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  1. #1

    Default Why I Choose the 12 Gauge: Detective's Point of View

    Years ago I was assigned to the Organized Crime Division of a major metropolitan Sheriff's Office - one of the top three in the nation by size and populace. We were the big boys - the Varsity Team, if you will - of the Detective world. Or at least this is what I was told. I was a fairly new Detective to the Unit, having been transferred over from SWAT Division and quite frankly, I was probably in over my head. The cases we ran, the people we chased, the murders-for-hire we resolved (peacefully or otherwise), were a far cry from what I was accustomed to in Patrol Division or the tactical world.

    I remember distinctly standing with my best friend in the Armory at General Investigations preparing for a surveillance operation. It was a murder-for-hire and we were the over watch; our job was to keep our on-loan UC from getting killed or hurt after he took the money from evil men. As A. and I stood in the Armory we looked around at the Colt Commandos, Colt LMGs, M249s, Swedish Ks, MP5SDs, and all manner of high-speed, low-drag, ultra-ninja, crime-fighting tools. Personally, I'd just finished the HK MP5 school and wanted the fixed stock MP5, which I found to be the best version. A.; however, looked at me and said, "The 870. Take the 870. We need this done right and don't have time to fuck around."

    So, A. and I both took wood, fixed stock 870s with rifle sights and 14" barrels, loaded them up with buck and slug just like we'd been taught (loading order was buck, buck, buck, slug, buck) and filled our pockets with additional Federal 00 buckshot. That night, as with other nights to come, found us sitting in a piece-of-shit, RICO'd Impala watching, waiting and hoping we'd get to kill someone. I hate to say it, but that's the pure, simple truth. Despite our wishes, and to our surprise, the case went as planned and a peaceful arrest was made.. Well, almost peaceful. Bad guy got his nuts about taken off by the dog, but no shooting was involved that night.

    Years later our agency took away the 870s for more "simple" weapons - Colt M4s. Colt M4s have their place, but I dare say they have no soul. As A. and I put the 870s in the crate I thought I saw him get visibly moved and upset. Emotion was something I'd never seen from him in many years.

    A. was right that night when we had choices. The 870 is a killing weapon. Buckshot or slug destroys and has a finality to it. Later, as a Homicide Detective, when a shotgun was involved there weren't survivors or wounded...just dead people. And to the cops out there, they'll understand this, they were dead dead and not mostly dead.

    Why do I choose the 12 gauge when I can? Simple - there is a finality - a resolute absoluteness - an Omega - to the action and there is a time and place for that.

    ChrisNobody handed me a TAC-14 tonight as a gift. As I hold it, I think of A., the Impala, the targets and the finality of what we had to do. When I hold the shotgun I feel and sense the absoluteness. To those of you who've been there, well, I think you understand.

    The 870 has a special place in my heart...right next to the S&W 4506 and 649 Bodyguard I carried along with it.

    For what it is worth.

    J.
    Last edited by JonathanNobody; 01-28-2018 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Formerly B-more, now FoCo, Co.
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    Awesome post.

    And a +1 to you good Sir for your service and removal of oxygen thieves.
    "I find your lack of faith disturbing." Darth Vader

    IDPS, DOK, TMCO, FVGF, CPM, CRM, SCPIS, TASI

    TWOTU Since May 2015

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Indeed.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    617
    Well said, JN!

    Well said indeed....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    2,913
    "Colt M4s have their place, but I dare say they have no soul."

    My agency traded off its 870s years ago, and simplicity had nothing to do with it. Since I'm being encouraged to help draw up a red dot pistol policy for approval, I'm fantasizing about sneaking shotguns back into the SOPs.

    Meantime I cleaned the BUG course with my bobbed 1965 Colt Cobra yesterday. Now there's a sidegun with soul, and a tangible reminder of things past.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

    1, 4, 14 And a wakeup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Snohomish County, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa View Post
    "Colt M4s have their place, but I dare say they have no soul."

    My agency traded off its 870s years ago, and simplicity had nothing to do with it. Since I'm being encouraged to help draw up a red dot pistol policy for approval, I'm fantasizing about sneaking shotguns back into the SOPs.
    The Stakeout is a pistol.
    The government selectively enforces laws, so I selectively follow them.

    RGF-3: December 2014
    CRG-1: March 2015
    CRG-2: June 2015
    CRG-2: June 2016
    PGF : January 2017
    0-5 Feet: October 2018

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    2,430
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_k View Post
    The Stakeout is a pistol.
    It’s not a pistol, it is an “Other Firearm”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    7,793
    I will tell you this, I have had more then one guns drawn on me. The only time I was ever scared was when there was a 12 gage fixed on my forehead. I will leave it at that...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    I was there when the 12 ga began its exodus. It was what I always took when things were likely to get violent. I had rifles and used them for their application...same for MP5s...but for killing...the 12 ga was the ticket.

    I used to run qualifications a few times a year and of the 250-300 officers, few were comfortable with it due to either diminutive size (no more height standards after I think 1994), feeble physical state(no more physical quals after 1993 I think). So Officer Four-foot Sally couldn't handle it, and neither could Harry Hundred-Pounds. Nor could some of the admin officers who polished the leather seats for eight hours a day.

    The North Hollywood deal scared everyone. I missed it narrowly. I was supposed to go pick up 2000 rounds of 40 S&W at B&B Guns that day but my ammo had not yet arrived so I didn't go. That the event could have been handled by pistol marksmanship was never discussed (there were officers within 15 yards of these guys, unseen that could have taken head shots). The one robber who allegedly shot himself was actually shot in the side of the head by an advancing officer with his Beretta 92. The other that died from positional asphyxia was shot in the legs with skipped rounds from LAPD SWAT rifles (something that either a shotgun or a rifle could have done). So rifles had really no bearing on the event. LAPD of course promptly issued 45s and put a rifle in some of the SGT cars.

    The genie now out of the bottle was rifles for the police. And cops are woeful 'grass is greener" types. Give them 45s and they want 9s. Give them shotguns and they want rifles. Give them BMWs and they want Electra-Glides back. Perpetual complainers. And rifles were new. AND...for the besieged range staff and the admin that kept sending them people unsuited for urban combat, both Officer Four-foot and Officer Hundred-Pounds could wield those 7 pound low recoil M4s well enough at 25 yards. The directives from above with the thunderous voice of administrative privilege and noblesse oblige was simple - get rid of those loud, antiquated and indiscriminate weapons my elves and my girls cannot use and let them all have rifles.

    So it was written...so it was done.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2,913
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    I was there when the 12 ga began its exodus. It was what I always took when things were likely to get violent. I had rifles and used them for their application...same for MP5s...but for killing...the 12 ga was the ticket.

    I used to run qualifications a few times a year and of the 250-300 officers, few were comfortable with it due to either diminutive size (no more height standards after I think 1994), feeble physical state(no more physical quals after 1993 I think). So Officer Four-foot Sally couldn't handle it, and neither could Harry Hundred-Pounds. Nor could some of the admin officers who polished the leather seats for eight hours a day.

    The North Hollywood deal scared everyone. I missed it narrowly. I was supposed to go pick up 2000 rounds of 40 S&W at B&B Guns that day but my ammo had not yet arrived so I didn't go. That the event could have been handled by pistol marksmanship was never discussed (there were officers within 15 yards of these guys, unseen that could have taken head shots). The one robber who allegedly shot himself was actually shot in the side of the head by an advancing officer with his Beretta 92. The other that died from positional asphyxia was shot in the legs with skipped rounds from LAPD SWAT rifles (something that either a shotgun or a rifle could have done). So rifles had really no bearing on the event. LAPD of course promptly issued 45s and put a rifle in some of the SGT cars.

    The genie now out of the bottle was rifles for the police. And cops are woeful 'grass is greener" types. Give them 45s and they want 9s. Give them shotguns and they want rifles. Give them BMWs and they want Electra-Glides back. Perpetual complainers. And rifles were new. AND...for the besieged range staff and the admin that kept sending them people unsuited for urban combat, both Officer Four-foot and Officer Hundred-Pounds could wield those 7 pound low recoil M4s well enough at 25 yards. The directives from above with the thunderous voice of administrative privilege and noblesse oblige was simple - get rid of those loud, antiquated and indiscriminate weapons my elves and my girls cannot use and let them all have rifles.

    So it was written...so it was done.
    All this, and the "L" word. Can't have those nasty pellets flying every which way and hitting all those innocent folks. Think of the children!
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

    1, 4, 14 And a wakeup.

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