HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The History of Shotguns Quiz
by Staff
From pump-action to semiautomatics, "scatterguns" have been useful tools and weapons for centuries. How much do you know about shotguns?

What was the first true purpose for shotguns?

  • military
  • bird hunting
  • home defense

Why are shotgun bore sizes expressed as gauge instead of metric or decimal measurements, like most guns?

  • partly because of the chamber construction
  • tradition
  • smoothbore guns are measured differently than rifled guns.

Who designed the Winchester Model 1897?

  • John Browning
  • Uziel Gal
  • John Garand

Parker Brothers Guns began manufacturing shotguns following which war?

  • The American Revolution
  • The Civil War
  • The War of 1812

Alexander John Forsyth is renowned for improving which aspect of shotguns?

  • improved overall reliability
  • better ignition technique
  • longer barrel life

"Super magnum" shotguns use shells of which size?

  • 2.5-inch
  • 3-inch
  • 3.5-inch

When did lead-free shotgun shells first gain traction around the world?

  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s

In which war did American troops first widely use 12-gauge shotguns?

  • Civil War
  • World War I
  • World War II

In what decade did paper shells begin to replace brass shells?

  • 1870s
  • 1890s
  • 1910s

Which company marketed its product as "The World's Finest Shotgun?"

  • Caesar Guerini
  • Winchester
  • AH Fox

In addition to being lighter than lead, what is another drawback to steel shot?

  • It is more deadly in accidental shootings.
  • It is too hard.
  • It is poisonous to mammals.

What spurred the development of non-toxic shotgun pellets?

  • factory worker poisoning
  • wildlife poisoning
  • child poisoning

Why were punt guns mostly banned in the United States in the 1860s?

  • Too much wildlife was being killed.
  • Too many people were being killed.
  • They had a tendency to explode when fired.

How long was the Herfurth Cannon, a type of punt gun?

  • eight feet
  • five feet
  • four feet

How did some shotgun shells become known as "buckshot?"

  • They were used to shoot deer.
  • The shot was irregularly shaped.
  • A man named Buck invented them.

When did the legendary Remington 870 first hit the retail market?

  • 1913
  • 1951
  • 1977

About how many copies of the Remington 870 have been sold?

  • more than 4 million
  • more than 2 million
  • more than 10 million

Why did the Germans object to Allied forces using shotguns during World War I?

  • They said they caused unnecessary suffering.
  • They said the Allies were cheating.
  • They wanted shotguns, too, but didn't have local manufacturers.

In which year was the first pump-action shotgun patented?

  • 1854
  • 1891
  • 1908

What event triggered a comeback for the 10-gauge shotgun?

  • non-toxic shot laws
  • spike in crime
  • Korean War

M1030 shotgun shells are specifically made for which purpose?

  • anti-personnel
  • door breaching
  • incendiary purposes

What style of shotgun was the Winchester Model 1887?

  • over-under
  • break open-action
  • lever-action

Sawed-off shotguns generally have a barrel length of less than how many inches?

  • 18 inches
  • 14 inches
  • 12 inches

Why are there slits in the side of a shotgun shell's plastic wad?

  • to force the wad into "blooming" after firing
  • to better hold the shot together as it travels down the barrel
  • to release excess gas pressure

From what material were the first shotgun shells made?

  • paper
  • leather
  • brass

Why did some early shotguns have very long barrels?

  • The creators thought it made them more accurate.
  • It made them less likely to blow up on accident.
  • Longer barrels dispersed toxic gases farther from the shooter.

How long were some of the earliest (single-user) shotguns?

  • 8 feet
  • 6 feet
  • 4 feet

In which decade did plastic become a popular shotgun shell construction material?

  • 1980s
  • 1950s
  • 1960s

In which country was the double-barrel, side-by-side shotgun invented?

  • England
  • China
  • Italy

Which company manufactured the first successful repeating shotgun?

  • Remington
  • Winchester
  • Browning