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DBMA Martial Arts Forum => Martial Arts Topics => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2009, 09:38:16 AM

Title: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2009, 09:38:16 AM
Kicking this thread off with a piece from Gabe Suarez:

Let me begin by saying that I have used these fine implements against live fighting adversaries several times. Moreover, I received the classic training in this weapon at the academy which birthed the "modern technique" of the shotgun.

Training and reality sometimes conflict.

I have a few shotguns at home. One is a Remington 870. Another is a Remington 11-87. A third one, a vintage side-by-side exposed hammer shotgun with many "rustlers" to its credit. And the3n, of course, a couple of Saiga 12s.

None have Ghost Ring Sights, Sidesaddles, Speedfeed stocks, Specially Ported or Choked barrells of ANY kind. They are light, simple, fast into action, and all of them are more than sufficient for any anti-personnel duties.

Things You Need: A fast handling lightweight weapon that you can get into action very quickly, and that has at least 5 shots available.

Nice To Have - But Not Essential: A Light: Many fights happen in low light. Having a flashlight mount makes sense. Its not essential as in most situations, there will be sufficient ambient light to tell what is going on and who is doing it at CQB-CRG distances. For those times when there is not, a light will help.

A Magazine Extension: Some guys like these so they can download it by a couple of rounds to transition to slugs. This is silly. Who wants to go to a gunfight with a weapon not loaded to full capacity. Not me. The load/switch to slug concept may have merit, but its use is so limited that I would much rather have an extra round of buckshot.

A Sling: For class its essential. For fighting its a nice-to-have item in the event you need to transition to pistol (much more likely than transitioning to slug).

Things You Do Not Need: Ghost Ring Sights: In my opinion, the shotgun is NOT a rifle, nor should it be turned into one. The idea that you must somehow be able to reach out past CQB distances with a shotgun is a silly idea. Even the much discussed North Hollywood Bank Robbery involved shots within pistol range, and not way out there in rifle land.

Sidesaddles/Butt Cuffs: Many use these for slug switching. We've discussed that already. If your gun holds 7 or 8 shots and you need more than that, tactical withdrawl may be a better bet than anything else. How many shots are fired in pistol fights? It will be the same in shotgun fights. Sidesaddles make the gun heavy. Add a butt cuff in addition to the sidesaddle and it become heavier yet. Will you have lots of ammo? Sure. Will you be able to shoot and hit as accurately with a light fast gun or an overweight gun? I think you know the light fast gun will allow you better likelihood of NOT NEEDING a reload.

Want extra ammo? Ok, get a belly bag with two compartments. Fill one with buck shot and the other with slugs. Keep that with the shotgun and take it when you grab the shotgun. Its not as sexy as a sidesaddle and no elite bitchin guy SWAT dudes use it, but it makes more sense than a weapon you can't even bench press.

Ports/Choking, Special Barrels: Close Range shooting boys. Any shotgun barrell with any ammo will do just fine inside of 7 yards. At 15 yards it will open up slightly, but 15 yard shots are rare.

Other Points -

If you need a rifle, the shotgun is a poor substitute. A CAR15, or even a Marlin 30-30 will outshoot a slug loaded shotgun everytime. So grabbing a shotgun to do rifle duty is not a wise thing unless you are a cop whose administration does not trust its employees enough to give them rifles, and all you have and will ever have is a shotgun.

Slug loading has its place in a special situation, such as when you anticipate "contacts" in a car. I have a group of friends who routinely have such contacts and they load with slugs to penetrate through vehicles at close range. Same goes for guys who frequent bear country. A shotgun with slugs is good bear medeicine...or so I'm told. Both situations are rather close range deals, and not anything like what some so-called gunfighting schools are teaching.

What can a slug loaded shotgun do? It can reach a little farther and penetrate a little more than a buckshot loaded gun, or a pistol can do. A rifle will do better everytime. What can a buckshot loaded shotgun do? It can hit the adversary with something, even under bad conditions where your marksmanship has not kept up with the tempo of events in the mid to outer close range gunfighting zone. It is a weapon to be used at handgun distances against rapidly moving adversaries while you yourself are moving, where you cannot obtain (or don't have time to obtain) a suitable sight picture, and where the light is poor.


1). Shooting a running adversary while you are also on the run in the dark - Distance 20 yards.

2). Multiple adversaries suddenly appearing in unison, again attempting to fire at you - Distance 3-5 yards.

Partial patterns will give you a hit, slugs or overly choked patterns may allow you to miss. Will thos epellets that don't hit the bad guy be a problem? Possibly. But if you miss with the slug because of the rapidly developing situation it won't matter either.

For CQB/CRG distances (within 5 yards) buckshot will outperform slugs every day of the week. Knowing that IF I grab a shotgun and go fight with it, it will be used in this situation more often than not, my round of choice is buckshot. I relegate slugs to "special purpose" applications. If I need a rifle, I'll go get a rifle.

While on the topic of buckshot: The ability to scallop a target standing behind a "hostage". I suggest a long deep inhale to smell the coffee. Then grab you best most expensive Tactical Shotgun with all the attachjments on it that the "cool" Gun Magazine Guys use. You know, the one with the famous shooting school logo on the stock and engraved so fetchingly on the receiver. Load it with the most expensive tactical gold-plated buckshot you can find and then stand off at 7, 10, or even 15 yards (whatever the shotgun school qual says).

Then place your daughter in front of that evil silohuette target. Still willing to take the shot? Some tactical cool guys will answer in the affirmitive. Then DO IT I say. Most of these guys have never fired a shot at a real human being before much less at a hostage past the ear of an innocent...with a shotgun much less. Fantasy always loses out to reality.

Technical exercises devised by clever minds on the firing range often fail to emulate reality. We've learned a great deal about CQB pistol fighting in the last few years simply by allowing ourselves to leave the doctrinal box. Perhaps its time we slay the sacred cow shotgun myth as well. Prove everything you train to yourself in force on force. If a technique cannot be replicated against real people, get rid of it.

Train for skill and attribute development, not to beat some silly shooting test, or some bobbing/weaving target dressed up in old clothes.

1). Know tactical advantage and Liabilities of Shotgun and their ammunition

2). Develop sound Firing Positions, Ready Positions as well as Ready Carry positions

3). Learn Reality based Marksmanship that takes advantage of the standard shotgun pattern

4). Learn tactically appropriate Gunhandling Drills & Transition to Pistol if suitable.

5). Learn CQB Responses to any point along a 360 arm's length to 7 yards. Its important to focus on fast close shooting because this is where you will use the weapon, not at the mythical rifle ranges some schools are suggesting..

6). Learn the ability to retain/recover/and fight with the weapon in body to body fight (including alternative force issues)

7). Learn Shooting in diminished light and the use of assisted lighting, as well as the use of Tactical Point Shooting.

8). Learn Shooting on the Move (in anything but firing from ambush you must move or get hit).

9). Learn Reality based Multiple adversary responses (not simply shooting at five pepper poppers).

10). Learn YOUR natural body speed and shoot as fast as YOU can guarantee the hits (not on how fast some "master" shot with his souped up Benelli back in 1990).

Develop these attributes and you will do well with your shotgun in any fight. Isn't progress wonderful?!

Gabe Suarez
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: Tom Stillman on February 02, 2009, 03:49:15 PM
I like the 12 gauge. Especially for home protection.  It has been my first choice for some 20 + years now. Along with all the reasons mentioned above,  I too like the fact that,  one can control the penetration capabilities with a shotgun by using slugs and buckshot or using smaller shot.  Point being, a buckshot load is much safer than slugs or higher power rifle or hand gun loads. 
Unless you are at point blank range, buckshot loads are much less likely to have enough power to pass through walls and continue to travel at a high velocity.  Not like a high power rifle,  that has the capability of passing through multiple walls at a high velocity.

I'm sure, my neighbor and my neighbors neighbor, would appreciate those differences!  :-D
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: David III on February 03, 2009, 07:49:43 AM
A pump gun used to be my go to for everything weapon for years, but it is really collecting dust these days. Unless it's to dispatch some critter around the house, if I want a long gun, I go with an AK. Several reasons - a shotgun is pretty good sized and relatively heavy for its six to 8 rounds, my wife doesn't like shooting a shotgun at all, it's hard to move around inside a building with a shotgun (compared to a folding AK), and my wife likes the AK, which is pull the bolt back and just shoot a while. I really can't find a niche for the shotgun that works for me anymore - except the aforementioned critters.
Here's the "disclaimer" part that may allow me to make more sense in my choices - we live way out in the sticks. I could care less where rifle bullets end up, they are not going into someone else's house, they're going into the woods. We have no children, there are only the two of us. It's very likely I'll know where my wife is so as to not shoot through a wall and hit her (I'll listen for gunfire and that's her).
And, my wife specifically asked for a long gun that would penetrate most parts of a car. If someone shows up, she prefers to keep them in their car. We have no uninvited visitors ever.
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on February 04, 2009, 11:26:17 AM
A model 870 is my first line home defense firearm. I've got some #4 shot first in the tube that assumes an inside engagement and thus limits over penetration. After that I have 00 and slugs alternated.

I disagree with Gabe about Ghost Rings; one of my engagement scenarios is a bear tangled up with a dog or child; we get a lot of black bear up my way. With Ghost Rings I can very confidently put 8 slugs through a coffee saucer size hole at 75 feet about as fast as I can rack the slide. I guess with practice I could do the same with a front bead, but the Ghost Ring is similar enough to a lot of the iron rifle sights I've used over the years that acquisition is quick and natural.
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: G M on February 04, 2009, 02:00:17 PM
I like ghost rings too. I like side saddles and don't find them to make the shotgun more difficult to use. I think lights are a must have. Yes, using a shotgun for hostage rescue scenarios is....far from optimal, but the training exercise is useful.

Understanding the patterning of your shotgun/ammo is something every defensive shotgunner should know.

Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: prentice crawford on February 06, 2009, 08:11:09 AM
 Graig Boddington, one of the most experienced big game hunters and writer, recently did an article in Guns & Ammo about the traditional use of a shotgun loaded with 00 buck to go into the bush after wounded dangerous game. He recounted his encounter with a wounded leopard that ran into the tall grass. His guide insisted that he use the double barrel shotgun and not his rifle to ferret the animal out saying that was a better, safer choice for close range encounters. Boddington went in and was charged by the leopard; he hit the animal with both shots but the 00 buck failed to bring it down, luckily for Boddington his back up shooter was in position to drop the leopard with the rifle.
 When they check the animal they found the the buckshot didn't penetrate the skull or the body of the leopard deep enough to cause terminal damage.
 I have always contended that slugs and 00 buck should be mixed and that 00 buck isn't always the best choice for close encounters. Yes it spreads and helps accuracy but it also is prone to ricochet and can even come back at the shooter when it hits car metal and concrete and its hitting power drops off considerably outside 25 yards. If you can't hit something within 25 yards of you with a slug you're probably going to miss with the 00 buck anyway.
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: Tom Stillman on February 06, 2009, 03:45:52 PM
Another important rule for me is, to use 2+3/4 inch shells only.  In my experience they are the least likely to jam, compared to the longer magnum loads and the aguillo short  shells.
Here is more very usefull info:

12 Gauge Shotshell Ammunition
For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.

In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice.  We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.

Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.

Third choice is any standard or reduced recoil 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot load from Winchester, Remington or Federal.

If you choose a reduced recoil load or any load containing hardened Magnum #00 buckshot you increase the risk of over-penetration because these innovations assist in maintaining pellet shape integrity. Round pellets have better sectional density for deeper penetration than deformed pellets.

Fourth choice is any 2 ¾-inch Magnum shotshell that is loaded with hardened, plated and buffered #4 buckshot. The Magnum cartridge has the lowest velocity, and the lower velocity will help to minimize pellet deformation on impact. The hardened buckshot and buffering granules also help to minimize pellet deformation too. These three innovations help to maximize pellet penetration. Number 4 hardened buckshot is a marginal performer. Some of the hardened buckshot will penetrate at least 12 inches deep and some will not.

Title: Gabe Suarez
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2009, 11:31:44 PM
It is tempting to only think in terms of what you need...or are likely to need.  The liberal uses that argument to in hopes of eliminating certain weapons from the hands of civilians.  "No one needs an AR-15" for example, is a chant not only of the liberal infesting this nation, but also of sporting oriented gun groups who cling to their polished blue bunny blasters while sneering at your parkerized black man-killer.
So, do you really need a rifle?  Let's see if you think so when I am done.
America is a free nation (still that way in spite of so much effort devoted to changing that).  A free nation is not based on the needs of its subjects, but rather on the wants of its citizens.  An outside party, like a government let's say, establishing what you need is simply oppression by another name.  They have no idea what you need...only of what they want to allow you to have.  To recognize that free men can determine their own "wants" and then seek ways to fulfill those wants is to understand what a free capitalist nation is all about.
Freedom is not about owning guns, it is about being free to make money as your creativity and intelliugence allows.  Economic freedom is protected and enhanced, however, by owning and carrying, and often using, guns.
When this nation was founded, that fact was well known to the founders.  They had come from generations of people telling them what they "needed".  So they set up a government to insure that all industrious men could pursue their wants....the "pursuit of happiness" as it were.  And they set up a statement of rights to that effect.  And knowing that whoever had the most physical power always makes the rules, they made certain that every man had a share in that power vis-à-vis the second point in that statement of rights, the Second Amendment. 
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."   
In National Treasure, Nicholas Cage correctly points out that "people don't talk like that anymore".  Quite correct so -
"A skilled and well trained citizenry is necessary to keep a country free from oppression, so the right of the citizen to own and carry guns shall not be messed with"

Now what on earth would possibly affect the "Security of a Free State"?  These guys had just defeated the greatest army on God's green earth at the time.  Were they worried about the British coming back?  Sure, to a degree, but what they were most worried about, and why they took such pains to write everything down, was of the new government becoming the oppressor in lieu of the British king.  They wanted to make sure that the militia, which was every living human that could carry and fire a gun, was armed and ready to intervene should things get weird.
The second amendment is definitely not about John Kerry or Mit Romney dressing up in Cabela's finest red flannel duck hunter outfit and posing as "sportsmen" for the cameras.  Every time I see such a spectacle it makes me want to vomit.  The second amendment is about equipping an indigenous insurgency in the event of an oppressive political force.  Its not about shooting ducks is it?
Now that is hardly anything the current "pro-gun" political associations, or sportsmen's groups will align themselves with, but it is a historical fact, and in such situations, we most certainly NEED as well as want all of the things we are told we do not need.  One of these is the rifle.
Now, don't think like the typical legal CCW guy defending himself from some pimple-faced tee-aged meth-hed in search of your wallet.  Rifles are not for this.  Think of what these men might have needed, way back 200 years ago, to make sure their economic freedom - the only true security of a free people and a free state, was not messed with in any way shape or form. 
Would they have needed pistols to keep "brigands" at bay?  No.
Would they have needed shotguns to defend their cabins from native american home invaders? No. What they would have needed was the rifles of their day so they could use them to enforce their will through fire and smoke and lead balls.
The rifle is not about home defense or street protection.  The rifle is about the projection of force.  Its about forcing your adversaries, vis-a-vis violence and threath of death, to do what you want.  The colonists didn't reason with the British, they forced them. Any group of organized men with rifles that has triumphed in a conflict, has done so by forcing the other side to comply by threat of force. 
And understand this dear reader, from a historical context, freedom exists only because of the threat of violence backing it up.  If no threat of violence exists, freedom is but an illusion.
Are you truly a free man?  Only if you have two things.  One is a rifle.  Every American man worthy of the name needs a rifle. Preferably a rifle intended for fighting and not sports hunting, but in the end, any kind will do.  Two is the skills to use it in a fight. 
So I repeat the question to you. Are you a free man?  If the answer is no, then go buy a rifle and then give us a call so we can fix the rest of the problem.

Gabe Suarez
Title: 360 degrees
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2009, 07:35:06 AM
Title: Re: Long Gun for self-protection
Post by: prentice crawford on February 21, 2009, 11:18:33 AM
 I was my Company's High Shooter in the Marine Corps and I taught counter ambush and convoy defense for Motor T operators and staged field exercises for mock ambushes. What came to light from the after action reports from the Vietnam era that our lesson plans were drawn from, was the effect that one Marine and his rifle could have on the outcome of a firefight. A well positioned shooter that could return concentrated fire on the ambushers in quick response to the attack, often made the difference between staving off the attack and having a massacre.