Using Shotguns as Less-Lethal Weapons

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December 3, 2018 | Originally published by Date Line: December 3 on

When the Corvallis Police Department moved away from everyday use of shotguns in favor of patrol rifles, the shotguns were repurposed for use as less-lethal weapons.

Shotguns, long a staple of law enforcement departments, can be used to fire less-lethal rounds. When the Corvallis Police Department moved away from everyday use of shotguns in favor of patrol rifles, it decided to repurpose shotguns for use solely as less-lethal weapons.

In 2017, the department repurposed its 12-gauge pump action shotguns for use as less-lethal weapons by fitting them with orange stocks labeled “less-lethal,” and orange fore-ends, according to Lt. Dan Duncan, public information officer for the department.

The department uses a less-lethal shotgun round made of a polymer material that is designed to “pancake,” or flatten on impact. The shells of the ammunition are transparent with an orange band and label for high visibility.

“The less-lethal rounds have a transparent casing and the internal part is orange so they are blatantly marked that they are a less-lethal round, very distinct, which is another safety measure we wanted.”

Use of a standard size less-lethal shotgun round allows the shotguns to retain the capability to fire standard lethal ammunition.

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