shotgun load was Winchester 00, 9 pellets. Sometimes a Federal load was used also. Some training was done with small shot, 7 1/2 or 8, 1 oz loads to acclimate the rookies to the 870.

Then, some genius in the administration decided that the officers needed to know how to shoot slugs.At yearly qualification, each officer had to shoot 2 rounds of slugs, no score, just shoot the things. One training officer,whose qualifications were dubious at best, bought Brennekes and was the first to try them out.Her form was not good and she screamed, and dropped the 870. The free recoil of an 1 1/4 oz, 1400 FPS in a 6lb, 10-12 oz riot gun approximates that of a 375 H&H.

The next day, the Brennekes were traded in on Winchesters.

Re duckbills,spreader loads and chokes,etc, the strong point for a shotgun in HD is the ability to dump a large amount of energy into a small area,not spread. Wide flung pellets miss and hit other things and people, while NOT adding their energy to stopping the perp.

IOW, a spreader choke/load is moving away from what we want. And gadgets can never sub for shooting skills.

As to what load to use for HD, even shells loaded with breath mints can be effective at typical HD ranges. However, that's not a recommendation for Certs and Tic Tactical loads.Pattern your weapon at say, 15 yards with various loads, including buck and go with the tightest pattern of at least 1 oz. Small shot overpenetrate less, so the use environment is different for a rural family vs an apartment dweller or urbanite.

And I would find a buck load,0, 00 or 000, htat your weapon likes,and a slug also. While rarely needed in HD, we live in perilous times,and a bit of combat ammo may be essential. Hope that answers your queries. If not, sing out.

Gopher, never heard of a shotgun forcing cone shooting out, tho I've done it on a coupla revolvers.
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Old March 23, 2000, 09:19 AM   #21
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I guess she wouldn't like 3"magnum slugs in a NEF Pardner single shot either . I bought the durn things for a Mossberg 600 (2.75" only), and it (NEF) was the only 3" gun that I had. It would clear your sinuses.
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Old March 23, 2000, 09:41 AM   #22
Mr. Pub
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Thank you for the info Dave McC.

I think that it is safe to say that you take your shotgunning seriously.
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Old March 23, 2000, 12:45 PM   #23
Shawn Dodson
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Dave McC:

What's the barrel length(s) of the shotguns used at the corrections facility you work at? Standard 18", 20" or long barreled "tower guns"?

/s/ Shawn Dodson
Firearms Tactical Institute

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Old March 23, 2000, 02:36 PM   #24
Dave McC
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At retirement, Md used 18 and 20" bbled 870s exclusively, and they went to some extended mags as I rolled out the door. I had been calling for same for ten years, but have no idea if I had anything to do with the decision. I favored the extensions as much for extra weight as extra rounds, the troops had trouble dealing with the stock 870s and a few more oz would cut the kick considerably.

When I was a rookie, there were some long barreled WInchesters for the towers. There were 12s, a few ancient but excellent 97s in inventory,and a number of 1200s. The last didn't stand up to the work. All had full length bbls and tight chokes, mostly Full and Fuller(G).

Rhese days, tower guns are 870s, usually Improved Cylinder. Towers are often more than 100 yards apart. Good thing we keep Mini 14s up there also, huh?

And Shawn, I'm past tense,retired Jan 98.

And I take living seriously and a shotgun is a dandy tool sometimes for not assuming ambient temperature. Plus, I like shotguns.

6 for sure, does your nose ever bleed when you touch off that cannon(G)?
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Old March 23, 2000, 05:06 PM   #25
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Well I own two shotguns, both of them are NOT stock.
Both are Mossberg 590's, without the ghostring sights, however one has a "Speedfeed Stock". I have recently ordered the ghostring "rear sight assembly with screws" and a new barrel with a front sight.
By the time I'm done, I'll have a M590 with ghostring sights (sans heat shield) and a M590 that I sorta tricked out. Put pistol grips and a tactical sling on it.
You know what, in the tight confines of my house, and the heavy brush behind my house, I actually LIKE it. Now don't get me wrong, one of the reasons I'm putting ghostring sights and a new barrel on baby #2 is that accuracy does come into the equation. And although I can hit a B-27 silhoutte at 15 yards with the pistol grips, if I had to take a shotgun, and my life was going to depend on that one shot I'd take the Mossberg with the sights...
But hey that M590 with the pistol grips sure is fun!
Guess I have my cake and can eat it too!
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