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Weapons: Short Shotgun Replaces the Bayonet
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November 4, 2007:  After several years of research and field testing, the U.S. Army is buying 38,000 M26 12 Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun Systems (MASS). The M26 weighs less than three pounds (2 pounds, 11 ounces) and has a five round magazine. The M26 is a 16.5 inch long, 12 gauge shotgun and can be operated right or left handed. It fires solid shot for blasting open closed doors, or lower velocity, non-lethal (most of the time) rubber slugs for dealing with hostile crowds without killing people. A stand-alone version weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and  is 24 inches long (with the attached stock collapsed).

 

 

The first versions of this weapon weighed nine pounds and carried only three rounds. The design rapidly evolved into the current M26. Troops have been testing it in combat for about a year. There were complaints about the cocking mechanism, which uses a bolt instead of a pump action (which many troops expressed a preference for.) The final design will improve the cocking mechanism, and improve the reliability of the magazines. Currently, troops use a conventional (Mossberg) 12 gauge shotgun for getting locked doors open in a hurry. The M26 proved very reliable during testing, with over 15,000 rounds being fired. Large quantities of the M26 will be reaching the troops next year.

 

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justbill    Huh?   11/4/2007 8:50:05 PM
How in the world does a shotgun replace the bayonet? Different tools for totally different tasks. If the author thinks of this as a last ditch weapon, I doubt you'd find many soldiers who wouldn't carry several more 30-rd. M16/M4 magazines instead of this weapon...and their bayonets.





 
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VelocityVector       11/4/2007 9:24:55 PM
Concur.  Non sequitur.  Gimmee a .leg mount 45 sidearm with two clips and keep your shotgun and bayonet.  Shotgun for breachers only unless a smart soldier requests differently, in which case I yield and the system is good to have.

v^2

 
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Horsesoldier       11/5/2007 7:13:21 PM
Yes -- the headline and the article are basically unrelated, unless the author forgot to mention that fitting the shotgun precludes use of a bayonet on the weapon.  Obviously, basis of issue, use of the shotgun, and everything else make it anything but a replacement for the bayonet, though to be fair it's a more practical weapon system than a bayonet for modern urban combat.
 
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justbill       11/5/2007 7:21:19 PM
If it were me I'd keep the 8-shot Mossberg. More rounds before reloading and a real buttstock to rearrange a Jihadi's bridgework if things get up close and personal. Better yet, a Remington 870.
 
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bob the brit       11/5/2007 7:27:34 PM

Yes -- the headline and the article are basically unrelated, unless the author forgot to mention that fitting the shotgun precludes use of a bayonet on the weapon.  Obviously, basis of issue, use of the shotgun, and everything else make it anything but a replacement for the bayonet, though to be fair it's a more practical weapon system than a bayonet for modern urban combat.



...never was fond of the underslung. Not sure how this one is (not keen on the current bolt for reload), but i was never fond of the concept. Now the 203, that's a different matter, you tend not to run around poppin' off rounds, but the shotgun application was never great (in my opinion obviously).
 
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bob the brit       11/5/2007 7:35:17 PM

If it were me I'd keep the 8-shot Mossberg. More rounds before reloading and a real buttstock to rearrange a Jihadi's bridgework if things get up close and personal. Better yet, a Remington 870.

hey, it's all part of the weapon. this combination just seems to create a rather cumbersome, uncomfortable looking weapon. I'm not sure you can pop off too many plugs in quick succession (especially with that awkward looking bolt) thus it's CQB role seems limited. And as for being a weapon to aid a forceable entry, i'd rather a simple shotgun with a long strapped to my back.
 
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sjdoc    So a short-barrel (16.5 inch-long) shotgun..   11/6/2007 5:17:24 AM
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...is a U.S. Army standard-issue combat weapon, and a sawed-off shotgun (modified with a barrel length less than 18 in. or 46 cm and an overall length less than 26 inches) is not a "militia weapon" under the meaning of the Constitutionally dubious National Firearms Act of 1934.
 
Gee, isn't it nice to live in Fantasyland?
 
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ker       11/6/2007 4:27:56 PM

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...is a U.S. Army standard-issue combat weapon, and a sawed-off shotgun (modified with a barrel length less than 18 in. or 46 cm and an overall length less than 26 inches) is not a "militia weapon" under the meaning of the Constitutionally dubious National Firearms Act of 1934.

 

Gee, isn't it nice to live in Fantasyland?

 

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Shotguns of a similer leanth were used by Americans in WWI so they were also in the inventory in 1934.  Some think that the Supream Courts lake of accion on the 34 firearms act is an interesting story. 
 
 
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Yimmy       11/6/2007 7:45:16 PM
You can't replace the bayonet, for both its simplicity and dependability as a weapon, and more importantly as a psychological implement.
 
 
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Nichevo       11/6/2007 7:51:57 PM

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...is a U.S. Army standard-issue combat weapon, and a sawed-off shotgun (modified with a barrel length less than 18 in. or 46 cm and an overall length less than 26 inches) is not a "militia weapon" under the meaning of the Constitutionally dubious National Firearms Act of 1934.

 

Gee, isn't it nice to live in Fantasyland?

 

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Yeah, I was just thinking about that...can we have the Second Amendment back now?  Just finished reading John Ross' Unintended Consequences and man, is my gag reflex tired!

 
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