Weapons: March 7, 2004


After successfully testing a nine pound shotgun attachment (that fits under the barrel of an M-16) in Afghanistan late last year, the army is shipping a new, and lighter, weapon of the same type to Afghanistan. The LSS (Lightweight Shotgun System) weighs less than three pounds (2 pounds, 11 ounces) and has a five round magazine, versus three for the earlier, nine pound, "Masterkey Breaching Module." The LSS 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, is 24 inches long (with the stock collapsed). The LSS was rushed through development, testing and manufacturing because troops in Iraq expressed a need for this weapon. A batch of 200 have been produced and 50 are on their way to Afghanistan for field tests during actual operations. The LSS proved very reliable during testing, with some 15,000 rounds being fired.


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