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sTmykal

7th Edition Shotgun Era Clarification

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In my 7th Edition Keepers manual, Table XVII (pg 403) lists the 12-gauge shotgun (pump and semi-auto) as being common to the Modern era only. But prices for the weapon are noted for both the 1920s and the modern era. Is this a typo? Or was the 12-gauge (pump and semi-auto) meant to  also be made available for the 1920s era?

The short of it is that I know next to nothing about the history of the 12-gauge (or any other firearm for that matter) and wasn't sure if it should be available to my 1920s campaign or not.

Thanks in advance!
 

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35 minutes ago, sTmykal said:

In my 7th Edition Keepers manual, Table XVII (pg 403) lists the 12-gauge shotgun (pump and semi-auto) as being common to the Modern era only. But prices for the weapon are noted for both the 1920s and the modern era. Is this a typo? Or was the 12-gauge (pump and semi-auto) meant to  also be made available for the 1920s era?

The short of it is that I know next to nothing about the history of the 12-gauge (or any other firearm for that matter) and wasn't sure if it should be available to my 1920s campaign or not.

Thanks in advance!
 

Ta da!!!

...and semis...

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Historically speaking, yes.  The semi-auto shotgun had been widely available for at least a decade by 1920.

Browning A-5, Remington M-11, at least a couple more, all based on the original 1890's design by John Browning himself.

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Just now, seneschal said:

For some reason I read the thread title as "Shogun Era" and thought they'd done a supplement for 17th Century Japan.

Heh.

I read it as "shotgun" but then went back to carefully re-read when I parsed "... era" and halfway expected this thread to be an auto-corrected mis-titling, as per your reading.

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2 hours ago, StevenGEmsley said:

Yep - that's where I wasn't sure about what constituted a 12-gauge for the purposes of the game, and if the omission of the 1920s from the commonality of the era was intentional (for game balance, maybe?) or if it was a mistake.

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OK, lifelong shooter, combat veteran, reenactor, and military historian here. I'm certainly not saying that my comments are the be-all and end-all on the subject. Just like with everything there's always someone who knows more, but I'm pretty confident of my knowledge.

I address this answer to the OP, who stated he didn't know much about guns or their history. I am also not going to engage in any Second Amendment discussions here. This is strictly history as it relates to a game with strong historical ties.

I. Firearms Culture in the US between the Wars.

America in the post War One era was a heavily armed society, more so than now. While there were fewer guns in private hands in actual numbers, more households owned guns per capita. These were by and large pistols and hunting rifles, but it wasn't until the first Federal Firearms Act of 1934 that actually banned automatic weapons! It was perfectly legal to own  a Thompson submachine gun or a Browning Automatic Rifle, for example, and most sales came with a complimentary box of ammo. HOWEVER[!] please note that even the most laid back sheriff's deputy or G-Man is going look very askance at private ownership of a Maxim gun :D It was not uncommon to see gun ads in everything from Colliers Magazine and Saturday Evening Post to the local newspaper. While the Old West had pretty much faded in the national consciousness, the veterans of the Spanish American War /Philippines Insurrection were still prevalent and many men came home from the Western Front as hardened and damaged as any gunfighter or survivor of Gettysburg ever was. Gun safety was widely taught in the majority of the country, with some schools even having gun safety courses in Physical Education and guns were nearly de rigueur in Boys Scouts, which was growing in popularity. Hunting was not only a pastime but a family tradition and often a subsistence skill. Famous personalities as different as Alvin York and Audie Murphy a generation later hunted to eat, not for sport. This was the era a certain 'muscular Christian manhood', as Kipling put it. A 'proper' man had an outdoors streak that naturally included firearms, although just like with the Old West that was more a myth than a fact.

Prohibition did effect all this, of course. Gangsters with guns were making inroads into the American consciousness and the beginnings of gun regulation were everywhere during the Volstead Act era. However, other than in the major urban areas very little actual confiscation was done outside of these areas.

II. Game Facts:

CoC has always been a little bit leery of unlicensed heavily armed independent monster hunters in service to society [nod to GhostBusters there], and the fact is that a significant percentage of Mythos beings will shake off a burst from a Lewis Gun and laugh at you. Of the weapons that do effect Mythos creatures, the 12 gauge shotgun is favored because it does a whole bunch of damage for one attack roll. Furthermore, the ammunition is cheap and available pretty much everywhere. In the Twenties you could go to the average county store and buy boxes of .22, .45, .30 cal., 30-06, and the various shotgun gauges for the asking. Even teenagers were allowed to buy ammo. Note that this would not be the case in a major metropolitan area with organized crime problems... New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco predominantly. These dense urban areas were already beginning to regulate firearms as early as 1910.

So, shotguns specifically. By far the most common shotgun would be the double-barreled shotgun for bird hunting. It was not illegal to cut one down, but if you were accused of a crime and caught with a sawed-off shotgun, you were almost instantly presumed to be a criminal. Pump action shotguns were in the common-to-uncommon range. Many poorer families were suspicious of mechanical things and felt that a pump- or semi-auto shotgun was just another machine to break down and cost money to fix. Semi-auto shotguns were the most rare. in 1925, the first semi- shotgun, the Browning Auto-5, was only 20 years old and still seen as a rich man's toy. As a hunting implement, is was seen as unsporting. Even Teddy Roosevelt said so! However pump actions had wide acceptance, and the Winchester Model 1897 went to war with the AEF with a bayonet lug on the muzzle!

 

I hope this answers some of @sTmykal questions. If you have any more, I'm happy to help. Happy gaming and keep the lights on! :D

Edited by svensson
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Side note, if you're running a CoC game in the classic Roaring 20's era, HBO's Boardwalk Empire is pretty much required viewing and it gives a good idea of the kind of weapons available and their use appropriate to the time frame.

Edited by svensson
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On 4/5/2019 at 10:48 AM, svensson said:

Of the weapons that do [a]ffect Mythos creatures, the 12 gauge shotgun is favored because it does a whole bunch of damage for one attack roll.

…and, in my CoC experience, because you can carry two of them, sawn-off and loaded with slugs, and use them to apply a simple test when any sort of Thing menaces you:

Step 1. Empty all four shotgun barrels into the Thing, preferably at point-blank range.

Step 2. If it's still moving, you can't kill it; run away.

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3 hours ago, trystero said:

…and, in my CoC experience, because you can carry two of them, sawn-off and loaded with slugs, and use them to apply a simple test when any sort of Thing menaces you:

Step 1. Empty all four shotgun barrels into the Thing, preferably at point-blank range.

Step 2. If it's still moving, you can't kill it; run away.

"If at first you don't succeed, run the Hell away..."

-- From the fight song of Miskatonic U [Go 'Pods!]

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