- May 16, 2011
- West of Boston
CLASS REVIEW: On Sight Firearms: Defensive Shotgun
Welcome to Onsight Firearms Training, LLC
April 14, 2019
Welcome to Onsight Firearms Training, LLC
April 14, 2019
Weather: beautiful. Sun/slight cloud cover. 55-65 degrees.
Clothing: Jeans, knee pads, T-shirt, hiking boots, baseball hat & sunglasses.
Mossberg 590A1 with extended mag (8+1), SureFire Dedicated Shotgun Forend (DSF), Aridus Industries CROM, RMR type 2, Velcro side saddle, M&P 2.0(c) OWB w/blue alpha belt, G-code OWB single mag carrier.
Round count: birdshot (300+/-), buckshot (50+/-), slug (25+/-)
Backup guns if main guns go down: Mossberg 930 JM PRO & Glock 19 (did not use)
Followed Ben DeWalt from meeting place to the range. Less than a five-minute drive. Private range inside a cranberry bog. Dirt road with large bumps & mud puddles, trucks recommended. The range was a private range 100 yards long with 9 firing lanes. All sand. A small covered area, a picnic table, and a portable toilet. Very nice private range.
Full class of 9 students. Three of us knew each other from the pistol class fall 2018. Good to see familiar faces. Shot-out to alumni’s Steve and Rocco! All of us in the class were psyched to be there and to learn about how to run the scattergun in a defensive situation.
Safety briefing: Ben talked us through the range orientation, what to do if there was a training accident and medical was needed. People were given jobs in the unlikely event something happened. Who to call, the correct words to say and the words not say. My job was the second runner with a truck, if the main runner was injured I was to take his place. Pay attention!
We went around asking each of us what we wanted to get out of today’s class and our prior training experiences. For me, this was the first shotgun class I had taken. I wanted to learn the correct way to employ the shotgun in a defensive encounter. I had only “played on the static range” with my hallway howitzer before today.
We started off with unloaded shotties at the 7-yard line, Ben showed us and explained the parts the shotgun and the different rest positions were going to use on the range. Ben demo’d how NOT to short stroke it and to rack it as we mean it. “..Shotgun are tough they won’t break…” ( a few shotgun’s broke during the class, but Ben had extras to loan out)
We worked with unloaded guns for a while and then was given dummy rounds for us to practice the different type of loading processes. Over, under & in the magazine tube. Once we had motions down we loaded up some birdshot and shot the center mass of our target. We examined the birdshot patterns from 7 -15 yards.
We shot a ton of birdshot, single shots, multiple shells, direct loading into the ejection/loading. (FUN!)
We learned that not all buckshot is created equal. Ben showed us how Federal Flight Control 00 (FFC00) really holds super tight even at distance. Our low end 00 had much larger spreads than the FFC00. Amazing load for buckshot. *EYE OPENING* Oh yeah… the BUCK is much harder on your body. OWEE!
We shot from standing, kneeling, rested kneel, double kneeling, sitting, on your side, prone. Prone is hard. I had a lot of trouble working/reaching the foregrip/slide when it was on the sand.
All throughout the morning, we were constantly being reminded to FED THE MACHINE. Keep topping off - adding more shells in the magazine.
We practiced slinging our shotgun while transitioning to pistol when the beast runs empty. I had issues with my memory when reholstering my pistol. I have not worn an OWB holster for a long…long time. I have been carrying AIWB and under a little bit of stress, I was trying to re-holster where the was no holster. (Good thing to learn in a class)
We broke for lunch. Ben hung out chatting with students during the lunch break. Very personable and approachable. He has so much knowledge, just listening to his conversations I pick up tips… Never mind the super interesting stories he has….
After lunch, we loaded up with slugs. AHHH YES! Love those huge bullets. Heavy recoil! BIG FUN! We shot different types of slugs at various distances. I was pleasantly surprised that I was making headshots at 25 yards. YIPEE!....But my reloads are still awkward and sloppy.
We learned how to safely move forward, backward, left and right with a loaded gun and shot on the move while paying attention to the other shooters on the line while at the same time feeding the beast with shells.
The drill that stands out in my memory was the last man standing drill. On the line: the first person would fire 5 shots, the next person would then fire 5 rounds. Down the line, until the last person fired. Person number one would have to have the gun loaded and fire his 5 rounds. If your gun was not fully loaded by your next time up, you were out. Rocco the awesome dude next to me had a semi-auto shotgun. I swear he ran that thing on MINIGUN. After round number two I was out.
Paper targets were taken down and replaced with Steel (big smile!) We ran multiple drills on the steel with birdshot. So much FUN!! Our birdshot removed all his fresh paint on the steel targets. Nice and clean.
We did one-handed shooting while the support hand was digging for shotgun food (AMMO). Tough to keep that shotgun up straight with one hand at the end of the day. Could not do it with the weight of my gun. I am a loser.
We finished off the afternoon with shooting a 15 round string at steel. One at a time 5 targets. 3 reloads in this drill.
We cleaned up the private range and sat down for a debrief. Looking around the group at the end of the day, we were dirty, sore and tired BUT we all had big f***ing grins on our faces…. We went around the group finding out what people liked, learned and did not like about the class.
This was such a fun class. I love Ben’s teaching style. He explains clearly what he wants and then shows us by demoing the task from mutable angles and sometimes he does the demo again with different style guns. (PUMP vs SEMI) Ben really cares about his students and he takes the individual time to adjust us when we need an adjustment.
We had a range of abilities and I was somewhere in the middle of the pack. All the guys were super cool and safe all day long. Ben never had to stop the line for being unsafe. We had 3 shotguns fail during the class. Ben is a talented armorer he was able to fix some of the issues. If he could not fix it on sight, he let you use one of his shotguns.
The semi was having issues, (running dry w/lube).
- My shotgun was way too heavy. The Surefire forearm has to GO! (bye bye). Could not hold the gun level pointing at the target with one hand.
- My support hand index finger and thumb are all cut up from loading the magazine. Need to round those sharp edges. Fingers and thumbs bleed a lot.
- I don’t like slings…
- Federal Flight Control Buckshot is the way to go. Really great performing round.
- Happy there was much less running than Ben Pistol class. (Defensive Pistol kicked my butt w/cardio)
- Love the rifles sights vs the bead.
- Did not need the RMR with the rifle sights, but I like having the consistency with my edc pistol.
- Wear your knee pads.
- Did not use my side saddle, ran shells from a dump pouch.
From the companies website: Welcome to Onsight Firearms Training, LLC
OnSight Firearms Training DEFENSIVE SHOTGUN
Meet up location will be:
Seasons Corner Market:8 Cranberry Hwy, Rochester, Ma 02770
at 8:00am sharp.
We will car pool to the range from there.
This class is limited to 8 people.
8:30am to approx. 5:30pm
This course is designed to introduce the beginner or intermediate shooter to the art of defensive and practical/tactical shotgun shooting.
Student should know and be able to perform all aspects of safe firearm handing.
Shotgun and firearm safety fundamentals
Range safety and protocol
Accuracy and skill development
Shooting and moving
Various shooting positions
Loading and unloading techniques
Cover and concealment
Cleaning and maintenance
Quality, reliable “tactical style” or "home defense" pump action or semiauto shotgun, 12 or 20 gauge (Mossberg 500/590, Remington 870, Ithaca, etc.) - We will have shotguns available to loan – please contact us well before the class date if you need a shotgun.
Semi-automatic pistol or revolver of their choice. (Optional if you have your NYS pistol permit)
Ammunition dump pouch (optional- we will have some available for loan)
Sturdy belt at least 1.5” wide
Footwear suitable for rapid movement and turning with good ankle support.
Clothing suitable for training in any weather/terrain. Layers suggested.
Quality eye and ear protection
knee pads (optional - but recommended)
notepad and pen for taking notes.
An open mind, humble, willing to learn attitude!
AMMO LIST** –
300 rounds of 2 ¾ bird shot/ game load #6, #7, or #8 shot.***
50 rounds of 2 ¾ buck shot
25 rounds of slug
For more information or questions please contact: [email protected]