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Combat shotgun From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.: Wong Edan :.
.: Wong Edan :.
A combat shotgun is a shotgun that is intended for use in an offensive role, typically by a military force. The earliest shotguns specifically designed for combat were the trench guns or trench shotguns issued in World War I. While limited in range, the multiple projectiles typically used in a shotgun shell provide increased hit probability unmatched by other small arms.
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While the sporting shotgun traces its ancestry back to the fowling piece, which was a refinement of the smoothbore musket, the combat shotgun bears more kinship to the shorter blunderbuss. Invented in the 16th century by the Dutch, the blunderbuss was used through the 18th century in warfare by British, Austrian, and Prussian regiments, as well as in the American colonies. As use of the blunderbuss declined the United States military began to load "buck and ball". Buck and ball was used extensively by Americans at the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 and was partially responsible for the disparate casualty rates between American and British forces. Many of the British wounded recovered quickly as they had been struck by the buckshot rather than the ball. Buck and ball had a greater chance of hitting the enemy but did not cause as severe wounds at longer ranges (although any wound was liable to take a soldier out of particular fight). Fowling pieces were commonly used by militias, for example during the Texas Revolution. However buck and ball worked as well or better in standard or even rifled muskets. Buck and ball loads were used by both sides of the American Civil War, often by cavalry units
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Combat use
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The combat shotgun has evolved from its original role as a short range combat weapon into a wider role in modern times. With proper configuration, ammunition and training, the modern combat shotgun plays three roles:

1. Offensive weapon
2. Breaching system
3. Less lethal crowd control

Effective range of the shotgun with standard buckshot is limited to about 30 meters with a full stock (depending on the sights on the gun), and 10 when equipped only with a pistol grip due to the difficulty in accurately aiming without a full stock. Slug rounds, if available, can extend the effective range of the shotgun to 100 meters (although this is also dependent on the shotgun's sighting system; right sights and ghost ring sights will allow the average shooter to effectively engage human-sized targets at considerably greater distances than with a bead sight).

Less lethal rounds vary, with ranges from 10 meters for rubber buckshot to 75 meters for rubber slugs. These less lethal munitions are the same type as used by police, and have served well in riot control situations, such as that in Kosovo in 2001.[8]

When used as a door breaching system, the shotgun may be provided with a muzzle extension to allow it to be pressed firmly against the door while providing the correct standoff distance for optimum performance. While there are specialized rounds for breaching doors with minimal hazard to any occupants of the room, any type of round will do the job, though with some degradation of effectiveness and increased risk of collateral damage. In operations in Iraq, the shotgun was the preferred method of door breaching by infantry units, ideally with a frangible breaching slug. For the breaching role, shorter barrels are preferred, as they are more easily handled in tight quarters.[9]

Limited ammunition capacity is one of the primary downsides of the combat shotgun. While box magazines are available in some models (such as shotgun derivatives of the AK-47 design, like the Saiga-12), the tubular magazine is still dominant. This limits capacities; the current US pump shotgun issued, the Mossberg 500, has a 5 or 8 shot capacity depending on barrel length. The tubular magazine does allow easy "topping off" (a tube-fed pump shotgun can be kept shouldered and aimed at a target and ready to fire while being loaded), so training emphasizes the need to load the magazine to full capacity whenever the opportunity presents itself. A common doctrine is "shoot one, load one": load a shell immediately after every shot (when this does not jeopardize the operator's safety), to ensure that the shotgun is fully loaded at all times; this ensures that the operator has a full magazine at his/her disposal in case of emergencies when he/she may not be able to reload in between shots.[10] A pistol is also advised as a backup weapon, should the operator empty the magazine and not have time to reload. A sling to carry the shotgun is essential if it is to be used in conjunction with another weapon, so that the shotgun may be readily accessible.

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A Joint Service Combat Shotgun Program report on the lethality of shotguns in war states, in support of the use of the shotgun in warfare, "the probability of hitting a man-sized target with a shotgun was superior to that of all other weapons", and goes on to support this with statistics compiled by the British from the conflict in Borneo in the 1960s[1].

The buckshot typically used in a combat shotgun spreads out to a greater or lesser degree depending on the barrel choke, and can be effective at ranges as far as 70 m (75 yards). 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.

A number of compromises are involved in choosing a shot size:[10][12]

* Smaller pellets lose velocity more rapidly and penetrate the target less
* Larger pellets means fewer pellets, resulting in a reduced probability of hits
* Heavier loads produce more recoil and less velocity than lighter loads
* Reduced recoil loads (less shot and/or lower velocity) may produce smaller patterns, which may decrease hit probability

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