LIGHT OR LASER?
RELOADING THE SHOTGUN IN A GUNFIGHT

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REMINGTOM 870 DM

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When I first saw this, I must admit I rolled my eyes and shook my head.  I admit to having had a love affair with the Saiga 12 some years ago.  The detachable box magazine was very attractive, and well, sexy.  Images of speedy reloads by a stripped shirted Spetsnaz operator with a Ziganov cigarette perched on his lower lip flashed in the mind. But as we worked through various shotgun drills, real world drills based on the experiences we and our students had in real gunfights killing real bad guys that were trying to return the favor, we realized that the detachable box mag on a shotgun was not all that great.

First we ask what the shotgun is intended for.  The use of the shotgun does not require shooting it empty and then racing to load it. It is not a sustained fire weapon, like the rifle.  Itis fired once or twice, and the reloaded as needed.  To see the real use of a shotgun in combat, we need to look to US Law Enforcement, not US Gun Competitors whose sport demands speed of reloading. 

In a street fight, the shotgun is fired once or twice...perhaps three times, and then it is reloaded with single rounds.  Not as sexy as what Remington suggests, but its the way its done.  The way Remington is marketing this is by comparing the full reload of an empty tube fed 870, to the full reload of a magazine fed 870.  Very clever on their part but absolutely irrelevant.

Instead, lets compare times to the first shot from empty guns on each side.  My money is on the chamber load of the tube fed weapon, followed by the tube load (and subsequent racking of the action) of the tube fed weapon in speed over the magazine fed model.   Moreover, if we accept that the way shotguns are used in real life is by a "load what you shoot" methodology - in other words, load what you have shot as soon as you have the chance - the tube fed weapon is far easier to keep loaded than the magazine fed weapon.

Not to mention the carry of additional ammunition is far easier with the tube fed methodology of a belt mounted ammo sleeve, a side saddle, or even a handful of shells in the jacket pocket.

Remington will sell many of these to those who don't know.  And they may not ever know the difference of what a combat shotgun can or should be.  That's fine. 

Will I ever sell a Tac-14 with a detachable magazine?  Sure...I am a capitalist.  But I will keep doing what I am doing, teaching what I am teaching and using the old fashioned 870s I have on hand.  The DM models are not an advancement at all, and actually make the shotgun more difficult to use in the realm where shotguns are really used.  I have no interest in the DM models for the 870 and believe they solve no problems at all, but they certainly create more drama for the user.

 

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