Weapons: December 29, 2004


Shotguns have become a popular weapon in Iraq, mainly because there is a new, and much better, military shotgun available. In 2000, the U.S. Department of Defense adopted the Benelli 12 gauge shotgun as the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun. The 40 inch long, 8.5 pound Benelli design had a pistol grip, a collapsible stock and a tube magazine holding up to seven rounds. The new weapon replaced over half a dozen other models  used by the different services. The M1014 has an effective range of 40 meters with buckshot, and 125 meters when using a rifled slug. The weapon is modular, allowing use without the pistol grip, and with optical and electronic sights. The urban combat in Iraq has made the shotgun a popular weapon, especially the special round for blowing off locks. The M1014 also turned out to be a very reliable and durable weapon. All the dust and, in season, mud, have failed to shut down the M1014. A civilian version is available for about $1,500. 


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