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Defensive Shotgun - After Action Insights

Discussion in 'Archived - Oregon Firearms Academy' started by OFADAN, Mar 17, 2014.


    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Periodically we like to share some of our observations based upon empirical evidence and not our "gut feelings or what we think." This is one of those moments. So take it for what it is worth -free insight. You can draw your own conclusions...

    Background Facts:

    We just invested the last two days (we meaning the OFA staff and a number of our highly committed alumni) in training with our defensive shotguns. We completed a level one basic Defensive Shotgun course on Saturday and an intermediate level defensive shotgun 2 on Sunday. Attending were students ranging from Computer Experts, Doctor, Management Consultant, Attorney, SWAT team member, to Deputy District Attorney et al. Most are multiple graduates of OFA and all are highly intelligent, and primarily physically fit individuals. Actually when you consider the range of ages - everyone was in very good to great physical condition. All of the alumni in attendance took their training and skill development seriously and it shows!

    Shotguns used included:
    • Remington 870*
    • Mossberg 590A1*
    • Mossberg 930
    • Weatherby PA-495
    • Remington 11-87
    • Benelli M1/2
    • Stoeger S/S (Double Barrel)
    *The largest number of guns were the 870s and 590A1s.

    Insights and Observations

    • The stock 870 & 590A1's were 100% reliable through two intensive days of shooting birdshot, buckshot and around 50 slugs in the level 2 course. No issues whatsoever.

    • The Benelli, 11-87, and Double Barrel were 100% reliable during the Level 2 class on Sunday

    • Customization doesn't necessarily mean "more better." Several of the shotguns equipped with aftermarket (non factory installed) accessories found them troublesome. Things coming loose, breaking, or not working like they were lead to believe by marketing or Forum hype. Two OFA Armorers spent a considerable amount of time assisting/observing students in fixing their guns or tinkering with after market accessories! Just saying...

    • There is a generation of younger self-defense individuals who are completely unfamiliar with older technology - such as how to operate a double barrel "coach" gun. In an attempt to become a "master of all arms" OFA provided an opportunity for the class on day 2 to become familiar with all the shotgun makes/models during the Battle Field Pick up drill. For self-defense it is critical to be familiar with all operating systems.

    • The Weatherby experienced magazine related issues about half way through day 1 and plagued the student for the remainder of the day and eventually on day 2 was rendered completely useless and he had to transition to his handgun for every drill the last hour.

    • One of the other shotguns went down several times all because of after market accessories; once because of an aftermarket accessory situation which "red-tagged" the shotgun and the student had to borrow a shotgun for about 30 minutes until his/her shotgun was able to be repaired.

    • Buckshot patterns - a variety of buckshot types and brands were experimented with and as was predicted by the OFA staff - Federal's LE Tactical 9 pellet "LE132-00" proved to be consistently the tightest pattern. See photo below.

    • Natural vs. Trained Behavior - while all of the students in the level 1 class could "shoot" their shotgun most were using "natural un-trained behavior". This yielded less "effective" results such as students' being rocked back on their heals, their recovery time was significantly slow, they short-stroked the pump shotguns, it took them time to recover and get their sights back on the target, losing critical extra ammo on the ground because of ineffective loading/charging techniques, they had to look at their guns to operate rather than looking at the threat and threat area (who is trying to hurt them!) they often missed their threat(s) and ended up wounding or causing serious injury or death to innocent bystanders (simulated) and their shot-to-shot times were slow.

      However, many by the end of day 1 were dialed in and others took the first half of the second day to program the more effective "trained behavior." As a result the final two drills of day 2 resulted in very effective defensive shotgun techniques - while under induced manufactured stress they shot in a fairly stressful exercise with substantially less collateral damage resulting in very accurate hits in impressive time. All this while experiencing malfunctions from plastic training cartridges which were mixed in with their live rounds! Very impressive! Bottom line - effectiveness is something that must be programmed and practiced - it generally doesn't come natural.

    • Those who use fine motor skills working with the shotgun find out eventually it isn't effective! Once they master how to operate a shotgun using gross motor skills, their performance improves immensely.

    • Natural stance sucks! Most show up on Day 1 (basic shotgun) using a natural stance the way they've "always done it". It actually works against them. It sometimes takes two days of intense coaching to get a person to move away from a natural stance to a more effective trained stance. Once they become consistent with a trained stance - look out! Performance improves!!!!!

    • It is easy to miss even with a shotgun! Most people think of a shotgun as a point and shoot weapon system. This is absolutely false! Early on in our training together, OFA witnessed first hand a number of simulated innocent bystanders injured/killed. Our target stands (not cheap models BTW) took a severe pounding and beating. One target stand is almost rendered useless from a slug - and this is from people who are serious about training!!!

    • Lack of a groan zone...one of the things that impresses us is the warrior ethos amongst the OFA alumni. Rarely do we hear OFA student's whine, complain, or generate excuses for their lack of performance (okay maybe one person did blame their gun for their underwhelming performance under stress!) It is a privilege to train with a warrior class who accepts responsibility for their performance or lack thereof, realize they're not perfect and are in need of adjustments/correction/coaching and accept their performance (effective or not) as it is, not as they want it to be.
    Photo below: Federal Flight Control Buckshot from a stock shotgun (four holes: one from 3 yards, 5 yards, 10 yards and 15 yards is un-taped - no noticeable or substantial difference in group size.)

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014