New Army issue shotgun


#1

Nothing about the ammunition other than 12 ga. but I expect #4 loads issued.

http://www.army.mil/article/74101/


#2

In one of the 3 photos that the article shows, a shell is seen being ejected from the stand-alone version and it looks like one of the typical Winchester green-hulled 9-pellet 00 buck loads:

The nice thing about 12ga is that they can use it for breachers, flares, tear gas, XREP Taser & other non-lethals, and have a few box magazines of these types dependent on the mission to go along with whatever buckshot they usually have.

My suddenly inspired invention idea for what might come in handy if lots of lightly-armed soldiers in a patrol group are going to be wielding 12ga: a large, low-velocity magnetic-tipped slug with an infrared beacon in the tail so that outgunned ground troops could at least tag tanks or armored targets to be disposed of by aircraft or other heavy friendlies by locking the beacon into their sites. Or even if they have an ATGM, it could be handy to mark the target at night to be able to see the flash from around corners in an urban zone, or as the beacon illuminates the area around it. Normally you wouldn’t have unsupported infantry in such close quarters to tanks coming out of nowhere, but I’m thinking Israel / Palestine, or other zones like Libya where the tanks were all over the cities. If a tank or whatever is darting in & out from behind structures, you could tag it during a brief glimpse, and then just shoot a javelin high up into the air, and it could turn down and zero in on the beacon, even if it’s moving.


#3

It seems eminently sensible to me. a shot gun is the best defensive / short range weapon made.


#4

This concept has been kicking around for over 5 years, maybe longer. There’s a lot of information about it to be found on the Global Security website, and there was an extensive feature about the XM26 MASS in the September 2007 issue of Small Arms Review.

There’s still a considerable amount of controversy in military circles regarding the real utility of and need for such a 2-in-1 weapon as opposed to having something like a designated “Grenadier” in each squad or company who carries a shotgun.


#5

there is anecdotal evidence and from people I have known personally that shotguns were used extensively by British Special forces in Northern Ireland during what has become known as “the troubles” for patrolling the borders.
I have always believed from my time in West Africa that nothing beats a shotgun for close defence.
I have been suprised that they have never entered the mainstream military military pool of weapons in conflicts around the world. They are a very effective weapon for building clearance and the like.
Maybe sense is prevailing.


#6

I don’t know about shotgun inventories in other countries, but there has been (and continues to be to this day) considerable use of breechloading shotguns (as opposed to the use of shot in muskets from the muzzleloading era) by all branches of the US military, beginning with the Philippine campaign of the early 20th century (the Winchester Model 1897), and even earlier if you count foraging shotguns used on the western frontier. There is a very interesting but lengthy legal opinion justifying the use of shotguns in combat by the US military under the Hague Convention protocols. See: lawofwar.org/Parks_Combat_Shotguns.htm It is well worth reading from the ammunition perspective.

Great idea about firing laser targeting projectiles with a shotgun. I’ve seen some 12 Gauge explosive projectiles also. One thing a shotgun has going for it is its unsurpassed versatility.


#7

Regarding the shot size the Airborne soldier in the photo is using. Really very hard to tell.

My understanding was the military, not too long ago, spent a lot of money (something new?) testing the different shot sizes and found the #4 buck was a much better / more efficient load then the old 00 buck standby.

Be interesting to hear /see what is being issued these days to the combat troops.

Odd to me where the shooter has his left hand & with the fingers open. Any ideas why, or what is going on?


#8

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]
Odd to me where the shooter has his left hand & with the fingers open. Any ideas why, or what is going on?[/quote]

I too have been looking at that hold, it looks a wierd shooting stance. But, looking at the size of his hand (with glove) size of the gun, sights etc. where is there to grip this thing without impeding your sightline?

gravelbelly


#9

Not only sight line but ejection? Wouldn’t want my fingers caught is a cycling bolt, glove or no glove.
Although the sight looks like it might be one of the ghost ring sights on a folding post set just past the front sling attachment?


#10

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Regarding the shot size the Airborne soldier in the photo is using. Really very hard to tell.

My understanding was the military, not too long ago, spent a lot of money (something new?) testing the different shot sizes and found the #4 buck was a much better / more efficient load then the old 00 buck standby.

Be interesting to hear /see what is being issued these days to the combat troops.

Odd to me where the shooter has his left hand & with the fingers open. Any ideas why, or what is going on?[/quote]

Putting my old hat on as a Kodak Professional. That photo is a composite. There is no evidence that the shotgun has just fired. It would be still be moving and there would be vapour discharge around the barrel and the breech, result would be a blurred photo of the gun. Espescially with something that light. The fired case has been lifted from another photo and superimposed onto the image. Unbelievably easy to do in this day and age of digital imaging.


#11

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]
My understanding was the military, not too long ago, spent a lot of money (something new?) testing the different shot sizes and found the #4 buck was a much better / more efficient load then the old 00 buck standby.[/quote]

I wonder if Pete’s explanation would explain the explosion of these milspec shells, a few years back. Was Winchester unloading a large run of ammo or were they responding to some other marketing idea?

The 00 Buck, 9-pellet load has been in the U.S. military inventory for many, many years but that never stopped them from messing with a proven plan before.


#12

At least in my USAF experience, I saw nothing other than the 00B loads as shown. Of course, that does not preclude the availability of other shot sizes for military combat use. Easy enough to check out NSNs for other available shot sizes, but I haven’t done it. I do know that some Police departments prefer #4 Buck, and I would think that at typical close-up ranges (say within 20 yards), the higher pellet count would help produce more hits. Some so-called experts believe #1 Buckshot is the best compromise of number of pellets and penetrating capability. Me? I don’t know. At longer engagement ranges, I think slugs would always be better. I have read about one new tactical shotgun now on the market that has two separate magazine tubes allowing the user to select either buckshot or slugs instantly to fit the circumstances.

From some extensive testing of different 00B loads in different combat shotguns that I performed some years ago, I can say with certainty that no two guns (even of the same make) or loads (brands) will perform identically, and the differences in patterning spread and uniformity can be surprisingly different. I will say that as a general rule, the pattern spread of 00B loads from an open choke barrel will approximate 1" per yard of target distance within 20 yards.


#13

In the last 10yrs I’ve run across only one agency, a small PD in AR, using #4B. Every agency I train with/for/under uses 00 buckshot, various types of slugs (usually 1oz Foster type), and some less-lethal. All the military shotshells I’ve seen issued were 00B, mostly either the green/black shells pictured or the older glossy red-hulled stuff.

IWBA/docGKR put #1B at the top of the list for wounding effect. Federal dropped #4B from their LR/LE product line years ago, and recently introduced a #1B loading under their Tactical product line. I would’ve like to see a #4B and/or frangible #4B load included in their Precision Tactical product line for specialty use (currently only 00B offered).

That stubby little thing in the photo will have a tough time with many proven LL loads; most do not work well in any semi-auto, and most work best with at least 18" of barrel. Our 14" guns are buck/slug only; our LL gun (out of service at present) is a 20".

Vince, from what I can see in the photo, it appears that the bolt is to the rear, and the top front portion of a green shotshell is visible at the top of the magazine?


#14

Yes, you are right I can see it. I was only commenting on photographic technique and the tricks of the trade to get a clearer image (of the weapon). When that little baby fires I’ll bet the muzzle flip is considerable and the gun looks too level and not whacked back into the shoulder. There is no evidence of movement on the sling either. It all looks very static to me.

It doesn’t really matter if they did or didn’t set it up. The point was the hold and the fact that his fingers were not gripping anything. There is probably a handle on the other side similar to something you would see on an electric drill which he appears to be only “palming”.

I would take the palming to be evidence that he was only striking a pose rather than actually firing the gun. I’ll bet the poor guy had to crouch there for ages while they took umpteen photos to get the one they wanted. Then umpteen more just to be on the safe side. When you go on a photo shoot like that you can’t come back without a good photo, and you can’t go back and do it all again the next day either. But if they had wanted to they could just as easily have edited out the fingers. It was an observation really


#15

The M26 is not a semi-auto weapon. It is a manually-operated repeater. The shooter’s left hand is in a seemingly odd position because he is cycling the left-side charging handle to eject the empty. The lack of muzzle rise is because the photo was taken after recovering from recoil. (It’s not a composite photo, Vince.)

As for military use of #4 Buck, I can’t address current usage, but I know that a few decades ago (and, IIRC, during the Vietnam War) #4 Buck was used. I used to have a 10-rd box of Olin XM257 ammo, which had black plastic shells w/blackened heads.


#16

That must be the shortest barrelled shotgun I have even seen, what length is it, 4 or 5 inches? By the time you deduct the length of the chamber and flash hider there is not a lot left is there?

gravelbelly


#17

A wee bit of poking around on the inter-web turned up these pictures, I think from the same session as the ones in the first post.

The second image shows the rather neat foldaway charging handle. I wonder why they felt the need for a ghost ring sight on the holographic unit as the latter is meant to provide almost instant target acquisition. Maybe they follow my motto of “never trust anything with batteries”, something that puts me firmly in the old codger/Ned Ludd school of thought.

Happy collecting, Peter


#18

Video: military.com/video/guns/shot … 064452001/


#19

I seem to remember there was an earlier version of the same shotgun in which the bolt action operation was somewhat more obvious. The fact that it is a bolt action (along with the muzzle device) indicates to me that its intended purpose is likely to be more as a tool for door breaching than for general combat use.


#20

Dennis, would they need a sight for a door breaching gun?
I seriously wonder about the position/arrangement of the cocking handle though.