A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Home Defense Shotgunning

I am a hard core advocate for the home defense shotgun. There is a lot of bullshit tossed around about the home defense shotgun, however. The biggest fallacy is that you do not have to aim a 18 inch shotgun at all. The gunstore commandos say the shot will spread out into an impenetrable hail of lead.

That is ignorant. Today I took one of my cut down cylinder bore shotguns to the range to dispel this myth. The shotgun I used was a Winchester 1300 that originally had a 28 inch modified choke barrel. I trimmed it down to 18.5 inches after I bought it for under $100. The ammo I used was Winchester low recoil 00 Buckshot. These are two & 3/4 inch cartridges with nine 00 pellets each. Each pellet is approximately the same as one round of .32ACP.

I shot at 10 and 21 feet. These are similar to the distances one would be shooting inside one's home. The 10 foot target shows a one and a half inch hole through the target, with an accessory hole that was punched by the wadding. The 21 foot target shows the pattern opening up to a little over 5 inches. The wadding, however, was the wild card, striking the target four inches away from the center of the pellets. Incidentally, I used the same target for both shots.

Hopefully, this will help dispel the myth that a shortened shotgun sprays lead everywhere, making aiming the gun unnecessary. You still have to aim the shotgun. You still have to work to build skills. The power of the shotgun is in it's ability to incapacitate with one solid hit. The shooter does have to hit the target, however. Thus, leave the full stock on the gun. Put it to your shoulder. Look down the barrel. Stop the threat. The weapon will work if the bullshit is left behind.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the misinformation comes from more of a difference in opinion... For a shotgun, you don't need to precision aim - this isn't bullseye shooting. You still do need to aim, but only for COM, rather than pin-point accuracy. Just a thought is all - could be one of those things where "through the ages" the conventional wisdom has gotten distorted.

I've done the same thing with my Win 1300, AAMOF, and had very similar results (IIRC, the spread was something like 4" at 7 yards and 8" at 12 yards (informal back yard shooting, more "paces" than actual yards). Even at the far distance, everything made it COM.

It was sufficient shooting to let me know that: A) I still need to aim the shotgun; and B) at the furthest distance I'd need to shoot inside my house, the spread was not sufficiently large as to endanger others needlessly. IOW, if I'm aiming at a goblin 30 feet away in the hallway, the 00 buckshot isn't going to tear through the kids' bedrooms on either side.

I'm not certain about the need for a stock, though. I bought one of the Tac-Star pistol grips for the Winchester more out of curiosity than anything, and did some reasonably good shooting with it (minute of gallon jug for sure). Granted, that was shooting 7½ birdshot, not 00 buckshot, though... Might have to pick up some low-recoil buck and give it a try this summer... Hmmm...

8:51 AM  
Blogger Grampapinhead said...

I think your choice of ammo questionable. You might try checking the spread using 27 pellet #4 Buckshot tactical ammo, Common sense would tell me that this would be best for the first 2 shots.

1:46 PM  

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