The class started with Jorge doing a little demonstration with it, going from shoulder carry to putting two rounds of 12 ga shotgun in the center of a 6 or 7 inch circle 6 yards away in 0.45 seconds (shooting timer). He then explained that he’s used to be sponsored by Benelli for Practical Shooting shotgun for 5 years. They gave him several Benelli shotguns which he ended up selling later, only keeping his Remington 870 which he uses as a cop. He told us of this shooting incident he was involved in. In a corridor, a partner of his literally cut a bad guy in half, a person that weighted over 200 pounds, with a semi auto 12 ga shotgun, only leaving the torso connected to the rest of the boy by a piece of flesh to the side. He’s been a cop for almost three decades and used it several times, so I see why he’s so fond of the pump action shotgun.
He shot a few bottles of water so as to give an idea of the power of each round, 9mm pistol for comparison, birdshot, buckshot and slug. He explained that 000 buckshot somewhat (but less powerful) resembles a 38special, lead round nose. He showed a 38 special gun shot wound he has in his forearm. There’s lots of good instructors out there, but few can shoot that well and at the same time have a variety of gun shot wound calibers to display in his own body. Then we tried less than lethal plastic buckshot and saw that at very close range (2 or 3 feet) it has enough force to blast through ordinary wooden doors, with enough force to produce lethal wounds on the other side.
We then went through the gear used. Since one of the disadvantages of the shotgun is that ammo is bulky, we saw several ways of carrying extra ammo, particularly in the stock holster and side saddle shell carrier. There’s also this belt carrier that holds 4 rounds. Its like a small magazine with the side opened you just grab the shells and pull them up. Loved this thing. Very fast an easy to shoot. We practiced tactical reloads, fast reloads, loading one round directly into the window and loading the rest into the tube. We practiced shooting a number of given rounds, 2 or 3 rounds, and immediately reloading after shooting so as to always have to weapon fully loaded. We shot while moving, shooting after taking a long quick step to the side. Once we were comfortable shooting and reloading, we went to transitions to the handgun. For most of us the fastest transition wasn’t anything fancy, just going for the Glock with our right hand (right hand shooters) while the left one still holds the shotgun and it naturally goes to the side of the body, in many ways similar to single hand shooting . This was much faster than using the sling at all, and I can see how in a transition were speed and pistol rounds into the bad guy are the greatest concern, this is the best option. There’s time for using the sling once the bad guy is down or you take cover. Afterwards we tried our shotguns with slugs to see their point of impact. Wish we shot a bit more with this but due to costs he didn’t ask us to bring many of these rounds.
Finally we went through a stage, running forward, shooting to a distant target while standing, another close one with a knee on the ground using cover, another one while on the ground using one of the two floor stances we saw, then going back to one knee, opening the action, removing the two shells, placing a slug in the window and shooting a target in the head with a hostage in front of it(no shoot target) This was done two at a time with identical set up targets, and similar cover setup, timing against the other guy. You’ll hear otherwise but I did not shoot the hostage, it was barely a nick, maybe 1 mm. :-) Heck, if that was a person, I would have barely touched the clothes above the shoulder. Anyway, this was a good wake up call. You have to be 100% sure of where your weapon will shoot, specially if this is your go to gun and you may end up shooting a bad guy in a hostage situation.
We shot from 10AM to 4 PM, good class. As always, its incredible the speed you develop with good training.
Lessons Learned? Forget everything you’ve seen on the net or what a few good old folks may have to say after shooting a few jugs full of water: You DON’T want to get shot with a shotgun. Even 32 gr. of birdshot will shoot you to pieces at the typical minus 6 yard range. I’ll take the word of a person that has shot a dozen bad guys with it, saw countless gunfight aftermaths, over the guys shooting a thousand bottles of water. Best ammo? In my case, in my home shotgun, the first round in the tube magazine is n1 birdshot in case it’s a contact range shot, indoors where I don’t want to risk overpenetration in a hurry. The rest of the magazine is loaded with with Winchester Nº4 buckshot. The magazine is left with a “hole”, one round less than the maximum capacity. This allows me to use a specialty round if I’m not in such a hurry (LTL round, slug, etc) .
Oh, yes, one guy had a nice new SPAS 12. I’ve never seen such a useless piece of crap, so complicated to reload in a hurry, with constant failures. I kept hearing “no, you have to push this lever here” “No, I think this or that happened”. What a piece of junk. As a bonus it was ridiculously big and unwieldy, with a uncomfortable stock. As our instructor put it, only Arnold shoots well with it. When it comes to shotguns, keep it simple, Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 are tough, proven designs.
Take care folks!