One of the members at Warriortalk asked this morning about semi-autos instead of pump actions when selecting a shotgun. So here is my point of view - and I am certain the hate mail will begin shortly. The semi auto has advantages, namely that the shooter doesn't have to manually operate the weapon...BUT when I have worked these in less than perfect situations, meaning the shooting position not fully established...cheek weld and shoulder mount not quite there...weapon unsupported like in moving or in quick unexpected engagements, I see them malfunction. The only real malfunction of the pump action is a short-stroking of the action, or not working the pump for a sufficient distance to eject the spent shell and load another. That can be remedied in training. And if it does happen, the dead trigger will result in a quick more aggressive pumping action and a remedy of the problem much faster than clearing a problem in a semi auto. The Beretta 1301 I have began exhibiting this. Its a great SGN...but not for everything. The Benelli can unload the... Read more →

Some of you will know the feeling. You have been gone from your old hometown, your parent's house, or an old car you used to drive. You return, ten, maybe twenty years later and there is a definite familiarity to it. The shotgun, specifically the Remington 870, is that way for me. It is the main long gun I carried into battle working night watch, and later the Gang Unit. I got into many shootings with issued 870s, and when I heft one it has that familiarity I mentioned. We have said that situation will determine you tactics and those will select the weapon for you best suited for the task. That selection must be an emotionless and analytical one based on reason and not feelings. For many years, the weapon that I kept by the bed was a rifle. I lived in a crowded house filled with old people and children, and often other staff members staying with during training courses. The concerns over surgical accuracy and the avoidance of over-penetration were forefront of the mind. But today it... Read more →


Here is a crazy video. It illustrates what men are capable of doing, and that sometimes one should reconsider their course of action. This happened in Costa Rica. A woman arrived complaining that the bread she bought was old and dried out. She later returned with her husband, who had likely been worked up by the wife. He was clearly quite angry. The man began yelling insults at the baker. At one point the baker’s son steps up to defend his father. At a certain point you will see in the video, the man leaves the argument to go to his car. He immediately returns with a shotgun. The shotgun is one we saw a great deal in Central America, a pistol gripped shotgun of some sort. Likely a Mossberg or Winchester. I didn't quite catch the audio, but the son appears to taunt the armed man to shoot him. Well...sometimes you get your request granted. Learning points - 1). Sometimes it is impossible to calm down a situation. It is importnat to have the escalation switch at hand and... Read more →

The Stakeout concept is gaining ground. I shake my head at all the guys that sneered at the idea we discussed last year now getting orgasmic over the Mossberg Shockwave and the Remington Tac-14 (I wonder how many got a free weapon from Mossy or Remy?). Anyway - here are the original videos we did. Feel free to comment or discuss. Stakeout 870s are in the shop ready to be built to your specs and so much more efficient, accurate and shootable than the mass produced items you won't believe it. Read more →

By Greg Nichols We’ve been talking a lot about shotguns, styles, models, ammunition, actions, and applicable situations of use. I want to look at the actual functioning of a shotgun during use and take you through, step by step, the method I use to run one so fast. In specific I will be addressing a pump action as it addresses the management of pump and auto, with an auto. 1) When you trigger the shotgun you use the same trigger control/staging as you do on a pistol or rifle. There really isn’t a need to tune a shotgun trigger as the marksmanship isn’t required to be as fine just based on the capabilities of the platform. The key here is to use your non-shooting or support hand to apply pressure to seat the butt tightly in the shoulder pocket. Your shooting hand only needs a light touch, and I like to put my thumb on the top of the grip rather than wrapped around it (excepting those with a pistol grip). On a PGO only shotgun the function is the... Read more →

I cover this in more detail in Part I, but just to recap, a shotgun is best used as a short-range weapon that allows you to take some shortcuts in marksmanship through its spread pattern. The Stakeout is best suited for a hallway, a vehicle, or other short-range urban encounters. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver inside and around my car, and its brutal payload gives me enough power to fight my way out of a BLM riot. I can also use it to skip buckshot into a mob of thugs trying to “kill whitey” or into the legs of a carjacker on the other side of my vehicle. Within its niche, it is a devastating weapon. To get the most out of your Stakeout, you need to have ammunition that maximizes its utility. Here are four more loads that I patterned at 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards. Load 5: Federal Premium Personal Defense 9 Pellet #00 Buck, 1145 FPS This round obviously had a very tight pattern. Load 6: Fiocchi Exacta Nickel Plated Buck Shot 27... Read more →

If you haven’t seen Part I and Part II of this series, you should go back and read them. As you recall, the shotgun is best used as a short-range weapon that allows you to take some shortcuts in marksmanship through its spread pattern. Therefore, a wider pattern is an asset, not a liability. Here are the four final loads I patterned with my Stakeout at 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards. Load 9: Hornady Black 8 Pellet #00 Buck, 1600 FPS This round featured a uniform, tight pattern. Load 10: Olin/Winchester Military Grade 9 Pellet #00 Buck, 1450 FPS This round had a moderately wide pattern. It also had a brutal muzzle flash when shot, especially with the ported Stakeout. The brightness was intense enough to distort my vision while shooting indoors. Load 11: Hornady Critical Defense 8 Pellet #00 Buckshot, 1600 FPS Although not as extreme as the Olin, this round also produced a noticeably bright muzzle flash when shot from the Stakeout. Its pattern was rather tight. Load 12: Federal Premium Personal Defense 34 Pellet #4 Buck,... Read more →