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Old 10-11-2012, 10:14   #1
SouthpawG26
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Chris Costa on HD shotguns and handguns

Perhaps a surprising point of view, that he prefers a handgun to the shotgun for home defense.

Many of his reasonings make sense. Food for thought perhaps....

http://www.rem870.com/2012/04/27/ful...h-chris-costa/
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:56   #2
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Really good read. Interesting thoughts on the Magpul shotgun line, why he left Magpul, and the ACR.

I've always tried to steer folks away from shotguns when they say they are buying their first Home Defense gun. Especially if they say they are buying it for their wives lol.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:55   #3
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I don't understand why anyone would want to use a shotgun for anything besides bird hunting or breaching.
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Old 10-11-2012, 15:52   #4
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I don't understand why anyone would want to use a shotgun for anything besides bird hunting or breaching.
I was trained to use the 12 ga. combat shotgun for close quarters shipboard clearing by both USMC and Naval instructors.

The cool kids all want to do CQB with carbines these days, because that is where general infantry practice has moved to—fighting with what you are most familiar with and what you are already carrying—but it doesn't invalidate that the pump action shotgun remains pretty damn devastating in that role and that in specialized environments remains the primary in that role.

When we were clearing boarded ships, the guy with the handgun ran point, backed by shotgunners. Overwatch was done with nearby perimeter guys deploying M-14s and backed by the ship mounted belt feds a few hundred meters away. The helo was the eye in the sky. Point being the guys with handguns weren't relying upon it to clear the ship, but to defend one's self against unpleasant surprises behind doors or hatches.

The idea of using merely a handgun for clearing my own house strikes me as volunteering to be under gunned, even when I get to use JHP's. My wife can handle the comms, I am bringing a bigger hammer than a handgun can provide.

Post service, I have remained a defensive shotgunner for the same reason that the US Navy and the Fleet Marine Force remain shotgun heavy—shotguns are fight enders up close.

I am sure that if I dedicated myself to it, and went through the hassle and expense, I could run a suppressed AR or something like that indoors and be "better off" for it, but just as I don't trust handguns when I want someone DRT, I don't trust the 5.56 out of shorter barrels or out of suppressed barrels to be one COM hit show stoppers like 1500 FPS 00 Buck is.

So, as I like 20" ARs, I find both 20" and 18.5" shotguns to be "handier" than the AR, probably because I now have decades behind them. It doesn't matter.

All handguns suck and I remain unconvinced by the CQB prowess of the AR when only one is in play. What am I supposed to use?
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Old 10-11-2012, 17:11   #5
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All handguns suck and I remain unconvinced by the CQB prowess of the AR when only one is in play. What am I supposed to use?
How 'bout a Ruger Vaquero in 44 mag?

Way shorter and handier than an 870, easier to use with a hand-held light, faster to cock, same capacity...
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Old 10-11-2012, 17:12   #6
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All handguns suck and I remain unconvinced by the CQB prowess of the AR when only one is in play. What am I supposed to use?
How 'bout a Ruger Vaquero in 44 mag?

Way shorter and handier than an 870, easier to use with a hand-held light, can be fired repeatedly with one hand, same capacity...
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:16   #7
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All handguns suck and I remain unconvinced by the CQB prowess of the AR when only one is in play. What am I supposed to use?


the failure of this line of thought, is that you're relying upon the shotgun to be a 1 shot show stopper at CQB distances.



And while the shotgun is effective, it simply is not a 1 shot show stopper. Nothing is, and we have seen proof over and over that it isn't.

If you have to engage more than one target, one target repeatedly, etc, the shotgun quickly takes a back seat.
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Old 10-11-2012, 20:34   #8
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I don't understand why anyone would want to use a shotgun for anything besides bird hunting or breaching.
Zombies man, zombies.

A 12g shotgun is the best HD weapon you can get. When I pull the trigger on someone in my house I want them dead on the spot, not wounded with a handgun.

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:23   #9
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I own three 870s set up for defensive purposes.
None are for house use.

After clearing houses & buildings for several years professionally with ARs, shotguns, and handguns, I found the handgun infinitely easier to work with around corners, blind angles, through doors, up stairways, and anyplace the off hand was temporarily needed (opening doors, closets, moving things out of the way, etc.).

I see no surprise whatever in anybody deciding to go with a handgun vs a shotgun indoors.
Outdoors in more open spaces, that'd be a different matter.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:39   #10
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I'll never be able to take a man who owns a "ludus" seriously, no matter how much better than me he can shoot.
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Old 10-11-2012, 13:35   #11
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I'll never be able to take a man who owns a "ludus" seriously, no matter how much better than me he can shoot.
It's corny but it sells, especially to the youth generation.
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Old 10-11-2012, 13:53   #12
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Eh, give it time, there will be a $3000 Costa Gladiator Edition 870.
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Old 10-11-2012, 13:54   #13
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On the topic of unconventional advice, both Chris and Travis Haley (and Bill Wilson, for that matter) seem to moving away from tritium night sights to black rears/fiber optic fronts, in conjunction with either flashlight or weaponlight.

Once again I have to say, there may be something to it. I'm surely in the minority on this one, but I have indeed started to question the advantage of tritium sights more and more, based on low light training and shooting experiences...

It boils down to the fact that it needs to be really dark to see the tritium, so dark that you cannot identify a target at 7-10yards out. So you'll need a light for target identification. And once you use a light (flash and move, don't use a WML at anything other than a potential threat yadayadayada..), the tritium is worthless, and you do just as well with conventional black sights.
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Old 10-11-2012, 16:09   #14
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It boils down to the fact that it needs to be really dark to see the tritium, so dark that you cannot identify a target at 7-10yards out.
Virtually every single time I pick up my shotgun or one of my pistols to dry-run in my house at night, I can very easily identify targets/target areas yet only see the sites due to the tritium.

I have also shot outside at night where I could identify the target but would not be able to easily see sites that were not their own light source.

Sure, there are times it's too dark to ID a target without a light source. Sure, there are times it's kinda dark and you could see a fiber optic site.

But there are tons of times you can ID the target and the tritium lets you see your sites (or lets you pick them up more quickly)
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:09   #15
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...But there are tons of times you can ID the target and the tritium lets you see your sites (or lets you pick them up more quickly)
I agree Warp. Running a pistol in low-light with night sights and then doing the same with a pistol without them, the advantage of having them becomes readily apparent.

In addition, having personally broken multiple fiber optic front sight beads in what are essentially quality made sights (twice with both Novaks and TFO's) I remain unconvinced that fiber optic front sights are durable enough for serious use.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:57   #16
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Nothing Costas wrote alters my thoughts on firearms and HD....I would still use a 12GA like a 930SPX, and I'll probably get one next year.

I am an AR fan, so that is what I shoot. A 16" barrel and M193 ammo is an ugly efficient combo, threat stopping wise. But at close ranges an 12GA would be even more devistating. And both an AR and a 12GA will wreck your hearing, so that's a draw.

Pistol? Not if I have an AR or 12ga at hand. Pistols are for CCW, and getting to your long-gun.

And I have used tritium night sights on all of my pistols, and for HD/SD can't imagine not having them. The are much, much better than standard sights in low light conditions.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:47   #17
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"Virtually every single time I pick up my shotgun or one of my pistols to dry-run in my house at night, I can very easily identify targets/target areas yet only see the sites due to the tritium.

I have also shot outside at night where I could identify the target but would not be able to easily see sites that were not their own light source.

Sure, there are times it's too dark to ID a target without a light source. Sure, there are times it's kinda dark and you could see a fiber optic site.

But there are tons of times you can ID the target and the tritium lets you see your sites (or lets you pick them up more quickly)"
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:36   #18
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Virtually every single time I pick up my shotgun or one of my pistols to dry-run in my house at night, I can very easily identify targets/target areas yet only see the sites due to the tritium.

I have also shot outside at night where I could identify the target but would not be able to easily see sites that were not their own light source.

Sure, there are times it's too dark to ID a target without a light source. Sure, there are times it's kinda dark and you could see a fiber optic site.

But there are tons of times you can ID the target and the tritium lets you see your sites (or lets you pick them up more quickly)
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:39   #19
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Virtually every single time I pick up my shotgun or one of my pistols to dry-run in my house at night, I can very easily identify targets/target areas yet only see the sites due to the tritium.
So you claim that there's enough ambient light to positively ID people yet there isn't enough light to use non-tritium sight?

Okay...
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Old 10-12-2012, 21:01   #20
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I claim this: Virtually every single time I pick up my shotgun or one of my pistols to dry-run in my house at night, I can very easily identify targets/target areas yet only see the sites due to the tritium.

I have also shot outside at night where I could identify the target but would not be able to easily see sites that were not their own light source.

Sure, there are times it's too dark to ID a target without a light source. Sure, there are times it's kinda dark and you could see a fiber optic site.

But there are tons of times you can ID the target and the tritium lets you see your sites (or lets you pick them up more quickly)
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