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The war in Ukraine has seen a rise in the use of small, agile drones, particularly First-Person View (FPV) drones, for reconnaissance and even attacks. While sophisticated air defense systems are ideal, recent media reports suggest a surprisingly effective countermeasure: the humble pump-action shotgun. This article explores why these shotguns are proving surprisingly useful against drones.

FPV drones, often commercially available and easily modified, pose a growing threat to soldiers on the ground. Their small size and maneuverability make them difficult to detect and shoot down with traditional weaponry.

Here’s why pump-action shotguns are emerging as a viable defense against these drones:

  • Cost-effective: Readily available and relatively inexpensive compared to advanced anti-drone systems.
  • Simplicity: Easy to operate and maintain, requiring minimal training compared to complex weaponry.
  • Reliability: The simple mechanics of pump-action shotguns make them dependable in harsh battlefield conditions.
  • Spread: Shotgun shells fire a wide pattern of pellets, increasing the chance of hitting a fast-moving drone compared to a single bullet.
  • Effective Range: The effective range of buckshot shells is well-suited for engaging low-flying drones.

While pump-action shotguns may seem like a low-tech solution in a high-tech war, their advantages – affordability, simplicity, and effectiveness against low-flying drones – make them a valuable tool for Ukrainian soldiers. However, it’s likely these shotguns will be used alongside other anti-drone measures as the conflict evolves.