The Shotgun – Force Multiplier for Civilian Small Unit Tactics – Parting Shots
J D Lester
Suarez International Staff Instructor
The previous articles on the use of the shotgun in Civilian Small Unit Tactics covered a range of considerations for this niche weapon. We discussed capacity, action types, tube fed vs magazine fed and also where / how the shotgun might best be employed.
Net, the shotgun is a force multiplier that can complement the Civilian Warfighter.
Skill Sets and Knowledge:
Seeking out the knowledge to run the action type you have chosen at its highest level of performance should be fist on the list.
Knowing how your shotgun will pattern at all ranges with a variety of different loads, the maximum effective range, and the effects on targets and barriers you may encounter, is critical.
How much and what type ammo you should carry and how you should carry it is mission dependent and will change. Be ready for change so that it is seamless.
Maintaining your shotgun:
Time should be allotted for conducting routine weapons maintenance and inspecting your shotgun prior to each mission, dry function check at the minimum, and test fire if possible.
Research the recommended spare parts that are most often lost or broken on the shotgun that you use and put together a spare parts kit. Knowing how to keep the gun running can be very valuable knowledge.
If it is your only long gun due to the area of the country you reside in, think about adding a second of the same type so you will have a backup in case you have a mechanical problem that you don’t have spare parts for or a malfunction that requires a good bit of remedial action to fix occurs.
For example, a bolt over ride malfunction with the round between the bolt and shell lifter is a show stopper for the Remington 870 until you can drop the trigger group. I have also seen a Mossberg 500 get locked up after a fall on a hard surface. The shell lifter became dislodged and locked up the action. This required dropping the trigger group to fix.
Having the required tools to fix or change the configuration of the shotgun is a must. If you want to change to a pistol grip only setup for breaching, be sure you have the wrench for stock removal handy.
Parting thoughts on integration into the CW’s mission:
How the Civilian Warfighter integrates the shotgun into the plan is limited only by their knowledge of tactics, techniques and procedures to maximize the shotgun’s effectiveness within its niche.
Seek out the knowledge and train, especially if this is the only long gun that you are able to use. Know the capabilities and limitations of your shotgun and yourself.
For knowledge on running of the shotgun, enroll in a Dynamics of the Shotgun class near you. For other valuable applicable information, check out the High Risk Operator courses also offered by Suarez International.