Shotgun Bible: world shotguns encyclopedia

ABOUT Joel Karlsson

Joel Karlsson



The shotgun is probably the oldest type of all shoulder-fire firearms. Many earliest guns were smoothbore and loaded with multiple projectiles simultaneously. The shotguns were and still are used for hunting, since multiple projectiles increase the chances to hit the target with one shot, but shotguns also were used in combat in almost all wars since their introduction. The devastating short-range firepower and flexibility in loads are the key advantages of shotguns as the fighting weapons. During the XX century shotguns seen lot of combat, both as a police riot weapons and as a military trench, and later - jungle and urban close quarters battle weapons. Police used shotguns for riot and crowd control, and as a general purpose short and medium range weapons for about 150 years. First well known military use of shotguns is dated back to the Great War (1st World War), when Allied forces used various pump-action and self-loading shotguns in the trench warfare. During the 2nd World War shotguns were used as a security weapons (for guarding and anti-riot purposes), for close combat in jungle environments of SE Asia, where the self-loading shotguns (like the Remington 11 and Auto-5 - both of Browning design) proved to be very valuable for their devastating short-range firepower. The shotguns were also used for aerial gunnery training. Vietnam war also seen many shotguns used by US troops in the jungles, but these were mostly pump-action shotguns. At the present time shotguns formed a valuable part of equipment of both police and military forces around the world, and its development continued. There were several programs intended to increase shotguns effectiveness and combat range, but these proved mostly to be less than successful. Most combat shotguns were and still are the adaptations of commercial, hunting firearms for the new role, but during the last three decades of the XX century some specialized combat shotguns were developed. Some of these remained only in prototype or pre-production status, others flourished and found its way into the police and military stocks.