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Dumb, or just dumb enough to work....

3953 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Denis S
A friend of mine carries a revolver half the time, and a 1911 the other half. The only thing that he does consistently is load the gun with a single shotshell (snakeshot) either in the chamber or in position 1 of the cyllinder. Is this a good idea? I have my doubts, but he's an older gun, very well-educated and experienced that has trained with all the pros, including my hero Clint Smith. He claims that he can shoot the first shot while finding his front sight, and will have a good chance of hitting the guy. He then can follow up with 4 or 7 rounds of Hornady JHP at his discretion. So.... is he crazy, or crazy like a fox?
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No i don't think its a good ideal
He is just point shooting, I would not have a snakeshot round in the hole myself I feel that I want to stop the perp with my first shot. A good mouthpiece could cut him apart if he was alive after the snake shot, because threat on his life was gone.
I would have to agree with vic, the lawyers would have a field day.
I think that first shot really needs to count if at all possible. It may be all I get! Snake shot is just bound to make a nut job or felon really mad.
In an auto, would snake shot reliably cycle the slide? I thought those rounds were lighter shooting that regular ammo. Or am I wrong? Anyway, at close defensive range would the shot pattern expand enough to make a near miss count? I've got too many questions to try that myself.
I'll be nice and not say he's crazy, but I think he is.

He may be a smart guy, but he sounds irresponsible to me, even if he doesn't realize it. We "own" every projectile we fire, and a shotshell being fired while getting into firing position sends a lot of projectiles flying about that we have little control of.

We have no idea what the situation may be if we need to use our gun.
What if he needs to shoot someone standing near his child or grandchild? Snapping a shot round in the general direction as he lines up the gun is far from the best course of action there.
I suppose in that situation he could advance the revolver cylinder one round or rack the auto's slide to bypass the shot round...but I don't think the bad guys like to wait around for us to get ready.

Besides, there's also the argument that the shotshell is doing little beyond delaying the delivery of properly placed bullets that will do damage. I wouldn't think a sloppy hit by a few shot pellets would have much effect on a determined attacker, and would only delay the deliver of a decent bullet by a fraction of a second.
If you can get your hands on a timer, take him to the range and have him demonstrate this technique.
Then have him practice drawing and firing the usual way, and time him then.
I bet that he gets that wild shotshell off only a fraction of a second faster (maybe as little as .1 second) than his first shot the usual way...but I also bet that the firing of the shotshell delays the firing of a "real" bullet by more than he gained- maybe .3 second or more.
In other words, he is getting a wildly aimed, relatively ineffective, shotshell round fired ever so slightly quicker than by taking a good shot with a real bullet, but it delays the firing of his second (better placed and more effective) shot- the one that will do some good.

You say he's "trained with all the pros". I have a feeling it wasn't one of them who gave him his idea. If so, I'd like to know which one, so I know who to avoid.
Many people have been exposed to training. A smaller number have been trained.

But no, I'll be nice and won't say he's crazy.
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kind of like shooting a warning shot, isn't it?

He's not crazy, I believe he's just been misinformed... Oh and the personal liability factor is really spooky.

I carry snake shot in a revolver when I go Prairie Dogging, but I'm also expecting to see snakes! Wouldn't carry them in a 1911 unless I tested them to make certain that the slide operated properly.
Good points. No snakeshot for me, then.
I had a guy tell me one time to put ball ammo in your first shot, then hollow points, cough, I mean personal defense ammo, for the rest of the magazine, in case that first shot is not in a vital area or misses. I never understood that. I just load whatever all the way. I agree that rat shot aint gonna do anything but make a bad guy really mad.
The way I feel if it is a threat to me or my family the first shot will count and it is always loaded with a H.P. A Clean shoot is more of what I worry about then the ammo.
I rather fire once and stop the perp if I am in fear of my life or my families.
I know a few LEO's that actually stagger bullets FMJ,JHP,FMJ,JHP etc.

When I bought my Kel-Tec 3-AT I was told by a local Sheriff Department that they did a lot of tests because so many of them were carrying the same gun as a BUG and they would only allow their Deputies to carry FMJ - it seems penetration was more important than expansion.

Loads of theories out there, that's for sure...
For a LEO it may be more important, they have to shoot thru car windows at times, we as civies, need that bullet to stop when it hits what we are aiming at. I would think that is the reason for the staggering of ammo.
For a LEO it may be more important, they have to shoot thru car windows at times, we as civies, need that bullet to stop when it hits what we are aiming at. I would think that is the reason for the staggering of ammo.
Yes sir, that could be the reason - another reason is our location. Here in Iowa, especially in the winter, folks wear a lot of layers of clothing and that too may be a factor. I know I carry different ammo in the winter than I do in the summer (also when I'm in Arizona instead of Iowa).
I know a few LEO's that actually stagger bullets FMJ,JHP,FMJ,JHP etc.
I've heard of that for as long as I can remember, but I don't do it.
I have no way of knowing when I would need what bullet, so I carry something that will hopefully cover most problems.

My college roommate thought he had it all figured out, though. He loaded his S&W 60 with one shot round ("that's to sting 'em with"), two hollowpoints ("in case I really have to shoot 'em"), then two of those old Remington Metal Piercing bullets ("In case they're gettin' away and I have to shoot their car").
Ohhh Kay. Got it all figured out there.
I hope you don't (didn't) let your roommate actually handle a weapon!

If he feels he needs to 'Sting 'em' while he figures out whether or not he needs to really shoot them, he has more to think about than that.

'Shoot at 'em while they get away?' - The threat is gone, why worry about that?

I could go on and on...
I think I would try to teach him that if he pulls his gun its not to "sting" someone.
I haven't seen the guy in 20 years, when we ran into each other at a gun show.
He always was...different.

I won't even go into the method he used to check how many rounds he fired from his 686.
That was our first and last range trip.
I'm not even gonna touch that one. :crazy::nonono:

Instead of staggering the magazine, I always carry one of my extra magazines filled with FMJ. Call me paranoid, but it's more reliable and penetrates much better. If I would ever have to shoot into a vehicle through the front window, I'd switch the magazine, waste the JHP in the tube (and by waste, I mean shoot at the threat), and then go at it.

I haven't ever listened to my buddy about the shotshell, but I just thought I's ask, just in case.
I know i'm going to trust in shot placement...

Make em count... and that takes practice. :biglaugh:

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