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Hello! Interested in the opinion about the best WWII combat shotgun. Usually, all systems used in war have a similar appearance, the same purpose, and a similar operating principle. But as for the quality, combat characteristics, accuracy of fire, reliability, maneuverability, cost of production, difficulty in maintenance, and more. The question is mostly for people who had the opportunity to fire from this weapon.

So, it is known that during the war, the United States had an oversized domination in the use of combat shotguns. This has developed historically, since the days of the "wild west" I believe.

German survival and hunting rifles, as well as Soviet sporting and hunting rifles ... all of this was not used tactically and massively. I don’t know any other examples of combat shotguns during WWII (I think Belgian Auto-5s do not count), maybe someone else knows?

So the main models from the US army:

-Winchester M97 (trench & riot);

-Winchester M12 (trench & riot);

-Remington M10-A (trench), WWI-era but still leave here..;

-Remington M10-R (riot);

-Remington M11-R (riot);

-Remington M31 (riot);

-Ithaca M37 (trench & riot);

-Stevens М520-30 (trench & riot);

-Stevens M620 (trench & riot);

-Savage M720 (riot).

It's all. Interesting opinion of people. Maybe TOP-5, TOP-3 ..


Thank you!

Edited by allweaponsww2
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Going by pictures of front line troops, I think the Winchester M97 saw the most front line combat.

If I were to choose a shotgun for combat, the M97 would be my last choice.

My choice would be the Remington M11 or the Savage 720.

Back in the 70s I shot trap with the Cleveland, Ohio Chief of Police, named Richard Wagner. I ask the Chief why Cleveland issued semi auto guns instead of the pump guns most department issued . I thought the semi guns would be prone to malfunction.

The Chief felt that if a person doesn't practice with a pump he would be more likely to screw up the pumping than if he used a semi auto.

Jim C

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The "best" is very subjective but I think the Ithaca Model 37 is a good candidate. All of the U.S. WWII trench guns were good weapons.


Thank you Bruce, why do you think the Ithaca M37 is preferable to these other great shotguns?

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As I mentioned, all are good guns. The Ithaca's bottom-loading/bottom ejecting design eliminates the ejection port on the right side of the receiver which is one less way mud, etc. could get into the action which is an important consideration for a military weapon. The Remington Model 10 is also a bottom loading/ejecting design but the action is not nearly as sturdy and reliable as the Model 37. The Ithaca is

a solid and well-built gun that, unlike most of the others, is still in production.

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When I was 13 or 14 years old, while walking to the store, I saw an unmarked car come to a sudden stop about 75 yards from me .




Two plain clothes cops jumped out and headed for a store. They were both carrying semi auto shotguns, one of them may have been yours.

At the time I owned a 20 ga Ithaca, so I knew the difference between a pump and auto.


It really impressed me that they had semi rather than pump guns. I thought these guys mean business.

Jim C

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