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  • Tactical Applications of Shotguns?

    Why do so many military and police forces use shotguns?

    I understand beanbags, rubber bullets and some of the non-lethal applications but why buckshot?
    It seems like it would have less penetration and do less damage than a normal bullet. The spread is not great enough and the rate of fire too low to be very effective at close range while the maximum range is greatly reduced.

  • #2
    Every time I had to investigate a sentries call it was night. Usually whatever it was that alerted the sentry was only dimly seen. Those incidents were on military installations and involved a single or very small number of intruders. A scatter gun in those circumstances was more usefull than a precision weapon. In earlier times military installations , or items guarded were often located in or very near cities. It was not unusual for a mob or smaller group to confront a sentry. At moments like that a scatter gun (or bayonet) is better than a rifle or pistol. Part of this is psychological. Louder guns tend to intimidate and disperse casual mobs or undisciplined gang members faster.

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    • #3
      In WW2,they were effective trench guns and defense weapons.A blast of 00-buckshot will stop the most fanatical Jap.Currently they are excellent weapons for opening doors,and stopping anyone in their tracks.

      For police work,they're the best "long gun" for the types of engagements cops may find themselves in.Plus,there is the psychological effect that a big fat 12 gauge barrel has on a would be attacker.
      ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

      BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

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      • #4
        The shotgun has long been a Police weapon. It was once considered "humane" to use fine birdshot (# 8) to break up riots. That was up until the '60's when the Birmingham Police killed a Black Boy with it. Opened up his neck.

        Back in older wars, like the American Civil War and World War I, it was considered a good weapon at close range. Even smoothbore Muskets had a load called Ball and Buck. A large caliber Ball and three buckshot was deadly up close.

        The scary thing is people get nervous and miss with shotguns! The limited penetration is then a good thing.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #5
          When investigating a nightly sentry alert, wouldn't a rapid fire weapon also ensure a hit on a dimly seen target?

          If I may expand the question, SMG versus shotguns, what are the respective advantages?
          Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
          Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
          USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gixxer86g View Post
            In WW2,they were effective trench guns and defense weapons.A blast of 00-buckshot will stop the most fanatical Jap.Currently they are excellent weapons for opening doors,and stopping anyone in their tracks.

            For police work,they're the best "long gun" for the types of engagements cops may find themselves in.Plus,there is the psychological effect that a big fat 12 gauge barrel has on a would be attacker.
            OEF VI we had 4 12 guages issued to each platoon. Door breach (when we didn't use the flex charge) clearing caves and the subterranean spider holes beneath the afghan compounds.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RepublicanGuard View Post
              Why do so many military and police forces use shotguns?

              I understand beanbags, rubber bullets and some of the non-lethal applications but why buckshot?
              It seems like it would have less penetration and do less damage than a normal bullet. The spread is not great enough and the rate of fire too low to be very effective at close range while the maximum range is greatly reduced.
              There are certain things that shotguns do better than anything else. For versatility they're very difficult to surpass. You alread mentioned less lethal and buckshot. They also make decent use of slugs, and there are even tazer rounds for them. No other system I am aware of can use all these different types of munitions. You can breach, engage with (relative) accuracy out to 100m, bean bag the less frightening bad guys, and use 00 buck for almost everything else. For strictly entry and CQB applications not much is better.

              They do come with some serious drawbacks. They run out of ammo extremely fast and the average guy can't carry all that much extra to keep the gun fed, certainly not compared to rifles. Thier range is limited compared to rifles, ammo is expensive, and 00 Buck, while effective out to about 35m for Vang barrels, gets very unpredictable after that.

              A word on 00 Buck, the bread and better of most combat shotguns: Each indiviual pellet is only .32 or .33 in diameter, weighs about 70 or so grains, and moves out at about 1200 fps or thereabouts. In other words it's about like a .32 auto, not to impressive right? Well, there's a difference between a single shot and eight or nine of them arriving at the same time spread out over 2-12 inches depending on range. A single pellet isn't all that great, 8 of them are devastating because of the way the human body reacts to them. There are too many holes to try and close off, too much energy spread over too big of an area, the body often just shuts down. Not even subguns or .223's on burst can accomplish the same effect at close range. In short, nothing I know of works better for entry work.

              However, lots of things work better for most other things. Unless you have to breach, shoot a bean bag, or go 1st in the stack, an AR of some type is almost certainly a better way to go. That's why Law Enforcement is focusing so heavily on rifles and carbines nowadays. Shotguns are a great tool in the tool box, but they're pulled out of that box much less frequently as of late.
              Last edited by llkinak; 20 Apr 10, 13:29.

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              • #8
                What is a sentry for?

                Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                When investigating a nightly sentry alert, wouldn't a rapid fire weapon also ensure a hit on a dimly seen target?
                Acheron,

                The purpose of a sentry is to alert the camp that someone is trying to get in, not to deliver automatic fire into the dark. How many guys do you know that you would trust with a submachinegun? Picture yourself having done a night patrol and approaching the perimeter of some guy that is extremely nervous.

                I wouldn't want to do it. A shotgun blast will certainly alert the camp.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                  Acheron,

                  The purpose of a sentry is to alert the camp that someone is trying to get in, not to deliver automatic fire into the dark. How many guys do you know that you would trust with a submachinegun? Picture yourself having done a night patrol and approaching the perimeter of some guy that is extremely nervous.

                  I wouldn't want to do it. A shotgun blast will certainly alert the camp.

                  Pruitt
                  Sir,

                  I have to respectfully disagree.... I like a guy with the SAW in the sentry post .... 15 days in country I learned that lesson.... then PFC Matthew Steyart unleashed hell on an approaching RPG team.(CPL Steyart was KIA 22 November 2005) in shah wali khot, Afghanistan.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry to hear about Cpl Steyart's demise.

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                      Sorry to hear about Cpl Steyart's demise.

                      Pruitt
                      Thanks....he was a good kid his nick name was "sunshine" no matter how bad it got he was always smiling.

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                      • #12
                        There's also the matter of recoil. Yes, I know it can be controlled, but it takes more training and you don't always have a solid shoulder weld in the field.

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                        • #13
                          And with this new add-on...

                          There's a new magazine out there: the Roth Auto Index Loader. It has four rotating barrels that hold the 12 ga shells. All together you get 23 of the things!!

                          That's 207 00 buckshot without reloading. At close range tis would certainly be "A Wall of Lead".

                          It's featured in the May 2010 issue of Tactical Weapons.
                          Save America!! Impeach Obama!!

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                          • #14
                            Well, just my humble opinion, but one 00 shell puts out the equivalent of about 9 pistol rounds. It would probably do significant damage to someone just beyone a door or through drywall. At 7 meters, the spread would about encompass a man's chest at center mass. A hit with a rifled slug would put a man down, body armor or no. Even with armor, he wouldn't be feeling too lively for a bit. I've consistantly hit a silhouette target at 50 meters with the slug. The intimidation factor is significant too.

                            I'm certainly no expert, but I suppose you would want to mix the shotgun in with other weapons with a higher ammo capacity or rate of fire. Plus, you should have a secondary too. I was taught to move with a good shoulder weld already in place with the muzzle at the low ready. I've gotten pretty good with my friend's Benelli and can make a good go at combat reloading the 870. My cheek always hurts like a sob after though.
                            TTFN

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                              Well, just my humble opinion, but one 00 shell puts out the equivalent of about 9 pistol rounds. It would probably do significant damage to someone just beyone a door or through drywall. At 7 meters, the spread would about encompass a man's chest at center mass. A hit with a rifled slug would put a man down, body armor or no. Even with armor, he wouldn't be feeling too lively for a bit. I've consistantly hit a silhouette target at 50 meters with the slug. The intimidation factor is significant too.
                              Good morning, KG.
                              I don't mean to seem too critical, but there's a few misconceptions in the above. First, one round of 00 buck is just that, a single round, it just happens to have multiple projectiles. Each of those is on their own considerably less than effective at stopping much of anything unless one happens to put the lights out or one penetrates the heart/aorta. When they're truely effective is when they all arrive at once spread out over about eight inches high in the chest. Standard minimum response with a shotgun is exactly the same as with a handgun, or anything but a sniper rifle for that matter, a minimum of a controlled pair to the upper torso, more if possible. Just because it's a shotgun is no reason to assume it will always be effective or that it's somehow magical.

                              Second, the spread on most quality combat shotguns now, especially with good loads like Federal's flight control wads, is nowhere near the size of a human chest at 7 yards. In fact, it's more like 2-3 inches for the eight or nine pellet loads, so you still have to aim.

                              Third, slugs, if the weapon is properly zeroed, should be effective to a minimum of 125 meters, and no, they don't always work. I've seen the effects of a 12 gauge Breneke through the shoulder of a fleeing suspect. It makes a nice clean hole, doesn't even slow the slug down, and the bad guy keeps on moving until he goes into shock from blood loss. This is with an undrugged suspect, obviously with stuff on board all bets are off.

                              Lastly, take the "intimidation factor" and circular file it, it shouldn't even be considered in the equation. If they're worth pointing a gun at they can be intimidated by the holes in their chest / head / pelvis. I've seen way too many sober, drunk, or drugged people stand there yelling "what the [email protected]#$ are you waiting on, FU*#&%G do it, do it you PU#&Y!" to put any stock in intimidation.

                              Just my two cents, and I hope I don't come across as sounding mean or anything. Stay safe.
                              Last edited by llkinak; 30 Apr 10, 12:54.

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