Social Shotgun, 25 Feb. 2018

Discussion in 'Training' started by DonT, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,146
    40
    48
    I recently participated in another Lee Weems class (our own legacy3eight), in his shotgun course, Social Shotgun. Me and 9 other students gathered at 9 am at the rain swept Red Hill Range, located near Martin, GA. Course cost was $100 (a bargain) and we also paid a range fee of $10 to the range owner. Ammo requirement was 125 rounds of bird shot, 20 rounds of buck shot. This was my first shotgun class, and I admitted to everyone, I'm completely new to this firearm. My gun of choice was a Mossberg 500 Mils. Some of the other student shotguns, one other Mossberg, a 590A1, several Beretta 1301s, several Remington 870s. Each student also carried a sidearm with 50 rounds of ammo and usual carry gear, my choice being my EDC Springfield XDM in .45. Other students carried mostly Glocks, one CZ, all in 9mm.

    Class started with Lee's review of the four lifestyle rules. Muzzle awareness was key, with all shotgun muzzles either pointed straight up, or pointed straight down, ensuring the muzzle did not sweep anyone, including one's own body parts. Fingers out of triggers at all times, actions open. All of that was verified continually by Lee or by his assistant instructor, Steve Havey. Several of us, including me, were corrected loudly a couple of times, when our muzzles started to lean in dangerous directions. Lee went over loading and especially safe unloading of the various models of shotguns, Mossbergs one method, Remington 870s another method, and the semi autos and their peculiarities. Made an impression for me, that various shotgun actions found in such a class, are much different and more challenging for an instructor, as opposed to semi auto pistols, which are all basically loaded and unloaded about the same way. Lee went over and demonstrated speed reloads, ie, rounds loaded from a shell side saddle into the magazine while in a firing exercise, and emergency reloads, ie, a round rolled into the ejection port for immediate firing when gun is empty, and techniques for both of those. We then practiced with 12 GA dummy rounds, all of those "drills." Very valuable. Lee walked us through the various ready positions: low ready, stock in shoulder pocket, muzzle at 45 degree downward; high ready, stock on strong side hip, muzzle at 45 degree upward; in both, eyes stay on muzzle orientation, as you sweep for threats. Lee also walked us through "gun box load", a method of having a ready loaded shotgun, usually with 4 rounds, no round chambered. Lee emphasized how dangerous it is, to keep a round in the chamber for shotguns, since the safety only locks the trigger but does not block the hammer. The shotgun can be dropped, jarred hard, or just fall over onto a floor, and discharge. "Gun box load" became a default start condition for many of our exercises for the day. Lee advised not to max load tube mags, as that will weaken the magazine spring, if guns are left loaded for long periods. He advised to stay down one or two rounds.

    After practicing all reload techniques with dummy rounds on the line, we then began our shooting, with birdshot on the line with 5 steel targets at about 10 yards, two firing orders of 5. We practiced live fire, speed loading with various numbers of rounds, and emergency loads. We all individually ran speed drills, including a fun one where we started with gun box load of four in a timed exercise. At the command, we racked a round, engaged the first four steel targets, then did an emergency load to engage the fifth target. I bollixed up my first run, totally, when instead of keeping the bolt back on my fourth round, I slammed it forward! Dang, had to hit slide release and do my emergency load. We all had a second try, and I got it right on the second run, cutting my time in half (from a very bad time!) Lee ran us through a relay race for each firing order, adding numbers of rounds to speed reload and firing quickly for time, with each shooter starting once the shooter to his left fired his last round. The goal was a continuous series of shots being fired in relay. The two firing orders competed for time. Fun and very good drill.

    After completing several of these drills on the steel targets, we then moved downrange to set up paper targets to see how our buck shot patterned. We got to compare various rounds and their quality of patterning, from M127 military buckshot, to my cheapo Herters buckshot, to the very excellent Federal Flite Control, the last being praised and recommended by Lee (with good reason), we could see for ourselves how the shot stayed together and created impressive holes, even at 25 yards. At 15 yards, the Flite Control hole looked like a slug hole! My cheap Herters was merely barely adequate at 15 yards, creating a pattern barely in a 5 inch circle of the center of the target. Lee told me, you have a 15 yard gun with that round. Yep.

    We also ran weapons transitions, going from shotgun to handgun, and we dry fire practiced techniques, with or without slings. We then fired live, practicing on the steel with transition to handgun, securing the shotgun to one side to engage.

    We finally finished up with a modified POST qualification live fire courses, that included engagements on new paper targets at 7, 15, and 25 yards, including a shotgun to handgun transition and engagement.

    Excellent course. If you need a primer on shotgun, well...you may want to do a bit of shooting beforehand, before going to this course. But, it worked for me! (I had shot 10 rounds of slugs indoors with my shotgun, a couple of days before!) A wonderful course, in all aspects, I was a sponge as I learned how to run my shotgun. I have much more confidence that I could run the gun pretty well, I understand the safety aspects of the shotgun much much better, and actually proofed how I would carry spare rounds (I used SKD shotgun cards with 5 round loops.) It all worked, and worked well. Lee is an exceptional instructor, he definitely gets students through the crawl, walk, run, and you will be at the run level pretty darn quickly. Look for Lee Weems and his First Person Safety and Social Shotgun, and take this course. https://firstpersonsafety.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Schweisshund likes this.
  2. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    5,312
    345
    83
    Are stockless shotguns (PGO's, Rem 870 Tac-14, etc) allowed in this course?
     

  3. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,146
    40
    48
    That's a very good question, I'll have to check the course description. No one had any pistol grip or short barreled guns. But with the Mossberg Shockwave and the Remington TAC 14 being more and more popular, I would imagine a totally separate course would be needed, since those guns have to be run very differently than traditional shoulder stock guns.
     
  4. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    5,312
    345
    83
    For those who use these as range toys (shooting from the hips), probably yes. To me, my Tac-14 is a serious gun and that's how I run it. Eye level and "aimed."
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,393
    395
    83
    Odd, the comment that with that ammo you had a 15 yard gun. Spreading of the shot is a built in feature of shotguns. I know guys who have taken deer at 100 yards with buckshot. I guarantee you the shot was not bunched together like a slug at that distance, no matter what choke or ammunition was used. #00 buck, the most popular 12 gauge, puts 8 separate 8.38mm pellets downrange. This is one ounce of lead. You do not need the entire ounce of lead to strike the chest of your target to be effective. There is a reason that shotguns have a bead and not rifle sights (although, ironically, my combat go-to shotgun does have rifle sights).

    My 12 gauge spreads well, and keeps all buckshot in the chest area of a standard police target at 25 yards. I think it would perform well at that distance.

    If I want it tighter, I would use slugs. Actually, when I was a police officer, I carried two slugs followed by buckshot for the remainder.
     
    DonT likes this.
  6. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,146
    40
    48
    I believe the point that Lee was and is emphasizing, is accountability of all shots, that rounds and buck shot pellets are going where we want them to go, when engaging a bad guy. The goal is to minimize errant pellets, and it was clear that some rounds do that better than others, especially at ranges out to 15 and 25 yards. You have to see the Flite Control and other buck shot rounds and their patterning, to really appreciate that. I was impressed with that.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,393
    395
    83
    DonT likes this.
  8. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    The reason the curriculum is built around loading 4-rounds in the tube as that is the standard tube size on many of the commonly available shotguns. It just simplifies things in a class environment have everyone run with a common starting point of four rounds.
     
    DonT likes this.
  9. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    Please don't take this as confrontational as that is not at all what is intended.

    Stockless shotguns are by and large either a specialty tool for breaching or a gimmick marketed toward people who don't know that they are actually a specialty tool. For those who know how to use them in those specific functions for which they are actually suitable, they are effective. Outside of those specialty functions, they have limitations.

    I think that you'd find that the curriculum of such a class would quickly exceed those above referenced limitations. That's not to say that your shotgun is useless, but it would be against my core beliefs to not tell you that upfront rather than just accepting your money for a class. You could always try to run it and then swap to a stocked shotgun if it isn't working for you.
     
    DonT and TimBob like this.
  10. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    Here is a good discussion on shotgun ammo:



    I'm of the "tighter is better" philosophy when using the shotgun as a defensive tool. You are responsible for every shot that you send down range, and that includes every pellet. The tighter the pattern you get the more distance you get.

    Don's gun with the buckshot that he brought to class was a "15 yard gun" because that was the max distance at which he could keep all of the pellets on target. At anything beyond that distance, he'd send unaccounted for fliers down range. That's no more acceptable than wild shots from a pistol or a rifle.

    For comparison, with FLITECONTROL, I have one shotgun with which I can keep all eight pellets (I use the 8-pellet loads) on target at 35 yards.
     
    tmoore912 and DonT like this.
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,393
    395
    83
    Lee, today is the first time I have heard of FLITECONTROL. How much difference does it make, same gun, same choke, compared to traditional #00 buckshot?
     
  12. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    The headshot is FLITECONTROL. The body shot is XM127. Both shots are fired at seven yards via the same Beretta 1301:

    [​IMG]
     
    DonT likes this.
  13. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    The interweb will tell you that hostage rescue shots with a shotgun can't be done. This San Diego cop must not have Facebook, because he certainly made one using 9-pellet FLITECONTROL.

     
    DonT likes this.
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,393
    395
    83
    Wow! :shock:
     
  15. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    5,312
    345
    83
    Not at all. I understand its limitations and run it differently than I do my Beretta 1301.
     
  16. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    5,312
    345
    83
    Was it proven or just conjecture that he was using Flitecontrol?

    That video should be viewed closely to see how the cop responded. Look at his footwork near the end, how long he was on target, how he maneuvered, his lack of hesitation.
     
  17. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    The 1301 Tactical are by far the best thing going in current production social shotguns.

    As an example of one function for which a PGO is suited, I have used one on an extradition when I was bringing a prisoner back from Louisiana. It was handy when escorting said prisoner on bathroom stops.

    ...and when we took a stroll on the overlook for the Mighty Mississippi to watch the water go by and contemplate life.

    It's confirmed that he was using 9-pellet FLITECONTROL.

    If I were the hostage, I would hope the responding officer's actions were as good as this guy's were.
     
  18. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

    9,003
    10
    38
    Reduced recoil loads are available. My preference is for the reduced recoil 8-pellet load. It will actually pattern tighter than what you see in that video, and there is less flash and recoil. In fact, other than low light, I have never noticed the flash when shooting it.

    Also of importance, the FC wad is designed to work with an open choke or improved cylinder. A tighter choke can prevent the wad from doing what it is supposed to do. It's safe to shoot, but your patterns won't be as good.