the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

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the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Dave_M » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:34 pm

A Look at the Defensive Shotgun; its Disadvantages, its Uses, and How We Make Them Work
By Donald Copp, MilCopp Tactical

There are many who tout the shotgun as the do-all of the firearms world. Many will tell you that the versatility of the shotgun is such that it can be an effective CQB weapon as well as a rifle when needed. Much of the shotgun myth has to do with the reality that for the longest time it was the standard firearm in the armory of many law enforcement personnel’s battery, right along side the double action revolver. The shotgun was perhaps chosen because everyone owned one. In a time when firearms were the normal furniture of a household, everyone had a shotgun for pest control and small game hunting. It was a natural transition for those entering the field of law enforcement since the firearm was used by so many households training with the shotgun was negligible. Even today, when the average cadet receives as much as sixty hours of handgun training, the amount of instruction given to the shotgun is a mere eight hours in many states. The problem is that those eight hours are not effective training, nor do those who use the shotgun fully understand its limitations along with the advantages of the firearm. It is still assumed that even today, the average person knows what they need to know about the shotgun. The mythology persists with that assumption and the historical allegory only adds to the myth that it is the best firearm in the hands of someone knowledgeable and determined.

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Background
Historically the shotgun holds the mythical position it does because we venerate it for the stories attached to it. One was used to good effect at the OK Corral; what they fail to stress is that the shotgun used was fired from the distance of only a few feet and both barrels were discharged into the body of Tom McLaury as he ran away. He continued to run away and died a couple blocks away from where he was shot. He did not instantly fall prostrate even with two loads of buckshot penetrating his body. As for the shotgun it was then discarded in favor of the pistol. Shotguns also rode the stage coaches of the Old West and were used by Confederate Cavalrymen. The reason held was that loaded with buckshot, you had more chances of hitting an opponent while moving, but this idea was never born out by concrete proof that we have been able to find. In addition, shotguns have ridden in racks of patrol cars and have been at the side of LEO’s since the days the lone constable walked the beat. Because of the number of people who have used them and the long history of the firearm, there are many myths that follow this venerable weapon through its history which need to be addressed and even dispelled.

Myths
One of the first myths which we need to dismiss is the one that nearly every old timer who draws breath will tell a novice shooter looking for a defensive firearm. That myth being that “all you need to do is rack a shotgun and it will clear a room because everyone knows what that sound is.” In truth, in these days of political correctness not everyone knows what that sound is and while it is distinctive, there is no guarantee that it will clear a room or that it is a fight stopper. The sound of a shotgun racking is not going to make your opponent suddenly fall to their knees quaking in fear, nor will it send the vagabond running for their lives. It might be an attention getter; however, you don’t know what your adversary’s mental conditioning might be nor what their training is. Flashing the shotgun around like a magician’s wand can lead to the same troubles faced by his apprentice; an easily remedied situation can get out of control rather quickly. The shotgun is a tool like any other and it has no magical properties.

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Another myth is the “fact” that you don’t have to aim. We can not say how many times we have heard this argument touted by the unknowing. A shotgun is a tool, like all tools, it must be used correctly to obtain the maximum effective application of its preferred use. You can not simply point a shotgun down a narrow hallway and fire, hoping to blast away all in the shots path. There is no such thing as a “cone of death” with a shotgun and anything in its path will not be obliterated, shredded, blown backwards or otherwise disintegrate into a mound of quivering flesh. Shot fired from a shotgun has a pattern and depending on the distance and the type of shot, there are gaps in that pattern. Like all firearms, you have to aim the weapon at the intended target in order for the shot to do the job intended.

“I like shotguns because they will do everything I want it to.” This statement is great if you are hunting upland birds or kicking the brush for rabbit. It’s a bad one to make for a defensive shotgun. A shotgun is not a “do all” weapon. It is a do many things, but it either does a specific job well, as all firearms, or it half-asses everything, which is where people make the mistake in using a shotgun. Before one starts rolling their eyes at this, read on for the reasons we believe this about the shotgun. For now, you must accept that the shotgun, while versatile, is simply not an ‘everything’ firearm, especially in a defensive weapon.

The final myth of the shotgun we will address; “I can load it with slugs and use it just like my rifle.” It is not a rifle. The shotgun can be used as a solid projectile thrower. But this is not what it was designed for. It has limited range as a slug thrower and requires a special (rifled) barrel to make a slug (preferably a sabot) travel any respectable distance with accuracy. As a standard out-of-the-box firearm, the shotgun-as-rifle is a poor substitute for the real thing.

Disadvantages
Okay, four of the myths have been addressed. There are more, but for the defensive purposes of the argument, we’ll limit the focus to just those. In order to proceed, we need to get really negative and talk about how a shotgun is a disadvantage to the defensive shooter. After all, like weight lifting, we have to tear the muscle down to build it back up.

While this next statement might fall into the myth category, we are going to address it here as a disadvantage. There are two parts to the statement and we will look at both. Many believe that all they need to end the fight are the limited number of rounds contained within the short internal magazine of their shotgun. After all, the shotgun is so powerful that it will stop a fight with one round. Not true, in fact, like all firearms, stopping the attack depends on the placement of the round on the target. There is no guarantee that a single round, even if of 00 buckshot, will cause enough damage to the enemy to stop their action which brought the encounter in the first place. As noted in the background section, even a double load of 00 buckshot might not be enough to keep the opponent from continuing their action. Here we must address the statement that preceded the power myth of the shotgun; the lack of the need to reload because the weapon is so powerful. In reality, the number one disadvantage of a shotgun is the limited ammunition capacity and it is not really as powerful as people wish it to be. Most shotguns are limited to fewer rounds than a well concealed revolver. Tactical shotguns with extended tubes partially rectify this drawback, but modern revolvers are capable of holding up to eight rounds in a less punishing package (We use the revolver as a comparison not because we recommend the revolver, but because it is a package that everyone can relate to and has myths of its own). Most shotguns straight from the factory are regulated to two rounds. Removing the plug can increase this to as many as eight, but the standard is four. Not only is the shotgun limited in ammo, it is also slow to reload—unless one spends hours a week practicing—and even then, a speed-loaded revolver is still a faster alternative in a defensive weapon.

What people fail to understand is that over an extended period of time, a shotgun is punishing to shoot. We have spoken with many people who like to say that they can shoot a hundred rounds in a day through their favorite birdgun. While this is fine for them and certainly increases the tolerance for the shotgun, the standard field load does not translate very well to a hundred rounds of defensive loads. A great disadvantage of the shotgun is the recoil. The standard qualification for police is about thirty rounds of full-power ammo. From experience, we can say that it is hard to get officers out to the range to qualify with this firearm because they simply do not like shooting full-power loads one right after another. Because of its recoil people do not like to train as they should with a shotgun. In order to remedy this problem, manufacturers have come out with shock absorber stocks, recoil reducers, and other gimmicks to cushion the felt recoil of the shotgun. These not only add weight to many shotguns, but they also add to cost. There have also been “reduced” loads or “tactical loads” which in reality castrates the questionable power advantage the shotgun may have within the scope of its usefulness.

Shotguns, fully loaded and tactically dressed out are heavy. A similarly set up AR15 with 30 rounds weighs less than a shotgun with seven rounds in the tube, five in a side saddle and five more in a butt stock sleeve. If you don’t think that weight is a problem, carry that shotgun all day and use it in a tactical class. Weight and the distribution of that weight are paramount for an all day hump as well as a limited engagement within the confines of a defensive battle. If your firearm is a pain to use when not stressed out, the mental attitude about that same firearm will translate to its usefulness in an excited state. You will be less likely to depend and use the weapon in the intended role, foregoing the shotgun in favor of less cumbersome weapons.


Finally, many think that the shotgun is great because anyone can use one. The problem is that the shotgun can not be used by everyone. Size and strength matter greatly when using a long arm like the shotgun. Shotgun stocks are fixed for one length of pull. They are not made as a one size fits all as most believe them to be. When properly mounted, a defensive shotgun stock is too long for the average shooter. When using a pump-action shotgun—perhaps the number one shotgun recommended by anyone—the distance of the forearm to the action may be overly long for smaller shooters which can result in short stroking the weapon or simply not having enough leverage to hold the shotgun up for aiming and operation. In addition to the above mentioned failings, the manual of arms for a shotgun is intensive. To use a shotgun is not simply a matter of loading and firing—the weapon as a defensive tool needs to be employed properly as well. There are stages in a shotguns readiness and an individual who is not familiar with the operation and ways to achieve those stages can be opening themselves up to a series of catastrophic events. Swapping out rounds from buckshot to a slug if needed, and reloading the shotgun in a manner that keeps it ready for use, are skills which require knowledge and practice.

Real Use
Now that we’ve totally derided the shotgun as a useful tool, let’s take a look at some of the things that a shotgun is good for. Admittedly, the list is not a long one in our opinion, but then as a defensive tool, the shotgun’s advantages truly are as limited as the weapon itself.

The main advantage of a shotgun is that no matter the political climate, a shotgun remains a “socially acceptable” firearm. They are not viewed (for the most part) as an evil weapon of mass destruction. In states where one can not own a standard black rifle, a shotgun is a viable alternative. Because of the years of societal familiarization with the shotgun, one can still own a shotgun and be seen as merely a sportsman, rather than a right-wing extremist bent on over-throwing the government while searching the skies for black helicopters. Having a pump action shotgun leaning in a corner is not going to send the average citizen into an apoplectic fit. Shotguns blend well into the background and are nearly invisible to the casual observer.

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[Photo by R. Sid]

They are inexpensive; Good, reliable shotguns can be bought for under three hundred dollars in configurations that are suitable for defensive purposes. Sporting shotguns can be had with synthetic stocks and they can be customized to fit the role of a defensive weapon as money and need allows. Add-ons for the shotgun are fairly inexpensive when compared to the standard black rifle and its list of accessories. In addition to the cost of the weapon, the shotgun’s internal magazine precludes the need for extra magazines, thereby reducing the cost even further. Upgrades to the shotgun can be done by any qualified gunsmith and even drop-in parts can be had. Recommended and easily installed is a tactical magazine spring and follower which can be had for as little as twelve dollars. Other upgrades will depend on the owner, but this spring and follower is simple swap and a must for a defensive shotgun.

In addition to the political and social advantages and cost, what the shotgun really has going for it is at ranges inside 25 meters, a properly aimed and fired shotgun can deliver a devastating mass of lead which can perforate a body cavity with enough holes that the body can not keep the subject from bleeding out. Multiple holes, blood loss, and shock all play into the advantage of 00 buckshot when properly delivered with well aimed fire. Of course to achieve this advantage the key is to deliver the rounds on target, quickly, and effectively. This requires that the shooter have training and practice with the weapon on a regular basis.

While not a pure positive in some respects, a shotgun can be loaded out with multi-purpose rounds that extend the usefulness of the firearm as a primary weapon. We are not talking about bean bag rounds here. We recommend that you load only one load in your shotgun, the standard 00 buckshot load. While there are many types of defensive loads out there—and some of them will certainly improve not only the shot pattern and range of the load and weapon—loading your shotgun with a standard, easily found defensive load enables you to not only use the shotgun to its fullest potential as a defensive weapon, but also is easier on the pocket book, which is one of the advantages of the shotgun to begin with. However, if you live in an area which discourages the use of a combat-style rifle or a sidearm, the use of a solid projectile such as the slug, enables the defensive shotgun to be used in the double duty of a multi- purpose firearm. Some schools of thought are to have a mix of rounds in your reload and to keep them separated by the position of the load in the sidesaddle or buttstock holder. We recommend that the slug be carried on the buttstock of the weapon, apart from the reload on the sidesaddle. This keeps the rounds separated and under stress allows you to know instantly which round you are reaching for without having to put much thought into the load.

Ammunition Selection
On the subject of ammo and its usefulness, 00 buckshot is what your defensive shotgun should be loaded with. There are people who will tell you that birdshot is the way to go due to its lack of penetration. Those people are, quite frankly, idiots. Penetration is what reaches the vitals of the target and kills. The thing to remember about birdshot is that it is limited in size and it does not expand. The small size of bird shot means that it sheds its energy quickly and will fail to reach the vital areas needed to stop the attacker. Remember; 00 buckshot is better than birdshot for defensive purposes—birdshot is a load which no defensive instructor in their right mind would recommend if they value the life of their students. With 00 buckshot you are shooting nine (the average number) .32 caliber round balls at a target. When all those projectiles are delivered on target, the results can be dramatic. While a well known agency reportedly recommends a different buckshot load, they in fact use the standard 00 buckshot load in their issued shotguns. 00 buckshot is the best round for the shotgun, and you should pattern the shot at ten, fifteen, and twenty-five meters.

All This Being Said, Here Is An Idea Of What Your Defensive Shotgun Should Look Like.

•A dependable pump or semi-auto from a reputable manufacturer.

•A defensive shotgun should have a barrel length of between 18 to 22 inches. Anything longer is a detriment to the usefulness of the weapon when handling in a defensive situation. Shorter barrels require federal permission and paperwork and while they do make the weapon handy in tight spaces, they severely limit the range of the weapons delivery.

•The shotgun needs to have a magazine tube extension and spring and follower upgrade for increasing the ammunition on hand and reliability.

•It should have highly visible sights for low light shooting and be easily seen by the eye under stress. Quality sights are a must on any firearm. A shotgun is no exception; be the choice a bead sight or ghost ring additions.

•The stock should be cut to fit the shooter. Defensive tactics require a different stance from the wingshooter and the stock needs to reflect this change in positioning.

•On the stock should be a means to carry reloads—these reloads need to be slugs if the shooter determines that they wish to use the shotgun as a multi-purpose weapon—there are various types of stock carriers and the carrier needs to be affixed to the stock in some way to keep it from moving during shooting. There are also stocks that can carry reloads within the body of the stock itself. These need to be inspected regularly after shooting for breakage and spring failure.

•There should be a side saddle on the receiver and those should be 00 buckshot and positioned for ease of loading as determined by the shooter.

•You should have a white light from a reputable manufacturer mounted on the weapon. This can either be mounted with attachments or a replacement forearm can be purchased with the light already mounted within the forearm.

•Finally, a shotgun, like a rifle, should have a sling of some sort. A sling allows the shooter to not only move the weapon out of the way for administrative reasons, but can also be used to maintain control over the weapon in close quarters. Beyond these additions, anything else is up to the shooter.

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[Photo by Mick B.]

As with everything else we advocate, whatever you buy for the shotgun, be sure that you only buy quality parts from reputable manufacturers, be they ghost rings sights or tube extensions.


Closing
Shotguns, to our mind are not the optimal tool for defense. They are however, an option which can be utilized to great advantage by the shooter provided that the limitations of the systems are understood. Because of its acceptance by mainstream society, it can serve as an innocuous defensive firearm; they are legal in every State and even with the restrictions of local jurisdictions, the shotgun can be made an effective defensive tool. If a shotgun is chosen, pick the most compact model allowable, outfit it with simple and easily obtained additions to extend the capacity, have reloads on the weapon itself, and by all means practice the use of the shotgun as often as possible. Reload from the side saddle or buttstock each time it is used to develop the skills and memory needed to employ the reload under adverse conditions. Learn how to effectively and swiftly swap out rounds if you have to force it into a multi-purpose role as a slug thrower and know the limitations of the rounds you are using as well as the advantages that can be had. Train to clear the weapon of malfunctions and know its manual of arms. As with all of your defensive weapons, train with the shotgun at every opportunity so that when the time comes you are as prepared as one can be in the face of opposition.
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Dave Merrill
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by AZMedic » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:39 pm

Thanks Dave. Can I copy and print this with giving credit to you of course for other friends and coworkers?

Edit: I mean Milcopp and whoever wrote it.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Cpt. MelonBuster » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:40 pm

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Wonderful write-up as usual. A great reference for anyone using a scattergun as HD.

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by coltm4 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:24 pm

Outstanding article. Thanks for passing on more knowledge.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Sworbeyegib » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:25 pm

Great post. This should be tagged into every new shotgun thread.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by koolaidND » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:37 pm

I like it. Finally somebody calls the bullshit flag on birdshot.


-Dave. Have you seen the new Magpul shotgun vidoes yet? If so, what is your opinion of them. I would love to take a shotgun class, but money is an issue.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Dave_M » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:04 am

AZMedic wrote:Thanks Dave. Can I copy and print this with giving credit to you of course for other friends and coworkers?

Edit: I mean Milcopp and whoever wrote it.
You can post this anywhere provided you:

Give credit to the author (Don Copp in this case)
and
Link Back to the MilCopp Tactical Fighting Blog here:
http://www.milcopptactical.com/blog.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:06 am

I agree on all points save one....

Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.

Also slugs do not "need" a rifled barrel to be accurate up to about 125 meters. I can easily shoot 4-5 moa off hand at 100 meters with Foster slugs in several different shotguns I have. This is comparable to the rifled barreled shotguns I have. This is much better range than a 00 buckshot loading. It is also about as far any slug will shoot reliably even with a rifled barrel as the drop becomes too precipitous.

In the balance the rifle is far superior for defensive uses.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Kommander » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:13 am

Blacksmith wrote:I agree on all points save one....

Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.
When I was getting my concealed weapons permit we watched some news special that had, among others, a cop that had survived a slug to the face. It wasn't pretty, but he lived. I looked on Google for it but could not find it. Ill look some more later.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by marbhán marfóir » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:30 am

Kommander wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:I agree on all points save one....

Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.
When I was getting my concealed weapons permit we watched some news special that had, among others, a cop that had survived a slug to the face. It wasn't pretty, but he lived. I looked on Google for it but could not find it. Ill look some more later.
http://www.masscops.com/f80/minn-office ... nds-41213/

this was the only thing i could find about it, and i can't find anything about whether it was bird, buck, or a slug that got to him.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:31 am

Kommander wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:I agree on all points save one....

Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.
When I was getting my concealed weapons permit we watched some news special that had, among others, a cop that had survived a slug to the face. It wasn't pretty, but he lived. I looked on Google for it but could not find it. Ill look some more later.
I could see living through a face shot... maybe. However, I was talking center of mass. So anywhere in the triangle region down through the upper groin.
Last edited by Stercutus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Einher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:32 am

Great collection of advice in one place,
Very good read.

Reinforced some good habits and has me reconsidering some poor ones.

I share the opinion that a shotgun is a valuable tool which can meet a variety of roles and functions, but it very likely will be unable to perform any of those roles as effectively as a more specialized tool with a more specialized use.

I liken it to trying to use a Leatherman or other multi-tool for something cutting wire or cable instead of wire clippers. It'll work in a pinch, but try and use it all the time for that purpose and the quality of your work will reflect the quality of your tools, which will very likely be suffering.
That's probably a poor description but it's how I internalized it.

I question occasionally whether adopting the S-12 as a defensive shotgun is stuffing a square peg into a very round hole. Some pieces of conventional wisdom don't lend itself well to magazine fed shotguns (or even autoloading shotguns), but far more conventional shotgun wisdom does apply than doesn't (IMO).

Whether Magazine Fed or Internal Tube, Pump Action or Autoloading, the shotgun remains a shotgun, and their defensive applications haven't changed much in generations (with some obvious specialist exceptions).

I still champion the shotgun, but not as a primary weapon and only where it is unjustly maligned.

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:42 am

Excellent. Thank you, Don.

I finally read it and it actually justifies everything I think about a shotgun now (in my enlightened days after spending some time on ZS). It also justifies, in whole, the shotgun that I use for HD because I am so much more familiar with this platform than with a rifle for the same purpose (yet not as much as a pistol, which for various safety reasons is actually my first line of defense).

Actually, on that note: I think a good, common-sense approach to the defensive pistol written in this same manner would be very helpful and would hopefully spread far-and-wide across the internet.

For those of us that can't use a rifle first, rifle last, and rifle always, we would appreciate an assessment of the pistol for HD that is as accurate and no-nonsense as this article is about shotguns.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Rev » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:49 am

Blacksmith wrote:
Kommander wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:I agree on all points save one....

Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.
When I was getting my concealed weapons permit we watched some news special that had, among others, a cop that had survived a slug to the face. It wasn't pretty, but he lived. I looked on Google for it but could not find it. Ill look some more later.
I could see living through a face shot... maybe. However, I was talking center of mass. So anywhere in the triangle region down through the upper groin.
Burglar was shot in the shoulder around here a while back. He was critical for a while if I remember right. I'll ask my mom if she remembers if he lost the arm or not.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by maldon007 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:28 am

Awesome post.

...should go here- http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 89&t=58787" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:D
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by nacho » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:14 am

Good article, I guess it really comes down to your surroundings and knowing what you really need.

Out here in CA where magazines are limited to 10 rounds, and properties tend to be 1/4 acre or less in urban areas rifles really become overkill as far as HD. Shotguns seem like a great tool to help defend a two bedroom house where an intruder will probably be within a few feet away. If there was someone in my back yard in the middle of the night I would much rather investigate with a 5+1 shotgun with 00 then something like a 6 shot .357 Mag.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by roscoe » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:52 am

It rarely gets mentioned, but the disadvantage is that you have to use it with two hands. For example, if you have to get your toddler out of her room in the middle of the night, you need a free hand to haul the kid. You really can't use a shotgun with one hand, you would have to shoulder the thing. In my mind, this is why the handgun is still better for me, anyway, for the normal bedside gun.

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by kgeter » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:13 am

Dave, I have a question I would like your take on. In the picture you posted as well as in the Magpul shotgun video i see shotguns with the magpul AFG and in the magpul DVD I saw some with optics on them. i have no use for either but what is your opinion on these additions?

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by zombiegristle » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:41 am

Sadness...My old Mossberg met every single requirement on that list before I sold it, including the slugs on stock/buck on saddle. Guess I dun goof'd swapping it for the Saiga. :?
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Jamie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:00 am

Thanks!

As expected, a great write-up...can you post some info/links to some of the white lights that you prefer for front-mounting...I am thinking/working on defensivy-ing one of my shotguns, and this article seemed like a godsend.

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by TDW586 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:02 am

Blacksmith wrote:
Kommander wrote:Ammo selection. I have seen animals and people shot with 00 buck and still have plenty of fight left in them. I have heard of many such cases also. I have never even heard of anyone hit with a slug COM putting up a struggle and never heard of a person surviving such a wound. If you know of such a case I would be curious to find out about it as I have looked in vain for several years. I know of no ballistic research publicly available on this so rely on apocryphal cases to illustrate the point.

I don't think you looked all that hard. ;)


I could only find one detailed report of a human survivor of a close-range slug to the COM, unfortunately if you don't have a subscription to the journal you'd have to pay 35 dollars to view it and I can't repost it here in full. In any case, it's in the Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care, April 1996, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 650-653. A 17-year old white male received a shotgun slug wound at 5-10 feet from a Remington shotgun, arrived at the hospital approximately 20 minutes later and survived, recovering fully.

An article on the subject of shotgun slug effectiveness on deer can be viewed here.

I personally have several times seen deer hit with Foster-type slugs at relatively short range (often within 50 yards) and then watched the deer run at least a few hundred yards. The shotgun slug is simply not the magic bullet you seem to think it is man. Effective? Yes. But you exaggerate when you say things like the above.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Kommander » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:57 am

zombiegristle wrote:Sadness...My old Mossberg met every single requirement on that list before I sold it, including the slugs on stock/buck on saddle. Guess I dun goof'd swapping it for the Saiga. :?
Dont read too deeply into the OP. I suspect that they like Saigas more than most other shotguns.
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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Stercutus » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:03 am

Thanks for the article ref, I am a cheap bastard and that explains why I could not find it.

The very good article that you did link stated that the deer ran 60 yards and then crashed and expired. It takes an average deer about 3 seconds to cover that distance. If a home invader did the same thing I would be thrilled. But also:
Invariably their complaints are based on the fact that they missed the shoulder. Shotgun slugs, you see, have terrific knockdown power when applied to a structural point in the deer’s skeleton. Plug a shotgun slug’s statistics into any kinetic energy or momentum formula, and you’ll get freight train numbers. But, unlike high-velocity rifle ballistics, those figures don’t mean much if the slug doesn’t hit bone.

The ability of a shotgun slug to level its target is, quite simply, a myth — or at least a statement that requires a disclaimer of “when properly placed.” Out of the scores of whitetails I’ve taken with shotgun slugs, only a handful of non-skeletal hits have produced “in-their-tracks” kills. In the world of terminal ballistics, big and slow is anything but a hammer.

Velocity, you see, is a major factor in “knockdown power.” I’ve probably shot less than half as many deer with my .270 as with slug guns, but the majority of the rifle hits dropped the animals immediately. Most of the slug-hit animals made a short run before collapsing.
Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. While no sane person would argue that slugs are ineffective at close range there are no such things as magic bullets. In comparison most rifle rounds still have the slug beat, especially the larger rounds at longer ranges, past indoor HD ranges say. But in the grand scheme of things there is much to be said for a permanent 1" wound cavity even with a lower speed slug:

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Re: the Defensive Shotgun; How we make it work--MilCopp Blog

Post by Finch » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:36 am

nice write up
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