The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Dave McCracken Memorial Shotgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 4, 2002, 01:18 PM   #1
Hard Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 1999
Location: California
Posts: 3,925
Combat Effectiveness of 12 Gage Shotguns

One of the important uses of a shotgun is as a weapon. Just how well does a 12 gage shot gun perform in the combat weapon role.

I attended a SWAT team competition this weekend. 22 agencies SWAT teams competed. The shotgun course was fired by a four man team so 88 officers fired it Only one officer went clean.. All weapons used were 12 gage semi automatics or pumps. All were fitted with rifle sights. Targets were at ranges of 10 to 60 yards. Some had to be engaged with rifled slugs, others with buckshot
I talked to several team captains. They all said that under combat conditions they feel that 50-60 yqrds is the maximun rande for slugd and 30-40 yards is the maximum range for buckshot. Essentially they felt that shotguns are pistol range weapons. I agree with them.
__________________
"I swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemeis domestic or foreign WHOMSOEVER."
Hard Ball is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 02:16 PM   #2
QuadOughtBuck
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2002
Posts: 120
"Only one officer went clean.."

What does this statement mean?
QuadOughtBuck is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 02:49 PM   #3
9mmMike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2000
Location: SE PA
Posts: 1,049
"Essentially they felt that shotguns are pistol range weapons. I agree with them."

Actually pistols are shotgun range weapons, that are less effective.

hehehehe

Mike
__________________
"Freedom is not free"
Visit TheRallyPoint.org
TheRallyPoint at LRGC- Saturday August 26th
IF YOU LIVE IN PA AND DID NOT VOTE, YOU DESERVE TO LOSE YOUR GUNS!
9mmMike is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 03:17 PM   #4
CZ Gunner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 799
Shotguns have been used in combat for 100's of years -- in one form or another.

Navy cannoneers onboard the early fighting ships used it in one form or another to mow down opposing forces. (Use by the Army was even more extensive.)

Modern sailors and soldiers continue to have them issued to them on a regular basis, as the need dictates.

As with any tool, it depends upon how you use it.

I'll take a shotgun every time for close in defense -- but 60 yards is really pushing the envelope.

Lock and load,

Gunner
__________________
Gunner

"Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." -- Vegitius, c. 375 AD
CZ Gunner is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 03:21 PM   #5
FPrice
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2000
Location: People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Posts: 1,456
QuadOughtBuck...

""Only one officer went clean.."

What does this statement mean?"

Generally it means that only one officer hit all the targets or perhaps made a perfect score, and that all the rest had some misses. Hopefully Hard Ball will confirm this.
__________________
Frosty Price

"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai
FPrice is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 10:48 PM   #6
Hard Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 1999
Location: California
Posts: 3,925
Yes, "going clean" means the shooter hit every target he was supposed to hit, did not hit any "no shoot (Hostage)" targets and did not make any other mistale which gave him a penalty. Ony one of 88 officers firing the course was able to do this.
__________________
"I swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemeis domestic or foreign WHOMSOEVER."
Hard Ball is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 11:24 PM   #7
Cowdogpete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2002
Location: Bosque County, TX
Posts: 265
If I have the luxury of choosing a weapon before an armed encounter it will be the "Gauge" every time. OO Buck give you teh advantage of putting 9-13 32 cal. rounds into the target with one pull of the trigger. Intimidation factor is huge. The sound of chambering a round in a pump shotgun is universal. Slugs are very accurate out to 50 yards and with a minimal amount of professional training can be very effective out to 100 yards.

I can shoot any long gun much more accurately past 25 yards than you can with a pistol. And as distance increases so does the truth of my statement.

A pistol is merely a tool to fight your way to your shotgun.
__________________
Smoke on THR
I love the smell of cordite in the morning.
Cowdogpete is offline  
Old October 4, 2002, 11:36 PM   #8
Double Naught Spy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,433
Hard Ball, I am completely confused by your post. Are you asking what the combat effectiveness is of 12 ga. shotguns actually is or are you telling us what it is?

All I can discern is that you mention the gun's effective range, but not effectiveness. Nothing there concerns the impact or effect on the target by the rounds.

Interestingly, the information you garnered from the SWAT folks where you referred to it as "combat" effecitiveness is pretty much the same as effective hunting distances. As noted by Cowdogpete, a little practice can increase one's ability to get a slug on target at a much greater range.
__________________
"If you look through your scope and see your shoe, aim higher."
-- said to me by my 11 year old daughter before going out for hogs 8/13/2011
Double Naught Spy is offline  
Old October 5, 2002, 10:05 AM   #9
GBTX01
Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2001
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 30
Your weapon choice is dictated by your combat environment. If you are assaulting a single building and don't have to worry about bad guys down the street, then your max engagement will be down a long hallway (maybe 30yds?) In this type of scenario a shotgun is great. It is such a versital tool. You can use it to breach doors and extremely quickly put a ton of lead on target. Think about why .223, 9mm and .45 have large cap mags. Most people will double and triple tap targets when under a lot of stress. But with just one pull of the trigger you can put 9-13 9mm size holes in a target. My shotgun will hold 9 rds of 00 w/ 9 pellets each, that is 81 projectiles! If I run out of ammo and can't do a tactical reload then I transition to pistol till I get to cover and can reload. The wonderful thing is that this whole time I am still within pistol range.
This all said I would not want to have a shotgun in an urban environment as my primary weapon. UNLESS I was working with a team. In a team every member has a different role. In this case your shotgunner/breacher would be covered by a combination of M-60s, M240s, M249s, M14s, M4s.
__________________
The loudest sound that your weapon can make is "Click".
GBTX01 is offline  
Old October 5, 2002, 04:02 PM   #10
dfaugh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2002
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,715
If

you were sending me into a combat situation, but knew nothing about it, other than it was hostile I'd take a shotgun every time...Might not be best for ALL situations...but ALL I need for most situations
__________________
"If you Listen to Fools, the Mob Rules"

"No one has the answer, but one thing is true.
You'e got to turn on evil, when its coming after you.
You've gotta face it down,and when it tries to hide,
you've got to go in after it, and never be denied.
Time is running out...Let's roll.
Let's roll for freedom, let's roll for love.
We're going after satan, on the wings of a dove.
Let's roll for freedom, let's roll for truth.
Let's not let our children grow up fearful in their youth."
dfaugh is offline  
Old October 5, 2002, 04:14 PM   #11
QuadOughtBuck
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2002
Posts: 120
Amen, defaugh. My combat buck load contains twelve .33 cal copper plated lead balls. The choke on my gun is such so that they are effective to a mansized target out to 50 yards. After that I'm switching to slugs, brennekes, 3" magnums. One shot is all I'll need.
QuadOughtBuck is offline  
Old October 5, 2002, 04:19 PM   #12
Hard Ball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 1999
Location: California
Posts: 3,925
Asa far as effectiveness is concerned most men hit by a rifled slug or 5 or 6 buckshot is out of actiom. IF you can hist then the shotgun is effective. What I am discussing is at what ranges can you expect to get hits with buckshot or rifled slugs. That determines how effective the shotgun is in actual combat use.
__________________
"I swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemeis domestic or foreign WHOMSOEVER."
Hard Ball is offline  
Old October 5, 2002, 04:33 PM   #13
QuadOughtBuck
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 17, 2002
Posts: 120
I wouldn't mind taking a run at your course with my tach shotgun.
QuadOughtBuck is offline  
Old October 6, 2002, 08:40 AM   #14
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Inside 25 yards,the shotgun is the BEST defensive weapon ever devised. The immense amount of energy dumped into the target is the big reason.

A Caveat,it takes a good bit of training and practice to utilize the weapon fully. For many people,the shotgun is the weapon they practice with the least, unfortunately.

From the bench, either of my two "Serious" 870s will group under 5" with slugs. Using a fudge factor of 2X, this means I can expect a very good chance of torso hits under field conditions in a crisis at that range. Others' results will vary.

Max for buck will be inside 50 yards, and oft inside 25. Only range testing will give realistic results with you, your shotgun and load.

As far as military use, during our Revolution one duty load was a bore diameter round ball along with 3 "Pistol Balls" in a paper case cartridge. At little more than bayonet range, it "Wrought dire execution amongst the foe"- Hamilton.
Dave McC is offline  
Old October 6, 2002, 12:40 PM   #15
Andrew Wyatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2002
Location: Bakersfield, Kommiefornia
Posts: 549
Well, I'm inclined to believe that What you saw at the SWAT championships was a training issue.

The Swat magazine 3 gun match had a considerably higher percentage of people shoot clean runs on both of it's shotgun stages (one of which included slug targets).

I've noticed that the majority of officers seem to not be gun people, and therefore don't take the time off duty to seek training.
Andrew Wyatt is offline  
Old October 6, 2002, 01:24 PM   #16
Kevan
Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2002
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 89
Dave McC, I'm curious---what was the distance at which you got the 5" pattern with slugs?

It's interesting you shoud mention the "buck & ball" loads used in the Revolutionary War. These were also used commonly on the frontier well up to the 1880's. They were also a standard military issue pre-made paper cartridge for U.S. issue .69 caliber smoothbore muskets such as the M1842. The load was also used in the Civil War and was also available in .58 caliber for the issue Springfield and Enfield rifles muskets. There is a very good article in one of my muzzleloading magazines about buck & ball and I'll go through and give some highlights when I find the article.

I have seen a "slug & buck" load from one of the "novelty" shotshell makers. But I'd sure be interested in seeing a modern day buck & ball load offered by the big ammo makers with one single big round ball and maybe #4 buckshot. But, I'd like to see a load with one big round ball period, too. The ballistics of big round balls are like the bumblebee which is not supposed to fly but does anyway. The round ball is very effective, which defies some explanation. But a muzzleloader's .54 caliber ball---all of 220 grains---rountinely drops buffalo, black bear, and elk. The average fps velocity is between 1800 to 1500 fps depending on powder charge. Round ball can inflict some devastating wounds. I'd sure like to see some good old round ball loadings in shotguns.
__________________
William C. Quantrill Fan Club
Kevan is offline  
Old October 6, 2002, 02:34 PM   #17
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
That's at 100 yards, Kevan. And that's with the slug of choice. Other slugs give larger groups in these two 870s.

One of my fastest kills was with a 58 caliber round ball, with 80 grains of 2F behind it.I doubt she landed 5 feet from her last tracks.Done oa couple deer with a patched 50 caliber ball, good results there also.

I've seen 45-70 Govt loads with shot instead of a bullet,they're called Forager rounds and from the Trapdoor Springfield days.Some trapdoors were also modified by boring them to 20 gauge, and used an all brass, short cartridge.

Also, in the South there's a number of Buck and Ball, doubles worked over to fire slugs (Punkin balls) from one bbl with a backup load of buck in the other, and Express sights for the slug bbl.It was a specialized tool for close range deer hunting using dogs, usually.

Thanks for the history update.
Dave McC is offline  
Old October 6, 2002, 07:04 PM   #18
Kevan
Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2002
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 89
Wow, Dave, those groups at 100 yards are encouraging, to say the least! I'm going to get me several boxes of different slugs and try my hand at that kind of shooting!
__________________
William C. Quantrill Fan Club
Kevan is offline  
Old October 7, 2002, 05:17 AM   #19
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Kevan, I have good bench technique and have put lots of effort into slug guns,since they're my main venision getters. YMMV.

The Archives have some old threads on setting a shotgun up for slugs.
Dave McC is offline  
Old October 8, 2002, 04:10 PM   #20
Sierra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 1998
Location: Portland,OR,USA
Posts: 335
Combat Effectiveness of a 12 guage. We used them in Vietnam to bust ambushes. They worked fine. 50 yards was about the upper range we used them at. These were not Benelli's.
Sierra is offline  
Old October 10, 2002, 10:24 PM   #21
Bruce626
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2002
Location: Handgun-Free Chicago thanks to Gun-grabber Daley
Posts: 167
Quote:
"Wrought dire execution amongst the foe"- Hamilton.
that'd be the main idea as far as I can tell. Big balls at 1000 fps are dire. Shoot early and shoot often, as we say in Chicago.
Bruce626 is offline  
Old October 11, 2002, 04:38 AM   #22
Dave McC
Staff In Memoriam
 
Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
Posts: 8,812
Bruce, IMO Hamilton meant damage beyond the ordinary.

One company of 32 men firing one volley meant 32 projectiles towards the enemy using a standard musket ball. Using the B&B load meant one volley= 128 projestiles.
Dave McC is offline  
Old October 11, 2002, 08:53 AM   #23
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,090
I don't know of any use of shotguns by formed units since WW I. But they sure used them then. If you like the shotgun, you will appreciate this report by Jan Stevenson:

"Trench raiding was what the gun was intended for, hence the name. But it could be quite devastating against the massed infantry attacks characteristic of the Great War. Paul Jenkins recalled one incident when the '97s were used to give concentrated fire across a section of front after the rifles and machineguns had done their best."

"When those shotguns got going - with nine .34 calibre buckshot per load, six loads in a gun, 200-odd men firing, plenty more shells at hand - the front ranks of the assault simply piled up on top of one another in one awful heap of buckshot-drilled men."
Jim Watson is online now  
Old October 16, 2002, 12:57 PM   #24
williamcrane
Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 42
Shotguns use since WWI

I personally know that shotguns were used in Vietnam by formed units. Nothing like walking point with an Ithaca Model 37 loaded with fleschettes. I think there was an article in American Rifleman a couple of months ago about military use of shotguns - from WWI to today.
williamcrane is offline  
Old October 16, 2002, 01:26 PM   #25
22lovr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2002
Location: The "burbs," just southwest Atlanta
Posts: 757
Hot Damn!

I guess I'm going to have to get me one of them thangs.....
__________________
Jeff the 22luvr ><>
"You can't know the future but you can know the one who does...."
I'm the "Will Rogers" of guns; I've never met one I didn't like.
22lovr is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13803 seconds with 7 queries