Re: RARA-AVIS: riot gun

From: Miles Archer (
Date: 10 Sep 2003

on 9/10/03 3:18 PM, Mark Sullivan at wrote:
> White refers to a cop's riot gun.
> What is this? I thought it was a pump action shotgun, but it shoots
> bullets not buckshot. If this is the case, did cops really shoot
> bullets into crowds of rioters as late as the 1950s (seems to me there
> would have been a lot more death in the civil rights movement if they
> did), or did it just retain the name from an earlier time?

Ah, sounds to me like the author screwed up. A riot gun is indeed a shotgun, and while there are 'deer slugs', the cops would load buckshot into theirs. You're right, if they were firing rifles (like the AR-15 they sometimes now carry), the death toll would be much greater.

Rarely used, now days, btw, what with more enlightened attitudes towards the use of deadly force.


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