Combat Smoothbore Supreme

The Americans arrived late to the worldwide maelstrom that was World War I. While this hemoclysmic global slugfest dragged on for four years, three months and two weeks, it actually took two-and-a-half years for the United States to declare war on Germany. American doughboys did not arrive in Europe in quantity before the summer of 1918. Though the war ended November of the same year, the Americans still lost 100,000 men to the conflict. Tragically, 45,000 of these troops succumbed to the Spanish Flu.

American troops arriving in France were, with few exceptions, exceedingly well equipped. Their 1903A3 Springfield and M1917 rifles represented the state of the art, while their M1911 pistol soldiers on in some Special Operations units even today. The French Chauchaut machine gun certainly had its faults, but the esteemed Browning Automatic Rifle saw its first limited combat use. Among the unconventional combat implements American troops employed was a militarized version of the Winchester 1897 slide-action shotgun. Equipped with a 20" barrel, perforated heat shield, bayonet lug and sling swivels, the Model 1897 in military service was universally known as the Trench Gun.