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American Handgunner May/June 2010 - Page 28
Double Trouble T Clint Smith REALITYCHECK TM FIRST-PERSON THOUGHTS ON SURVIVING IN THE REAL WORLD The X300 SureFire light easily attaches to the Double Defense, and a Sparks side-saddle carrier is a good add-on. A Shotgun Y he handgun is a tool mostly of comfortable convenience rather than a tool of dynamic drop-dead effectiveness. The police use handguns to respond to the often-unexpected immediate threats usually generated at short range. For the military, a handgun in the hands of trained personnel may be used to stop personal threats regardless of whether the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine was stateside or overseas. The oddity here is the current establishment doesn’t trust a 20-year old soldier on base with a pistol at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, but the same government will let him call in a danger-close air strike in Afghanistan. But then what do I know? The handgun can be used for home defense. The handgun might not drop the target in its tracks, and might fling a projectile through at lot more interior walls than the average person may imagine. The handgun also requires some degree of perishable skills. Perishable skills need to be practiced no matter what shooting technique and high capacity pistol or gun is being used. Most of all what you don’t want to do is shoot a hole in your house or one of your kids by accident. eah, I know this is American Handgunner, but Roy said I could write this because most of you are concerned about personal safety. And, most people reading this probably didn’t fall down a diamond mine or win the lotto. Due to the price of handgun ammunition, most shooters are practicing less. Many readers have other family members who do not shoot handguns at all, or at least as much as they should to maintain basic skills. Remember the ultimate goal is to protect your family. If I do have to protect my family by gunfire I would like to fire the least number of rounds inside my house as possible. Bluntly? I would prefer a shooting to a gunfight. A shooting is: I shoot the target, it leaves or goes down. A gunfight is: I shoot, they shoot, we all shoot, creating direct and indirect fire and all the accompanying fragmentation. This unfortunately will not be like a video game. All of this simply brings up one of the master tools of home defense — the shotgun. Most folks like autoloaders or pumps, with my personal lean toward pump guns. But I also like double barrel shotguns around the home. The short frame and short barrels make for a handy tool inside the house. It only has two shots, but tendencies seem to indicate a very limited number of rounds are fired in most home defense situations. Besides, I know how to load the gun. I think a much bigger consideration is the tight size of the pattern the shotgun will deliver at toe-to-toe distances. And, something to ponder, for years, I’ve set a flashlight below and between the barrels creating a powerful fightchanging tool with illumination for target confirmation. The making of a best-tool for a bad world? Stoeger Double Defense S toeger has brought the double barrel defense gun to a new level with their introduction of the Double Defense. It’s an affordable and simplistic tool for home defense. The Double Defense is a good idea (we thought of it years ago and have written about it in our pages) and yet a couple subtle points would make a good gun better in Stoeger’s case. If designed for true fighting, a two trigger format is called for. A strong point of the side by side is the ability to select a barrel by selecting a trigger. The selected charge could be a light skeet load, a heavy buckshot load or a rifled slug. I do not say you should shoot one type over another, especially the rifled slug, but at least with two triggers I have the option do to so if I need to. The recoil reduction holes in the Stoeger barrels simply blow flash into the line of sight when firing. Probably a questionable idea for a fighting gun. The green tube-style front sight things I have seen fall off handguns quite often so I have no use for them. On the strong side the Double Defense has a rail on the bottom for a light, and there’s a removable rail for a sight-something on top. The gun is available in both 20 and 12 gauge. The fit/finish is strong, and the best point of all is the gun is very affordable at around $460. I put a Sparks Side Saddle on the stock for carrying extra ammunition and the tube-front-sight-thing was replaced with an XS large white dot sight. I mount a SureFire X300 light on the gun, and small attachments allow for me to use a sling if I need one. So in the end the shotgun is a Available in 20 and 12, the Stoeger Double Defense guns have light and sight rails and according to Clint, are effective home defense shotguns. staunch ally or supplement to the handgun for home defense. Monster magnum loads are not required to be effective. I’ve seen a few people shot over the last 40 years, and yet the single most destructive gunshot wound I recall was a 12 gauge direct head hit from a skeet load across a very small living room. Bluntly, at the sound of the shot the fight was over — and isn’t that ultimately what it’s all about? For more info: www.americanhandgunner/ productindex * 28 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2010