Thread: Close Combat
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Old June 4, 2007, 12:25 AM   #31
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Join Date: January 20, 2007
Posts: 522
I read in some online military magazine that while shotguns are sometimes used for house-clearing in Iraq, they aren't favored for that purpose because of the potential for collateral damage. Apparently they worry about the spread of the shot and stray pellets. While the spread shouldn't be that much over typical room-clearing distances, I can understand the concern.

Shotguns were used to great effect in other conflicts, like the jungles of Vietnam and the trench warfare of WWI.

Originally Posted by BillCA
Last I looked - and vets, correct me if I'm wrong - the use of shotguns on the battlefield was considered a violation of the Hauge convention on warfare.
I'm not a vet, but I have some info on that. Basically, what happened was the Germans filed a diplomatic protest during WWI against the use of the shotgun, saying that it was inhumane because of the devastation it causes at close range. The protest didn't work, however, and the shotgun has never been found to be against the laws of warfare.

The references listed at the end of this Wikipedia article have some good info on the subject:

An interesting statistic cited in that article:

The delivery of the large number of projectiles simultaneously makes the shotgun the most effective short range weapon commonly used, with a hit probability 45% greater than a submachine gun, and twice as great as an assault rifle[1]. While each pellet is only as effective as a small caliber handgun, and offers very poor penetration against an armored target, the multiple projectiles increases the likelihood of one or more peripheral wounds.
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