When Shotguns Were Weapons Of War

David Hunt on the Trench Gun.

The enemy didn’t like the trench broom one bit. In September 1918, the German government issued a diplomatic protest, complaining that the Model 97 Trench Gun was illegal because “it is especially forbidden to employ arms, projections, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering” as defined in the 1907 Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. When the Americans rejected this, the German high command then threatened to execute any soldier caught with a Trench Gun or even just Trench Gun shells. General Pershing replied that, henceforth, any Germans caught with flamethrowers or saw-bladed bayonets would be lined up and shot. As far as is known, no American or German POWs were executed under such circumstances.

For a lesson in history, visit his article.

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12 Responses to When Shotguns Were Weapons Of War

  1. Rurik says:

    But not Chlorine or Mustard gas? Curious.
    BTW, during the Middle Ages crossbows were frequently “outawed” as inhumane and unGodly.

    • Beans says:

      Only against fellow Christians. So all you had to do was get your local head priest to declare your enemy ‘heretics.’


      Using the rules for your own advantage. Almost like today…

    • FaCubeItches says:

      Crossbows fucked up the basic medieval strategy of: slaughter the rabble, but capture and ransom the nobles. If any bloody peasant can off a person of quality at 100 paces, that just won’t do!

  2. Bill Jeans says:

    This from the people who gave us poison gas and flame-throwers.

  3. WoodBurner says:

    Sometime in the past my ADA unit trained with 870’s.

    Yea, the scatter gun is a solid choice.

  4. OD says:

    shot, buck, slugs and flechettes oh my ….

    check out the Ddupleks slugs, and what they do to piggy

  5. Heathen says:

    The sole thing I “inherited” from my Father, when he passed away, was my Grandfather’s Model 97.

    Of course it isn’t the shorter “trench gun”. It’s a full choke 30 inch shotgun,owned & used by two generations of farmers.

  6. Sanders says:

    Had my great-grandpa’s 1897 riot gun. He had to use it in a social manner a couple times when he was constable of Ajo, Arizona.

    My uncle took it and probably sold it. He won’t answer me when I ask him where it is.

    At least I still have my great-uncle’s issued Remington Model 11 he carried in the Korean war. Has the hunting scenes engraved on both sides of the receiver, and the flaming bomb proof mark on the barrel. Someone, somewhere along the line, put a poly choke on the barrel. Apparently, the Model 11 was first issued in WWII.

  7. NewVegasBadger says:

    While it may not be as true now as it was in the past, the distinction between a soldiers government issued firearm and a sporting/hunting rifle does overlap and nearly indistinguishable. Consider a traditional bolt action “hunting rifle”: the bolt is likely based on the German Mauser of 1898. Common for that time, an internal magazine of 5 rounds. Our ubiquitous 30-ought six is from the Army designation; caliber .30 model 1906. The 5.54 NATO round is nearly interchangeable with the .223 Remington which is a varmint small game hunting round. Many a foreign military issue rifle was during the 50’s and 60’s was modified (aka “sporterized”) , to the dismay and horror of military surplus rifle collectors. I’d prefer to think of collecting military rifles and all items military as following the Biblical goal and spirit beating one’s swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Of course you average urban Liberal will not understand (or willfully not) how a firearm can and does serve in multiple roles.

  8. the other other Andrew says:

    Gee. One of the more popular loads during the Civil War for non-rifled muskets was “Buck and Ball,” basically a round bullet and buckshot combined.


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