Rangemaster – Defensive Shotgun DVD review

When Tom Givens was in town, I was able to pick up a copy of his Defensive Shotgun DVD.

As I’ve written before, my preferred home-defense tool is an AR-15. But in the past some months, I’ve softened my “anti-shotgun” stance. In fact, I find myself more and more drawn to wanting to study the shotgun. So being able to obtain and view a copy of Rangemaster’s DVD provides me with continued exploration of the platform.

Overall? It’s a good DVD providing entry-level information on the topic. If you’re an experienced defensive shotgunner, you may not find much use for thise DVD other than to round out your library. If you’re new to exploring the shotgun as a home or office defensive tool? It’s a good DVD to get you started.

The DVD is divided into 3 sections: introduction, hardware, and software. Tom starts out giving some history and evolution of the shotgun, which is both informative and useful (despite what you may think about a history lesson). He goes into discussion of different types of shotguns, parts, nomenclature, and ways to accessorize the shotgun for maximum performance in the home/office defensive situation. It’s important to understand that Tom is framing things from that particular context: home-defense, office-defense, civilian application. This is not some “high-speed, low-drag black ops” sort of context, nor police work, nor military work, nor something like skeet or sporting clays or duck hunting. Sure, much of that information could be useful there too, but understanding the context of the DVD helps to frame not only who should buy this DVD but also keeps the topics and discussion focused.

A good deal of time is spent talking about ammo, because there is a lot of misconception out there. One strong point Tom makes is how you must pattern your ammo in your gun, because very gun-ammo combination could be different… even the same brand/label of ammo out of the same brand/label of gun (but a different instance of that gun) could behave differently. Tom spent time on the range and went through different ammo with different shotguns to demonstrate performance and how you must pattern and know what’s going on. While a lot of video time was spent to demonstrate this topic, I thought it was one of the better parts of the DVD because people talk about patterning being important but being able to see it hopefully will impress upon the viewer just why it’s important.

Time is then spent talking about basic techniques, from ready positions to reloads. The DVD doesn’t go into great detail about tactics and gunfighting, just basics of how to operate the shotgun. If you really want details of tactics and fighting, attend classes or look elsewhere for that information. That’s one reason I state this DVD is “entry-level” because it spends a lot of time talking hardware, importance of patterning, and basic mechanical shooting skills. It’s good for what it provides.

If there’s any downside to the DVD it’s production. It’s not bad production, just not uber-slick expensive production. It doesn’t look cheap, just that Tom didn’t have a million dollar budget; nothing wrong with that. The only thing I found myself desiring, production-wise, was a better DVD menu/index of all the sections of the DVD so you could easily skip around to each discussion topic or segment. I also noted that while there was discussion of semi-auto and pump shotguns, most of the DVD was oriented towards pump shotguns. It would have been nice to have a little more use of semi-auto shotguns, but perhaps it’s more of a subtle bias — I know I’d rather have a pump shotgun in a defensive situation because it’s simpler, less finicky, and can run even in the worst conditions. Plus, pumps tend to be less expensive and one big argument for the shotgun as a defensive tool is the low-cost.

If you’re looking to utilize a shotgun for home or office defense but don’t know where to start? This DVD will help you out. I will say tho that it’s only a beginning: you will want to seek out proper instruction to really know how to utilize a shotgun in a defensive context.

One thought on “Rangemaster – Defensive Shotgun DVD review

  1. Pingback: Rangemaster’s Defensive Shotgun – AAR « Stuff From Hsoi

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