New toys

Discuss all accessories and upgrades available for the Remington 870 shotgun: stocks, forends, barrels, chokes, magazine extensions, followers, safeties, sights etc.
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Zebra62
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New toys

Post by Zebra62 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:49 am

I have a few toys I picked up recently I would like to share.

Last week I ordered a pair of California Competition Works shotshell strippers and two sets of Saf-T Trainer training rounds in 12 and 20 gauge. This past weekend I also visited our local military surplus store and picked up a MOLLE vest from Fox Outdoor.

Two inherent problems with our chosen shotguns are limited ammo and relatively slow reload speeds when compared to weapons with removable magazines. The only way to remedy the lack of ammo is to hang more ammo on the weapons or our bodies. Extended magazines, side saddle carriers and butt stock carriers do well for accessorizing your favorite zombie killer, but you still have the problem with limited ammo. With my tactical, I have 7 shots internal and six more on the butt stock carrier. I will in the future mount a Mesa Tactical 6 round side saddle for a total capacity of 19. Heaven forbid I get into a situation where those 19 rounds do not solve my problems. We have Gypsy's 20 Gauge outfitted with a +5 extension and a five round butt stock carrier for a total capacity of 16. I want to mount a Mesa Tactical 8 round side saddle, but she does not. It's her weapon, so I must deffer to her wants. Still, 16 rounds is a hell of a deterent. We also have lots of spare ammunition for both weapons in various bags, boxes, slings and bandoliers.

We have been to the range many times in the last few months and have been practicing our weak handed reloads with ever increasing margins of success, noting that having our extra ammo in a bag on our hip is easier access and sometimes quicker than pulling from the butt mounted carrier if we can get a shell out that is already pointed the right direction. Fumbling around with trying to correctly orient a round to get it into the ejection port has caused us to bend over and pick up said round. We have been practicing the underhanded reload method as it feels easier for us. Speed comes from practice and having a shell holder designed for speed.

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Enter the California Competition Works 6 round stripper and Saf-T trainers. Seeing the construction of the strippers I understand now why competitive shooters use them. These things are SOLID and the clip for the belt is super strong. I had concerns with whether or not they would be secure enough, but my fears were unfounded. In fact, in order to attach one to the belt on my vest, I had to get a screwdriver and pry it open from the back. No worries about it falling off by accident. The Strippers come with two shims and Velcro dots for fitting different lengths of shells. Everything we have is 2 ¾, so I went with the thicker shims. We also found that the 20 gauge shells will fit almost as snugly as the 12 and only rattle a little because of the difference in diameter. We can also easily get 7 20 gauge rounds into a stripper without forcing. The strippers are very simple to load and to pull from, so simple my 4 year old son can do it. I watched him do it twice last night. After wrestling it all away from him, I was able to play around a bit last night, loading my stripper with the training rounds and practiced pulling rounds and port loading from the bottom. LOTS quicker and no fumbling with the rounds. I can see a few more in our future. The strippers also have a cover available for purchase in black or multi-cam.

The Saf-T Trainers are pretty cool. High vis orange, hard plastic and not as heavy, there is no mistaking them for a live round. I bought them to be able to practice loading the weapons at home instead of needing to go all the way out to the range or worse yet, using live rounds. I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING LIVE ROUNDS FOR PRACTISING LOADING UNLESS YOU ARE 100% CERTAIN THERE WILL BE NO ACCIDENTS. Problem is, there is never a 100% chance of no accidents. Gypsy does not handle live rounds unless we are at the range. She doesn’t feel comfortable enough with them yet to handle them at home. The training rounds will allow her to practice without fear of shooting someone. The Saf-T Trainers are available in a wide variety of calibers and gauges and are fairly inexpensive in comparison to other training, dummy rounds and snap caps. We picked up two sets of ten with shipping for less than $40.

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OK. SO…I bought a vest, too, mostly because I have always wanted one. Now I have a genuine reason to own a vest. The one I purchased is from Fox Outdoor and is what they call a sniper vest as it has padded and re-enforced shoulder panels. MOLLE webbing front and back, pouch in the back for a hydration bladder and large zippered web pouches inside the front panels for holding documents or maps. The sides are laced and the shoulders have Velcro panels to fit a wide range of sizes. The front is zippered with two quick release snaps which can be cinched. The bottom edge of the vest has 6 loops to accept belts up to two inch wide, easily fitting my old surplus web belt I “borrowed” about 20 years ago. There is also a large drag handle on the back between the shoulders. All the seams and connections are double stitched and heavy duty. Fox Outdoors may not be top of the line when it comes to vests, but it was less expensive and available when I was looking. Many of the vests I have viewed online were already set up for M4 or AR magazines and only a few of them had any shell holders for shotgun, and then only a few rounds. I don’t have an M4 or an AR, so all the mag pouches associated with those vests would be wasted space. With this vest, being JUST the vest, I can build it the way I want, incorporating more capacity for shotshells and pistol magazines for our PT-58. A drop leg holster on one side and a drop leg pouch of some flavor on the other, pouches for multi-tools, flashlights, medical kits, etc, etc. We will eventually have two vests. One for Gypsy and her 20 gauge and one for me and my 12 gauge. Don’t need it, but want it.

I feel I may have gotten a bit long and drawn out with this one and I hope I haven’t bored everyone to become suicidal. Thanks for letting me ramble.
The REAL definition of GUN CONTROL - The ability to keep your sights on your target.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

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JBall
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New toys

Post by JBall » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:11 am

If your planning on truelly running a 12g as your primary, you might want to look into this micro 12 gauge chest rig from OSOE. Obviously being from the OSOE your getting the very best in quality and once you check out the rig and how it works you will be sold on the versatility, speed, and tactical advantage it would bring to your load out. His real clientele are all Tier one operators for a reason... It's some of the best gear money can buy. These shotgun Image
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http://soebelts.com/collections/micro-r ... -micro-rig[img]
http://youtu.be/IMpmIJmHiXI

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Zebra62
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Re: New toys

Post by Zebra62 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:23 pm

If your planning on truelly running a 12g as your primary, you might want to look into this micro 12 gauge chest rig from OSOE.
I did look at numerous chest rigs before making my decision and I did look long and hard at this one and a few more dedicated to shotgun. This is a great rig for what it is designed for, but it isn’t what I wanted and there are a couple of reasons why.

The biggest reason I opted for an actual vest is ease of donning the thing. True enough, the chest rigs are relatively simple to don, but I was thinking more about my Wife and her capabilities rather than my own and a vest is easier for her. She would get confused in a SHTF situation and get tangled in all the straps. She is accustomed to vests. She wears them all the time. She knows how to put a vest on and can do it when she is drunk and stupid. I've seen her do it. The muscle memory wins in this case.

Second reason is the versatility of a full vest over a chest rig. Our vests will be primarily for home defense and will be loaded with our shotguns as our primary weapons and have a pistol holster on the right leg. We do currently have one handgun in the house, a Taurus PT 58 .380, and Gypsy does know where it is and how to use it. She is very good with it. Our plan of action in a home invasion is to collect all family members into the master bedroom, barricade the door with my dresser and use the shotguns as artillery against anyone trying to get past the barricade.

We are also an outdoor family and spend as much time as possible at a local park that has about thirty miles of bike and hiking trails. Our bikes our outfitted with holders for water bottles and all of us have our belts with slings for additional water. I custom fitted a rig on my bike to carry a soft side cooler to hold more, but it is cumbersome. The vest could be repurposed to carry additional water and supplies (food, first aid, etc...) for our day trips to the park. A chest rig wouldn’t be effective in that capacity.

The loadout plan I have for our vests is as follows:

Hydration unit in the back pouch.
Right side drop leg panel for a holster and pistol mags.
Left side drop leg panel for a medical kit.
Left side of the belt will have three CCW strippers with covers.
Left side front panel will have two shot shell holders from either Blackhawk or Condor.
Blackhawk holders are horizontal and have a capacity for 18 shells.

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Condor has two different holders. One is a twelve shell horizontal holder....

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....and the other is a 25 shell vertical fold out holder.

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I'm not sure if I like the fold out design. Jury is still out on that point.

Left side high will be a pouch for shooting glasses.
Right side front panel will have a dump pouch down low and three or four pistol mag holders above.
Additional room around the vest will be filled with other holders for things like flashlights, multitools, etc…

That is the plan for the load out and may be reconfigured several times before we are satisfied with them. We will make both vests the same as far as the load out goes so we could both use both vests and not need to try and remember where something is on the other vest.

That is the plan anyway.
The REAL definition of GUN CONTROL - The ability to keep your sights on your target.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

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Synchronizor
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Re: New toys

Post by Synchronizor » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:38 am

Looks like some nice setups, and it's great to see you and your wife planning and practicing.

I keep my shotgun's magazine fully loaded with buckshot and extra shells (usually with some slugs and less-lethal buckshot in addition to extra buckshot) handy on a sidesaddle (if I have it on the gun at the moment) and/or in a Cabelas shell holder belt pouch:

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This belt pouch is a great, inexpensive way to comfortably carry extra shells while hunting or hiking with a shotgun, by the way. Highly recommended. I generally use the shell pouch or sidesaddle to keep alternate ammo close at hand; such as slugs for longer-range shots or to penetrate a car body, and less-lethal buckshot for situations such as a dog mauling one of the kids that live on my street (there are very few cases where I'd use less-lethal ammo, if I'm justified in shooting at someone, I won't be pulling any punches).

I also keep my Glock 31 loaded, with two extra magazines nearby. Additional ammo for all my firearms are stored in the same room in ammo cans. I live alone, so I can leave my guns out in the open and loaded without worrying about about any kids or other family members hurting themselves; and since my apartment consists of one main room, both my 870 and my Glock are always just a few paces away. If I find myself in some situation where 1-2 dozen shotgun shells and 45 or 46 rounds of .357 SIG hollowpoints aren't enough, I'm not going to try to be an action hero. I'll be in my bathroom in the back of the apartment, crawling out the little window in the shower (I also keep my 9x19mm pocket pistol in the medicine cabinet in there with an extra magazine).

With home or vehicle defense being the only anticipated social use for my shotgun at the moment, I've never been motivated to build a full combat rig (plus, I'm poor). I'm not really pessimistic enough to expect some overnight social breakdown or SHTF situation, and no organized criminal group or foreign military power would be stupid enough to start something in this part of Idaho. If I end up in a more dangerous area after I finish school, or when I have a family and a larger piece of property to defend, I may well look into putting something together.

One disadvantage I see with with body-mounted shell carriers is that if you hand the shotgun off to someone else, the extra shells are still with you. but if I was looking to equip myself for an extended shotgun battle, I think I would go with something like S&J's detachable shotshell carrier system. It uses interchangeable Velcro-backed fabric shell carriers that can be quickly attached or removed to a gun, pouch, or chest rig. Extra carriers would be easy to rip off a body rig and slap on the gun, or toss to whoever I handed off my shotgun to.

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Since I reconfigure my shotgun often for different roles, I wouldn't want to stick Velcro tape onto the receiver, instead, I'd modify an old TacStar sidesaddle baseplate I have lying around with some better fasteners, and stick the Velcro tape to that.
Zebra62 wrote:Second reason is the versatility of a full vest over a chest rig. Our vests will be primarily for home defense and will be loaded with our shotguns as our primary weapons and have a pistol holster on the right leg. We do currently have one handgun in the house, a Taurus PT 58 .380, and Gypsy does know where it is and how to use it. She is very good with it.
Are you looking at setting yourselves up with handguns? Pistols compliment a shotgun nicely for HD, since they're a lot more maneuverable in close quarters, harder for an intruder to grab, easier to conceal, and leave a hand free for working switches & doorknobs or waking & guiding kids.

I used a drop-leg holster back when I did airsoft as a teenager, and I have a very low opinion of them. They felt really awkward, didn't like to stay put (especially when running), and were a pain to put on. As an adult, with real handguns, I universally use belt holsters when open-carrying. If you want to integrate everything with a chest rig though, you might want to look at setups that put the gun right on the vest, either on the belly, angled downward, or horizontal, higher up on the chest.
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DaveC
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Re: New toys

Post by DaveC » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:59 am

I applaud all the respondents to this thread. Very interesting.

I practice, practice, practice, tactical reloads with the left hand coming up from the bottom/opposite side. I've encountered well meaning folks who've tried to disabuse me of that, insisting that turning the ejection port up, and inserting the shell from the top is the way to go. I just can't get used to it. I do find it useful, however, if a round is in my left hand backwards, with the case head inverted. For that reason, I do practice the other way too, even while I continue up and from the bottom/opposite side for the most part.

I've got a Choate six-shot belt speed loader that is quite like the California Competition model illustrated, albeit with one less shell. I also have my Cowboy Action six-loop shot shell holder that fits on the belt, holding six reloads in three pairs [for side-by-side double guns] in a really nice leather. As for HD, I tend to assume that I'll only have time to retrieve my shotgun--possibly fighting my way there, even if it is at the foot of the bed, and using the ammo available. For that reason, I use a 4-shot side-saddle mount. To be brutally frank, my house is so dang small, I'll be out of time well before I'm out of shells.

@Synchronizor: That looks like a very good way to carry ten shells on the belt. I've got similar setups for .357/.38 revolver ammo in so-called "Bianchi speed strips" and I also have a couple similar speed strips in 20-gauge for my wife's cowboy action SxS 20-gauge coach gun. I'll have to look into those the next time I drive through Buda, TX where our big TX Cabela's is at. Since you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might appreciate the joke/commentary that "Blue State" Americans get outdoor gear at REI while "Red State" Americans tend to patronize Cabela's! [I'm both..."purple" in that sense at least!]
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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Zebra62
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Re: New toys

Post by Zebra62 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:01 am

I used a drop-leg holster back when I did airsoft as a teenager, and I have a very low opinion of them. They felt really awkward, didn't like to stay put (especially when running), and were a pain to put on. As an adult, with real handguns, I universally use belt holsters when open-carrying. If you want to integrate everything with a chest rig though, you might want to look at setups that put the gun right on the vest, either on the belly, angled downward, or horizontal, higher up on the chest.
That is a worthwhile consideration. I may not choose that path for my vest, but Gypsy may for hers. During the times I played my "combat" role when I was in the Air Force, I was issued a vest similar to the one below.

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The vest itself felt good, but the pistol in position on the left lower panel in a horizontal holster tended to get in the way of my mechanical role. I kept bumping it on whatever aircraft I was trying to fix at the time. I did manage to score a drop leg holster for "personal" use so I could reconfigure my duty vest so I didn't bump the pistol on the jets and it worked better for me. I lost that holster in a poker game many years ago.

For our vests, we are going with drop leg panels instead of holsters so we can move things around.

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Should the holstrer not feel right on the leg, we can pull it loose and strap it to the vest somewhere and put the dump pouch on the leg. We can also move the leg rig to the front so it doesn't bump around on things like door frames and furniture.
Are you looking at setting yourselves up with handguns? Pistols compliment a shotgun nicely for HD, since they're a lot more maneuverable in close quarters, harder for an intruder to grab, easier to conceal, and leave a hand free for working switches & doorknobs or waking & guiding kids.
We currently only have the one handgun in the house, and should the need arise, Gypsy would be the one using it to move through the house collecting kids while I stand gaurd in the hallway with my tactical. There are plans to get another pistol sometime in the future, but not right now. Right now, we plan with what we have, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
To be brutally frank, my house is so dang small, I'll be out of time well before I'm out of shells.
I am right there with you, Dave. Our house is only 850 sq. ft. of living space ( property tax lists it as 1000, but then there are walls and things. Go figure.) My hallway is so short we only have room for two doors on either side. I have the door leading from the front room to the hall rigged with a fold down brace so we can close the door and block it closed, bracing it against the wall on the other side of the hall. Our back door coming in from from outside into the laundry room is usually protected by the laundry monster. Should any bad guy try to access from the back door, we would hear his curses long before he got into the house. The door coming into the house from the laundry room is also barred witha 4 x 4.
I'll have to look into those the next time I drive through Buda, TX where our big TX Cabela's is at.
If you live anywhere near Buda, you aren't too far from me. I'm down in Aggieland. Not an Aggie.
Last edited by Zebra62 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
The REAL definition of GUN CONTROL - The ability to keep your sights on your target.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

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JBall
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New toys

Post by JBall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:11 am

DaveC wrote:
I practice, practice, practice, tactical reloads with the left hand coming up from the bottom/opposite side. I've encountered well meaning folks who've tried to disabuse me of that, insisting that turning the ejection port up, and inserting the shell from the top is the way to go. I just can't get used to it. I do find it useful, however, if a round is in my left hand backwards, with the case head inverted. For that reason, I do practice the other way too, even while I continue up and from the bottom/opposite side for the most part.
I also don't agree with the "rollover" or "speed reload" in a combat or tactical situation. It's just fine and dandy at the range and even shines during competitive shooting. The problem is it leaves you vulnerable to other attackers because your eyes are in the dirt rather than scanning for new threats. If you bring the shotgun up and tuck or "trap" the stock between your elbow and body (what's commonly referred to as "trapping" the weapon) and then loading the shells into to the receiver in an upward fashion. Although, i do recommend angling the gun so as gravity works with you while reloading rather than against you. By using this method you are able to keep your head "on a swivel" and also, more importantly, maintaining the ability to move even during a critical reload.

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JBall
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New toys

Post by JBall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:33 am

I too agree with the vest but I believe they tend to serve different purposes although they can be adapted to be multi-purpose and moderately fill both roles. That's why I drop my OSOE "COP RIG" (another shotgun rig but fullsize with 3 shotgun pouches and a medkit instead of pouch) over my infidel plate carrier. I run all three front cards wih 12 gauge, leave one pouch rigged with the drop 12g card system, and remove the last 2 pouches back 12g cards and put AR mags in the pouches. I replaced the "stock" straps on the rig with the slim H-Harness compete with a hydro carrier in between.
As a quick side note, this is where the "Mesa Tactical Urbino Stock" really shines! It's short LOP really feels great with the body armor and rig which is a good thing seeing as that's what it was designed to do LoL.
I'm at work so here's generic pics of my set up...ImageImage
Each drops over the head and cinches down in seconds.

P.S. I also run the single point bungee from OSOE if anyone wondered what sling I use.
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Synchronizor
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Re: New toys

Post by Synchronizor » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:52 am

JBall wrote:I also don't agree with the "rollover" or "speed reload" in a combat or tactical situation. It's just fine and dandy at the range and even shines during competitive shooting. The problem is it leaves you vulnerable to other attackers because your eyes are in the dirt rather than scanning for new threats. If you bring the shotgun up and tuck or "trap" the stock between your elbow and body (what's commonly referred to as "trapping" the weapon) and then loading the shells into to the receiver in an upward fashion. Although, i do recommend angling the gun so as gravity works with you while reloading rather than against you.
To be fair, any reloading method is going to take the gun out of the fight for the duration of the process. Even if you keep it shouldered with your cheek welded and your finger on the trigger while you do a weak-hand reload from below, if a threat appears anywhere but directly in front of the gun, it'll be dead slow to bring on target without your weak hand on the fore-end (not sure if the pun was intended there or not).

As for the "head on a swivel" thing, the key to positive reloads with minimal or no looking is far more about practice and muscle memory than it is about technique. Personally, while I can slip a shell or two into the magazine from below with my weak hand well enough; I do my fastest and smoothest reloading with my right hand (my strong hand) and an upside-down gun. I'm sure plenty of armchair commandos would cringe at that technique, but if I've run my magazine dry, I'm going to use my fastest, most-practiced method to get the gun back into action as quickly as possible.

And let's be realistic; if I do have to glance down for a fraction of a second to help my reloading, isn't that still far better than having to reach for a dropped shell or spend whole seconds fumbling blindly around the loading port? Andrew Tuohy wrote a good piece recently about looking at the gun during reloads, where he emphasized that the whole point is to get the gun back into action as quickly as possible (the piece focuses on magazine-fed weapons, but I think the general concept still applies here). Situational awareness is important of course, but if you can't shoot back, it doesn't do a whole lot of good. In his words: "My steely gaze is not magically slowing down their bullets."

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Zebra62
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Re: New toys

Post by Zebra62 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:24 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... bCjcEO9z1A
I came across this video while doing a search for faster reloading techniques. Even though the Lady in the video is shooting Western 3 Gun, I still wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of a shoot out. This Girl is QUICK.
To be fair, any reloading method is going to take the gun out of the fight for the duration of the process.
Very true, Synchro. Once you send your last round downrange, you are left with a 7 lb. baseball bat until you can get the next round or rounds back into the chamber and magazine. Invariably you will take your attention off your attacker and reloading will become your primary focus. Multitasking skills are invaluable in this situation, keeping your attacker within your eyesight but unfocused while your mind sharply focuses on reloading. Whether a shooter does it over the top weak hand, underneath weak hand or over the shoulder strong hand doesn't matter. Do it the same way every time and PRACTISE. Practise, practise, practise.

Military institutions train everyone to do things the same way. Not matter if it something as mundane as tying your boot laces, everyone in that particular branch does it the same way. Everytime. Set your uniform out the same way every night so you can get dressed in the morning the same way in the dark. Its all mental conditioning and muscle memory. In a SHTF situation, the cream will not rise to the top. You will default to your training.

Much like a recent conversation on chamber loaded or empty, there is no true WRONG way to reload your machine and as long as the shooter is getting the rounds into the chamber and magazine with the folded end pointing down range and the bad guy goes home in a body bag, he must be doing it right.
I too agree with the vest but I believe they tend to serve different purposes although they can be adapted to be multi-purpose and moderately fill both roles. That's why I drop my OSOE "COP RIG" (another shotgun rig but fullsize with 3 shotgun pouches and a medkit instead of pouch) over my infidel plate carrier. I run all three front cards wih 12 gauge, leave one pouch rigged with the drop 12g card system, and remove the last 2 pouches back 12g cards and put AR mags in the pouches. I replaced the "stock" straps on the rig with the slim H-Harness compete with a hydro carrier in between.

Mondo cool setup, JBall. I like where your mind is.

Its very cool to see all the support equipment shootgunners have and to know that I am not the only one out there with an overpowering sense of more is better. I am a packrat by nature and a boarder line hoarder. My Loving Gypsy lets me know when its time to start throwing stuff away. ;)
The REAL definition of GUN CONTROL - The ability to keep your sights on your target.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

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