Military Review

Tackle total war

Tackle total war
Combat shotguns, used on the battlefield in the last century, do not lose positions

The emergence of new samples of small weapons in the power structures of Russia - the event is rather rare. And yet sometimes it does happen. One of the most recent examples is the special carbine KS-K, which began to arrive in the special forces units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in 2009-2010.

In appearance, the KS-K very much resembles a Kalashnikov assault rifle, and in fact it is precisely them that comes not directly from the legendary AK, but from the smooth-bore Saiga carbine - the civil branch in the genealogical tree of the OPK product known on all continents. A smooth-bore self-loading carbine KS-K has a caliber 18,5 mm or more usual in this case 12. By the way, Russian law enforcement officers were probably the last in the world to receive such smooth-bore weapons. But special forces use it (at least for now), while the PPS officers for the most part continue to perform their duties with the AKS-74U. In the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation there are no such guns at all. The question of whether they are needed by the defenders of our Motherland is debatable. Although many countries have accumulated a very rich experience in the use of shotguns in the various conditions of conflict and hostilities.


The first smooth-bore shotguns of the 12 caliber were Winchester 1897 and 1912 five-shot pump action pistols with bayonet attachments. After examining the course of battles between European armies in the context of a positional crisis of world war, the United States supplied its expeditionary forces, sent to France in the 1917 year, with a sufficient number of such rifles. Shotguns were intended for combat at short distances, primarily for “stripping” enemy trenches, since in these conditions long-barreled rifles proved ineffective.

Cases of the use of guns by military servicemen of the Entente armies were also noted before the arrival of American troops on the Western Front. Thus, during the period of the Entente Dardanelles operation (February 1915 - January 1916), one of the officers of the Australian contingent fired from the edge of the hunting double-barreled gun. After he literally shot the head of an enemy soldier, the Turkish command tried to appeal to the international rules of warfare, arguing that the shotgun was not a military weapon. In 1918, the Germans made similar attempts, but they did not achieve success either. On the part of Kaiser Germany, the first to use poisonous substances, the statements about the inhumanity of shotguns and caricature cartridges looked, of course, somewhat strange.

The value of the cartridges in the melee is due to the ability to conduct unaffected, but effective fire of high density at a suddenly appearing target. We can say that the pump-action shotgun loaded with such cartridges became the forerunner of the German response to the challenges of the “trench” war - the MP-18 submachine gun, which began to enter the German troops in 1918 year. Meanwhile, it was also found out on the Western Front that shotguns are very useful in combat operations in the conditions of urban development. By the end of the First World War, there were 19 600 pump guns in the US Army. The American expeditionary corps at that time numbered more than a million people, half of them were on the front line. A rough calculation makes it possible to determine that one shotgun accounted for approximately every 25 US soldier who was at the front. If we subtract from the number of fighters gunners, tankers, aviators, it turns out that in the infantry there were several shotguns per platoon.

Americans actively used shotguns in the Second World War, while with the greatest efficiency in the Pacific theater of operations. In the jungle, visibility was very limited and opponents could quite unexpectedly meet at a distance not exceeding a couple of tens of meters, and such distances — up to 50-70 m — are effective for firing from a smooth-bore weapon with shotgun and cartographic cartridges. Shotgun shotguns of various models were used by Americans in all subsequent wars, including campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 1999, the self-loading carburer M12 1014 caliber developed by the Italian company Benelli has become a single model of a smooth-bore battle rifle for all US forces. Although still in service with the pump shotguns Mossberg 500 and Remington 870.

M1014 Carabiner

The M1014 carabiner has an under-barrel tubular magazine on 8 cartridges with a length of 76 mm. The principle of operation of automation is the removal of gases into two gas cylinders symmetrically located under the barrel. Locking barrel by turning the shutter. The gun has a pistol grip and a folding tubular butt. The length of the weapon in the fighting position - 1010 mm, with a folded butt - 886 mm, weight without cartridges - 3,8 kg.

Other modern shotguns include the NeoStead 2000 double-barrel pump-action carabiner, which was tested in British SAS and the AA-12 automatic combat rifle by American designer Atchisson, powered by a box or drum magazine.

Carabiner NeoStead 2000

AA-12 automatic combat rifle

In addition to the usual shotgun, shot and non-lethal cartridges, more technologically advanced samples are being developed, for example, the family of bullets of the 12 caliber FRAG-12. Bullets with a length of 19 mm have a folding plumage and are presented in the following variants: high-explosive, high-explosive, cumulative. The effective range of such cartridges - 200 m. Armor-piercing cumulative bullet, according to the developers, pierces the armor plate with a thickness of about 10 mm. The use of FRAG-12 bullet cartridges can significantly expand the capabilities of smooth-bore guns. They are currently being tested in the US and UK armies.


It must be said that the advantages of combat shotguns - efficiency when shooting at close distances, the ability to solve a fairly wide range of additional tasks, ranging from knocking out doors and ending with the delivery of special charges for various purposes, are at the same time their disadvantages. A soldier armed with a smooth-bore gun, due to his peculiarities in the conditions of a firefight at medium distances for assault rifles (automatic rifles), becomes ballast in his unit. Therefore, in some cases, he is forced to have other weapons. That is why a very interesting development appeared in the USA. In 80's, Knight's Armament Company offered a sub-barrel version of a combat shotgun called the “Lock Pick.” The Remington 870 rifle without a rifle, with a short (25 cm) barrel and magazine for three cartridges of the 12 caliber, was mounted under the barrel of an M16 rifle or MXXUMX carbine. As the name implies, the main purpose of this under-barrel module was to knock out doors during the cleansing of populated areas.

Shotgun Remington 870 without stock

The further development of the CAS idea was the under-barrel shotgun module М26, which began to enter the army in 2003 year. Compared with the “Pick”, this device is more ergonomic, since the shutter is operated not by a movable forend, but by a handle located directly on the bolt carrier. Food is produced from box magazines with a capacity of 3 or 5 cartridges. In May 2008, the US Army announced its intention to purchase 35 thousands of M26 modules.


In the Soviet Armed Forces, the need for combat smooth-bore guns was not seen. Yes, and a special weapon for the police in the USSR for a long time has not been developed, largely for political reasons. However, in the 70-s, the creation of special means for firing non-lethal ammunition in our country is still started. The Research Institute of Special Techniques of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs took up the design of weapons designed to combat riots in places of detention.

Apparently, the Interior Ministry assumed that it would have to be applied not only in the “zones”, but the official justification for this work was just that. After analyzing typical situations and foreign experience, tactical and technical requirements were identified. They called for a tear gas grenade to form a cloud of unbearable concentration of about 30 cube. m, squared 50X50 cm at a distance 100-150 m. Initially, attempts were made to get by with “little blood” and use a flare gun for throwing gas grenades, but it did not have the required accuracy.

To create a new weapon connected TSNIItochmash. To achieve the required accuracy, it was decided to develop a special carabine with a rifled barrel, and in order not to impose an additional burden on defense industry enterprises, a shortened and lighter automatic gun barrel with a 23 caliber mm was introduced into the design of the weapon. The division of the Interior Ministry carbine, designated KS-23, began to arrive in the middle of 80-s. He has a manual recharge with pump action, a barrel-tube magazine with three rounds, a permanent butt. It is long KS-23 - 904 mm, weight - 3,8 kg.

Based on the experience of operating the carbine, the Interior Ministry officers put forward a proposal to make these weapons more compact, since in the standard version it was very difficult to use them in closed rooms. By the end of 1991, a carbine with a shortened barrel and a rather primitive tubular butt butt was developed, designated KS-23M. There is also an option KS-23-1 with a shortened barrel and a full butt.

Initially, for shooting from the KS-23, two types of cartridges were used: “Bird-cherry-7” with a grenade equipped with a CN, and “Wave” with a training grenade. The carbine capabilities were extended by two barrel-mounted mortars - 6 Nozzle-36 mm and 12 Nozzle-82. With their help, more powerful gas grenades "Prunus-6" and "Prunus-12" could be fired. Then a cartridge was created, equipped with a spherical rubber bullet "Hi", which received the designation "Wave-R". Later, cartridges with a light and noise grenade, cartridges, cartridges with a tubular steel bullet for shooting at the wheels of cars and a cartridge “Barricade” with a solid pointed bullet intended for disabling the engine and transmission of the car appeared. There is also an OTs-06 “Cat” nozzle for shooting a rope with a cat-hook to the range 35 m and height 20 m.

At the beginning of the 90-ies, in the Tula Central Design Research Bureau of sports and hunting weapons, a smooth-bore rifle RMB-93 12-caliber was proactively created. To achieve maximum compactness and ease, the TsKIB SOO staff came up with an unusual scheme of reloading mechanism operation: the RMB-93 has a fixed part of the shutter, and to feed the new cartridge and extract the sleeve, you need to move the barrel forward. The RMB-93 has a pistol grip and a folding up butt. The length of the weapon with a folded butt is 657 mm with a barrel length 528 mm, weight 2,6 kg. Capacity nadstvolny tube store - 6-7 cartridges. However, the RMB-93 rifle was not distributed.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation did not want to change the 23 mm caliber for a hunting 12 for a long time, since it was believed that such an cartridge would not accommodate an effective gas grenade, and reducing the caliber of the traumatic bullet would reduce its effectiveness. However, now the KS-K has entered service with the Russian law enforcement officers.

The KS-K carabiner is made according to the layout of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. It is equipped with a neck to facilitate the attachment of the store and automatic slide latch. Magazine capacity - 8 cartridges. Weapon length in the fighting position - 970 mm, with a folded butt - 725 mm, weight without a magazine - 3,8 kg. The characteristics are generally typical of combat smooth-bore guns, although some professional users note that the KS-K is cumbersome.

Shooting from a carbine is carried out by special cartridges - frame, bullet, armor-piercing, traumatic, lighting, signal. The operation of the KS-K in the units of the special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as far as can be judged from the messages found on the Internet, is evaluated extremely ambiguously. Complaints are made to the build quality, attention is drawn to the impossibility of replacing the standard forearm with a similar detail with a Picatinny rail intended for attaching additional equipment, in particular the front handle, as well as the lack of duplication on the left side of the translator of fire modes and shutter handle.

Practice will show how effective the KS-K carbine will be in a warring region of Russia - the North Caucasus. It should be noted that in recent years one of the most typical situations here has been the blocking of bandits armed with machine guns, grenades, and often grenade launchers, in a private house or apartment. In such an environment, of course, there’s no question of knocking the door in with a shotgun from a smooth-bore gun at close range, RPG-7 or CPVT mounted on an armored personnel carrier are more suitable. And in a contact battle in a mountainous wooded area, it is possible that KS-K will bring no less benefit than its overseas counterparts.
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  1. Admiral 013
    Admiral 013 5 October 2013 08: 14
    This is the whole charm of shotguns, like the first Russian archers did not shoot at targets but at squares.
    1. schizophrenic
      schizophrenic 16 August 2014 11: 15
      Bullets with a length of 19 mm have a folding plumage and are presented in the following versions: high-explosive, high-explosive fragmentation, cumulative. The effective firing range of such cartridges is 200 m.

      • Armor-piercing cumulative bullet, according to the developers, pierces the armor plate with a thickness of about 10 mm. The use of cartridges with FRAG-12 bullets can significantly expand the capabilities of smoothbore combat weapons. They are currently being tested in the US and UK armies.

      Took on the Army Herald. I'll try Photos to find these bullets.
      1. schizophrenic
        schizophrenic 16 August 2014 11: 27
        Found on Yandex. The article itself can not yet. Photo
  2. Srgsoap
    Srgsoap 5 October 2013 09: 30
    The author forgot about such a wonderful shotgun, like the Franchi SPAS-12, which has gas automatic control, but can also use manual reloading like regular pump-action shotguns.
    1. Rider
      Rider 5 October 2013 12: 14
      Quote: SrgSoap
      such a great shotgun like Franchi SPAS-12

      But do not tell me why he needs a bracket on the butt?
      1. Srgsoap
        Srgsoap 5 October 2013 12: 29
        Well, I’ll try, firstly, installation of plastic awkward stocks is possible, secondly, this bracket can be removed at all, and also has the ability to rotate, and when shooting with hands it will be under the forearm, which will give additional emphasis and convenience. Hopefully answered.
      2. Srgsoap
        Srgsoap 5 October 2013 12: 43
        [media = http: // http: // v = 9ozsXL525wE] here is a video where you can see all the transformations.
      3. me
        me 6 October 2013 11: 18
        So that you can hang on a hanger.
  3. Srgsoap
    Srgsoap 5 October 2013 09: 35
    Sorry, I forgot to mention the FABARM SDASS Tactical and FABARM SAT-8 shotguns. (in the photo one of the modifications of SAT 8)
  4. sergey32
    sergey32 5 October 2013 09: 53
    In my opinion, this carbine is practically no different from a civilian short saiga. Unless it can shoot with a folded butt.
  5. Aristocrat
    Aristocrat 5 October 2013 11: 36
    The very idea of ​​using shotguns in combat is highly questionable ... Too narrowly specialized melee weapons. At the same time, it is very large and, when used indoors, requires headphones, which is clearly not good during a battle. In any case, it can be used as an additional weapon, but carrying such additional weight with a small and heavy ammunition load negates its advantages. This weapon has the right to life. But only in police operations and as a civilian self-defense weapon. I personally would buy it in case of the outbreak of hostilities or the "end of the world" for self-defense from marauders and bandits. I think the best weapon is the AK-74M with its 5,45x39 cartridge, but the state does not want citizens to have the opportunity to defend themselves ... And for this, the semi-automatic shotgun is the ideal choice among the permitted.
  6. ed1968
    ed1968 5 October 2013 13: 29
    I think in our army a shotgun has the right to life, but only as an auxiliary weapon in the event of urban fighting in cramped or forest conditions, and only in a shorter version.
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. saygon66
    saygon66 5 October 2013 16: 47
    - Protecta automatic shotgun developed in the late 80s, in Southern Rhodesia. 12 rounds of 12 (!) Caliber. It seems even sold with us, but as always, with some kind of "improvements".
    1. saygon66
      saygon66 5 October 2013 16: 54
      - Automatic shotgun MAG-7 (South Africa) How did the Boers "love" their "black brothers"
    2. Srgsoap
      Srgsoap 5 October 2013 17: 51
      Hello, it was sold with two muffled drum sockets (i.e. 10 rounds), a special hook that blocks firing when the butt is folded and has an extended long barrel (more than 50 cm).
    3. wasjasibirjac
      wasjasibirjac 6 October 2013 15: 59
      Quote: saygon66
      Protecta automatic shotgun developed in the late 80s, in Southern Rhodesia. 12 rounds of 12 (!) Caliber. It seems even sold with us, but as always, with some kind of "improvements".

      blank inserts instead of 2 rounds, as According to the Law on weapons, the magazine capacity is not more than 10 shots + an elongated barrel
  9. leonardo_1971
    leonardo_1971 5 October 2013 18: 09
    in close combat, a shotgun is more effective than an assault rifle. in one 12-round cartridge there are 12 buckshots with a diameter of 8 mm. high density of fire. a doctor will not be needed when shooting 15-20 meters. from the first ones released.
  10. uzer 13
    uzer 13 5 October 2013 18: 25
    Basically, a shotgun is used in the police, in the conditions of the armed forces its use is very limited, only if the fighting takes place in a dense urban area. But in such cases it makes little sense to carry another gun with you, you can get by with standard weapons.
    By design, the KS-K is not much different from the short Saiga, the automatic sight does not need him, and the elongated neck of the store is also an indisputable element. If sand gets into it, there may be problems when changing the store, the gun is military. The origin from Saiga is confirmed the fact that the files will need to be finalized, but the soldier, unlike the hunter, doesn’t have a file. There are no cartridges for this gun either, and most likely will not be available for a long time, because it is not profitable to produce small series. cartridges (the worst in the world) even in Saig can get stuck, although all imported cartridges fly by without delay. So do you need another shotgun, almost identical to the hunting Saig — and most likely 2-3 times more expensive, you have to think about it. the usual Saiga 20K with a folding stock. With the correct selection of a cartridge, in many cases it can give odds to any tactical gun (at a cost too).
    The author of the article should be thanked, everything is correct and detailed.
  11. Massik
    Massik 5 October 2013 21: 47
    Well, rifles are not needed in the rifle units, it’s more for special forces, although the ks-23 didn’t go anywhere except for the shooting range in three years. It’s much easier to learn how to use regular weapons when fighting in a limited space than to equip a soldier with an additional rifle
    1. Slavs69
      Slavs69 5 October 2013 23: 46
      Quote: Marssik
      Well, rifles are not needed in the rifle units, it’s more for special forces, although the ks-23 didn’t go anywhere except for the shooting range in three years. It’s much easier to learn how to use regular weapons when fighting in a limited space than to equip a soldier with an additional rifle

      There’s nothing to add, except: -for three years. Perhaps for 13 years!
      1. Massik
        Massik 6 October 2013 02: 26
        Well, I’m responsible for what I’ve seen before, we could have taken ks to the war before ...
    2. MRomanovich
      MRomanovich 7 October 2013 16: 48
      Quote: Marssik
      although for three years the ks-23 did not go anywhere except at the shooting range

      We didn’t take KS-23 anywhere, even to the shooting range, as it was tight with cartridges. When I went to get ammunition, they never gave me to KS-23, that's why they lived with one kit, which apparently was cherished in case of the third world war. Yes, there’s a shooting range, they occasionally got out of the guns, so as not to break inadvertently, since despite the massiveness, the feeling of fragility did not leave.
  12. alex-cn
    alex-cn 6 October 2013 16: 46
    about streltsov- did not know, although this is possible. But the US Marine Corps has named buckshot in boarding battles with the British since its inception. firing a buckshot from a swinging ship is much more effective than firing a bullet. The Angles then, too, as I recall, were also outraged. In the 80s, the Americans developed the CAWS system for the Marine Corps, an automatic 12x89 caliber shotgun. as far as I remember, his shot with a tungsten buckshot pierced a standard NATO body armor from 100 meters, and a shot with special swept elements laid everything in a circle with a diameter of 150 meters, such a PP is not available.
    as for the civilian ks-23 (drake) - I saw the shooting owner, a sad sight.
    In general, it's a little strange to me that a 12 gauge was adopted for the "underbarrel", it would be more interesting to use 8 (20,3mm), probably then it would be possible to use ammunition for a 20 mm grenade launcher.
  13. Stalinets
    Stalinets 6 October 2013 17: 50
    Shotguns are power. But the stores have one drawback. In Saig, if cartridges with a cardboard sleeve are stored for a long time in a store fastened to a carbine, the first cartridge is often not delivered. This is due to the fact that under the pressure of the magazine spring, the upper cartridge is slightly flattened against the bolt. What does not happen in pump-action shotguns .... yes
  14. Jager
    Jager 6 October 2013 22: 54
    It seems to me alone that an optical sight on this very KS-K is completely superfluous? "Saiga" with a Picatinny rail plus alterations to the requirements of the military ... Why more? They want to shove a high-explosive grenade into a shotgun and a lighting rocket, and God knows what else. There is nothing worse than a universal tool. If the special forces really need this barrel, then it should be developed specifically for their tactical and technical requirements. Oh, if I had money, I would buy myself a "smooth barrel" ...
  15. the47th
    the47th 8 October 2013 13: 46
    I do not see the advantages of a smoothbore gun over PP. For most shotguns, the dimensions and weight exceed those of machine guns, and the range of actual fire is less than that of PP. Moreover, the compact submachine gun can be worn as a second weapon with solid ammunition. Short-barreled shotguns are useless with any accuracy of hit. It is better to entrust the shooting with special ammunition to a grenade launcher, like the GM-94.
    1. Stalinets
      Stalinets 9 October 2013 06: 12
      You did not read carefully. For trench affairs, sweeps, this weapon is the best ...
      1. the47th
        the47th 9 October 2013 07: 24
        Again, a compact PP is better suited for trenching, the US Army used shotguns because the submachine gun then weighed 4-5 kilos, and the gun was about 3. PP with a large magazine (like "Calico" or "Bison") is ideal.
        1. Strv
          Strv 2 November 2013 13: 53
          And given the frantic rate of fire and a hundred store - Calico puts shotguns on both blades :)