Defensive Long Gun

Just got home from assisting with the Defensive Long Gun class at KR Training.

Great day. Overall things went well and it’s obvious the students learned a lot. Some learned lessons about shooting, some learned lessons of tactics, and a lot of people learned lessons about equipment and gear.

Yes, things break. Doesn’t matter how fancy and cool your gun is… if it breaks, if things aren’t Loctite’d down, it doesn’t matter. But it’s good to learn that in the safety and security of a classroom setting than when it really matters.

I’ve said it numerous times: find gear that works for you. Don’t be attached to your gear because it’s just “stuff”. If it doesn’t work, make changes be it modifications to what you have or maybe a full-on change and buy something else. You have to find things that work for you and work well. Your life and the life of those you love may depend on it.

A few things to comment on:

There was one AK, 2 pump shotguns, 1 Saiga (which the student was having a dog of a time getting to run well), and I believe the rest were some flavor of AR. I was surprised to see the great number of EOTech’s, but probably because I’m an Aimpoint fan. 😉  But consider the context of the class: civilian defensive situations, which is mostly home-defense. In a case like that, and since things can happen VERY quickly (as many learned in the role-play scenario) well… do you have time to turn your optic on? One reason I love Aimpoint is the battery life, so I can just turn the optic on and leave it on. Reminder to change the battery once a year, and even if I forget I’m not going to sweat it.

Whatever you have, but especially if you have an AR, you need to lube it. No, you don’t have enough oil on it. No, really, you don’t.

Since in a home defense situation you won’t be running around with the gun mounted but instead in a low or high ready position, it’s important that you can snap the gun into position and be in that same position every time. Cheek weld should be repeatable. If this means you have to lower the optic, you do. If this means you need to do something to raise up your stock, then do it. You should be able to snap the gun to your cheek bone and hit the same spot every time without having fiddle and adjust.

For you shotgun guys, look into shorter stocks to shorten your length-of-pull. Even 1″ off the back end makes a huge difference in your ability to mount the gun. For you guys running collapsible stocks, try going in one notch and see how that works. There will be a point where it’s too short, but work to find that point because it’s well likely you can go a little shorter and gain a lot of manuverability.

And don’t forget about holdover… especially if there’s something in front of you, like a barrier to shoot over or around. Very important the higher your scope is over the bore.

Due to all of that, there was discussion about zeroing distances. I’ll talk about that in another post because I think it’s worth it. I’ll get to it soon. Stay tuned. 🙂

On that Saiga… there was a time I was interested in getting one. I’m pretty well cured of that desire now. My pump shotgun runs.

Oh.. .the real treat for the day? Seeing Schnookiemuffin, Rog, and… Exodus. Welcome home, man. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Defensive Long Gun

  1. I just can’t see running a semi-auto scattergun when my life depends on it, personally. I hear all kinds of stories about how “this gun runs great” or “that gun has all the kinks worked out of it”, only to hear of said guns bobbling shortly thereafter. I understand some of the SF type guys might be running a semi of some flavor, at this point, but… The Saiga can make a nice competition gun, if it’s worked over well (read: $$$), but it’s not a home defense gun…

    Totally agree on the Aimpoint for short-ish range carbine optic – I have a Micro on mine 🙂

    Part of me wonders, too, if that AK isn’t perhaps the better bet, but…

    • I admit being torn on the semi-auto shotgun because it provides 2 advantages over the pump: 1. less felt recoil, 2. a simpler user interface — just point and click… and point and click again. If you have a situation where there’s someone willing to practice a bit but not enough (like a lot of people in the world) well… it could be acceptable because they are unlikely to remember to work the action, or to work it fully. But of course, that requires someone to ensure the gun runs reliably, to choose ammo that makes it run reliably, and so on. So, it’s a lot more up-front work. Then of course if it malfs, it’s more work to deal with it. All sorts of crapola. Nothing’s perfect.

      Is the AK a better bet? OK, more lunchtime discussion there… 😉

  2. I’m with Dave on the shotgun issue, and if nothing else the round count would make me go to my pistol before my shotgun.

  3. Thanks man. It is GREAT to be home. It has been a 2 year battle and it wasn’t too pretty at times.

    I was so happy to see you that I just didn’t want to yell at your Gangsta persona, let alone shoot! Sorry about blowing your kidney out your back – you laid hands on my shotty though. 🙂 (Yes I screwed up the scenario.)

    What did I learn?

    1) You WILL revert to your base level of training. Been shooting slowfire rifle for, oh, 30 years? You’re absolutely going to revert to point of aim = point of impact under even a LITTLE stress.

    2) That Magpul Dynamics modified sight picture really helped me with item 1 above. I REALLY want to put my sight post on the desired point of impact. The modified sight picture lets me do that at close ranges.

    3) Hey wow, guns that you thought were reliable (and are advertised HEAVILY as such) might not really run quite so good as you thought. My little budget homemade AR had one stoppage that was my fault, because I did a chamber check and rode the bolt down (yes I used the forward assist, it is worthless) and had a “clickshit” during the forward walking drill. I rackbanged it and we ran the rest of the course glitch free. But watching a piston SIG and a Saiga fall apart was a revelation.

    4) Iron sights work pretty damned good if they’re good quality and hold a zero, and have a good sight picture. I’ve tried a whole bunch of irons and I LOVE the Troys. They’re sturdy and have a great sight picture with a huge clear large aperture, and a lot of space around the ring so you can see what you’re shooting at (which matters a lot, maybe even more than the aperture itself.) The Magpul plastic sights are TERRIBLE in that regard, you might as well drill a hole in the center of a playing card and look through that.

    And honestly I felt like I had plenty respectable hits with those irons this weekend. And yes I do want a Micro T-1 on a LaRue mount. But I can live without it for now and I don’t need batteries. 🙂

    • I’m sorry I threw you off during the scenario. But in the future remember, it’s OK to shoot me. 😉

      That’s some great take-homes. I to agree about the guns… the Saiga I think was partial operator error, but no question it was having problems itself. And that poor SIG 556… I know everyone wants to improve on the AR “shit where you eat” direct gas impingement system, but geez… it works and is proven pretty solid. If I want a piston, I’ll use my M1A.

      Thanx for the info on the Magpul BUIS. I wondered about them… guess I won’t bother.

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