Sunday, March 20, 2011

Columbus Airport Too Early

Darn! I underslept! This is what comes from going to bed early as opposed to watching infomercials at 3AM in your hotel room. Anyhow, I found the class absolutely fascinating...even as a kid I loved learning new (and occasionally random) stuff, and that wowie-zowie factor is still there even at this late date. I've never understood people who agonized over having "nothing to do."

Gunwise, I'm going to be following up on my last few shotgun posts...I'm mulling over in my head whether, indeed, the "pumps are more reliable" meme is reaching the end of its working life. I clearly haven't been expressing myself as well as I should be (or maybe I'm just not thinking as well as I should be). I think what I mean to be talking about is the huge variability of shotgun ammunition as opposed to the narrower range of handgun and even rifle ammo. Then again, let me think about it some more.

I will say that I agree with the commenters (including the inestimable Frank James) who noted that a SxS is as close to a zero-based gun out here...no quirks, no problems, bang-bang. Worked for stagecoach guards in the Old West, retro Mafioso in Sicily, gamekeepers in England...still works well. I have learned some things about SxS shoguns from shooting them in cowboy action shooting the last year or so, and some of that information transfers to a self-defense context.

The first is that SxS shotguns can have 2 rounds loaded as fast as you can single-load a pump, with a caveat. That being you need some sort of belt or holder that presents the rounds correctly for reloading (true, of course, of any reload). It's a little harder/slower to speed reload an SxS from a bag than simple grabbing a single shell for a pump or semi, or several shells that you're shifting around in your hand and you either drop them into the chamber or reloading the tube.

If I was going to keep only a double as the house gun, I might get a shotgun belt or bandoleer to hold my spare rounds. A bandoleer would be good because you could quickly throw it over a shoulder and you'd have your spare ammo ready to go.

The second thing I've learned is, shock upon shock,you generally get what you pay for. I say "generally" because the old Stevens 311s are tanks, and they're still dirt cheap. The Stoegers are okay, but you do use them up in heavy shooting. I have seen the lugs break off a well used Stoeger as it was cracked open, which resulted in the embarrassing situation of the barrels laying on the ground and the shooter holding the stock and receiver. Funny at a match...less so in the Real World.

If I was going to get a SxS as a dedicated self-defense gun and money was no object, I'd (cover your ears and eyes, classic shotgun fans!) get a Browning BSS, lop the barrels to 22-23 inches, install screw-in chokes for some versatility and get ready to rock.

I wish the Czech company Pioneer made hammerless doubles...forget "tanks;" those guns are built like destroyers.

Saw this quote on Jerry Pournelle's blog and thought it was appropriate these days...'course you all know where it's from:

Don't panic. But it never hurts to know where your towel and cup are.



- Posted using BlogPress...carefully...

14 comments:

Steve said...

I remember a long ago comment from Jeff Cooper to the effect that he liked the idea of a SXS double with exposed hammers for home defense because the ability to leave them loaded with hammers down and springs relaxed for long periods of time provids an extra margin of safety while still leaving the gun in a high state of readiness. That seemed like good advice to me

David said...

I thought I saw you there. But wasn't sure with that denim shirt, and didn't catch the entire name on it.

Anonymous said...

Every mechanical device can and will fail. A reliable system is one that minimizes the failure potential.

Everything has variability. Guns have it and so does ammunition. Variability is found in the materials that things are made out of, the methods of manufacture, the people making the stuff and the machinery the stuff is made with. Each variability translates into differences in performance, in the least.

Defensive handgun ammo' has it's own unique sensitivities due to dimensional, material and design variabilities. There, you have plated and un-plated cases. Round-nose, truncated cone, hollow-point and a miriade of flat-nosed rounds. We have bullets with metal cases, plated cases and plain lead, as well as copper, bronze and brass bullets. When we use a system that is subject to this complexity, expect that there will be variables in performance.

The moral to this story? One gun is equal to none. Two guns are equal to one. Etc. I carry a semi-auto as my prime gun, along with a 5-shot revolver as a back-up. My 870 is behind the door, stoked with bird-shot, buck', then slugs. My 1894 .44 Marlin is ready to grab.


And oh yeah: "Simplicity is a reflection of genius".
Life Member

Sanjuancb said...

The Browning BSS is the finest shotgun that I've ever fired. I've been through quite a few but I can recall a beautiful Browning that one of my relatives owned. It was unreal. It seemed like the shotgun would hold a pattern f-o-r-e-v-e-r. We were literally busting clays with it at over 60 yards. They are a superb work of functional art.

nj_larry said...

...I wish the Czech company Pioneer made hammerless doubles...forget "tanks;" those guns are built like destroyers...

Not to nitpick but are you sure they are a Czech company? On their website it lists their Euro address in Poland.

http://www.pioneer-pac.com/contactus.html

Their SxS hammer guns do look awesome. Wish I had some disposable income these days...

seeker_two said...

Don't forget that SxS shotguns can also use buttcuffs. I have one on mine that holds six rounds....three OO buck and three slugs. With the two tucked under the cuff (my first load), I have eight rounds ready when I pick up the gun. I also have a belt/bandolier with 24 rounds (bird/buck/slug) as a backup. I've also seen a few slings that will hold extra rounds, but I haven't got one....yet....

Haven't heard that about the Stoegers, but I haven't shot mine as much as a SASS shooter would, either. Mine's been nothing but dependable. Plus, for the casual shooter, a Stoeger should do well.

Don't forget the Bakail doubles out there...they're a little rough, but built like tanks.

Michael Bane said...

Larry...may be a Polish company now...when I met the guys we talked about Prague...what a sweet (and expensive) SxS though!!! Shoots great, too...all that weight tamps down the recoil....

mb

DonWorsham said...

Columbus NM Columbus GA or Columbus OH?

DonWorsham said...

Columbus NM, Columbus GA or Columbus OH?

Uno Mas said...

One factor that isn't getting too much consideration is the poor environment that a SD shotgun is likely to be stored in. In our case, it's under the bed in the safe room, living with the dust-bunnies, cat dander, and teh giant fuzzballs from the German Shedders. My Mossy 590 was neglected like that for decades. Exhumed, it functioned flawlessly on the range. Could even a modern semi do that?

My wife shoots the Stoeger in CAS. I used to. It takes quite a bit of coordination to correctly and quickly stuff two shells in the SxS; one of the reasons I shoot a '97. In fear of my life, I'd be throwing shells everywhere. And external hammers? I've seen pards that have shot external hammers for years forget to cock them during the heat of competition. How 'bout when your pink butte is on the line....?

Pump, FTW.

Fred Birdsnerp said...

living with the dust-bunnies, cat dander, and teh giant fuzzballs from the German Shedders. My Mossy 590 was neglected like that for decades. Exhumed, it functioned flawlessly on the range. Could even a modern semi do that?

Yes, easily.

Anonymous said...

Bane - if you want to take a look at one of the new Baikals, I just got one and I'll bring it to the next match if I haven't sent it off to be smithed yet, it needs some smoothing for CAS work, but for HD it would be fine and built quite tough from what I can tell.

- Grizz

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