Realistic use of shotguns


Some of the local club matches have shotgun side matches, generally with all steel targets.
Some of the competitors outfit their guns with extra long magazine tubes.
But after studying it some, the long mags didn’t seem to affect the outcome, mostly because of the small number of targets, seldom more than four or five.
Those things are pricy, so multiple runs are used to give everyone their money’s worth.
Quite different than the large stages of say 3 gun.
The longer mags at the local matches just took longer to fully load.
The normal four or five round mags loaded quicker with results about the same.
Just a thought before adding the complication and expense of those eight plus mag after market mag tubes.
Especially considering the few rounds required or probably needed for hunting or home defense.


thx for your wisdom, g.willikers.

I used to think that even for shotguns, you need as many shots as possible (i.e. - large magazine tubes).

Now, I am fine with max of 4 or 5 rounds capacity. In fact, I even have double barrel shotguns for home defense. Not much I can buy that is scarier looking than that, and in fact, quite effective (and shorter, for that matter).

Not sure what these new clip (magazine) fed shotguns are really for - police? riot control? Those that just have to have the max number of rounds? Either way, I am not buying them.


I think that shotguns fill a niche role in real life use today. That role could be non lethal as in bean bags or oc launching, or it could be used for breaching. I don’t think its a completely viable option with the availability and ease of use of modern rifles.


Since my home is small and narrow enough, I have a 12 gauge loaded with Federal Heavy Field no. 6.


I haven’t tried 3 gun yet, mainly because I don’t have a shotgun that can be outfitted with a long tube mag (an old Winchester Model 12). I’m not aware of any shotgun matches near me like the ones the OP describes, but they sound like something I could do with the Model 12 without needing to get an extended mag tube.


Jeff Cooper said that same thing back in the 70’s or 80’s. I agree. Although for a budget friendly hd firearm that requires minimal training the shotgun is ok.


personally, I think training for a shotgun (at least a pump) may be harder to newbies. All it takes to go from empty to ready on an AR is magazine, charging handle, safety, trigger. I’ve seen a lot of struggle with the locking lever and pump action for what it’s worth.


I didnt have that issue. I think price might be an issue for some people too. A decent AR is around $600 and a decent shotgun in around $300. I will take an AR15 over a shotgun anyday though. The 5.56 round is a nastyround up close and with the right ammo.


Depends on the shotgun. My wife who was a long gun / shotgun newbie and being a smallish woman was able to pickup and work the action of our Ithaca Model 37 with ease. Our Remington 1100 semi-auto is a piece of cake to use as well.


Are those 1100s picky on ammo? Every semi auto shotgun ive handled was picky even my buddies Benelli m4 which cost him like $1800.


I’ve been running anything from Federal standard, Federal premium, Remington green/yellow box and of course some Winchester Super-X slugs. Mine must be an anomaly? It was well taken care of and rarely used by its previous owner. Maybe I got lucky?


Gas operated auto shotguns need to have their gas ports clean.
I’d bet that most feeding problems can be due to dirty ports.
If that doesn’t cure things, there’s always the option of matching the ammo to the port size.
Some folks who attend lots of competition events even go so far as to have multiple barrels, each with port sizes to match a particular type of ammo.
It’s been my experience that poor feeding can be cured with just cleaning the barrel gas ports, though.


Realistic use of shotguns. Well it depends. I live out in the country. I use one all the time for different things. In my younger days I always just had a shotgun that’s all I could afford 12g Mossberg 500. Used it for hunting self defense truck gun pest control plinking. I still go to the 12g 1st gun I grab for bump in the night or if I go for walks in the woods even if I am out cutting logs in the woods I take my 12g. I have other guns now but in my op the shotgun fits the bill for just about any roll as long as you got the right ammo and you use it with in its limitation.


I have more shotguns than any other guns mostly Remington 870 or 1100s with a couple of overunders in the mix. I find that for a general use gun they are what most people in this area own and a lot of them it is the only gun they have. As for 1100s clean as needed and replace gas rings as needed and they will last for a lot of years.


Comparing shotguns to rifles, there seems to be an abundant of shotguns in the under $200 price range.
Who can’t afford that?
There’s also the reduced danger of the range of a shotgun as compared to rifles.
Might be a major concern with an inexperienced user.
Just a though or two.


Question for you shotgun guys and gals. What’s the smallest 12 gauge shotgun on the market that can run mini shells? Was thinking how much fun an SBR mini shell propelling shotgun with a red dot and would be.



That would be either the Remington Tac14 or the Mossberg Shockwave (technically, neither of which are legally classified as shotguns, but they by most people’s views, would definitely be shotguns.

14 inch barrels, just over 26 inches overall length each - should be the smallest!


Do they run mini shells? Also, I thought those you couldn’t put a stock on them without the NFA tax? I’m contemplating on a very small tactical shotgun for CQB in the house but one with a stock. I’m not 100% up on the legalities of shotguns other than I cannot saw off the barrel.



well, I am not a lawyer, but I have heard of some people putting a brace on them (supposedly still legal). you may want to do some searches on this.

regarding the mini shells - yes (at least) one of them can handle them with a small device added to ensure proper feeding - I just don’t remember if it is the Remington or the Mossberg, that has that feature.

bottom line: it appears you can have a rather effective weapon for up close and personal defense with a couple of minor modifications (both legal and not requiring any tax stamps, or whatever - at least, so I have heard).

check them out on Buds Gun Shop Online - you will see some variety of configurations.


I’ve had my 1100 for 33+ years and the only thing I’ve done to it is change the rings once because, well, I’d never changed them before. For many, many years it was my only shotgun and I used it for everything from pheasants to trap. The only thing I’d swap was the choke and put a duct tape comb riser on it for trap.