I’ve been a subscriber for a long time and wanted to thank you for publishing such a great magazine.
Today I went to my first gun show and it was great! So many friendly and helpful people. The Appleseed Project had a table there with lots of good information. Front and center on their table was a copy of Backwoods Home (the issue that discussed The Appleseed project). I told them how I learned about them from you. Everyone at the booth had much praise for Backwoods Home and the work you do.
Thanks to organizations like you and Appleseed we are encouraged to keep fighting for personal freedom here in The Peoples Republic of Illinois (the show was in Wheaton).
A rule we are taught our entire life is to never point a gun at anything we do not intend to shoot. With that said, when carrying a handgun in a pocket-style holster, the gun is at times pointed in a direction of people, like if sitting in back seat of car, or across from someone at dinner, or on a livingroom couch across from someone else, etc (a similar situation that I think about is a shoulder holster that happens to point the gun backwards)
I feel uneasy when this occurs because essentially, the gun is aimed in a direction I don’t want it to shoot. But yet, the gun is not in hand, finger is not near trigger, and is essentially secure in my pocket holster.
What is your response to this?
Thank you for your time!
The direction of the gun’s muzzle, as seen in safety rules, is read as intentional pointing. If a police officer is standing on the second floor of the police station, the muzzle of his holstered service pistol is indexed in the direction of those below him on the first floor. The guns lying flat on tables at a gun show have their muzzles in a direction that countless visitors will walk past or through. If your hunting rifles and shotguns, and mine, are standing upright in gun safe or gun, they’re in line with passenger planes crossing over our house.
So long as other safety protocols assure that the gun will not discharge wrongfully or unintentionally, and so long as the gun is not intentionally pointed at another person except in legitimate defense of self or others, I call it good.
I don’t have the best eye for these things, but [in his Feb 13 blog post] are those 9mm rounds laying next to a 38 special revolver on the cover of that report? That’d be funny.
Regardless, thanks for all you do. I am an avid reader of your work. It’s changed how I live my life and think about how I go about my day as a responsible member of society. You’re a great American and I’m a huge Mas Ayoob booster whenever I speak to anyone on the topic of firearms, personal defense, and the legal considerations associated with both subjects.
Massad Ayoob has a few missed shots in that story.
1. Failed to mention about tungsten iron shot. Heavier than lead. Faster than steel. Less choke, tighter patterns than steel, manufactured by Remington.
2. Failed to talk about back-bored barrels. Manufactured by Browning. A prime example would be the Browning Gold gas semi-auto.
3. Why would someone like Ayoob choose a dinosaur like the Remington 1100B.C. or 11-87B.C.? Both of those guns have to use rubber O-rings on their magazine tubes,and constantly need replacement, every few,(4 to 800 shots.) Neither gun has over-bored or back-bored barrels.
The Remington 1100 B.C./11-87 B.C. must be cleaned every 75-90 rounds fired, or they will jam. I have owned both of these, and came to my senses, and replaced them both with Browning’s.
My Gold features a gas system that NEVER NEEDS CLEANING. I have spotted guys 100 shots fired from my Browning’s. And they started jamming after 75-90 shells!! I have purposely fired my Browning’s more than 2500 rounds without cleaning. And NO feed or eject jams PERIOD.
Michael, thank you for your input. Added opinions on topics is always welcome here.
Tungsten shot was not mentioned in the 20-gauge shotgun article because it’s a type of projectile that can be used in any shotgun, not just the 20-gauge under discussion. The article was intended to discuss the 20-gauge in general, not every shotgun ever chambered for that size shell.
I’m glad you had good luck with your Browning Gold, and am sorry that you seem to have had bad experiences with the Remington 1100-11-87 series. However, as I’m sure you know, those Remington autoloaders are among the most popular in the world; the Browning Gold is now offered only in 10-gauge, and as we both know, comparing 10-gauge to 20 is a bit like comparing a Kenworth to an SUV.
I always try to give credit when it is due, so I want to extend my thanks to you.
As a teenager and young adult the only handgun I shot was my beloved .22 Colt Woodsman, and there is no telling how many thousands of rounds I put through it. Patting myself on the back, I was pretty darn good. Later in life, however, I felt the need to graduate to larger calibers. After a brief flirtation with a .357 revolver I transitioned to .45 1911s, and found that my accuracy had gone to hell. All my rounds were hitting low to the left. I figured out that I was pulling the trigger down to the left, and also pushing down with my hand in anticipation of the recoil, which of course greatly exceeds that of the .22 that I was used to. I concentrated with everything I had and finally developed a decent trigger pull, but could not overcome the pre-recoil push. A couple of days ago I was browsing the internet and came across your article you wrote in February 2004 for “Backwoods Home,” or something like that. It was titled “How to Shoot a Handgun Accurately.” After I read it a few times I decided I needed to concentrate on were hard grip, concentrate on the front sight, and continue to pull the trigger straight back.
Yes, I experienced the epiphany. At 7 yards most of my rounds hit the center of my target (about the size of a coffee cup) and the others are grouped closely around it. Not really world class yet, but I have only been to the range once to practice my new methodology, so at 72 years of age I don’t think I am doing so bad. I intend to get back to the range more often (it’s a lot more fun when I’m hitting where I’m supposed to) and improve as much more as I can. I’m not sure what hard grip and watching the front sight have to do with not anticipating the recoil, but it sure works. (Until it gets automatic, before each round I chant to myself “Grip, front sight, straight back.”)
I read all your stuff in American Handgunner. Keep up the good work, and thanks again.
And thank you for saying so, Jim.
I’m taking the liberty of passing your comments on to my bosses at Backwoods Home, who brought you the info.
After listening to Clint Smith my son got me a youth model stock for my Remington 870 last Christmas. It’s my primary night time self defense/critter weapon. It’s much handier than the regular stock and I notice absolutely no difference when firing. After having it on the 870 for ten months I can’t imagine punishing someone with the longer stock.
My son’s girlfriend has an 870 youth model in 20 gauge and loves it.
Those that share our households are going to be the only ones we can count on in a pinch. Can their be anything more important than making them comfortable with the firearms they will be using?
Part of his blog states incorrectly ” You cannot, of course, use deadly force merely because the intruder is in your house.” This is a blanket statement. Not only here in Texas, but in many other states that have the “Castle Doctrine”, we may shoot to kill without checking for a weapon.
Secondly, the “intruder” doesn’t even have to be in the residence! Just wanted to add my two cents.
Having been involved in multiple homicide trials in Texas, I can tell you that courtroom ordeals are not precluded by the the law to the extent that some seem to believe.
A few years back, I bought a 20 gauge pump action shotgun for home protection. I am a female, now 66 years old. I have not gone out to practice with it and I know I should and after reading this article, it has inspired me to.
Oh how I wish my brothers were still alive (4) as we all grew up with guns in the South and they were gun nuts, some more so than others. One of my brothers would go out almost every weekend and target practice.
I am new to the forum but I will be reading this section on guns frequently as I am very interested. I bought a 38 Taurus but it was stolen by a family member, ’nuff said. Recently, I looked at the Taurus called “the Judge” (?). I have been reading message boards about it and have not been sold on it yet.
Been with you guys off and on for years now. Just a quick note of thanks to Massad Ayoob for his current issue article on the Appleseed Project. It was very well written and reading of his experience at the AS in Hernanndo County, FL, was very interesting. I love to read his articles and appreciate all you guys for such a fantastic SERVICE you have been doing over the past couple decades now at BWH.
Take care and keep up the good work. I’m sure that Massad Ayoob’s article will generate more people to go to an Appleseed, as I did, and for many of them to also take up the Heritage and seek to become more like the people who gave us this great Nation which we are seeing be dismantled day by day now. Your editorials always inspire me along the political lines as well and we are both on the same song sheet.
I have attended a few so I know what he was experiencing. I think the whole idea is one we all should share, not just the shooting but the history that the instructors teach. Yes I have shot a rilfeman score and am proud to do so. It took a couple trips to the line but well worth it.
Appleseeds are a great way to make new friends and learn a little more of that day in 1775 when our country was born.
Thank goodness there are still a few men that realize women with guns is not a “male” thing.
Being the oldest of four children, my father elected to teach me to hunt and use guns in a responsible manner. I am a petite woman that has lived in Alaska for six years, brought down moose, caribou, elk, deer and even bear that was maruading my homestead.
I carry a .270 Manlicher with custom stock using 110 to 150 gr. ammon (depending on intended targets) and a .38 police special. I can put three rounds the size of a 50 cent piece at 100 yards off hand with the .270.
Would I hesitate to use a gun to protect myself or someone else if necessary? No qualms here! And freshly killed game on the table beats beef, pork or chicken any day.
I’m a great believer in the “less is more” philosophy of shooting. My favorite rifle, for example, is a Marlin 1894 in .357 magnum. What a fun and incredibly useful gun it is! It’s so much better in just about every way than a .357 revolver. Much quieter, lighter recoil (the mass of the rifle is over twice that of the revolver, and you can hold it to your shoulder), more power (about 400-500 fps over the 6″ barreled revolver–hitting a deer at 100 yards with the rifle is like holding the muzzle of the revolver to the deer’s side and pulling the trigger–think it’ll do the job??), more accurate, and much easier to hit with.
In the same way, the 20-gauge is plenty of gun for most situations, and a lot nicer to carry, swing and shoot.
I just finished reading your article on the merits of .20 gauge shotguns [and about] the kickback, flinching etc. issue. The logic of your piece makes sense to me but I’ve seen several devices being sold such as sof tec from Benelli, soft cell from Remington and some spring type devices that are supposed to drastically reduce the recoil of a .12 gauge shotgun.
Do they really work? If so it would seem that you could have the best of both worlds i.e. less recoil and more “force” from a .12 gauge. As an aging dude with a bad shoulder I’d like to find something that doesn’t cause me too much pain to shoot.
There are all manner of recoil reducers, and some of them work pretty well. On the one hand, they do indeed give you 12 gauge power in a more controllable package. On the other hand, if you put them on the 20 gauge, it will kick still less.
I was looking for info on a rifle I inherited from my father. It is a Marlin 336, but the letters after 336 are R.C. Is this another variation of the models he spoke of or just a mistake in the stamp?
I was looking for information on how to break it down for cleaning and lubricating and Mr. Ayoob’s description makes it sound easy.
Congratulations on a classic rifle.
As I understand it, the RC suffix designates the Regular Carbine model, as distinct from, say, the SC or Sporting Carbine model. (My SC came with a 2/3 length magazine tube, for example,and the SCs often had gold triggers.
The factory should be able to provide takedown instructions, or you can try http://www.shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t+2168.
I read Massad’s article, “Consider the 20-gage Shotgun“, in the current edition of your magazine. It was an excellent piece. It was so good that I ordered a Remington Model 1187. I pick it up today.
However, I have a question for Massad.
He didn’t address the issue of scopes in his article. I didn’t order a smooth bore barrel as I plan to use this gun exclusively for deer hunting. Could I have his thoughts on the subject? Is there a real difference between shotgun scopes and rifle scopes?
Indiana doesn’t allow the use of high powered rifles for hunting because of population density. So if I’m going to use a scope should my zero point be at say 50 yds instead of 100 yds?
Also, I read an article in the latest NRA Rifleman magazine by John Barsness about the truths and myths around breaking in and cleaning a shotgun barrel. Wondered if Massad has read this article and if so what is his opinion on it.
I couldn’t find a contact e-mail address on your website for Mr. Ayoob so I’m sending this to you in the hopes you will forward my questions to him.
I’m pretty much in agreement with Barsness.
On getting your 20-gage ready for deer season, my suggestion is to get ahead of the rest of the Hoosier hunters and arrange to spend a day or at least part of one at the Sand Burr Gun Ranch in Rochester, Indiana. The place is a combination gun shop and shooting park, and owner Denny Reichard and his daughter Ashley know anything worth knowing on the latest and best 20 gauge slugs, and how they work on deer as opposed to test gelatin.
Call them beforehand (574)223-3316 and they can probably hook you up with the best possible shotgun slug scope, mount it for you, and get it sighted in with all your trajectory dope from ten yards to a hundred. You’ll leave the range sighted in, confident, and ahead of probably 98% of the other deer hunters in Indiana insofar as preparedness to drop some Hoosier venison.
I will soon be traveling through bear country and may be exposed to all but the biggest ones found in Alaska. I won’t be hunting them at that time but I wish to know if a 12 Guage shotgun loaded with slugs will be enough to keep safe in that neck of the woods.
Your consideration is appreciated. My other options, at the moment are a .270 or 30-06 sporting rifles.
A short, handy, rapid-firing 12 gauge shotgun with slugs sounds good to me. I’m partial to the deep-penetrating Brenneke slug load.