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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2020 8:30 p.m. PST

"After a century of almost static development, recently the combat shotgun has evolved quickly, responding to the soldier's need for new capabilities that meet the challenges of 21st century warfare.

The first English colonists brought an armory of weapons, including the matchlock-ignited rifle and the blunderbuss. The rifle was used for long-range targets, the blunderbuss for short-range targets. The blunderbuss was the weapon of choice for close-range Indian attacks and shipboarding. This had the added advantage of using for ammunition whatever small, sharp objects could be crammed into the barrel on top of the black powder. Over time, the blunderbuss was replaced with single- and double-barreled English fowling pieces. During the Revolution, in the South, colonists faced with a shortage of muskets used the fowling piece as a close-quarters combat weapon. Within a century, the fowling piece was replaced by the shotgun. As settlers moved west, the musket was loaded with shot to hunt birds and small game and single balls to hunt large game.

The Civil War was fought with every conceivable firearm available. Muskets, carbines, numerous repeating rifle systems, and shotguns were all employed. The double-barreled shotgun had been developed by midcentury and, in an era of single shots and slow loading, was a major contributor in the conflict. The shotgun was used extensively in all theaters of the Civil War, but most prominently by the Confederate cavalry. They used it to skirmish with the Union cavalry at close range. The writings of Union cavalrymen contain indignant passages about horses and riders being shot with rocks, nails, and screws that were fired from the barrels of Confederate sawed-off shotguns…"
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