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Old May 22, 2008, 11:47 AM   #1
Super-Dave
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Full auto Submachine gun vs shotgun

I am curious about when a shotgun would be a better choice than a full auto submachine gun. I see swat teams all the time with some members with shotguns and others with submachine guns. I know the shotgun can be used for breaching but this is a more recent phenomenon.

Supposing a swat teams enters a building looking to clean out a bunch of armed dangerous thugs. If they knew in advance that the thugs did not have body armor. When would it be better for them to use shotguns or full auto submachineguns?

I know most swat teams have abandoned the 9mm, .40 submachine guns for the Ar-15 carbine due to over penetration issues. But even for them under what scenarios are you better off with the shotgun?
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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12 ga slugs work well to bust locks and hinges. SMGs don't
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Old May 22, 2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
I know most swat teams have abandoned the 9mm, .40 submachine guns for the Ar-15 carbine due to over penetration issues
Does this make sense?
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Old May 22, 2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Does this make sense?
Yes. 5.56 FMJ bullets will disintegrate upon impact with just about anything, lowering the chances of collateral damage. Excerpt from a recent Rifle Shooter article:

"It is a surprise to many people that the round that works best for going through walls is the 9mm. With relatively higher velocities, the .223 bullets generally break up upon impact, even when hitting a thin sheet of drywall. The resulting small fragments quickly lose their energy. Bullet selection plays a part in this, but even the toughest FMJ bullet tends to virtually disintegrate when it hits wood or drywall at 3,200 fps....

With most of the .223 ammo screaming along at more than 3,000 fps, the bullets are prone to flying apart when they impact virtually any medium. Even FMJ ammo breaks up dramatically when it hits sheetrock at these velocities."

Full text here:

http://www.rifleshootermag.com/featu...les/ar_patrol/
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Old May 22, 2008, 12:30 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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I have seen fmj .223 bore a clean hole in 1/4" steel plate, and eat up a brick wall behind it. I don't think 9mm will do that!
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Old May 22, 2008, 01:23 PM   #6
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"Does this make sense?"

Another yes, given most ammuniton, certainly most issued to patrol officers and tactical teams. Are there options affording greatere degrees of penetration? Sure. But, I've had the oportunity to observe a MP5 magazine dump into the side of a car followed by the same from an M4 into another. (Same make and model; same target area.) It was clear that more of the 9mm rounds made it thorugh; many more, in fact.

"But even for them under what scenarios are you better off with the shotgun?"

Where close range, rapid, clsoe enough accuracy is called for and third parties aren't in close enough proximity to the subject beingshot at to be a concern.

Very similar criteria, by the way, for when you might flip the lever to burst on an M4.
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Old May 22, 2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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The 5.56 does not stabilize for a distance out of the barrel. During this unstabilized flight, the bullet will apparently upset and not overpenetrate bodies and/or other objects struck. After the bullet stabilizes, however, it will drill a nice hole in all sorts of things. I have no personal experience with this, but I do recall speaking with a member of a local SWAT team who shot a pit bull at close range with a M4 and the bullet stayed in the dog.

Back to the OP, advantages of a shotgun over a subgun for entries can depend on the ammo. With buckshot, you can put 9-12 pellets (and wound channels) on target at one time out to moderate ranges, which is hard to do with even a good subgun like an HK. All subguns climb, so unless you are really close, you are limited to bursts of 3-4 shots to keep on target, as opposed to the shotgun which delivers all pellets with one recoil impulse. With slug loads, you can penetrate most soft body armor at moderate ranges, which a subgun will not do (I know it gets bantered around that slugs won't go through the vest and will injure through blunt trauma, but I have seen a vest, IIA or III, penetrated through both sides in a test by a local PD).

Subguns, however can go from a multi-round weapon to a precision weapon out to moderate distances simply by going to semi-auto, and the ones that fire from a closed bolt are usually very accurate, with obvious SWAT applications. Tough to trust a close head shot to a shotgun.
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Old May 22, 2008, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
The 5.56 does not stabilize for a distance out of the barrel. During this unstabilized flight, the bullet will apparently upset and not overpenetrate bodies and/or other objects struck.
Where did you come up with that one, that one gets the ding ding ding ding ding ding we have a winner over here award...........

I can assure you a 5.56mm projectile is very much stabilized by the rifiling from bore exit upto taget impact.........
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Old May 22, 2008, 05:43 PM   #9
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If their budget is limited.

Shotguns are significantly cheaper.
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Old May 22, 2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
12 ga slugs work well to bust locks and hinges. SMGs don't
ISC,

It is true that SMG's are not practical for breaching applications. However, a standard 12 ga slug used for breaching locks and hinges can be very dangerous for the operator and team members due to mass fragmentation of an exploding slug when impacting upon metal locks and hinges. A breacher wielding a shotgun carries a breaching round called "Hatton". It is a fast disintegration material similar to filling material a dentist would use to patch your teeth.
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Old May 22, 2008, 07:33 PM   #11
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With most of the .223 ammo screaming along at more than 3,000 fps, the bullets are prone to flying apart when they impact virtually any medium. Even FMJ ammo breaks up dramatically when it hits sheetrock at these velocities."
So.....I might be better off using my PLR-16 for HD than my USP45C?
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Old May 22, 2008, 07:43 PM   #12
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My machine gun use is limited, having fired a tommygun and a Mac-10 in Vegas and a worthless CAR-15. My shotgun experience is substantially greater than that. If you need to clear a room, I'll take the machine gun. One caveat though, you need to practice. The Mac-10 is a handful, the tommygun not so much so. Once you get the hang of them, they'll spit more lead than a shotgun. Figure for the Mac-10, 20 rds a second.
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Old May 22, 2008, 07:45 PM   #13
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seems like a semi auto 12 gauge would be the best "all around" (?)
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Old May 22, 2008, 08:40 PM   #14
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I've only shot a machine gun twice
Indoors up close I'd prefer Betty Lou, (Ithaca 12 gauge) with #00 buck
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Old May 22, 2008, 08:42 PM   #15
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A bullet that is unstable does not get more stable as it flies, stability deteriorates. I also find it hard to believe that a 9mm with outdo a 5.56mm on penetration. Look at vest ratings, 5.56mm resistance is 2 levels above 9mm.
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Old May 22, 2008, 09:55 PM   #16
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I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the 5.56 DOES stabilize in flight, about 50 feet out, IIRC. It has to do with the geometry of the bullet, long and thin with a very small radius relative to length, and the fact that no bullet ever centers perfectly with the center of the bullet lined up with the center axis of the bore. That's why they need stabilization in the first place. The difference with the 5.56 as opposed to others is like the difference between a spinning football and a long spinning steel rod: the rod wobbles for a bit, then damps down as the rotational forces take hold.

Anyway, that is what the guys from our firearms unit, who want to eliminate subguns and shotguns in favor of M4's for everything, told me. Actual shootings seem to bear this out: within 50 feet the bullets stay in what they hit, further out they can drill a steel plate.

I'd be happy to entertain alternate explanations, though, for entertainment value if nothing else.
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Old May 22, 2008, 10:22 PM   #17
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On the SMG vs shotgun, I will tell this one on myself. When I first got a Thompson, I had the same discussion with a friend who had an Auto 5. So we set up five silhouette targets at a range of, I would guess, seven yards, in a line about a foot apart - bad guys ganging up on us.

I put a 50 round drum in the Thompson and made like Al Capone, just like in the movies. The "trench broom" and all that stuff.

Then he upped with the Auto 5, and rattled off 5 rounds of 00 Buck.

The result? I had gotten one (1) shot in the edge of the first target. Period. No need to change targets. He put 9 slugs into each target and did it faster than I had fired 50 .45 rounds.

Later, I learned to use the Thompson better, but that little session proved to me that there is nothing about a subgun that will make holes magically appear in a target.

Jim
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Old May 22, 2008, 10:24 PM   #18
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JollyRoger

Well then, the guys on you units firearms team needs some learning. Where did they get that "information" from?

They have it backwards. The projectile de-stabilizes after impact. When M855 ball is fired into flesh it will in 2-5" of penetration begin to tumble as I call it, guys who like big words will say yaw. At a velocity of 2700 fps or faster M855 ball will seperate at the point between the steel and lead core, causing fragmentation. The fragmentation velocity is gone at about 90 meters of travel and will still tumble in flesh but will not reliably fragment. When it hits flesh and tumbles and does not break apart it still makes for a nasty wound.

Even when I used M955 ball that has a hardened tungsten core that still has a air pocket will still tumble in flesh in 2-5" of penetration but will not fragment due to the hardness of the core. It worked spectacular up close when we had to shoot through cars that would destroty the M855 projectile. The M955 penetrated, and still "worked" with wicked reliability.............

I would like to talk to your firearms unit guys, they have it all backwards. I can give first hand experience on how the 5.56 works from contact to just over 200 meters.
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Old May 22, 2008, 10:45 PM   #19
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12ga 00 buck one trigger pull vs smg. 1 shot 9 bullets vs 9 shots 1 second?
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Old May 22, 2008, 11:08 PM   #20
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Okay, Boris Bush, I don't want to keep hijacking this thread, so this will be my last post on the subject. A quick search turned up some authority to back me up regarding stabilization at distance, see below. I do not dispute that the 5.56 tumbles on impact up close, in fact that was what I was saying, at least in part. Anyway, this guy puts it a lot more scientific than I can, seeing as how this was background for his patent application.

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/69...scription.html

Quote:
In addition to the tendency of the M855 and the M193 projectiles to breakup at short ranges upon entry into the target such projectiles have limited lethality or incapacitation effects at longer ranges due to the high Sg or gyroscopic stability factor as a result of the mass moments of inertia of the high-density core filler material and the low length to diameter ratio. Projectiles such as the M855 or the M193 if they do not break up upon entry into the target as represented by 10% Ordnance gelatin they will typically turn over once (yaw 180 degrees) and continue to move through the target base first.
Best I can do right now.
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Old May 23, 2008, 10:30 AM   #21
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"I have seen fmj .223 bore a clean hole in 1/4" steel plate, and eat up a brick wall behind it. I don't think 9mm will do that!"

No, but the ammo that will go through plate and brick is hopefully not the same ammo an entry team is using. I would imagine they are using somethink light and frangible (sp?).

barnes has a bullet out right now called the 'varmint gernade" It fully franges going through a grape.

As for why a vest is rated for 9mm or 5.56 is that a 5.56 is much pointier, and the projectile (even a frangible one) will "needle" through the lower rated vest moreso than a blunt 9mm or 45 cal. Once through the frangible round begins breaking down.

This was part of the design consideration for FN's five-seven AP rounds.
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Old May 23, 2008, 10:44 AM   #22
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We are saying the same exact thing. The problem is you think the bullet is not stabilized when it exits the bore, and somehow stabilizes itself after a certain distance is traveled. I have no clue where that information came from and how it got to you. The 5.56 projectile is very much stabile after bore exit. The rifiling ensures that. I think you are mistaking velocity for unstabile. It is its fastest closest to the bore and the faster it is 2700 fps and faster the M193 and M855 ball rounds will fragment. The faster M193 will do it farther btw, about 200M compared to 90M for M855.
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Old May 23, 2008, 11:31 AM   #23
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"My machine gun use is limited..."
This is probably the main reason many think the shotgun is better, they have no real experience or training with a SMG to know their advantages.



Quote:
....that there is nothing about a subgun that will make holes magically appear in a target.
Very true, but with just a mag or two of proper training, you can teach small statured adults and even small children to shoot a pistol caliber SMG effectively. Many people have difficulty with a 12 ga, especially using full house loads.

Quote:
Subguns, however can go from a multi-round weapon to a precision weapon out to moderate distances simply by going to semi-auto, and the ones that fire from a closed bolt are usually very accurate...
This is one of the biggest advantages to the SMG. They offer a more useful weapon over a broader range, and one that is more easily and quickly reloaded. They are also usually in a much handier and easily wielded package.

Quote:
12ga 00 buck one trigger pull vs smg. 1 shot 9 bullets vs 9 shots 1 second?
One shot of 00 buck or a two to three shot burst of 9mm, the effects are the same. Solid, multiple instantaneous hits shut the CNS down. You dont need nine 9mms. Stretch the range just a little, say out across the yard at 30 yards or so, how many rounds of 00 buck will it take and with what consistency can you make those shots?

Personally, I keep #1 buck in my shotguns. Using 2 3/4" shells, 00 usually carries 9 .33 caliber pellets, where #1 buck will carry 16 .30 caliber pellets, usually with a heavier load to boot. Your longer range hit probability goes up where its needed in rounds that are quickly running out of steam.
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Old May 23, 2008, 07:25 PM   #24
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first let me say this.

I own several full auto weapons, and have fired alot rounds out of alot more. Mostly AK and mac 10

however unless you are extremely trained to fire an AF weapon, and think you are going to be in a mogadishu (or maybe camden NJ) like setting where you will be carrying about 200 rounds of spare ammo, you need to think about sticking to the shotgun.

in my opinion the combat uses of a good 12 gauge are alot more vast then a maching gun, not to mention that a full auto weapon is very very very hard to use well.
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Old May 23, 2008, 07:44 PM   #25
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not to mention that a full auto weapon is very very very hard to use well.
I've got a couple myself and have been shooting things like them since I was about 8, and have never found this to be the case, especially with the pistol caliber guns. Hell, my kids were shooting my MP5 at 5 years old with no troubles, so they cant be all that hard.

One thing I've found over the years with owning and shooting select fire/full auto guns is, there are a lot of people who claim to be "trained" in their use, who have no idea as to what they are doing with one in their hands. A lot of these people were supposedly combat vets too. They all talk a good show until you get them out shooting, and then their skills seem to have wandered off.

Once you know the technique, and its very easy to learn, if the student is willing, you can shoot pretty much anything with little trouble and good results.
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