SHOTGUN GUNFIGHTING Feed

When we turn to the use of the shotgun in a combative, gunfighting application, we have to deal with the same issues. And I understand those issues well as I always felt better with more ammunition. But the issue we see with the shotgun which we do not see with other weapon platforms is the desire to keep that ammunition on the weapon itself. I don't dislike the idea of having some ammunition on the shotgun, but not if it compromises its handiness and utility. A shotgun is not a high volume of fire weapon. It is not intended to take part in an infantry maneuver under fire, nor to compete with a drum-fed SAW. The shotgun finds its utility in the same distance intervals the pistol does. It is a close and fast deployment weapon, and each press of the trigger has potentially the same effect as half a magazine of pistol ammo fired en mass. Think about this for a moment. Eight rounds of pistol ammo has about the same effect on a human torso as one round... Read more →


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... Read more →


I am old enough to remember my first duty shotgun at LASD. It was an Ithaca 12 gauge. The stock had been cut down as had the barrel. It was handy and it was fast owing to its balance and its well-worn action. And I recall the old deputy that trained us in skipping buckshot off the concrete range at the Wayside training range. He relayed some tall tales about taking rioters out at the knees during the first iteration of the LA Riots held in Watts. I later learned that what I initially thought were exaggerations, were pure fact and the deputy had personal experience dropping about ten rioters that way. In those days, the spread of the pattern and lack of reach of the shotgun was seen as a huge asset by the law men that carried it into urban harm's way. Sometime after that, the shotgun fell out of favor. It began when the Gunsite crew began trying to turn the weapon into a rifle, and tighten the pattern to the point where any benefit of the... Read more →


The 870 Covert-12 is 27.5" long with a 8.5" barrel, and is the smallest and most portable 12 ga you will find. The dimensions make it far easier to keep with you than even a stock tac-14 weapon. And it is just as legal as any other firearm. Read more →


The Shield Maiden and I had been working on our ground fighting skills, as husbands and wives often do, when the call came in. It was five "9"s in succession. Translated that meant, "call station right now shit is going down". This was long before texts...and even before Al Gore invented the internet...we carried pagers. I grab up the phone and call in. "Gang-related Murder. Sgt. Cooper thinks it was the mom". Shit...I hated those kinds of calls. I tossed the Go-Bag in the back seat of the T-Bird and sped down La Tuna Canyon to PCH as Phil Collins tuned out on the stereo in the summer evening. The victim was a known gang member and the common thought back then was that all of the family were gang members as well, from the 90 year old deaf grandfather to the five year old little brother with snot running down his face. I walked in past the uniforms as I threw on my "Gang Unit" jacket to explain my shaved head and long fu manchu. The victim, "Cricket" was... Read more →


The shotgun, in any configuration is a "go and get it" weapon. It is not a reactive "fight right now" weapon like the hand gun. The fact that you went to retrieve a more powerful weapon precluded any other option in the fight. And often, in such an event, having extra ammunition is an asset. After all, you never know and you may need more than is currently in the weapon. Some guys opt for a weapon mounted "Side saddle". These are fine, but they do add extra weight and thickness to the weapon, which in some cases is not a good thing. One of the best assets of the 12 ga weapon is it is light and handy and fast. Making heavy and cumbersome and slow by adding more weight vis-a-vis ammunition, defeats the purpose of the weapon. When I carried an armory-made version of the Witness protection Shotgun in the Gang Unit, I wore belt-mounted ammo pouches or loops. But for a modern private citizen that has wisely chosen a Tac-14, or its highly improved cousin, The Stakeout,... Read more →


I was working drills again with the Amphibian (an NP3 Stakeout with rifle sights) this afternoon before my lifting session. In my opinion, this weapon surpasses all other available platforms for the private citizen proactive weapon application. What do I mean by that? Well, there are proactive weapons, such as Shotguns, Rifles, SMGs and SBRs. These are not in any way defensive weapons nor reactive weapons. One must go and get them in anticipation of the fight. Or transition to them once he has regained some control over the events at hand...if they are available and the fight threat continues. So few people understand this and so they classify all firearms as firearms, never knowing their true specific and special roles outside of the artificial training range. To choose a weapon one must first identify the mission. A man carrying a weapon in spite of the various signs in New York City would be foolish to select any weapon larger than a small concealable pistol as circumstances preclude it. Same for a man walking alone in bear country would be... Read more →


An interesting question with a simple answer. Perhaps an answer few want to hear in an era where everyone seems enamored with excessively complicated weapon systems. The shotgun is for deploying the maximum amount of force possible to destroy as much of the adversary as possible in the shortest time frame possible. It is, compared to the rifle, a close range weapon. Some will begin to raise a finger in objection, but what they intend to show as a weakness is actually an asset in the sorts of fights a weapon like this is best for. Use a shotgun against a rifle in a rifle problem the rifle will always win. But put a rifle against a shotgun in a fight that utilizes the shotgun's attributes and the rifle will lose. The shotgun is not good for shooting people at long distances, nor is it a high sustained fire weapon. Close range, high likelihood of hitting even when the speed of the fight exceeds the users ability to deploy traditional marksmanship principles, high likelihood of destroying/killing the intended target with... Read more →