Combat Shotguns Book review
In modern military history, few nations have used the shotgun in combat. The one huge exception to this rule is the United States military that has long had a tradition of scatterguns being used in the hands of its servicemen and women. The combat shotgun is as uniquely American as apple pie and just as well loved. Starting during the Civil War, where equipment strapped Confederate raiders turned to the shotgun as a close combat weapon, the arm has been in every US war for the past 150 years.
Perhaps one of the best tomes that cover these weapons is Bruce Canfield's The Complete Guide to United States Military Combat Shotguns.
Review of Combat Shotguns
The work is a true collector's guide that is sweeping and exhausting in its scope. While such commonly known US marital shotguns such as the M1897 Winchester Trench gun and Stevens 77E riot guns are covered in minute detail, many also-rans are covered including the obscure USAF production Ithaca 37 "S-prefix" shotgun and the Savage 520-30 are explained as well. In each there are very close and detailed notes about the serial number range, finish, martial markings to expect, stock, butt plates, sling swivels, and more to tell a questionable gun apart from a genuine GI model.
This can be very tricky with many former civilian firearms sold into government service, but Canfield walks you through exactly what to look for. Of particular interest is the sections ammunition, shot shell pouches and belts, slings, bayonets and scabbards, any of which are worth their weight in uniquely available and impossible to find elsewhere information.
If you want to know about WWII-era 25-shot all-brass buckshot, or the proper M1938 shotgun shell pouch to put it in, then this is your book.
Details of the book
Mowbray Publishing, who also produce the familiar and well received Gun and Sword Collector Magazine, and the Collector's Guide series of firearms books, has coupled with Mr. Canfield to publish this volume. It is hardcover, 8.5x11", and spans 312 pages. Across the pages are more than 500 photos, drawings, and illustrations covering the weapons, ammunition, gear, and the troops that used them. It is easy to follow and told in a chronological order from an introduction of shotguns in the Civil War to the 1897 Trench Guns of the Doughboys, to present day operations in Iraq. It is formatted for easy use by collectors, students, researchers, historians and re-enactors with any interest in these firearms.
About the author
Mr. Bruce N Canfield, the author of this work, is well known for his work in US military weaponry. A true hoplologist, Mr. Canfield has penned more than a dozen books on modern American military arms including volumes on the Springfield 1903, the M1 Garand, and the Johnson Rifles and Machineguns. You may also recognize him from weapons expert roles on the TV shows Great Guns, Story of the Gun, and Cajun Pawn Stars. In short, if it's a GI issue longarm used since Custer's Last Stand, Canfield has written a book or two on it.
You will want to give this one a look at if you are into US combat shotguns; the title of the work says all that you need to know.