After Action Report: Costa Ludus Shotgun Employment [Guest Post]

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[ Many thanks to Noodles for writing this guest post. ]

South East Portland Oregon, Chris Costa, 3 days, a full class, 400 rounds of buckshot, 100 slugs, 100 birdshot, and what was supposed to be 600 rounds but quickly became more of 9mm, Benellis, 870s, Mossbergs, sunscreen, velcro cards, funny stories, Shirley Temples followed by Crème Brulee, sweat, patience, running back to for more ammo, loading, always loading, slipping on shotgun hulls, 8500 of them on the ground, a coin for my efforts and acute confidence that that with more practice I could effectively run what is easily the most devastating, versatile, and effective weapon in the individual’s arsenal. I took Costa Ludus’s Shotgun Employment Class and if you own a shotgun for defense – I can’t believe you didn’t.

Introduction

The overwhelming response to “What gun should I have for home defense?” is usually “Oh, you need a pump 12ga! There is no other weapon out there that racking one alone will run someone out of the house!”. This is not only a common, but I would suggest the overwhelming statement in neighbor to neighbor, local gun store to patron, and endless internet chatter. I won’t really get into debunking that statement as I’ve learned trying to provide advice to people that do not seek it, and even the ones that do seek it, is usually a zero sum game, a waste of everyone’s time. What I will do, is in response ask…. If you are going to trust your life to one, and in the event that racking won’t just solve the situation but perhaps make it worse, How do you train with the shotgun?

I trained with Costa Ludus – the outfit that Chris Costa formerly of Magpul Dynamics/Training fame started when he left Magpul. Early this year I took my first formal classes although I’ve been shooting for some time. Handgun I and II with an outfit in Michigan called MDFI. Trying not to get too off topic because this is my After Action Report on the Costa class, I will say that if you are in the area, take a class from MDFI! I went in to the Costa class every bit as capable or at least as confident in my handgun employment as anyone else there, MDFI provided the proper foundation that I will take to other classes. Chris Costa whatever you may think of him, his following, or his legend/hype, is a great teacher. Math, Science, Knitting, driving a hole into an clear threat, it all benefits from having great teachers. The guy can shoot too, it’s his job of course, but no doubt the best shooter I’ve ever been in the presence of. Chris at this time runs the Ludus (“Training”) operation more or less solo but the class size is kept relatively small, so at no point did I find him to be unavailable. Quite the opposite, I think he’s probably one of the more approachable people I’ve met, surely no coincidence to his large following on the internet. At one point I asked about an urban prone position and really without comment he dropped to the ground on the mess of shotgun hulls and demonstrated. Formal firearm training is not cheap. You know what else is not cheap? Time is not cheap. I learned more in three days with 600 rounds of shotgun ammo than I ever would have with 6,000-60,000 rounds of ammo and weeks dedicated at the range. I have no hesitation to recommend Costa for training. Interestingly, I was probably one of the only people there that did not previously take a class from Costa via Ludus or Magpul, almost everyone else there had at one point taken a class from him. Damn if this will be my last as well, he’s that effective as an instructor.

Bring the gear you have, what you are comfortable with, what you know works for you. Don’t rush out to buy the badass gear you think you want, because until you take a class, you don’t really know what you want. A very nice husband and wife couple brought brand new Mossberg 930 shotguns that as I understand it, are both now being returned or sold. A third guy with a 930 shared with them the manipulation issues of that platform, no idea if he’s keeping his, but I doubt it. For gear I’ll quickly mention I brought:

  • A Walther PPQ First Edition in 9mm (threaded barrel, Trijicon sights)

  • My Dad’s old HK-marked Benelli m1 that I removed the Surefire forearm from to make a lot lighter

  • A borrowed 870 that was decked out but had a much too short length of pull for me, the Hogue youth stock doesn’t fit me at 6’0”

  • Raven Concealment’s modul-loader shell holding system, Ares velcro shell holder cards, die cut loop-side backers from 3GunGear

  • Raven Concealment’s mag carrier for the PPQ, but not holster. I ordered the holster the end of June and as of this writing it’s still not ready, RCS makes a fantastic product, but the wait is unfortunate. However, realizing it wouldn’t be here in time, I’d like to thank the guys there (Trek and Tom) for getting the other items separated and shipped to me in time for the class. The holster was from Crown Holsters, it works well and has a far shorter wait than the Raven, but not exactly apples to apples. The Raven accessories work on the Crown.

  • Rio Buckshot (I’m on a budget!), Federal hydrashock slugs, some Walmart birdshot.

  • MSA earmuffs, they’re expensive but fit/work well.

  • Native sunglasses, t-shirts, jeans, kahkis, sneakers, an Ares Ranger belt (I should have tried the Lite version first). All things that keep me from looking like an action figure, things I’m likely to have on a day to day basis. Train like you fight. If you think you may need to pull a shotgun from your car and engage a threat, are you likely to have full ninja gear on? Are you going to have time to grab your 30 round bandolier, a sling, your tactical vest? Unless you are LE planning for a situation, probably not.

As for the rest of the class:

  • Very M&P heavy. Aside from every make and variation of the M&P the only other standouts I saw were an M&P Shield, a department Glock, department Sig, a 1911, a Ruger, and my Walther PPQ. Costa ran a custom 1911 and a Glock.

  • A lot of the class ran velco cards and field stocks on their shotguns, no one complained about this setup. Others are now converting to the velcro cards from aluminum side saddles. Two people with pistol grip stocks expressed immediate disinterest in them and would like to switch. The methods that load and manipulate a shotgun do not lend well to a pistol grip in my opinion, your mileage may vary.

  • Mostly 870s were used. A couple Benelli m1’s including Costa’s. An m2 that only had an issue because it was ran with no lube, added a little FrogLube and it ran perfectly. An m4/m1014 and a Remington VersaMax that is so closely copied from the m4 that it’s a little questionable on Remington’s part. A couple Mossberg 500/590s. The 930s that I wouldn’t consider for any price. Nothing dumb like a Saiga (I own one, hate it, selling it). No Keltec KSG that I was half expecting to see.

  • Two police, one or two former military, a husband and wife couple, two EMT and Fire department guys, a surgeon, an IT guy and some other technical types, etc. I showed up alone not knowing anyone, and honestly, the people you meet in these classes are friendly, helpful, and generous. No need to bring your own buddy, you’ll make new ones there.

A quick overview of some of the gear I brought. Very pleased with everything there except that I think I’ve outgrown that holster just a bit.

Day 1: Handgun

Consider you were a firearms instructor, you are at risk of being shot by a student – mathematically bound to happen eventually. It was made clear that a 12ga shotgun is unlike any other weapon at our disposal, if you are in a supine position (on your back, neck up, shooting between your spread out feet) and shoot your own foot with a 556 or 9mm, you’re going to have a very bad day. Do the same with a 12ga, and for the rest of your life you’ll never walk correctly. For this reason I suspect Day1 was handgun-only because it allowed any potential goofballs to be rooted out before they became a problem/danger. Plus, shotguns typically have 4+1 to 7+1 capacity, you are very likely to run out of ammo, and if you have a handgun, you will need to transition to it. This may mean for people without a sling that you’re doing so one handed. All of a sudden, the one-handed malfunction clearing and reload drills become very practical. Day1 quickly became 800 rounds of 9mm from my Walther PPQ which functioned great with the exception of me occasionally holding the slide release lever down resulting in a closed slide on the empty mag. This is a grip issue I’m working to free myself of, I now only do it under stress, which a couple of the drills were designed to induce. The personal significant note about Day1 or my PPQ was that about one month earlier I installed Trijicon’s sights in place of the very low profile factory night sights, they help clear suppressors. I had practiced with the PPQ after the new sights, shot uspsa practice, ran drills from the excellent pistol-training.com, so it was a surprise that in class I wasn’t shooting well at all, a lot of center mass hits on the (very excellent) VTAC targets were to the left, but not all of them. Chris took some time to investigate the issue with me, from a prone position at 25 yards, we confirmed my sights were indeed off. He explained that I have a Type-A personality and that I couldn’t see my sights were off because I was compensating for it by just getting the hits I needed at the distances I shot then moving along. Apparently common to students in his classes. Lesson learned, spend more time sighting and have someone else confirm it – before showing up to class. Once solved, I was very pleased with my shooting. The PPQ is a fantastic handgun and while it lacks the customizability of a Glock or M&P, it doesn’t really need much work done it, very accurate and the best factory striker fired trigger on the market. Skills learned or utilized:

  • Costa recommended and made logical points for using the same stance for handgun employment as you do shotgun/carbine/etc. I found I could take 3-4” off my height with a more aggressive stance and was then able to handle recoil better allowing my cadence to increase in speed.

  • Ideal ways to shoot from kneeling without really banging up your knees.

  • The importance of the pelvic girdle as a target. Often overlooked, the breaking the pelvic girdle will stop someone from moving no matter how drugged or deranged. Piercing the femoral artery is an eventual show stopper. I’ll make a note here at this point… Nothing in this class advocated even the most justified killing as the best option. All instruction was directed on how to stop a threat. There were no intentions or calculations on how to cause pain or suffering and nothing was joked about on these matters. This is class on DEFENSE using firearms. Piercing a femoral artery without treatment will cause death, no doubt about it, but if you are not prepared to potentially kill to save you or your family, you have no business handling a firearm. There is no such thing as a warning shot, there is no racking the gun to scare someone, you don’t shoot for the legs. If you rack that gun, you had better be equally prepared to fire it until the threat is stopped.

  • Shooting handgun while moving. Drills where commands like LEFT, RIGHT, FORWARD were called and you moved and engaged the target in front of you as per command. A little funny because someone will forget their right vs left at some point, you need to be aware and ready to adapt to that.

  • Scan And Assess is the look around after an engagement. The idea is that you need situational awareness because where there is one threat, there may be two, or four. You scan and assess TO shoot, not to stop shooting. Look around, visually acquire details, and be prepared to engage more threats if needed.

  • Be prepared to slow down. A lot of USPSA and IDPA shooters have handicapped accuracy because their game favors speed. Real world does not. You are responsible for every round fired. A missed shot could easily kill an innocent and at that point it does not matter how justified the intent was, you are going to spend some time in jail. If the situation calls for a couple rapid shots and then a well-aimed headshot, take the time to do it right. Cadence and set time for shots will vary with distance and difficulty of the target. Slow it down if you need to.

  • One of my favorite take-aways… Trust in your gun, not in your ammo as your ammo will fail you. Only hits that stop the threat count. I prefer 9mm over any other because of the recoil and capacity offered (one threat could be four). Even if you have a .40/.45/10mm and the new hottest brand of Tactical Ninja X Ultra Hollow Bonded Man-Stopper ammo, it will at some point fail to do what it is supposed to, at that point be ready to fire again until the threat is stopped. Costa discussed how center mass shots are the most practiced but it’s an effectively armored spot on a human, that means you may need follow up shots. Know/Run the gun first because the ammo comes second, be prepared to reload, fire accurately, fire quickly.

Costa demonstrating a shotgun muzzle down to handgun transition.

Day 2: Auto Shotgun

I brought a more or less stock Benelli m1 and a backup 870. Light and accurate, the Benelli is sort of like cheating. The fantastic method of operation makes slug changeovers exceptionally easy and unlike the Mossberg pump or autos does not require you to drop rounds on the ground. The class spent a lot of time on recoil management, and it’s a big factor in a 12ga especially for medium built guys like me. Like most other people I immediately discovered that my 00 Buckshot was not patterning well, that’s not fair to say really, it wasn’t patterning as well as one brand of buckshot that a couple people were using. Until I see another brand catch up, I will not buy anything other than Federal buckshot with their “FlightControl” wad, Federal Tactical is the LE version, consumer is the same stuff. Easily the tightest and most effective buckshot out there. Costa had everyone shooting something other than “FedTac” fire one round at the head of your target at 15 yards, then compare to your ammo at 15 yards. It wasn’t even a contest. Now the versatility of the shotgun compared to other weapons was becoming clear. In one weapon system you can:

  • Effectively take down any game in North America (hunting or defense)

  • Accurately fire slugs at 100y+, devastate an area with buckshot

  • Moving target practice / clays with birdshot

  • Persuasively stop vehicles and engines

  • Breach doors/gates/locks either in planned or emergency situations

  • Use less-lethal options such as bean bags, rubber slugs, OC (pepper spray/powder), and flash/flare/illuminating ammo

  • Bounce shot along hard surfaces to “reach” under cars, along walls, etc

  • Punch into or through armored targets or walls (the downside of home defense scenarios)

The triangle marked shots were Rio Low Recoil 00Buck out of my unchoked Benelli m1 at 15 yards. The headshot is Federal FlightControl 00Buck, same gun at 15 yards. FedTac would easily allow you to push to 35y+ and keep on target, a huge advantage.

As a civilian, I never gave a thought about breeching, but there are plausible scenarios that you must enter a house or gate and a carbine or handgun won’t help you much there. Given the shotgun’s versatility, it’s likely the round you want, may not be the round in your gun. We spent a lot of time practicing slug changeovers which you can watch Costa demonstrate on YouTube. Skills learned or utilized:

  • Proper gun setup, from length of pull, to operation, stance and recoil management.

  • Reloads! Lots of reloads. During one of the more stressful drills, Costa yelled out “Yea, I bet you wish you had that carbine now!” 4+1 or 8+1 or 14+1 it doesn’t matter, you are going to run out of ammo.

  • Ammo changeovers (drills like, 2 buckshot center mass, 1 slug headshot… THREAT!)

  • Double slug changeovers and how to deal with your platform when the tube is full but you want some other ammo

  • We ended the day with a critical thinking drill. Three steel plates at varied distances you were explained to fill the tube and chamber with birdshot, then on the timer, engage all three steel plates with slugs. On my Benelli this still meant a dance of loading the carrier, ejecting two rounds, loading a slug directly in the chamber, one in the tube, then after firing, getting another slug in the tube. Later Chris said he might have just done three single slug changeovers. The idea here was that he never taught us how to do three slugs. I got the fastest time of the class for this drill which doesn’t mean crap, but it did make me decide the Benelli is sort of like cheating.

Day 3: Pump Shotgun

Ok, so the Benelli isn’t “cheating” but it is easily the most well thought out auto platform out there, makes everything a little easier. Recently their m1/m2 action patent ran out and there are other mfgs making clones (The Firearm Blog recently posted about a Turkish company that might be a nice option if are they made well and available). I decided that Day3 I would use the pump action to learn both platforms. The 870 I borrowed is a Marine Magnum painted black, 18”, with a ported VangComp system in place, nice ghost sights although at no point did my m1’s rifle sights hold me back, a Hogue youth stock. Movement drills became tougher because somehow an 870 with 6 or 7 round in it, 5 in the velcro card on the side of the gun, my left pocket filled with 15 rounds of buckshot, 5 more on my belt in a spare card, just keeps getting heavier and heavier. Ahead of me I see the drill with 12 targets at 5 “stations” and he’s calling 2 shots each – GO. That’s a lot of moving, loading, holding, aiming, fire, rack, fire again, rack again, do that for the next target, reload as much as you can, good, now move to the next set and do it all again 4 more times . I see people on the internet with righteous hand-of-god looking Benelli m4s that weigh 12lbs unloaded, I would have been miserable with one of those guns. Granted, this is a training drill that is designed to fatigue and stress, but who is to say you’re going to be fresh and rested if you ever need to use a firearm in defense? Skills learned or utilized:

  • On a shotgun, if you are not firing, you are loading. Absolutely.

  • The pump is a different beast than the auto. A fairly different manual of arms and balance between recoil management and operation. Slug changeovers only required one more step, and I watched Costa run a pump as easily as fast as anyone there ran their semi. Takes training though, I would not select a pump action for defense without training.

  • Shooting from urban prone and supine, require different methods compared to other guns. Recoil management is important when you’re not on your feet and might not be able to get a cheek weld and purchase on your body.

  • Handgun transitions aren’t particularly complicated but what you do with that shotgun in your weak hand will be different depending on if the shotgun is providing white light, you vest/plates, etc.

  • Running a pump properly will leave you with an unexpected empty chamber and a “click” of the trigger. This will happen and you need to be ready to break it and feed that chamber with a combat reload from a pocket if needed.

  • During another steel drill. Four plates at 15yards, and two more steel at 25 yards. The idea was to engage four targets with buckshot then two slug changeovers to engage the steel at the rear. There were three people that had a very close 15.5-16.0s times, I edged everyone out once again and was quite proud of myself until Costa ran a 15.3 seconds that although he did not beat my time, he had cleared three failure to eject malfunctions (that gun needed lube as well iirc) in the only a slightly increased amount of time I took to just engage the targets with no malfunctions.

 

Given the slow cyclic rate of auto shotguns, and that the recoil takes up a lot of time on the auto that you just need to ride out, while during the same time on the pump you can work the action, I’d argue that the speed benefits of autos vs pumps is less of an issue than most suspect. Chris pauses at the end of this video and decides to shoot some more, I wish I had better clips, but my hands were usually full of shotguns all class, video suffered.

Other lessons, things I learned or found interesting:

  • On all guns really, but shotguns in particular… If it is a screw, IT GETS LOCTITE. Either red or blue depending on what it’s holding. I saw two ghost sights come loose, one side saddle, one pic rail, the extended bolt release button my m1, and even the stock on Costa’s m1 started to loosen up (a gun that gets a LOT of rounds down it). After a previous incident with the front sight on my PPQ, I should have learned this lesson. Loctite everything.

  • The guys with mini red dots on their guns definitely had an accuracy advantage, it’s a fair platform to use a red dot on.

  • I was fortunate enough to be able to have dinner with Costa and some people from class on two of the three nights I was there. After some jokes about girly drinks I ordered him a Shirley Temple which immediately backfired on me because he found it delicious and then I wanted one – serves me right. For a bunch of guys working shotguns all day there were a quite a few wines (I like American Shiraz, Chris like port) and crème brulees ordered. Dinner conversation was interesting everyone pleasant but candid. The internet-gossip-tramp would have been disappointed as there was no bashing on this or that person, product, or company.

  • After 600 rounds or so of 12ga, I didn’t have anything but a minor redness on my shoulder . This small amount of wear was from me either not mitigating recoil properly or generally because of my 870’s youth stock being too short for my build. No bruises at all, no discomfort. I had expected a drive home in pain, absolutely not the case. It’s a gentle giant if you know what you are doing.

  • Semi-auto shotguns almost all have reciprocating charging handles. This can cause an issue when urban prone and the extended handle is sticking into the dirt. I suppose the same could be said for getting it too close to a wall, door frame, or other object. Not something I had considered earlier.

  • If I were to set up a shotgun today, I would have the magazine tube extend past the barrel just enough to fit one more round. I disliked this look previously, but it does a bit to protect the muzzle when resting the gun on the ground and provides a standoff for breaching.

  • “Equipment you can replace. Skills stick with you.” You might not really need that $2000 m4. Consider an old m1 and learn how to use it. Same goes for custom handguns, fishing rods, whatever.

  • Since it’s my review, I’d like to thank everyone from the class for being generally good people. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to become more responsible citizens, thanks to the two police for taking the time to better protect and serve. Thanks to Bill for hosting, thanks to the Douglas Range in Clackamas, thanks to the catering crew. Chris, maybe next time you’ll design a steel drill you can beat me on… Yea really though, thank you again for your patience explaining things and general great direction, it was a perfect class. Mark, thanks again, and you really ran that Ben-ington! Sleeves, don’t let them pick on you. Tyler, stop picking on sleeves. I hope to see everyone again at some point.

Costa explaining how to fire in supine. Unless you are shaped oddly, you are not going to get a cheek weld or proper sight alignment so aiming down the barrel becomes necessary. Side note, not paying attention to recoil, I knocked my ear muffs clear off my head during this drill, it was loud and I definitely did not let that happen again.
Chris holding a 12ga hull to explain that unlike handgun or carbine, the slow extracting shell from a shotgun needs a lot of room to clear the gun when ejecting down into the ground. Likewise dragging the charging handle could also cause FTE or FTF malfunctions.

Disclaimer

I received absolutely nothing free or reduced price for Costa Ludus, MDFI, RavenConcealment, VTAC, Walther, Benelli, 3GunGear, or any other company. No one knew I would write this review, and I have not asked for permission from anyone to do so. I didn’t like the 3GunGear shell carrier I bought as it was difficult to load one of the loops at the end, and I did get the Ares card to twice drop a round out of it under very heavy fire, these were pretty much my only issues. None of the above is the necessarily the opinion of The Firearm Blog and if something would have sucked I promise I would have said so. After all of the above, whether you are military/police/civilian if you have a firearm that you use for defense, you are doing yourself a disservice by not seeking some firearm training beyond the concealed carry requirements or yearly qualification – likewise if anyone you care about has a firearm for defense please urge they seek some level of formal training, it doesn’t have to be from MDFI or Costa or Vickers or anyone in particular, just get some formal training somewhere. There is no replacement and you are not too good for classes.

My Walther PPQ along with the Costa Ludus coin given out for completion of the course.
Related

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Jeremy

    I read your entire, long article and found it pretty informative, sounds like a great class. The only thing that I take exception to is saying that the Saiga 12 as a combat shotgun is ‘silly’. If you don’t like yours, fair enough, whatever… but to call one silly, a gun that has easily taken over 3 gun comps nation wide… well, that’s just silly.

    • Other Steve

      I suppose in a competition I would agree the Saigs isn’t awful. But as a practical gun I have been nothing but disappointed in mine. They are all a little different (Vodka Specials), the gas system needs work out of the box, they don’t run nearly as reliable as they should, and reloads without a mag well are a JOKE. This is all just my opinion of course.

      After truly running the m1 and 870, I just don’t see what the Saiga really offers. Well, I get it as an SBS actually, an 8″ that could still have 8 round capacity, but I would still prefer a 14″ 870 even with its 4+1 capacity.

      • Noodles

        Pretty much this.

      • W

        The Saiga shotguns dont impress me worth a damn. Everything othersteve said.

        If you want a autoloader, you better be prepared to drop some cash. there’s no such thing as a bargain.

  • Moondog

    Could you elaborate more on the issues you experienced with the 930. Was it a 930 spx?

    Curious as a family member owns one.

    • http://www.batmanbatmanbatman.com Woodroez

      I was curious in this regard as well. I had always perceived that the 930 was seen as a good value and reliable. We all know how gauging that sort of thing on the internet can be, however.

      Anyway, a good write-up and well-timed! I just got a Benelli Nova tactical this week and will be taking out today, hopefully! I’ve also heard nothing but good things about the Federal buckshot loads.

      • Other Steve

        I don’t know anything about the function of the Nova, but given that the m1/2/3/4 are designed to function ideally, you should be just fine.

  • Ben

    I would like to know more about the 930s as well. I have been using an 930 SPX for about 2 or 3 years now and after thousands of rounds at local matches and have been extreamly happy. That thing eats EVERYTHING. I did have to have a choke put in, but other than that I am not ashamed to say I would bet my life on that gun.

    • Noodles

      Obviously not every 930 out there is ready to completely crap out at its first use like we had in class. But, are your competitions designed for birdshot? Do you preform any type of ammo changeover?

      For running birdshot in a 3 gun, I think the 930 is probably fine. As a home defense or survival gun I would opt for other options based on what I saw first hand. I have zero time on a 930, so what do I know? :)

  • sgt fish

    i have seen a lot of mossbergs fail, some to the point of non-repair. guess how many remingtons ive had to fix or get rid of, nada. 870 for life

    • Ben

      I guess everyones experence is different, but we had Mossbergs in the Army and they all held up well. Also, as I stated before my 930 SPX has never let me down.

      • Noodles

        Oh I get it, on one wants to see their preferred platform beat up. Just reporting my observations. Do feel free to buy Mossberg, I won’t, so more for you :D

      • W

        i have both (870 and 500) and they both have held up just fine. The only issue with any shotgun i had was with a remington 1187. After that, the only autoloader I would touch is a Benelli.

      • Sleeves

        Just because a Mossberg holds up doesn’t necessarily make it the ideal shotgun platform. In the class, Chris covered slug changeovers, and it was clear that some platforms were better than others. For example, with the Mossberg 590, you lost shells depending on how many slugs you needed to load, and you had to “surf” them out, which was slow and inconsistent. Comparing it to the Remington 870, it was faster and consistent, and you lost fewer shells than the 590. In a platform that has limited capacity, and in a self defense situation, this is pretty important. For the record, my first shotgun was a 590, second was an 870, and I ran the 870 in the class for this reason.

    • Greg

      I own 2 Mossberg 500s and both have them have performed every single time without fail. Not saying your full of it but my experience is diff. then yours.

      • gunslinger

        i say this!

        when i was looking for a turkey gun (ok, not defense, but still) it was down to an 870 or 500 (variants) ended up going with the mossberg due to the ergonomics of it. but i had plenty of people telling me one was better than the other.

        but from 3 seasons of use, plus range time, i haven’t had problems with my mossberg. but i say shoot what works. try them both out. but i bet a highly cared for gun will do better than a “stock” gun that’s been given no love.

    • Sam Fisher

      Mossberg 500′s are perfect for us southpaw shooters. The top of the receiver safety is easily accessible using the thumb, and the pump release lever (thingy) is easy to depress using the left index finger, when using a standard non-pistol grip buttstock. If one is of a smaller build, the lighter aluminum receiver might be preferable compared to the 870′s heavier steel receiver.

      Whether Chevy or Ford doesn’t matter, both transport you from point A to point B.

      • Burst

        It’s frustrating, really. Mossberg’s ergonomics do make handling the gun as a lefty much easier. But I really don’t like the company much at all, and am lukewarm on the final product.

        This is often the case as a southpaw- you get stuck in between a weapon that you actually like, and one that isn’t annoying to use.

        Ah well, we’ll always have the Single action army, and AK47.

  • Curzen

    Was the Leatherman MUT much use given the absence of any AR15 style rifles? The tool selection on them seems very niche in that respect.

    • Noodles

      Multitools are always useful. One guy borrowed the mut to use as a screw driver, another guy borrow it for something else, I used it as a knife a couple times. Really the only AR specifically snapped part on it is the bolt override which I suppose could be used on the benelli as well.

  • gunslinger

    WOW. what a review/blog. I’d LOVE to go to one of those classes, but $$/time is always a factor.

    • Noodles

      It wasn’t cheap factoring in driving, hotel, ammo, and food, I agree. But we’ll worth it. After taking this class, I realize I would have been putting myself in danger even selecting a shotgun for home defense, I feel I’ve learned enough to now to be the bare minimum of competent.

      If you can find a class in your area, I would suggest making the time and money available to do it.

    • Noodles

      I suppose I had not factored the 930-love and defense of that platform. Ok, issues with the Mossberg 930….

      The 500/590/930 on a slug changeover all require you to dump at least one round on the ground. Not only this, but it doesn’t eject, you need to surf it out, or more often an upside-down wiggle until it falls out. If the chamber was loaded this means you are out 2 rounds on the ground. In a weapon system that typically holds 4-6 in the tube, I find this an unacceptable loss.

      Of the husband and wife, the wife’s 930 broke completely on the second day of class. It would fire one round, load the next, then “click”, the hammer or trigger parts had a complete failure and that gun had to be retired. The husband was pissed to put it lightly, already planning on returning for refund.

      There were other manipulation issues with the 930 that I could see as Chris stopped the class to explain a workaround to those users but I wasn’t really paying attention to the specific issues as I had a lot on my own plate at the time.

      I do know at least one of the three was an older gun, I don’t know which we’re SPX. Chris commented late how he had ‘t usually seen Mossbergs “that” bad, but they were really good. The couple had brand new models, that were quite heavy.

      In all, the 930s between not functioning in a manner that was helpful to each situation like the Benellis or 870s were, one completely breaking under hard use, and the plenty of times I heard “F@CK MOSSBERG”, I would avoid.

      That isn’t to say they are bad, just my annecdotal experience tells me to stay far away, when there other great options out there. You may have no issues with yours but how many people run 600 rounds in two days to really work their platform out?

      • W

        pump actions can definitely be tricky for a slug changeover. my experience remains the same between the mossberg 500 and remington 870. practice, practice, practice.

        if you want convenience and speed for slug changeovers, then that extra dough you saved for a Benelli really starts to shine. For the reliability, durability, and versatility compared to other autoloading shotguns, there is a reason why Benellis cost what they do. They are worth every penny.

      • Noodles

        Agreed.

        Although, I didn’t find myself at too much of a disadvantage with the changerovers on the 870. It’s just that one extra step of breaking it halfway, seating the one in the tube, then breaking back all the way. Advantage over the Benelli was that I was at no point holding the 870 by just the charging handle, as breif as that moment is on the m1/m2/m4.

        They came out pretty close for me and I’d feel comfortable with either one. As it were, I’m going to SBS and 870 for a 14″ police-style. I think for my uses the 4+1 capacity with a velco side saddle would be fine.

      • Greg B

        Noodles,

        Okay I know i’ve responded quite a bit here, but maybe I can actually help some 930 owners out here.

        The malfunction the wife experienced probably nothing to do with the FCG and everything to do with the gun’s piston rings not being cleaned out. I’ve seen it happen to quite a few 930 shooters. If the bolt is not fully into battery the bolt will not be totally locked up and block the firing pin from going all the way home. You you will get a FTF. *CLICK* rack *CLICK rack… etc. Most people don’t know that you need to take the piston rings apart on the 930 and clean them out… They will pull out the piston assembly wipe it down… but never get to the carbon under the rings that is causing the issue. I ran into this issue after about 500+ rounds through my gun, had this issue despite cleaning. When I cleaned under the rings no more problems.

        Here are some relevant threads regarding this malfunction on the 930 and how to fix it, and prevent it.

        http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=138523

        This thread has a link with video, of how to clean out the piston.
        http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=6&f=1&t=348227

    • Phil White

      I understand the cost factors being prohibitive for many of us. It may take a couple of years (or longer) of saving up but in the end most people should be able to attend at least some of the short courses offered by quality instructors.

  • Daniel

    Good article, but I do have one hair to split regarding the use of the word “civilian” to describe anyone not acting as an agent of the government. Police ARE civilians!

    While often glossed over (almost always unintentionally), this is a very important distinction. Look at countries where the police aren’t viewed by the law as civilians (China, Venezuela, etc.) and ask yourself if you would want live there. Words matter. They shape our ideas and frame the terms of debate and public policy. PLEASE use “non-government” instead.

    • Noodles

      Ok, police are civilians…. Civilians the operate with state issued weaponry, are most likely to be put in a situation requiring the use of force, and face different protections from lawsuits while on duty.

      I think you knew what I meant by separating mil/pol/civ.

    • Phil White

      I’ve not heard anyone express that distinction and refer to police officers as civilians. I would have to disagree.

      Even in most recruit schools they make a point of telling new recruits they are no longer civilians.

      States attorneys, that teach our law classes, make a point of a clear separation between police officers and civilians as far as the law is concerned. In fact the attorney general of our state referred to police organizations as para-military.

      I would submit that being a para-military organization doesn’t place us in the same category as organizations in near third world countries.

      • jim

        “police” are civilians..

      • jellydonut

        Regular non-uniformed civilians and police are equal under the law and the police are not ‘paramilitary’. Some wish it that way, and some act as if that’s the truth, but fortunately it is *not*.

      • NJ

        As a veteran of a foreign war, I’m aware of a location that you can go to lose your “civilian” status. Basic LE education is not that place. The recruiter’s officer and boot camp ARE that place.

        There is a fundamental reason military are housed/based/trained separately from the general population. Our ultimate purpose is to close with and destroy enemies of our nation. You don’t go to a community college to get that training and experience. You can, however, go to a community college for basic law enforcement education. Why? Because police are not separated from the general population.

        Police are sworn to serve the population and uphold the peace. Serve and protect, sound familiar? The minute police think they are separate from the population it becomes an Us vs. Them game. When it becomes that type of situation you start to rationalize increasing levels of force to protect us (police) from them (basic citizens). This is the point at which you have police entering houses and shooting dogs, violating warrant requirements, trampling due process, etc. This shift in behavior occurs because the ultimate goal shifts from protecting the citizen to protecting police from the citizens. That’s a bad place to be.

  • Mike Knox

    I have doubting thoughts about courses like these..

    • Noodles

      Like doubting how? I think I was pretty clear about the class and it’s contents. It’s a class focus on defense using a shotgun/handgun and not a ninja-cool-guy-romp-around.

      Costa and MDFI classes (the only ones I have experience with) were absolutely worth every penny.

      I don’t care how great you think you are with a handgun or shotgun, if you take these classes and don’t learn something you’re not paying attention. If you have consented that bad things happen to good people and that a firearm may be required to protect your life – How much is your life worth to you? Is it worth class tuition and ammo? I thought so.

      • Mike Knox

        It’s not about the class itself or your post but defense classes tend to upset learned traits, especially positive ones. It’s pretty much like trying to merge different schools of thought.

        I’ve had some experience in martial arts classes, being an instructor in two. Despite whatever you’ve learned in one, in another class, the following lessons can conflict with whatever you’ve learned in the previous one. Take my word for it, I’ve been taught weapons (besides firearms) handling from an early age. From my experience getting new lessons from different instructors can be conflicting with previous ones especially after being implemented and proven effective.

        An important thing to consider is that despite whatever you’ve seen or heard about a certain teacher/instructor, they can always be wrong and at times taught wrong. It can get costly especially with terms of preserving lives..

      • Noodles

        So you doubt classes because you are concerned that your good techniques and good habits may be upset and replaced with other good but possibly less good habits? Yea, I see.

        Everything in this class was taught from an approach of “This is ONE way to do this, I’ll demonstrate”. We learned multiple techniques for combat reloads, speed reloads, shooting stance and recoil mitigation, etc. Everything was presented in a way that, if you have a method that works for you, do that. I quickly found that doing a combat reload (on an empty chamber) was a ton easier from the over top of the gun vs around the bottom, but you could do whatever you like as long as the shell goes in.

        Your doubts are unfounded. But, if your reasoning for not taking instruction is that you might learn something different, by all means, do avoid.

      • Mike Knox

        Unfounded? So, have you taken firearms handling instructions before this then? Or MoA on different fiream platforms and layouts? Or under circumstances wherin confrontation favours your opponent? You’re still just talking from one class, not comparing between others.

        Another thing classes like these don’t teach you is what to do after action. The assailant is down/incapacitated but still alive, what next? What statement do you give to emergency services? Circumstances negate your action and assailant flees, do you pursue or otherwise?

        As far as you put it, the most you got was weapons handling, not eventual action. It’s just the same as getting taught how to operate a car but not how to drive on public roads or terrain the vehicle isn’t designed for..

      • W

        “As far as you put it, the most you got was weapons handling, not eventual action. It’s just the same as getting taught how to operate a car but not how to drive on public roads or terrain the vehicle isn’t designed for..”

        What else are you supposed to do?

        not go to a course like this because it “undoes your good habits”???

        Any class like this is better than none. It is certainly better than relying on your “good habits” you think you mastered (but most likely didn’t) after you took a shotgun or training course five years ago…

        Anybody that “doubts” any training course because they think it will interfere with their “superior fighting skills” has a serious problem with humility.

      • Mike Knox

        @W
        Like you and your internet skills?

      • W

        thats it? mike!? I expected so much more! I wish I had your skills. That way I can stop going to training courses.

      • Mike Knox

        @W
        Well partly because I’m tired of your made up backgrounds and internet copy-pasted relies. Another part of it is that I can actually relate to using force out of learned action and instruction, not just paying up for a calss that just states the obvious and hands you a treat at the end. An important point in my case is that I actually have used what I’ve learned and discerned which lessons are right and wrong. Best lessons learned are outside the classroom.

        You on the other hand, well, just comes from the internet.

      • W

        right because a true professional “that can actually relate to using force out of learned action and instruction” “has his doubts about courses like these” (which are geared more towards novice to intermediate shooters). LMAO!!!

        Cmon, I know you can do better than the usual “internet” and “made up background” ad hominem attack.

        Im sure your students love dealing with a know-it-all instructor that cannot be taught anything new because it will interfere with his super superior fighting skills. You do realize your ego really isn’t you right?

      • Mike Knox

        @W
        That was weaker than usual, like a toddler’s soda fart. Something that should be brought to light is that you haven’t said something that actually relates to the topic, you’re just getting back about relpy content. I’m sure you’re just sore about that P90 comment..

    • W

      *yawn

      you and your ego go play now. have fun!

      • Mike Knox

        Out of hot air I see..

      • W

        no, i choose not continue to dignify your stupidity with responses. you have demonstrated what kind of person you are anyways.

      • Mike Knox

        And here you still are. Is there really something you can share about defensive firearms handling? Because you haven’t shared even a single bit of fact. Don’t try googling or wikipedia..

  • thedonn007

    Noodles, thank you for your informative review. I currently have just one shotgun, a Mossberg 500. I installed a pistol grip stock on it, looks like I should change it back to the factory stock.

    I have actually been thinking about selling the 500 for a 930. Can I ask what type of shotgun you would recommend for intended purposes that you were training for in the class you reviewed?

    I would also use the shotgun for deer hunting as I am not allowed to use a rifle to hunt deer in the lower half of Michigan.

    • Noodles

      Honestly, I think the 500 would be fine if you either planned on few or no slug changeovers. A farmer I imagine would have a higher frequency of need than a homeowner that has a max shot distance of 20 yards. For that I would load the tube full of FedTac and go. Keeping a shotgun in your vehicle is tricky because distance may call for slugs. Some police departments are limited to buckshot only so in this case the 500 is just fine.

      I would agree to change the pistol grip out to a standard field style stock. It’s just a lot easier to rotate the field stock up into your “workspace” for reloads. One thing I didn’t know was just how poorly the Benelli m4 pistol grip stock fit my hand, I don’t have small hands at all, but it made me feel like I was 12 years old holding an adult’s gun. Not sure who that is designed for. One guy with an m2 is changing to a field stock, the other guy was police who wanted to change but has to put in a petition of some form with their armorer to do so. I’ll give that him credit for running his vest and plates the entire class. He really hated that pistol grip though :)

      For auto, they only issues with the Benellis is that they are expensive new, or are pretty reasonable used but have expensive parts. I honestly can’t think of an auto I would select over a used m1/m2 though. The m4 is cool, but it’s a tank, I’m not going to be military-hard on my shotgun. The m1 I brought is a 1983 model, probably has between 10-15k rounds down it, all original parts. There may be m1 clones coming out soon, I’d look into that if I needed an auto. I do not imagine ever selling this m1.

      For deer hunting it will depend on the distance you’re shooting. Upto 50-75y, you might get away with rifled slugs from a smoothbore. Any more than that and you’ll benefit from having a rifled bore and sabot slugs. If a benelli with two barrels isn’t an options, the 870 would be my choice since barrel swapping is so easily accomplished.

      Since you are in MI, consider MDFI’s shotgun classes!

      • Phil White

        Agreed on the pistol grip for shotguns. I just don’t find them very easy to manipulate. The standard stock works much better for me.

  • dustyvarmint

    Nicely written. Thanks for taking the time to do it. Shotgun course is definitely next.

    Happy shooting, dv

  • Jon

    Great AAR Noodles! You captured all the details in excellent fashion. I was shooting next to Noodles and had the misfortune of bringing one of the Mossbergs to the course. We have two Benelli’s on back order but needed a semi auto to shoot the course. Based on recommendations from friends that had the 930 JM, I figured the Mossberg would be acceptable. Boy was I wrong.

    The wife and I were both running the semi auto Mossberg 930 JM series. The guns were purchased last August and had about 500 rounds (350 bird, 100 00 buck, 50 slugs) fired through them prior to the course. Gun #1 (mine) had no issues and Gun #2 had two failure to fire malfunctions.

    By the end of day one, factory parts started jiggling loose, specifically the 4 tiny screws on top of the receiver. We discovered a mag tube problem on gun #2 about half way through the day. The tube with a capacity of eight rounds would easily hold nine. Great, except that the ninth round would jam the tube. You might think, “why not just count the rounds”? Try that with Costa barking out range commands! Except for loose factory parts, gun #1 functioned well. I found the gun to be very accurate with the simple hi viz front bead and the Federal 00 buck patterned very well.

    Noodles accurately described the death blow to gun #2 half way through day 2. Completely inoperable. I gave my wife gun #1 and I went back to Mr. Reliable (aka Remington 870). Gun #1 functioned ok for another hour. The gun developed a nasty malfunction at that point. The fired round wound not eject and the next round on the lift would jam the chamber resulting a kind of double feed.

    I called Mossberg yesterday to explain the problem and now both guns are back for repair. They seem to run a very active repair shop. They will be sold upon receipt. I’ve always been leery of the brand and I should have trusted my intuition.

    The course was fantastic and I highly recommend attending. We are planning on attending again next year, with Benelli’s in hand. F$%^ MOSSBERG!

    • Noodles

      Jon, it sounds like everything will work out then. Lessons learned all around. Thanks again for everything and that cart you had for ammo and supplies was the envy of everyone in class, great idea to bring that to the class. I look forward to seeing you and the misses in another class down the road.

      Great choice on the Benellis. m2 has a little more modern feel than the m1, but I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. Don’t feel bad about anything – we all ride the gear carousel now and then.

  • tony

    Thank you for your review.
    I personally have never liked pistol grips on shotguns. With a pistol grip, the pounding is all on one’s wrist at an uncomfortable angle.
    I have seen Magpul’s Dynamic Shotgun videos. Mr. Costa is a true combat shotgunner!

  • Lance

    Cool we both live in Oregon what gun club do you belong to?

  • Bek

    Hi – Thanks for the fantastic write-up!

    I’d like to ask a question. There’s already enough discussion/focus on the Mossberg’s 930′s difficulties, but can you share whether any of the participants who ran 500/590′s also had issues? I own a 590 myself, which I’ve always found to be reliable, but I always like to hear the experiences of others.

    Thanks again!

    • Noodles

      Aside from having to dump a round on slug changeovers, no real issues with the Mossberg. To be honest, even if the round loss doesn’t bother you, to me the large issue was the little ballet that had to be danced to upside-down wiggle that round from the tube out of the gun. If everything goes well, just you flick/surf it out. Things don’t always go well.

      On the Remington you have the option of doing it the same way as the Mossberg, or retaining the round by re-seating it in the tube before it drops on the carrier. The more options the better I feel.

      If you aren’t going to change ammo over, then the 590 is just fine, better ambi controls, and it’s a little lighter.

      • Greg B

        Can you please go into detail, with regards why the 930 is different with regards to round change overs as opposed to your m1? I use a 930 for 3-gun, and have found it to be a great platform.. I’m confused as to how it’s function in that regard would be different from an m2/ versamax etc.

      • Noodles

        Greg, No problem, I’ll do my best to explain

        With the chamber empty and tube full, on the m1, it will not load from the tube when you rack the charging handle. Rack Rack Rack, it won’t load from the tube. Until, you press the load carrier button, or you pull the trigger and drop the hammer. With the chamber full and tube full, racking with eject the current round but not load the next from the tube. So the charging handle and tube are independent. Costa describes this as being a “smart” feature of the Benelli.

        The 930 with load a shell from the tube every time you pull the charging handle. So, if you have an empty chamber with full tube and want to load just a slug, you need to pull the charging handle back, hold it there, turn the gun over and shake the round that came from the tube out onto the ground, load the slug in, then finally you are allowed to release the charging handle. That surfing or shaking the round out isn’t always fast or smooth, if you release the charging handle (because of a fumble or other issue) you would need to start over all over again and lose another round.

        Besides the extra steps and losing the round, it was the hangup on getting that round off the carrier and onto the ground that makes me wary of the 500/590/930/ and even 1100/1187.

      • gunslinger

        Noodles does Remington make an autoloader? If not wouldn’t the 870 face the same shell swapping problem as the 500/530 etc?

      • Noodles

        Remington does make autoloaders. The 1100, the 1187, and the VersaMax, if there are any others I am not familiar with them.

        The 1100/1187 has a good aftermarket following and some people swear by them, but they have the same functionality issues as the 930 when it comes to ammo changeovers. Costa also mentioned that when they come through class it is not uncommon to have gas system ring and sealing issues.

        The VersaMax for all intents and purposed is a Remington built Benelli m4 (Ben-ington, Rem-elli?). It functions identically. Yet to be seen if it’s m4 tough, but one guy in class did very well with his. His complaint was that it was set up more as a 3-Gun weapon than as a Defense/Tactical style. If Remington makes a field stock, 18″, ghost sight, shorter length of pull VersaMax it’ll be an interesting option, considering they cost several hundred less than the Benelli m4.

      • gunslinger

        Noodles
        Thanks. I know there is a bit more mossy hate out there. And as I said I am a mossy fan. But I’d like to know about all flavors and their pros/cons. And Iwant all the info out there. And as I said if you run an 870 and run it well then awesome. But a gun with a 930 who knows and trains and cares for the weapon will take out a Guy who has no clue how to ru. An 870, 1100/1187/etc. At least that’s my opinion.

        Thanks again.

      • Greg B

        Noodles,

        I Could not reply on original comment thread, but I wanted to say thanks for taking the time, to answer my question! I can see how that system would work better for slug changes overs, were ammo retention was paramount. The weird thing is I’ve never seen this technique used in competition before. It’s always grab one from the carrier, insert into tube, rack regardless of weapon type. I’ll be looking for this in future matches. Thanks for the excellent write up!

      • Noodles

        Greg, no issue, happy to.

        On any of the platforms if you have the room in the tube, that’s a valid way to ammo changeover for sure. The issue is if you don’t have room in the tube, or you’re not certain you do. A cruise-safe (full tube, nothing in the chamber) first shot requiring a slug would mean you’d have to rack insert a slug in the tube and rack again. In the time the benelli just pulled the handle back and dropped the slug right in the chamber.

        You are guaranteed to loose one on the ground this way on all platforms. So if you’re using an 870 or Benelli you’re giving up a strength of those platforms.

        Also, I fumbled plenty of rounds, but they were the ones that were almost always when I was feeding the tube and not combat reloads or right into the chamber loads.

        If you have room in the tube go for it, but it’s not going to save the mossbergs and remington (non-versamax) from dropping rounds and you’ll be loading the tube which I found was slower and less reliable (fumbling) than loading the chamber. That’s just me though.

      • Greg B

        Noodles,

        I think the reason the “stuff the tube rack it out” move is so prevalent in 3-gun competition, Is that, stuffing the tube is a skill that is practiced until your thumbs fall off. A novice shooter like me can stuff 8 rounds in the tube in about 6 seconds from shot to shot. The guys that are good, probably a second or 2 faster, so in some of our cases this over specialization might make this move faster for us.

        When I was thinking about it, another reason that most of us don’t train for this drill is that if we need a slug out of blue it probably means that we screwed big up somewhere else. We know the course of fire ahead of time, and can plan our reloads accordingly, which of course is not the case in a real world defensive scenario.

        Thanks again for the write up, I’ll spend some time with Supernova, and practice with the magazine cutoff. See if I can take some time off of my splits in that scenario.

  • Paul

    Last time I attended a shotgun course I showed up with my Michiguns customized Winchester Model ’97 pump. Ran like a top compared to just every model that was out there. I am a lefty and the old 97s are lefty friendly…..no safety at all….just the exposed hammer! And no disconnector either!

    Shotguns are incredibly versatile weapons and a good shotgun course should be on everybody’s “to do” list.

    Thanks for the excellent AAR!

  • BadMamajama

    Can someone send a link with these Federal Buckshot shells? I looked on their website and didn’t see any listed as ‘Federal Tactical’ ?

    • Noodles

      The #1 Buck is listed as LE132-1B for the LE stuff. It’s usually available but they make the same stuff in a NON-LE marked package. Same goes for the 00 Buck.

      I like 00 just fine, but given the choice, #1 seems too good. Anything with the FlightControl wad is going to be leagues ahead of other rounds.

      • jdun1911

        #1 is the best. However, I would not lose any sleep if the shotgun is loaded with 00.

      • W

        if #1 would just catch on.

        Everybody seems dead set on 00 buck.

  • Reg

    Great write up. Did he discuss the use of birdshot indoors?

    A big problem w/ firing most weapons indoors in a defensive situation is the risk of penetration into the next room. You don’t want to hit the wife or kids trying to shoot the bad guy.

    My candidate for dealing w/ this is #9 or smaller shot and a heavy shot-light powder load. I was told #6 would not penetrate a wall, but testing w/ a mockup at 15 feet w/ factory loads showed otherwise. Developing a suitable load is on the “to do” list.

    It doesn’t need to be lethal. Bad guys are a lot less dangerous when they can’t see and in severe pain.

    • Noodles

      He did not discuss birdshot or HD ammo. I suspect this was on purpose, but maybe just no one asked him about it. I would probably run rubber slug or rubberball buckshot if I were concerned about penetration, but knowing that under 10y those will still kill.

    • jdun1911

      Birdshot is the last thing you want in your shotgun for defense. It is completely useless as a defensive round.

      #1 is the best follow closely behind is 00. Stick with those two and you’ll be fine.

    • jdun1911

      “It doesn’t need to be lethal. Bad guys are a lot less dangerous when they can’t see and in severe pain.”

      I want to address this comment. This kind of thinking will get you and your love ones kill. If you’re in a gunfight you must have the mind set of killing your opponent. I know it sounds brutal to many of you here but it is one of the fundamental laws in a gunfight.

      I have seen a lot of gunfights videos where the injured criminals was able to killed law abiding citizens or police officer.

    • jdun1911

      Over penetration is a concern but do not allow it to override you from getting the best ammo available in the market.

    • W

      “Did he discuss the use of birdshot indoors?”

      No because no credible defense expert will recommend the use of birdshot for indoors when it comes to self-defense. keep birdshot the fuck out of your shotgun unless you are shooting clays, birds, or rattlesnakes.

      “A big problem w/ firing most weapons indoors in a defensive situation is the risk of penetration into the next room. You don’t want to hit the wife or kids trying to shoot the bad guy.”

      yes that is a big problem. It comes down to training and situational awareness though. Always be aware of the backstop and you should know damned well where your loves ones are. Child and wife accountability are more paramount than weapons accountability.

      “My candidate for dealing w/ this is #9 or smaller shot and a heavy shot-light powder load. I was told #6 would not penetrate a wall, but testing w/ a mockup at 15 feet w/ factory loads showed otherwise. Developing a suitable load is on the “to do” list.”

      Or leave birdshot the fuck alone and leave self defense duties to a slug and/or 00 buck. Enough said (sorry for the harsh language; im trying to get the point across that birdshot should be left out of shotguns for every reason except for the three things i mentioned above).

      “It doesn’t need to be lethal. Bad guys are a lot less dangerous when they can’t see and in severe pain.”

      Horse shit. There’s no USF-I style EOF paradigm when it comes to self defense. Put a slug or buckshot in your shotgun. That very attitude will get a loved one killed and your gun snatched up by a criminal. If somebody is intruding on my home with intentions to harm and/or kill a loved one or myself, that somebody should expect to get shot…with buckshot or a slug.

    • Reg

      I’m quite amazed and more than a little disappointed by the rudeness of some of the responses. Some people obviously watch too many action movies and imagine they’re a Bruce Willis character.

      My question was in the context of firing a 12 gauge inside a house at an intruder at under 10 yards. I’m not interested in the effect on the target other than quick incapacitation. If they die that’s fine, so I wouldn’t consider rubber pellets, bean bags, etc.
      (I have no idea what “HD ammo” refers to)

      I am concerned about collateral damage. Blinding a 12 year old playing in the next room is not a satisfactory outcome. Death is even less acceptable.

      I seriously doubt that some one who took a full load of birdshot in the face would continue to be a significant threat. It would take a miracle for them not to be blinded for life. It’s likely they’d bleed out from neck wounds at 15-20 ft.

      Outdoors I’d probably pick #1 buckshot for the pellet count and switch to a rifle when that wasn’t adequate. Home alone, I’d use a pistol. Different hammers for different nails.

      If you think you will know where everyone in a household w/ 5-6 people is every moment you’re there you’re delusional and nothing can help you but luck. Good luck with that.

      In the movies the action hero never misses. In real life people do. The cops in NYC shot up a lot of bystanders trying to take out one bad guy at the Empire State Building.

      The best defense is to avoid the threat entirely.

      • cc19

        I think your scenario of the one bad guy up close in the face fits well with that selected load. However, like you said, real life doesn’t always play out the way you want. “Wolves,” have been known to travel in packs which is where military type buck would come most handy so you can have effective follow up loads.

      • W

        “I’m quite amazed and more than a little disappointed by the rudeness of some of the responses. Some people obviously watch too many action movies and imagine they’re a Bruce Willis character.”

        Not remotely. The fact stands: birdshot for defense sucks. abysmally. There is nothing “action hero” about that fact.

        “My question was in the context of firing a 12 gauge inside a house at an intruder at under 10 yards. I’m not interested in the effect on the target other than quick incapacitation. If they die that’s fine, so I wouldn’t consider rubber pellets, bean bags, etc.
        (I have no idea what “HD ammo” refers to)”

        And I answered: 00 buck or slug.

        “I am concerned about collateral damage. Blinding a 12 year old playing in the next room is not a satisfactory outcome. Death is even less acceptable.”

        you are not going to eliminate the possibility of collateral damage 100% and be risk free. Thats just not the reality. If those are concerns, then dont defend your home with a gun. There are plenty of other options for those concerned with collateral damage.

        “I seriously doubt that some one who took a full load of birdshot in the face would continue to be a significant threat. It would take a miracle for them not to be blinded for life. It’s likely they’d bleed out from neck wounds at 15-20 ft.”

        What is your fascination with bird shot? there is no doubt that it can kill or incapacitate, though consistency is important. Like I said before, unless you are shooting birds…

        “If you think you will know where everyone in a household w/ 5-6 people is every moment you’re there you’re delusional and nothing can help you but luck. Good luck with that.”

        Nobody is suggesting that, but that doesn’t undue the fact that accountability is still important. jesus christ, you act like everybody has a 10,000 square foot home and a dozen kids running around. That is obviously not true…

        “In the movies the action hero never misses. In real life people do. The cops in NYC shot up a lot of bystanders trying to take out one bad guy at the Empire State Building.”

        Right and bad guys also do not die in one shot. Knowing this fact, i dont know why it would be logical to select a weaker and less consistent shotgun shell to stop a assailant from killing/injuring you and/or a family member. To me, that is idiocy.

        “The best defense is to avoid the threat entirely.”

        Yes I agree. That gets thrown out the door, however, when your door gets kicked open in the dead of night.

      • Fled

        Amen to that! If you aren’t within certain danger and/or within range for placement of accurate fire with your weapon, you should be focused on un-assing yourself.

  • TheIrateBlackGuy

    “I completed the three day, tier one operator über tactical enhanced offensive battle shotgun course”. Eye-roll…your gunshop cred just went up one gold star. What a waste of lead. The best form of shotgun training will always be bird hunting. Shooting fast, agile birds teaches all the necessary skills IMO, target acquisition, accuracy, shooting from every angle, and fast reloading. Dove hunting has taught me more about dynamic shooting than any range trip or paper punching operator ever will.

    • Noodles

      Spend a little time working on your craft, troll. That was weak.

      • TheIrateBlackGuy

        Don’t get butthurt from a little criticism guy, all im saying is I don’t need some guy in cargo pants and Oakley blades to tell me if I’m a good shotgunner or not.

  • Griffin

    That was a really great write-up, thanks!!!!

    Super interesting

  • John Doe

    Will you ever ‘need’ this? No. Does this look fun as hell?

    Hell yes.

  • Andrew

    Great AAR Noodles. My only question is about the velcro cards. Where did you get them and the saddle from?

    • Noodles

      The backers (loop side of the velcro) I got from 3GunGear. They sell m1, 870 and others already cut to size. Costa also recommended these because they use a better adhesive than consumer stuff you can buy at lowes. So for $5 each or whatever it is, they are pre-cut and are almost certain to never come off unless you mean to remove it.

      The Ares cards I bought from Raven as they came with their Modu-Loader system. The moduloader is a belt mounted loop side that holds another card. It snaps in place around the belt so no need to un-belt to put it on. Very nice accessory. AR mag carriers also hold cards well. ARES makes the cards themselves so the Raven part comes with two, I need maybe one or two more for drills/range.

      I bought a card from 3GunGear but had an issue getting a shell into one of the loops.

      If you are shopping for cards, some come with pull tabs. At first the tabs look like a good idea but they are unnecessary because when removing the empty card there are at least 5 empty loops to grab. There are other brands out there that may be better or worse. I only know the Ares and 3GunGear ones. Also, I liked the 5 round holders for actual use. 6 is fine, 7 and 8 are too many imo.

  • fred

    Wow a single sentence..

    South East Portland Oregon, Chris Costa, 3 days, a full class, 400 rounds of buckshot, 100 slugs, 100 birdshot, and what was supposed to be 600 rounds but quickly became more of 9mm, Benellis, 870s, Mossbergs, sunscreen, velcro cards, funny stories, Shirley Temples followed by Crème Brulee, sweat, patience, running back to for more ammo, loading, always loading, slipping on shotgun hulls, 8500 of them on the ground, a coin for my efforts and acute confidence that that with more practice I could effectively run what is easily the most devastating, versatile, and effective weapon in the individual’s arsenal.

    Wow a book..
    Stick to your day job..

    • Noodles

      Hi, and welcome to “independent clauses”. I know it’s a run-on sentence, it was intentional. You may notice that some are in order that suggests juxtaposition. Next time I’ll proper it use and use semi-colons instead of commas.

      Thanks for playing!

    • cc19

      This site is looking for writers. How about you step up to the plate, or are you just another one of those angry guys yelling from the stands with nothing to contribute but complaints? Too bad that’s not a day job, huh?

      • CZed75

        Ouch. But the truth hurts! :p

  • Sian

    What makes a Saiga dumb? Lot of rounds in a compact package (if you SBS it) and lightning fast reloads compared to a tubegun, in exchange for somewhat complicated operation that just takes practice to overcome. I’ve seen plenty in Costa’s Magpul Dynamic Shotgun vids too. I can appreciate that it might not settle well with you, but I wouldn’t call the platform dumb.

    • jdun1911

      Saiga shotguns are good IMO. I got a chance to play with a $1700+ 3 gun competitive version. It was pretty amazing. The only thing I have with it was the cycle rate. It was not fast enough compare to the SX3. Then again the SX3 I believe has the fastest cycle rate in the market.

      • Sian

        Yeah, I own a S12 (Center Balance bullpup, 32 inches overall! but the reloads are tricky.) that I’ve got about $900 invested in to this point and it cycles slower than most autoloading shotties. Makes up for it with 10 and 12 round magazines though.

      • Sian

        Lotta downvotes! Didn’t know there were so many saiga haters out here. XD

      • jdun1911

        I probably got the down votes because most people think the AA-12 has the fastest cycle rate. In fact the AA-12 cycle rate is one of the slowest if not the slowest of all auto loaders. AA-12 is a pretty crappy auto loader shotgun IMO.

        Between the two I’ll take the S12 over AA12 10 out of 10 times.

        One of the club member couldn’t decide on the S12 or SX3 for his 3 gun match. Fast reload vs. the fastest cycle rate.

        For civilian defense, personally I’ll go with the X3 10 out of 10 time over S12. It mainly due to the cycle rate of the X3. I want to put four rounds in to the bad guy before he could blink. I want him dead before he hit the ground.

        I am aware that some people said that the Maxus has the fastest cycle rate by 3/100th of a second over the X3.

  • jdun1911

    For those that are wondering about Federal flight control buckshot grouping. Old Painless did some testing on them.

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot56.htm

    • Sian

      Makes me definitely want to stock up on some #1 flight control.. if I can ever find the darn stuff.

  • Nicks87

    Great article noodles, Thanks for taking the time to do a write-up on, what sounds like, some great training.

    My only criticism would have to be that the article was a bit lengthy. In the future you could probably leave out some of the minor details but you had a lot of info to pass on so I can let you pass lol.

    IMO the shotgun is not a great personal/home defense weapon. I know I will get flamed for saying that but I feel that it’s drawbacks out-weigh it’s advantages. Size (for CQB) and Low ammo capacity are big ones. Patrol/home defense sized shotguns (18in+bbl) are hard to maneuver indoors and like you said in your article if you want to be proficient with a shotgun you need to learn how to reload, reload and reload again. Another deficiency of the mighty shotgun is recoil. Even with a fast cycling weapon (pump or auto) follow up shots can be difficult to keep on target. It’s the recoil that disrupts your sight picture/sight alignment. Even more so with small framed people. Recoil management can be learned through training but from my experience instructing LEOs some people just never get comfortable with the weapon. That is also one of the reasons many police depts. are moving away from the patrol shotgun and replacing them with carbines. Some depts. are carrying both which I think is the best way to go if the funds are there to feed and train on three different weapon systems.

    Trap/skeet shooting can also be a great cheap way to train with a shotgun if you cant afford formal training. The big names like Costa, Haley, Vickers, etc. are great but charge a premium for their excellent instruction.

    • Noodles

      Yea I know… I just can’t seem to write briefly, it always gets way from me!

      I don’t disagree with you on a shotgun for HD, but I have no issue with the ammo capacity. It’s the size of an 18″ barrel and except for the very light benelli m1/m2 they’re mostly sort of heavy. I’m also not a fan of the fact that my girlfriend is a little too small to run one or more accurately has no training. And mainly as Costa has discussed before, if someone is in my house all of sudden I may find myself in need of being on the phone, running a light, opening doors, grabbing kids if I had them, and then operating a weapon. The two hand required shotgun makes all those things difficult. As where, my handgun with light and silencer allows me to do all of those things and still effectively run that weapon without disorientation.

      I do not recommend a shotgun for home defense for most people. I am however considering a shotgun for a vehicle weapon. After this class, in the area I live, the situations I could imagine, a shotgun seems like a good choice. I own a 12.5″ AR as well, so they will have to fight for vehicle occupancy :)

      • TheIrateBlackGuy

        ***suppressor

      • Noodles

        Except that when Hiram Maxim invented them, he called them Silencers. But I’m sure you know better because you read on the internet that “silencer” was a naughty word.

      • TheIrateBlackGuy

        No, it’s because every dipshit with a gun and a paracord bracelet calls them a silencer.

      • Nicks87

        Good point about a shotgun requiring 2 hands. That pretty much makes a pistol the superior home defense weapon. I also agree that shotguns make a great truck gun. Most are pretty durable and you can leave the tube full with an empty chamber and still be able to deploy the weapon quickly and safely if need be.

        Police Officers are usually more understanding during traffic stops if they see/find a shotgun in your vehicle, since it’s more of a “sporting” weapon, as opposed to an AR/AK with a bunch of tactical sh*t hanging off of it lol.

      • W

        pistols are only good for 1.) concealment in order to defend ones life and get off the X 2.) fighting to a long gun. period.

        If you think a long gun is (emphasizing shotguns for this comparison) are hard to master, just wait until you delve into handguns.

        As far as other tasks are concerned, you will be just as ineffective with a pistol as you will with a shotgun. That is another reason why your shotgun should have a damned good flashlight and tactical sling on it.

        I strongly recommend shotguns for most people when it comes to a self defense firearm. This shotgun should be loaded with 00 buck or slug, have a tactical sling, and a flashlight (strongly, strongly recommend Surefire).

      • Nicks87

        “Pistols are only good for fighting to a long gun”

        Isnt that what the Marines say? Most regular people are not Marines, Most police officers are not Marines. I like to stay away from blanket statements like that because every situation is different and you need to think outside the box if you want to survive an armed encounter.

        I agree with you that a long gun is easier for some people to “master” but with a little training the average person is going to be better off defending themselves and their families with a pistol for reasons stated above. Also, the cost and availibilty of training is going to be cheaper with a pistol and more convenient. Ammo is cheaper for the pistol unless you have something ridiculous like a desert eagle .50 or a .44 Mag. Most indoor ranges only allow pistols, not everyone lives on an acreage or has access to an outdoor range where they can practice with a long gun.

        W, have you ever been in a shoot-house with a shotgun? You realize very quickly that you are at a disadvantage, they just dont work well in close quarters. Unless you are a SWAT Officer or some kind of ninja-spec-ops-recon type person that 18in barreled long gun is going to get taken from you and used on you very quickly.

        In the hands of a very capable person a shotgun is absolutely devastating but if you didnt grow up hunting with one or received some sort of training with one there are better options out there.

        I understand that some tyrannical govts only allow their citizens to own shotguns so if that is the case by all means use your shotgun to defend yourself but practice, practice, practice and get some formal training if at all possible.

      • W

        “Isnt that what the Marines say?”

        No that is what all professional gun men say. Police, military from various branches, and professional training courses. Pistols suck: they are hard to shoot with, comparatively unreliable, have low kinetic energy, and have small magazines. The best pistol is inferior to the worst rifle.

        “Most regular people are not Marines, Most police officers are not Marines. I like to stay away from blanket statements like that because every situation is different and you need to think outside the box if you want to survive an armed encounter.”

        yeah and where have I said otherwise? pistols are good for concealment and they’re lightweight. In a home defense situation, again, a pistol is best used for fighting your way to a shotgun or rifle since those weapons will be more ideal for stopping a criminal anyways.

        I agree with you that a long gun is easier for some people to “master” but “with a little training the average person is going to be better off defending themselves and their families with a pistol for reasons stated above.”

        Which makes ZERO sense because pistols are harder to shoot and master than long guns are…by a long shot. With a long gun, you have four points of contact…with a pistol? just two. Which do you think will be a better controlled, more accurate, more effective shooting system? certainly not the pistol.

        “Also, the cost and availibilty of training is going to be cheaper with a pistol and more convenient.”

        Not necessarily. Like I said before, most people havent mastered pistols. Given the same number of people, fewer have mastered pistols and long guns.

        “Ammo is cheaper for the pistol unless you have something ridiculous like a desert eagle .50 or a .44 Mag. Most indoor ranges only allow pistols, not everyone lives on an acreage or has access to an outdoor range where they can practice with a long gun.”

        Ammo is not that much more expensive unless you are choosing 9mm, which is very inexpensive. To counter your point, long guns are easier to master and obtain proficiency in than handguns. There are many, many indoor ranges that also allow the use of rifles. I havent encountered one that doesnt.

        “W, have you ever been in a shoot-house with a shotgun? You realize very quickly that you are at a disadvantage, they just dont work well in close quarters. Unless you are a SWAT Officer or some kind of ninja-spec-ops-recon type person that 18in barreled long gun is going to get taken from you and used on you very quickly.”

        Not only have I been in a shoot-house with a shotgun, but I have carried a shotgun in a tactical environment. Your statement is pure bullshit that is all i have to say. Shotguns are the most powerful weapon in close quarters combat for a civilian and, in many cases, for military personnel as well. You do realize that with a five round magazine (its usually 5+1) loaded with 00 buck, you have 45 .33″ pellets right??? I can empty those pellets into a area or targets faster than you can empty 30 rounds into that same area or target with a submachine gun. Reload time? slightly slower though no more than 20-30 seconds.

        Thats talking about a M500 military shotgun. thats not getting into the Marine Corps new M1024 Benelli, which is 7+1 and semi-automatic. Thats also not getting to the use of slugs which is prevalent among law enforcement.

        18″ long gun get taken away and used against you? that same argument is also used by anti-gun people and its bullshit. That is also why you have a good tactical sling. Theoretically, the pistol is more likely to get taken away since it has no retention devise and you only have two points of contact versus four with my shotty…which would be slung around my body. Nice try though.

        “In the hands of a very capable person a shotgun is absolutely devastating but if you didnt grow up hunting with one or received some sort of training with one there are better options out there.”

        That is not true. A shotgun is more forgiving in close combat of trigger jerks, incorrect aiming, and other fundamentals that usually get thrown out the door when the person is under stress. That doesn’t mean you “dont have to aim shotguns” (which is bullshit), you most certainly do, though not to the same degree as a rifle and certainly not to the same degree as a pistol.

        Given these facts, a untrained person with a shotgun is more effective than a untrained person with a rifle or pistol.

        “I understand that some tyrannical govts only allow their citizens to own shotguns so if that is the case by all means use your shotgun to defend yourself but practice, practice, practice and get some formal training if at all possible.”

        I would recommend a shotgun for ANY person to defend their home with. It is the most devastatingly effective small arm for close quarters combat.

      • Nicks87

        All that stuff is great coming from a military perspective but like I said most people are not “gun men”(even if they think they are).

        “Given these facts, a untrained person with a shotgun is more effective than a untrained person with a rifle or pistol.”

        Until that untrained person shoots his neighbor or a family member because of a lack of proper training.

        W, just because you did a few tours in the sandbox or wherever (I have as well) doesnt make you a firearms expert. I do respect your opinion, however I think much of what you say is just regurgitated from other websites or blogs. I am a 12 year veteran LEO, I carry a firearms instructor certification from a FLETA accredited Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, I have multiple NRA instructor certifications and I am currently a Firearms training instructor, Active Threat Response and Defensive Tactics instructor for a Federal Police Service (I wont say which one because, like most trolls, you will just try to disparage the dept.) so dont call my comments “bullshit”.

        You make a few good points but much of what you said applies to people who have already received some sort of training and like I stated in previous comments you cant make blanket statements like:

        “I would recommend a shotgun for ANY person to defend their home with”.

        Every situation is different and what works for some may not work for most people.

      • W

        “All that stuff is great coming from a military perspective but like I said most people are not “gun men”(even if they think they are).”

        Thats my entire point! which is why a long gun is a preferable weapon in most situations than a handgun. No matter how poorly trained or well-trained you are, you will always be more effective with a long gun.

        “Until that untrained person shoots his neighbor or a family member because of a lack of proper training.”

        yes that always is a possibility, even with a trained shooter, though that doesnt make my point invalid. if you cannot effectively employ a shotgun or other long gun, you sure wont be able to effectively employ a handgun.

        “W, just because you did a few tours in the sandbox or wherever (I have as well) doesnt make you a firearms expert.”

        and I never implied being deployed makes one a firearms expert, though my resume and multiple certifications would argue with you as far as me not being a “firearms expert”.

        “I do respect your opinion, however I think much of what you say is just regurgitated from other websites or blogs.”

        unsurprisingly, since several of my points are well established facts within the tactical training paradigm. The demerits of using birdshot for defense, for example, is a well-repeated mistake that refuses to die. Shotguns having “limited capacity” is also a mistake when you look at the facts.

        “I am a 12 year veteran LEO, I carry a firearms instructor certification from a FLETA accredited Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, I have multiple NRA instructor certifications and I am currently a Firearms training instructor, Active Threat Response and Defensive Tactics instructor for a Federal Police Service (I wont say which one because, like most trolls, you will just try to disparage the dept.) so dont call my comments “bullshit”.”

        well good for you. Somebody with such extensive experience then should know the strengths and weaknesses of a shotgun. Close quarters combat is not a characteristic weakness of a shotgun, period.

        “You make a few good points but much of what you said applies to people who have already received some sort of training and like I stated in previous comments you cant make blanket statements like:

        “I would recommend a shotgun for ANY person to defend their home with”.

        Every situation is different and what works for some may not work for most people.”

        you’re just dead set on using pistols for home defense. I strongly disagree. My contention stands. Of course, I shouldn’t have to tell a veteran LEO about the disadvantages of a handgun versus a long gun.

      • Nicks87

        “if you cannot effectively employ a shotgun or other long gun, you sure wont be able to effectively employ a handgun.”

        That is not true at all. I dont want to play the “what if” game but what if the person has a disibility and can only use one arm? Or, like noodles stated, what if you have little kids or a baby to manage during a home invasion? What if you are on the phone with the 911 operator? it’s damn near impossible to manipulate a shotgun with one hand. Unless you own a sawed off Winchester 1887 lever-action shotgun and live in fantasy land (lol kidding).

        W, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. You made some valid points but I just dont see it your way. Sorry I called you a troll I was having a bad night. Thx for the spirited debate.

    • Esh325

      There isn’t much evidence to support that a shotgun has an inadequate number of rounds for home defense shootings. I’ve never had to defend myself with a firearm, but from what I read, HD shootings are not usually sustained firefights that many people envision they will be. As far as the length goes, many could say that 14.5 or 16 inch M4′s are too long for CQB hence the reason you see SWAT/SF with SBR’s or SMG’s. So where do you draw the line.

      http://thinkinggunfighter.blogspot.com/2012/03/self-defense-findings.html

      • Esh325

        Of course, more rounds can be an advantage in many situations, however You can basically invalidate any home defense weapon choice if we include unlikely parameters such as capacity etc.

    • Esh325

      I would go with a 20 gauge then if recoil is a problem.

      • Nicks87

        Nobody is saying stay away from shotguns. If that is what you prefer then go for it. I just think for the average person, who is allowed to own one, a pistol with a flashlight is probably the best choice. Followed by an AR-15 w/flashlight (SBR if you can but not necessary). As far as magazine capacity is concerned more is always better. Just because “most” home defense situations dont turn into fire-fights doesnt mean the one you are involved in wont. I hear the same argument from the 1911 people. “You only need 7 rnds cuz its a forty-five huh huh”. Which is just utter nonsense.

        We can go round and round all day about what is best for home defense but thats called “kicking a dead horse”. It’s like saying .45 is better than 9mm, it’s a pointless argument and both have been proven ineffective and very effective by countless “experts”. Having something is better then nothing and getting some real live training from a competent instructor (like the ^^article states) is just as good of an investment as whatever weapon you decide to use.

    • CZed75

      So shotgun or 1911 if you were stuck between the two? :p

      • Noodles

        If I was stuck between the two… ?

        1911 with kids and phone
        Shotgun without kids or someone else taking care of the phone.

        No considerations… Shotgun. Because they’re more reliable than 1911s ;)

        • Fled

          Dude, you’ve obviously never had the shell latch on an 870 come un-staked mid rapid fire string and jamb the gun up tighter than Nancy Pelosi’s last facial botox injection. Not even standard clearance drills for the 870 will unjamb it. You must remove trigger group or dumb mag tube to unf*#k it and it becomes a very non ergonomic club. One 870 I have has been restaked 3 times. I have a Mossberg now but need to train more with it!

      • Nicks87

        I agree with Noodles 100%

        Plus,

        If I’m defending the farm or acreage- AR-15 or 12 gauge (pump, no auto is 100% reliable).

        If I’m defending my suburban home with neighbors 6ft away on either side-1911.

  • Albi

    Not even a word about TheHossUSMC being there? lol

    • Noodles

      He borrowed my spare set of earmuffs. Brought one of the 590s. Pretty nice guy. Was definitely there. :)

    • Nicks87

      TheHoss showed up at a Costa Ludus training course and had to borrow someone else’s ears?

      This doesnt bode well for his reputation…

      • Noodles

        He was there working, not shooting.

  • http://rivrdog.typepad.com Rivrdog

    Did I miss it? In your class AAR, so much was made about buck/slug changeovers. The KSG has engineered this in. I haven’t shot one yet, but a simple selector between the two tubes gives you slug or buck at the flick of the under lever.

    I own a mossy500, and like it, but as an LEO, carried the 870 for 25 years. My take on buck/slug changes: if you are in a real firefight with varying ranges, it’s not the day to buy that Lotto ticket, your luck just failed you. Shoot what’s in the gun, buck is okay out to 50 yards, then change or shift to handgun (you do practice with your pistol at 25 yards+, don’t you?). Same in reverse: you can use a slug at 7 yards. To my lights, you can’t go wrong with all 00B in the tube (#4B if you are LAPD trained). You can also split the difference with Centurion Multi-Defense, one .65 caliber ball and 6 buck. That’s in my HD Mossy tube now. It patterns perfectly at 35 yards out of the M500, the ball right in the center of the buck.

    Great discussion, Noodles and all the contributors!

    • Noodles

      For what it’s worth, I do not have time with the KSG, but I do not expect it to at all replace the 870 for tactical uses.

      It has the same limitations as the Mossberg where any ammo change overs will require a round to be dropped. Unlike other pump options (870, 500, etc) nothing can be dropped quickly directly into the chamber. So emergency / gun empty reloads / pocket reloads are going to be MUCH slower.

      The idea that you load 7 slugs and 7 buck means you’re hauling a lot of weight and you aren’t sure if you will ever need 7 of one of those types.

      I like the idea of the KSG, but I just don’t think it’s the tactical super-gun that some people think it will be. Cool idea, like a lot of the Keltec stuff, but I doubt the execution… Like a lot of the keltec stuff.

      Your other points about the 500 being acceptable because all you will ever shoot is buck is fine. However, in my opinion the greatest strength of the shotgun is the versatility of ammo. And I’m not just talking buck and slug here but all the types of ammo and uses. By committing to all buck, I feel like the carbine is a better choice for sure. The shotgun is a great weapon system but I feel like the 930s, 500/590s, KSG, and the like all do little to highlight those strengths better than the Benellis and 870. I wouldn’t have learned that no matter how much skeet/trap I had shot.

      • John_234

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the 870 require ditching the round in the chamber too? A few months ago I saw a youtube video demonstrating how to eject and a do a shell change-over on a Mossberg without loading the next round in the tube. You essentially just block the elevator, just like the 870.

      • JT

        I would like to see a KSG run through this course. I suspect within one hour, the rail will break off, leading the shooter to wrap the forend in duct tape, the gun will suffer a really bad jam, causing the class to stop, the 14 round capacity will lose its advantage when the well goes dry and the shooter will have to utilize only one tube, then whatever wildcard crummy keltec parts the company put in the gun will come out to surpise the shooter with a catastrophic failure. They will then proceed to borror someone else’s 870

        • JT

          [borrow]

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