From: email@example.com (John Gilman)
Subject: Chapman rifle/shotgun notes (LONG)
Date: 29 Jun 1995 22:32:49 -0400
Chapman rifle/shotgun notes
by john gilman 6/95
This was a special 1-day class for five of us, all fairly experienced
pistol shooters. But, variable experience with combat rifle/shotgun.
Rifles consisted of garden- variety mini-14s, and one AR with combat
sights. Shotguns were semis, with one pump. Began the day with
short-range, semiauto rifle:
zero from 25, 50 yd. This took a while, for Ray was adamant that we
know the point of impact at each range.
Then performed drill where fired 2 shots standing from 10 yd, 2 from 25
yd, two from 50 yd.
Moved to back course, where we fired 100 and 200 yd groups to verify
ballistics. Then loaded 20 rds, 5 from 200, 5 from 100, five from 50,
and 5 from 20 yd in the head. For this string, I managed to keep all
20 on the Bianchi silhouette, for a group size of about 8 in. (Not too
bad for a box-stock mini 14, I thought.)
Then, moved to a new range for some barricade fire. One round strong
side, 5x. Then 1 rd weak side, 5x. Then 2 rd each side, 4x. Then 2
rd at 25, 2 at 15, and 2 at 10, one each side. Shoot from weak side,
on weak side barricade.
break for lunch
moving targets: 10'/sec 6 sec visibility. From 10 yd, 4 passes, 2
rd/pass. Same at 15 yd, same at 25 yd. Then 4 rd/pass, two passes, ond
addl set at 40 yd.
switch to shotguns: check zero with slugs from 25 and 50 yd. Then one
rd buckshot each from 50 yd, 25 yd, 15 yd, and 10 yd. Move to a new
Switch to rifles. Shoot 9 poppers at ranges from 15 to 200 yds, most
of which close to 200. Some behind old wrecks, obscured by tall grass,
etc. Times ranged from 33 sec/11 shots to 2 mins, 28 shots. (My time
was second best at 66 sec, 18 shots - I'll swear the tall grass was
deflecting the little .223 bullet.)
Switch to shotguns. Driver and passenger in jeep. Driver has 3
poppers as "drive- bys". Passenger engages three poppers in creek,
then one near jeep, then get in jeep and move downrange, shooting more
* lean forward, have good position, and really concentrate on sight
picture (this from the guy who shot longest AND shortest times on rifle
* see only one target at a time, after assessing situation.
* lefties should not try to drive AND use a shotgun.
* speed second, shot placement first - especially long range.
* at 200 yd, semi advantages over bolt, are almost gone.
* 200 yd is practical limit for open-sighted .223.
* mini-14 beats a handgun or shotgun as an all-around defensive
weapon. Its speed is slightly less than handgun, but ease of hit and
lethality hugely better. Frankly, mini vs 1187 with 00 buckshot at
close range - same speed and hit probability. Mini is lighter, holds
more rounds, and is good to much longer range.
* All of us felt like Keystone cops, doing the jeep scenario. Just
about impossible to drive and shoot at same time. Peripheral hits with
00, often fail to topple poppers. Shotguns run out of ammo way too
soon, and are impossible to reload quickly. Frankly, we wove slowwly
downrange, desperately stuffing rounds into shotguns and engaging
poppers at really short range. Pathetic. Made us appreciate why real
drive-bys, slow to a crawl and engage only one or two targets.
* Fancy illuminated dot sights are great for hunting, but too
inaccurate for longer ranges on rifles, and obscures too much of the
target on shotgun. Easy to leave on too long, have too bright or dim,
or forget to turn on when in action. Basically, IMHO, way more of a
liability than a benefit for genuine combat.
* It takes way longer to shoot a course of fire, while exposing
yourself to only one target at a time, than it does to get out in the
open and shoot. Has to do with acquisition time by your eyeball, and
with little movements required to avoid overexposure to targets.
* I'll swear that tall grass we had to shoot through, was deflecting
some of my .223 rounds - especially at 200 yd targets.
* Switching shoulders for barricade shooting, was mandatory to prevent
massive overexposure. Didn't hurt accuracy much, but at least doubled
acquisition time. Felt weird.