Shotguns?

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Shotguns?

Post by Lishark015 » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:49 pm

i dont understand why shotguns are so emphasized in zombie survival, or magnum revolvers for that matter. they dont hold much ammo and shotguns are only really effective at close range (to most shooters anyway). i feel a semi-auto AR would be best, along with a trusted magazine-fed pistol. these guns are mostly emphasized in zombie movies, which are made for hollywood, so naturally the guns must have a big bang to them to impress the viewers, but in a real undead attack, i'd sling the 12-gauge if an AR came my way.
If you ever hear someone say "I wonder if this is flammable." RUN!!
Chances are, they've already got their Zippo out and are going to test it.

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Post by kyle » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:55 pm

That's a common opinion amoung a lot of the regulars in here. Shot guns are great for your home but if you have to bug out that shotgun ammo sucks to lug around.
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Post by Jynx » Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:56 am

I agree, but shotguns might have appeal in their ease of use to the average citizen.

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Post by Lishark015 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:14 am

this is true, but given the average firearms skills and survival instincts of the average "joe civilian," there'd probably be a good number of shotgun-toting zombies out there
If you ever hear someone say "I wonder if this is flammable." RUN!!
Chances are, they've already got their Zippo out and are going to test it.

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Post by Iron » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:24 am

Shot guns make good survival weapons because through the different types of ammo available, they can cover many different uses. Besides manstopping, they offer the ability to take both large and small game including birds. You'd be hardpressed to take down a pheasant with an AR-15. In a close quarters situation the fact that you're firing a spread of pellets instead of a single slug makes point and shoot easier. Police that have access to submachine guns often use shotguns in room clearing when doing forced entry raids for this reason as well as the fact that they are less likely to over-pentrate in an urban enviroment.

Shotshells are capable of being reloaded with blackpowder if necessary as they are originally blackpowder rounds. When reloading the shotshell, the pellets used don't have to match the bore of the gun. So anything that won't damage the barrel or jam in it are fair game. You may remember seeing a double barrel shotgun being allegedly loaded with dimes in a western movie.

I've read an account of such a practice from the period of the second world war when ammunition for hunting was scarce and what was available was expensive. One man (then a young teen) handloaded his 12 guage shells with homemade blackpowder.

Shot was made from melted wheel weights. These were melted and then puddled on a sheet of metal. The resulting sheet of lead was cut first into strips and then into cubes with an old paper cutter. He used discarded newspapers for wadding and capped the ends of the shells with a circular plug of waxed leather cut from I believe it was a worn out machine drive belt (these were used in the 20's and 30's iirc) He used his homemade ammo to furnish game for the table and supplement what was available through rationing. His only real expense was primers. This method was taught to him by his grandfather who used the it during the depression. The only real drawback to this he mentioned was having to clean his shotgun with boiling water to remove the corrosive salts produced by black powder.

The .357 is capable of firing both .357 and .38 special cartridges giving greater ammunition compatibility for a revolver. The .38 special was also developed as a black powder round, so it could be reloaded with it if modern smokeless powder becomes unavailable.

Revolvers tend to be recommended as survival weapons as they are more dependable than auto hand guns. In a survival scenario the usual idea is to avoid contact if at all possible with unfriendlies so the rate of fire is traded off for dependability.

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Post by randomusername » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:39 am

Iron put it well, and the tactical advantage of different rounds and the simplicity of the weapons themselves make it a must for almost any movie. When you see a zombie movie, your gonna see a weapon like a .44 Mag and a shotty because they are simple and easy to clean, not that anyone cleans guns in movies, but compared to breaking down an AR-15, a .44 Mag is like going to kindergarden.

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Post by thrash242 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:37 am

I'm curious why people keep saying things are not good at long range. If a zombie is out of range of a pistol, for instance, why even shoot it? They're not armed, so they're not a threat until they're close.

Am I missing something? I mean, a good scoped rifle would be nice for cleaning your yard of zombies, but most zombie encounters would be at close range, would they not?

And shotguns aren't only effective at close range, I'd say more like medium range. And you can load them with slugs for even more range.

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Post by Gundown » Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:40 am

I agree with you thrash but I'm on of the fans of the shotgun.

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Post by Hollow Point » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:23 am

NEVER get your gun info from Hollywood. It's incredibly rare they depict realistic weapons and weapons handling.

As for shotguns and revolvers, they are simple to use, reliable due to fewer parts, have simple contols, are easy to clean, and are widespread.
Most people aren't up on combat tactics with an AR-15 or how to clear a jam out of a Sig Sauer P226, for instance. Because most people, outside of law enforcement, the military, and civilians like survivalists, militia members, and people serious about mastering their weapon for self defense, are totally clueless about combat tactics and combat weaponscraft. And a lot of cops and military types know just enough to do their jobs, and no more.

These days semiautomatic pistols are just as reliable as revolvers, if you know what you are doing. Revolvers are good handguns for people who aren't going to put a lot of time and effort into mastering a handgun, since revolvers dont' have safeties, magazines, and dealing with a misfire in a wheelgun means pull the trigger again, and they don't really jam, unless you count a slug getting caught between the cylinder and barrel, or in the barrel, and that'll screw up a semiauto too. But they suffer from low ammo capacity and slow reload times, even with speedloaders, etc.


On the range thing, I don't want to wait until a zombie is within pistol range. Or shotgun range. Destroy the threat at a distance and it's not a threat at close range, where zombies do their damage. In other words, drop a 5.56mm slug in it's head at 100 yards and you won't have to deal with it at 3 feet, where it's close enough to bite you.
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Post by Iron » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:35 am

Good post Hollow, one question though, doesn't half cock on a revolver count as a safety? Though I suppose that would only apply to single action revolvers. Perhaps I should have specified revolvers are more reliable in the hands of novices and when poorly maintained? Ah well everything has it's drawbacks.

I definately agree on the point of dealing with a threat at the greatest effective range.

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Post by Coal-Cracker » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:37 am

As there is no perfect all-around firearm, you use different firearms for different applications.
An AR would be ideal for medium range encounters, a shotgun (with tactical reloads) for close-up work. Remember, your trying to head-shot a (possibly FAST) MOVING target at close range. Not as easy as Hollywoods makes it out to be, especially with a centerfire rifle. Now, add stress to that same difficulty. Think of it as a high-stakes game of skeet/trap.

As ammo will be a valuable resource, I don't see myself taking shots that aren't absolutely necessary for my survival. Given the sound signature, why attract more to your location if they aren't an immediate threat?

My ideal setup would be a lightweight AR, complimented with a shotgun, maybe even the subgun (pistol backup). I don't really have the option to mobilize immediately (given my family situation) so I don't see this as an encumbrance.

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Post by ednemo » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:40 am

Revolvers are very very accurate. That is why you see them in the zombie movies. Also, most zombie movies are based in more rural environments where average people are shooting zombies. But, when the military goes against the zombies they usually carry rifles. And I don't blame them. Shotguns on the other hand are about the best possible anti-zombie weapons. Slugs can reach out and touch at a good distance and shot can be used at close range up to 25 yards with tremendous results. That is why the military still carry shotguns. They have a lot of uses, as breachers, close range shooters, hunting guns, and as medium ranged weapons.

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Post by Cricket » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:13 am

Iron wrote:Shot guns make good survival weapons because through the different types of ammo available, they can cover many different uses. Besides manstopping, they offer the ability to take both large and small game including birds. You'd be hardpressed to take down a pheasant with an AR-15. In a close quarters situation the fact that you're firing a spread of pellets instead of a single slug makes point and shoot easier. Police that have access to submachine guns often use shotguns in room clearing when doing forced entry raids for this reason as well as the fact that they are less likely to over-pentrate in an urban enviroment.

Shotshells are capable of being reloaded with blackpowder if necessary as they are originally blackpowder rounds. When reloading the shotshell, the pellets used don't have to match the bore of the gun. So anything that won't damage the barrel or jam in it are fair game. You may remember seeing a double barrel shotgun being allegedly loaded with dimes in a western movie.

I've read an account of such a practice from the period of the second world war when ammunition for hunting was scarce and what was available was expensive. One man (then a young teen) handloaded his 12 guage shells with homemade blackpowder.

Shot was made from melted wheel weights. These were melted and then puddled on a sheet of metal. The resulting sheet of lead was cut first into strips and then into cubes with an old paper cutter. He used discarded newspapers for wadding and capped the ends of the shells with a circular plug of waxed leather cut from I believe it was a worn out machine drive belt (these were used in the 20's and 30's iirc) He used his homemade ammo to furnish game for the table and supplement what was available through rationing. His only real expense was primers. This method was taught to him by his grandfather who used the it during the depression. The only real drawback to this he mentioned was having to clean his shotgun with boiling water to remove the corrosive salts produced by black powder.

The .357 is capable of firing both .357 and .38 special cartridges giving greater ammunition compatibility for a revolver. The .38 special was also developed as a black powder round, so it could be reloaded with it if modern smokeless powder becomes unavailable.

Revolvers tend to be recommended as survival weapons as they are more dependable than auto hand guns. In a survival scenario the usual idea is to avoid contact if at all possible with unfriendlies so the rate of fire is traded off for dependability.
That nails it right there. :)

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Post by ultra magnus » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:56 pm

Gallagher wrote:Iron put it well, and the tactical advantage of different rounds and the simplicity of the weapons themselves make it a must for almost any movie. When you see a zombie movie, your gonna see a weapon like a .44 Mag and a shotty because they are simple and easy to clean, not that anyone cleans guns in movies, but compared to breaking down an AR-15, a .44 Mag is like going to kindergarden.
For extreme shotgun cleaning action the new Dawn of the Dead is tops.

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Post by randomusername » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:57 pm

is that sarcasm, or was Vingh Rhaymes cleaning one at one point, i can't remember.

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Post by Bear_B » Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:19 pm

Let me give you a hypothetical...

The PAW hits, and youre making your escape. You load your gear into your 4x4 and start hauling ass.

Suddenly your sister and her husband jump out of the bushes and start flagging you down.

Your sister's husband is a cool dude... big and strong, and physically capable, but has absolutely NO experience with weapons.

Now you have a choice... arm him with an AR/AK (or whatever tactical rifle you own), or a shotgun.

Personally Im going with the shotgun. I dont have time to teach him how to clear/clean/operate/change mags/load mags for the more complicated tactical rifle, and how to work a good sight picture.

Instead, take 5 minutes to teach him to load the shotgun, and work the action. His aim does not have to be dead-on accurate, and at closer range all he really has to do is "point" the shotgun.

Even a slightly "off" shot can still cause massive amounts of damage. SO in the hands of a "newb" its a far more effective weapon.

Its also a fairly inexpensive weapon to stock pile ammo for.

In addition to that, its VERY multi-functional. Remember you can load the shotty with rifled slugs and effectively turn your shotgun into a short/medium range rifle.

And now that the assult weapons ban is over, you can have a shotty in much greater capacity, including "drum" fed shot guns holding PLENTY of potent, hard hitting, 12 ga ammo.









Plus there is no sound quite like the "chack-chunk" sound of a 12 ga pump. It's one of the coolest sounds on earth... unless youre the target.
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Post by joerwinn » Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:18 am

I am a huge fan of the shotgun. Mostly for its ammunition options. However i must quicly add that most of its ammunition is< of course> designed for MAN stopping not the theoretical zombie stopping. With Flachettes that can penetrate kevlar body armor to the buck and ball ammo perfected in the civil war, the shotgun is a great all around weapon. Know the local laws on the legal length of them and cut them down to that length and they are the perfect home defense weapon. Long barrels are not wanted in the room to room space of your house or wherever you are defending. the shot pattern will spead a lot and you may get more than one kill per shot. Add in the steel flachettes(like darts 12 guage will hold about thirty) and you have a weapon capable of taking down several attakers at once even if the are wearing body armor. For the zombie scenario aim high for the head and flachettes will penetrate the skull. Outside of the kill the bad guy scenario they are a great hunting weapon if you are not worried about the very loud "bang" they are going to make.

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Post by thrash242 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:05 am

Hollow Point wrote: On the range thing, I don't want to wait until a zombie is within pistol range. Or shotgun range. Destroy the threat at a distance and it's not a threat at close range, where zombies do their damage. In other words, drop a 5.56mm slug in it's head at 100 yards and you won't have to deal with it at 3 feet, where it's close enough to bite you.
Do you plan on standing around while in the open with zombies around? My point is that if a zombie is 100 yards away, especially if they're the classic slow moving type, why even bother with it? Continue walking whereever you're going at a leisurely pace and you won't have to deal with it at all. Firing at a zombie 100 yards away will just alert any nearby that haven't seen you yet and use up ammo.

I wouldn't shoot a zombie if I'm in the open unless it's close enough to actually be a threat.

If you see a horde of zombies at 100 yards, are you going to stand there and carefully pick each one off, or are you going to keep moving and try to avoid them?

Now, if you're in a fortified position and have the luxury of being safe and having time, that's another story. I'm talking about when you're moving around on foot and may come face-to-face with a zombie at any time.

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Post by thrash242 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:13 am

joerwinn wrote:I am a huge fan of the shotgun. Mostly for its ammunition options. However i must quicly add that most of its ammunition is< of course> designed for MAN stopping not the theoretical zombie stopping. With Flachettes that can penetrate kevlar body armor to the buck and ball ammo perfected in the civil war, the shotgun is a great all around weapon. Know the local laws on the legal length of them and cut them down to that length and they are the perfect home defense weapon. Long barrels are not wanted in the room to room space of your house or wherever you are defending. the shot pattern will spead a lot and you may get more than one kill per shot. Add in the steel flachettes(like darts 12 guage will hold about thirty) and you have a weapon capable of taking down several attakers at once even if the are wearing body armor. For the zombie scenario aim high for the head and flachettes will penetrate the skull. Outside of the kill the bad guy scenario they are a great hunting weapon if you are not worried about the very loud "bang" they are going to make.
I would not recommend flechettes at all. Everything I've ever heard about them and other "gimmick" rounds is that they're not nearly as effective as a slug or plain buckshot. And I seriously doubt that you could take out multiple people with or without body armor.

Does anyone know how much spread is normal for a shotgun with buckshot? I'm thinking it's about an inch per 10 feet. It's not the "kill three enemies at close range" weapon that is in video games.

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Post by Civilian Scout » Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:58 am

thrash242 wrote:Does anyone know how much spread is normal for a shotgun with buckshot? I'm thinking it's about an inch per 10 feet. It's not the "kill three enemies at close range" weapon that is in video games.
With combat/riot-type shotguns (18-20 inch barrel, cylinder bore) the pellets will stay together for about a yard, then start spreading about an inch for each additional yard of travel. So at ten yards they will have spread about nine inches. This is the accepted standard for calculating spread on this sort of weapon. It is a gross simplification for quick estimation. Different loads in different guns will all spread differently. The spread should be about the same with birdshot or buckshot. Smaller pellets will just penetrate less.
The popular misconception with shotguns is that they release a sort of magical cone of total destruction from the end of the barrel, and since you have multiple projectiles, you don't even really need to aim. You just blast away and anything unfortunate enough to be your target is instantly vaporized. The are certainly capable of massive damage, but there is no magic involved. Remember, each buckshot pellet is not the equivalent of a true bullet. You need as many pellets as possible to strike each target. That means that each shot from the shotgun is only likely to take out one zombie. This 'more than one kill per shot' idea is a fairy tale. A combat shotgun is effective to about 20 yards. Beyond that, you're pushing your luck -- you can't reliably put enough pellets on target to ensure its demise. There are reports verifying this on record everywhere. Copper plated shot will generally produce slightly tighter groups and slightly more penetration. Both are advantageous in most serious situations. Shotguns are capable of massive short-range damage, but that's it. Slugs will need to be fired from a rifled slug barrel to be accurate enough to really extend your range. Switching barrels in the heat of things isn't realistically an option. Slugs fired from a standard barel are effective at longer ranges than shot, and certainly have their uses, but don't ask a shotgun to do a rifle's job.
Shotguns are very practical 'survival' guns, for reasons stated in earlier posts, but if you're planning on using one to mow the heads off zombies, you will need to get up close and personal - and it will take at least one round per zombie, same as with a rifle or handgun. I like my shotgun, but when/if the big day comes, it won't be the first thing I reach for. That will most likely be a shot of Jameson (a short toast to the end of the world as we knew it) and the second will be a rifle.
Last edited by Civilian Scout on Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by -Jason- » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:16 pm

Why shotguns?

1. In most states like NJ you cant get an AR or military type rifle but you can get a shotgun.
2. They spread the blast out which has better chances of brain destruction or hitting more then one guy.
3. Shotguns are generally cheaper then something like an AR.
4. Their ammo is easy to come across.

And a comment on the capacity. If you have to kill so many zombies in a row that you cant reload the shotgun your probably already finished.

And since it spreads out its more appealing to the guy that cant get to the range very often.

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Post by Rus » Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:49 pm

As many have mentioned, shotguns are VERY easy for the uninitiated to use, and are effective out to about 25m.

A 12 gauge loaded with 00 buckshot from a improved cylinder also makes head shots much easier than with, say, a pistol.

Here in town at the Alrosa Villa shooting, a CPD officer used his 12 gague to take out the gunman. One shot to the head.

As a point of interest, CPD officers are required to qualify semi-annually on their sidearms and shotguns. For most, that's all the shooting they do. A one-shot headshot is all the more an endorsement of the shotgun, although I'll admit I don't know if the officer involved shot more than qualification requirements.

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Post by Valarius » Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:42 pm

I like shotguns because they're "my thing."

Plus the reasons everyone else mentioned. Although, yes, I tried slugging around a couple shotgun boxes in a backpack at Mal-Wart and it didn't feel good on my back, which is why I'm going to buy a bandolier ASAP.
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Post by Hollow Point » Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:49 am

Iron wrote:Good post Hollow, one question though, doesn't half cock on a revolver count as a safety? Though I suppose that would only apply to single action revolvers. Perhaps I should have specified revolvers are more reliable in the hands of novices and when poorly maintained? Ah well everything has it's drawbacks.

I definately agree on the point of dealing with a threat at the greatest effective range.
As far as I can tell, neither my S&W M19 .357 or my S&W 317 .22LR revolver has a half cock position. I believe modern double action revolvers only let you have the hammer down or fully cocked for a single action shot. The safety on a revolver is between the operator's ears, and their trigger finger. Other than that, I'd agree.
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