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combatshotgun

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This will make a good topic as to the reasons the shotgun is disappearing in Law Enforcement.   It is not a question because it is a fact.   Their are multiple reasons with each have different weight.   I will hold off till the end so as not to influence the comments.  Feel free to jump in as to why.   Since their are multiple reason there are some that many may not have considered so post all the reasons you can think of.
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entropy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Increasing militarization of Law Enforcement is a factor. More and more cars are being equipped with 'patrol carbines' (ubiquitously an M4gery) over shotguns. And more and more of those shotguns are being repurposed as 'less than lethal' beanbag launchers to use on uncompliant mental issue calls. Since the end of the Vietnam War, more and more police recruits are familiar with the M16 series rifles; M16A1's given by .gov replaced Thompsons and Reisings in Police Dept. Armories as Riot control and SWAT weapons. Indeeed, most SWAT officers when Depts. formed the units in the late 60's & early 70's were VN Vets, often with Special unit experience. 
After the Miami Shootout, various PD's and Alphabet agencies started looking seriously into using carbines (AR's) to replace shotguns. There are several pros to this, and few cons.
The pros:
The aforementioned familiarity
Easier manual of arms, particularly for those with prior experience.
Less potential for collateral damage with the average user, particularly when an optic is used on the rifle, and proper ammo is used. (Red Dot) 
Longer stand-off range and more likely to equal/surpass opposition's range. 
Not that I personally take much stock in this, but there is an intimidation factor, possibly.

Cons:
An untrained/undiciplined user or improper ammo can increase collateral damage. 
In some settings, a more military-like LEO force can have negative repercussions, particularly if officers develop an 'us or them' mentality. Hand some guys an M16, instant JBT. 
I'm sure there are others, just can't think of them at the moment. 

Shotguns and SMGs are weapons that require a higher level of training to use correctly and effectively. (SMGs more than shotguns) Both run the risk of collateral damage more so than aimed fire from a rifle. Those of us here who have trained with all three will attest to this. In this day and age where every projectile fired by an LEO has severe consequences potentially attached, the extra rounds form an SMG or buckshot from a shotgun are not worth the intimidation factor they can cause in even an expert's hands, but especially a marginally trained officer. 





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cjw79

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Reply with quote  #3 
I would add the fact fewer and fewer police cadets have firearms experience before the academy. The 223 is a light recoiling round to say the least; a 12 gauge buckshot round, even a reduced recoil round, is more than many cadets want to deal with when an AR is available.

Some cadets seem surprised shotguns still exist and think of them as outdated technology. It isn't high speed/low drag.
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Germansheperd

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Reply with quote  #4 
Militarization of the police departments, .223/5.56 is more cost effective, and most female officers cant handle full power buckshot round after round.
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spm1us

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Reply with quote  #5 
To avoid discrimination lawsuits, the powers that be choose to provide a universally acceptable test of ability and fitness for all genders of applicants. Plainly stated, the folks that were ruled out years ago as being deficient and/or proficient are now universally included regardless of their ability, aptitude or attitude. Everyone gets a trophy and there are no winners or losers. In addition, the law enforcement agencies seek to discourage the use on any firearm regardless of the threat. A shotgun being the most violent next a rifle/AR next a pistol then a taser in terms of lethality. The officer's lives are nowhere as important as the perpetrator and this makes much better PR on the six o'clock news regardless the outcome. Just look at the public's mentality towards murdering law enforcement and how it has exponentially grown over the last several years! Just my .02 for whatever it's worth!
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DMB

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have read and agree with all that I have read so far. I know from personal experience that the generation that is entering law enforcement know why more about the Patrol Carbine then the shotgun. 

Why because military time, number one and video time ( yes I said it ) video games teach more about the AR platform than the shotgun. But I fell that law enforcement administration has the most. They don't want the liability from all those projectiles going down range. 

One other subject I read about is training, as trainers I don't think we keep up with the times and we got behind on selling the pros and the cons on the shotgun and when to use it. Mainly when to use it. Transition training was a big hit within my dept. when I started doing it with the AR, but you should have been there when I did it with the shotgun. A large number of my guys said we never thought that it could have been done with a shotgun. 

When I took over as Range master it was about ten years before we got ARs, we went to the range twice a year and the first couple of time the over all performance with the SG sucked. I started making them qualify every time we went until it improved. 

I would agree with all that I have read so far. but the biggest was training and they just didn't look tactiacool as that AR platform.
More to follow.




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Germansheperd

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMB
I have read and agree with all that I have read so far. I know from personal experience that the generation that is entering law enforcement know why more about the Patrol Carbine then the shotgun. 

Why because military time, number one and video time ( yes I said it ) video games teach more about the AR platform than the shotgun. But I fell that law enforcement administration has the most. They don't want the liability from all those projectiles going down range. 

One other subject I read about is training, as trainers I don't think we keep up with the times and we got behind on selling the pros and the cons on the shotgun and when to use it. Mainly when to use it. Transition training was a big hit within my dept. when I started doing it with the AR, but you should have been there when I did it with the shotgun. A large number of my guys said we never thought that it could have been done with a shotgun. 

When I took over as Range master it was about ten years before we got ARs, we went to the range twice a year and the first couple of time the over all performance with the SG sucked. I started making them qualify every time we went until it improved. 

I would agree with all that I have read so far. but the biggest was training and they just didn't look tactiacool as that AR platform.
More to follow.




my last tactical shotgun build

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FlyBoyTim

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Reply with quote  #8 
Although not from LE, I have read a few books... 🤓 Doesn’t that make me an expert??? 😜 LOL... 😇
All this makes sense I suppose. Call me prejudiced, but Holloway’s Raiders had excellent success with the shotgun. From Greg Ellifritz’s review of the book:
https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/holloways-raiders
“Holloway’s direction is astounding.  During the unit’s tenure its members were involved in a confirmed 53 armed encounters in which they shot 31 suspects and killed 18 would-be hi-jackers and burglars.  Some long time veterans of the unit insist that the actual number could easily double that.”

That’s a 60% hit ratio. And collateral damage from all that buckshot flying around in 7-11’s????

“They paid the price of one officer shot to death and another dead in a car wreck.  Perhaps the most astonishing statistic is that with all the bullets and buckshot flying within the tiny confines of small businesses that such a record suggests, not a single innocent civilian was ever hit by a bullet and only one clerk was injured by flying glass.”

🤔 It’s a great book BTW...

Oh well, I’ll still pick the best CQB weapon yet devised by man, for my own home defense. The 12 gauge shotgun...
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lee1959

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Reply with quote  #9 
It might be disappearing from police work but one still sits next to my bed as my first choice for personal home defense longarm. 
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OpenCyl

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Reply with quote  #10 
My basic take is grab the g22 w ext mag. This is mostly a convenience based strategy as this weapon is chambered and hot. This strategy is open to change if the certainty of deadly force being needed I would grab the 870 and pump from cruiser ready. Strategy precedes tactics. I consider the handgun and shotgun both invaluable, the rifle in the home is not my choice personally. I know I am talking HD here not LE here. My choice of HD weapons are the choice of the once not uncommon LE issue, the G22 and 870.
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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'll throw in my $.02.  I'm an old firearms trainer.  And from an old firearms trainer perspective it is simple....I can train someone to a higher level of effectiveness in a shorter time period with an AR (or pretty much any common defensive rifle) than I can with a shotgun.  More importantly, I can maintain that level with a rifle easier and thus more cost effectively than I can with a shotgun.  I think that in the hands of a well-trained individual the shotgun is hands down the best firearm to use within about a 30 meter distance, where most of law enforcement operations occur.  But these days those well-trained individuals are the exception rather than the norm.  
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #12 
Well you guys covered it very well.   Here is the main reason why.  Back in 1982 we were forced to hire females and minorities.  Most all of these had little to no experience with firearms.  Our department load for the shotgun was 2 3/4 Magnum 12 pellet 00 buck.  These new hires could not handle the recoil.  Many of the first batch failed the Academy due to this.   So in 1984 we changed the load to regular 2 3/4" 00 9 pellet.   Some still could not handle the recoil so the Academies stopped teaching and qualifying with the shotgun and left that up to the departments.   Bottom line was since Affirmative Action hires could not meet the standard, the standard was lowered.

The Bank of America Robbery in California also caused an over reaction from many in Law Enforcement.  Yes, have that rifle in the trunk but roll out of the cruiser with that shotgun as most all of what you encounter will up close and personal and at handgun/shotgun range.

This is the fate of the shotgun in Law Enforcement today.   The 12ga Shotgun is the maximum initial firepower one can bring to bare.  More initial firepower then an M4 or an SMG, yet many will not use it for most of the reasons you guys have listed above with recoil being the #1 reason.

I get it as I have no love for 12ga recoil and I proposed in 1985 that my state consider the 20ga 870 as an alternate duty weapon for people of smaller statute.  I again submitted this to the state Standards and Training Commission with no results. 

With effective recoil reducing stocks like the Mesa LEO I want current LEO's to take a long hard look at the 12ga again as I attended to many LEO funerals and want every one of you to retire and become an old fart like me.

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TCinVA

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Reply with quote  #13 
It boils down to training. 

Way back in the day most people who were coming into police work had some experience with tube-fed weapons. Hunting with shotguns was extremely common. Competition clay shooting was hugely popular across the country. In the early days of Hollywood the top stars spent as much time shooting clays as they did on the golf course. 

The general population was more rural, had more experience working with their hands, and consequently had some experience using shotguns as sporting weapons. Smoothbores in general were *the* family gun going back as far as the founding of the country. If you encountered a repeating rifle it was better than even odds that repeater would be a lever action. (Which is pretty close to a shotgun in its operation) 

Consequently, most training programs for police didn't spend much time on teaching shotgun because it was something everybody "knew". Some programs were more progressive and defense focused than others (USBP comes to mind) but many were little more than fam fire. 

As the population became more urban focused and hunting/shooting experience started to be more of an exception than the rule, the ubiquity of shotgun experience vanished. Semi-automatic pistols became standard issue. Recruits started to come from more urban and suburban backgrounds without having spent much time working with their hands. (Which builds strength and dexterity) 

The shotgun training programs didn't evolve with these demographic changes because change is always resisted in institutional settings. 

Now you have a situation where a shotgun is handed to a police officer or recruit that has never touched one in their life. The gun works completely different to the semi auto pistol on their hip (which they struggle to use capably anyway), the gun doesn't fit them well, and the majority of people teaching it are teaching, at best, what they were taught. Which wasn't much. 

It's difficult to get police up to the standard of competence with their issued sidearm and then to maintain basic competence from then on. I know instructors in a large federal agency that has 5 general issue small arms in service at the moment. Which means that they have a whole lot of personnel who are barely competent on all of them. If you can get someone to sort of understand how their sidearm works (which is a challenge) then you can relate that to kind of understanding how their semi-automatic rifle works. 

But the shotgun is utterly alien. 

Worse, it is absolutely punishing if you are not in total. control of the weapon. If you touch off a shotgun shell with a bad stance and a sloppy setup, it's going to inflict actual pain. A 5.56 floats around all over the place and the bullets end up looking like somebody shot the target with bad buckshot when they're done shooting, but the gun doesn't inflict corporal punishment for getting it wrong. 

Hand a gun that has an alien method of operation to someone who doesn't know anything about guns, have them fire rounds that will literally punish them for not knowing what they are doing, and have the whole thing overseen by instructors who don't like shotguns because shotguns beat them up too, and you have a good general description of the state of the shotgun in LE at the moment. 

It doesn't have to be that way. Having guns set up better (shorter LOP stock) and teaching people how to tame the beast actually allows doing real training with the gun. And once people are no longer being punished when they press the trigger they actually learn. Some of them even start to have fun. 

The shotgun could be taught much, much better in LE. That in and of itself is one of the big reasons it's going away. If you have a weapon most of your instructors can't teach very well (because they don't know it very well themselves) then there's no hope your troops will be any good with it. 
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Jim

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Reply with quote  #14 
Don’t know why,but a good topic I know I feel safe with a few rounds of buckshot by my bedside , more than any other gun, but everybody is different, makes you really think why you don’t see a lot of police with them anymore
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #15 
If you are going to a gun fight, take a shotgun.  If you can't take a shotgun, don't go.

Not sure who first said that but I bet he lived to a ripe old age.

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