I actually have been trained to use a side by side short shotgun in practical situations. Like any other gun it is just a tool. My issue gun was, and is still my preference a Stevens-311 with 18" barrels. I used the gun to do room clearing during dynamic entries, and search for perps.
These are modern guns with no external hammers. They are used for anti personell, breaching, and in a pinch they make a great club. Spare rounds are carried in a pocket or a pouch. The issue ammo is 00 Buck, and 12ga Slugs.
I still keep one for home defense.