Monday, March 13, 2006

Good Job, Chip

I went shooting on my day off Friday. It was fun, mostly because the range is pretty empty on weekday mornings and partly because the weather was great.

Three guys at the range were taking turns shooting one of the stupidest weapons to ever come into widespread use. I am talking about the pistol grip shotgun. While their shotgun was not as duded up with tacticool accessories like the one in this picture, that doesn't make it any smarter.

For those not in the know, a real stock is necessary on a shotgun. Without the stock you have no way to get a cheek weld. Most shotguns use a bead sight and rely on a good cheek weld to get your eye in the proper alignment with the little brass bead at the end of the barrel. Without the stock, you have no way to aim the shotgun properly. Technically you don't aim shotguns, you point them, but you get my drift.

Also with normal shotguns, you absorb recoil by placing the stock in contact with your shoulder and absorbing as much recoil as possible with your body and legs. With a PG shottie, you have to use your arms to manage most of the recoil. If your arms aren't good enough, you may end up using your face to get the recoil to your body and legs.

That last bit is exactly what happened to one of the three guys shooting next to me. Before I was finished setting up, the short stocky one knocked out a tooth (or part of a tooth) with the butt of the pistol grip. Ouch. They packed up and left shortly thereafter.

My shooting went pretty well. With an empty range I got to shoot the breeze with the range officers while I loaded my magazines and took my time shooting on the line. The result was almost that my groups were the same size with both my 9mm and my .22 buckmark. That never happens. I usually do much better with the buckmark. I was shooting slightly to the right with both guns (which means either too much thumb or too much trigger finger), but I had none of the usual vertical stringing with the 9mm (which is usually a recoil anticipation problem). On the next trip to the range I'll try to shoot high thumbs more and continue take my time. Speed will come.

Oh and for the sake of completeness, there are a handful of places were a PG shottie is useful. But if you aren't a security guard for an armored car company then you probably won't see any of them.

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