By Nick Leghorn
The guys over at SRM have been refining their 1216 shotgun, adding in all kinds of new bells and whistles. Improved plastics for the magazine to prevent warping, better materials for the stock, and even a better design for the receiver will all be available this year for new buyers. But something they’ve been tinkering with more and more is their dedicated “less lethal” bolt — a drop-in replacement that will only fire “less lethal” low pressure rounds, and will split if a full power load is used (to prevent more than one round from flying downrange). After a session showing off their latest tricks to a team of special forces soldiers, the guys asked them to do something ingenious: make a lethal shotgun slug that’s quieter than a .22 caliber gun (even without a silencer) and won’t penetrate walls and still be lethal on the other side. So they did. And it’s going on sale soon.
The idea came around when they were playing with some bean bag rounds. The one-ounce projectiles are designed to incapacitate someone if hit in the chest, but the soldiers figured that a solid smack anywhere in the eye box would be an instant and quiet kill — the low pressure round doesn’t produce a lot of gas, and a shotgun is fairly quiet to begin with. The guys at SRM figured that they could produce a 1-ounce solid lead slug loaded to the same pressure that will still cycle the “less lethal” action properly, sound just as quiet as the bean bag round, and the smaller diameter of the slug would mean it would have enough force to actually penetrate someone.
According to SRM, while these slugs are quieter and softer recoiling, another fringe benefit is that they are no longer lethal after passing through walls. I’m somewhat skeptical at the claim, but since we’re talking about a projectile with over a 1/2 inch diameter gliding through the air at only 300 feet per second I could see how a sheetrock wall would put up enough resistance to slow the round if not stop it. Naturally we’ll be testing that claim when we get some for testing.
If their claims are true, it could be a great home defense round. Not having to worry about over penetration in an apartment or a house is a huge benefit when choosing your ammunition, and the added benefit of being able to hear after you pull the trigger is huge. Plus, imagine how much more accurate someone who is small in stature (like a woman, or Tyler Kee) could be with a gun that has practically no recoil.
This could be very interesting.