What's the advantage of pistol-grip shotguns?

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by thardey, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    So I keep hearing about how the "police configuration" of a 12 gague is the "ultimate home defense" weapon, and I have added a magazine extender tube, and a side-saddle for another 5 rounds to my 870. But beyond that, what are the true advantages?

    I also hunt with my shotgun (the primary use BTW), and it's no big deal to remove the extender, add the plug, and be perfectly legal for hunting.

    To that end, I still have the 26-inch barrel, and the standard synthetic stock.

    So, what's the big advantage of the pistol-grip with the folding stock? At home defense range, even with an 18" open-choke barrel, the spread is still small enough to require basic aiming, not hip-shooting -- why limit your ability to shoulder and fire the shotgun in the most effective manner?

    I'm asking because I'm thinking about getting one, but I'm not sure if it's worth the "image" of defending myself with a "modified for killing people" type shotgun. That is, if I do use it is self-defense, the people on the jury are going to see an "assault shotgun" if it has a folding stock.

    On the other hand, if it does have a tactical advantage, I would rather have it and protect my family, and deal with the public perception issues later.

    I can see the advantage of storing it with the shorter configuration, but the folding stock will be harder to practice with, because of the lack of cushion. Also, I've never shot a shotgun with only a pistol grip -- how hard is it to control?

    Or, would I be wiser to go with the telescoping stock?

    Keep in mind that I am thinking about defense within the home -- not on the streets or anything like that.

    If I want to go hunting, it will only take me a couple of minutes to change the configuration back, so I'm not too worried about that, either.
     
  2. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    My home defense shotgun has a pistol grip with a full sized stock. I like it that way so I can really pull it into the crook of my shoulder. I don't trust the folding stocks and haven't had any experience with the telescoping ones. But it seems to me if you aren't in the back of an APC, you don't really need to shorten it.
     
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  3. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Manuverability, that's all.

    Shotguns are designed to be fired from the shoulder, and doing so makes the recoil manageable.

    I made the mistake of firing a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun, with an 18" barrel, and a pistol grip only. After three shots of full power 00 buckshot, my hand was tingling, and the webbing had cut open a bit. Not nice.

    If I did need a compact shotgun in cramped quarters, I'd be loading it up with reduced power buckshot, or even birdshot.
     
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  4. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    Tharday,

    I love finding pistol gripped shotguns for cheep prices at pawn shops. I get them and buy a buttstock for them!

    The pistol gripped 'cruiser' shotgun, at least to me, is a very specialized close range HD weapon that you fire from the hip. If you try to aim it by bring it up to the line of sight you will find your fist that holds the grip smashing your nose when that 12 goes off! I prefer the handgun for the same situations I'd use such a weapon.

    I have two Mossburg 12s. Both chrome finish. One, a Marine 500 that came with just the pistol grip, I had a Mossie factory buttstock at home for it. 18 inch barrel and tac-star side saddle and jumbo safety. It's my "PC" gun, that is politicaly correct shotgun. It holds 5 rounds and the tac-star holds 4.

    The other, a 590, ghost ring sights, 20 inch tube, is my general purpose shotgun. It has tac-star side saddle and speed feed stock (and the regular stock is what went on the other Mossie!) And I added a jumbo saftey to easly manipulate the safety.

    I have the orgional pistol grip with the 500 but it sits in the parts box!

    Deaf
     
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  5. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    A shotgun with a pistol-grip and full stock is fine and it's really just a matter of personal preference at that point. Though I will say that I wouldn't want one on a shotgun with a tang-mounted safety (Mossberg) because you can't manipulate the safety without compromising your firing grip...personal issue there, I like to maintain my firing grip at all times.

    I really don't see a use for one with only a pistol grip outside of very specific circumstances (e.g. a breaching gun). The only advantage such a weapon gives you is ease of concealment/storage...in a fight, you're losing the advantage afforded by a full-stocked long gun.
     
  6. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    They ahve always made my wrists hurt, so I keep my full stock on mine.
     
  7. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    i've had the exact opposite problem as searcher. i have trouble with my wrists, especially my left one, & pistol grips do seem to keep them aligned better. though i do have a full stock. i'd like to get a pistol grip on the pump since i can't carry in the alert position for more than a minute without my left wrist flaring up.

    jf
     
  8. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    i prefer a full butt stock. if it is to close you can butt stroke the intruder and fallow up as needed.
     
  9. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess it would be concealment and maneuverability for me. Short stock would work, it is all about close quarter, especially when maneuvering through a house.
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    JMHO, but if you want more maneuverability go buy a pistol. Way more maneuverable than a shot gun.
     
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  11. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    Years ago when I lived in a small apartment in a large complex a shotgun was my go to weapon. I was more worried about thru and thru shots and over penetration thru the thin walls into my neighbor’s home. Most pistol rounds will easily penetrate a couple of layers of sheetrock. I practiced maneuvering around the house with all of the furniture and doing so in the dark. I also practiced shooting and chambering using only a single arm as well as bouncing shot off of hard surfaces.

    One advantage to a pistol grip is it helps set up weapon platform similarity between your other long guns and your shot gun.

    A person should be in my opinion able to use weapons in multiple configurations but for your personal weapon more important than what is the current fad or what makes sense to this gun guru or that one is that your weapon fits you (physically emotionally and spiritually). It must be comfortable for you to fire and fire a lot. I am sure most will agree that if you do not practice having the perfect wizbang set-up does little good.

    Regards
    Brian King
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  12. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    They're AWESOME wrist breakers...........
     
  13. KenpoTex

    KenpoTex Senior Master

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    ah...they're not that bad...back when it was still cheap enough to shoot purely for the hell of it, I enjoyed shooting a shotgun with just a pistol grip and plinking with 8mm Mausers and Mosin Nagants. (I'm not really very recoil-sensitive)
     
  14. sjansen

    sjansen Orange Belt

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    Pistol grips won't break your wrist but can hurt. However, they are very good at manuvering tight places. Also, the weapon is much harder to strip if you encounter a foe in close quarters. You can also bring the weapon to bear much quicker. This is why the new m4 has a pistol grip on the foreend. It will hamper your shooting at long distances, but that's not really the point. It's the right grip for the right place.
     
  15. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    there's also the fact that whenever you hold one, you get that catchy song in your head.



    jf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  16. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Thanks for the input, guys.

    Since I've trained with the shotgun in a "standard" grip, that's what comes most naturally to me, I think I'll just leave it alone.

    For checking out the "bump in the night" stuff, I'll stick with my Glock and tac-light. I'll only pull out the shotgun if I know that there's a violent intruder in the house, and then I'll be holed up in the bedroom, not out looking for him. There, manuverability isn't much of an issue.

    So, I think "civilian mode" should be just fine.

    Thanks for saving me about $60!
     
  17. blp03

    blp03 Yellow Belt

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    I would have to agree that it would hurt your wrist a little using a pistol grip. I have a tactical stock with a pistol grip on my 870 HD and I love it. It feels comfortable and I'm able to maneuver pretty easily with it because of the pistol grip as far as moving my weapon up and down when clearing corners. I also have a sling to be able to switch from long to short quickly if need be. I have a friend who is special forces and he gave me some good advice as far as the adjustable stocks. He told me the less moving parts the better. I was looking at getting the collapsable stock but decided to get what I got instead. Hope that helps.
     
  18. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Why would you want to buttstroke them when you have a perfectly good metal barrel to run through their teeth? And you're still pointed in the right direction.
     
  19. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Either is fine......I like a pistol grip (with a full length buttstock) but it's just the angle of my wrist being more comfortable. Either is as good as the other in any practical sense.

    Now a pistol grip without a buttstock is a useless animal, in my opinion.
     
  20. Skpotamus

    Skpotamus Brown Belt

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    My buddy had a PGO mossberg 500 that was pretty nice. Keeping constant forward pressure with the left hand (he gripped the pistol grip with his right hand) let him keep control of the shotgun at eye level and able to keep a pretty good rate of fire at 15 yards shooting Brenneke KO 2 3/4" slugs. He kept low recoil buckshot in it for home use. The shorter gun was easier to manuever indoors as well as giving him a shotgun over a handgun.

    Personally, I keep a knoxx recoil reducing spec ops stock in my home shotgun so my wife can shoot it easily too. The pistol grip with a shoulder stock feels much more ergonomic to me.

    Has anybody tried the knoxx breacher grip? It's supposed to help reduce recoil without a shoulder stock.123
     

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