Modern U.S. Combat Shotguns and Hornady TAP 00 Buckshot
By Christopher R. Bartocci
Shotguns have always been a fighting weapon for the US military although not often seen. They serve roles such as defense, offensive, breaching as well as deploying less than lethal ammunition such as bean bag loads. In law enforcement, every car had a shotgun.
That has changed in favor of the patrol carbine. Though is that one projectile is easier to account for than 8 or 9. Law enforcement also faces the threat of suspects/active shooters wearing body armor. In this case the penetration power of the 5.56mm round is certainly more appropriate than buckshot or slugs. High capacity magazines with 5.56mm ammunition put a patrol officer in the position to deal with an active shooter when traditionally armed officers with shotguns would have to wait for SWAT to arrive. However in military application, the shotgun stands out as devastating firepower at close range. In urban combat, shotguns are used for breaching. What this means is blowing locked doors off of their hinges or blowing the lock out so the soldiers can gain entrance.
Over the last 50 or so years, shotguns have been visible in military operations such as Vietnam, Panama, Gulf War 1 as well as the Global War on Terrorism. Looking at this time period you may think of a tunnel rat in Vietnam with a sawed off Ithaca shotgun. Today there are several shotguns in service but what we will look at are two of the general purpose shotguns in current service. The Mossberg 590/590A1pump action and the Benelli M1014 semi-automatic shotgun are the most prevalent in the inventory.
As early as 1979, the Mossberg 500 and 590 pump action shotguns were accepted when they successfully passed the Mil Spec 3443 testing. In 1992, Mossberg was awarded the contract for the 590A1 shotgun. This contract was spearheaded by the Navy. In the mid-2000’s the shotgun would be made available to the commercial market. Two major changes of the 590A1 over the predecessors is the use of an aluminum trigger guard and safety.
|SUBSCRIBER COMMENT AREA|
Comments have not been generated for this article.