Has Law Enforcement given up on the shotgun?

This is a discussion on Has Law Enforcement given up on the shotgun? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Jon - Thanks for the info. I guess my take on this issue is this - IF the 5.56 bullet fragments, then it will have ...

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Thread: Has Law Enforcement given up on the shotgun?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jon - Thanks for the info.

    I guess my take on this issue is this - IF the 5.56 bullet fragments, then it will have less penetration through interior walls in the event of a miss. However, nothing works 100% of the time. I just don't trust that a 5.56 that misses will fragment upon hitting a sheetrock wall.

    OTOH, a buckshot pellet will ALWAYS have less velocity and sectional density that a 5.56 rifle bullet. And in most cases, the pellet will also have less weight (especially if you are using #1 or #4 buck) and less momentum.

    So, do you trust the 5.56 to fragment if you miss? Or do you go with what you know will always have less velocity, weight, and sectional density? No right answer, but that's the choice.

    For home defense at close range, I'm still sticking with my shotgun. For patrol use, especially when you consider the possibility of body armor, I can see why more police agencies are going with a rifle.

    One quick point about the body-armor-wearing bank robbers mentioned earlier...I saw some video from that shootout. It is true that one of the officers fired a shotgun at one of the robbers. However, he failed to immediately fire another shell at the robber's head. Instead, he fired once, and then stopped to see what would happen. What happened, is that he got pinned down by a hail of full-auto AK fire after his buckshot failed to penetrate the robber's multiple ballistic vests.

    The lesson there is that no matter the weapon, fire COM, and then immediately target the head if the BG does not cease his activity. At the distance he was at, the officer would have had a good chance of multiple pellets striking the robber in the head, had he immediately taken the shot. Another situation where the equipment was blamed, rather than tactics and training. (No offense toward those involved - just pointing some things out for "lessons learned.")
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  3. #17
    sgb
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    I think the shotgun is going the way of the revolver as far as LE use. I see it's future being more for breaching doors and deploying less lethal munitions.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Jon - Thanks for the info.I guess my take on this issue is this - IF the 5.56 bullet fragments, then it will have less penetration through interior walls in the event of a miss. However, nothing works 100% of the time. I just don't trust that a 5.56 that misses will fragment upon hitting a sheetrock wall.OTOH, a buckshot pellet will ALWAYS have less velocity and sectional density that a 5.56 rifle bullet. And in most cases, the pellet will also have less weight (especially if you are using #1 or #4 buck) and less momentum.So, do you trust the 5.56 to fragment if you miss? Or do you go with what you know will always have less velocity, weight, and sectional density? No right answer, but that's the choice.
    That's just it... I don't trust it to fragment if I miss. But, I know there's a better chance of that happening with a 5.56 round than a 9mm or 12 guage. Nothing is certain. Actually, I don't trust anything to perform like tests show, but I will take the one that may give me an advantage. I just hope it stops the threat.. ;)

    I can say this though... I recently saw a 12 guage that fired buckshot into a couch from about 10 feet or less and barely penetrated into the wall behind it. A few pellets were stuck in the couch. Another shot hit near a cabinet and did not exit the other side. So, all of it is hit or miss and none of it will be exactly like we see in a test. I've also seen a 9mm that hit the wall and failed to exit the exterior.

    I don't worry too much about this stuff, though I am aware. I choose what I choose because I have significant training on it, know how to employ it quite well and feel confident I will be able to use it more effectively for the specified role than my other options.

    Edit - come to think of it, I've seen a handful of rounds that have impacted a wall and failed to penetrate like we'd expect.
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  5. #19
    Member Array darebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    As you pointed out, for up close and personal, nothing short of a 50 BMG trumps a shotgun loaded correctly. The maximum distance that you can guarantee that each pellet from a shotgun (read 00 Buck) is going to stay on a man sized target is 15-20 yards from most barrels.
    This is interesting.

    This leads me to think that a service caliber handgun with a good self defense load is more effective than a shotgun in CQB situations. It is fact that the shotgun is more powerful than the handgun but it seems to be that handgun service calibers can be just as effective on threats in the same range that a shotgun is. And a handgun can be more easily deployed than a shotgun. I grab my handgun fitted with a WML when I get a knock on the door after midnight or hear a bump in the night. I assume most of us do the same.

  6. #20
    Member Array darebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    I think the shotgun is going the way of the revolver as far as LE use. I see it's future being more for breaching doors and deploying less lethal munitions.
    Yes I have seen the shotgun role decline in combat, but as others mentioned warfare has changed. For example the shotgun was one of the most feared weapons in trench warfare, and in street combat criminals now have easier access than ever to things like body armor. Great weapon, sad to see it not being deployed as it once was but as you said it happened to the All mighty revolver.

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    IMO, the shotgun is one, if not the best home defense long gun to have for home defense. I'd take it any day day over any assault rifle, but only if I can use 00 buckshot in it.. That IMO is as a devastating round that you can use besides the slug, and it'll only take one good hit with it too.


    IMO, the shotgun is the true "one shot stop" firearm in the arsenal to have; with the right loading that is..
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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    Not all have given up on the shotgun, at least not yet. My department added long arms about 10 years ago. Prior to that we only had our Beretta pistols. We initially asked for M-4's or AR-15's but what did we get? We got Mossberg 590 shotguns. For a police force that is basically inside a building the shotgun is a questionable weapon to deploy. In a hostage or active shooter situation where precision accuracy is a must the shotgun leaves a lot to be desired. We have tried to subsitute a couple of the Mossbergs with M-4's or even the Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine set up to use Beretta 92 series magazines but still no luck.

  9. #23
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    I believe the infamous LA bank robbery shootout had a good deal with LEOs swicthing to firearms with more range and firepower. Will shotguns diappear from vehicles? No, but maybe not as common as in the past.
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  10. #24
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darebear View Post
    This is interesting.

    This leads me to think that a service caliber handgun with a good self defense load is more effective than a shotgun in CQB situations. It is fact that the shotgun is more powerful than the handgun but it seems to be that handgun service calibers can be just as effective on threats in the same range that a shotgun is. And a handgun can be more easily deployed than a shotgun. I grab my handgun fitted with a WML when I get a knock on the door after midnight or hear a bump in the night. I assume most of us do the same.
    I grab a handgun for movement inside the home, plus, it leaves a hand free for other tasks. That said, I have no delusions about it being anywhere near as effective at stopping someone as a shotgun is at close range.

    Once inside our safe room, the shotgun comes out of the safe.

    Shotgun - when you absolutely, positively, need to stop someone - right NOW.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    The shotgun definitely still has it's place. It is a good and fairly versatile tool. But like any tool it has it's limitations. Way back when my department was looking at obtaining additional long arms I was informally asked my opinion on the matter by one of the committee members. I was not a sworn officer but was known to many as "the gun nut in communications". At that time my department issued 870's with "00" Buck. The basic debate came down to,
    1) Do nothing, if it aint broke don't fix it.
    2) Allow officers to carry slugs.
    3) Pistol caliber carbine
    4) Converted surplus M-16s.

    I asked the sergeant (over adult beverages) in the simplest terms what is it they were looking to do? If they just wanted to basically extend the range of their pistols (expensive gun but already had ammo) go with the pistol caliber carbine. If they just wanted something better against vehicles (already own the guns just buy the ammo) buy some slugs. If they wanted something better against vehicles that would also allow beat officers in a worst case scenario to take a shot at me at 100+yds, spend the money and get rifles. The point I emphasized with him though was that what is best for the officer working an urban beat is not going to be best for the officer working out in the sticks. In a radical departure from past practice (at that time 75 years of tradition unhindered by progress) I suggested they actually give the officers a choice. Some officers hated their shotguns because of the recoil and left them in their lockers. Others had no issue with them. I figured as long as we had two shotguns and two other long guns per district per shift we had things pretty much covered. If they needed anything more than that it would be an ERT call out anyway.

    As the officers work environment evolves so do the tools the officer must use.
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  12. #26
    Member Array ptco911's Avatar
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    Our department only has M-4's on the tactical team. The remainder of the officer still have shotguns in the units.

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by darebear View Post
    This is interesting.

    This leads me to think that a service caliber handgun with a good self defense load is more effective than a shotgun in CQB situations. It is fact that the shotgun is more powerful than the handgun but it seems to be that handgun service calibers can be just as effective on threats in the same range that a shotgun is.
    I respectfully disagree with this. The 12ga loaded with 00 puts nine .32 caliber pellets into a torso going 1250 fps, no handgun service caliber matches that devastating wound.
    We use the Federal Flite Control wad ammo and we've tested it at the range. At 15 yards all 9 are in the head on a head shot, at 25 all are in the torso on a COM shot.

    In the history of our department we've had 4 officer-involved shootings that were one shot stops where the suspect was dropped DRT when shot.....all 4 with the 12ga.

    Our department holds a rifle school once a year so we keep adding more rifles in the field. Everyone is qualified on the 12 ga, some carry it, some don't, some carry both AR and 870.
    I carry my 870 in the rack and utilize it on felony stops or if an officer on scene doesn't have a long gun they can use it, and keep the AR in the trunk.

    Reasons to have both:
    -12ga won't go through body armor, AR will (unless level IV)
    -AR has higher capacity
    -12ga is devastating at closer distances
    -AR is better for longer engagements (active shooter respons in mall, church, school, etc)
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