Shotguns, why?

AresGear_Jake

Stiffer Is Better
Moderator
Vendor
#2
For lethal force, I say no. They do work, but they hold SIGNIFICANTLY less ammo and take SIGNIFICANTLY longer to reload. Don't get me wrong, I'm not volunteering to take a slug to the face, but 5.56 or 7.62 works better in a better platform.

For less-lethal, a 12ga can offer an incredible range of options.

For hunting, a 12ga (or 20) works on an awful lot of critters with just 3 kinds of ammo and a 18-20" barrel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JimH

Regular Member
Network Support I
#3
I have found that there is a calling for the shotgun vs. modern carbine in one particular situation...the use of Less Than Lethal force and situations where there is not a 100% certainty of what is in the background (beyond the target). I have used a Remington 870,with rubber ball ammunition to shoot a coyote who had one of my dogs by the neck, in the pasture behind the house.

IMHO, this was a better option than a carbine, and it was successful. While the coyote was dragging off the dog, I could not get to a place that I had 100% knowledge of what was behind it and I was in the same pasture with it, on level or less than level terrain with the coyote. There were houses and structures that , depending on the direction, were in the background. I was able to make a shot and hit the coyote in the rear leg with a rubber ball. The coyote dropped the dog, and it was off to the bathtub, Betadine, and bandages. The dog survived and I did not shoot a high velocity rifle round in the direction where it could have been disastrous .
 

Bronson

Fury
Moderator
#4
Absolutely.

I love the shotgun - not because of what it is but rather what it is capable of. It accomplishes things modern combat rifles cannot.

Shotguns have positives and negatives. They are as follows:

NEGATIVES:

1) Ammunition Capacity: Shotguns have a substantially less ammunition capacity than modern combat rifles.

2) Reloading: Shotguns have a substantial increase in reloading time combated to modern combat rifles.

3) Weapon Employment Zone: Shotguns have decreased effective range compared to modern combat rifles. However, with the right ammunition they are still able to reach out to 75-100+ meters depending on ammunition type.

4) Spread Pattern: Shotguns with buckshot have a spread pattern while modern combat rifles do not. This can be a liability where precision is needed - where every round (to include pellets) must be accounted for.

5) Increased Shot To Shot Time: Shotguns are slower for successive shots, especially with pump action shotguns when compared to modern combat rifles. With training, you can run the gauze fast but between the increased recoil and manual pump to feed the weapon system it is simply bot as fast.

POSITIVES:

1) Increased Terminal Effectiveness

Shotguns have improved terminal effectiveness compared to modern combat rifles. Ammunition type is important here, but buckshot is essentially several pellets the size of 9mm+ rounds and slugs are essentially a huge solid round.

2) Barrier Penetration: With the right ammunition, shotguns are more effective at barrier penetration (to include vehicles) compared to modern combat rifles.

3) Spread Pattern: Shotguns with buckshot spread pattern can turn a miss into a partial hit. The increased pattern allows for a wider coverage area - this really hits home with moving targets.

In addition, Shotguns also fill special purpose roles.

1) Ballistic Breaching

With dedicated frangible breaching rounds, shotguns are able to employed effectively as both a breaching weapon system and still maintain an effective option for lethal use.

2) Less Lethal

Shotguns (properly marked) are effective Less Lethal weapon systems.

I have used shotguns OCONUS in combat zones and also use them for Home Defense (in conjunction with other weapon systems) here stateside. My current shotgun for that use has 14+1 capacity which mitigates the ammunition capacity issue with shotguns.

Photo Credit: Matt Stagliano of Firelance Media

It's since been Force Mod'd a considerable amount.

1463670_1520677381496872_3197766552254397043_n.jpg
 
#6
I had some lengthy PM conversations with DB about this when I got my latest 'gauge (older 870 Express that I sent off for Vang Comp's barrel mojo + sights) and we were in agreement that for all the reasonable/credible home defense scenarios I could come up with in Casa JV, a shotgun with a full tube and sidesaddle doesn't give up anything over an AR. There are certain manipulations an AR that are faster, eg reloading, but a Vang'ed 870 that patterns so tightly and is wearing a light+T1 is far from useless or outdated.
 
#8
I like my shotgun but rarely shoot it (18.5 in 590A1). I was actually thinking of selling it a couple of years ago, then Sandy Hook happened and bad things started happening in the Maryland General Assembly. I decided then and there that shotguns would probably be among the last things banned, so will keep it (or some version) forever.
 
#9
I still qualify yearly with mine. Don't get me wrong, I like having as many tools in my toolbox as possible, however, my issued carbine is much lighter, carries more ammo, and is much easier to reload.

JR1572
 
#10
Unfortunately my agency is just beginning to move forward on rifles so shotguns are our only option currently. That being said given either option I'd probably roll with my Benelli M2 in a house or apartment goin after one bad guy. Wide open areas, schools, active shooters or multiple bad guys it's rifle all the time every time, even if I have to violate policy. I'm not goin into a fight under equipped because the politicians in my jurisdiction don't have the balls or brains to make an easy decision.
 
#11
I still qualify yearly with mine. Don't get me wrong, I like having as many tools in my toolbox as possible, however, my issued carbine is much lighter, carries more ammo, and is much easier to reload.

JR1572
This. Even before issued an AR, I qualified and carried my personal one alongside my issued SBS 870. Now the issued AR and 870 sit side by side in racks between the front seats of the patrol unit. It also helps to have 2 long guns in the vehicle when a rookie is sitting in the passenger seat.



But aside from Police work, its hard to hit a duck with a rifle.
 
#12
For defensive/tacitical, I'll take a carbine over a shotgun every time. The only areas where that shotgun shines is LL, breaching, survival(ie a defensive weapon that with different ammo allows you to hunt with it as well) and if you live in a state with an AWB.

I take that back, if you live in a locale with big predator animals, a shotgun with slugs does a good job at being a short range big game rifle. When I am in bear country, I turn to my FN SLP, topped off with Brenneke SF short magnum slugs.
 

jnc36rcpd

Regular Member
#13
If it is a choice of one or the other, I think most people are better served with a carbine. That said, I believe the shotgun still has viability if you have the resources to outfit and train people with a slide gun.
If you need to shoot through a vehicle, you may be better served with slugs or even buckshot than with a carbine. While we all prefer higher capacity weapons, a shotgun with a four to six round magazine will probably resolve most law enforcement of citizen defense scenarios.
In Maryland, officer candidates are qualified with the shotgun during entry level training. They are not trained or qualified with an AR-15. I personally think the training commission should train and qualify everyone with an AR-15, but I don't make these rules. I can get officers out on the street quicker with a slide gun than an AR-15,
To go to real ground truth, my roof-mounted long gun rack allows carry of both a shotgun and a carbine. That said, the rear rack is inaccessible unless I climb into the back seat. I can't put my rifle on the forward rack because of the Surefire M500 light system. I keep the rifle in a gun bag in the trunk and keep the 870 in the rack above my head.
I hear how versatile the shotgun is, but I don't believe it. We do not want to mingle lethal and less-lethal ammunition on the same platform. Moreover, there are better delivery systems for less lethal and chemical rounds.
 
#15
I guess I'll be the contrary guy. I prefer the shotgun for many applications as I like the versatility of being able to go from buckshot to slugs to less lethal as the situation requires, and it's hard to argue with the terminal ballistics of a shotgun. The capacity issue doesn't bother me, but I am coming from a non .mil perspective. I do recognize that a shotgun is more of a specialty tool, and I also agree with the description that it is a "thinking man's weapon".
 
#16
I guess I'll be the contrary guy. I prefer the shotgun for many applications as I like the versatility of being able to go from buckshot to slugs to less lethal as the situation requires, and it's hard to argue with the terminal ballistics of a shotgun. The capacity issue doesn't bother me, but I am coming from a non .mil perspective. I do recognize that a shotgun is more of a specialty tool, and I also agree with the description that it is a "thinking man's weapon".
I'm surprised departments let officers use the same shotgun for both. We have LL shotguns but they are outfitted with orange stocks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#18
I'm surprised departments let officers use the same shotgun for both. We have LL shotguns but they are outfitted with orange stocks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have found that policy makes much more sense when one becomes the policy writer. ;)
------

My previous agency would not allow the use of any LL shotgun rounds out of fear of confusion. All of the LL rounds were fired through a 40mm rifled launcher. They have since made all shotgun rounds wholesale LL platforms.

I wouldn't advise mixing the two. If I were going to deploy LL shotgun rounds, I would ditch all of the lethal rounds during the deployment. Note that I wrote "as the situation requires".
 
#19
This is from a purely civilian viewpoint, but when I had my "awakening" that the police, as good as they are, were not going to be able to help me for the first 5-8 minutes of a home invasion or similar event, I went with the shotgun for one reason, familiarity. I already had several hundred hours on the 870 platform, between Trap/Skeet shooting, Waterfowl and Upland bird hunting. I had shot an AR style rifle a handful of time, but didn't, and still don't, have the time and muscle memory on that platform like I do on the 870. I feel that I have a few advantages over choosing it then say a police officer does. I don't have to worry about Less Lethal, if that gun comes out, its gonna be used in a lethal setting, just like I'm not gonna count on the sound of me racking a round in to scare away some mope. I live in a small town with no stoplights, and where as I'm "in town" I'm surrounded by more cornfields and pastures then homes, So I keep it simple and just leave OO buckshot in it. I have slugs in the house for Deer hunting but I can't realistically come up with a scenario where I would need to use them to defend my family and the home. I know the shotgun has several disadvantage to an AR type rifle, But until I can get that experience on the AR, my 870 is gonna remain my "more then a pistol" gun.
 
#20
LE specific, but could apply to HD users:
One element that too often is lost in the conversation, is the location of the reload.
Some departments may supply a butt cuff or side saddle. Many do not. Very few cops carry any shotgun ammo on their person. So when a cop exits the cruiser, shotgun in hand to take care of business, the only gauge ammo in the vicinity is... in the gun. For many agencies, this will mean only 4-5 rounds. While those 4-5 rounds arguably are enough, the "slow reload" is a moot point because the only reload generally available is a five round box staged in unreadiness back in the car door. And it might even be in the passenger door. The squared away guys will have a box in both doors.

For similar reasons, the "select slug" or "select buck" is often a moot point. The alternate round type is back at the car.

Assuming the agency has, uses and trains with LL ammo, is it on the street?
And where are the less lethals that give the gauge it much vaunted versatility?Probably in the SGT's ride, along with the correctly and clearly marked LL gun that should only be used for LL.

If the department is truly progressive, they have ditched the under powered LL shotshells and gone to 37mm LL projector. At that point the only thing the shotgun is handy for is vehicle penetration, which means all slugs, all the time. The slugs you want for vehicle defeat are not generally the slugs you want for a crowd or in a building because of over penetration risks. Ergo, single task, single load, not especially versatile.

However, for the agency that does not yet issue patrol rifles, the 14" shotgun is and can be a useful tool but must be accommodated with thinking solutions:
-Officers should carry a shotgun reload of two or more rounds on their person.
-Shotguns should have spare ammo aboard.
-Cars should be equipped with velcro placards that do not have to be opened to access the ammo.
-Thought must be given to ammo selection. Does buck shot really have a fit? Instead of selecting slug over buck, should we instead be selecting a vehicle slug over a Forster type slug and cease issuing buck all together?
-If slugs are all that is carried, why would you ever spec a bead sight? Why not use rifle sights, or far better yet ghost rings?
-Why would an agency ever issue a 18" (or longer) gun when we have so many good 14" options?
-Much gunfighting happens at night. How is the agency integrating the white light with the shotgun?