As shotgun (also shotgun ) is a handgun having a smooth barrel bore referred to in the first place for the burning of shot is adapted. Shotguns are used as hunting , sport and service rifles . They are designed for short range shooting. Depending on the ammunition, realistic operating ranges of 10 to 50 meters result. It is possible to exceed these ranges with specially designed cartridges. In addition to shot, massive shotgun barrels can also be fired.
Originally, the flintlock rifle, developed around 1620 and used until the early 19th century, was the name given to the flintlock .
The term shotgun comes from the flint lock ( flint lock ) and is borrowed from the old high German term flins (stone splinters). Probably developed from 1620 to 1630 in France flintlock uses a flint to generate sparks. The stone is fixed in the tap and hits the pan lid of the battery when the trigger is pulled. This opens and the spark ignites the underlying "ignition herb" ( black powder ), which ignites the propellant charge via a hole in the barrel.
As early as the middle of the 19th century, a distinction was made between the smooth-barreled heavy infantry rifles of the line infantry , which were used in large numbers in line tactics at short range, and the light, civilian hunting shotguns, and on the other hand the snipers equipped with rifles with rifled barrel and voltigeurs of the light infantry, who fought the enemy at great distances.
Single-shot shotguns, double shotguns and over and under shotguns
Single-barrel, single-shot shotguns are inexpensive, light and robust. As a rule, these are weapons with a drop barrel lock, but models with a cylinder lock are rather rare. Shotguns (with two adjacent runs, also cross-guns called) and shotguns (with two superimposed runs) are heavier, but have the advantage of being able to deliver without delay a second shot.
Multi-barrel rifles, often triplets with smooth and rifled barrels installed, are called combined weapons .
The frequently used term "over and under shotgun" actually represents a kind of pleonasm . The term "buck ..." describes the stacked (jacked) arrangement of the barrels. The term "over and under shotgun" for two shotguns lying on top of each other is used to avoid confusion with "over and under rifle", that is, a shotgun barrel lying over a ball barrel. However, “BDF” (over and under shotgun) is almost always used as an abbreviation in classified ads.
There are also important differences between the side-by-side shotguns and over and under shotguns. The over-and-under shotgun offers a better field of vision to the sides. The sight rail, which is above and not between the barrels, means that the view of the target is less impaired by rising hot air streaks when the barrel is hot. Likewise, the recoil of the lower barrel is felt to be less because it is directed more straight into the shoulder. With both weapons, the recoil raises the muzzle, but with the transverse shotgun it is also moved to the side, since the axis of the weapon lies between the barrel axes.
The five main parts of a lock are the tension arm, the cocking piece, the firing pin, the hammer and the trigger bar. These parts are needed to fire a shot.
Shotgun with hammer
Hahnggunten have one or two external cocks that can be relaxed or released by hand and hit the firing pin when the trigger is operated, causing it to hit the primer of the cartridge. Good weapons of this type have a so-called spring-back lock, in which the hammer rests in a safety catch after being knocked off.
Self-cocking devices are easy to use and a necessity for over and under shotguns, as otherwise there would be a hammer on the side or under the weapon. They currently make the majority of break barrel shotguns.
In the case of hull-free sidelock shotguns, the taps on the outside of the cock-type shotguns have been moved to the inside of the lock plate. In doing so, their shape was changed into striking pieces. They are cocked, i.e. pushed back, when the shotgun is opened. A clamping lever with a counter bearing in the fore-end acts on them.
These locks are available as a simple version without a safety rod . Although they are easy to remove and maintain, they lack essential safety features of high-quality guns from Holland & Holland or Sauer & Sohn. The Krieghoff company offers a version with a safety rod that engages from above, which means that it still grips even if the rod breaks.
The box lock is inside the receiver , does not weaken the shaft and is light and inexpensive to manufacture. There are different construction methods, the most famous of which, the Anson & Deeley Castle, is also often named. The most compact lock is the lightning lock.
Shotguns of this type are almost always break- barrel weapons . The bottom part of the receiver forms the lock. The barrel is tilted around a pivot pin in front of the bumper. In the tilted position, it is then fixed in its position by a locking wedge. Single-barreled shotguns with cylinder lock are also rarely produced.
With the double barrel hook lock, two barrel hooks are fixed by a locking wedge that engages at the side.
Block closures also use this type of closure. Here, however, one of the running hooks is designed as a solid pin. If the block lowers, it becomes free and thus movable.
The Greener cross bolt lock is a lock with double barrel hook locking, which is supplemented by an additional cross bolt that pierces an extension of the rail.
The Kersten lock, also known as the Strasbourg or double greener, has two symmetrically attached extensions of the upper barrel. These are drilled through at the side and are also locked here with bolts. With this lock, a barrel hook is often omitted or it is no longer locked in it, but only supports itself. The Kersten bolt goes back to the Strasbourg gunsmith Gustav Kersten. Around 1900 he had this closure granted a utility model protection from the German Empire (number 123783).
To simplify the lock, there are now often hookless locks that engage from the side. They are called flank locks. In these, the pivot point is at the level of the lower barrel axis. This relieves the lock and, as with Sauer or Beretta, a strong bolt or flank lock is sufficient.
Darne side-by-side shotgun system
The hunting weapons manufactured by the Darne company (founded in 1881) in St. Etienne, France, occupy a special position . Outwardly, these side-by-side shotguns and rifles are similar to classic break-open rifles, but have a slide that is retracted parallel to the barrel axis. It is operated via a lever at the top, which, when pulled back, unlocks the bolt, cocks the ignition pins and brings the bolt block into the loading position. Swiveled forward, the breech is brought forward again, locked and the weapon is ready to fire. The locking is carried out by a swivel bolt attached to the bottom of the locking block, which is supported in a counter bearing in the barrel extension, and additionally by a bolt that engages in a corresponding hole in the locking piece attached above between the barrels.
Darne shotguns and rifles are manufactured in all common hunting calibers. They have selective ejectors, i. H. the cartridge that has not been fired is not ejected. Although they are of a high build quality, they are rare. The reason may be that they cannot be worn folded and that conventional break-open weapons are subjectively viewed as safer than the rear-opening locking system.
Double shotgun system Charlin
From 1904, Louis Charlin's company in St. Etienne also offered a side-by-side shotgun with a similar function, a slide that is retracted parallel to the barrel axis. In contrast to the Darne shotgun, the weapon locked with a knee joint.
Shotguns with a partially rifled barrel
An exception to the general definition concerns shotguns which, as a paradox barrel, have an only partially drawn barrel or a completed barrel. These are designed for firing shotgun and shotgun bullets, which are supposed to be stabilized in flight by a rotational movement. A representative of this weapon was the Paradox shotgun developed by the Englishman George Vincent Fosbery VC (April 11, 1832 - May 8, 1907) and manufactured by Holland & Holland. In order to get a specially developed shotgun barrel to rotate without spreading the shot too much, the barrel only had short pulls at the front end of the barrel. Today, modern shotgun barrel projectiles are usually fitted with a sabot so that the barrel does not come into contact with a rifled barrel and therefore does not rotate. The accuracy is achieved through higher kinetic energy output and the precisely fitting sabot.
Smooth-barreled weapons for special projectiles
There are also rifles with a smooth barrel for firing special projectiles. These are irritant, anesthetic and signal guns. Flobert rifles in caliber 6 and 9 mm also shoot bullets and shot from smooth barrels.
Bolt action shotguns
Forend repeating shotguns , also known as slide action guns or pump guns in English , are particularly suitable for self-defense and use in the police force. The US police also use them instead of submachine guns . Their advantages are a low price and, thanks to the high cross-section of the projectiles, a very high target ballistic effect, with a magazine capacity between four and eight cartridges. Unlike semi-automatic shotguns, they work regardless of the ammunition used.
In the case of bolt action rifles, the tubular magazine is located under the barrel. The fore-end is movable in the longitudinal axis and slides on the magazine. If it is pulled back, the breech is opened and the empty cartridge case is ejected. During the forward movement, a new cartridge is inserted from the magazine into the barrel (chamber). If the gun is not repeated after a shot has been fired, the gun is decocked (the empty case is still in the chamber) and a shot cannot accidentally be released. The same applies if, after loading cartridges into the tube magazine, the first cartridge is not repeated in the barrel (cartridge chamber).
The Truvelo Neostead shotgun is a specialty in this segment . It differs from other forearm action rifles on the market in that it has two magazine tubes, which are also located above the barrel. During the repeating process, the barrel is pulled forward. In addition, you can select the magazines separately and call up different types of ammunition as required.
Lever action rifle
The 1887 model was still a gun for black powder cartridges, while the 1901 model was more powerfully designed to accommodate low-smoke cartridges. By the end of production around 1920, around 144,000 weapons of both models had been manufactured.
With the forearm rifle favored by Browning towards the company management even before the construction of the 1887 model, introduced as the Winchester M1893, a competing product was created which ultimately prevailed on the market.
Lever action rifles in the design of Winchester shotguns are currently being built by Australian Defense Industries and the Chinese Norinco , among others .
Repeater shotguns with cylinder lock
There are also bolt action or bolt action bolt action shotguns. However, they are rare. An example of this is the Marlin Model 55 .
The first successful recoil loader was the Browning Auto 5 patented in 1900 and launched in 1903. In this shotgun, unlike pistols with a Browning lock , the barrel and bolt run back together by more than one cartridge length, cocking the lock and being unlocked. The barrel is brought forward by the return spring, and the empty case is ejected. In advance of the breech, a new cartridge is fed from the tube magazine located under the barrel with the help of the feeder.
Gas pressure loaders use the resulting gas pressure to eject the case and feed a new cartridge from the magazine. Gas is diverted to a piston via an opening in the barrel, which actuates the shutter.
Since this mode of operation reduces the recoil, gas-pressure chargers are popular as ladies' weapons in hunting .
Fully automatic shotguns
Some fully automatic shotguns, such as the Daewoo USAS-12 , the Jackhammer and the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, were developed for the military sector . These usually have drum magazines with a content between eight and 40 cartridges. With the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, the recoil of the weapon is reduced to a manageable level by lengthening the recoil of the slide to a maximum.
The caliber designation of shotguns differs from other firearms. Here the caliber denotes the number of lead bullets with the inside diameter of the barrel, which together weigh one English pound (453.6 g).
This gives the following values:
|Bore in mm:||26.73||21.22||19.97||18.53||16.84||15.63||14.71||13.97||13.37||10.2|
For this purpose, the case length in the state after the shot is fired is given. Depending on the ammunition, this is 65, 67.5, 70, 76 or 89 mm. Cartridges that are common today are closed at the front by a flange or fold and therefore only reach their maximum length when the cartridge is fired. In addition, there are also Magnum calibers with increased gas pressure, those with a case length of 76 or 89 mm, for the firing of which there are increased requirements with regard to the weapon during the bullet test .
A complete caliber specification would be 12/70 or 16/65. Shotguns with a diameter of more than 4 mm are called post shot or colloquially as sauposten.
The Briton WW Greener invented the choke (choke hole). This is a narrowing of the barrel that influences the spreading behavior of the shot. A shotgun can have a built-in choke or can have interchangeable inserts in order to adapt to different conditions during hunting or sport.
In the case of close targets, a large spread can be desirable, since despite the expansion of the sheaf , the target can still be adequately covered with shot. The sheaf must be held closer together at greater distances in order to still achieve an effective number of hits on a given area. This is achieved by narrowing the cross section at the muzzle. Depending on the design, the constriction is in the range from about a tenth of a millimeter to around a millimeter. For certain purposes, the spread can be increased by a widening or a narrowing with a subsequent widening at the barrel mouth. This is useful when shooting at close, fast targets such as the skeet . Side-by-side shotguns for hunting generally have barrels with different choke holes, such as a ¼-choke barrel with greater dispersion and one with full choke and less dispersion. The first shot is usually fired from the barrel with the greater dispersion, since enough shot hits the target at a short distance of up to about 25 m. If a further shot is necessary with fleeing game, a better area coverage with less scatter is required because of the greater distance.
The most commonly used choke holes include those shown on the right. It refers to:
- A: no choke, cylinder bore
- B: improved cylinder bore
- C: Bell choke
- D: Skeet choke
- E: normal choke
- Q: Pointed-arch choke
- G: Recess choke, also called niche choke or jug choke
- H: Paradox hole for shotgun barrel projectiles
The dimensions for the choke vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The different chokes are usually indicated by asterisks, rings, notches or colored markings. The following table provides an indication of the dimensions:
|Narrowing of the barrel||Lead shot (German)||Lead shot||Steel shot|
|0.125 mm||Skeet (sk)||Skeet (SK)||¼ choke|
|0.250 mm||¼ choke (quarter choke)||improved cylinder (IC)||½ choke|
|0.380 mm||¼ - ½ choke||light modified (LM)||¾ Choke|
|0.500 mm||½ choke (half choke)||modified (M)||1/1 choke|
|0.625 mm||¾ Choke||improved modified (IM)||-|
|0.750 mm||¾ - 1/1 choke (three-quarter choke)||light full (LF)||-|
|0.850 mm||1/1 choke (full choke)||full (F)||-|
|1,050 mm||5/4 choke (full choke)||extra full (XF or EF)||-|
The effect of a choke in connection with individual shot sizes is shown in Germany on a sixteen-field test disc . This disc has a quartered inner circle with a diameter of 35 cm and an outer circle with a diameter of 75 cm, divided into twelve fields. The outer fields are 20% larger than the inner fields. This target is shot at from a distance of 35 m.
With a shot size of about 3 mm, about 55% of the load hits the disc with quarter choke and about 60% with half choke. With three-quarter choke it is 65% and with full choke up to over 70%.
It should be noted, however, that this does not necessarily represent the core sheaf . This contains 85% of the shotgun projectiles and is the functional unit. The core sheaf also extends in length to around 10% of the shooting distance. Spatially, you can imagine it to be like a fat-bellied cigar.
The effective diameter of the shot load for 3 mm shot with full choke is around 35–40 cm at 20 m, with quarter choke it is 70–80 cm. For a full choke it is 90–95 cm and for a quarter choke 125–130 cm over 35 m. As you can see, the coverage of the shot decreases sharply with lower choke and greater distance.
In the hunting sector, quarter choke is therefore referred to as a forest run, half choke is referred to as a universal run and from three quarter choke it is referred to as a field run.
The shotgun is used for hunting small game (with the exception of roe deer) and game birds up to a shooting distance of about 35 meters. The shotgun is immediately fatal if a minimum number of projectiles hit it, namely through the shock (breakdown of the circulatory system) triggered by the small, almost simultaneously hitting grains. The purpose of the shotgun is a deliberate scatter shot with many small projectiles at a target that is usually in rapid motion and is relatively small. Up until the beginning of the 19th century, when gunpowder was still used, the shot barrels were usually more than 75 cm long, in order to achieve a sufficiently high muzzle velocity , as with contemporary rifles . The introduction of NC powder with more aggressive burning behavior made a significantly shorter barrel length possible . Shorter, more manageable, lighter shotguns have been developed, e.g. B. for skeet or forest hunting , i.e. the shot at close range, with barrel lengths between 25 "= 63.5 cm and 28" = 71 cm and significantly longer, heavier shotgun models z. B. for trap , hunting for game birds and parcouring , with running lengths up to 90 cm.
The hunting course (French route ) simulates the hunt for small game . The locations of the throwing machines and the trajectories of the throwing pigeons , in contrast to the Skeet and Trap sports, are not specified in a binding set of rules of a shooting sports association . The throwing machines are mostly set up in a natural or recreated forest area with natural vegetation with shrubs, bushes, trees and earth walls, mostly even for the shooter out of sight. The attraction of this sport is that single pigeons and combinations have to be shot at. Course stands are to be created in various levels of difficulty in order to offer both beginners and experienced shooters a challenge that is appropriate to their performance. The throwing machines can be placed around the shooter so that pigeons can also be thrown from behind. There are different throwing discs according to size and weight (called midi and mini) to simulate different targets, trajectories and speeds. Variants of this are so-called looper , pigeons thrown on edge in a more or less steep arc trajectory. There are so-called rabbits , which also roll upright over the stand at high speed and, depending on the structure of the terrain, are randomly distracted and thrown up hopping. In the case of combinations, one or two throwing machines are included, which are either triggered one after the other ("AS") or simultaneously ("SIM", simultaneously). With the variant rafalle ("RAF"), two pigeons of the same machine are thrown one behind the other as quickly as possible, so there is no triggering AS on the shooter's first shot. In the course shooting, a shooter in a group (squad) completely shoots the pigeons in a stand before it is the turn of the next.
The hunting course as the supreme discipline of shotgun sport is also referred to as golf with the shotgun , because in the exercise of the sport you often have to walk through a coherent natural area between the individual stands. Examples in Germany are z. B. the hunting course facilities in Buke in the Teutoburg Forest and on Dornsberg (Lake Constance), which were built in natural, hilly forests.
The Compac-Sporting or Compakt is a simplified version of the hunting course for spatially limited shooting ranges . Often existing skeet or trap machines are included on these stands and supplemented by other machines. All shooters in a group, usually 3–5 people (group), take their shooting positions next to each other and shoot each individual pigeon alternately one after the other, starting with shooter no. 1, standing on the far left.
Flush and Flurry (also: simulated gameshooting ) describes a variant of throwing pigeon shooting, in which clay pigeons are thrown from several throwing machines at the same time. This is supposed to simulate a classic, driven hunt for game birds.
The tilting phase is a discipline in which a metal, multi-part hinged disc in the shape of a hare, who runs across the board, is pulled on a rail-guided sledge and fired at a distance of 30 m. The tipping phase is often a substitute for training purposes, if a suitable throwing pigeon area is not available or the training is carried out in a hall regardless of the weather. This means that training on the shotgun in residential or industrial areas is possible until late in the evening without any emissions.
Handisport are special disciplines for the physically handicapped.
The Federation International de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse (International Association for Shooting with Hunting Rifles) has most of the disciplines described above, as well as "running boars" (with shotgun bullets) and electric doves. The electric dove or ZZ (from Zinc Zurrito, the propeller material and the name of a type of pigeon) is a disc with wings and propellers that changes flight direction and speed several times and is therefore very difficult to shoot at.
Shooting live pigeons as part of shooting sports is prohibited almost everywhere. Only in a few clubs in Italy and the USA, as well as regularly in Spain and Mexico, is it still widespread today, with sometimes very high bets from the public.
→ Main article: Target shooting
The shotgun is also used as a sporting weapon. So there are Olympic disciplines :
- Skeet (men, women)
- Trap (men, women)
- Double trap (men, until 2004 women too)
This involves shooting at 110 mm, 105 g heavy, fragile throwing discs. These are thrown into the air from a throwing machine. A clay target is deemed to have been hit if at least one visible piece of it jumps off.
Practical shotgun shooting
In practical shotgun shooting, it is not only about the precise shot, usually with rifle bullets at fixed and moving targets, but also about solving the task as quickly as possible.
The shotgun has a high psychological threat to the police. A 12-caliber shotgun, for example, has a muzzle opening of 18 mm. In addition, there are legends about the target ballistic effect of shotgun loads on humans, in which it is said that a perpetrator was thrown back “across the street” or “almost torn to pieces”. This often causes the opponent to give up and the use of firearms can be omitted.
The shotgun can also be used very flexibly. At short and medium distances it has a high man-stopping effect, with shotgun bullets even at distances of up to 100 m. Signal ammunition, tear gas cartridges, barricade-breaking projectiles, nylon shot or solid rubber projectiles can be fired with the shotgun.
Special forces of the German police use self-loading shotguns from the Franchi company imported by Heckler & Koch . As an argument in favor of the self-loader, the simpler operation was given when it was introduced. American police forces, on the other hand, prefer forearm bolt action rifles with tubular magazines. Overall, bolt-action shotguns are more simply constructed and safer to use.
In house-to-house fighting , bolt-action shotguns are also used because of their cover-breaking and penetrating effect. Doors and walls will break through depending on the ammunition used and the nature of the target. The hinge is often aimed at in order to get a door safely out of its anchoring without using an explosive charge.
Shotguns, among others of the Remington 870 type, are used by the Bundeswehr , the special forces command , the combat swimmers and the field hunters (military police). These serve to ward off animals or are used as a tool to open doors. According to the International Humanitarian Law Manual in armed conflicts, the Bundeswehr of August 1992 expressly forbids the use of ammunition with lead bullets.
The Swiss Army uses the Remington 870 Express shotgun under the designation Multipurpose Rifle 91.
For a long time the US Army used Mossberg 500 , Remington 870 and Winchester 1200 shotguns . Some of these weapons also had the option of attaching a bayonet, first with the Winchester Model 1897 , but also with later shotguns. The new tender for a Joint Services Combat Shotgun (joint combat shotgun ) won the Benelli company with the Model 4 Super 90 in 1999. The weapon was then introduced in 2001 as the M1014 , with the first 3977 shotguns being supplied to the Marine Corps . In total, the order volume for all branches of arms should be around 25,000 pieces. The shotgun is a gas pressure loader with a magazine capacity of six (12/76 caliber) or seven (12/70 caliber) rounds. The weapon has, among other things, a plastic stock, a retractable shoulder rest and a Picatinny rail for connecting optical sighting aids. All semi-automatic and automatic repeating shotguns have the problem that they are only set to the gas pressure of one type of ammunition and that the ammunition can jam when changing ammunition.
Shooting with the rifle
As already mentioned, the shotgun is mainly used to deliver "bulk charges" (shot), in individual cases shotgun bullets (see shotgun ammunition ) at moving targets.
The moving targets can show considerable speeds and move in space on different paths and in different directions. They can appear suddenly (e.g. while hunting).
In order to be able to hit with a shotgun sheaf (or a shotgun barrel) under these conditions, a different "aiming technique" than that of a rifle shot is required.
The shotgun, unlike a rifle for a bullet shot, does not usually have a sight with a rear sight and front sight , a telescopic sight or the like. On shotguns, there is usually only one grain to be found at the muzzle, which is not used for aiming and can even be dispensed with. The shotgun is also not aimed “over the barrel”.
The shotgun is attacked in such a way that the weapon is drawn in with the upper edge of the shaft against the lower edge of the cheekbone of the shooter and at the same time in the shoulder. The right hand grips the stock behind the trigger guard, the left hand grips the fore-end with the barrel set at about half the length of the weapon. This is how the weapon is fixed to the body. The gaze of both open eyes is directed towards the target (not the front sight or the barrel!). A target is not pursued with a weapon, but by twisting the body out of the lumbar vertebrae without changing the attack. The shot is always in motion (it is "pulled along").
If the attack is always carried out in the same way and if the stock of the weapon is “suitable” for the shooter, the shot shell will fly where the shooter is looking.
With demanding shooters, with left-handed people who strike left or right, with special orthopedic features, with differently leading eyes, even with clothing worn when shooting (summer / winter), a tailor-made stock may be necessary in order to hit safely (wisdom of shotgun shooters : "The barrel shoots, the shaft hits!"). In many cases, standard stocks are sufficient, with which the shooter can achieve a high number of hits with an adapted stop.
Shooting with the shotgun is demanding, requires a lot of practice and always the same stop if you want to hit safely.
“Throwing the gun in the grain” is an originally military expression and describes someone who gives up and loses courage. It comes from the time when soldiers were armed with muskets, flintlock rifles similar to flintlocks. If the soldiers lost courage in battle, they disposed of the weapon in the cornfield and fled from the enemy. Christian Morgenstern also took up this topic in 1910 in his poem Die weggewaufente Flinte and Eugen Roth in Roreilig .
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- Too hasty