John’s Note: This is a guest post from a blog reader that contacted me regarding his decision to send his shotgun barrel off to Vang Comp for their barrel work and his resulting pattern testing. While the introduction of Federal FliteControl did indeed nearly put Vang Comp out of business, I think the perennial ammo crises demonstrate the true value of having the Vang Comp modification. With the VCS modification, you can achieve reasonable results with just about any quality buckshot that you can find.
While I don’t necessarily agree with every addition detailed below, I learned long ago that gear choices are highly subjective and one size does not necessarily fit all. I’m not really a fan of vertical foregrips, and I’m genuinely curious about the Wilderness Slimline Ammo Strip. Note that his additions and modifications hit the relevant points of having a light and extra ammo on the gun. I also agree with his choice to use a single-point sling on the shotgun. When you read the justification for each addition in the spreadsheet below, it’s easy to see that he put a lot of thought into each item. Also, understand that the pattern testing demonstrated below is at the extreme end of what I consider “buckshot range.”
The gentleman is writing here under the nom de plume of “Stanley_White.” Check out the text and photos below as he shares his experiences setting up his shotgun.
My Shotgun Build and Vang Comp
Earlier this year I decided it was time to remedy my lack of a shotgun. While I had planned on my JM Marlin 1894 Cowboy in 45 Colt to be my “50 Yards and In” gun, it developed the “Marlin Jam” that many are familiar with. While I was able to get the rifle fixed, the catastrophic nature of the Marlin Jam challenged my thinking. It was time to get something more reliable.
After much research I decided on the Mossberg 590A1 / #51668. To this base gun I added quite a few additions, all of which are described in the spreadsheet below. Also, inspired by John’s article “Shotgun Patterning, Part 6: The Effects of Choke and the Vang Comp System,” I decided to send my barrel to Vang Comp and they did their “Vang Comp Barrel Modification with Ports” treatment.
With ammunition scarce, I decided to test one round only of various brands of 00 Buck at 25 yards and the results are posted below. While some might suggest that the Vang Comp treatment did not add anything to the Federal Flite Control 00 Buck, that round is great — if you can find them — and if you can’t, which is more likely, it is nice to have the Vang Comp System on my barrel.
4 thoughts on “Guest Post: My Shotgun Build and Vang Comp by Stanley_White”
I’m always interested in seeing the solutions other folks come up with on their HD shotguns. Thanks for posting. I’d like to also see a follow up in a year or so to see if the author has changed anything.
Thank you for the kind words Tim Evart. I will be attending a shotgun course with Tim Chandler later this year and I suspect all of my choices thus far will be validated or invalidated on that day. -Stanley_White
You are in the best of hands with Mr. Chandler, and not because we share the same first name. When he talks, I listen.
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I put over 200 rounds though this gun yesterday at FPF Training where they hosted Tim Chandler who taught his one day Shotgun Skills course.
The gun ran and ran and ran — never had a jam or issue.
As far as equipment choices go, the shotgun rounds on the sling, originally intended to be slugs, got confused with the regular ammo early on so I ditched that feature as if I get confused during training I will get confused when stressed.
The front grip works great for shoulder / wrist mobility issues and really gives me a lot of power to pump the gun.
The flashlight pictured broke during dry firing before the course even started. After much research I switched to a model made by Malkoff Designs which was made to withstand shotgun recoil. It is amazing.
I am still trying to figure out the best location for the flashlight vis-a-vis my front grip. More experimentation is required.