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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I publish The Truth About Guns (no need to link, this is a genuine request for info).

I've noticed that a large number of police forces are ditching standard issue shotguns for rifles. For example: http://www.panhandleparade.com/index.ph ... bb7721739/ They figure the bad guys are out-gunning them.

Even if the officers learn to respect the dangers of rifle shots to innocent bystanders, they are losing the inherent advantages of a 12 gauge for close-in combat.

Some cops seems aware of the problem. "You're going to have some issues," Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams cautioned. "That may have some deadly consequences for an innocent person." Ya think? He thinks. "It's one thing to be able to pick up a shotgun," Williams said. "It's a whole different ball game to pick up a rifle." (from http://thetruthaboutguns.com/2010/03/ro ... t-edition/ but again, I'm not looking for link love).

I want to sound the alarm here. I know cops have received precious little shotgun training in general. But this strikes me as macho madness. Am I wrong?
 

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If I'm a hostage I want the cops to have a rifle. If I'm a cop or a homeowner worried about true home defense, I want a shotgun. You have more lawmakers, bureaucrats, and upper level police department personnel, defense lawyers, and taxpaying voters who see themselves as potential hostages or losing money maybe. We already know they don't care about the cops. :D
 

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Shotguns are good in close CQB, however, they loose their effectiveness after 30-40 yards (using buckshot). The federal LE132(low recoil) and the LE127(full Power)buckshot loads using the Flite control wad has made them very effective within those ranges. Those loads will keep a 9" pattern at 30 yards through a cylinder bore.

Buckshot does not defeat soft body armor.

The Patrol Rifle (commonly in 5.56 NATO) defeats up to level 3 body armor(bad guys use it). The rifle in 5.56 NATO(.223 Remington) penetrates less through wallboard(hard targets) less than a 9MM handgun does. The rifle is accurate and Officers can easily qualify with it. Because of the traditionally heavy recoiling 12 Ga. shotgun, many Police officers are intimidated by the shotgun and may not deploy it.

The rifle has its place being carried in the patrol car. With optics, it can be quite precise.

I deployed the shotgun when needed and I still see it as a usable tool. Where I worked, I was able to convince the command staff to keep both in the patrol car and they still do today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Virginian said:
If I'm a hostage I want the cops to have a rifle.
I would have though that the best course of action would be to wait for the experts (SWAT) to sort that problem out, if possible. Do we really want EVERY cop to have a rifle and consider themselves equal to the task of hostage rescue?

A cop can switch to a shotgun slug if needs be and achieve pretty remarkable accuracy. As they can with their service revolver, lest we forget.

This is a practical matter. How many bad guys wear body armor? What's the safety margin vs effectiveness of a shotgun as opposed to a high-powered rifle?

I want the police to have the very best tools for their job. But I bet you there will be more innocent civilians killed by police rifle rounds than shotgun pellets. Which is ONE calculation that must be balanced against removing the danger of bad guys. But still . . .
 

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Remember guys, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

For point of entry HD a shotgun is the best weapon for most home owners. By the time that police get on the scene, a good mix of pistols, rifles, shotguns and other weapons are in order. This includes non-lethal systems, snipers, dogs, etc. The mix and proper tactics are the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The more different types of guns the police bring to the show, the greater the strategic complexity, the higher chance of inefficiency, miscommunication and mishap. SWAT teams are trained what to use when and how with whom. Regular police not so much. Don't forget the shotgun taser is on its way, too.
 

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Body armor, long range shots, and hostages are what you bring slugs along for. Plus, you can use it in a gun you already have, no need to buy a fancy rifle that taxpayers foot the bill for.

Rifles have theeir place; but in every squad car- I don't think so.
 

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Shotguns are vasty inferior to short barreld rifles in a CQB enviorment. They are good for breaching and rear security, but the primary in the stack and the following 2 should have rifles. You cannot beat the versitility, penetration, quick follow up shots, and pointability of a quality SBR. 6 shots or 31? Add to acsessories and many semi shotguns will not operatae with **** on the end due to recoil operation.
 

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Tactically, there is a place for a rifle for LE when distance, penetration, or pinpoint shot placement is required. At our PD the shotgun loaded with buckshot is still the primary shoulder-fired weapon, but it's supplemented with individually issued AR-type rifles for some of the patrol officers.

IMO the shotgun is adequate for about 90% of the situations LE normally encounters, but at times, a rifle does fullfil a tactical need.

I personally like a shotgun, but I do recognize the niche for a rifle. We tried slugs and that was a disaster from a qualification standpoint.
 

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95% of departments arms Patrolman with shotguns beacuse they are about 1/3 to 1/4 the price of a quality rifle. Also the myth that shotguns need less training to be profiecent has added to this.
 

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Post Columbine, all Police Officers are required to be trained in "Active Shooter" protocol. They are NOT going to wait for SWAT to show up. Officers will respond to a school for an active shooter and will deploy immediately as soon as 4-5 Officers arrive. Regular Officers are trained to transition from rifle to sidearm as the situation dictates. Every few days, you see some kind of school shooting on the evening news.

I don't know where you are getting your information regarding the "inefficiency, miscommunication and mishap".

Patrol Rifles in our agency are deployed only with the express approval of the on duty Watch Commander.

I find it troubling you seem to have made up your mind.

By the way, you find very few "Service Revolvers" being fielded by police agencies today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rest assured my mind is open to your suggestions. My ignorance knows no bounds. But I do know that police decisions are often made based upon culture rather than common sense and statistical data.

Common sense says it is possible to be over-powered in some situations, and under in others. It would be nice to know the numbers. A decision is only as good as the information its based on. Anecdotal evidence does not make good policy. But if ONE fact used for emotional blackmail saves ONE child's life . . .
 

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Robert Farago said:
I would have though that the best course of action would be to wait for the experts (SWAT) to sort that problem out, if possible. Do we really want EVERY cop to have a rifle and consider themselves equal to the task of hostage rescue?
Believe it or not, there are a number of areas in this great nation which either do not have dedicated "SWAT" teams or if they do, it may take hours to assemble due to size of area, number of officers, and the like. In these areas, the "patrol" officers are going to be the ones having to do the dirty work in an ad hoc fashion. There is also an increasing number of criminals using various forms of rifles themselves which give the criminal greater reach than the officers and their shotguns or rifles. 50 yards may not seem all that far but it can be an insurmountable distance when armed with a shotgun or handgun. In rural areas it is not uncommon for over 70% of the homes to have a good old "deer rifle" which again far out distances an officer armed with a short range shotgun or handgun.

Robert Farago said:
A cop can switch to a shotgun slug if needs be and achieve pretty remarkable accuracy. As they can with their service revolver, lest we forget.
With the standard single bead and fairly stout recoil, there are not many officers that can place a slug nearly as accurately as they can with a 223 rifle and simple aperature sight. As you have already mentioned, officers get little training with the shotgun making it even less likely that they will be able to use the weapon well. This is especially poignant as the handgun is the most difficult weapon to gain proficiency and to maintain it. It is also all too true that officers have little additional training with their handguns beyond the minimums for qualification. The vast majority of officers are not "gun people" and do not put much time into traing with their weapons. Once again, the greater ease in attaining a basic level of accuracy is much more likely with a rifle over a handgun. Too, the typical officer is no longer armed with a revolver and instead is issued a semi-auto handgun which are often not as accurate to fire as a revolver which can be cocked and fired in single action mode. Then again, this style of shooting has not been used in raining for many decades as that has been determined to not be necessary in the standard close quarters range officers commonly find themselves in and this method of shooting has been discovered to have cost officers their lives.

Robert Faraday said:
This is a practical matter. How many bad guys wear body armor? What's the safety margin vs effectiveness of a shotgun as opposed to a high-powered rifle?
It is a lot more than you would think, especially in those making organized and planned robberies such as bank/jewelry type store takeovers, or other places the criminal may think there would be a potential for an act against them. Ballistic vests can be bought over the counter and even through the mail/Internet by the typical citizen in many places. One does not always need a letter with a department letterhead to get these articles of protection, this is only needed to get the best price. Then that is not to take into consideration those parts of thecountry which are blessed with cold temperatures much of the year. The addition of a heavy parka, couple layers of wool shirts, T-shirts, and not uncommonly some combination of leather vests and coats is a common amount of "protection" found on the typical criminal. This can be almost as effective as a ballistic vest in stopping the average handgun or buckshot pellet and becomes even more effective as ranges increase. "Bulletproofing" by criminals has been practiced for ages by criminals, it was commonly done back during the heydays of the notrious criminals of the 1930s and even as far back as the late 1800s.

Robert Faraday said:
I want the police to have the very best tools for their job. But I bet you there will be more innocent civilians killed by police rifle rounds than shotgun pellets. Which is ONE calculation that must be balanced against removing the danger of bad guys. But still . . .
I'd agree that the police have the potential to cause more danger to the citizens with a rifle rather than a shotgun but that is because the officer is much more likely to grab the rifle than a shotgun. The recoil and weight of the shotgun are great detriements the the employing of a shotgun, even during incidents that are screaming for its use. As the average officer can shoot a rifle with greater ease than a shotgun, is better able to shoot it accurately due to sighting equipment and lack of recoil, and willingness to use it, and there is a single projectile leaving the barrel rather than 8 or more, the rifle actually has less chance of harming citizens than a shotgun. As for the use of slugs, if you are concerned with the penetrating capabilities of a .223 Rem bullet, you should see what a shotgun slug will do: plus it will not defeat many types of standard body armor as will a rifle round.
I carry both tyes of long guns in my vehicle, it is just like golf in that there is no single best tool for all jobs and one must be able to recognize what a situation calls for. Deciding that a particular tool is not needed by those not actually charged with doing a job is kind of nonsensical, not much different than telling a mechanic that all they should need to repair your vehicle's brakes is a cresent wrench.
 

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As long as they have adequate training (and frequent refreshers), no problem. Remember the North Hollywood bank robbers? Until some SWAT officers showed up with AR15s, the everyday uniformed patrol officers were taking a beating.

And the Miami FBI agents?

I doubt every officer needs a .223, but I don't see a problem of having a number of qualified LEOs on the street with right set of tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the perspective. I've posted on the subject over at TTAG. And I did NOT scrape any of your comments directly. And I did put a link to this thread, with a thank you.

I still want to hear more (I can always edit a post post posting). And if any of you guys want to write for us---as WELL as here---please use the site's contact button. We do pay for content. Not much but some.

If the admin of this site has any objection to me using shotgunworld in this way, please contact [email protected]. I know and respect the hard work and passion that you guys put into this.
 

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I am a Hokie, and if you watched the tapes of the Virginia Tech shootings you saw what can happen when the regular cops wait for the 'experts' to handle the hostage situation. You could hear that a$$hole shooting people wholesale inside the building. 9/11 changed forever the rules of airline hostage takings - in minutes - look at the plane that crashed. Since the Tech shootings a whole lot of hostage dogma has changed - thankfully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I saw. But you can't let one anecdote determine police / public policy. In the same way you wouldn't want one horrific gun accident (the "if one child is saved" meme) to determine whether or not your local government can restrict gun ownership rights.

Everyone wants hostage takers eliminated and the public protected. The questions is, what's the best way to do that whilst causing the least amount of collateral damage? Statistically.
 

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OP - You are wrong on so many levels that I don't have the time to tell you just how wrong you are.

This only goes to show that anyone can get published. Hell, I could pen "The Truth About Women" and brother let me tell you I don't know the first damn thing.
 
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