Revered by some, vilified by others, the shotgun has been – and will be – around for a long, long time. When technology has finally bypassed all of us, the so-called dinosaur gauge will still be defiantly and effectively spitting out its lethal projectiles. Composed essentially of a simple smoothbore launch tube, the Jeckyll and Hyde weapon can launch a multitude of lethal and less lethal munitions. Ranging from a bead buckshot, rubber, wood, plastic, flechette and slug projectiles to “less lethal” rounds such as beanbags, door breaching cartridges, flares, gas and fireballs such as the Dragon’s Breath, the user’s availability of specific ammunition for a specific mission is almost inexhaustible. Not only can the shotgun deliver tremendous close-up power, its large caliber slugs can be used to stay inside a 6-inch group at 100 yards. While this may seem laughable to a true rifleman, one need shoot only a two inch group with 12 gauge slugs to print a clover leaf – and most people these days can’t shoot a 6 inch group with a rifle under battle conditions anyway.
Although the weapon itself is simple in mechanical construction, taking advantage of the shotgun’s potential requires diligent training and knowledge of what the gun can and CANNOT accomplish. But to reach MAXIMUM potential from the Bastard Child of firearms requires an additional element – a gun “surgeon”. Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls Royce, once said: “Take the best and make it better. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough”.
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