The use of the shotgun as a tactical weapon is the least understood platform for tactical shooting and therefore it is often over looked as a viable option in the tactical shooting community these days. Sure there are “three gunners” out there that start to push the shotgun’s limits and my hat is definitely off to a lot of them for the skill in which they manipulate that weapon. But for the most part, peoples’ first thoughts about bringing a shotgun to a gun fight is that it is big and scary and that when you rack the slide “it is an attention getter” and that is about as far as their thought process goes with respect to the shotgun being an offensive weapon. We tend to place this gun in the defensive category more suitable for trying to scare an adversary by posturing.
If we start to really look at the shotgun as a real tactical weapon we have to really get into the weeds with this gun to begin to understand it. We have to take into account it’s apparent strengths and weaknesses.
The first thing to note is that we have a limited ammo supply on the gun, followed by its relatively short range. These two facts are enough to knock it off most shooters list as it is. Next let’s take into account the recoil, for a lot of people this is a real consideration and it can be both a pro and a con. For example, depending on what kind of round you are shooting, it can kick like a mule, but it also can hit like one too.
This translates into the shotgun being one of the few weapons available to us with REAL knock down power. With one press of the trigger you can deliver up to nine individual rounds into a target simultaneously if you are loaded with buck shot.
The real trick for shooters is to learn to balance between a limited amount of ammo and the lethality of the weapon while managing its versatility under stress. Now that is a tall order. Once a shooter starts to really work with this gun he soon sees how complex it really is to operate the gun but, with that complexity comes some serious versatility.
Imagine being able to use a shotgun out to 100 yards and more and delivering effective as well as accurate fire on a target. A lot of people would just say this is just not possible, but with a little thought and a little training you cannot only do just that but you can do it even if you start the encounter loaded only with buck shot!
The key is to learn how to manipulate the gun to fit the tactical situation and a shot gun can do that like no other weapon that we have. But, it is going to cost you time and dedication to learning how to artfully work the gun to manage the versatility and firepower the shotgun can bring to a fight.