Now, I must say, I am not a complete expert with this sort of thing, and yes, a lot of my information comes from computer game-related topics. So, there is a small chance that I will be completely wrong.
SO! The first thing we are all going to learn about shotguns, is that they are not like normal guns.
Shotguns do not have normal bullets. Where you might think 'If I shoot at a target one kilometre with a shotgun, the bullet will at least reach that distance in a sort of straight line.'
Sorry, but that's incorrect.
To somehow clear things up, let's get some pictures up in here. My character, Israel, has a shotgun that is perfect for what I want to talk about.
|This is exhibit A.|
|And exhibit B.|
Ok, so his weapon is something called a Double Barrel Shotgun. Say it with me, class. That's right.
The title practically refers to what it is. It's a shotgun. With two barrels.
This gun, however, is more commonly referred to as a sawn-off, because of the way that both the stock (the butt of the gun, the end that presses against your shoulder) and the barrels (um, i'm guessing you all know these) are sawn off of the gun. This allows for easily carrying around the gun and hiding it under, say, a jacket.
But no, that does not mean that you can have a sawn-off bazooka. That would just be way too silly :P
Where was I? Ah yes, teaching. Alright, so now I want to get on to the actual 'bullets' that this beast of a gun shoots.
In Exhibit B, do you see those green cylinder-looking things? Those are called shotgun shells. In this particular gun, it can only hold two at a time.
If you look closely at the shells in Exhibit B, you can also see the gold rim on the outside. Take note of that.
With a double-barrel, there is a sort of flick-switch thing (visible in Exhibit A, if you can spot it. It's on the top, nailed into position by one of the screws) that, when flicked to the side, lets the barrels fall forward a little way on a hinge. This is what we call a Break Barrel. Because the barrel of the gun is breaking in half.
And quite obviously, sitting very tight and cozily in the barrels there, are the tops of two gold-rimmed shotguns shells. (exhibit A.)
Now then, i'm not quite sure about the mechanisms of it all, but from what i know, the trigger gets pulled, hammers swing backward and then forward, making contact with the metal rims of the shells and creating a spark. The spark sets off the gunpowder inside the shells (i don't know how it does, please don't ask) and instead of a bullet being let loose, many SMALLER bullets do. Pellets, really. But flying at such a high rate that they are deadly.
The moment these pellets leave the barrel, or buckshot, as it is actually called, it spreads out in all directions, covering a wide amount of space.
Shotguns do not shoot very far. A good one will most likely shoot one hundred metres. A bad one, probably only fifteen. By the time the buckshot has reached the target, is has spread out to a wide area, and will most likely make a large mess of whoever it is being fired at.
So, when you are writing, and you say 'The bullet missed him by inches', try and remember if you are writing about a shotgun, because if you are, it would most likely be not missing them by inches, and instead either shooting them to bits, or they dive out the way and it causes havoc to whatever's behind them.
Therefore, a shotgun blast cannot whiz past your head, because i assure you, if someone has a shotgun to your face, there is no such thing as a warning shot, unless it is directed into the air. No way could you judge exactly where each and every piece of buckshot is headed.
Alas, the double barrel shotgun is a very old gun indeed. Nowadays, we have automatic shotguns, which are practically shotguns but they shoot continuously.
For instance, here we have the AA12. Watch this youtube video:
And that's just about all i had to say.
I am not in a mood, i am not taking a dig at anyone, and i'm not pissed. Just so you all know....i re-read this and it kinda sounded like I was annoyed at everyone :/ I'm not, i swear! You're all awesome!