View Full Version : combat shotgun

July 11, 2000, 12:31 PM
I am looking for information on the use of shotguns in combat, WWI, WW2, Vietnam etc,. have tried barnes & noble, and the local public library with no luck, only found technical stuff, make, model, capacity etc. where do i start?

4V50 Gary
July 11, 2000, 11:15 PM
Member Bruce Canfield wrote a book which may interest you. Check out his website at:

James K
July 12, 2000, 10:15 AM
For a start, Winchester 1897 "trench guns" were used to some extent in both WWI and WWII. Winchester Model 12s were used in WWII, and Ithaca Model 37s in Vietnam along with both Winchester models.

Both the Army Air Corps (Army Air Forces) and the Navy used shotguns for training aerial gunners. These were regular commercial shotguns, sometimes purchased "off the shelf." Savage/Stevens sold many of their Model 520 to the Army; these had 20" barrels, but no handguard or bayonet lug.

True combat use can be hard to track down. Most military shotguns were used for training, prisoner guarding, riot control, etc. In addition, there is the fact that using shotguns without jacketed pellets in combat would violate the Hague convention, but this would not have applied in Vietnam, which was technically an insurgency.

I have ordered Bruce Canfield's WWI book but have not yet received it; I am sure he will have a lot on this subject at least as pertains to WWI.



July 13, 2000, 07:46 AM
Quite a few thousand shotguns were sent to Vietnam but mostly they languished in storage . Vietnam usage includes Stevens, High Standard, Ithaca and perhaps a few others also. Quite a few of the Vietnam issue shotguns were also purchased from over the counter stock.

July 14, 2000, 08:25 PM
I dont know much about combat shotguns used in wars, but it is interesting.

July 16, 2000, 05:16 PM
I am pretty sure that both "riot gun" and "trench gun" shotguns were issued, at least in WW1 and probably WW2. The riot guns do not have the ventilated handguard (and, IIRC, also do not have the bayonet lug -- could be wrong about that, though).

July 16, 2000, 08:38 PM
Don't forget the use of the Browning semi auto in the Malaya campaign (1948-1960). The SAS used them to good effectiveness, one in particular was a troop named Bob Turnbull. The SAS cut the barrel down for close in work, as Malaya is pretty darn thick to fight in. I found that reference in a book called Combat Guns, bought around 13 years ago, I think that it was British. The Osprey series on that war was also informative.

July 17, 2000, 07:23 AM
JNewell, you're correct in that riot shotguns and trench shotguns were separate weapons. Riot shotguns as a rule did not have bayonet lugs or ventilated handguards whilst trench weapons did. The riot models were targeted to prison guards, armored car companies, bank guards and basically any civilian use of a utility shotgun. Most of the bigger name makers made riot models while some also made trench models. Most of the riot and/or trench models were utilitarian but there were exceptions. Quite a few of the WWII military shotguns were bought over the counter and can be found with factory engraving, checkered wood etc. Also Ithaca for quite some time just pulled standard Model 37s off the line and built their riot models out of them. Thus they have the engraving etc.

July 17, 2000, 03:20 PM
Try droping Col Cooper a line. IIRC, he wrote something about deflecting incoming handgrenades with 00 Buckshot.

If the priority of the archive over witnes accounts is given up, history ceases to be a science and becomes an art.