Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shotgun Class Yesterday.

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!



Bones said...

Re: plastic buckshot - exactly what kind of door did it penetrate. Was it the foam core/wood veneer type? I wonder what it would do to drywall at contact range?

Too bad about your hostage. I'm sure they'll recover.

Just curious: did the instructor talk about if there is ever a situation when it might be better simply to drop the shotgun? If you're out of ammo doesn't it become a liability?

Pete said...

Wow, it seems you were really impressed with your shotgun class and training and you highly appraised the usefulness of a shotgun. Some you past comments concerning shotguns for self defense were negative. Did this class change your outlook? If so, what changes would you make for your own self defense and what recommendations would you give the rest of us for incorporating shotguns in our self defense (either at home or on the road)?

EN said...

In the words of Clint Smith, "The shotgun is the only firearm that will remove flesh and bone from the 'target'". I have a lot of good weapons, but my 870 is the only weapon I'd take to a class without a backup. I'm sure they can fail, but I've never seen it. I use #7 shot in the house with six rds of #4 buck on the stock. That's my inside the house gun. If I should need more than that, and hopefully that day never comes, I keep a bandolier in my closet with 10 rds of 00 buck and 10 of slugs.

Anonymous said...

I'm very curious why he gave up the Benellis. I've lusted after their semi-autos despite owning an 870 and a Mossberg 590 (which is my primary home defense weapon). The only reasons that I can think of are financial, lower capacity, or going with the pump guns because of their longer record of reliability. For me capacity is an issue vs. the 590 but against this is the fact that, as someone who doesn't get out to the range as much as I should, the simplicity of a semi-auto and how it could be operated one handed (e.g. if injured) balance this.

Don Williams said...

I prefer 00 buck over number 4 because I think it has longer range although you lose on the pellet count.

There is body armor which can stop assault rifle rounds --but I don't think there is a fix for shotgun blasts to the thighs, groin or face.

Ferfal, did the instructor talk about how to fix a short-stroke?? --i.e, a cartridge jam caused by not fully pumping the handle on the reload? My understanding is that the best response is to slam the butt of the shotgun against the ground and pump again to free the cartridge. Also, there supposedly is a modification you can make to the feeding tab to prevent such jams.

One possible problem I've seen mentioned regarding pumps is that they can seize up if you drop them in mud and get mud into the action.

Don Williams said...

PS We had a thread a few weeks ago re swords that people could use in countries where firearms are banned.

I prefer the naval cutlass but the Roman gladius Ferfal suggested would work really well with the bulletproof tactical ballistic shields he just mentioned in the preceding thread. Those shield look like the old Roman shields.

Anonymous said...

I have an 870 pump action shotgun but it does not compare to my FN-SLP Mark 1 semi-auto shotgun. In 3 gun events I have seen Remington 1187 fail while the Benellis and FN-SLP's keep going. My shotgun instructor has worn out his 1187, and 870 but can't wear out his Benelli M2. Ask any competitor in3 gunning events and most have a Benelli or a FN-SLP Mk1

I love my semi-auto and I can send hail storm of lead to the bad guys in seconds.

Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Max years ago,we test fired his 'street sweeper' made up of m-16 parts etc.His final version was not as 'cool' looking as his prototype that looked like a M-16 with a drum..He also developed experimental loads that were very interesting.We all miss Max as he passed several years ago.


Goldsaver said...

This sword comes highly recommended. Reasonably priced at 199 and its incredibly strong and sharp. Warning, not a toy, a weapon.

Don Williams said...

Ferfal, I have an off-topic question if you have time.

The Financial Times reports today (p.16) that China is making major investments in Argentina: recent $2.35Bil purchase of Occidential Petroleum's Argentina operations , $3.1 Bil for a share in Bridas, Cnooc/Bridas partnership to buy BP's 60 percent share of Argentina's Pan American Energy for $7 bil,etc.

The BP purchase was interesting given the rumors of a British-Argentina clash last year over offshore oil deposits between Argentina and the Falklands.

There also seems to be a lot of China exploration in Argentina for mineral deposits (gold, copper, silver, lithium,etc.)

Are these ventures providing jobs and opportunities to Argentina's citizens/helping the local economy or is it more a case of Argentina's resources being sold off to foreign interests?

Don Williams said...

PS Some other Chinese investments in Argentina:
a) $10 Bil in Argentina's rail network (need for transport of soya)
b) $100 mil in Rio Negro to grow soyabeans
c) $600 million in Tierra del Fuego to exploit natural gas and produce urea fertilizer
d) Dredging for new port in La Plata
e) $80 million in Sierra Grande iron ore mine

Mark said...

Birdshot is a terrible HD round and shouldn't be used. You don't shoot to wound, you shoot to kill, and birdshot is inferior to buck in that regard. Why would you load a round that might not stop an attacker instead of something proven? That's just bad advice.

Here is a link to an article where the invader was shot 4 times with birdshot and had only minor injuries.

Mark said...

Have to add:
I realize that the birdshot will indeed work <6 yards, but why take the chance? You're pointlessly setting yourself up to accidentally short-stroke if you have to ditch the birdshot and go to buck since the attacker is 25 feet away. Even if you shoot at him with it, if you don't hit something vulnerable and he has a gun, he's going to get a shot back, and it won't be tiny pellets, it'll be a real bullet. Don't count on him being afraid because you shot at him and now you can do him in with buck. It's just such a bad idea to plan for him to be close range that I find it surprising you'd suggest it. It's like prepping because you think the power will only ever go out for 3 days max, you'd never do that, but you're preparing for a gun fight at a certain distance or otherwise your first shot is useless.

Anonymous said...

Ferfal, I've seen something related to the question of ammunition types. A web site titled "Box of Truth" has a Texan using different ammunitions. Sadly the site is very ad-ridden, but you and your readers may find the content interesting or amusing. Here's the site:


LFMayor said...

I've seen various semi-autos gum up in cold weather while deer hunting, usually due to lubricant type or over-lubrication. The pump action will work as long as your arms do. It's not as flashy or quick, but it works.