shotgun


shotgun
/shot"gun'/, n., adj., v., shotgunned, shotgunning.
n.
1. a smoothbore gun for firing small shot to kill birds and small quadrupeds, though often used with buckshot to kill larger animals.
2. Football. an offensive formation, designed primarily for passing situations, in which the backfield is spread out with the quarterback positioned a few yards behind the center and the other backs, as potential pass receivers, positioned as slotbacks or flankers.
3. ride shotgun,
a. (formerly) to ride atop a stagecoach as a shotgun-bearing guard.
b. to protect or keep a watchful eye on something: riding shotgun over the nation's economy.
adj.
4. of, pertaining to, used in, or carried out with a shotgun: a shotgun murder; shotgun pellets.
5. covering a wide area in an irregularly effective manner without concern for details or particulars; tending to be all-inclusive, nonselective, and haphazard; indiscriminate in choice and indifferent to specific results: He favored the shotgun approach in his political attacks.
6. seeking a desired result through the use or inclusion of a wide variety of elements.
7. having all the rooms opening one into the next in a line from front to back: shotgun apartment; shotgun cottage.
8. gained or characterized by coercive methods.
v.t.
9. to fire a shotgun at.
[1770-80, Amer.; SHOT1 + GUN1]

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Smoothbore shoulder firearm designed to fire a number of pellets, or shot, that cover a large target area after they leave the muzzle.

It is used mainly against small game such as birds. The earliest examples were the fowling pieces that appeared in 16th-century Europe. Repeating shotguns, in which several cartridges could be loaded at once, became available in the 1880s. The range of a modern shotgun is about 50 yards (45 m).

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weapon
 smoothbore shoulder weapon designed to fire a number of pellets, or shot, that spread in a diverging pattern after they leave the muzzle. It is used primarily against small moving targets, especially birds.

      The earliest smoothbore firearms loaded with shot were the “fowling pieces” that appeared in 16th-century Europe. In the early 17th century, the barrels were made as long as 6 feet (1.8 m) in an attempt to gain maximum accuracy.

      The modern shotgun evolved principally from a series of 19th-century improvements in gunpowder, cartridges, and guns. The barrel was shortened and lightened, making possible the double-barreled gun, in which two barrels shoot to the same point of aim at normal ranges. The choke bore was introduced to limit the spread of the shot and increase range and accuracy. Repeating shotguns, in which several cartridges could be loaded at once and successively positioned in the firing chamber by a cocking action, became available in the 1880s. In semiautomatic shotguns, firing a shot automatically positions the next round.

      Effective range of a modern weapon is about 50 yards (45 m). The gauge of a shotgun, a measure of its bore, originally represented the number of lead pellets of the diameter of the barrel that would weigh one pound (0.45 kg); thus a 12-gauge shotgun has a larger bore than a 20-gauge. Single balls of barrel-filling size are rare today, but cylindrical slugs are sometimes used for deer hunting.

      The shotgun is also used in trap and skeet shooting and is used as a police weapon in many countries. The sawed-off shotgun, with truncated barrels, is easily concealed and is notorious as a criminal weapon.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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