Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Shotguns in WW2

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by scrog, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    if you goto:

    http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/12172-shotguns-ww2.html

    you can read the existing discussion from a few years ago, for my own addition let me include this, since I didn't participate in this one:

    The M97 Winchester (Browning design, 1897) is a pump action shotgun with an exposed hammer which really started being used by the U.S. military during WW1 for trench warfare, then due to a temporary shortage of weapons many were re-issued during WW2, I’m not positive of the numbers, since I have seen different ones in different sources every thing from 26,000 to 58,000 re-issued and put to work in WW2 with some even sent to Great Britain for the Home Guard.

    Like the newer Ithaca M37, the older M97 has no trigger disconnect allowing the gun to fire as fast as a semi auto. The M37 is also a pump action shotgun and is one of the several types of commercial shotgun purchased by the U.S. military during WW2 and modified for military usage. The great majority of shotguns were used for training or for arming Military Police guards in US service. They were occasionally issued for combat in urban areas in the ETO or jungle fighting in the PTO. Due to different battlefield conditions they were actually more common in the Pacific theater and were very popular with the U.S. Marine Corps as you mentioned. Most of the Ithaca M37s issued for combat were modified to accept a bayonet.

    There were also the new Remington M31s (pump), M11s (autoloaders), Stevens M620As (pump), and more than 80,000 Winchester M12s (pump). THe M12 was a more streamlined version of the M97 with an enclosed hammer. The Remingtons, and Stevens were issued in smaller numbers for distribution to both theaters for the mentioned uses; MP guards, urban house fighting, cave clearing (PTO), and jungle fighting (PTO).

    I have never been able to find any Geneva convention which explictly "outlaws" a shotgun, although one of the early posts mentioned "lead shot v steel shot", that might be connected to the outlawing of "dum-dum" bullets which made the FMJ the standard for military ammo, I dunno.
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Search function? How do I search for the search function?

    Damn! I was supposed to have gotten new batteries this Christmas, but no luck there.
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
  5. Decoder

    Decoder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    9
    My wife's grandfather use to clear Houses in Belgium France, He told me his routine It consisted of him and 2 other guys. He was a machine gunner not sure of which gun, His friend would knock on a bedroom door to get a Wehrmacht to open up.. He would stand a distance back from the door, the second he saw the door handle turn he would then mow whoever was behind that door down. He said their routine worked great a few times untill he acidentilly killed a young girl. He had nightmares of her seeing her face looking through the cracked open door.

    R.I.P both of them.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    And what does this have to do with the subject of shotguns in WWII?
     
  7. Decoder

    Decoder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    9
    The first post also mentioned house clearing actions. The shotgun part was covered, I was just adding some interesting info since I havent posted in a while, is this really a big deal? If it is I dont think I will post here anymore.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Nope. Just wondering. Didn't see any relevence to the original topic of using shotguns in the clearing of houses and buildings. It would be somewhat similar to my posting info about using tanks to clear houses and buildings. It does not add to the original topic of shotguns being used as such or provide the info he was looking for.
     
  9. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    89
    Shotguns were never really issued as a standardized weapon but I am sure that some devoted soldiers might have found ways to acquire them. I can see why they weren't issued anyway as a submachine gun could outdo the role of a shotgun any day.
     
  10. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    The M97 was a "Standardized" weapon. Hence the Military designation "M97"


    Winchester Model 97 Shotgun

    The Winchester Model 1897 (or M97) 12 gauge shotgun is the original trench gun, made famous by its use by the U.S. Army in World War I.
    [​IMG]
    Marine carrying Winchester M97, World War II.


    The Original Trench Gun
    The Winchester Model 97 was designed by John M. Browning as an improved version of the Winchester Model 93. The shotgun's firepower was used to stop German attacks cold, something previously only a crew-served machine gun could do. Fitted with a bayonet and barrel heat shield it was a soldier's best friend in close quarters, when hand-to-hand fighting was upon him. For these reasons, it was called a "trench gun" or "trench broom."
    Winchester Model 97 Shotgun History

    [​IMG]
    Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun with "trench gun" heat shield and bayonet adapter
    M1917 bayonet shown below.
    At the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War I, Gen. John J. Pershing ("Black Jack") was given command. He was determined that U.S. forces would not settle into the static trench warfare that had already chewed up tens of thousands of lives on the European battlefield. The key was the ability to stop short any German attack from their own trenches before they could overrun American positions, while being able to infiltrate and clean out the enemy trenches in turn.
    The ideal weapon would be shorter than the standard rifle and easier to bring to bear on nearby targets in tight spaces like a trench or building, superior in these characteristics to the 1903 Springfield or 1917 Enfield infantry rifles. The Model 97 proved quite capable in all respects as well as being low maintanance and reliable. It quickly became known as the "trench broom". In the military version, with its ventilated handguard over the barrel and M1917 bayonet attachment, it was legendary for its tremendous firepower. It became so feared by the Germans that they tried to get shotguns outlawed in combat.
    The Model 97 continued to be used by the U.S. military in World War II, along with the similar design Winchester Model 12 Combat Shotgun. Collectors will notice that there was a change in the ventilated heat shield during WW II from the WW I design of six rows of holes to only 4 rows starting in 1942.
    The M97 shotgun was extremely successfull, both with the military and in civilian markets for hunters and law enforcement, remaining on sale until the late 1950s by which time over 1 million had been shipped. The Model 97 continued to be used by U.S. forces in the Korean War, in Vietnam and even the Gulf War at which point the design was almost 100 years in use. All branches of the U.S. armed forces made some use of the Model 97 over its service lifetime.
    Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun Description

    The 12 gauge Winchester M97, in trench gun or riot gun style, was a pump-action shotgun with an exposed hammer and a 5 round tubular magazine beneath the 18 inch barrel. One round could be in the chamber bringing capacity to six rounds total. It was chambered for the short 2 3/4-inch shells only.
    The design did not have a trigger disconnector so the magazine could be emptied by holding back the trigger and firing as fast as the forearm could be pumped. Originally shipped in solid frame only, after number 833,000 it was made with a takedown receiver. The finish on the metal parts was light blue until 1945, after which it was black.
    The best book on the Model 1897 shotgun is U.S. Winchester Trench & Riot Guns by Joe Poyer. This small and inexpensive book has in depth coverage not found elsewhere."

    MODEL 97 MILITARY SHOTGUN
     
    Wolfy likes this.
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Hopefully a Mod will see this and merge the 3 threads :).
     
  12. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Yes they were issued as a standard weapon to both MPs and guards at camps both in the US (POW), and detention camps in the war zones. They were issued also to specialized groups for house clearing (ETO), cave and jungle combat (PTO). While some soldiers may have found ways to acquire their own (private weapon ownership was allowed), there were also tens of thousands issued by the US alone.
     
  13. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Hey Clint! I found the threads where we discussed the same subject over on THC LOL.
     
  14. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    Winchester Model 12 Shotgun

    The Winchester Model 12 slide-action repeating shotgun was originally introduced in 1912. Approximately 20,000 Winchester Model 12 trench guns were supplied to the U.S. Army in World War I.
    [​IMG]
    B-17F Flying Fortress bomber guarded by sentry armed with Winchester Model 12 Riot Gun, at Boeing's Seattle plant, December 1942.



    Winchester Model 12 Combat Shotgun
    In the trench gun configuration, the Model 12 has a perforated steel heat shield and the M1917 bayonet adapter, very similar to the Winchester Model 97 trench gun As a riot gun, the barrel was plain with no heat shield and no bayonet adapter.
    [​IMG]
    Winchester Model 12 Trench Gun (TM 9-2117, July 1957).
    By the time World War II began, stocks of shotguns were too small to support the mobilization and new orders were placed. The well regarded Winchester Model 12 trench and riot guns were again procured with a total of more than 80,000 guns ordered by the U.S. Government by 1945, more than any other combat shotgun of the time. Collectors will notice that there was a change in the ventilated heat shield during WW II from the WW I design of six rows of holes to only 4 rows starting in 1942.
    [​IMG]

    In the photo to the left, a Marine on Blue Beach 2, Okinawa (1 April 1945) is armed with a Winchester Model 12 trench gun as assault troops of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines go over a seawall after landing unopposed.
    The mobile warfare of the European Theater of Operations had little use for the shotgun, but on the islands of the Pacific Theater it was entirely different. There short range combat in the jungles or against Japanese bunkers, caves and unseen snipers was the norm. The Marine Corps had combat shotguns in almost every unit and their use has been documented in most Pacific battles. When facing this type of combat, the shotgun was superior to every infantry weapon available in WW II except perhaps the Thompson and M3 submachine guns.
    The Model 12 remained as the primary combat shotgun, used heavily by the USMC in Korea and until the Vietnam War where they again served. The Model 12s still in Government inventory were quickly exhausted early in the Vietnam War and newer, less expensive shotguns were procured. Winchester stopped producing the gun in 1963 (except special order). The Winchester Model 12 was superseded by the Remington Model 870 and Winchester Model 1200.
    Description of the Winchester Model 12 Shotgun

    The Model 12 combat shotgun is hammerless with a streamlined receiver, a 20-inch cylinder bore barrel and a tubular magazine holding five shells. The action feeds from the bottom and ejects from the right side. Like the closely related Winchester Model 1897 (or M97), the Model 12 has no trigger disconnector -- with the trigger depressed, shells can be fired as fast as the forearm can be pumped.
    The M12 magazine tube and the barrel can be removed from the receiver for takedown.
    Books and Manuals for the Winchester Model 12 Shotgun

    The best book on this shotgun is U.S. Winchester Trench & Riot Guns by Joe Poyer. This small and inexpensive book has in depth coverage not found elsewhere.
    The military technical manual is TM 9-2117 titled "Field and Depot Maintenance, Winchester Riot-Type Shotgun M12 and Stevens Riot-Type Shotguns M520-30 and M620A". This Department of the Army Technical Manual is dated July 1957.

    MODEL 12 SHOTGUN
     
    Wolfy likes this.
  15. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I wonder why the Soviets and Germans didn't produce and issue shotguns? there was a lot of urban combat in the East (Stalingrad, etc.) and submachineguns were not that widely issued in the early war stage.

    Were ww2 era shotguns more expensive to construct than metal-stamped submachineguns like the PPSH-41 and the MP40? Surely they were less ammunition wasting..
     
  16. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Wolfy, shotguns are very short ranged and have very limited tactical flexibility, that is, they are good for little else. So it's obvious other armies simply took no notice of them.
     
  17. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I'm aware of this, but for places like Stalingrad and all the other endless urban fighting in the East...there seems to be some utility in getting a rifle manufacturer to mass produce these shotguns to be issued in special situations when metal stamped, high ammo expenditure weapons like submachineguns did not met the requisite numbers.

    I'm talking about limited use, like having a shotgun pool in every infantry division (kind of how US infantry divisions had submachinegun pools) so they can be issued in desirable situations.

    It would be much better than storming a building with a bolt-action rifle.

    Modern infantrymen carry shotguns along with their M-4 carbines during house-clearing actions (to blow off locks, spray rooms, etc.) so there is utility in this weapon for close action.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Well, the fact remains that the Germans didn't, right? I suppose they knew what they were doing... A pity they once again neglected to find your expert opinion.
     
  19. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    Before SMG production ramped up in the Soviet Union midwar, I don't see how they couldn't have benefited from shotgun pooling, either.

    The Western Allies seemed to have good use for them..
     
  20. Garand's Best Friend

    Garand's Best Friend recruit

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've always wondered whether or not the Germans, Poles, Russians, Japaneese, British, and Italians ever used shotguns in World War II. Would they use a 12-gauge? 16? 20? 10??? Would the Russians keep their reputation for the steel buttplate on the stock? I know that the French Resistance usually had Stens, some Lee-Enfields, possibly captured K98s or MP42s, but I think they could've benefitted from Great Britain producing an inexpensive, easy to manufacture shotgun - Much like the Sten SMG. Of course they were short range, but in the French countryside, there was a lot of house-to-house fighting. Not as much as Stalingrad, but still many farms and small houses. Certain types of Shotgun ammunition may have been common due to the fact that some people who lived in the countryside hunted birds.
     

Share This Page