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View Full Version : How do military shotgunners carry extra ammo?


Ed2000
February 5, 2002, 06:52 PM
I know shotguns have always been used in combat. How were extra rounds carried in Vietnam and later conflicts. I have seen 12 and 20 round shotgun shell belt pouches offered for sale to fit web belts, but none have been "\GI issue" so I don't know if some version of them were used. Thanks for any info.

Vang Comper
February 5, 2002, 09:09 PM
Shotguns themselves were never GI issue, so they have no GI products fro them. If one wanted to bring a shotgun to war there was no problems with it. I sure as hell would have.

swampgator
February 5, 2002, 09:22 PM
IIRC most shotgun shells that I saw, mostly buck shot, were issued in the standard 5 rd boxes.

Most probably just shoved a couple boxes in the web gear pouches.

ModIMark0
February 5, 2002, 10:49 PM
The M-1956 Universal Ammunition Pouch was designed to carry most types of small arms ammunition and magazines in use, including 12 gauge ammunition. It was said that 20-25 12 gauge rounds could be carried in 1 pouch.
I have read that those carrying shotguns in Vietnam also used Claymore antipersonnel mine bags (cotton two pocket bags) for carrying loose shells and boxes of shells in. I do not know what troops currently have used to carry shells. Possibly the 12 round nylon pouches. Never have seen a belt or bandolier used for carrying them, but recall a story during Operation Just Cause (Panama, 1989) that one Delta Force operator had a bandolier of shotgun shells during an operation to rescue an American civilian from a police prison. Otherwise, I don't know of anything else used.

AndrewWalkowiak
February 5, 2002, 11:21 PM
I have some OD military looking 12ga pouches with LC clips that hold 12 shells each. I got them a few years ago from Tapco or Cheaper Than Dirt, but I forget which.

It's about 8" long, 4" high, and mounts the long way with the 2 LC clips aligned with the short direction, and closes with 2 metal snaps. The shells are held inside by two rows of black elastic loops, the front (inside of the outside) row is offset about 1" lower than the row against the side with the LC clips.

No US or NATO markings, other than a tag that says Atlanco Products (made in USA). No idea if it's mil-spec or even issue, but seems sturdy and nicely made.

A google search shows they have a website www.atlanco.com

No pic or listing of this item, just shots of thier current catalog.

FWIW,

Andrew

labgrade
February 5, 2002, 11:43 PM
In the USAF, I had an issue card for a Rem 870, took 7 rounds (we used 00 buck), & had a bayonet lug on it - mean lookin' sucker. Normal duty, never were issued any other shells other than what topped off the tube for crusier ready. "Other duty," I filled my right front pocket with another tube's worth.

labgrade
February 6, 2002, 12:26 AM
That's two refs so far implying that shotguns "aren't in the arsenal." (if I'm reading y'all right)

I carried one, it was issued - may even still have the card around somehwre (which matters not).

Doing entries, I carried a mil-issed 870.

C.R.Sam
February 6, 2002, 02:57 AM
Bought my ambush attenuator on the open market. Had loops sewn on shirt.

Sam

labgrade
February 6, 2002, 03:12 AM
In any event, & reagardless whether any shotgun was mil-issued, I'd like to see/understand a few more options regards having a few extra shells handy & about my person.

Worse case using any of my 12s for HD (just grabbing whatever, I'd "luck out" by snatchin' the one with the 2+ plug ... ) ...

What's the "best/most efficient" method of having an extra 5, or so, shells at the ready - above & beyond what may be in any tube/mag length?

Uncle Red
February 6, 2002, 03:43 AM
My Mossberg M500 has a six rnd. Side Saddle on it. Best way I know to keep extra rnds at the ready. -UR.

Dave McC
February 6, 2002, 05:29 AM
Southeast Asia in 1970 had lots of unofficial shotguns,and extra ammo was carried in a multitude of ways. Even saw some taped to the buttstock.

I've some 12 round pouches from those times, and recall some MTM belt carriers in OD that held 10 with a flip top. In civilian life later saw MTM with a 5 round version, never have seen the 10.

Also saw ChiCom SKS/AK bandolier vests with shotgun ammo, GIs are wonderful at adapting stuff.

As for extra ammo now, when I pick up my HD 870 there's 10 rounds on or in it. 5 rounds in a 6 shot mag, and 5 rounds in the Side Saddle. Had to crop one round's worth because of the peep sight.

jimsbowies
February 6, 2002, 09:41 AM
I toted an old Ithaca 37 in IV Corps....I taped shells to the buttstock and carried a dozen or so extras in M16 clip pouches...two or three to each pouch...worked just fine....

fix
February 6, 2002, 10:32 AM
I spent 6 years (94-00) in the Marine Corps. In that 6 years, here's who I saw carrying shotguns:

MPs - In cruiser.

My SgtMaj in Bosnia. Told the armorer where to stick the M9

Force Recon - With pistol grip. Attached to pack, not primary weapon. Used for breaching. Didn't see any spare ammo.

TRAP force 26th MEU - ACE emergency recovery personnel had one for blasting the radio closet if necessary. No spare ammo. That never made sense to me since the GCE brought demo for the same purpose.

I never saw an issue ammo pouch for shotguns. The Marine Corps doesn't use shotguns as fighting weapons, only tools. I suspect that the AF might have pouches for them as they seem to use them more frequently. Not sure about the Army. Never saw any Navy guys with a shotgun.

DMK
February 6, 2002, 10:44 AM
"Never saw any Navy guys with a shotgun"

My dad is a retired destroyer sailer. The first time he saw my Mossy 500, he commented "that's one of those riot guns like we had on the ship". Loaded with 00 buck, they were used for repelling boarders, boarding and searching other ships, and shooting skeet to keep the anti-aircraft skills honed.

AKAIK, they just stuck extra shells in their pockets or whatever pouches were convenient. I don't think that they considered more than a few shots necessary when you had 5" and 40mms to back you up.

I just bought a nice black nylon 5 rd butt cuff and a black 12 rd belt pouch from Cheaper than dirt. Combined with the 7 in the tube, it's gotta be more than plenty for anything I'll need a 12ga. for.

krchandl
February 6, 2002, 11:02 AM
In VietNam (1970) as a PRC-25 radio operator I liked the idea of carrying a 12 ga. and since I had a choice that's what I carried. It was a Remingtom 870 with an 18 or 20 inch barrel. As for hauling the ammo for it, I took the gas mask out of it's bag and used that bag for 12 ga and a few extra .45 ammo mags loaded. I learned that from the man I replaced, and it worked pretty good for me. Thirteen months later I passed the idea on to my replacement also.
As for using those Chicom ammo pouches (!), Marines had no use for them other than take 'em home for trophies. I learned early to shoot at the pouches since they were located center-mass on the bad guys. Lots of time those pouches on NVA dead had exploded from inside out. After seeing that once no squad leader with any sense would have let any of our guys use that stuff.

fix
February 6, 2002, 11:11 AM
shooting skeet to keep the anti-aircraft skills honed

HUH?

When was he in the Navy? I cant remember the name of the things (Navy guys help me here) but they look like R2D2 on Star Wars and Cuba Gooding Jr ain't sitting behind them with his feet in stirrups blasting away. They track and fire on targets automatically and make one hell of a racket. I'm pretty sure they've been around since the early '70s, but I could be wrong. I was in diapers then.

Just because I never saw any Navy guys with Muskets doesn't mean they never had those either. But I was under the impression we were talking about more recent times.

C.R.Sam
February 6, 2002, 12:47 PM
R2D2 lookin thing probably single tube 5" 54 automatic rifle.

Lot of manualy capable 3", 40mm etc antiaircraft guns in use well into the 70s. Maby even a few manualy capable 5" 38s that late.

Sam

fix
February 6, 2002, 01:06 PM
Just remembered...

They called it the Sea Whiz.

I was asleep in the back of my plane just forward of the island on the USS Wasp. They announced that they were test firing the thing on the 1MC, and like any good jarhead, I ignored it. That thing went off and I jumped out of my hammock so fast I nearly cracked my skull on the roof of the plane. One of the ships ordnancemen later told me, "When God farts, that's what it sounds like."

Mo_Zam_Beek
February 6, 2002, 01:25 PM
What's the "best/most efficient" method of having an extra 5, or so, shells at the ready - above & beyond what may be in any tube/mag length?

Lets talk Mossy:

1 in chamber
5 in tube
6 in side saddle
4 in Speedfeed stock
2 in tube extension from www.vangcomp.com

Total: 18

Need more: SAW pouch on your waist holds roughly 30 rounds.

DMK
February 6, 2002, 02:30 PM
" I cant remember the name of the things but they look like R2D2 on Star Wars ..."

I think you're talking about the "Phalanx Close-In Weapons System" or "Sea Wiz" for short. :p

http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/weapons/wep-phal.html

Yea, my dad was in way before those. In his day, practice off the fantail with a shotgun actually taught the guys some skills they were going to use.

http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/weapons/phal-blk1b.gif

fix
February 6, 2002, 02:37 PM
That's the one. Talk about skeet shootin'. We watched them shoot a drone with that thing. It blew it to pieces, then locked on to the pieces and blew them to pieces, then locked on to the pieces of the pieces and tracked them down to about 100 ft. I'd hate to be the pilot that just punched out after being hit by one of those.

DMK
February 6, 2002, 03:06 PM
Wow! That is a serious shootin' Iron. I knew they were effective, but Wow!

It sure beats Cuba Gooding Jr. on that 20mm! :D

ModIMark0
February 6, 2002, 06:48 PM
Another way to carry shotgun shells on the gun is a buttcuff. Most of the ones I see are ballistic nylon, but Milt Sparks manufactures one called the Cold Comfort Cheekpiece. It's made out of leather and laces on. It holds 7 rounds and comes in natural leather , black and brown, and is around 60 dollars. It isn't in the catalog but should still be available. It should take about 6-8 weeks for it to come. It sounds pricey, but is worth the money. Also looks classic with a wood stocked shotgun and a M1907 rifle sling (I have the set up on my Ithaca 37).

Pat Rogers
February 7, 2002, 01:16 AM
Force uses shotguns only for breaching. The FSBE vest has a 5 round pouch that will usually be worn on the upper vest.
There is also a 20 round fold over pouch that can be worn on the vest or leg panel.

In reality, the 5 round pouch is the only one used. The larger pouch is rarely encountered, and not general issue.
Aside from breaching, the shotgun just isn't useful in the DA environment.

striderteen
February 7, 2002, 11:38 AM
When was he in the Navy? I cant remember the name of the things (Navy guys help me here) but they look like R2D2 on Star Wars and Cuba Gooding Jr ain't sitting behind them with his feet in stirrups blasting away. They track and fire on targets automatically and make one hell of a racket. I'm pretty sure they've been around since the early '70s, but I could be wrong. I was in diapers then.




Just remembered...

They called it the Sea Whiz.

I was asleep in the back of my plane just forward of the island on the USS Wasp. They announced that they were test firing the thing on the 1MC, and like any good jarhead, I ignored it. That thing went off and I jumped out of my hammock so fast I nearly cracked my skull on the roof of the plane. One of the ships ordnancemen later told me, "When God farts, that's what it sounds like."



Yes, that's the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS -- hence, "Sea Whiz"). It's essentially a M61 Vulcan 20mm Gatling cannon connected to an autotmatic fire-control system and a targetting radar...completely standalone unit, just turn it on and it zaps anything it dectects that doesn't have a valid IFF code.

mchgnmike
February 10, 2002, 10:58 PM
Well I have observed many people using bandoliers at the Three Gun Matches I have attended. The first two matches I noticed that by using the bandolier it took some effort to locate, extract the shell from the bandolier. I am not sure if it is easier but I decided that I would use a sporting clays pouch. It has two sections and I put "00" buck on ones side and slugs on the other. I always know where the pouch is in reference to my body and the only problem I saw was indexing the ammo to reload into my shotgun.
The next match I actually competed and used both the pouch and the bandolier. I like the pouch system better, but that is just my opinion.

Correia
February 10, 2002, 11:22 PM
Not really a tactical application, but... :)

When I was a kid, I lived on a big farm. I would go out in the morning with my 870 and shoot pretty much all day. I would just dump shells into every pocket of my pants, shirt, and coat, until it was no longer comfortable to walk, and then go hunting for rabbits, birds, and squirrls.

Thanks for the memories. :D

swampgator
February 11, 2002, 01:53 AM
I would just dump shells into every pocket of my pants, shirt, and coat, until it was no longer comfortable to walk

I usually ran out of shells before I couldn't walk!

Penman
February 12, 2002, 08:21 PM
The butt cuffs are handy, but can cause problems if you need to use the gun in the "tuck" position, with the butt stock clamped to your side by the upper arm. This is a good stance for shortening the projecting length of the gun while manuevering indoors and still having the capability to look over the top of the barrel if you need to shoot. It can also be a good technique for the recoil shy. You may also end up firing from a weak side barricade position, where you may do best by firing from the opposite side in a mirror image stance. The butt cuffs can cause problems there as well. The side saddles avoid these issues.

Edward429451
February 13, 2002, 03:36 PM
So whats better for breaching, 00 or slugs? Either or probably, but I did wonder about it, if one was better or not. Anybody ever do any testing of this sort?

fix
February 13, 2002, 04:16 PM
So whats better for breaching, 00 or slugs?

Honestly? C4 :)

I've spoken with a few folks who have tried those special breaching rounds. They said they worked fine. That fits the definition of hearsay perfectly, so take it with a grain of salt.

Pat Rogers
February 13, 2002, 04:41 PM
Gentelmen,

The definition of breaching is "Using minimal amount of force to gain 100% penetration causing least amount of collateral damage every time".

Breaching is used for CQB, which is different from MOUT (that type of breaching involves demolition, usually without regard to collateral damage)

That definition may include mechanical, explosive or ballistic breaching.
In the case of ballistic breaching, special 12 ga rounds are used to defeat the locking mechanisim without endangering those inside. The composition of those rounds varies, but will be reduced to powder to avoid hurting non involved persons inside.

Either 00B or slug would prevent a serious down range threat to hostages or unknowns- obviously not a good thing.

Whith explosive breaching, extremely small quantities of specific explosive may be used to defeat a variety of targets.

Don't get wrapped up in TV and movie scripts, 'cause that is not what happens.

Borf
February 18, 2002, 11:28 AM
I must have missed someone mentioning it here, but this month's American Rifleman has an article on US issue shotguns and ammunition during Vietnam. Also brief history up to that point.

C.R.Sam
February 18, 2002, 02:35 PM
Early work in Viet Nam (pre 64), some purchased shotguns on the open market. Mixture of brands, types and grades. Doubles, pumps, autos...you name it.

Sam