Shotguns used to typically be known as fowling pieces used for mainly killing birds. They fire projectiles called slugs, or they can fire round pellets commonly known as shots. They are meant to be fired from the shoulder. They operate at a relatively low pressure and contain a stubby cartridge. There ammunition is most commonly referred to as shotshells, shotgun shells, or just plainly shells. One that desires to target quickly moving miniature objects would use a shotgun, especially if the object is flying up above. One can fire a shot through a smoothbore barrel. Or for a more accurate projectile, one can can shoot with a rifled slug barrel. Shotguns have always been used mostly for commercial and sport hunting. John Browning was the man responsible for revolutionizing the shotgun and created the lever action repeating scattergun. This expanded the “break open” type of shotgun to the action lever that was able to load new cartridge from the internal. Shotguns are classified by how the gun is reloaded or the barrel number. There are many mechanisms regarding the operation of a gun including Break-action, Pump action, Lever-action, Bolt-action, and Martini-Henry rifle design. Shotguns are known for being more powerful and effective than handguns, especially at extended ranges. It is also easier for most shooters to find accuracy when firing with a shotgun versus a handgun. A shotgun’s greater length between the front and rear makes for better aim. Also, the bigger size of a shotgun helps stabilize a shooter’s hold or grasp. It also provides a higher muzzle velocity. To own a shotgun in the United States, you must be a non-prohibited private resident and pass extensive background checks. You must also pay a two hundred dollar federal tax fee and be provided a stamp.
While less commonly used than in other armed forces, shotguns are in limited usage in the Israeli SF community. Properly deployed, a shotgun is a highly versatile weapon, which can be use for a variety of applications including lethal, breaching and non-lethal.
Shotguns are also used for EOD work (mounted on EOD robot or used for long range remote detonation), and occasionally for firing non-lethal ammunition during riots control. Finally, during the IDF deployment in Lebanon prior to 2000, several SF units deploy shotguns to engage targets in dense bush areas.
The most commonly used IDF shotgun is the Remington 870. Known for its reliability, this shotgun comes in multiple tactical configurations.
While shotguns are meant to be handled upon the shoulder, handguns are not. Handguns can be used in either one hand or even both. Handguns are typically categorized by the differences amongst muzzle-loading guns and breech-loading guns. A muzzle-loaded firearm refers to one that is loaded from the front of the barrel. A breech-loaded gun refers to one that is loaded from behind the barrel. Some varieties of handguns are Single-shot pistols, Multi-barreled pistols, Revolvers, Semi-automatic pistols, or Machine pistols. The utilization of both “Pistol” or “Handgun” often overlap in meaning. Handguns are easier to carry compared to shotguns due to being lighter and smaller. They also allow the person utilizing the firearm to have one available hand in case it is needed to hold another aid in defense. Handguns are also quite difficult to be snatched away from an opposer due to their small to non-existing muzzle, and size overall. Handgun cartridges compared to shotguns are more limited regarding energy as well. In the United States it is quite easy to obtain a handgun, but you must be at least twenty one years of age to buy a handgun or it’s ammunition from a dealer.