Paul Carlson lives his motto “Saving lives through Information, Education and Training” through his company Safety Solutions Academy and his Safety Solutions Academy Podcast. He uses his 10 years experience in public education to apply his teaching and communications skills to the world of combatives.
Through Safety Solutions Academy, Paul offers courses in unarmed combatives, firearms safety, home-defense, sharp and impact weapons and firearms. Paul is certified as and I.C.E. Training Defensive Firearms Coach and as a Combat Focus Shooting Instructor. Paul’s teaching experience translates well to the classroom and the range where students are provided with challenging and contextually appropriate opportunities to improve their competency.
Just like any weapon system the shotgun has its advantages and disadvantages. It is an unfortunate situation when people look past a viable tool because of negatives when those negatives can easily be remedied. So it is with the scattergun. Many of the disadvantages of the shotgun can be mitigated with simple modifications to the standard shotgun. This concept may be particularly important right now, due to the fact that in our current political situation, the disadvantages may be irrelevant as many people are having a difficult time procuring defensive weapons that meet the modern definition of “appropriate.”
Instead of choosing our defensive tools based on other peoples context or criteria, some arbitrary definition of appropriate, or marketing wizardry instead we should strive to understand how to mitigate the disadvantages and maximize the positives of the same system and then determine if the weapon will excel in our application.
It is my goal to do exactly that with the trusted old shotgun. Let’s tear it down, build it back up and see if the shotgun might be just the right tool for your combative mission.
We will begin our process by listing out the specific positives and negatives of the shotgun and working to make sure we are operating from a common vocabulary.
Capacity simply refers to the amount of ammunition that a firearm can hold. Capacity varies between different firearms, types of actions and at times depending on the type of ammunition used. It is a commonly accepted belief that the higher capacity a weapon the more advantageous a particular weapon is.
When a shooter presses the trigger on a loaded firearm a chain reaction is started that launches a bullet from the barrel of that gun. Physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The reaction that is equal and opposite of the bullet exiting the barrel is the force that is exerted on the shooter and it is called recoil. Not all energy from recoil is transferred to the shooter and this is affected by many different factors some of which we can control. It is generally accepted that less recoil is better.
Firearms are mechanical devices and as such are designed to operate in a certain fashion. The more steps involved in operating a machine or the more tasks an operator must engage in whether in sequence or simultaneously increases the complexity of the tool. It is generally accepted that simple operation is preferred over more complex operation.
Availability in a non-permissive environment
Can you own and operate your weapon in your specific environment. Availability could be limited for several reasons the two major reasons would be economic and political. Economic availability simply refers to is it available to procure from some source and can you afford to procure it. Political availability refers to the legality of procurement, ownership and/or use of a firearm. Simply put availability refers to can you get it.
Different from capacity which is one dimensional, wounding capacity is the blending of many different factors: Capacity, terminal ballistics, volume of fire among others. In simple terms wounding capacity is the amount of damage that can be expected over a period of time.
Our combative tools are life saving tools and must work when we press them into use. As a result, the more reliably a firearm is the more suited it may be to combative use.
When it comes to defensive tools we must understand that they have specific, unique characteristics that make them combative tools. Despite that fact, when a combative tool has versatility it can be advantageous.
It is important to understand that the above concepts apply to all defensive weapons. Today we defined those concepts so that we can dive in deeper next time. In the next few posts we will be talking specifically about how the concepts apply to the shotgun however they are universal in their application. Please head to your gun safe and take a look at what you have in your inventory and how the above concepts apply to your tools. Pull out that old shotgun and take a look at what you have. In addition, think about how you have mitigated the disadvantages and exploited the advantages of your scattergun and what you can do to improve its performance.
If you liked this post Please visit www.SafetySolutionsAcademy.com to subscribe to his 7 part series on the defensive use of a shotgun and learn more about Paul and the opportunities available through SSA and don’t forget to check Safety Solutions Academy out on iTunes.