Mystery shotgun

I went through the gate at McChord Field today and the gate guard had a weapon I haven’t seen before. It looked like an M4 carbine but was a shotgun. the barrel looked about a foot long with what looked like a suppressor on the front. Anyone know what it is?

Might be the M26 Mass i see them coming through the DuPont and center drive gate at jblm. Nice to know there’s other people up here @TopSmith

Could be an M26, (looks like an M203 inspired shotgun add on). I’m no expert , but some units are testing new weapons as replacements for M16/M4 family, and the Textron prototype has a large suppressor that resembles a shotgun. That might be what you saw, but as I said, I’m far from an expert on current small arms (learned my trade on M14’s).

It is an M26. I taught its functioning to the competitors at the most recent USARC Best Warrior Competition. It can be easily switched from right handed to left handed fire by pulling a detent underneath the bolt, (well, somewhat easily, you wouldn’t be doing this under combat conditions) removing the charging handle and inserting it on the opposite side. If I had to complain about any one particular feature of it, it would be the AK style of magazine.
The "suppressor’ looking device is simply a stand off tube that can be slid forward to enable placing the muzzle of the gun against a door without creating excessive overpressure,
Personally I never had issues with our Mossie 500’s, and they’re a hell of a lot less expensive.

So the M26 is usable as a stand alone weapon and/or add on to the M4 (like the M203)?

Sorry if I date myself using old nomenclature, it’s been a long time…

Looking at barrel length and knowing about barrel length verses muzzle velocity etc… I would want an M4 shotgun or about any other weapon. This has to be designed as a very close range weapon. At the range this would be most effective, a bayonet mount should be included. Maybe I am wrong but this looks looks a 20 foot or less weapon.

One just has to wonder… an SMG length shotgun. :roll_eyes:

I suppose I could see it as breaching tool, easy to carry after transition to the shooter’s primary weapon. However, as a primary weapon, it would seem to be awfully indiscriminate. So short that it’ll fill an entire room up with shot. No way to predict its effect on anything located beyond what you’re shooting at.

I must be missing something, but I fail to grasp the military or LE utility. It’s too specialized for general use, and too big just to carry for “maybe’s.” To tear up the areas around hinges and locks on doors - OK… maybe the breacher might want to carry it over a full-sized shotgun.

As an entry point security weapon, firing one of these at any vehicle is almost certainly going to endanger everyone and everything past the target. I’m sure all the civilian, off-post potential targets will not be amused. If the shooter is using solid shot, the barrel length is too short to develop any vehicle / material stopping power.

I suppose you could keep it by your nightstand for home defense. Short range with light birding loads it might be effective. The short barrel might drop muzzle velocity enough to mitigate over-penetrations in a home or apartment environment. That’s a far cry from military or DoD contract security guards in the open at a entry control point on the edge of some civilian community, though.

I’m sure it won’t be long, however, before we see these in use as the perfect “drive by” shooting weapon for gangs. Easy to handle inside a vehicle, no need to really aim, and loads of random rounds flying all over the “hood.” Quick change magazine is a definite bonus. Will almost certainly be easier to procure than the “hood-beloved-mack.”

I’m also sure I’ll be seeing these on the range where I work (or some knock off version). B-B’s ("bubba’s and brutha’s) love these sorts of “no skill or practice necessary to turn paper targets into confetti” guns.


Hmmm…lose the shoulder stock and shorten the barrel and you a hide-able weapon for the “bad guys”! Oh, yeah…SdAufKla already mentions that.

I’m going to have to politely disagree with most of the above. I’ve fired this shotgun multiple times with double aught buck shot. The results are very predictable - at 25 meters it’ll chew up a piece of 4x4 wood as a target, meaning most pellets are hitting. And guess what? If you don’t use the ring sight, you will miss. No question about it.
This pretty much mirrors the performance of the old Mossie - I can keep all nine pellets in the five ring on a standard M9 target at 25 meters. And it’s not that I’m that great of a shot, although I’m certainly not bad. The spread is just not what Hollywood would have us believe.
In SF this would be primarily be used for ballistic breaching, hence the stand off device I mentioned above. When we breach which I’ve done numerous times both in combat and as a SFAUC instructor, we use #20 birdshot. It’ll shred the frames around most locking mechanisms, but would generally not be lethal to someone on the other side.
And firing at vehicles? Most people would be amazed at what buck shot does most of the time - nothing. It glances off windshields, and will not remove doors from cars. It just doesn’t happen. Not #20 birdshot will make a nice quarter sized hole is some auto maker’s body panels, if the muzzle is right up against the panel. Any distance away and neither birdshot nor buck shot do much to speak of.


Is it possible that some uses of this might be for non-lethal ‘crowd control’ type activities? I’m sure there are plenty of ammo choices for it in this area. Some of the usual ‘crowd control’ weapons don’t have such neat and tidy ammunition solutions being single shot baton type rounds or traditional loose shotgun shells. Being able to carry a few full mags of baton or some such rounds easily and the size of the weapon would likely make it a good candidate for this work.

Reading this discussion reminds me of something I haven’t thought about for ages.
I used to be a big fan of Stargate SG1 back in the day and you used to see a lot of USAS 12’s with drum mags in the show. Where they ever adopted by any military service?

This is really the point I was trying to make. The OP observed that he saw this being carried by a gate guard at McCord. I would seem like a totally unsuitable weapon for that purpose / mission. No expectation of lethal effect on a driver. No expectation of stopping the vehicle with a “mobility kill.” And every chance of ricochets and missed rounds impacting on unintended (almost certainly civilian) targets outside of the immediate security bubble.

We’re not talking about an entry control point in the sandbox, here. We’re talking about installation gates adjacent to US civilian roads, infrastructure and people.

Ballistic breaching in CQB is… well just that. This short barreled gun would seem as good as most any other shotgun for that purpose, maybe better since it’s compact. It’d be more like a “tool” though in that application, sort of a “gas operated, semi-automatic sledge hammer.”

Semi-auto “tactical” shotguns are all the rage now on the civilian range (where I’m an RSO). I watch B-B’s blast away boxes of shells of every load sold and the amount of “un-aimed” fire affecting everything down range is mind boggling. Given the almost totally indiscriminate effects I see on an near daily basis, I seriously question the rationality of issuing these (or any other shotgun) to the vast majority of troops or contract security guards.

(Or course, the vast majority of civilian shooters are not much better with any other firearms they bring. Please don’t even get me started on the number of bubba’ed AR platforms that interject unreliable function and ignorant remedial action into the mix. The trendy and popular AR “pistols” are not much better handled. Throw in the occasional fool trying to load his .223/5.56 with .300 Blackout, and my range days are “fun filled” to say the least. However, I do digress… LOL!)

Bottom line is that I just don’t understand the reason why anything like this would be issued to entry control point guards at any military installation in the US that’s co-located with a civilian community.

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A shotgun range is next to the southgate. Downrange points to the highway that you can easily see from the range entrance. I am guessing that means the shot doesn’t travel far.

Said Dick Cheney. :crazy_face:


Spherical 00 buckshot is lethal out to about 300 yards. #1 buck shot is lethal out to about 200 yards. Ricochets and deformed shot lethality ranges drop off, but those are totally unpredictable and it only takes one pellet between the eyes to kill someone.

Maximum range for 00 buck shot is almost 2000’. The pellets may not be classed as “lethal” at that range, but they are still dangerous and capable of wounding.

Skeet and trap ranges usually have very strict rules on the loads allowed to be fired, so their downrange / surface danger areas are predictable and can be surveyed accurately. The lethal ranges for birding and other light sporting loads can be much shorter than for heavier buck shot or slugs.

A 1 oz, 12 ga. rifled slug has a max range (fired with very little elevation) of well over 3000’ and remains “technically” lethal over most of that distance. Fired at a elevation close to 45* above the horizontal, the range the range increases to nearly 4000’. The 1 oz. slug is capable of wounding (with potential lethal results) at any range.

What is the reliability of the gun? A lot of the SB shotgun platforms and bullpup designs we have tested have had some reliability issues.
As for using less lethal, most agencies shy away from rapid fire. They want precise, controlled fire and the rounds work better in pump actions. Some are leaving duty shotguns all together and only issue less lethal platforms.
Bangers prefer handguns because they are more concealable and easier to run with. AR/AK platforms have lots of ammo. Shotguns require some skill to manipulate, especially from the back seat of a car and most don’t fire as fast. Considering how many shoot themselves or a friend accidentally, usually from the waist down, shoguns become the least desirable option.

Humm… If you take off the stock it sorta looks like Han Solo’s pistol


I wonder if you could make a comfortable holster for it… :thinking: A 12 Gage pistol, now that’s something the Marines might like.

This becomes less a factor now that magazine fed, semi-auto shotguns are being made by more and more manufacturers. Most of these (at least the ones I see often) are operated by the shooter very similarly to the AR platform. So, commonality within a limited shooter skill set. There is much, much less manipulation required to load, re-load or fire these guns, and their rate of fire is like any other semi-auto - as fast as the trigger can be pulled. Right now, though, most of these are rifle-length with a smattering of carbine length.

Pistol or carbine length AR platforms would seem to be the “new Mac-10” for gangs, and similar length shotguns are perhaps even more suited to the “drive by” tactic. No choke, short barrels and high rates of fire = indiscriminate lethality over wider areas with less skill than ever required.

I’ve no doubt that I’ll start seeing B-B’s with these on the range sooner rather than later. I suspect that LEA’s will also witness the effects off the range.

I know I’m the old guy in this discussion, but in RVN, a member of our platoon carried a (very unofficial) Winchester 12ga w/00 buck. I saw the results and would not want to be on the receiving end. Our CO put it best when he described it as “primitive, but effective”.

However, if you do not care what happens to your stray shot then in a noncombat situation, the collateral damage increases to bystanders.