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1st Shotgun Class...Any Insights?


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So before I start...does any one have an SG class wisdom to share? I may try shotgun 2 next year when its offered...



So I just got back from a defensive shotgun class here in Phoenix. Still trying to absorb it all. It was essentially beginner shotgun with a home defense focus. We did several drills:

1. Pattern spread at different distances,


2. 4 shots on target center mass high ready


3. 4 shots on target center mass low ready


4. 4 shots on target center mass tactical ready


5. 7 shots (fully loaded) on target center mass


6. 12 shots on target center mass low ready(reload required)


7. 1 shot on target center mass 2 on neighbors target center mass then one on your target center mass,


8. 2 buckshot on body 2 slugs to head


9. continuous fire and reloading on moving target.


I think those were all the drills in this 3-hour class.


Points I took home:


One of the instructors advised me to not rotate the gun 90 degrees counter clockwise to drop a shell in the chamber-hit bolt release then rotate the opposite way to load like the Magpul guys. He advised me to load underneath which I have never practiced as you move in the same direction to load the chamber and the magazine. I'm going to try it and see if it works for me.


Also he wasn't a fan of the push-pull method and advised I pull back with the grip and pull back with the fore grip as well.


Things I noticed about my gun:


I had one FTE on the last shell in the gun on one of the drills. The bolt had locked back and I cleared it by rolling it out. I lubed it really well prior to the class as I did not want a malfunction. It is a newer gun with like 200 shots through. I was shooting Estate 2 3/4 00 buck from walmart (its what I had).


I have a forward hand stop see below...



I thought I would use it to push-pull and stay on target. I found that it works fairly well...I straight arm my support arm with thumb forward the 1st finger provides pressure on the stop. When I do it correctly I can keep the muzzle down well. I don't experience much pain if I keep the round count below 15...after the class and 75 shells my first finger is pounded..lol likely there will be some bruising tomorrow. This may only work with gloves and even then I'm skeptical. Ill probably try to reverse the hand-stop. After that I may go back to the old fore grip and try Side Armor's offerings.

Edited by roofless
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your set up looks same as mine - the rail covers and cylinder Ext you have. you said you had an FTF on the last shell? I am running the carrycomp tube and Wolf spring. do you have the same spring? trying make since why you had an FTF? now I know i had that problem also BUT that was when I first got the gun and was using the OEM spring... I now use the Wolf. do to work has my nuts strapped hard for me to get out and shoot the gun thank you again for the info :)

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Actually, it was a failure to extract thankfully. I'm happy to say I've never had a failure to fire with this gun. I use a FFT Ti tube with the spring they provided. I actually ordered a carrier comp spring that I received last week I'm going to install soon.


I was generally happy with the class although I wish it was longer with more drills. I was a little disappointed in myself that the push pull method and all the loading drills I worked on prior were not optimal in the eyes of the instructor.


I found that with the M4 I could put more shot downrange faster than others in my beginner class with the exception of one guy. The guy next to me had an SRM 1216 and he was blazing away. He only had some minor difficulty inserting the multi-tube magazine.

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A Shotgun 1 class that's only 3 hours long? Take a class with Louis Awerbuck, Scott Reitz or Rob Haught. Those are the world's shotgun gurus. I've taken classes with 2 of those guys; they were 2 days long each.


I port load the same way you do, over the top. Harder to drop a round on the ground that way and you can see the port while you're doing it. And you can run brass up and load that way easier.


I'm a big fan of push/pull; it's very effective. I don't agree much with your instructor. What are his credentials?

Edited by HopetonBrown
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I think this class was more of an introduction to shotgun with a home defense emphasis...very basic. Being new to SG's I wanted something simple so I can build up to those 2-day classes..which look very good by the way... thanks for the suggestions!


As far as credentials my instructor is competition shooter in USPSA, Multi-gun (3 gun) and IDPA as well as a certified Safety Officer in IDPA. Both instructors in the course have similar credentials. I definitely don't want to knock the recommended methods...I just never practiced those methods with snap caps or at the range.

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Well firstly, congratulations on getting some formal instruction. You're way ahead of most of the guys on this forum or at your local range.


The thing about classes is that you take whatever they tell you, use it during the class, and if it doesn't make sense to you, just push the mental delete button after the class. A lot of guys are stuck in their ways, so it's good to see something different. Game guys like your instructors are gonna have a different way of doing things than LEO/MIL guys. Depends on what your focus is, since the former is fighting a clock, and the latter are fighting bad guys.

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With proper shouldering of the gun and the proper stance you should be able to shoot all day without having any discomfort in your shoulder. I've taken several courses at Front Sight that were 4 days and 600 rounds. The first time there I was taking a 2 day class because I expected to be wore out after 2 day and 250 rounds. I ended up extending to 4 days because it was so much fun and I had zero pain. The biggest part of learning shotgun is learning how to keep it fed and firing. Working though malfunctions clearances is also very important although the M4 is nearly flawless. I have the same model M4 as you and it is a pleasure to shoot. Being a lefty I had to learn a different way to clear a type 3 malfunction quickly and single feed a slug while loaded with 00 because of the shell trip being positioned for right hand shooters.

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