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Navy shooter's modified Remington 870 (courtesy FBI has released footage of the U.S. Navy Yard spree killer. [Make the jump or click here for CNN’s version with commentary.] Lots to learn from a small amount of tape, even though the Fibbies withheld the bang-bang. For example, does that count as a sawed-off shotgun? Looks like a stock Remington 870 with the stock cut off to me. And a Prius-driving spree killer? There goes the ‘right wing nutcase’ meme, right? Other observations: Alexis’s target acquisition technique looks casual, to say the least. Just goes to show how much luck—or not—is involved in mass shootings. The FBI’s takeaway: “Alexis had no specific target.” Click here for an FBI photo gallery of images from the security video and more close-ups of the Remington. Also revealed: another message etched into the top of the barrel. “End to the torment!” And just the beginning for the survivors and victims’ friends and relatives . . .

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    • Well then, I think the teachers unions should dump all the rental car stocks from their pension funds. You know, for safety and stuff. And the children.

  1. Yeah, I’m not seeing sawed-off shotgun in that video. Even if he knocked the stock off of it, that’s not what most people know as a “sawed-off.” But hey, just say words to fill airtime, right Wolfie?

    • You really think the same people who brought you “magazine clips” care about exactly which end of a shotgun gets cut down when making an SBS?

      So much for ever getting rid of the no-adjustable-stocks-on-shotgun law here in CA, I guess. Because then this sort of thing wouldn’t be illegal. Oh, wait…

      • Well, to be fair, CNN did upgrade from AR15 style shotgun, to police style shotgun, to sawed off shotgun. They are, ever so slowly, getting closer to the correct term of ‘shotgun’. I know… wishful thinking.

    • I stand corrected from my earlier comment. The shotgun does appear to be cut down by an inch or so, though God only knows why. In my defense, that photo above was not part of the post when I made my comment.

      • Yup. looks like the 870 express tactical with Blackhawk pistol grip removed/cut off,
        and about an inch hack-sawed off the barrel. Could have done same to any standard hunting pump shotgun, for that matter. Completely illegal by 1934 NFA.

        That would fit in a backpack like that with a bit of stretch at the top.

      • Same reason he cut off the stock, to make it shorter to fit in a backpack. Looks like a normal config 870 with an 18″ barrel and 5+1 capacity, the barrel sticks out about an inch or two past the end of the mag tube. I had assumed he had dissasembled the shotgun to put it in the backpack, but this way, that becomes unecessary.

  2. I’m having trouble understanding how he fit an 18″ barrel and a shotgun receiver in that little bag, he must have had part of it elsewhere on his person or stashed? It is certainly not “sawed off.”

        • Remmy’s, at least 870s, are factory brazed. I see one of two things:

          1) That bag looks like it could be a cross shoulder kind of backpack. In which case it would be MUCH longer from bottom to top than side to side.

          2) It could be a Mossy. There tubes are threaded.

          Edit: I’m also thinking it DOES look sawed off. The grip he takes doesn’t look like any kind of pistol grip I’m familiar with…

      • He has a roll of tape in his backpack. I would imagine he had the stock/grip removed along with the barrel. It wouldn’t be hard to attach both of those in the bathroom. He didn’t seem to be limping or walking funny when he entered the building, so doubtful the barrel was down his pant leg.

  3. “…Sawed off shotgun…” WTF Wolf? That is plainly a standard Remington 870 ‘Home Defense’ model with 18″ barrel. The spreading of misinformation continues. MSM must throw in any wording to cast the ‘gun’ in derogatory light.

    One MSM labels it LEO-style shotgun and now Blitzer calls it a sawed-off shotgun. Does this mean MSM believes LEOs carry sawed-off shotguns?

    • In this case it’s believed to mean “extremely low frequency”; it’s reported that Alexis believed he was being attacked by individuals with radio waves.

        • So is this something you don’t think is a false flag? If so color me impressed. Our little wingnut is all growed up… or did you finally just start breaking the lithiums in half?

      • Why does everyone seem to think the barrel wasn’t cut down? It is. I’m looking at a basic rem 870 right now, and the barrel extends beyond the mag tube more and has a bead…

        • I see what you’re saying, that’s my impression too. WE, the people of the gun, go into hyper defensive mode about anything firearms, its natural considering the threat we are under. I mean, look at the way people always blow up at me when I ask for thuddy boolit clips fo mah Ay-Kay at the gun shop.

      • There was some question of if there was a delay in entering at Newtown, this article specifically mentions those concerns, but as far a I know there was never any real answers. It references video and audio from cruisers, still not public, and if you read far down it mentions that Newtown abandoned “surround-and-contain” tactics in favor of more immediate action” but still it isn’t clear to the public what happened.

        • @Ralph — They could just be keeping the ghouls at bay.

          That doesn’t explain why they’re taking so…darn…long to release the official report, but they have good reason not to release any of the first-hand documentation. I hate to even imagine what dirtbags like Michael Moore would have done if they’d been able to get their grimy hands on even the audio, let alone coroner’s reports or photos.

      • Which do you think will happen first: the Newtown police release their final report, Magpul leaves Colorado or asteroid 99942 Apophis wipes out all life on the planet?

    • I’m going to take a guess and say OP is a conspiracy theorist. To them I say – who cares? If they did release security footage you’d just say it’s CGI.

      To anyone else waiting on the report – I guess I’m curious to see what it says too, but at this point it will do little/nothing to correct media reporting hype or correct errors in the police response either. It’s not like all the rabid gun controllers are going to read it and say “wait, he changed magazines frequently, even when they were still half full” or “wait, police response was partially to blame for the high fatality rate” and then apologize for wasting the public’s time and emotional anguish over the past year.

      Meh. My 2 cents.

  4. I don’t see anything in this video that suggests his use of concealment was derived from military training. Most likely, it was from watching movies and playing video games. When he was in the Naval Reserves, he was an AE (Aviation Electricians Mate), which means his job description was to work on the electrical systems of aircraft. The only time he ever got any “weapons” training would probably have been in Basic training where he may have fired 20 rounds out of the M9 or maybe a few out of the M4. Called a “Familiarization Fire.” No training of any kind. There is a gross misconception that everyone in the military is trained in weapons and tactics. I know guys in that have been in 10 years and have picked up a weapon for the Navy exactly zero times.

  5. I thought the footage was chilling, given that it was actual video on the beginning of a mass shooting. I’ve often though how I would confront an individual like this either on duty or off, and how I would react if called to such an incident. I already know that rental cars are used in crimes – they are ideal for that purpose – especially if the plates are removed. Ban rental cars!

    The only thing I would change is to headline in this manner: BREAKING: FBI Video of Navy Yard Shooter Entering The Building.

    • if you look carefully in the background when he enters the office you can see people evacuating. Clearly this footage spans the time when he had gone active.

      • I was wondering that as well, I cant really tell if they are walking out and dont see him as he ducks in behind the wall or if he has gone loud and they are evacuating.

        Either way, no sane people scratch up their shotguns like that.

    • I also got the chills when I saw him ingress through a doorway, cross the corridor directly to cover, then lean out and scan. He was moving with purpose and competence, and it’s likely that the first several people he shot never saw it coming.

      Given his choice of weapon, it also leaves me (angrily) convinced that one person with a CCW with training and/or competitive shooting experience could have stopped him. Two or more… guaranteed.

    • From those pictures, it’s a Remington 870 TACTICAL. I don’t see a bead or front sight, so it’s possible he cut down the barrel. Obviously, he cut off the stock.

  6. ok, the butt was sawed off. Sawed-off shotgun did not mean what I thought it meant.

    I still don’t see how he got it in the bag. Maybe the 870 is different, but on my last Remmie shotgun, the magazine tube does not come off the receiver without a lot of work.

      • The FBI caption says “Aaron Alexis’ Remington 870 shotgun with sawed-off barrel and stock. …”

        I am fairly certain that one thing the FBI can do correctly is identify a barrel that has been sawed.

        No way that shotty fit in his bag, but it could easily be taped to his upper body, underneath his clothes.


    • Removing the barrel and leaving the magazine cap off would have gained him another inch; removing what remains of the stock would have given him another 4″ or so. I think it could be done.

      Of course, removing the barrel for concealment negates any advantage he may have had in sawing off the bead sight. The same goes for removal of the grip concerning sawing off the stock. But hey, dude was nuts.

  7. Most definitely an 18″ barrel shotgun. But the stock was “sawed-off”, so you know the media will now run with “Sawed-Off Shotgun” even though you can legally saw off a stock.

    • Yes, you can legally shorten a stock provided the weapon remains 26 inches or longer overall.

      The barrel is indeed sawed-off, though. I measured the barrel against the ruler provided for scale and it comes out to slightly under 17 inches. For something that he reportedly paid $540 only 2 days prior to the murders, that shotgun looks like hell though. Finish scratched up, the messages on it of course, etc.

      I’m not a Remington owner or expert though. Can anyone ascertain for sure how he got it in that itty bitty backpack if the receiver and mag tube are brazed?


      • It looks like a sling pack. I just tested one with my 870 with the stock, it just BARELY fits. Cutting 10″ off the stock would make it easily fit.

  8. The barrel has definitely been cut down. The cut isn’t square or smooth. It doesn’t look like he took a lot off, but from what I see in the pictures it is now about 17″ and that wouldn’t be legal. I think an 870 would usually have a bead on the front too.

  9. When I heard about the “sawed-off shotgun”, I thought something didn’t add up. He just bought the gun, he could have just bought it with a no-stock grip and a barrel barely longer than the mag tube. But sure enough, there it is with 1″ cut off the barrel and the stock cut off. To what end? I don’t know. Clearly this guy was Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs.

  10. At close quarters a shotgun is a fearsome weapon. I saw some study once where they judged different types of firearms on percentages of how many first shots were hits. Rifles and sub guns had about a 50% probability og scoring a hit with the first shot. Handguns had about a 3-5% probability of a hit with the first shot. Shotguns came in at about 95%.

    Lethality of one hit from each of the weapons types broke down to about the same percentages acorrding to the study.

    If I’m going hot in a confined space I want a shotgun as my primary.

  11. “Looks like a stock Remington 870 with the stock cut off to me.”

    I pulled the photo into an image editor, so that I could move the ruler in the photo to line up with the barrel to get an estimate of the length. It appears to be cut down to 17″, which is below the 18″ requirement for shotguns.

    That’s consistent with reports I’ve seen that the stock was cut off, but that the barrel was cut down “a little bit”. It probably came from the factory with an 18.5″ barrel.

  12. Still waiting on some kind of footage from Connecticut with a guy holding an AR-15 in a school.

    Speaking of, would anybody here believe that it isn’t all CGI?


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