The why of the shotgun? - Pistolsmith

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Old 11-28-2001, 12:28 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 152
If I understand correctly:

If I need to react quickly, I grab a pistol. It's virtue is that it's
handy. It's also easy to practice with (dry fire, indoor range close by).

If I know I'm going into trouble, having time and no need to conceal, I grab a
rifle -- in my case, .223, 30-30 or 30-06. (I practice more dry than live, the
range is a bit farther away and mostly geared towards plinkers and benchrest
shooting :sad: )

So when would I choose a shotgun? I have a pretty nice Remington 870 with
sights, extended magazine, sling, light, etc. I like to shoot it. I've
patterned it with different loads. Practiced transitioning ammo ( a bitch if
you ask me). But I can't quite figure out what niche this fills for a
civilian. I don't anticipate breeching, dynamic entries or the like

Before I get more serious about training with the shotgun, I need to
understand why that time wouldn't be better spent with either the handgun or
rifle. Am I missing something?
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Old 11-28-2001, 06:03 AM   #2
Posts: n/a
The shotgun is extremely effective during "quality personal time" up close with your target. As the distance opens greater than 20 yards/give take the rifle becomes more effective but no .223 is as effective at close range as the 12 gauge.

The wounding power from a 12 gauge at point blank and greater range can be devastating.

Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-12-16 00:23 ]</font>
Old 11-28-2001, 07:40 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 253
I think for the citizen (or privateer as L. Awerbuck calls us) the shotgun is a good home defense weapon especially with a mounted light. The patterns at in-house ranges will be softball sized unless you have some great halls or hallways in your house. Don't waste your money on a Vang comp or super duper Wilson Scattergun Tech. If you want tiny patterns at extended ranges, save a bunch of money and use slugs. The shotgun has only one redeeming value, in my opinion. That is at close ranges it has devastating power.

It has too much recoil and not enough rounds available. Many SWAT teams have gone to the M4 carbine and most of their confrontations are up close and personal especially on an entry team. I much prefer the M4 to a shotgun. That said, an 870 is beside my bed. The M4 is in the safe.
Old 11-28-2001, 01:40 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 515
I've heard it said that the shotgun is for winning pistol fights. Given the effective range of buckshot, the pistol and the shotgun are best employed at fairly short distances...though, with slugs and decent sights, the shotgun can serve as a substitute rifle to a bit more than 100 yards.

At appropriate distances, loaded with buckshot, the appeal of the social shotgun is power...the QI (quantity of injury) it can produce.

A pistol is more portable...A rifle is more versatile...but, if you can dictate the terms of the engagement to within the shotgun's effective range, it can be awfully decisive.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-11-28 13:43 ]</font>
Old 11-28-2001, 05:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: People's Republik, Komrade
Posts: 934
I don't know about where you live, but here in S. CA, if I had a rifle, that would probably mean I'm either going around looking for trouble or all hell has broken loose and therefore MAY need the versatility of a rifle. As for self defense, I'm more likely to be attacked at home, where I'll take a shotgun anyday over a rifle or out and about, in which case, I would be unlikely to be carrying a rifle
Alex Tham
"To kill a gopher, you must think like a gopher."

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mute on 2001-11-28 17:11 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mute on 2001-11-28 17:11 ]</font>
Old 12-03-2001, 04:03 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 49
I'm always curious about the answers to the shotgun question on forums, because the answers always seem to leave out the first thing I always hear from security consultants and LEOs. They don't talk about overpenetration and distance, they almost always say "if you're shooting at someone at that distance you may be opening up yourself to "liability" ". I guess meaning that tactically you should retreat or get out if you can, or that it's more difficult to prove the threat of deadly force when you've shot a perp at twenty yards away (the length of some buildings). Maybe some of the more formally trained people on the forum can explain. I have 2 Remington 870s stashed in two specific spots for 2 predictable scenarios I could be likely to face in my business, and I've planned out and practiced my response. Just the same several of the fire arms instructors I've used, have said that in all probability the unpredictability of an event will probably leave me using my sidearm.
Old 12-03-2001, 08:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 191
My home defense situation is just about the perfect use of a shotgun. The bedroom is accessed by one door, it is in the back of the apartment. If an intruder does enter the house they have to get through the bedroom door as well. There is always at least one cell phone in the room. So it's call the cops, wait in a location providing cover. If a threat does get through the door, shoot it. The distance is about 14 feet. The longest shot I could take in my apartment is under 30 feet. Even at that distance and a skeet choke I won't have a pattern larger than the body of an attacker. I also clay target shoot quite often. I can point shoot with incredible accuracy at those ranges. There is no other gun I feel more comfortable with.

I see a handgun as a gun to use when I can't have a shotgun. A rifle is the gun I use when I have to penetrate alot or reach out 75+ yards, anything under is shotgun range.

And just for the record, there would have to be some REALLY extreme curcumstances to need to shoot at a human at rifle ranges.

Some people put down shotguns because they are too big to move through clearing a house. Personally I think it is a stupid move to clear a house alone. I would want at least two other people, and a couple dogs. I don't know many cops who would clear a house alone. Most things I have read say solo clearing is extremely risky at best.

Good Luck, and I pray you never have to use this advice.

Old 12-15-2001, 12:20 AM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 11
I hate to be a nag, but it is a 12 gauge, not a .12 gauge, which would be impossibly big, as the diameter of the bore becomes biggier when the gauge becomes smaller.
Old 12-16-2001, 12:18 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 687
Devil Dog, so, if 12 gage is .720", then a .12 gage must be 7.20"? Hey, it's off to the guns store for me!
Old 12-16-2001, 11:46 AM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 141
Sorry Ned, it's not QUITE that impressive. It seems like a .12 gauge (12/100ths of a lead ball the diameter of the bore weighs 1 pound) would be just about a 3"/8-pounder. (My math isn't the best, but I calculate that the bore would be roughly 3.392", and since .12 is close to 1/8th, that would be an 8-lb. projectile. So, I'd say you'd still need a nice solid mount (carriage?), and I don't want to head to your place for an afternoon of reloading ammo for that beast, but as long as I don't have to shoot it myself, I'd be interested in seeing what sort of terminal performance is achieved.

If the cartridge were proportional to a 3" 12 gauge, it would be about 14" long, and obviously, about 3.4 inches in diameter.

A box of 25 slugs would weigh about 200 lbs. If the weapon had a 5-rd. magazine (under-barrel tube, like a pump shotgun) it would be about 6 feet long.

It seems that this weapon would have more uses in naval combat that CQB, but if a burglar really wants to bust through your door, I expect that this staring back just may be the deterrent to replace the combat light...


ps- Volume of a sphere, cube roots, etc. were used to figure this out. My HS math teacher finally won our 20-year old argument that I wouldn't ever use that stuff again. Please don't tell him.

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