Letter Re: Defensive Shotguns on a Budget


Jake at The Armory brings up a good point to expand on, regarding the feeding of a Mossberg pump shotgun with a Sidewinder detachable magazine. [His premise was correct that] you don’t have a mag tube to feed anymore. So, if you don’t have a spare detachable magazine, you throw in a new round through the ejection port. From a Sidesaddle this is very fast with practice. It’s fastest to load the shells in the Sidesaddle with the rim (primer end) up. Keep the weapon at the shoulder, grab the shell, go over the top of the receiver and drop into the ejection port. [JWR Adds:  This matches the “shoot one, load one” doctrine that is now espoused at many of the recent tactical shotgun courses. Just like in the early days of bolt actions rifles with a “magazine cutoff” device (such as Krags and M1903 Springfields) the weapon’s magazine is kept topped off and essentially held in reserve, except in situations where you are rushed by multiple opponents. OBTW, perhaps some enterprising individual will invent a modern-day “magazine cutoff” device for Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s and 590s.]
It is marginally faster to pause to load six rounds in a tube magazine, and then shoot six rounds – but I sure wouldn’t want to take that long a pause in a real gunfight. The Sidesaddle lets you keep a steady stream of fire, loading one round at a time. It’s faster than loading a mag to get one more round off, so you might even want to do it in an emergency, as a stopgap before you get a fresh mag on.
Whether you have a Sidewinder detachable magazine or not, this “combat loading” a really useful trick for anyone with a pump shotgun so you can keep fire going downrange without a long pause feeding a tube. It does take practice to get smooth under pressure, just like most other gun skills.
The Powerpak shell carrier added on the SpecOps buttstock is best loaded up with heavy slugs to counterbalance the muzzle heavy weight of shotguns. You don’t need the weight for recoil control, but a better balanced gun is much more ergonomic.
Pistol Grip versus. SpecOps BUTTstock Options:
Knoxx, the maker of the SpecOps recoil reducing BUTTstock, also makes two recoil reducing PISTOL grips, see:
My recommendation was for the SpecOps BUTTstock, since it gives you the recoil reduction in BOTH the pistol grip AND the buttstock – and of course you have a proper buttstock to aim and steady the gun with. The buttstock is even collapsible like a CAR-15 buttstock so you can shorten up the whole weapon. The pistol grip options are more for door lock breaching than home defense. Hope this clears up the confusion. Regards, – OSOM – “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”