Thursday, February 14, 2013
Shotgun Project; Status: Completed
Don't say anything. Just look... ... ... ...
Ah, it feels good to finally wrap up a gun project. This one went fairly quickly. The reason is that I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted before going into it, though a couple of products needed discovery during the process. This is my solution to a home defense problem. Let's get into specifics.
Remington 870 that I bought in July of 2011. At the time, I wasn't looking for anything other than a simple shotgun for home defense. But as I used the shotgun, and got to know it better, I found myself wanting a little more than what it offered. First off was to get new sights for it. However, that adventure would have turned out quite expensive for me, as getting sights onto a gun that doesn't have them to begin with is costly. I sold Ole Plain Jane to finance the Remington 870 Tactical that I purchased in late 2012. It was a couple hundred bucks more than the original shotgun I bought, but it saved me in the end because getting sights on Ole Plain Jane was going to run me $250+ from a gunsmith. I'm happy I went this route instead. For my money, I ended up with exactly the sighting system I wanted, plus a bonus in the form of a funny little tactical choke on the end. More importantly, the gun is not only equipped with this funny choke, but can accept others as needed. Ole Plain Jane was a cylinder bore with no option for chokes.
Not pictured is a Nordic Components Teflon coated follower. I didn't replace the magazine tube follower for any reason other than the fact that the one that came with the gun was made of thin plastic. On something that critical, I want metal. It hasn't failed yet, and seems to work well. I did notice, however, that when loading Sellier & Bellot 2 3/4" buckshot rounds, I can only fit 5 in the tube - not 6. But I think that's more the fault of the shotgun shell itself. It's longer than a Federal 2 3/4" shotshell.
Streamlight TLR1-S, I took the time to explain the advantages, disadvantages, and I dispelled some rumors about weapon-mounted lights. The short description is, "Own the light, own the fight." Being able to see down dark hallways and into dark rooms gives you many more advantages than if you were operating in total darkness. My main reason for having a light is target identification. When things go bump in the night, I want to know that the person I'm aiming my 12 gauge shotgun at is a burglar - not my wife getting up in the middle of the night to take a pee. Any disadvantage of having a light on a gun pales in comparison to the extreme disadvantage of having to explain to my Mother In-law why I just blew away her daughter at 2 in the morning.
Thorntail light mount. I then saw, for the first time, the INFORCE WML weapon light. The research on this was worth the affects of sleep deprivation I endured the next day at work. A small, easy to use, lightweight, durable, bright package, all for less than $125 bucks! The best part is that it comes with it's own integrated picatinny rail mount! This was definitely worth the look! At 125 lumens, it is perfect for work inside the house. Those who say that 125 lumens isn't enough, I suggest having your eyes examined. I've tried using my Elzetta, at 235 lumens, in the house. If I point it at directly at a white wall, and tapped the happy switch, guess what happens. Yeah, I end up blinding myself because it reflects 235 lumens back into my face! Of course, the keyboard commandos are revved up by now. "Don't point it directly at the wall!" Well, yeah, duh. But in a dynamic situation, where time is life, things can happen. And pointing a light at the wall is something that very well could happen when the shit is hitting the fan. But I digress.
The only concern I have is that because of the position of the light, and how far back along the barrel it sits, I get shadows to the right of the weapon when using it in the dark. This is mitigated by pointing the gun more toward the right. For my money, the disadvantage of having a standalone light this far back on the weapon beats the obvious disadvantage of clamping a light to the magazine tube and using a funny pigtail cord going back to the for end with a tape switch Velcro'd to it. Clamps come loose, and cords get caught on shit. Tape switches fail, and Velcro peels off and gets sticky. Ask me how I know. Or I can just take a tenth of a second to point the weapon to the right a little.
The last bits about the light are that it uses a CR123 battery and has a two hour run time. That's pretty standard. You can also rotate the back of the body up to cover the switch. It doesn't fully lock the switch out because I can get my thumb in there, but it makes accidental light discharge highly unlikely. It's a feature worth having.
Some day, I might get a Burris Fast Fire to put on the shotgun rail, but for now, for all intents and purposes, this shotgun project is done! Now to finish up the SR-556 once and for all, and move on to the OH-MEGA project!