Chris Costa on HD shotguns and handguns

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by SouthpawG26, Oct 11, 2012.

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  2. jeepinbandit

    jeepinbandit Sgt. USMC

    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.

    #2 jeepinbandit, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  3. I don't understand why anyone would want to use a shotgun for anything besides bird hunting or breaching.
  4. 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.
  5. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil
    Platinum Member

    I'll never be able to take a man who owns a "ludus" seriously, no matter how much better than me he can shoot.
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    It's corny but it sells, especially to the youth generation.
  7. Eh, give it time, there will be a $3000 Costa Gladiator Edition 870.
  8. 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.
    #8 SouthpawG26, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  9. Good article. Thanks for sharing.
  10. I disagree with what he says, I think shotguns are great for home defense, but I dont have small children anymore, my 2 boys have a gunsafe in their room and even my 13 year old daughter shoots very well with her rifle. Their rooms ar right across the hall from my room so no need for me to be stealthy sneaking around my house.

    I'll just let the dogs loose and aim a bit above the barking.

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    #10 vafish, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  11. Boats

    Boats Not Assimilated

    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?
  12. Warp


    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)
  13. This is like caliber wars or FMJ vs JHP. People have their minds made up, rightly or wrongly.

    The advantages of a handgun are clear. The advantages of a long gun (be it rifle or shotgun) are clear. It's an individual choice.
    #13 cowboy1964, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  14. 12131

    12131 Monkeyboy

    About sums it up.
  15. 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...
  16. 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...
  17. Excellent point. It always amazes me how so many people blindly adopt a tactic or piece of gear solely based on what one of the cool kids says. Does Costas have some valid points about shotguns and handguns? Obviously yes. But how many fanboys are dumping their shotguns without evaluating if any of those points are an issue for them?
  18. DeLo

  19. Cole125

    Silver Member

    Zombies man, zombies. :cool:

    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.
    #19 Cole125, Oct 11, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  20. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    I'll stick with the shotgun, I'm not into clearing buildings and stuff. It's for home protection.

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