29 May 2014

FWS Armory: Combat Shotguns

Nothings says "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubblegum" quite like a shotgun! whether its Hicks giving an xenomorph a migraine headache, hunting demons from hell on Mars, or dose someone with lead poisoning online with a SPAS-12 or Remington 870, shotguns are one of the symbols of handheld power in popular media.They are also tools of combat and law enforcement. Shotguns are some of the earliest firearms to have been in used in combat and the name itself dates back to 1776 in America. Today, in battlefields and city streets, they still are in service. In the continuing series on military firearms, FWS will be detailing the combat shotguns of the past, present, and the future. As always, FWS will also be showing how science fiction has taken these iconic weapons of the Old West and law enforcement and translated them into the world of fiction. This is going to be a good one...  

What are Combat Shotguns?
While most civilian shotguns are designed for a defensive home or vehicle purpose or for sport, combat shotguns are designed around offensive situation. Most military organizations use pump-action shotguns due to their ability to operate even when dirty over semi/auto shotguns. They are tubular magazine that hold 8+1, and nearly all combat shotguns are 12 gauge. They are designed with the reduction of heat after rapid firing with ventilation plates and plastic portions. Their roles on the modern battlefield are flexibility of shotgun ammunition, including lethal and less-lethal options. One of the most frequent uses of the combat shotgun is door breaching, especially with Special Forces operators that are known for carrying specialized door breaching, cut-down shotguns, like the Remington 870MCS. Of course, the shotgun is also extremely useful in close quarter combat situations and in riot/crowd control. With shotguns being a devastating weapon in close quarters along with the psychological effect, they continue to be a tool of the modern military.

What is a Gauge?
Unlike most ammunition that is measured in inches and millimeters, shotgun shells are differentiated in something called “gauges”. Up until I wrote this blogpost, I never knew the answer to why shotgun shells were called gauges. Gauge references to the diameter of the barrel, and is the measured by the weight of the sphere that will fit in the barrel. In the case of the 12 gauge shell, it is 1/12 of a pound. In comparison to bullets, the typical 12 gauge shell is actually 18.5mm or 7.93 (larger than a .50 caliber round!), and roughly has 28 grams of gunpowder. An .45 ACP, 230 grain hardball is about 4-5 grams of gunpowder.  

Why are Shotguns so Powerful?
There are several theories to why the shotgun has the legendary power that it does. If the target is close and prior to the shot spreading, the body of the target is impacted with all of the shot. Some sources claim that a typical 12 gauge 00 shell impacting prior to spread, would be like being hit with an .73 ball. There is almost no coming back from that. If the shot is allowed to spread, the target is impacted at several locations simultaneously, causing a greater amount of trauma over a wider area of the body. Imagine 8-13 balls of about .33 caliber impacting on the body. Speaking from medical experience, injuries by shotgun blasts are more difficult to retreat, due to the various impact sites and related secondary damage. Some of the mythos with the power of shotgun surrounds the massive slug type of ammunition. Originally developed for big game hunting, slugs are a crushing hammer of kinetic energy. These slow moving one ounce of lead hit with about 4200 joules of energy. 

The History of Military Shotguns
When gunpowder powered cannons were developed around 12th century, they original spit out whatever was around to hurl at the enemy. Rocks, bits of metal, and even arrowheads were used. Due to this ad hoc ammunition and it design to strike as many target as possible, make these early cannons early types of shotguns as well. What we formally know as shotguns actually started life into different fashions. Shotgun ammunition is found in infantry muskets with loads like the Revolutionary War "buck-and-ball" loads, but the weapons themselves were pretty standard muskets. The first shotgun that fired shotgun ammunition was the Blunderbuss of the 17th century. Its name comes from the Dutch, meaning "thunder pipe". It was also called a "dragon", and given the high popularity of cavalrymen using Blunterbuss, lead to the term "dragoon" being used for cavalrymen of the period.
These Blunderbuss were designed to delivery short-ranged powerful loads of multiple projectiles. While most were used by military horsemen, pirates, and sailors, some were in private hands, like some of the first European settlers to America. Because of type of loads Blunterbuss fired, they could be also used for hunting fast moving game. Fowling Pieces were also an ancestor to the modern combat shotgun. These were the first role-specific firearm in history, and designed for wealthy customers to hunt birds and waterfowl around the 18th century.
While in Europe, the shotgun would remain a weapon of the hunt and the elite, it was a very different story in America. Early American smoothbore hammer shotguns were used for hunting and defense, and became a tool of early settlers. While the shotgun was falling out of favor in most 19th century military organizations, that was not true for the Confederate States of America forces during the Civil War. With the society that composed most of the CSA, shotguns were everyday part of their lives, and they took these tools to war. Given that some percentage of the CSA soldiers ever forced to bring their firearms from home, shotguns were part of the CSA frontline forces. While these were not formerly issued by the CSA, side-by-side shotguns were seen as late as 1863, and old tin-type photographs bear out the use of civilian scatterguns by Confederate soldiers. With the advancement of repeating rifle technology by the end of the Civil War, shotguns were again relegated back to the home as a hunting/defense firearm.
During the westward settlement of the American west, shotguns were one of the weapons of choice of law abiding and the lawless. While the US military may not have been interested in shotguns, local law enforcement and stagecoach guards used them to defend the West, and by 1883, hammerless shotguns were developed, along with newer cartridges. With the popularity and sales of shotguns on the frontier, spurned funding and technological development. John Browning, American foremost gun developer, applied his talent to the issue of limited firepower of shotguns. He would take the unsuccessful slide-action design of Spencer, improve it, and the first successful pump action shotgun was born: the Winchester Model 1893. However, it was the improved version, the Winchester Model 1897 that would seen the trenches of World War One.
The slide-action Winchesters would first see action with US forces in the Philippine-American War of 1890-1902, but it would gain infamy in 1917. When the American Expedition began to enter the war, one of the weapons the Doughboys carried was the Winchester Model 1897 fitted with a heat shield and bayonet. Given the trench warfare going on, it is a logically environment for the shotgun, and it was christened the "trench gun".
The lethal power and psychological fear of the shotgun, caused the Imperial Germans to take legal action to ban them for use. They filed that shotguns were a violation of the rules of warfare, and should be deemed an illegal weapon. While the case was thrown out, it does say quite a bit about combat shotguns and their power. The effectiveness of the Model 1897 in both the Philippines and the battlefields of Europe allowed the shotgun a more permit place in the US arsenal. When World War II rolled around, the Winchester Model 1897 and 1912 12 gauge shotguns saw action mainly in the Pacific theater due to the close quarters and tactics of the Imperial Japanese soldiers. Most of the shotguns used in the European theater were in the hands of military police. Out of all of the nations involved in the 2nd World War, really only the US GIs carried shotguns. By the end of World War II, over 80,000 Winchester Model 1912s were issued, and this model replaced the Model 1897 as the standard US shotgun. By the time of the Korean War, the Model 1912 was still in use and once again, served in combat.
During the Vietnam War, several brands of shotguns were used by US soldiers and Marines. Some Model 1897s and Model 1912 were seen, however, the bulk were Remington 870s and the Ithaca 37 series, and these were mainly in the hands of the US Marines, MPs, and Navy SEAL Teams. Much like their role in the Pacific theater in World War II, shotguns have proven themselves once again a useful tool of jungle warfare. Also, shotguns came in handy during tunnel-rat missions and POW guarding. Given the chaos during the Vietnam War, shotguns were sometimes wielded by those not "approved" by the US military, and even some where brought over from home. Not only did they serve a grim purpose in close quarters warfare, but also shotguns carried an psychological value. During 1967-1968, the US military would test several types of shotgun ammunition, including flechettes. The results of the test concluded that double aught buckshot and slugs were still the most effective in combat situations. Of course, shotguns were also infamous in the Vietnam for another reason: drugs. Popularized by the 1987 film Platoon, US soldiers did use their shotguns to smoke illegal drugs, mainly marijuana, can they called "riding shotgun". During the apex of the war, reporters would capture soldiers using their shotguns as pipes in video and pictures. Crazy times, man.
After the war, the shotgun would receive attention from the US and her allies looking forward on weapons develop via the global progress on technology. It was believe that cutting edge technology would give NATO the advantage if the Warsaw Pact ever made a move on western Europe. Experiments on fielding new small arms technology filtered down to the shotgun via a project called the Close Assault Weapon System (CAWS). While the US military never adopted any of these futuristic prototypes like the H&K CAWS, new military-grade semi-automatic and fully-automatic shotguns were being developed.
For much of the 1990's, the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 would continue to be the standard military shotgun, and there were used in the first Gulf War, Somalia, and Yugoslavia. However, that was about to change. Being in the late 1990's, the US military and several other nations would finally move from the classic pump action shotgun to a semi-automatic. The semi-automatic shotgun that dominated acceptance into military organizations was the Italian Benelli M4 Super 90 12 gauge.
The first buyer in the United States was the US Marine Corps in 1999, and the shotgun was renamed the "M1014". These new M1014 shotguns would not have to wait long before being tested in battle. While in Afghanistan, shotguns were not a popular choice, and main served in security roles, some cave-clearing missions, and door breaching. The main comabt use of the Benelli M4 Super 90 would come during the War in Iraq, especially, the twin 2004 Battles of Fallujah. The M1014 and the older Mossberg 500 would serve as a door breacher, room clearer, and offensive arm with mainly the US Marines during the hellish urban combat conditions.
Some Special Operations teams would also use shotguns for dynamic entry tools, and it is know that a few sniper teams operating in Fallujah would keep a shotgun handy. During the 2010 operation to kill Osama Bin Laden, it is believed that the ST6 team carried some very cutdown special shotguns, like the Remington 870 MCS for entry work...but that it not confirmed. Today, shotguns remain a tool of war, but not globally. Primarily, the United State military is one of the few military organizations to field shotguns, and with rise of personal defense weapons and other tools for door blowing, the shotgun's role could decrease.  

Current Issue Combat Shotguns

The United Kingdom L128A1
The Benelli M4 semi-automatic combat shotgun is one of the most popular active service shotgun in the world right now. Holding seven 12 gauge shotgun shells in both slug and 00 aught buck-shot, the L128A1 UK shotgun is currently on-deployment in Afghanistan. The examples of the Benelli M4 in service with the British is mounted with a foregrip, EOT tech holographic sight  and three position buttshock. With the recent adaption of the Benelli M4 as trigger more Commonwealth member nations to buy the same shotgun. Good for Benelli.


The Remington 870
Over two dozen nations use the Remington 870 shotgun as their military service shotgun. For years, the various branches of the United States military and law enforcement agencies used this workhorse. Since 1966, the M870 has been in service and used in combat zones, however, the semi-auto Benelli M4 is replacing it. The Remington 870 is also very popular among civilian shooters and is the go-to shotgun in the world of Call of Duty.  



The Remington 870 MCS 10 inch barrel
The Remington 870 was the long term US military service shotgun, and with the Benelli M4 becoming the new shotgun, there is a new variant of the old workhorse in service: the Remington 870 MCS. Shotguns are not as much an offensive tool in Special Forces units. Mostly, the shotgun is used for dynamic entry tactics, blasting down doors and blowing off locks. Cut-down shotguns were the original choice of these door-kickers, but Remington as responded with the 870 MCS or the 870 modular combat shotgun fitted with the ten inch barrel. With this super-short shotty, special operators are able to blast doors and switch to their M4 carbines with the bulk of a full sized shotgun. It is widely believed that an 870 MCS was with the DEVGRU team during Operation: NEPTUNE SPEAR. 

The Benelli M1014 
This is the 21st century replace to the Remington 870, and is a semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun. Developed in 1998, and adapted by the US military under the name M1014 JSCS in 1999. Fitted with attachment rails, adjustable stock, the Benelli M4 as become one of the most popular global service shotguns, and it is also popular in video games and movies. Not only the classic military shooters, the M1014 can been seen in Left 4 Dead and ALIENS: Colonial Marines.


The M26 MASS 

C-More Systems developed this tiny 12 gauge combat shotgun, and the design was improved by the US Army battle labs. This project as been on the books since the late 1990's. Since 2011, M26 units have shipped to combat forces in Afghanistan. The M26 MASS or LSS was developed along side the M4 carbine project, and with the use of attachment rails, the promise of the old Masterkey system would be fulfilled. The semi-automatic magazine-fed M26 MASS can also be used as a stand alone weapon, and will replace the aging Mossberg M500 series. About 35,000 have been ordered by the US military. The M26 has been since in video games like Rainbow 6 and Terminator Salvation.

Double Barreled or Single Barreled?
Popular media as muddied the waters when it comes to the double-barreled shotgun. Even in the recent James Bond film, Skyfall, we see the mythos of the double barreled shotgun as a machine of murder being continued. At very close range, the double barreled is a killer, but you pay for it. While it is true that if you dump both barrels of the side-by-side shotty, bad people go away, the recoil is monstrous, and you are left empty. However, at one time, the double barreled shotgun was a the most common type of shotgun used by the common man, shotgun messengers, and lawmen. 
Unlike the single barrels of the time, the inclusion of twin barrels allowed for the shooter to have two loads and double the lethality. This was true even when shotgun shells were In the sportsmen category, double barreled along with over-and-under were used for game hunting and sport shooting. When slide-action single barreled shotguns were invented by Chris Spencer (of Spencer Rifle fame) and Sylvester Roper in 1882, it marked the end of the dominance of the double barreled as a tool of law enforcement and combat. In 1887, the nail in the coffin of the double barreled was hammered in by the introduction of the lever-action Model 1887 by John Browning. After this, there was no going back. While over-and-under and double barreled scatterguns were still common in hunting and some personal defense, shotguns like the Winchester Model 1893 and Model 1897 were the choice of the military, police, and outlaws. The double barreled simply could not compete with the rate-of-fire, convenience, and total firepower.

Types of Action

Break Open (Side-by-Side and Over-and-Under)
One of the easiest types of shotguns on the market, and simplest of operation is the break-open. Whether single barrel or double barrel or over-and-under, break action the stable of the shotgun world for years. They offer more compact size and ease of use and operation, but lack rate-of-fire and are prone to breaking under continuous firing. Most of break-open types of shotguns are sports guns and Cowboy Action shooting, especially the over-and-under types. Over-and-Under had a great advantage than the side-by-side, accuracy.
With side-by-side, there is sway depending on which barrel you use, and the side-by-side being stacked allowed for more accuracy. This makes it the choice of sport and bird shooters. Recently, two companies attempted to change that: Stoeger and Mossberg. Stoeger took their Condor over-and-under/double barreled shotty, and remodeled it in a 21st century tacticool fashion. Yep, that means flat book, rails, aiming systems, and shorter. This cool Batman looking over-and-under/double barreled scattergun was christened the “double defense” shotty, and marketed to the feverish home defense market. Inspirited by the Double Defense, Mossberg created their own tacticool over-and-under/double barrel shotty, the Maverick Thunder Ranch over-and-under 12 gauge.

Leveler Action
Traditionally, shotguns of old were loaded with powder and shot, and once you fired, it was a process to reload. For most firearms that changed with the advent of metal casing and paper cartridges. Rapid fire came with revolving cylinders and leveler feeding action systems, and both were applied to the shotgun. In 1887, Winchester would take their lever action rifle technology and apply it to both 10 and 12 gauges. With five shell capability, the Model 1887 was a revolution in shotgun technology, and led to the pump action shotguns we know today.    

Pump Action

The slide-action or pump shotgun was first developed in the latter part of the 19th century by Chris Spencer (of Spencer Rifle fame) and Sylvester Roper. However, the concept did not sell and it would take John Browning in 1887, to get the concept off of the ground. The first successful pump-action shotgun was the Winchester 1897, and held six shells in a underslung tubular magazine. 

Bolt-Action

Bolt action rifles used to be the killer app of firearms in the Boer Wars and World War I; however, bolt-action shotguns are rare, especially considering their uses. Since a friend of mine owns a bolt-action.410 shotgun, I got some hands-on experience recently. We were shooting skeet, and we switched out among the pumps and the bolt-action. Simply put, while the .410 bolt-action was fun to shot, unless you hit the disc with the first shell, you could not cycle the bolt to squeeze off a second shell. Classically, bolt-action shotguns are used to trained younger or inexperienced shooters on shotgun.

Revolver Action

The term "revolver shotgun" just sounds like all kinds of awesome, like "body paint Kate Upton". With the development of the revolver pistol, gun designers turned to the same technology to develop revolver repeating rifles and shotguns. The idea to marry the rifle and the revolving cylinder came as early as the 16th century. However, the concept never really lived up to the hype, and they were expensive and hard to load.




Semi-Auto
While pump-action dramatically increased the rate-of-fire and utility of the shotgun, semi-automatic fire took those factors to a whole new level. The first semi-auto shotgun was the Browning Auto-5 from 1902, and given the level of firepower and rate-of-fire, this shotgun would see military service from World War One all the way to Korea and Vietnam.  The Remington 1100 was also a very popular semi-auto shotgun in law enforcement and the military. Today, the US military uses the Benlli M4 (AKA M1014) semi-automatic shotgun along with other nations as their primary combat shotgun.


Fully Automatic

It does not take much imagination to see the lethal potential of a magazine fed fully automatic 12 gauge shotgun that spits out buckshot and slugs at a rate of 300 RPM. That is the promise of weapons like the Atchisson Assault Shotgun. These magazine fed weapons of mass destruction are intriguing to gun-nuts, law enforcement, and military organizations, especially when they see videos of these auto-scatterguns chewing up the landscape with beautiful effectiveness. However, few if any of these organizations have adapted an fully automatic shotgun.   

Types of Shotgun Ammunition

Bird Shot
The original purpose for the shotgun developed was as a specialized weapon for hunting small and fast moving prey. Normal ammunition was a hit or miss affair, and this led to the invention of shot, which most likely came from anti-personnel grapeshot. To increase the possibility of a hit on a bird or other fowl, tiny BB-sized pellets are used. Classically, this is referenced to as “bird shot”.  The amount of BB pellets varies greatly, however, most bird shot shell have between 200 to 500.







Buck Shot
Out of all of the ammunition you will read in this blogpost, whether the scattergun is used for home defense or combat; undoubtedly the 00 buckshot is the most common shotgun shell type. It is debated which came first: buckshot or bird shot. While bird shot was created to take down fowl, it was unsuited to take down larger animals and humans. This lead to the creation of “buckshot” ammunition. Out of the various buckshot shells out there, Double Aught 12 gauge is the most common, and those shells pack generally around nine 8.4mm (.33) size metal balls in the plastic casing. When it comes to aught size, single aught is nine balls of 8.1mm (.32), triple aught is six balls of 9.1mm. (.36).



Buck-and-Ball
One of the easiest specialized loads for musket was “buck-and-ball”. With muzzle-loading muskets, experimentation of loads was common to inflict maximum damage, and buck-and-ball allowed for every musket to be a shotgun.  During the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, soldiers packed three to six buck shot balls and a single .69 ball into their barrels. With the infantry tactics of the day, the buck-and-ball load was thought to be more effective in wounding and fatal gunshot wounds. The effective range of the buck-and-ball was about 100 yards during testing for the muzzle load. Today, buck-and-ball is still an available specialized shell for modern shotguns, and are not used in combat shotguns.  

Slugs
Shotguns were originally developed to bring down fowl and other fast moving prey, however, when large game hunting, the shot is replaced, and the big piece of lead comes out. Originally developed by German Wilhelm Brenneke in 1898Available in various forms, slugs are a shaped piece of lead, normally weighting in at around an ounce of metal that generates 3100 ft lbs of energy.
In most combat shotguns, slugs are not commonly used, especially for door breaching. There are several other types of slugs used for the gods knows what. Sabot slugs are used for armor piercing...armor piercing what? Do deer wear body armor? Anyway, sabot are specially shaped to delivery maximum kinetic penetration. Then we have the expanding slugs, like the Hexolit 32S. I assume these are being marketed to the home defense crowd, but if you used this, it would thunder through your target and kill your dog in the next room. These Hexolit 32S look fucking nasty, and are effective enough for door breaching, car stopping, and stopping charging boar. I have a few boxes of these to stop Decepticon from invading my home.

Dragon’s Breath and Dragon Slug
According to the manufactures, Dragon’s Breath is supposed to turn your shotgun into a mini-flamethrower that uses magnesium pellets to generate fires onto the target’s clothing. When it comes to the specialized shells, the “may” gets used a great deal. The Dragon’s Breath “may” generate flames; however, it “may” not work. The effective range of the Dragon’s Breath is about 25 yards. The variation of the Dragon’s Breath, is Dragon Slug and these uses a magnesium slug to generation a great deal blunt trauma and fire effect on the target. Once again, its effectiveness varies, if it works at all. This is much rarer of an exotic shotgun ammunition type. Does it really work? FPS Russian tested five 12 gauge Dragon's Breath at a clothed target at close range, and it did work, even setting fire to a heybales near by.

SCMITR
During the 1950’s, the United States embarked on a project called SALVO to bring flechette weapon technology into the hands of the infantry. One of the outgrowths of this project was the 1970’s SCMITR, the next-gen combat shotgun ammunition project.  While flechettes were being testing on an assault rifle like weapons platform, SCMITR was designed to fire stacked thin metal razor-arrows out of a 20mm shell for the CAWS experimental weapon system.  It was believed that these thin arrows would slice and dice their target at greater range than a standard shotgun. While the tests were positive for the SCMITR ammunition, the shells proved too expensive to product. 

Breaching Door

These specialty rounds are specifically developed to blow off the hinges of a door and/or the door knob at very, very close range (about 6 inches).  The US military uses the M1030 round that is composed of a 1.4 oz of powered steel and wax. These round are designed to operate over a very short distance to prevent injury and death.  













Flechette
Flechettes are small darts used in artillery shells for anti-personnel work. In shotguns, packed in a 12 gauge shell, is 20 razor-sharp darts with stabilization fins. While the use of "beehive" artillery rounds were proven, flechettes packed in 12 gauge shells was not. The flechette is one of the few exotic shotgun ammo types that actually use by the US military in a combat zone. During the Vietnam War, the US Army evaluated buckshot and flechette shells from 1967 to 1968. During the test, it was shown that flechettes do not penetrate as well as buckshot or slugs. They lacked the knock down power of buckshot, and some VC were able to keep fighting until they bleed out. The darts were packed in backwards, and only half turned-around. This was very similar to the experience of US Special Forces during the October 1993 Battle of Mogadishu when using the green tipped 5.56mm round.

Strung Ball or Bolo

One oddball shotgun ammo is the strung ball or bolo. This has been feared to be an ammo type that take off limbs and pulling organs out of massive exit wounds. These fears caused bolo shells to be banned in several states. What bolo shells are two .54 steel balls are held together by a wire. Youtube is filled with people testing the bolo, and the results vary. While the twin .54 balls inflect a great deal of damage, the wire breaks off, and does not pass through. This ammo could have good PR and not be effective in the real-world.





TASER 
With less-than-lethal being a key word in law enforcement, and most police officers are carrying TASER X26 pistols, TASER are moving forward the next product, the TASER XREP 12 gauge shell. Able to reach out and shock someone at 100 yards for 20 seconds. This could be used with the new TASER X12 shotgun that allows for an attachment rail for the X26 pistol to allow for more options. The X12 is full less-lethal Mossberg 500 shotgun that will not accept normal ammo and is painted in this funky high-visibility yellow color. All of this is pushing towards the Minority Report future.

Bean-Bag
The classic less-than-lethal shotgun shell that is designed for riots and crowd control. The 12 gauge shell is packed with a fabric pillow filled with bird-shot BBs, and when fired, the bean-bag expands, and impact the rioting football fan with enough force to knock them down. While deemed "less-lethal", bean-bags can cause damage if it strike the target's face. There have been incidents were the bean-bag material burst in flight, allowing for the bird-shot BBs to hit the crowd. Normally, law enforcement agencies mark their shotguns that are tasked with firing bean-bag shells with bright colors, typically orange.


Rhodesian Jungle Shot
One interesting, and highly specialized shotgun shell is Rhodesian jungle shot that uses two types of shot. The first shot is bird shot BBs that are designed to push the jungle back, allowing the 00 buckshot to hit the target. That is what I believed, and some some online research points to this being a modern home defense ammunition type with a cool name.

The Homemade Shells
With some skill, a shotgun, land out in the county, beer, and a reloader, you too, can create some homebrew shotgun ammo. Just type “shotgun ammo” into Youtube and see all of the crazy fucking shit that people pack 12 gauge shells with. From flat washer, waxed steel wool, batteries, putty, stuffing live .22 bullets into shell (that is safe), razors, and even goddamn spark plugs! Some of these homemade shells work, some fail, and some damage the gun. However, what some fail to see, is that this is how shotguns/grapeshot evolved. By people stuffing crazy shit down the barrels of cannons. Nice to know that some human behaviors never change.

Polymer Shotgun Shells
Polymer is being used to encase shotgun ammunition. This makes the shell lighter, more cost effective, and the user is able to see the type of shotgun ammunition, allowing for fewer mistakes. While not as popular as the typical plastic shell casing, polymer is slowly gaining popularity. 


Caseless Shotguns?
Some science fiction creators have taken the concept of caseless ammunition and applied to the shotgun, like the shotguns seen in AVATAR. While not a popular concept in fictional works, in fact besides AVATAR, I cannot think of another example. With slugs, caseless would work, it is very similar to real caseless ammunition tested,  but to pack double aught buck-shot into a burrito of propellant would mostly likely require a cup or wad for this concept of shotgun caseless ammo to work effective. Most sources I examined about this question asked why caseless ammo was needed? Caseless ammo was designed to save weight and space, going caseless with a 12 gauge would save around 25% over the conventional shells. Most firearm discussion boards basically said that it would be too expensive, not solving any problem, and could make shotguns less reliable due to the issues of the propellant casing breaking. 


Directed Energy Shotguns?
The term “laser shotgun” or “plasma shotgun” come up from time to time in the pages of sci-fi, especially role playing games…and this concept is completely flawed. The basic concept of shotguns is incompatible with forms of directed energy. Particle and laser beams would spread out like the buckshot of a shotgun blast. The only way for there to be a DEW scattergun to function would be multiple emitters, similar in design to the Ribauldequin volley gun.  This could be a good, but goof solution to the issue of the dwelling time needed by a laser beam to wound or kill. Imagine something like the laser aiming beams from the Dead Space motorized pulse rifle. Of course, the issue with something like this would be power requirements and cooling. 
The Z-180 scattershot from HALO 4 uses this multiple emitters. In Star Wars: Republic Commando, we see another DE shotgun, the “accelerated charged particle array gun” and was one of the guns of the reptilian Trandoshan species. When it comes to a plasma shotgun, we could something interesting there. Plasma is basically ionized hydrogen that burns at high temperate and has been a sci-fi favorite for a futuristic weaponry. While plasma weaponry of sci-fi is basically false, we could use plasma, force-fed via jets to in a flash-charge shotgun/plasma flamethrower that could be useful in futuristic close quarters combat. 

Examples of "Next Generation" Shotguns

The UTS-15 Polymer Tactical Shotgun

The Turkish firearms company UTAS developed the UTS-15 polymer tactical shotgun in 2012. Much like the Kel-Tech KSG-12, the UTS-15 is a bullpup loading design with bilateral tubular magazines located above the barrel. While dual magazine allows for the UTS-15 double the capability of a normal shotgun, it also allows for two different shell types to be carried. You can switch from slug to 00 buck-shot, with a rack of the slide. Very cool. Since the UTS-15 is made out of plastic, some youtube firearm reviewers, namely FPSRussia, had breakdown issues during filming. FPSRussia had no less than three UTS-15 on location, and used all three. The UTS-15 was renamed "the Tac-12" for Call of Duty: GHOSTS.

The H&K CAWS Auto Shotgun
In the 1980's, the members of NATO were looking towards the future of military technology. All manner of new types of small arms were tested: caseless, flechette, and duplex rounds. During all of these excitement, Heckler & Koch of West Germany developed a unique prototype select-fire shotgun for the Close Assault Weapons Systems or CAWS program. The goal was developed new offensive firearm technology that delivered many projectiles in a short amount of time onto the target. Much like the G-11, H&K would enter into a partnership. H&K would design the CAWS shotgun, and Olin/Winchester would developed the new type of shotgun ammo allowing for the design specs of the CAWS program.
The CAWS prototype shotgun was a bullpup design based on some of the G-11 technology. The weapon fed the new 18.5x76mm smoothbore belted brass shotgun ammunition specially designed for the CAWS shotgun. In test conducted around 1986 or 1987, the CAWS unique ammunition that fired tungsten alloy double aught buck-shot fired faster and longer than conventional shotguns of the time, and all via a magazine holding 10 shells, weighting in at 9.5 lbs. Sadly, the US DoD cancelled the CAWS program, and sealed the fate of this sweet futuristic scattergun. It would go on to appear in several video games, like Fallout.

The Pancor Jackhammer
John Anderson would draw up plans in 1984 for this unique drum-fed shotgun, and there was high hope that the Jackhammer gas-operated automatic 12 gauge shotgun would be a hit with the DoD and foreign markets. Anderson would form the Pancor company to construct and market the Jackhammer, and some foreign markets were interested in the weapon. However, that quickly ended. The DoD rejected the weapon for further testing, and the foreign governments orders dried up, causing Pancor to file bankruptcy by the late 1990's. According to rumor, only two working prototypes were ever constructed, and they were sold off with the companies assets. The Jackhammer starred in several movies and military shooter video games.  

The Knights Armament "Masterkey" System
In the 1980's, the KAC arms marker took tried-and-true Remington 870, cut it down and attached to the foregrip of an M16A2. The cut-down variant only held four shells, and was mainly developed for use in door breaching situations. This weapon was used in combat situations with US Special Forces. The most notable combat use of the KAC Masterkey came in Operation: Gothic Serpent, when DELTA, ST6, Parajumpers, 160th SOAR, and 75th Rangers were deployed to Mogadishu. We can see in the verified photo of a DELTA operator in-county with a KAC Masterkey attached to his Colt Model 727 or Model 733. While this system did allow for dual use and rapid deployment of the shotgun for door breaching, it was difficult to use the shotgun, and some soldier complained for cracking on the commando carbine from the use of the shotty. The KAC Masterkey became famous in the public when it appeared in Predator. Today, the military uses the M26 MASS.



The AA-12
Feeding from a drum magazine of 32 shells coupled with the fire rate of 300 shells per minute, the AA-12 lays down the “fuck you” at an industrial level. With the full drum magazine unloaded, the AA-12 can put down 16 inches spread over 150 feet of ground, in less than a few seconds of fire. Despite the biblical levels of hurt that this thing doses out, the US military has not ordered the AA-12. Recently, Jerry Baber of  TTAG said in an interview that the US military was “brain dead” for not buying the AA-12 for field use. While the AA-12 is an impressive machine, it has one major flaw, it is overpowered.  While in semi-auto mode, the AA-12 would behave similar to the M1014, just with a much larger magazine. It is a different story in full-auto.  If the soldier was too heavy on the trigger and depending on the ammunition type, you could kill the wrong targets, especially when considering the native structures of Afghanistan and Iraq.  

The Daewoo USAS-12
In 1989, the Atchisson shotgun design would be used by the US company of Gilbert Equipment to create a select-fire military magazine-fed shotgun. However, Gilbert Equipment lacked the production facilitates to make the shotgun, and only the South Korean company Daewoo agreed to the partnership. Thus, the USAS-12 shotgun was born. From the 1990's until today, the USAS-12 is still being built and sold to Asian law enforcement groups and military organizations. However, the USAS-12 cannot be sold to civilians on the US market. This magazine-fed shotgun is a staple of video game military shooters.

The Kel-Tec KSG-12
In 2011, Kel-Tec of the US give the world a double magazine shotgun all wrapped in a polymer body. This was greeted with praise that advancing the shotgun. Some of the KSG design seems descended from the South African Neostead 2000. Reviews of this polymer bodied shotgun have been mixed. Some love the design, and the double tubes, but the shotgun suffers from reliability issues, namely feeding the shells, especially when switching between tubes. However, have a few gun reviewers  This shotgun retails at nearly $1200 and is still legal. It appears in Call of Duty: MW3 and Black Ops 2.

The NeoStead 2000
In the early 1990's, when yours truly was wearing plaid, ripped up jeans, and Dr. Martens, Truvelo Armory was drawing up plans for one of the most unique shotguns of all time: the NeoStead 2000. Much like the UTS-15 and the KSG-12, the NeoStead 2000 had twin tubular magazines allowing for 12 shell capability. This futuristic shotgun would see testing with the British SAS, but so far, no military organaziation has bought the NeoStead 2000. The NeoStead 2000 has two unusual features. One being the forwards-to-back instead of back-to-forward. Then there is reloading the weapon. Unlike the bullpup KSG and UTS-15, the NeoStead 2000 is a break-out. This shotgun is presently on sale to the public since 2003.

The Frenchi SPAS-12
Without a doubt the SPAS-12 is one of the most iconic combat shotgun of all time, and has appeared in countless games and movies since its first appearance in The Terminator in 1984. The Frenchi SPAS-12 was developed by the Italian company to be a combat shotgun that could switch from pump operation to semi-automatic with the touch of a button. The company was attempting to market this futuristic looking shotty to SWAT teams and Special Forces around the world since 1979…and it did not work. Only a few Law Enforcement organization and Special Forces team adopted the SPAS-12, and it attempts to wide its audience, Frenchi changed the name from “Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun” to “Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun”, and aimed it at shooters. However, there were laws in some places that blocked the sale of the SPAS-12. By 2000, Franchi discounted the SPAS-12. The SPAS-12 was very popular feature in video games and movies made in the United States, and in the Airsoft market, however, despite the amount of gunshows I’ve been to, I’ve seen three. Ever.   

The SRM Model 1216
Anyone that has played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 knows about the unique operations of the M1216 shotgun. The model 1216 is made by SRM  of the US, and was designed for the home defense and police market. What makes the 1216 special is all in the name. 12 mean 12 gauge and 16 meaning 16 shells divided up over four tubes containing four shells. While most of the 1216 appears like a normal tactical next-gen shotgun,  where the pump slide action is replaced by a long cylinder shaped magazine. During semi-automatic fire, the operator rotates the 1216's cylinder to chamber a fresh cylinder of four shells. This thing lays down the hate, and most internet gun reviewers speak highly of the 1216. Of course, the main drawback to the 1216 is the length of time in reloading the beast.

What is the Future for Combat Shotguns?
At the moment, shotguns are enjoying attention gained by the home defense market, leading to new innovations on the old platform. The new Benelli Vinci uses tungsten for the bolt to cut down the weigh, and speeds up performance, and this is likely one key element of overall firearm innovation in the next few years. Other improvement will be “smart” shotgun shells that allow for greater range of lethal and less lethal options. These are already coming to the market, especially in the less lethal arena; however, the next step in this will be smart chokes, and shells that adjust to the threat and range. However, the market of combat shotguns is not very large, mainly, the United States military is the largest user of combat shotguns. With the rise in personal defense weapons, ready-made door breaching charges, and smart grenades we could see shotguns remain on the edges.  
We could also see new types of materials be applied in shotgun shells, like metal in the H&K CAWS, polymer and even caseless. There is a movement towards semi/auto magazine fed shotguns, like the AA-12, the Chinese Hawk 97-1/97-2, and the USAS-12, but most organizations are still committed to the pump/semi action. That is likely to change with the improvement of the magazines and feeding systems. With increased urbanization and population density, shotguns will be a useful tool of units operating in these AOs. This could lead to great adaption of shotgun attachments to rail systems, like the XM26 MASS. Shotguns will be deployed in a new role: active protection countermeasure systems. The Israeli TROPHY APS mounted on armored vehicles, like the badass Merkava Mk. IV MBT. TROPHY and systems like it will be soon mounted to all next-generation military vehicles, and there are ideas about fitting them to naval warships, and some writers have thought of them on military starships.   

Why Are Shotguns So Popular in Science Fiction?
Throughout popular fiction, from science fiction, dark sci-fi, and especially horror, shotguns are extremely popular and common in all of these diverse works of fiction...but why? First, shotguns are some of the most commonly seen and used firearms in the world. Even people that have little or no firearms experience know about shotguns and their inherent power. With this popularity and notoriety, allows many creators to include them, because they do not have to explain anything about them. Take a shotgun in a online shooter...we gamers already know about them and their usage. When we see a shotgun layout an outlaw or zombie...we buy it.
Second, shotguns are truly powerful personal weapons. While their power is hyped up in popular media, shotguns do walk the walk and talk the talk. They are the choice in home defense throughout the United States and until recently, when the shit hit the fan, the police whipped out their shottys. Everyone I know that as firearm tasked with home defense is a scattergun. This also leads to my third theory on why shotguns are so popular: they make a ungodly mess, and creators love that aspect. This visual hallmark of the power of shotguns is the reason that shotguns are seen so often in horror and dark sci-fi works: shotguns allow for added blood and gore. Shotguns are the tool for the "spatter effect" in cinema and video games. After all, could you have something with zombies in it without shotguns? I think not.
Another reason is similar to the popularity of the revolver handgun in popular media and the public imagination: the American Old West. I don't think it is legal to film a movie about the Old West without including a shotgun. Every Western I've seen has a scattergun in it, and this genre has had a massive impact on popular media and creators...the Old West was the medium of storytelling for early television and film. Historically speaking, shotguns were one of the iconic firearms of the Old West, from gunfighters, saloon owners, and guards on stagecoaches. The last reason, is a culmination of all of the factors listed above: shotguns are just damn cool. I hate to say this, but because of ceremony that shotguns operate, the massive smoking ejecting shells, and their ability to blow holes in the undead, all leads to shotguns being a cool weapon to have in your characters hands. Taking online gaming; Isn't more satisfying to kill some other player with a shotty? All of these factors, have solidified the shotguns role in popular media and have lead it to populate liberally in science fiction.  

Examples of Sci-Fi Shotguns

The EL-10 CAS from F.E.A.R 3
While most shotguns found in sci-fi are just okay on the design, or even ripping directly off a real-steel current shatterguns. However, the semi-auto magazine-fed combat shotgun from F.E.A.R. 3, the EL-10 CAS is a one hell of a design. Taking cues from the FN P90, the shells (unknown size) load via transparent magazine in a similar manner to the P90, rotating prior to entering the breach. Given that all 12 shells load in a single magazine makes reloading the EL-10 CAS much faster than most normal video game shotguns, and a very cool reloading animation. Given the size of the shells, the gauge size is believed to be 10, and the massive magazine packs 12 ten gauge shells. In the game, this thing is a real mother fucker, especially when used with the slow-motion effect. To me, the EL-10 CAS is one of the best sci-fi shotguns of all time. 

The Browning 2000 from Outland
In 1981's Outland, Sean Connery plays Federal Marshall O'Niel has been sent to Con-Am 27, a large-scale mining operation on Io. O'Niel while investigating deaths due to a new drug, runs afoul of the general manager of 27, and hitmen are sent to deal with O'Niel. Outland was a sci-fi retelling of the 1952 western classic High Noon, but on a moon of Jupiter, and there are no laser guns...only the Browning 2000 series 12 gauge shotgun. The Browning was sawed off and the stock was chopped off to deal with the confined conditions of the mining station, and it seems to be the only type of lethal weapon used by the Marshals on the station.
During the climax of this forgotten classic, several hitmen are sent by the drug suppliers to deal with O'Niel, and they too, use the Browning. In their case, the shotgun has been fitted with a futuristic IR scope. When it came to buck the trend at the time to include laser blaster director, Peter Hyams explained: "There won't be a ray gun in sight". During an interview when the movie was in production, that he desired to make a sci-fi film that wasn't part of the Star Wars mold, but was more realistic and gritty.
The idea of shotguns was realistic for a space film that drew from Western themes and at that time in the early 1980's, police still carried shotguns. While at the time audience wanted a Star Wars like movie with laser blasters, and this may have hurt ticket sales. However today, the movie is brilliant and the shotguns do not seem out-of-place. As FWS discussed several years about the return of the bullet over beams, Outland was one of the first major sci-fi films that included chemically propelled projectile weapons, allowing for the PKD Blaster in BLADE RUNNER and the M41a1 from ALIENS. IMFDB.org states that only one real Browning 2000 was used in the film, the others were props. In the near future, FWS will be discussing more of this interesting film in an Forgotten Classics blogpost.

The Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" from ALIENS
One of the most iconic science fiction shotguns was seen in one of the most iconic science fiction movies of all time: Hicks' cutdown shotgun. When Lt. Gorman orders that the M41A1 and the M56 Smartgun ammo be policed up for fear of damaging the main cooling unit in the atmospheric process, Hicks pulls out his Ithaca 37 12 gauge Stakeout from a shoulder-holster. He pumps the shoty and says the immortal line: "I like to keep this handy, for close encounters." Fucking awesome!
FUCK YOU!
Hicks would use the shotgun in the sub-level 3 battle, and to give an warrior xenomorph a migrate headache when it blocks the door of the APC. Oddly, the Stakeout is never seen again in the film, when Hicks and the rest of the Marines use the M41A1 pulse rifle. This one shotgun would become one of the most influential shotguns in science fiction, and lead to other creators putting shotys in their own works. The Ithaca 37 series 12 gauge shotguns are very commonly used in all manner of films and TV shows, much like the Remington 870. The Stakeout variant of the 37 series came from the factory short and was designed for law enforcement. While it is famous for being Hicks' bitch in the ALIENS film, it was also the main weapon for Tubbs in the Miami Vice TV show.


The VG Bentley Double Barreled Shotgun from Mad Max and The Road Warrior
In the dark future, the global civilization is crumbling and the highways are a warzone with marauding biker gangs. Defending the roads, are the black leather clad officers of the Main Force Patrol (MFP). In first Mad Max film from 1979, the most commonly seen shotguns are double barreled VG Bentley 12 gauge. From Max's sawed-off badass to Roop's long-barrel shoty, all seem to be Bentley's. VG Bentley sounds like a British or Irish company, however, it is a Spanish company that imported a vast amount of shotguns around the global and some were branded with other names, and they varied in quality.
The reason for these brand of shotguns appearing in Mad Max was price. Since the film had a limited budget, and the cars and bikes were the stars, the weapons took a backseat. The filmmakers used a common and cheap shotguns for the shoot. Some sources claim that Max's weapon is actually a Savage /Stevens 311A and not a VG Bentley, but that most sources agree on the Bentley VG.
 Some also believe that the double barreled sawed-off in The Road Warrior from 1981 is a different shotgun than from the original movie. Why are shotguns the most common firearm in the Mad Max films? Part of it has to do with the time period when the original film was made. Shotguns were the when-the-shit-hits-the-fan weapon of most police departments around the world, and it seemed logically to have the MFP officers outfitted with scatterguns. By the time of the second and third films, the pattern have been established and the double barreled sawed-off shotgun of Max's was an icon of the film, like his fucking legendary "Last of the V-8s" Pursuit Special Interceptor! Lastly, the sawed-off shotgun in the 3rd Mad Max film is not even the same as the other two films, and it is briefly used on-screen during the beginning of the film.

The Matanza Arms CARB Shotgun from AVATAR
In the 2009 groundbreaking film AVATAR, the security contractors from the RDA carry a number of fantastic futuristic firearms, mostly made by the Matanza Arms. The approach to the human weapons of the RDA was modular firearm systems, like the FN SCAR and the attachments via weaver rails. Matanza Arms modular weapon system was called "CARB" or Cellular Ammunition Rifle Base, and a number of combinations were possible. Most of the 20x27mm shotguns used on Panadora by the security forces were mounted to the 6.2x35mm CARB carbines.
Both the shotgun modular attachment and the carbine used casless ammunition. Yes, that is right, AVATAR has a mother fucking caseless shotgun...which maybe the first in all of science fiction. These 20x27mm caseless shotgun rounds were more than the typical slug or buckshot, these guns could also fire micro-grenades, similar to the old H&K XM29 OICW system. This gave the shotgun attachment a great deal of flexibility in the field, especially since these shotgun feed from a disposable box-magazine. There are some stand-alone shotguns seen in the film. Norm Spellman and Trudy Chacon both are seen with the shotgun around the time of the attack on Home Tree. It is likely that this shotgun was taken from the security guard walking patrol around Samson transports when they made their escape from the base, which was a deleted scene. After Norm's Avatar is killed, Norm himself rejoins the fight armed with the same scattergun, and his action figure is also equipped with the same weapon. You can use this future shotgun in the AVATAR video game...but that means you would have to play it...don't do that.

The Gnasher from the Gears of War universe
This damn thing should have been called "the chopper", because that is what it does, chops your enemies into hunks of meat. Based off the Winchester 1887 from Terminator 2, the Gnasher is a fan favorite in online play and one hell of a powerful weapon in the Gears of War games. In the game, the Gnasher is a COG military shotgun, and even the Locust Horde uses it due to massive up-close destructive power. With eight shells, the Gnasher can end most threats easily, and from freezing gameplay video, the Gnasher appears to fire around 7-8 pellets of unknown size.

The Forerunner Z-180 Close Combat Rifle/Asymmetric Engagement Mitigator from HALO 4
While shotguns are very common in science fiction, especially sci-fi video games, alien constructed shotguns are very rare. In HALO 4, the Forerunner cybernetic guardians, the Prometheans use a directed-energy close quarters shotgun like weapons called: the semi-automatic Z-180 close combat rifel/asymmetric engagement mitigators. Fuck me! Who ever named this alien DEW shotgun needs to be whipped in the square, however mostly, this alien shotty goes by the name of the "scattershot".
The Z-180 uses "hard light" beams via multiple barrel-emitters to deal death up close and personal to their enemies, and is a breach-loader that holds five charges. Reloading is painfully slow along with fire rate. Originally developed by the Forerunners during their long war with the Flood, and purpose built to deal mega-damage up close. It was later seen in the hands of the Promethean Knight during the events of HALO 4 and is rumored to be coming back for the rest of the new HALO. This shotty is popular in online matches, but I cannot see why, because I suck with this weapon online.

The Morita Mk. I Underslung Shotgun from Starship Troopers (1997)
FWS as discussed this bullpup assault rife many times, and yet here we go again. On the first generation of Moritas seen in the 1997 film, there is rarely used 12 gauge underslung shotgun. It was seen during the failed invasion of the Bugs' homeworld, when Johnny is defending himself against incoming bugs. The real-sheet shotgun used for the futuristic weapon was the Ithaca 37, cut away down to fit under the forearm assembly. There is little information on why the prop designers mounted a shotgun under the Morita Mk. 1, and the Moritas that followed were lacking a shotgun. Still, it was cool to see the shoty blow pieces off of the warrior bug drone.

Billy's M16A2/Masterkey from PREDATOR

There is little doubt that Predator is one of the great classics of science fiction films of the 1980's, and has been one of my favorite films of all time since I first watched it back in 1989. While most people remember "Old Painless", my childhood best friends and I were always big fans of Billy's Masterkey/M16A2 combo. Of course, it helped that the character wielding this very cool weapon system was one of the most badass characters in the whole film and who has one of the best lines in the whole film as well. Billy, the Native American tracker of the Special Forces rescue team sent into Guatemala uses a Mossberg 500 12 gauge cutdown to fit underslung to a Colt M16A2, the standard issue assault rifle at the time of the film. He and his CO, Dutch would be the only two that use M16A2s in the film.
While this weapon was uber-cool, especially for the time when Masterkeys were rarely seen on-screen, it was never really used in the film, and in fact, there is one part where Billy is moving through jungle with the Mossberg 500 is missing! After many hours of rewatching this film, it appears that Billy uses the shotgun about three times. Twice during the assault on the rebel compound, another during the deforestation scene. Only visual clues lead me to these conclusions since there is no gun special sound effects to accompany them.
The actually prop gun used in the iconic film was actually a Mossberg 500 shotgun, that fired blanks, but it was not attached to an real M16A2. Instead, Billy's and Dutch's weapon-of-choice were civilian legal semi-automatic AR15 SP1 that were retrofitted with parts and pieces to appear like the then-current issue M16A2 and converted to fire full-auto with blank ammo. In the original script, Billy's M16A2 was to be mounted with an 40mm M203 grenade launcher like Dutch's, but it was altered in production, and making the Billy character standout. For many of us, including me, this was the first Masterkey we'd ever seen, and found a place in our hearts. What a great fucking movie!

Royce's AA-12 from PREDATORS
In the true spiritual successor to the iconic Predator film from 1987, 2010's Predators would also feature an interesting choice in shotguns for one of the main characters. Royce, played by Adrien Brody, is a mercenary and former-military special forces member who wields an unusual weapon: the fully-automatic 12 gauge drum-fed AA-12 shotgun. In the film, he is seen unleashing this weapons of mass destruction onto the Yautja hunters and their hunting "dogs".
To the film's credit, Royce is also seen reloading the drum magazine as well. Some of the shells used in the film were the exclusive Frag-12 shells, and the weapon itself is fitted with Surefire M900 foregrip system and a ACU UCP digital next-gen camo pattern. The question to me about the AA-12 being in Predators is why. Why does a top-dollar soldier-of-fortune like Royce carry such a weapon? No military, as of yet, as official bought the AA-12 for use in their armed forces, and given the limited range and massive destructive power of the AA-12, make it an oddball choice for a merc.
My believe is that the filmmakers watched some videos about the AA-12, and thought it looked cool. Of course, at the time of the film's release, the AA-12 was not a rarely seen shotgun, it had been seen in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and on Discovery Channel's Future Weapons. Could the reason behind Royce using the AA-12 be due to the weapon's coolness factor? If so, the film did a piss poor job of showing the awesome power of the AA-12 on-screen. For example, during the weapon's two major engagement scenes, when the alien hounds attack and the ambush at the Super-Yautja campsite. Both times, the AA-12 should have made beef stew out of the enemy. Still love this movie though.  


EVA-8 Shotgun from Titanfall
In the military science fiction online mecha madness shooter that is Titanfall, one of the pilot anti-personnel weapons is a semi-automatic magazine-fed shoty called the EVA-8. It can be temporal upgrade to full-auto slaughter via burn card. From the online gameplay, this drum-fed shotgun is pretty long-range for a shooter shotgun, and is a man-killer. While watching Titanfall EVA-8 gameplay videos, this thing deals death to all that come near. Some players have stated that the gun needs to be nerfed based on its overpowered nature, but does make for very cool videos, when a pilot rushes into room and blows away three players with smoking shells ejecting.


The Plasma Shotgun from Star Trek: Enterprise "Broken Bow"
In the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, a farmer named Moore who lives in Broken Bow, Oklahoma shots the first Klingon that Terrans has ever encountered. The tool of this first contact situation, is what the episode called "Winchester pulse plasma shotgun". In the clip, the farmer slaps the bottom portion of the DEW shotty, and defends his farm. While the scene is short, it says quite a bit about the effect of shotguns and their iconography in popular media. Given that the aliens landed in Oklahoma (my home state), and that there is a farmer involved, naturally there should be a shotgun. Naturally.  

The Mk. 35 "Silver Dollar" Shotgun from Destiny
Could Bungie design one of their sci-fi shooter video games without an shotty? In the mythology of the game, the Mk. 35 shotgun was a product of the military prior to the collapse, and the retreat to the last remaining city on Terra. The silver dollar was meant to a well-used weapon from the past, but used by the city Guardians. Like many of the weapons from the upcoming Destiny, the pump-action Mk.35 will feature all manner of customization, like barrel length and different stocks. We shall see the Mk. 35 shotty in action on the Xbox One when Destiny drops in September 19, 2014.

The Executors Shotgun Revolver Pistols from Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Pistols are rarely celebrated in the world of Call of Duty, while some use them, like me, they are often a one ticket way to respawnville. However, the Black Ops series improved pistols, and give us one of the more unique pistols in the COD  universe, the excellent Executors. Based off the Taurus Judge that fires .410 and .45 long shells, these weapons were massively powered, about to dish out death and hatred. However, like everything in COD, there were limitations on the Executors. Five shells were cylinder, very limited range, and high reload time. However, I've cared about that. I'll admit it, I use the akimbo Executors in COD: BO2, and I'm the dickbag you scream at when you run into a room and met me head on. It. Is. Dying. Time! There is just something intoxicating about firing these mother fuckers into the body of some sniper asshole who capped you from across the map, and now you've got him dead to rights. Watching his body drop after you blasted him with .410 blows of sweet revenge is greatness! Excuse me...I'll be in my bunk!

The Shotguns from Mass Effect Universe
While shotguns are common in sci-fi works, especially games, there are normally only a few shotguns types to chose from and they are mostly Terran made. Not so, in the Mass Effect universe. It seems every alien race arms manufacturer constructs a shotgun, even the Geth. The principles of the mass effect field with element zero, allow for most of the weapons in the game to accelerate a projectile shaved off from the interior magazine ammunition material at massive velocities. Shotguns use the same basic concept, but shreds the projectile into smaller pieces, allowing for the shotgun "buckshot" effect. These are powerful, slow rate-of-fire weapons that have generate more waste heat that pistols or assault rifles, causing most shotguns to have 4-8 shots primary to thermal clip ejection. In-game, shotguns are crushing up close and personal, allowing for the player to end threats quickly. My favorite shotgun, was from Mass Effect 3, the M-11 Wraith, which I equipped the smart chock and high caliber barrel, making it a tool of murder.   

The Frenchi SPAS-12 from Half-Life 2

The only shotgun of the Half-Life universe is the Frenchi SPAS-12, and unlike the real steel scattergun, this SPAS-12 can be fired in pump mode only and has an option to fire two shells at the same time. Wonderful solution to the issue of Ant-Lions and Zombies, but totally incorrect for the SPAS-12. This firearm would appear in every Half-Life game, and is rumored to be in Half-Life 3…if that thing ever happens. HL3 is becoming The Chinese Democracy of the video game world. The appearance of the SPAS-12 in the Half-Life universe, could be a reference to Jurassic Park or The Terminator.  




The Shotguns from DOOM Games
When DOOM was released in 1993, it changed the face of video gaming forever, and I played from the moment it was released throughout today. Taking a note from movies like ALIENS and Evil Dead, ID would place shotguns in all of the DOOM games to follow, and they themselves would become icons of video gaming, spread the gospel of the almighty holy shotgun. In the original ID DOOM release of 1993, the only shotgun was the pump-action inspirited by Hicks' own pump-action shotty. According to some sources, the image of the shotgun in DOOM was taken from the Tootsietoy Dakota cap-gun shotgun toy from around the time that DOOM was being programmed.
However, in 1995, when DOOM 2 dropped, we got our hands on the legendary "Super Shotgun". It was the double-barreled demon killer of the game, and it became one of the most memorable gun of these video games. It was the go-to weapon that when used, it made the hellspawn go away. It is believe that the doube shotty is inspirited by the shot of Max from Mad Max.When the Xbox next-gen reboot of DOOM was released in 2005, the Super-Shotgun was missing, and was only available on the expansion pack: Resurrection of EVIL.


The M90 Close Assault Weapon from the HALO Universe
With Bungie developing the Terran weapons of the UNSC, they visually and functionally were different than the alien Covenant weapons. That being used, along with other kinetic energy weapons favorites like pistol and assault rifles, the shotgun made an appearance, and we fans of HALO could not imagine playing HALO without the shotty by our sides. Up close, it killed like nothing else save for the Energy Sword, and it was the weapon of choice against The Flood. In the game, the M-90 was the shotgun of the UNSC and Law Enforcement for nearly 30 years, and was related to the M-45 series of tactical shotguns. This weapon unconventionally loaded from a top-port that accepted the massive Soellkraft 8 gauge shotgun shells: the Hippo Magnum 8 gauge. When the weapon is used, it fires 15 pellets per shell, and this would make 0000 aught, and this explains the offensive power of the weapon. Throughout HALO, HALO 2, HALO 3, and ODST, the M-90 remained similar. Besides visually changes, after the first game, the M-90 was given a more realistic shell capability of 6 instead of 12. It was replaced by the M-45 tactical shotgun in the later games.

The M45 Tactical Shotgun series from HALO: Reach and HALO 4
In 2010's HALO: Reach and HALO 4, the UNSC forces are seen using the M-45 tactical shotgun. The developers attempted to explain why the forces on Reach used the M-45 shotgun instead of the M-90 was due to the majority of forces on Reach were Army not Navy. And the Terran forces seen in HALO: CE, HALO 2, and HALO 3 were mostly Naval personnel. Yeah, right. In the Anniversary edition of the original (and holy) game on the Xbox 360, the old M-90 is switched out for the M-45E tactical shotgun. Visually, the M-45 was more tacticool than the old M-90 with all manner of rails and lights...and it looked more futuristic to boot, but it still fired the same bullshit 8 gauge shells. It is explained by the games that the technology of the 26th century allows for the use of a much larger shell than the 12 gauge. I think the developed personally fucked up...but anyways, the future of UNSC shotguns appears to be the M-45 series, and I guess that it okay...never been much of a shotgun user in the later games.

The Frenchi SPAS-12 from The Terminator

One of the most over-used and iconic shotguns of popular media and seemingly every shooter game ever made, has one of the Italian shotguns. However, it all started in 1984 with The Terminator. We all know the scene that introduced American audiences to this shotgun, and throughout the film, the Terminator fires the SPAS-12 without the factory stock and on semi-fire mode.  After this, the SPAS-12 would populate hundreds of works, ranging from movies to video games. 

The Shotguns of the Resident Evil films
Let me say first, that I love Milla Jovovich, her performance in The fifth Element is bar none brilliant, but then she made the dipshit Resident Evil films that keep getting worse and dumber by the sequel. In the last films, Afterlife and Retribution, Alice dual-wields sawed-off double barreled shotguns, very similar in appearance to the weapon-of-choice of Mad Max films. It is likely that the filmmakers used the same weapon for a visual reference to that lightyears better film. In Afterlife, Alice claims to have loaded her shottys with quarters to allow for maximum damage against the undead. So, does that mean she uses black powder charges to propel the coins into their targets? Stupid film logical at work here. While Milla looks very pretty and badass firing her akimbo shotguns, it borders on massively stupid and completely tactical unsound. Of course, look what movies these skills are being used in 

Sweet Pea's Remington 870 from Sucker Punch
I have a great deal of mixed emotions about 2011's Sucker Punch. While it is well-made, well-filmed, and very interesting, it is also a  holy shit hot mess. At times, Sucker Punch is batshit crazy of all manner of references, gun-fu, hot chicks with hot guns...but, then you realize that the film is nothing but empty calories, and there is nothing like a plot or a sense of reality, holding it up. It bombed with critics and at the box office, and rightly so, but still, it is a nice looking mess. Does style count? Anyways, my favorite character, Sweet Pea, uses a modified Remington 870 shotty with ghost-ring sights, Surefire, forearm flashlight, door beaching muzzle break, and a Knoxx "Specops" stock. This mainly used in the close quarters battle on the train, and the scenes with it are super-cool. Actress Abbie Cornish live-fire trained with a Remington 870 to act and look correct and look good...just saying.

Brute Type-52 "Mauler" Pistol from the HALO universe
While shotguns are a dime-a-dozen in shooter video games, alien shotguns are rare, and the Brute Type-52 drum-fed"Mauler" from HALO 3 and ODST is one such example. This shotgun pistol is used by the shit-ass Jiralhanae race prior to their joining the Covenant, and combine shotguns with a nasty spike for melee and mealtime. This alien shotgun-pistol was an old design by the time HALO 3 came out. In the Beta of HALO: Combat Evolved from 2000, one of the test weapons was a version of the Brute Mauler. The Mauler would return in ODST, with some upgrades, but it still was a lackluster close work gun compared to the good old UNSC M-90 scattergun.

The SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper from Total Recall (1990)
The American arms company, Cobray, took the South African Armal Striker combat/riot shotgun and christened it "the street sweeper", and it became an iconic of American cinema. In the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi film Total Recall, the Mars Federal Colonial soldiers are seen using a science fiction prop mock-up of the Cobray Street Sweeper that was styled on the very cool Pancor Jackhammer shotgun. The thing is that while it is cool that in off-world colonies of 2084 there are still 12 gauges to put down local riots by prostitutes and pimps. Anyway, the Street Sweeper takes a backseat to Goncz 9mm auto-pistol and the Muzzelite MZ14 bullpup carbine.

The Holy Shotgun from Constantine

 In 2005, the popular and dark DC comic Hellblazer was finally given the old Hollywood screw-job adaption with Constantine. Some elements of the iconic Alan Moore comic were carried over; however, one element was completely developed for the film: the golden Holy Shotgun. While in the comic, Constantin uses various weapons and spells, the Holy Shotgun was not one. The concept of a “Holy Shotgun” is a common in sci-fi, dark sci-fi, and horror, due to the trope of shotguns being the weapon of choice in any apocalypse scenario.These spiritual shotguns appear in works like Painkiller and Dusk till Dawn, and the golden colored holy shotgun from Constantine became the symbol of the film. This weapon was constructed by Keanu Reeves character out of holy relics and fired specialized golden shotgun shells loaded with pieces of holy relics via a drum magazine. The prop itself was a kitbash of real steel shotgun parts and random pieces to give the Holy Shotgun its unique look. After filming, Keanu bought the prop and gave to the director as a gift.   

The Winchester 1887 from Terminator 2
The most iconic firearm of the sequel to 1984's The Terminator was the Winchester 1887 lever-action shotgun, and this weapon only sealed the bond between shotguns and science fiction further. A total of 4 prop 1887s were used for the film, being modified to fire blank ammo. However, unlike a great deal of prop guns, these blank-firing shotguns were all real vintage 1887 Winchesters. Because the model 1887 lever action scattergun ended production in 1920, the filmmakers were forced to find the real thing.
In 2007, two of these props were sold at auction, and the other two are in private hands...rumor suggests that Arnold owns one. Out of the four prop guns, three were different. The "rosebox" was the most familiar to fans of the film, with the trigger guard cut-off, and sawed-off barrel. There was a rubber versions of this gun for stun work. The last prop was designed specially for use on the bike during the chase scenes with a giant loop-lever handle. I originally believed that a rubber prop was used for these scenes, however, because Arnold is one bad mother fucker, he did this with a real 1887 shotty. Impressive...most impressive. Also an interesting bit of information I learned while researching this shotgun...the blue shells seen in the film are slugs...which would be constant with wound pattern on the T-1000. What the original film did for the Frenchi SPAS-12, the sequel would do for the 1887 lever action. This shotgun and ones like, would appear in such video game like COD:MW3 and Gears of War. 

The KSG from Call of Duty: Black Ops II
In the 2011, Modern Warfare 3 would include a bullpup next-gen shotgun called the KSG-12, and was based on the real KSG. In this shotgun would take its place along side other shottys...and it would be ignored by fucking everyone. Seriously, for the year I played MW3, I never saw anyone using this scattergun, or was killed by it. When it came time for Black Ops: II in 2012, this shotgun came back, and was now called the KSG, and it got a make-over. Instead of the normal double aught backshot of COD shottys, the KSG fired man-killing, fuck-all, slugs. This makes the KSG near one-hit kill ability, especially in hardcore. However, it strips the KSG of the normal video game shotgun ability of spread. For some players, like me, the KSG offered what XboxAhoy called: "high risk, high reward", and I enjoyed using this weapon on the Hijacked map.
 
Next Time on FWS...
We fans of military science fiction have been blessed recently with big budget movies. Beginning with films like the very stupid After Earth, but followed by better films like Pacific Rim, and Ender's Game, these were just the opened salvo in the incoming hail of military sci-fi films being released by Hollywood. The next, is a film with a great deal of promise opening on June 6th. Edge of Tomorrow has a great deal of talent behind and in front of the camera, and this film based on a Japanese military sci-fi novel, could finally contain our MSF version of the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. Yep, Edge of Tomorrow could be one of the great military sci-fi films...could. FWS will be reviewing Edge of Tomorrow on opening day to see if it lives up to the promise, if it worth your cash, and comparing to the original Japanese text. My hopes are high for this one.

21 comments:

  1. Hi William, great post!

    In the old days, "America that was" days, the double barrel shotgun carrying by travelers @ hunters in the wilderness had been loaded one barrel with bird shot for getting you dinner and one barrel with slug/heavy Shot to protect the shooter becoming dinner :-)

    In your "Next Generation" list you could add The MAG-7 from south-Africa, It's an Uzi like shotgun with magazine inside the handing grip. Not truly next-gen but very cool indeed.

    I have some questions about two things:
    1. You claimed that "The new Benelli Vinci uses tungsten for the bolt to cut down the weigh", how so? Tungsten is the heaviest non-radioactive non-man-made element in the periodic table. How replace the gun bolt from steel to Tungsten reduce weight?
    2. You mention a technology called "smart chock", other than reference in Call of duty and Mass effect I haven’t found any real world experimental gun/company. Can you provide some links to it?

    As I said before great post, keep up the good work!

    Yoel

    p.s. Don’t mess with Oklahoma! They got fucking plasma guns!

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  2. The gif of James Bond from Skyfall is not one depicting a shotgun being used. Rather he is using a Anderson Wheeler Double Rifle. It fires a .500 Nitro Express round. The rifle is fabulously expensive that has to be custom built and runs for about 15,500 pounds (or about $25K). Kincaide, the game keeper in the movie, does use a double barrell shotgun.

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  3. Agh! You are completely right AngryBell! IMFDB.org has it right there, I didn't paid attention! I just thought that moment in the film was perfect for the break-open action selection. Thanks for the save!
    Still a cool gif though.
    The MAG-7 is an interesting shotgun...I wonder what the deal with South Africans and their shotguns are?
    The smart chock idea appears in a few other works, and I've read that there is work on developing them in the real-world, but nothing yet. Pity. Wonder if DARPA is on that shit already?

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  4. Fantastic post! I've been looking forward to this one ever since I started lurking here.

    One factual point I'd like to bring up, though: the shotguns used in the Battle(s) of Fallujah. The M1014 was certainly in use, but like any newer piece of equipment, there weren't enough of them to go around. They only went out to select personnel. Most of the line platoons (at least in my battalion) were issued old, dinged-up Mossberg 500s, because that was what we had laying around the armory. To my knowledge, the Remington 870 was never a standard-issue weapon for regular Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Of course, Special Ops units would be a different story.

    I can't really speak for the Army.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

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  5. Lurkers may not be welcomed on Babylon 5, but they are always welcomed here on FWS! Thanks for the hard intel, Mr. Davis, I will alter the blogpost to reflect that information. I was researching the use of shottys in Iraq, and these sources said that Remington 870s were there.

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  6. You should make a post about the ak-47 & it's future since it's used by EVERYONE!!!!!

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  7. I actually wrote a professional research paper while at university on the AK-47 and its impact on the 20th century. I called it "The Shadow of Kalashnikov". It won several awards, and I presented several times at my university. I always wanted to meet and drink Vodka with General Kalashnikov...sadly, we lost him last year.

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  8. Christopher PhoenixJune 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Wow, that is a lot of information about shotguns. :D It is easy to mistake a double-barrelled elephant gun for a shotgun. The barrel is impressively wide, and almost no one has a rifle like this. They are custom-made, and extremely expensive.

    I must admit to always wanting an rifle chambered in an "elephant gun" cartridge. For graboid-hunting purposes. XD

    In the real world, everyone loves shotguns for self defense... we actually have a Benelli Super 90 at home for just that. I wouldn't want to be the home invader staring down the barrel of that piece of artillery.

    Actually, I'm not sure that the idea of a "laser shotgun" is totally silly. A DEW could be set to impact as wide an area as you like, though this will of course mean the the amount of energy being absorbed per unit area of the target is reduced as compared to a tighter spot, not good for burning through stuff. But you could ignite clothing and burn skin that way. But this is best thought of as a radiant-energy flamethrower, not a shotgun.

    Shotguns fire cluster of projectiles that spread out into a pattern. The best way to copy this with an energy weapon is to fire multiple beams that diverge into a pattern over distance. There is not reason a laser weapon must fire only one beam, after all. But considering the real characteristics of laser weapons, once might also wonder why one doesn't allow computer controlled optics to steer the beam and tattoo lewd symbols onto an enemy's head from a thousand feet away!!

    Speaking of that, I think you might appreciate this- a robot with a laser rifle!! http://skul4aface.blogspot.com/2012/08/laser.html

    Then again maybe computer-controlled optics would be too fragile, and someone will hit upon the idea of sticking some beam splitters and extra mirrors in the path of the beam to convert a laser rifle into an awesome laser shotgun.

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  9. I am currently working on a miniature wargaming system of my own, (Should be finished in a century or two,) and the weapon of choice for most human armies is what I refer to as the “Close Assault Weapon, (C.A.W.) The difference between An automatic shotgun and a C.A.W. is that the C.A.W. has a rifled barrel to accommodate some esoteric ammunition choices.
    The ammunition choices include, but are not limited to; High explosive squash head rounds, (H.E.S.H.) good against body armor, gyro jet rounds for power armor and light vehicles, and of course, shot and slug rounds. There are also a slew of other types of rounds, but they would only be useful in role play scenarios.
    The two rounds I will have to rethink because of this article are the flechette and discarding sabot rounds. I have to rethink the D.S. round because its penetrator is not much more than a single big flechette, with all the related problems. It sounds like a cool idea, but how effective could a 7 penny nail fired from a gun be?

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  10. Needle rounds are something that pops up from time to time in sci-fi works, Battletech's Star League had them. Cannons used to be loaded with all manner of household shit to kill infantry with, including nails. In Iraq, IED have been loaded with nails. At short range, nails can be deadly and effective. I've seen nail gun accidents at my job in an Level-II Trauma ICU
    and the wounds were fucking nasty. However that was a very close range, like an inch or two. The issue with nails is that they are not aerodynamic. I've watched on youtube, people loading nails in shotgun shells, and while nasty, the nails often penetrate sideways, and I am not sure increasing the size of the nail would help matters. Oddly, those little washers discs were some of the best homebrew shotgun ammo.
    Let me know when the wargame is finished, FWS could help with getting the word out.

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  11. Thanks for the offer of support, but do you real think that you’ll be around “in a century or two?”

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  12. Yes I will...that is because my real name is Duncan Macleod, from the Clan Macleod. Don't tell anyone!

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  13. A few points to make, one is that shotgun slugs have terrible hard-target penetration properties. When you said an expanding slug for home defense "would lilely travel through the wall and kill your dog," it would likely pentrate no more than your average pistol round, just leave a larger hole. This is due to the low sectional-density of shotgun slugs, although slugs with a tungsten core have been used for anti-armor use.
    Another point that needs to be touched on is rifled shotgun barrels: they are for slugs only. Period. If you try to shoot buckshot through them, the shot will scatter into an irregular circle pattern with no shots in the center, which is very ineffective. This is due to the centrifugal force imparted on the load from the riflings. If one wished to have a futuristic shotgun that could also fire grenades, etc., they would be better off adding folding fins to stabilize the round, as was done on the FRAG-12 round, which deploy when the round leaves the barrel.
    A thought occured to me yesterday, in a conversation I was having about body armor. When a bullet strikes a hard surface, wether it penetrates or not, it fragments and sends shrapnel in all directions, a process called spallation. Wounds generated from this shrapnel are often enough to take a soldier out of a fight as the shards can easily strike the face, neck, or eyes and cause serious damage. These two guys I was talking to yesterday have developed a new type of ballistic plate armor that is designed to catch the majority of this spall, and contain it within a mass of kevlar and superplastics. While this is a great advancement, and one example they presented was level 4 rated which means it can stop an armor-piercing .30-06 load, it still only covers a limited area of the body. My thought was this, as armor continues to advance and become more resitant to rifle rounds, might we switch back to shotgun-style loads to have a greater chance of striking where armor is lacking? While shots placed in these areas would be less lethal they would still be more effective than rounds defeated by armor.
    But still, shotguns suffer from pentration issues, and if this tactic came into widespread usage users would likely adapt their armor to use soft materials to protect against shrapnel and shot, as neither rarely have the pentrating power of rifle rounds. And this could perhaps generate a resurgence in interest of flechette shells, as these could, if properly stabilized, offer enough penetration to pierce soft armor.
    Overall, I beleive shotguns will remain niche weapons in perpetuity as they lack the range and speed of a carbine, but they will remain an effective and versatile tool for certain applications.

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  14. Another point which I feel should be touched on, is the concept of detachable box magazine fed shotguns. While many weapons using this feed system have acheived significant popularity in recent years (Saiga 12, Adkal 1919) notice how few are used in military or police circles. The reason? Feeding reliablity. Rimmed cartridges, like shotgun shells, have issues feeding from traditional box magazines as the rims frequently hang up inside the gun. This issue can also be seen to a lesser extent on revolver cartridges in pistols and, to a lesser extent still, semi automatic .22lr handguns. All can have reliability concerns to different extents, and this is why cartridges designed for semi automatics have a rebated rim.
    While some proprietary 12 guage shells have come out designed to fire in a specially configured gun with a box magazine, I wouldnt expect these to become mainstream while tube-magazine fed shotguns continue to do their job adequately.

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  15. DP-12 isn't out yet, but you should include it in this list. Double barrel pump action hotness.

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  16. It should be interesting to make elysium rounds, but i m thinking about mini nuclear HEAT shell. Casaba-howitzer in shotgun... Wow. Or better, Casaba-howitzer nuclear shotgun!
    Sorry for my English

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  17. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review
    Army Dart Gun Combos

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  18. I've read a theory about why revolver rifles never really caught on. Black powder revolvers of the 19th century could suffer an unfortunate chain-fire malfunction. Sparks or burning debris could escape and set off the propellant in other chambers. Bad in a pistol, catastrophic in a rifle where your off-hand is holding the stock in front of the cylinder.

    Another piece of speculation I came across is the idea that shotguns with low penetrating projectiles - like birdshot - would be ideal for use in environments where breaching the hull would be a concern. A habitat dome or engine room comes to mind. I'm not so sure - while small pellets have less inertia than a slug or bullet - they do penetrate, and few things are designed to stop munitions.

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  19. With out a doubt , best blog I have ever read . Thanks so much for the enormous amount of information. .

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  20. With out a doubt , best blog I have ever read . Thanks so much for the enormous amount of information. .

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  21. I see you mention Chock. Are you referring to Barrel Choke? Which is a very useful modification applied at the end of a smooth barrel shot gun to vary the spread of the pellets.

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