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Combat Shotguns: Dying?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Panzerschwein, Jul 4, 2016.

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  1. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Hey guys! Well I've been a member here for about 5 years now, and I can't help but notice that this section in particular is starting to get very little activity when it comes to defensive/combat shotguns. It seems general interest in this application of the shotgun is starting to wain. I chalk this up to the movement away from shotguns in Law Enforcement and military use, and apparently civilian use as well, when it comes to defense. Carbines seem to be taking the place of the shotgun in this role all across the board.

    What do you guys think about the current status of combat shotguns in terms of popularity and utilization? I'd love to here if you agree with me, or don't agree. Thanks!
     
  2. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    This is the golden age of ARs. When an AR costs $400, it's hard to compete.
     
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  3. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    There is that and the fact that shotguns are just kind of ubiquitous. ARs etc. are sexy so to speak. You can personalize (hang all kinds of **** on them) they are cheap to shoot etc.

    Shotguns IMO are and will continue to be the short range long arm of choice and if I were to guess there will be an 870 or 590 on Mars someday.

    The versatility of the shotgun with the huge array of ammo choices is pretty much unmatched. But alas utilitarian and capable are far from sexy.

    A single trigger pull throwing a nine shot thirty caliber burst in a fist sized group at any practical self defense range is fairly devastating.
     
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  4. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Weapon platforms in my opinion cycle through like fashion does. What is hot today won't be trendy tomorrow. It helps companies move products. I think ARs on the decline and pistol caliber rifles are on the increase. Likely shotguns to follow.
     
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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Shotguns were only semi popular in the military for jungle fighting or intimidation when guarding prisoners. Pretty useless for everything else. the ones in use today are only used to breach doors. The only reason they were ever used by civilians or LE is because they were cheap.

    Shotguns are an excellent small game and waterfowl firearm that can be pressed into use for personal protection or large game hunting if there are no other options available. But if there are other options available they have always been a poor choice.

    People are figuring out that 300 WM recoil (about 30 ft lbs with buckshot or slugs) from a weapon with very limited range is unacceptable. An AR or pistol caliber carbine will be at least as effective up close with only 3-5 ft lbs of recoil and work much better at longer ranges.

    I don't see them making a comeback anymore than a Brown Bess musket for personal protection unless everything else is banned.
     
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  6. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    That is a pretty far-out statement, I would say. Large game hunting I might be inclined to agree is an also-ran use for them (unless we are talking about rifled barrels with sabot slugs), but for home defense a 12 gauge is pretty much the last word. That is especially the case if you have nearby neighbors who would be at more risk from the use of a centerfire rifle.
     
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  7. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    brewer that is a common misconception. The fact is, a lot of the defensive rifle ammo for the .223/5.56mm penetrates less than buckshot, especially the larger buckshot like 000,OO,O, etc.

    JMR I like my shotgun because I grew up hunting with pump rifles and shotguns. I'm very familiar with and able to shoot fast and accurately my shotguns.
     
  8. jaowens76

    jaowens76 Member

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    No, over penetration is just as likely to occur with a shotgun as a carbine....if you choose ammo poorly it will occur, if you choose wisely not very likely with either weapon system. Both have a wide variety of true defensive rounds available designed specifically to avoid shooting through walls. In fact it's easier to find good centerfire ammo that won't blast the neighbors than buckshot that will not.

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk
     
  9. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    There will always be "what's popular" and that might or might not be what works... The statement that the only reason LE used shotguns is that they were cheaper may be one man's opinion - but it's not based in real world experience. A basic riot configured 12 ga. shotgun with buckshot is a close range fight ender, period. The reasons for the decline in popularity though aren't just the rise of the AR (for the record, in my opinion the AR platform is outstanding - but might not be the best choice for close quarters life/death situations where all out combat isn't possible - particularly for law enforcement work...). One of the other reasons for the decline in the common use of shotguns in police work actually has to do with the changing nature of the recruit population (less and less coming into police work come from a background of hunting or outdoor lifestyles -the exception are all the fine veterans now "on the market" in police recruiting...). Along with that are the large number of women coming into police work. Face it, learning to be comfortable with a weapon that makes a big bang and kicks a bit is tougher for "officers of smaller stature". This is something I know about since I was involved in police training for about three years towards the end of the era where every police cruiser came equipped with a shotgun... You could see the writing on the wall that shotguns were going to be phased out of police work back when I retired out in 1995.

    I don't know much if anything about "combat shotguns" (I figured they were a lot more about marketing than actual real world utility) but about police shotguns I have a solid 22 years worth of "on the street" carry and usage. In close quarter situations I knew my simple four shot popper owned every situation I was ever in (and that basic shotgun, equipped with a sling and a butt cuff with four extra rounds was always in my hands whenever any call might involve weapons...). I credit it with actually reducing the likelihood of needing to shoot. Most that I faced weren't ever eager to use whatever weapon they had once they saw they were covered and likely to have a very bad end if tried to take a shot.... You just can't underestimate the intimidation factor of a close quarters shotgun operated by someone with confidence in its utility.... The one time I had to fire a shot it ended the incident right then.

    If I were to look ahead I'd say that carbines (either the AR platform or pistol cartridge models) will continue to rule in police work for the near and long term future -they're much easier to train up and pretty adaptable to most situations but nothing beats the shotgun for distances less than 15 meters (and I might just have one somewhere nearby....).
     
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  10. Predator55

    Predator55 Member

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    The Ar popularity started when a push for banning them came about. When politicians said they are for killing people only with no sporting purpose that did it. The gun industry started marketing AR's for hunting and home defense. They had to make it more useful than what it was designed for. As a hunting rig they are great, accurate durable and just an all around good weapon. Personally, I have never understood or would use an AR as a home defense weapon. If your a former military person who has extensive training fine, but if your an everyday Joe who hits the range once in awhile I can't see it being an advantage. Being able to effectively use an AR and be accurate in clearing you domicile is not easy, and not the average person would be better off with short barrel open choked shotgun. Now, if you think your compound is going to be attacked by a large force and your going to have to shoot out to 100/150 yards then yes and AR would be a great choice.
    Combat shotguns have and will always be here , they just don't get the press, my M1S90 is as good as it get and has plenty of rounds and certainly plenty of power for any thing I need to stop.
     
  11. r mac

    r mac Member

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    If I were only allowed one firearm it would be a shotgun two barrels.

    Sent from my SM-T537R4 using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Drail

    Drail Member

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    "pretty useless for everything else". You really need to go to a 3 gun match and watch Jerry Miculek fire a shotgun. Watch carefully.
     
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  13. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I think 3-Gun competition will keep shotguns from going away. Those competitions will also push the development of the shotgun, and we'll get better and better shotguns, that will in turn make them more popular.
     
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  14. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    When I had to leave my 14" barrel behind in Canada! That was heart breaking. 870!

    The handling quality's of my Choate pistol gripped stock, with the 14" barrel, this was a full length stock, made of polymer, was fantastic.

    Touch of white fridge paint on the front sight, and an elastic 5 shell holder on the frame!

    The 18" Mossberg, ex Sheriffs Office, I picked up from my LGS, for $87.00, is used the odd time in Security work. Black plastic furniture, the word SECURITY on the stock, both sides, 1" white plastic stick on letters! Talk about instant Religion. Oh yes, still the fridge paint on the front bead.

    But what I do crave, a NYCPD original Ithaca Mod37, 18" the model that fires as you pump, if you hold the trigger back! Love the load and eject from underneath! But no one wants to sell me one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  15. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    If it is maybe it's because the whole Tacti-cool thing is fading.

    The shotgun is my only long gun and in all the configurations I possess not a one is a "combat" with doohickeys and do-dads hanging on it.
     
  16. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    I don't know what the "combat" part of the OP's question means (military?) but for HD situations I'll take a 12 Gauge with buckshot over any of my numerous other guns including ARs and handguns. The notion that the shotgun isn't an excellent choice for that kind of work is pure nonsense, IMO.
     
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  17. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    You sure it's not an Ithaca 37 you want? Most PD's used them, and the NYPD definitely bought a lot of them. Just about any pre-1975 Model 37 will slamfire, and it loads and ejects from the bottom.
     
  18. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Pretty useless for everything else? Askins and his model 11 would disagree.
     
  19. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Shotguns were only ever popular with civilians for HD. LE tac teams and military never really used them other than for breaching and occasional sentry duty. Yeah, they used to ride in cruisers, the AR supplanted that as well.

    From a practical standpoint, the AR or similar is a better option for most defensive applications. Shorter, lighter, less recoil, more capacity, ease of mounting accessories (RDS and light), way faster to reload.

    I have a semi-decked out 870 and I like it, but other than the terminal performance per shot (not an un-consequential consideration), the AR beats it in every other category.

    EDIT: for anyone who likes the shotgun for HD, I highly recommend the Magpul "Art of the Dynamic Shotgun" DVD set. I picked it up on clearance and got a lot out of them. You can get some dummy rds and practice the drills dry-fire along with the class while watching.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  20. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    Let me expand upon my prior answer. $400 ARs make a $400 shotgun much less appealing to everyone from a complete noob who walked into the gun store for the first time to highly experienced Police Department Purchasing folks. A noob has seen ARs over and over again on the news, shotguns not so much. A PD purchasing officer probably has the North Hollywood Shootout, and body armored bad guys on the mind (whenever I trained with these types of folks, they always trained for head shots, just in case the bad guy was wearing body armor). I am sure there are also federal anti-terrorism freebies, $$ and incentives that may favor the AR. Lemay also raises very good points about training.

    Also, back in the day, more people hunted. Shotguns reign supreme when hitting fast moving things. Hunters know this, but a new shooter now is unlikely to understand how difficult this is. Indeed, commercial ranges have probably replaced the woods/farm/gravel pit as the place to go shooting for most people. Just patterning a shotgun at a commercial range can be difficult, let alone shooting any sort of moving target. As people punch paper instead of birds/rabbits/squirrels/rats, familiarity with scatterguns decreases. Similarly, these same folks likely have not seen the terminal effects of a .223 vs. 12ga on an animal. Instead they have seen evil minions drop to the ground motionless after taking a single shot (or karate chop) from an action hero.

    Finally, back 30-40-50 years ago. Things were more expensive. Buying an AR, or another semi-auto centerfire rifle, plus ammo was a significant investment. Buying a couple boxes of buckshot for a platform that was already familiar was cheap. Buying a used shotgun or spare barrel and cutting it down was also a cheaper option than buying an AR.
     
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  21. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I would never choose one of my AR15 rifles as a bear defense or camp gun.
    One of my short barrel Mossberg 500s would get to go on that trip.
     
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  22. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    One factor: This doesn't apply to tactical shotguns but with the increasing creep of "shotgun only" hunting zones, they aren't going anywhere.
     
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  23. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    From a terminal ballistics viewpoint 16 pellets of #1 buck is going to produce more wound trauma than a 5.56 rifle bullet. I still think its the best home defense firearm because at home-defense distances its the most effective fight-stopper available.

    I would think shotguns would be popular with preppers. They're very versatile. You can pick up a combo for $600.00 that will get you waterfowl, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, and deer and be a very effective self-defense / home defense firearm.

    I think one of the things that is limiting the shotgun is that the places where you can shoot one are diminishing. There was a shotgun club by me that had been there for over 75 years, facing a swamp and a forest. Housing subdivisions went up all around it and even though there weren't any pellets hitting peoples roofs, the constant complaining about the noise finally shut the club down.

    The gun ranges in my area don't allow shot because it tears up the target holders. Putting big holes in paper targets is fun but not as fun as busting clays.
     
  24. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    One thing I've observed is that many younger/newer shooters shy away from any sort of recoil. And, let's face it a .223/5.56 recoils much less that a 12 ga.

    Could be they've grown up with video games where there is no recoil to deal with and thus expect the same in the real world.
     
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  25. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Regarding noise, or possibly just the subject of scary gun things, this is one thing the brits have right. Suppressors on shotguns are not only legal but encouraged due to hunting near populated areas.
     
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