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Old November 21, 2002, 10:14 AM   #1
Hkmp5sd
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Effectiveness of the "duck bill" attachment?

I have read several accounts referencing attaching a "duck bill" device on the end of a shotgun to flatten the shot pattern. All of these accounts were about military shotguns. How effective were these devices and would they be useful in a home defense scenerio?
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Old November 21, 2002, 04:09 PM   #2
Dave McC
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"How effective were these devices and would they be useful in a home defense scenario?"...

Not very and not at all,in that order.

Spread is the thing to avoid in a HD scenario. The big advantage to a shotgun for close crisises is the huge amount of energy they dump into a target, not as a substitute for lack of shooting skills.

I know lots of shotgun cognizant types that not only saw the elephant, they got his home number.

No duckbills, no PG only shotguns, no fletchettes or other exotic ammo, d*mn few folders among the crew.
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Old November 21, 2002, 05:25 PM   #3
KSFreeman
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Oh, Dave, come now. It "works" by looking really, really cool!
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Old November 21, 2002, 06:07 PM   #4
Dave McC
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KS, Sarcasm ill befits you(G)...
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Old November 21, 2002, 06:16 PM   #5
KSFreeman
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So photos of my stainless PG only Mossberg complete with laser/phaser are out?
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Old November 21, 2002, 06:23 PM   #6
Dave McC
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Depends on whether we're talking tools or jewelry!
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Old November 21, 2002, 06:29 PM   #7
C.R.Sam
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Shot spreader great for knockin rows of bottles off of a table.
Few homes are invaded by rows of bottles.

Sam
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Old November 21, 2002, 07:31 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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The only real indorsement of the "duck bill" that I've ever heard, was by it's first actual combat user, Chief James "Patches" Watson. The Chief got the first gun set up with the attachment after it was developed at the Navy's China Lake Weapons Center in California.

His custom built gun was an Ithica model 37, with a pistol grip-only stock, a specially modified barrel to extend the magazine, and the Duck Bill spreader.

He used the standard Navy load of #4 buckshot. This was Chief Watson's favorite weapon, and he was extremely pleased with it's performance.

He stated that the spreader made quick shooting against moving targets in the dense jungle of Dung Island much more effective.
As to the smaller #4 buck shot, Watson said it worked very well against the smaller Viet Cong. "I heard no complaints from any of them", he said.

This kind of use is quite diferent from what we would find in a modern HD type of situation. The shot spreader cannot spread the shot into any useful pattern inside the typical house. There's just not enough room. In any other case we're not in a military combat situation. Even in a "good" shooting, you will be required to account for those pellets. Whether you were justified in shooting a bad guy or not, wounding or killing an innocent neighbor will get you in a world of trouble.

So, in a civilian setting, there's just no real use, OR JUSTIFICATION, in using this type of shot spreader. Inside the house it won't have a noticable effect, outside it's just too risky.
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Old November 21, 2002, 07:37 PM   #9
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Dfariswheel, good summary! I used a duckbill choke in South Africa for a while during the 1980's, when they were very popular on riot- and HD-type shotguns. They did, indeed, require a higher pellet count to be effective. They were available in two "standard" types: 2-to-1 and 4-to-1 spread. Each "flattened" the shot pattern so that it was, respectively, twice as wide, or four times as wide, as it was high (sort of a rectangular pattern).

They were very effective against moving targets, as the flat "band" of shot made it easier to catch the target with at least part of the pattern. However, you were virtually guaranteed to miss the target with some other part of the pattern, which meant that anything in the line of fire, beyond the target, got some too... which led to screams of outrage if one's partner(s) were beyond the target!

Another major drawback was that the duckbill choke just couldn't handle slugs... The 2-to-1 spread choke was claimed to be able to handle slugs, but in practice it launched itself downrange with the slug stuck firmly between its lips, just as its narrower 4-to-1 spread cousin did! If one wanted the longer-range capabilities of slugs, this meant that one had to have a second shotgun available: and if one forgot about this, and mistakenly loaded a slug into the magazine along with some buckshot (a mistake made rather more than once, in my experience, although fortunately not by me!), this would disassemble the choke from the shotgun barrel very effectively.
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Old November 21, 2002, 11:16 PM   #10
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To read Chief Watsons account of the use of the shotgun in Nam see if you can pick up a copy of Walking Point by Chief James "Patches" Watson. It talks about the use of the duck bill and has a story or two of some "exotic" ammo the Brass wanted the Seals to test out. Good read period.
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Old November 22, 2002, 01:31 AM   #11
gordo b.
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Preacherman: I think I want to join your denomination that distributed its"tracts" via the mouth of duck bill with #4 buck in South Africa! So you watched the locals kill each other off? Cool way to study "forensicks" , and bring nose plugs for her saintlyness's Winnie Mandelas' "necklaces".
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Old November 22, 2002, 02:10 AM   #12
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Gordo, I wasn't ordained then, and I'm afraid you would not have enjoyed those years. By some estimates (we'll never know the true figures) it cost us almost 100,000 dead to get rid of apartheid, and most of those were innocent parties caught in crossfire, or murdered because they wouldn't support one side or another, or killed because they couldn't or wouldn't provide information. I buried 27 friends, colleagues and associates between 1976 and 1994. A very UN-"cool" way to study "forensicks", I assure you...

Last edited by Preacherman; November 22, 2002 at 10:16 AM.
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Old November 22, 2002, 08:31 AM   #13
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C. R. Sam...

"Few homes are invaded by rows of bottles."

I knew one of them.

Very early 70's, first active duty assignment in North Carolina, lived in an apartment complex that had some Air Cav helicopter pilots. Great guys, wore their Cav hats, sabers, AND spurs to formal events.

One night after some hard drinking, some "friends" of one of them walled in his front door with beer bottles, completely closing off the entrance, side to side, top to bottom.

How drunk helicopter pilots could stack that many empty beer bottles without breaking some still amazes me.
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Old November 22, 2002, 10:24 AM   #14
C.R.Sam
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Rotorheads are trained to defy gravity. Seperates them from humans.

Sam....HC, HU, HA
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Old November 22, 2002, 10:41 AM   #15
Hkmp5sd
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Thanks for the info....

I've gotta play with one of these, especially in the event I'm ever attacked by a bunch of bottles. It pays to be prepared for all possibilities. Does anyone know where you can buy one?

BTW, gravity always wins. Sometimes it wins when the pilot would prefer it didn't, like while he is still several thousand feet in the air.
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Old November 22, 2002, 11:04 AM   #16
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Great Lakes Arsenal does/did a duckbill conversion. I had them put one on an extra Mossberg 500 barrel I have. It spreads out the pattern into a flattened oval. At around fifteen yards the pattern is around 16 inches high by about 3 1/2 to 4 feet wide. It's regulated to use #4 buckshot also. They claim slugs can be fired through it. The only part about mine that I don't like is that it's rather blocky. I can see it getting tangled up on protruding objects (branches, clothing etc). It needs to be melted, ala a concealed carry package pistol.
I found out about GLA through a couple of articles in Small Arms Review ( www.smallarmsreview.com ). They were in Vol 3 #4.
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Old November 22, 2002, 10:54 PM   #17
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I recall one comment from a Vietnam-era SEAL that the duckbill made it possible to hit everyone in a sampan with one shot. Only way I can see it in a defensive use is if was set vertically.
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