Side saddle - strong side or weak side?

This is a discussion on Side saddle - strong side or weak side? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; What side do you prefer for your side saddle or shell carrier? I've seen both and can see some advantage to either. Week side seems ...

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Thread: Side saddle - strong side or weak side?

  1. #1
    Member Array skunkworks's Avatar
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    Side saddle - strong side or weak side?

    What side do you prefer for your side saddle or shell carrier? I've seen both and can see some advantage to either.
    Week side seems like a more natural motion.
    Strong side seems more out of the way, especially if wearing bulky clothing or anything like a chest pack.
    I'm also wanting to hear from any of the women shooters as my HD shotty needs to be able to meet the needs of my wife as well.

    Your thoughts?
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    The following is going to assume the right hand is the strong hand, just for the sake of simplicity. Usually the kind of side-saddle you buy will dictate which side it goes on. If you want to put it on the receiver of the weapon, most shotguns will dictate that it goes on the weak hand side, since most of them eject from the right (of course there are exceptions like the Ithaca 37). If you want to put the carrier on the buttstock, it has to go on the right hand (strong side), because otherwise it would be impossible to use the buttstock, with a side saddle carrier where your face goes. Either option will affect the balance of the weapon. And it is personal preference.

    The advantage of the receiver mounted side saddle is that it is easier to reload from it without having to move your firing hand from the weapon. It is doable with it mounted on the buttstock, but requires a bit more agility and training. Personally I usually just buy one of the elastic carriers and put it on the buttstock of my HD shotguns, and that works fine for me.
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    Member Array skunkworks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply.
    I should have specified that I currently have an elastic carrier on the butt-stock. Your comments about the ejection port make sense. I grew up toting a Rem. Model 29 and often forget that.
    I have seen some of the AR-15 style stocks with carriers on either side. What is the best in that location? I'm sure a receiver mounted saddle on the left side would be the quickest and most efficient for a right handed shooter like myself, but what about the butt? Anyone feel the need for both receiver mounted side saddle and a butt-stock carrier? Anyone use a bandoleer style sling?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkworks View Post
    Thanks for the reply.
    I should have specified that I currently have an elastic carrier on the butt-stock. Your comments about the ejection port make sense. I grew up toting a Rem. Model 29 and often forget that.
    I have seen some of the AR-15 style stocks with carriers on either side. What is the best in that location? I'm sure a receiver mounted saddle on the left side would be the quickest and most efficient for a right handed shooter like myself, but what about the butt? Anyone feel the need for both receiver mounted side saddle and a butt-stock carrier? Anyone use a bandoleer style sling?
    With an M-4 style buttstock, if you have the side saddle on the left side, you aren't going to be able to use the stock, because the side saddle will be preventing you from achieving any sort of cheek weld with the stock. Most of my HD shotguns hold at least 7 rounds, so the tube usually has 00 buck, with say 3 extra rounds of 00 with the brass up in the elastic carrier, and 2 slugs with the brass down in the carrier. I have seen set-ups with two carriers, one on the stock and one on the receiver, personally, I don't see a need for that, but that is just me. I do keep a bandoleer full of 00 and slugs handy, differentiated the same way as in the carrier. I don't like the bandoleer slings personally, because they usually mean you can't effectively use the sling.
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    My side saddle elastic carrier is on the weak side of my shottie. Using 00 buck for HD leads me to believe that I will not be placing the gun next to my cheek to proper aiming. I want ease of access to the extra shells without having to have my strong side hand leave the weapon. I'm just sayin'...
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Side Saddle 6 on weak side. Three buck, primer down, front, three slugs, primer up, back. Tube loading same same. Chamber loading, by sight or by feel, buck, primer to pinky, under; slugs, primer to thumb, over.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I put a 6 round side saddle on the receiver weak side of my Mossberg 500 HD weapon. Works out great with the folding stock. I load brass down so I can hold the weapon in ready-to-fire position (with a sling, it is easy to hold that way with one hand with stock in or out) and use my weak hand to pull a round down and load the mag tube in a short, quick, fluid movement without having to look away.
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    I went with the hard 4 shell sidesaddle on the Mossy. It attaches using some longer screws in the receiver. I heard the 6 shell units bump the fore stock.
    I figured left side, since I thought I'd have the gun under my right arm and I'd pop the shells out with my left. Shells pointed up so they slide out in the correct orientation.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    You heard right, I had to trim the fore stock on my 870 for mine to fit.

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    Mossberg 500 6 round Side Saddle - stock fore end

    Here's a pic of the 6 shot side saddle on the weak side of my Mossberg 500. This is the stock fore end, and it doesn't bump at all. If you have a different type of fore end that has rails that come back over the receiver it can cause a problem...mine was fine. By loading them brass down, I can pull them out from the bottom with my weak hand and pop them right in the mag tube. Quick and smooth, never having to leave POA, look away, or have my hand cross in front of my line of sight.
    DSC01266.jpg
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Here is the fore end/slide on mine notched to clear the Side Saddle.
    Attached Images

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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Tac Star makes a 4 shot side saddle for Remington 870 fore ends so you don't have to do any mods at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    Tac Star makes a 4 shot side saddle for Remington 870 fore ends so you don't have to do any mods at all.
    Like this one, or you can avoid modifying the OE forearm by replacing it with an aftermarket shorty and use the 6 round Tac Star saddle. :)


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    Six shell side saddle opposite the ejection port.

    I like the ideas of putting the slugs and OO with brass up or down. Thanks.

    As for something that works for your wife too, I would say to put a one point sling on it for easy carry.

    Also, we LOVE those mattress racks. They keep the gun at hand and avoid the dust bunnies. I forget the brand but there was a link on the advertisers section here on this website. I am usually low on add-on gimmicks but I really like the light on the gun.

    Finally, I think that a defensive shotgun class is one of the best things that money can buy in firarms training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    Personally I usually just buy one of the elastic carriers and put it on the buttstock of my HD shotguns, and that works fine for me.
    Same here, I usually carry my shotguns (and leverguns) by the receiver. Side Saddles are excellent products, I just don't care for the "feel" of them, and having to have a tool to remove the trigger group (from the 870s).
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