Shotguns in World War II?


March 31, 2006, 04:44 PM
Hey everyone,

I was looking at a Norinco Trench shotgun copy in the gun store recently. I did some research on the real ones a while back and saw how they were used for trench clearing in World War I. However, I havent read any stories or seen pictures of shotguns being used in World War II. I mean, Im sure they were used, especially in the jungle. Does anyone have any info about this?


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Vern Humphrey
March 31, 2006, 04:57 PM
Shotguns were used in Viet Nam, too. My company, A-1/61 IN, had two, a Winchester Model 12 and a Remington 870. We mostly used them for ambushes.

March 31, 2006, 05:04 PM
Everything I've read seems to indicate that shotguns were used much more in both WWI and Viet Nam than they were in WWII.

Maybe someone else has info that can refute this.

Brother in Arms
March 31, 2006, 05:10 PM
Shotguns where used in ww2 several different models. The 1897 trenchgun(with heat sheild and bayonet lug) and Riotgun Versions (20 inch barrels no heatshield or bayonet lug) The Winchester Model 12 was also used in both trench and riot models. They also used Remington Model 11 shotgun to train anti-aircraft gunners to shoot moving targets. I know they where sometimes used for gaurd duty in ww2 but im not sure why else. Im sure some units had them in there inventory since ww1.

Several different types where used used in Vietnam both the Model 97 and Model 12 also the Savages 77, Stevens 520-30, and 620(these whre also used in ww2) Winchester 1200, Remington 870 and my personsonel favorite Ithaca Model 37. Many of these in both trench and riot form.

Brother in Arms

March 31, 2006, 05:23 PM
thanks guys. I knew there was some info out there.

of course the shotgun was used in 'Nam. Remember "bunny" from PLATOON haha

March 31, 2006, 05:23 PM
My dad was a tail gunner on a WWII Navy SBD dive bomber.....trained in Florida by riding in the back of a pickup truck, bouncing down a road lined with trap machines throwing clay targets. This was used to simulate arial combat.....not sure what kind of shotgun they used. He said they used shotguns because ammo was cheaper than training with machine guns. The shotguns were mounted on a swivel pedistal in the back of pickup to get trainees familiar with the swing and movement of machine guns.

He would have been the guy riding in the back with twin 30's.....

March 31, 2006, 05:25 PM
“Shotguns were employed by Allied-supported partisans and guerrillas in Europe and Asia during World War II, and by the United States Army and Marine Corps in the Pacific and China- Burma-India (CBI) theaters. The short range of the shotgun made it of limited value for conventional forces in the open European battlefields, but its close-range effectiveness made it invaluable in the dense jungle battlefields of the Pacific and CBI theaters.”

OCTOBER 1997 THE ARMY LAWYER • DA-PAM 27-50-299 16
Joint Service Combat Shotgun Program
W. Hays Parks
Special Assistant for Law of War Matters
Office of The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army
Washington, D.C.

March 31, 2006, 05:28 PM
IIRC Winchester 97 & 12 "Trench Guns" were used in the Pacific Theater. They were used against Japanese snipers hidden in the upper frons of palm trees in the early days of the war before significant numbers of machine and sub-machine guns were avalaible.

March 31, 2006, 05:34 PM
I remember reading some where that 1897Ts where used in WWII mostly by in state forces that guarded POW and interment camps, as well as the sunk works of the day.

March 31, 2006, 06:22 PM
Did the British use A-5's in the PTO in WWII, or not until Malaya afterwards?

Just curious, and someone here surely knows the answer.

March 31, 2006, 07:19 PM
Extra features on the DVD of Objective Burma ( includes a military training film called "The Rear Gunner," which shows how the aerial machine gunners were trained using the trap shooting, truck gunning for clays, etc. Very interesting and a good addition to a superior WWII film.

March 31, 2006, 07:31 PM
If i remember correctly, the british used a semi-automatic shotgun. It looks like my friends old browning.

Im not really sure. I dont know why I didnt think of that earlier.

March 31, 2006, 07:44 PM
Shotguns were very common in WWII with production of approximately 500,000 during the war. Initially, the government authorized the purchase of commercial shotguns from the inventory of manufactures. They even advertised for donations from the public. Once production cranked up, they managed to manufacture approximately 120,000 in 1942.

Many of the WWII shotguns were used inside the US for guard duty, prison use and other non-combat roles. This freed up many rifles and subguns for shipment overseas for combat troops.

March 31, 2006, 08:18 PM
My first post, but long time lurker and gun enthusiast.

I was issued a model 97 for Army stockade guard duty in 1958. Long time after WWII but I was told our shotguns were manufactured during WWII. Ours had about 18" barrel and we used all brass (shell) 00 buck.

March 31, 2006, 09:22 PM
I've read the telegram that reported my great uncle Sid was killed by an accidental discharge of his shotgun shortly after the end of WW2. Sid had served as a radioman in an infantry unit and received a battlefireld promotion to 2nd Lt and was serving as an MP in the occupation of Berlin when he was killed.

Based on that, I'd say MP's had shotguns.

fal 4 me
March 31, 2006, 09:30 PM
There was also the liberator shotgun, a single shot shotgun dropped to people in the Philipines and such. Not really an issue weapon, but meant for local guerillas so they could kill a Japanese soldier and get a rifle.

April 1, 2006, 12:14 AM
That's interesting about the liberator shotgun. I knew about liberator single shot .45ACP pistols in Europe. Always something new to learn.

April 1, 2006, 03:28 PM
I was at the philadelphia national guard armory gun show today and saw a table selling world war I and II shotguns. There were a few 1897 Trench models and a few Stevens. Ranging from 1200-3000 dollars!

4v50 Gary
April 1, 2006, 03:31 PM
Bruce Canfield's book on U.S. Infantry Weapons of WW II covers the issue of shotguns.

April 1, 2006, 03:41 PM
I do believe the USN made extensive use of the winchester model 12 riot gun on it's gunboats. It seems that a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buck is one hell of a lot more effective in close quarters combat, such as takes place when being boarded or boarding another vessel, than a 24" barelled 1903 springfield is. While I'm by no means selling the .30-06 round short, the shotgun just makes a hell of a handier weapon and it's a lot easier to hit something at close range when the shot spreads.

April 1, 2006, 05:36 PM
Never heard of the "Liberator Shotgun". Any references for it? Sounds interesting.

Vern Humphrey
April 1, 2006, 06:10 PM
The "Liberator" was a very crude gun used in the Phillippiines as a minimum weapon for guerillas. Basically it was a tube and rod with a rudamentary shoulder stock on the tube. The tube was the barrel, and you chambered a shell in it, and slid it down over the rod smartly, so the primer smacked into the firing pin on the end of the rod.

Fred Fuller
April 1, 2006, 09:29 PM
It's called a palintod in the Philippines- been mentioned here before. See .


April 2, 2006, 05:25 AM
I was ogling at a norinco M97 trench model recently...

kinda spurred out of watching film: WindTalkers, the gunnery seargent was armed with a Winchester 1897 Trench gun:D

after all my talk about it, my freind bought one before I could, blah :mad:

Great lookin' gun, the Noirinco representation will run you about 300 and they dont look half bad. I'd be careful about the bolt when you rack it, I noticed it was kinda pointy and can probably cut up your thumb if you're not careful

Good stuff

April 10, 2006, 07:41 AM
Don't Burn My Flag

I don't know if our Commonwealth allies or ourselves used riot/combat shotguns in WW2, but I do Know that after the war, the Browning A5 shotgun was extensively used during the Borneo and Malayan Campaigns of the 50s and 60s, by Paratroopers, Marines and by the SAS, for close-quarter fighting in the Jungle-much like your military units did during the Vietnam war.The Chindits and Commonwealth troops fighting the Japanise in WW2-in the far-east, might have used them, in addition to the Jungle-Carbines and M1/M2 Carbines.

Also in the 1950's or the 1960s the Remington 870 and 870 riot, shotguns were used by the British Army, in riot-control and in jungle-warfare.

Therefore you were correct in assuming that that shotgun you saw, looked like your friends Browning.

April 14, 2006, 03:55 PM
both riot for guard duty, and long guns for target practice were used in WW2......The gun looks like a Remington 11......chris3

April 14, 2006, 04:31 PM
I don't remember my father ever mentioning his use of shotguns during WWII, but they were around - he mentioned that "GI" 12 ga ammo used a full-length brass shell.

He did talk a bit about his use of shot cartridges in Thompson SMGs. He told me they were used for very close work in the densest jungle - a burst from one of them would "melt" the vegetation, as well as the Jap behind it. They worked fine up REAL close if you filled the entire mag with shot rounds, but if you tried to load magazines with alternating shot and ball to get a little bit more range, you'd get malfunctions.

I got the impression that after an inital burst of enthusiasm when they first got their hands on them, .45 shot rounds didn't find much favor with the GIs.

I have one cartridge he brought home - it looks pretty much like a round of "ball" ammo except where a normal 230 FMJ projectile would be there's an extended "dome" of red cardboard-like material; the shot is inside.

I *think* he mentioned another type of shot round that looked more like a slightly longer than average .45 case with a flat wad sealing the end . . . but my memory is a little hazy on that, and I don't have a sample.

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