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  1. #1
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    Default The Shotgun or the Rifle

    The Shotgun or the Rifle

    As we start 2017, SI is taking a new look at an old LEO standby, the shotgun. It goes by many names, the shotty, bitch, gauge, room broom, boom stick, among others. So as the title suggests, why would I choose one over a rifle? What are itís envelopes where it shines over other platforms? Would I select breech load, box fed, or tubular magazine?

    The current fashionable trend seems to be to take the shotgun outside of itís envelope of operation and attempt to make it operate and perform as close to a rifle as possible (using the riflemanís perspective), or turning it into an AOE (area of effect ) weapon for people (the wing/clay shooterís perspective). In my opinion I see both of these view points as a bastardization of what a real fighting shotgun is purpose built for.

    Feed the beast
    There are 3 basic feeding styles of shot gun

    Breech load: This will include over/under and side by side. These are relics when it comes to a fighting shotgun. Like a lever or bolt action rifle, my opinion is that they are obsolete in modern gunfighting. Can you still fight with one? Yes if you had too, but why where there are so many better tools out there. I wouldnít select and M1 Garand instead of an M-4 for real fighting in the same way I wouldnít take breech load over magazine fed shotguns. The only possible advantage I can even think of is that on dual trigger models I can drop hammers on both barrels at the same time, or have a slug in one and shot in the other.

    Box magazine: Iím not going to rehash Gabeís article on this topic, so letís leave availability of quality magazines off of the table for the this article. The upside is, itís fast. I can completely reload the weapon in a flash. From my perspective donít see a huge advantage here and hereís my reasoning. Weíve already established that if you are in a position that you have to make a speed reload your tactics suck and youíre doing it wrong. I will also add that you donít understand the weapon system youíre working with, not to mention the extra room and weight proactively reloading takes up on your person.

    Tube magazine: Because of my understanding of the operation of a shotgun inside a fight this is my preferred feeding system. If you understand the shotgun as a fighting system, you know sheís hungry, with a big mouth, a small belly, and short memory. Once you begin to discharge a tube fed you have to begin feeding it. It requires familiarity, practice, and understanding. No repeating shotgun is designed for a mag dump outside of an AA12. You have to constantly be working, engage, load, repeat. As this feeding system is the most prolific and in this gunfighterís opinion, the most useful form of the shotgun as a fighting platform it is the style I will reference throughout the rest of the discussion.

    More to follow.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
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    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  2. #2
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    What can it do?

    Breeching. The shotgun is a great tool for breaching a structure, it’s man portable and serves dual duty as fighting platform as well. Can a rifle breach a door? Well sure, but it can’t do it in 3 rounds or less in under 3 seconds. When it comes to a rolling gunfight in urban environments I don’t want to hump a ram or a sledge when I can just carry a few ounces worth of shells around that accomplish the same thing with less effort. Clearly this is one area that a rifle can’t even compete with a shotgun.

    Transferring energy (Gabe's Battle Axe Theory). Ok, I absolutely hate the term “knock down power” I think this is as ridiculous of a statement as saying “the tolerant left”. But I do want to talk about the transfer of energy because I know that one of the biggest arguments I’m going to get from riflemen is capacity. So let’s look at from a logic standpoint.

    A human body is a biomechanical machine, much like an automobile. To take someone completely out of the fight you have to attack and disable any one of 3 systems, electrical, hydraulic, or air. As we know the hydraulic and air systems take time to fail, the more holes in the system the faster the result. The electrical system (CNS) is a fight ender, so let’s think about efficiency. With one shotgun round I can deliver eight to nine .30(ish)cal projectiles to a soft body and depending on the spread of the shot and angle of attack I mess up anywhere from one to all three of the vital systems (side note, it’s a dirty wound too because pieces of the plastic shot cup will be in there). As a bonus, even with armor the shot has the possibility of spinning or knocking down your target.

    (Personal Observation) When I took two rounds from an 11” 12ga, at 8’, the first round was a grazing shot to the wrist that spun me 180* and the second I took to the side split my lateral, broke 3 ribs, shredded my lung, and knocked me on the ground with a hole the size of a cantaloupe. I make mention of this because it bares mentioning that from my own experience it wasn’t a fight ender but it took me out of the fight for a second or two. Had it been any form of a repeating shotgun the third round would have been the end of that discussion.

    So, the point. When speaking of close engagement with a .30 or less rifle, yes you have the capacity of 30ish rounds, but the real question is really how many bodies can you stack with that? Five? Six at most? And that’s taking you to an empty gun and only using 5 to 6 rounds a piece per adversary. What’s more efficient?

    Proactive loading. When compared to a box fed (either rifle or shotgun), the shotgun’s proactive reload is the least wasteful of any platform. Now it is slower, of course, to push in a few shells, however it is never wasteful. You will never download your entire tube to reload the gun, you’ll never put half a magazine of ammo into a pocket or dump pouch, you just keep feeding her constant small meals and topping off the system. You don’t have to wait for an empty gun, you don’t have to store and manage multiple partial magazines that can be heavy and take up a lot of space, you just push more food into her mouth and fill her up.


    More to follow.

    Edited to complete the section.
    Last edited by Greg Nichols; 01-10-2017 at 01:45 PM. Reason: More added
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
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    #thinkinginviolence
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    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  3. #3
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    Very educational - more, please!
    Armed Puritan

  4. #4
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    I can't believe I didn't find this forum until a week ago.. There is some real good info on here from like minded people... This thread is a perfect example... thanks
    You Have Three Choices,
    Give up, Give in, or Give it all you got!

  5. #5
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    Greg, I will add that it is not only the payload of projectiles versus a single projectile, but more importantly how easy it is to hit with one versus the other when everything is not pre-planned and staged. In other words...which weapon will allow you to regain control of events when you the bad guy is taking it?

    rifle-versus-shotgun.jpg
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  6. #6
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    It is the red dot sight that I am having the problem with.

    I have a lot respect for Gabe's opinions and so even though for moment I see its use on a shotgun used with buckshot as not being needed, I will have to try it out and then make my decision.

    I once the lost the front bead of a shotgun and still was able to hit flying dove on the wing. A man is much easier to hit than a flying object. But shooting as in hunting is done from a standing position where proper alignment with the eye of the barrel is possible. shooting from cover may be different so I really need to mount a red dot on a shotgun to see. for myself

    Pistols that are intended for precise head shooting benefit from the red dot sight. The mission of most rifle use benefits from the red dot sight. So I will have to work this out for myself for the shotgun.
    My point of view on reloading. Top it off for a tube gun when you can or insert a fully loaded box magazine when you can. But just like the rifle, transition to your pistol rather than try a speed reload.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    Greg, I will add that it is not only the payload of projectiles versus a single projectile, but more importantly how easy it is to hit with one versus the other when everything is not pre-planned and staged. In other words...which weapon will allow you to regain control of events when you the bad guy is taking it?

    rifle-versus-shotgun.jpg
    yep that's part of the next section
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
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    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
    It is the red dot sight that I am having the problem with.

    I have a lot respect for Gabe's opinions and so even though for moment I see its use on a shotgun used with buckshot as not being needed, I will have to try it out and then make my decision.

    I once the lost the front bead of a shotgun and still was able to hit flying dove on the wing. A man is much easier to hit than a flying object. But shooting as in hunting is done from a standing position where proper alignment with the eye of the barrel is possible. shooting from cover may be different so I really need to mount a red dot on a shotgun to see. for myself

    Pistols that are intended for precise head shooting benefit from the red dot sight. The mission of most rifle use benefits from the red dot sight. So I will have to work this out for myself for the shotgun.
    My point of view on reloading. Top it off for a tube gun when you can or insert a fully loaded box magazine when you can. But just like the rifle, transition to your pistol rather than try a speed reload.
    Addressed in the above section. To quote myself as to what a fighting shotgun isn't "an AOE (area of effect ) weapon for people (the wing/clay shooter’s perspective)."
    Last edited by Greg Nichols; 01-10-2017 at 02:37 PM.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
    #tactisexual

    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  9. #9
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    When does it shine?

    CQB/OUT (Operating in Urban Terrain). We already talked about breaching so let’s look at other advantages. The shotgun is the Queen of the pistol gunfight. At close range I don’t need a perfect mount or sight picture to put lead on target (as illustrated by Gabe above), and at CQB distance, if unequipped with an RDS, I can index well enough to make devastating hits. Even if we are talking about someone leaving misusing cover, whatever they leave hanging out I can go ahead and take care of. If we look at PGO shotguns, they are extremely maneuverable inside a structure and pack devastation for people on the other end. Also as mentioned above, even if you shank a round, the odds of you taking a piece with you increases due to number of projectiles.

    As I alluded to at the beginning, if I’m in an urban environment and need to either assault or displace through multiple structures I can pop doors/gates much faster than they can be kicked, demo’d, or rammed. Additionally with shot (I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t mentioned slugs at all yet), you have the benefit of skipping. This works as well on heavier gauge metal, concrete, blacktop, cinder block, and brick. This means that you can peel people off a sidewalk or away from walls and other cover/concealment if you know how and need to, you can also skip the shot under a pursuing vehicle’s engine compartment and into the feet/ legs of the driver’s cabin, this is an “outside the box” benefit of the lower velocity. Lower velocity and the shotgun shell’s efficiency at transferring energy is also a consideration in urban areas due to a lower likelihood of over penetration and collateral injury.

    Low light/No light. Due to a shotgun’s low flash signature, spread of pattern, and natural pointability, I love a shotgun in low light conditions. As I demonstrated in Sua and my Wilderness Weekend in Texas earlier last year, I used Sua’s 870 (that I’d never even handled before), with unknown ammo, and engaged five separate black steel silhouette targets with nothing but moonlight and went 5 for 5 while maintaining my night vision. This was done at about 20-25 meters, very few of our students could go 5 for 5 on the same target, aided with night vision and rifles. This also lends itself to engaging muzzle signature more effectively in a LL/NL environment


    Moving targets. Again due to the pattern, multiple projectiles, and pointability a shotty’s hit percentage over that of a rifle is through the roof. This is why you don’t see wing/clay shooters using .410s or rifles for these activities. Not a whole lot I can expound on, this is pretty self-explanatory.

    More to follow
    Last edited by Greg Nichols; 01-11-2017 at 05:43 AM.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
    #tactisexual

    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  10. #10
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    Excellent!!!
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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