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Thread: Shotgun Reloads

  1. #11
    Site Supporter jetfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    With the right technique it is. I regularly demonstrate an emergency reload in under 2 seconds. Meaning on the beep of a timer from a low ready position, I fire a shot on target, reload the chamber from the side saddle, and fire another shot on target. This happens in between 1.68 and 1.99 seconds depending on how clean my technique is.



    Right...and, crucially, it has me going to a different side of the gun for an emergency load. That's cool if you are the kind of person who is practicing your reloads religiously like 3 gunners.

    Not ideal for most people who are not training that regularly with the scatter gun.

    I run a Vang Comp side saddle and with that I can perform up to 6 emergency reloads with the exact same manipulation if I have to. With a match saver, apart from knowing whether or not the shell is going to be there, I'd have to transition to the side saddle from the match saver if I needed more ammo.

    Doable, but it complicates the manipulations on a weapon that already has complex and rarely practiced manipulations.



    I've spent a fair bit of time working on the left-handed problem and generally speaking I can get lefties reloading from a suitable side saddle a lot more quickly than they thought possible.
    I'm glad you weighed in, because I've been wondering about this myself. A shotgun is my primary HD weapon and general long gun for a few reasons, and I'm trying to figure out the most efficient way to reload that doesn't involve spending my life practicing shotgun reloads like a 3-gunner.
    I shot the PX4 before it was cool.

  2. #12
    Perpetually Tired RevolverRob's Avatar
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    I think we're really talking about two things. Topping a gun off that is partially full and keeping a completely empty gun running.

    Topping off a partially full gun - shells from a side saddle if that's what you have. You should practice one at a time like in the video Hambo posted. And I like the Tactical Twins for situations, where you can dismount the gun from the shoulder (like behind cover) or moving between covered positions. It's lower on the use pole than just about anything, because it does involve a partial dismount of the gun.



    For keeping a completely empty shotgun running - the 'emergency reload' as TC calls it. This is to keep lead going down range as quickly as possible. From the side saddle to the port is great. You can also pull shells off your body (if you have them). Here you can see Jessie Harrison (aka Jessie Duff aka Jessie Abbate) - showing a port load technique to keep a shotgun running in Cowboy Action Shooting (by rule guns can only have two shells loaded in the tube at the start of a stage).

    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

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  3. #13
    Can anyone point me to a case of a standing engagement in place where an emergency reload was performed under fire and it was a critical factor in winning the fight versus a handgun transition? Just curious as to what I should be spending a whole bunch of time on training.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    Can anyone point me to a case of a standing engagement in place where an emergency reload was performed under fire and it was a critical factor in winning the fight versus a handgun transition? Just curious as to what I should be spending a whole bunch of time on training.
    The same could be said for select slug drills and probably for speed loads too.

    At the outset of my shotgun classes, I touch on this and state that the loading drills are a matter of learning to master the tool and not necessarily a reflection of reality of using the tool.

    I teach how to properly unload the shotgun as that is a vital skill that has real applications.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  5. #15
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    Can anyone point me to a case of a standing engagement in place where an emergency reload was performed under fire and it was a critical factor in winning the fight versus a handgun transition? Just curious as to what I should be spending a whole bunch of time on training.
    Naturally, that is going to be a difficult thing to actually point to given how scarce accurate and comprehensive data on (especially citizen) shootings and gunfights is.

    Here's something concrete I can point to: I can perform an emergency reload with a shotgun faster than I can transition to a handgun.

    This means it is faster and, frankly, easier for me to get the more powerful, effective, and more easily used weapon back into the fight than it is for me to get the handgun out and resume putting lead on the threat.

    In fact, I can usually get two more rounds of buckshot on target before most can complete a transition and deliver an effective dose of handgun ammunition on a threat.

    Generally speaking, in most circumstances where Joe or Jane Citizen has a shotgun in their hands, it is likely the only firearm in their possession at that moment. When I've dealt with attempts to forcibly enter whatever domicile I was inhabiting, up to this point it has been while I'm in my boxers.

    Transitioning to a sidearm (assuming one is available) is certainly a useful skillset to have and the option to do it is never a bad thing to have on your side, but automatically transitioning to a sidearm if the shotgun goes dry might not be the best option in that moment. This is where someone who has spent the time working on the relevant skillsets in this problem can make an honest assessment of where they are at with their equipment and come up with the solution that works best for their situation. If one is dealing with a best practice to give to under-trained troops, the majority of whom aren't likely to invest the effort into making that sort of intelligent assessment then having a standard practice of performing a transition when the shotgun goes dry is useful.

    Of course, the core question is whether or not someone is going to realistically empty a shotgun and find that there are still threats remaining to deal with.

    Personally, I don't know of any situation where a citizen defender in their home has emptied a 12 gauge and needed to reload it or access another weapon to finish the job. There have been a number of largely static shootings in LE where an officer emptied a shotgun and needed to transition to another weapon primarily because the shotgun was ineffective in those circumstances:



    Four rounds of buckshot in a fairly standard bead-sighted 870 fired into the windshield of a bus. And, of course, no additional ammo available on the gun so when it was empty it was essentially an inefficient club.

    The typical home invader is probably not going to stick around and fight once the victim starts touching off buckshot. It is most likely going to be a couple of shots into the first one or two dudes that come across the intended victim and anyone among the invading party who is capable of running away at that point is highly likely to do so. Of course, there's no guarantee of that so it would make sense to keep the magazine fed if it is at all practical to do so, and to learn how to get a dry gun back into action in a timely manner in case they get one of the small percentage of bad guys who are more inclined to fight than flight.
    Last edited by TCinVA; 10-03-2019 at 12:20 PM.
    3/15/2016

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jlw View Post
    The same could be said for select slug drills and probably for speed loads too.

    At the outset of my shotgun classes, I touch on this and state that the loading drills are a matter of learning to master the tool and not necessarily a reflection of reality of using the tool.

    I teach how to properly unload the shotgun as that is a vital skill that has real applications.
    I performed slug select drills regularly in the field, just did it prior to an engagement. Feeding the Pig is something I emphasize for offensive use of the shotgun. It is important, and itís important to do correctly and fumble free under stress. I think we also spend an inordinate amount of time and effort to beat a clock on a skill that is something that is of very minimal use in any kind of engagement. But hey, if you want to bet your speed load under fire at close range versus a transition and that is a priority.....what the hell do I know about shotgun engagements in the field. I think a much more practical skill maybe if your gauge goes bingo and you have no pistol you take off running and start loading of the on board system on the run to cover.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  7. #17
    Member Keebsley's Avatar
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    Slight side tangent but not really: what is everyone using for dummy rounds? Something that wont shit the bed after a few uses. Have some Amazon credit I can use.

  8. #18
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagga Boy View Post
    I think a much more practical skill maybe if your gauge goes bingo and you have no pistol you take off running and start loading of the on board system on the run to cover.
    Generally speaking, a citizen defender in their home is probably at an Alamo point between the bad guy and their family. In the exceptional case where their gauge is out of ammo and the threat is ongoing they likely don't have much cover they can run to.

    ...although a solid reload technique will certainly work on the move.
    Last edited by TCinVA; 10-03-2019 at 12:32 PM.
    3/15/2016

  9. #19
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keebsley View Post
    Slight side tangent but not really: what is everyone using for dummy rounds? Something that wont shit the bed after a few uses. Have some Amazon credit I can use.
    Fiocchi dummy rounds. Might not be available on Amazon but they hold up well to use. I keep 100 of them on hand in a dedicated box for classes.
    3/15/2016

  10. #20
    Perpetually Tired RevolverRob's Avatar
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    What if we're not carrying a handgun?

    I don't throw on a bat belt with my handgun and four spare mags, chest rig, and a helmet before I run out to the living room to get it on at 0300 with my shotgun. Whatever ammo is in the gun and on the gun is what I'm fighting with. It's academic really, because I doubt very seriously, I'm going to expend more than 1 or 2 shells, if any at all. Spare ammo almost seems superfluous when you consider I'm probably not going to get into a raging John Wick style gunfight in my own living room. But then again...I don't actually get up at 0300 to get it on, either. The dog or my wife* can handle it (she's usually up by 0400).

    There are other instances, where I can think about port-loading being very important. If you're carrying a long-gun in a state where the gun must be unloaded and you're using a shotgun (I frequently do this), the gun has to be stoked up and you may not have time to load the tube. Getting shells off the side saddle and into the gun is important to getting it running. I usually carry a handgun and it's much more likely that I'll use the handgun first and transition to a shotgun, once loaded, as a backup. But I can't predict everything that is going to happen. A Shockwave/Tac14 with a side-saddle is a good way to go. When I travel with a shotgun, I usually keep two slugs in the pocket of my vest to get the gun running, while I try to get to cover and get the tube loaded. If I had to, I could keep it running through the port.

    *And she's real good with port loading a pump gun to keep it running. She plucks 'em two at a time from the butt cuff on her preferred 20-gauge 870 Youth and throws them right in like the video of Jessie Abbate I showed. Not too mention that gun has a +4 extension on it (21" barrel), so she starts 8 or 9 rounds from go. She likes to practice port loading by starting action open, shells in the butt cuff, I'll launch two clay pigeons and she'll bust them both via port loading a shell at a time. Yes, that's "trick shot" type work, but she doesn't really carry a pistol and is unlikely to use one in the event of an emergency, so whatever keeps her practicing to keep a gun running, is all I care about.
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

    Do not be a fool; the Oxford comma is always necessary.

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