By Director Al Collins
The best all-around tool to defend yourself and also able to feed your family in a survival situation, is the shotgun.
Speaking from many decades of experience with shotguns, rifles and handguns, the shotgun is the king.
Let’s consider the alternatives.
In a life or death situation, the handgun’s single grip and short-sight radius, combined with the pressure of combat, accounts for about 75% of misses by trained police officers. One large caliber round through the heart can take up to 30 seconds to stop the threat. A predator can do a lot of damage to you and your family in 30 seconds! Statistics also reveal, that many hits don’t necessarily mean the attacker is stopped either.
A shotgun offers four points of contact, making it steadier, and therefore easier to more accurately acquire and hit a target than a handgun. Although the blast radius doesn’t really require that much accuracy!
And, there’s no disputing the terminal energy that is carried in just one 00 Buck shotshell. Nine pellets spreading out to provide 1500 ft. lbs. of energy at a target, is four times that from a .45 bullet from a handgun. That means instant stopping power and very low probability of a miss.
Add in multiple moving attackers to this mix and the handgun comes up short against the shotgun in close quarter combat.
Many will say that the rifle must be better suited for combat, as this is what soldiers carry. For longer range, outdoor combat operations, requiring multi-round fire-power, the rifle does carry the advantage. Even in tight indoor quarters, a short-barrel, folding stock .223 is a handy friend to have. Although indoors, a rifle round will go through several walls. Wouldn’t want any to hit your family or the neighbors! Also, the miss percentages and the lower stopping power, like the handgun, still exist, allowing the shotgun to maintain its position as leader of the pack for close-quarter protection.
With a shotgun, there are no regulations (non-hunting) on magazine capacity, so, depending on the action, shell size (2 ¾”, 3”, 3 ½”) and magazine, a shotgun can hold 10+ shells. Fired in rapid succession, the shotgun will melt any close quarter targets! And slugs will take your hits out accurately to 100 yds. I’ve met hunters that have disputed my claim of that, yet I’ve put plenty of deer on my plate to prove them wrong.
There is also non-lethal shot and beanbag rounds, which are not recommended for protection. Shooting someone with less than lethal rounds or using a small caliber handgun like a .22 or aiming to just wound them, isn’t a plan against a predator(s). Homicidal attackers get really homicidal when you’ve only wounded them.
Tasers are another weapon of choice for police and for self-protection, yet even the TASER company admits, there’s no substitute for a firearm. A taser can miss, barbs won’t go through heavy clothing, and when the effect wears off, then what? What if there’s more than one attacker?
Remember, you’re shooting to stop a deadly threat. Beanbags, wounding, small calibres, tasers, aren’t going to get you and your family the results that are needed to survive.
Choosing Your Shotgun
Many gauges can be chosen, but your go-to pick should be the 12 gauge.
You can also choose several types of action, although the two types for higher capacity, are the pump and the semi-automatic. Owner’s choice between the two, however, something to consider. You will be able to continue to operate the semi-automatic, even if wounded in one arm or hand and it chambers (fires) a bit faster than a pump.
Shotguns come in various brands, models, colors, lengths, quality and cost. Go to a gun dealer to try various models to find one that fits you. Make sure the butt fits your shoulder pocket, not on your shoulder muscle. Mount the stock to your face. Mounting low will cause the recoil jump to smack your cheek.
The heavier it is the better to dampen down recoil (if that’s a need for you). Recoil pads are also handy to reduce recoil. The semi-automatic disperses much of the ‘kick-back’, as it’s chambering the next shell. For ammo, you don’t need heavier load shells or slugs either for CQC.
If possible, go to a trap or skeet range to see if anyone will let you bang out a few or rent one at the clubhouse for the afternoon.
If you can only have or want one shotgun, but you want to cover all the bases (hunting, recreation and protection), consider interchangeable barrels. If it’s just for protection, then pick out the one that will best meet that function.
Always, always, always pay extra to get good quality. You can’t rely on a piece of junk that might jam or break down, when trying to save your life with it.
You might also consider a pistol-grip; folding stock; 3-point sling (good for hands free capability; next to impossible to be disarmed); and picatinny rail (to mount flashlight or Aimpoint red dot sight for night use or to carry extra shells); all to meet your indoor protection needs. These accessories allow for easy maneuvering in tight quarters, and rapid acquisition of target.
Laws on shotgun purchase, ownership, transport and carry are very casual in the US. In Canada, you’ll need to take a certified PAL course in order to acquire and possess firearms. (Restricted firearms (handguns) have extra restrictions). Shotguns are considered non-restricted.
Shotguns and ammo must also be secure when stored and/or transported. Secure storage is essential when children are around. I started shooting before I was five years old and was competition shooting as a pre-teen against adults. My guns hung on the wall back then. I had safety drummed into me. Family members should be properly counselled when firearms are in the home.
Storage in safes and trigger locks can present a delay when multiple attackers have just kicked in your door. Your call on how you reduced reaction time, when talking to the police later.
Competency with a shotgun for most people, is obtained much quicker than with handguns and rifles. At COMBATIVS, we’ll get you familiar with handling a CQC shotgun and how to use it during combat.
The shotgun can be your best friend in close quarter combat! For all those predators down range of it, it is their worst nightmare.
COMBATIVS private training is offered at your convenience, at your location in Buffalo, NY, or Burlington, Hamilton, Niagara, Mississauga, Oakville or Toronto Ontario.
See further details on our COMBATIVES page.