Why no clip for a shotgun?

I’ve been curious for a while as to why there is no clip for the modern shotgun. I would think that would be fairly conveininet. Maybe not. Any ideas?

I don’t know why there aren’t more of them but there are certainly clip-fed shotguns out there.

Here’s an example, the AA12: http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=623

There are a few shotguns that have magazines. I can’t think of one now, but I’ve seen them.

Why aren’t they more common? They’re not needed. Hunting shotguns are limited by law, and many of them are break-open types. Defensive shotguns probably don’t need more than eight shots. If shotguns were used by the military as a standard weapon, they might want more capacity for close-in fighting. But then, an MP-5 is probably better for most situations.

I don’t really see a need for them either. Shotguns aren’t usually shot in any rapid fire manor for sustained periods of time. They certainly wouldn’t be for hunting or self defense. There are shotgun sports like skeet and sport clays where a shooter goes through lots of rounds but that is over a period of time and a semi-auto should suffice. Even though the shooter has to reload, he would still have to have extra clips on hand and load those as well.

You might say hey, rifles have those same issues and lots of them have clips. That brings us to our second problem: size. Shotgun shells, especially 12 gauge shells are big. Say you wanted a modest 10 round clip. That would be the size of either 10 or maybe 5 shells stacked on top of one another. That is quite bulky. The size of shotgun shells means that they do better stacked lengthwise along the length of a semi-automatic. I am not sure how reliable a clip the size of shotgun shells would be either but I think those other factors are enough to kill the need for it.

Strictly speaking, all non-breechloading (i.e. pump action or autoloading) shotguns have a magazine; it’s just that most have a fixed tubular magazine, where a very few have a removable box magazine akin to that found on a modern battle rifle. (The distinction Johnny L.A. is making, by the way, is that a magazine is an ammo storage device that includes a feed mechanism like a spring, whereas a clip is a device which merely holds ammo to be inserted into a magazine. On the M1 Garand rifle, for instance, the rounds are held in an en bloc clip which is then inserted into the magazine. Except for revolvers that fire “rimless” cartridges like the .45 ACP, clips are an anachronism that aren’t used on modern production firearms. Hollywood, however, in its utter abeyance of technical precision, continues to promulgate the incorrect term.)

The reason it isn’t seen more often is that a) it’s not really necessary; the 7-8 capacities available on tubular magazines (with extensions) gives you all the firepower you could legimately need for such a devestating close quarters weapon, b) the magazines would be large, bulky, and heavy, unsuited to belt carry, c) the underbarrel tubular magazine can be topped off without unloading the gun or breaking the action, making it convenient for tactical purposes (if you want to switch ammo quickly), and d) 'cause it’s never really caught on, presumably for the above mentioned reasons.

The Franchi SPAS-15 tactical shotgun has a box magazine, as does the Kalashnikov-derived Saiga-12. In both cases, the gun is intended for police and military tactical use where high firepower and quick magazine changes are percieved as beneficial. Here’s a pistol-shotgun thingee from a South African company called the MAG-7 with a grip magazine similar in apperance to the UZI submachine gun. It looks pretty useless to me, but to each their own, I suppose. There’s also a cylinder drum-type design that was marketed under various names (Striker, Streetsweaper, Protecta) which was popular with the action movie crowd for a while back in the Eighties and Ninties but struck me as the dumbest thing ever.

So, it’s not that it’s never been or can’t be done; it’s just not in high demand, though clearly the law enforcement and tactical market has some interest in this feature. For most shooters, though, the traditional underbarrel tube magazine is more than adequate. At least, until Vin Diesel shows up in his next movie wielding a SPAS-15, then every mil-firearm geek is going to want one for his own collection, resulting in Chuck Schumer/Dianne Feinstein/Dick Lugar/Hillary Clinton umbraging about the hazards of rapid fire high explosive-tipped sabot rounds on school playgrounds, et cetera, ad nausum. And the circus continues…


Striker, Streetsweeper and Protecta shotguns

More on these at Wiki

I knew someone would catch that, but I didn’t feel like elaborating in another post.

I’d like to mention the ergonomics of the situation, other aspects having been adequately covered…

Think of the primary uses of a shotgun. I’d say hunting first, combat second in terms of number of users.

Hunting with a shotgun means you are usually after fast-moving game and need not only a spread pattern of shot to give a kill area that is larger than, say .308 inches, but also potentially a really dfast follow-up shot. Thin bird hunting, rabbit hunting, and so on.

You are limited to, I think, 3 shells in the magazine/whatever.

The twin-barrels, over/under and side-by-side offer very quick follow-up shots as well as a different choke for each barrel. You do not have to move your hands to get off the next shot, only one finger (if a 2 trigger system) or if a single trigger, no repositioning at all.

The autos do not require any repositioning either, and are very reliable today.

The pumps do require racking the slide, but it is done with the supporting hand.

The bolt action shotguns, however, do require you to take your right (usually) hand off the trigger and stock, grab the bolt, shove it up, pull it back, shove it forward, shove it down, then reposition your hand around the stock and your trigger finger once more into the trigger huard and on the trigger.

Self-defense/combat is different, with even more reason for quick, easy follow-up shots. Magazine capacity is not limited here. Slide actions and semi-autos can fire as many shells as the magazine holds. Think of loading, say, 8 12-gauge shells in a clip. That is a big damn thing hanging out the bottom of the weapon. And you are still stuck witht he extra time to work that bolt. (Although some pros can do this very fast indeed, I know)

About the only thing I can think of where the bolt action would not be a hindrance is in long range goose hunting, and from years past, I think I have seen more botl-action 10-gauges than any other gauge.

But, yes, bolt-action, detachable clip shotguns have been made.

Here is an older thread that gets into this topic pretty well, and I checked and most of the links contained still work.