27 January 2013

Thoughts on Shotguns

I think I figured out where Joe Biden got the idea that a double barrel shotgun is better than an "assault weapon" for defense, watching Matt Damon in "The Borne Identity."  Evidently when you are a specially programmed CIA assassin and all you have available is some French dudes fowling piece you are fully capable of taking on another specially programmed CIA assassin armed with a machine gun.  Only in Hollywood I guess.  Then again, in opening scenes of "The American" George Clooney was able to defeat camo'd and concealed assassins with a rifle by using his handgun, after noticing their footprints in the snow over the ice of a frozen lake (if you leave footprints in the snow for your intended victim to find, and even though you have a rifle that can take them from several football fields away, and you probably deserve to get shot by a pistol).

Here is a tip from reality, don't get your firearms tactics from Hollywood.  What looks good on screen really doesn't translate too well into reality unless the director spends a lot of money to hire really good consultants (Mark Wahlberg trained at Front Sight to prep for his role in "Shooter" despite having a domestic violence conviction), or uses active duty Navy SEALs to act out the storyline.

I'm not a shotgun man.  If you are looking for advice on shotguns, there are literally thousands of experts out there who can help you find the right scattergun for you, from trigger pull to getting a gun fitted to your particular body.  Recoil sucks.  People who claim to like recoil are weird.  A properly fitted shotgun with recoil pad goes a long way to helping tame recoil, as does proper technique.

What I do know about shotguns is what I have been trained, using shotguns for "ballistic breaching" of door hinges and locks followed by battle drill 6.

I own one shotgun, a Norinco M372 which is just a clone of the old Ithaca M37.  It is a 5 shot bottom eject pump action 12 gauge that handles 2 3/4 or 3" shells.  I got it for less than the cost of an 870, and since it is a clone getting replacement parts has been easy when needed.  I chose it because I can use it to switch shoulders and never worry about getting a spent hull to the face, which is a consideration with the M500 shotguns used by the Army.

I've been thinking about the Vice President's advice that a double barrel shotgun being "better" than an "assault weapon" for personal defense, no matter the training level of the user.  I think this advice was a deliberate choice by the VP to begin the demonization of ALL semi-auto firearms, and start planting the idea that you only need two shots (to get rid of those nasty pump action murder machines).

First off if I were going to pick a shotgun for home defense, I would likely pick a Saiga 12.  Note that the Saiga 12 is on the list of "banned" weapons as proposed by Senator Feinstein.  Why would I do that?  Because it is a semi-auto and has MUCH less recoil than a break action, pump action, or bolt action shotgun.  The Army figured out that in war, the more rounds you fire the more likely you are to stay alive (using fire to pin the enemy down while you maneuver).  This is why three Joes with Garands can out shoot four Jerry's with Mausers.  More ammo + less recoil = much more controllable firearm.

Alternative semi-auto shotguns acceptable would be Stoeger, Benelli, Winchester, Remington, and Browning.  I'm not picky.  As long as it can handle buckshot and slugs reliably it would be fine, and bottom eject is a nice feature but not a deal breaker.

However, if I were limited to a double barrel shotgun (which seems to be the goal for the anti-rights cultists), I would feel much better with 5 of them to use in a "New York Reload" fashion.  And I'd make sure my break action fowling pieces had auto ejectors.  


Anonymous said...

Yep, Shotguns got one major drawback. Range. If you must get in a shooting with one remember the 25 foot rule. You AIM the shotgun at anything under 25 feet. You run or hide if they are further away. Thats why armys use AK or AR rifles. Haveing said that I love me a 1897 winchester.I own 2 + a pre-'68-870 wingmaster.All three military Riot/trench guns. If I had to go to war? I'd grab My M-1903 ahead of any shotgun, I'd live longer.

Anonymous said...

One of the big misconceptions about shot guns, and good ole uncle Joe did not help any with this, is that you can take out a whole rank of zombies with one or two shots of 00 buck and shot guns don't have to be aimed. This is pure BS.

Take a practical shot gun course some time or have someone show you how to pattern your rounds. At household distances it will be one shot for each bad guy with 00 buck. It will be a devastating shot if it hits but you still only get one per. The shot just will not spread that much over close distances.

At seven yards you will get about a 9 inch spread, so unless you have two attackers standing close together and aim for the spot in between....you see where this is going? Given the above you can see that the guns still has to be aimed.

NOW factor in the limited ammo capacity of shot guns and you could be in some serious trouble if you have a lot of determined attackers. About the only good thing that can be said is that looking at that big hole pointing at you if you are the aggressor will be VERY intimidating. Personally I would run....but it would be very unlikely for me to find myself in such a stupid situation intentionally.

For defense purposes I'll take an AR (evil black rifle) firing a light weight bullet that most likely will not over penetrate and a, GULP, high capacity (which is really a standard capacity) magazine. Even the New York Times in a study of their much vaunted boys in blue said that in shooting situations when under stress they only achieve an 18% hit rate. Now wouldn't you like to have those those extra bullets in case of multiple attacker, misses or failure to stop some idiot hyped up on drugs?

No offense AM, but I took a tactical shotgun class at FS and one of the guys was running a SAIGA...it malfed a lot. I was using a Mossberg 500 pump gun and did just fine, even in the tactical simulator.

Somewhere behind enemy lines,
Peoples Republik of Kalifornistan

Anonymous said...

One shot or 30 is not the point. Its self defense using firearms, and with these comments these clowns are making they are opening themselves up for the interogator's question, "Can a citizen use a firearm for self defense?"

Why do you think Obama always dodges that question? Why do you think his white liberal media cultists always and I mean always avoid that question of him?

IMO opinion the utopian cult belief about guns could be broken with the right questions. But of course the Left the aggressor pushes a meme and the hang dog right just wanders off into the wilderness of minutate trying to prove they're smart. To mix metaphors in my part of the alt-right we call that "tailgating" or useless reactionary blabber. robroysimmons not another reactionary

Anonymous said...

My darling wife, a 50+ RN, wanted a shotgun of her own after shooting my 870 and her (cop) son’s Benelli M4 for a couple of years.

She purchased the 870 12 gauge and installed the Urbino Tactical Stock, a Crimson Trace green laser (due to an eye sight issue), shot shell carrier, Magpul mounts and sling, and a tactical light.

She has been practicing regularly, and she appears to have no fear of recoil even with slugs. The 870 is her primary home-defense gun, in addition to two German Shepherds. (Naturally she has her own rig to put on in a case of an emergency.)

She possesses a variety of handguns that she has mastered to shoot quite well (in my humble opinion, based on a few decades of practical shooting competition, firearms instruction and military service). She, naturally, has her AR15, which she loves to shoot more than I’ve time to travel to the range. In our family it’s her that begs to go to the range.

Her only instruction has been provided my son and I. My son runs a Violent Gang Unit and anti-terrorism training in a big city PD. He uses shotgun regularly.

The 870 was my wife's choice. We suggested, and she experimented with, many shotguns from semi-auto Saigas to Benelli to pumps to coach gun. She was pretty good shooting (slug) head shots from 25 yards with the M4, but still ended up with the heavy 870. It fits her body well, and she truly loves to shoot it.

It’s maybe a blessing that she does not know that shotguns are only for breaching doors, as one ex-special forces instructor recently informed the general public.


P.S. Maybe she is weird?
P.P.S. I'm so happy I don't live in NY.

Ultimate Ordnance said...

How about a Remington 1740? That's a double barrel: http://www.mnguntalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=26780

AM said...

Ultimate Ordnance,

I'd hate to try to clear a jam on that one.

G3Ken said...

I have a few things to point out. the first needn't even be said, but that nonsense about not having to aima shotgun is just that: nonsense.

Mark Wahlberg not only had a domestic violence charge, but he assaulted a Vietnamese immigrant in Boston that caused the guy to lose an eye. That's just a FWIW.

Hollywood advances the most absurd things, like people being thrown backwards three feet when hit by a shotgun and cars exploding when the gas tanks are shot. Some statements are equally retarded.

For example,in the first Die Hard, Bruce Willis spoke a single sentence in which all three points he madewere factually wrong. That takes some doing. He said, and I am getting as close to an exact quote as I can, " he's got a Glock which is a ceramic gun (no-steel and polymer), made in Germany (No, Austria) that can go through airport metal detectors (sure, if you leave the slide and barrel behind, rendering it useless. Hollywood virtually never gets it right.

The one exception I might make is Michael Mann's "Heat" with DeNiro, Pacino, Sizemore, and Kilmer in the great post bank robbery shootout. Ammo ran out quickly, there were frequent mag changes, generally well done and they utilized good tactics. Kilmer and DeNiro, in fact, did an excellent job utilizing "leapfrogging techniques" and good communication. The only beef I had with that one was the wound that Kilmer's character sustained. A 5.56 that fractured his clavicle (as stated by the crooked doctor, Jeremy Piven) would have caused a collapsed lung and a monstrous exit wound in his scapula (shoulder blade). As a corpsman, I witnessed a Philippine Marine who sustained the EXACT same wound that Kilmer was alleged to have had and he was in ICU for weeks and I don't know if he survived. The exit wound was enormous,and he was intubated and on a ventillator.

Fled said...

This guy above is right. A double feed or jamb in an Ithaca 37 type action is no bueno, basically turns the gun into a club unlike shotgun actions with a separate ejection port. Main problem being the gun shits where it eats. Makes it hard to do select slug drills too and the gun needs to be flipped over to press check. Nice hunting guns though and the slam fire is fun every now and then.

Fled said...

Still the best gun for pistol fights though and as my old man used to tell me "if you cant hit it with a shotgun, you should be un-assing yourself". Unless you have heavy weapons or fire support which most people outside of armed forces dont. You should always head away from danger unless you have no choice.