In the video above, a San Diego police officer armed with a pump-action shotgun helps take out an active shooter at a pool party. From a fair distance. Assuming he was shooting double-ought bucks, there must have been quite a spread of potentially lethal pellets. Then again, the perp appears to have been all by his lonesome when he met his maker.
Still, the question remains, would a rifle have been safer? Or does that weapon system present an even greater danger of collateral damage? Maybe it depends on the ammo loaded in the rifle and shotgun . . .
In any case, I recently learned that the Austin Police Department only has two rifles for every ten officers. The rest have shotguns. Should the APD replace their shotguns with rifles? Should all police do so?
Before you answer, a quick excerpt from The Police Shotgun: Versatile, Powerful & Still “The Great Intimidator” via policeone.com:
The traditional “meat and potatoes” of the shotgun has always been its devastating role in close quarters battle. Loaded with heavy buckshot, the shotgun places multiple high-energy projectiles on the target instantly. Several years ago, I was having a conversation with another SWAT operator about how devastating the MP-5 submachine-gun was. He was discussing cyclic rate and accuracy and boasting the sheer power coming from the sub-gun. He described how he could put 60 rounds (with a mag. reload) of 9mm ammo into a target about five yards away in less than eight seconds.
While I agreed with him, I mentioned the similarity of the Benelli shotgun that I was currently carrying. He was puzzled for a moment until I pointed out that my semi-auto Benelli M-1 could hold nine rounds of .00 Buckshot ammo, and that each pellet of buckshot was approximately a .33 caliber lead projectile moving over 1,000 feet per second (slightly smaller, but similar to the 9mm or .35 caliber projectile he was firing).
I then explained that I knew several officers (including me) who could fire that Benelli fast enough to empty all nine rounds into the target in about two seconds. That meant we could fire 81 rounds of near 9mm ammunition in less than three seconds. In a comparison of fire power and speed, that shotgun was faster than any sub-gun I had ever used or knew of. My point is that in a CQB range, the shotgun (loaded with heavy buckshot) is absolutely the most devastating firearm in the police inventory.
Is that enough reason for cops to carry a shotgun instead of (not along with) a rifle? Your thoughts?