When Shotguns Were Weapons Of War

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

David Hunt on the Trench Gun.

The enemy didn’t like the trench broom one bit. In September 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest, complaining that the Model 97 Trench Gun was illegal because “it is especially forbidden to employ arms, projections, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering” as defined in the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. When the Americans rejected this, the German high command then threatened to execute any soldier caught with a Trench Gun or even just Trench Gun shells. General Pershing replied that, henceforth, any Germans caught with flamethrowers or saw-bladed bayonets would be lined up and shot. As far as is known, no American or German POWs were executed under such circumstances.

For a lesson in history, visit his article.

But not so fast.  The shotgun is still a weapon of war.  As I’ve pointed out before, the U.S. Marine Corps used shotguns for close quarters battle in Now Zad, Afghanistan.  I snagged this shot of a YouTube video of fighting there when I was covering Marine Corps work in that theater.

So the next time some loud mouth tells you that “civilians” should not have “weapons of war designed only to kill others,” inform them that every soldier or Marine is first and foremost a civilian (in that he came from our ranks and will return to our ranks), and that every weapon that has ever been designed, or improvised, by an insurgency or uniformed army, is a weapon of war.  There are no exceptions, from sticks to rocks, from shotguns to rifles, from revolvers to pistols, from bolt action long guns to machine guns.

That’s a Red Herring anyway.  They don’t care about the details.  They just want you disarmed of all weaponry.  You’re easier to control that way.

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Comments

  1. On September 20, 2019 at 12:03 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    Re: “In September 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest, complaining that the Model 97 Trench Gun was illegal because “it is especially forbidden to employ arms, projections, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering” as defined in the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land.”

    General John “Black Jack” Pershing was right to call the German’s bluff, and not just about flame-throwers and bayonets with saw teeth on them.

    German infantry were taught to sharpen the edges of their entrenching tools, making them into formidable close-quarter weapons for hand-to-hand combat.

    Did the German artillery use canister or fragmentation rounds? Or HE designed to fragment upon detonating? Then they were doing what a 12-gauge double-ought buck shotgun shell does, only on a larger scale?

    Let’s not even get into the fact that German infantry in the trenches in France and Belgium figured out that pulling the FMJ bullets from their Mauser K98 7.92×57 cartridges, turning them around, and re-crimping them into place made them into excellent improvised armor-piercing bullets, capable of penetrating the steel loopholes Allied riflemen were using as cover. Do a little work with a file and they made excellent dum-dum bullets, which produced horrific wounds on the enemy soldiers they hit.

    War is, by definition, an atrocity against humankind, man’s inhumanity to man personified.

    “War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over.”
    – William Tecumseh Sherman

  2. On September 20, 2019 at 6:46 am, Heywood said:

    It doesn’t matter how many facts you give the libtards…they just change the subject or move the goal posts. I choose not to engage.

  3. On September 20, 2019 at 8:25 am, Bram said:

    Even my old National Guard armory had pump12 gauges. Good for all kinds of up-close applications.

  4. On September 20, 2019 at 10:54 am, BoyDownTheLane said:

    I want one of these in my garage.

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/19/marines-arm-drone-vehicle-50-cal-machine-gun-urban-fight.html

  5. On September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm, =BCE56= said:

    I acquired a ’50s era commercial Stevens 620A. (Didn’t really need it but the price was right.)
    After doing some research I decided to convert into a trench gun. Cut the barrel to spec. length and fitted a repro heatshield/bayo lug from Sarco. Refinished the stocks and inletted for correct sling swivels and screws from Numrich.
    A few hours of enjoyable “work” yielded a replica (not a counterfeit) that looks like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=stevens+620a+trench+gun&tbm=isch&source=hp&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjAyIKCqeDkAhXLsJ4KHQgoB20QsAR6BAgDEAE&biw=1088&bih=479#spf=1569014196924

    Total investment well under $200.

  6. On September 21, 2019 at 11:15 am, willford said:

    I have one kinda like that I built so to speak, BUT it has a pistol Grip & no stock. Carry it quite often in Scabbard.

  7. On September 21, 2019 at 7:54 pm, =BCE56= said:

    @ Georgiaboy61-
    Regarding the effectiveness of reversed bullets against armor in WWI.
    I had never heard of this improvisation. Thanks for the heads-up!
    I did some checking and found this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.92%C3%9757mm_Mauser

    and this:
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1922_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Armour_Plate (scroll down to [205].)

    It appears the WWI reversed ammo was lead-core and was somewhat effective at short range but was unpopular w/ infantrymen for various reasons. Improved steel and tungsten core variants were developed by about 1942.

    FWIW, I tested Russian commercial and Chinese milsurp 7.62 X 39
    steel core ammo against 1/2″ aluminum plate at about 25 yds. I found it shed the jackets but the cores penetrated completely, leaving holes bout 1/4″ with considerable spalling. (I was unable to recover any cores.)

    Carry on, Sir!

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You are currently reading "When Shotguns Were Weapons Of War", entry #21931 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns,Weapons and Tactics and was published September 19th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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