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Shotgun Loading & Setup, Transition over Time

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I've had a few "tactical" shotguns in the past with side saddles, speedfeed stocks, etc but I haven't seen this in competition very much and have generally taken that as a "clue"... same goes for pistol grips (but that's another topic). When I first started 3G last year I bought an 8rd velcro sidesaddle for the left of my receiver (http://3gungear.corecommerce.com/8-Shell-Side-Saddle-p23.html) and a 2rd strap on (http://3gungear.corecommerce.com/Shotgungear/Forend-Carrier/Slide-Loc-2-Pac-p22.html) that I've positioned near my ejection port. Fully loaded I have 12rds in the tube + 8rds on the sidesaddle + 2rds on the strap on + 1 in the chamber = 23rds in or on the gun. I was thinking about adding a "match saver" to have another shell available on the gun, when I realized that since I have gotten better at the load 2 and load 4, I'm considerably faster loading from my belt than I ever was taking them from the sidesaddle... and for the past match or two I haven't really bothered with the ammo on my gun... I load the velcro at the beginning of the match and unload it at the end. So now that I realize this, what's the point of having all that ammo on my gun...?

A couple questions -

1. Has anyone else gone through this transition?

2. Should I simplify my shotgun loadout or is there a reason to leave it as is? It's all easy on/easy off velcro stuff...

3. Should I bother with the "match saver" device?

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I would dump all of the ammo off of my gun, particularly since you are not utilizing it anyway. The MatchSaverz is great for when you run dry.

The only way I would keep it on is if you don't have enough ammo on your belt to complete a stage. Then slap it on and go.

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1. Sure, most have, some are still there.

2. Yes, consistency is good. But a spare velcro pak it worth keeping for devious MD shenanigans.

3. If you want to pay $25 for 10 cents of Kitec tubing and a minute of knife trimming, they do work well. Or you can make your own.

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Side saddles are slow - you pull and load one at a time. They are good for carrying the odd slug you need in middle of string or an extra round in case of a miss but not as a prime source of ammo.

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I would quit putting in writing that you have purchased a "strap on". That kind of info will comeback when you least expect it to!!

Also try and keep all unnecessary weight off your gun

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Side saddles make the gun feel weird and add a lot of weight. Its also SUPER slow to load off a sidesaddle.

I think match savers are awesome and totally suggest getting/making one.

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I keep the velcro side saddle only for the occasional multi-ammo stage. If I might need a round or two of buckshot, it goes there. Otherwise it generally stays empty, but at least it doesn't get in the way.

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Thanks for the replies.

The side saddle is slower which is why I haven't been using it much, and maneuvering the shotgun into a position to reload is easier without the added weight/bulk, but I'll keep the velcro on there just in case.

As far as the match saver device goes, I'll probably get one to try it out. The 2rd strap on device is also a quick chamber reload, but not nearly as quick as the match saver. It seems pretty easy to use by just sweeping the shell into the chamber so does anyone use the match saver as a primary chamber reload instead of a "match saver" emergency reload?

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I have started to see some of the Pros actually incorporate that extra round into stage plans.

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Well it gives the option to run the gun dry, quickly feed the chamber, and then start jamming 2's or 4's like usual into the magazine tube. However, it defeats the purpose of "saving the day" in case you have a leftover or missed target at the end... With the setup I'm about to re-vamp, I've used the 2rd holder to feed the chamber before jamming the magazine tube and wish the match saver came in a 2rd format. Then I'd shoot the gun dry, quickly load the chamber with one shell, and still have a "save the day" shell leftover.

Could be useful...

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For strong-hand loaders, dual load can easily be done as port/bolt/magazine if you run completely dry. For that reason, the only time I incorporate the MatchSaverz into my stage plan is for ten targets and little or no movement. Shoot nine shots—if I hit everything, the MatchSaverz round gets popped in for the last target. If I miss, then I dual load anyway (including the port load) and never touch the MatchSaverz.

I think dual loading the port weak-hand is a lot tougher, so that might lead to a different approach...

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I would quit putting in writing that you have purchased a "strap on". That kind of info will comeback when you least expect it to!!

Also try and keep all unnecessary weight off your gun

Lol!!! Agreed!

When I first started I bought ten different side saddles too. I thought that 3 gun was ATAS and its not. The side saddles fall off, get in the way of loading and are slow to load out of. The match saver or similar is the only ammo worth putting on the gun.

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I run a match saver and its been a pretty valuable tool. Believe it or not, stage designers have caught on to the fact that division capacity is 9 rounds, match saver can get out of some weird cadences. It will only save you once, but used properly its pretty sweet.

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dump all that junk off your shotgun.....Add matchsaver (or make your own if you want, my time was worth more than the $25 order).

The matchsaver has saved me chunks of time at several matches so far. Most recently, at the Pro-Am, on more than a couple stages where there were 9 targets with 9 rounds to start in the gun...and a single target stuck to the stand or dodged my shot....flipped that shell in quickly and didn't have to reach to my belt.

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I have a wonderful video of a stage that started with a popper and a launched clay. First shot takes the popper clean...and sends the Mesa Tactical side saddle spinning off to nowhere, taking half of its custom trigger pin/screw with it. I ended up having to put my trigger group back together (had another match the next day) with a hardware run to Home Depot... Needless to say, I haven't used that side saddle since.

Edited by CJW

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Right, well, point taken. Match saver good, sidesaddle bad. I'll be making the changes at some point and will probably keep the stuff handy just in case anyway. Thanks for all the replies.

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I enjoy seeing guns with shit hanging all over them, especially guns that negatively effected by adding weight to them. Many people swear that a 20" barrel will cost them valuable fractions of seconds on transitions will then hang an extra foot of tube and a handful of shells on their shotguns. I say if you want to use the strap on then more power to you! (the snickering and comments may now begin, I expect them at this point)

:cheers:

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