TTAG has reported on the U.S. military’s ongoing inability to provide its troops with winning weapons in The War on Terror. Needless to say, our research into this sad not to say unconscionable state of affairs brought us to Outdoor Life’s Zombie Gun Contest. Seriously. A commentator in that thread reminded us of the AA-12 automatic shotgun.
The last we heard, the U.S. Marines were testing the world’s most lethal firearm. It’s been twelve years since Maxwell Atchisson created the Atchisson Assault Shotgun. So we called the gun’s manufacturer, Military Police Services, Inc., down in Piney Flats, Tennessee. The man behind the machine is not a happy camper.
“I’m not saying the gun would end the war in Afghanistan,” Jerry Baber told TTAG. “But it’s a game changer. And it’s production ready.” So . . . “There’s no U.S. interest in the gun at all. No sales. I’ve got people interested from abroad, but the U.S. military is blind to the AA-12’s obvious advantages. They’re brain dead.” If the case for equipping every Army squad with an AA-12 wasn’t obvious before you talk to Baber, it is afterward.
“A normal shotgun’s pellets disperse,” Baber told us on the cell, whilst pumping gas. “The pressure turns the lead into lots of little Frisbees. We’ve got tungsen ammo that’s heavy enough to maintain its aerodynamic properties. The AA-12 can shoot 40 20-caliber balls in a 2 3/4” shell that creates a 16 inch spread over 150 feet. It’s capable of firing 800 rounds in four seconds.
“In comparison, an M16 shoots 15 rounds a minute and gets so hot you can’t use it. A M249 machine gun squirts out 85 rounds a minute, and it gets damn hot too. The AA-12 can put 4000 rounds per minute downrange and it stays cool.”
Baber also touts the AA-12’s versatility. “We’ve got ammo that’s lethal at 150 meters that disperses by 300 meters. It’ll fire non-lethal rounds, and everything in between.”
So how is the AA-12 a “game changer” given that a not-so-recent study concluded that U.S. soldiers are largely incapable of taking out Taliban snipers, who engage our troops at 300 meters of beyond? “The AA-12 can take care of anything from 150 meters on back,” Baber says. “That frees-up manpower to deploy a proper sniper rifle against anyone further out.”
So what’s the problem? Why haven’t U.S. troops been equipped with the AA-12? Reliability? Cost? Nope. Baber points the fickle finger of failure in one direction: “broken government.”
“It’s all about politics,” Baber says, wistfully. “The average military paper push just isn’t interested in helping the soldier on the front lines. It’s a terrible, terrible situation . . . I’ve had a dozen soldiers test this weapon—special forces, Marines, Army, you name it. They love it. They say the troops in the field would have the AA-12 tomorrow. But the bureaucracy in the U.S. military is worthless; the people in it are pitiful.”
I reckon Baber’s bluntness doesn’t help his sales campaign. But let’s face it: the plain-speaking southerner isn’t in the business of making friends. He’s in the business of making guns that kill people (or at least bruise ’em real bad). And seeing as we’re shooting from the hip, it’s too bad that American soldiers have to die because the men that put them in harm’s way don’t have the balls to put their careers to one side do the right thing. Just sayin’.