The Streetsweeper shotgun: gone and unlamentedly so.

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A couple of decades back there was a shotgun (and I use the term loosely) called the Streetsweeper. It was basically a giant single action revolver chambered in 12 gauge, and it was the AR-15 of the times: politicians paraded it around decrying its deadly intent and capacity (not to mention its chilling name) and calling for its ban.

In 1994 the ATF finally classed it as a destructive device requiring registration and a tax stamp to transfer, like any other NFA weapon. The politicians got their wish, the Streetsweeper effectively disappeared, and today the more impressionable members of our community have elevated its capabilities to almost mythical proportions. It seems that what you can’t have you want more, and what you don’t have becomes better in the reminiscing than it ever was in real life.

I remember the Streetsweeper as being less terrifying than amusing. How so? Well, when it actually worked (they weren’t known for reliability, and that’s being charitable) it was quite unpleasant to shoot — to the point that you just didn’t want to. Yes, it had capacity — but its rate of fire was easily eclipsed by even the most carbon-fouled Remington 1100. It was, truly, the gun you hoped your opponent would be using. It was the last thing you’d want to use for self defense or to protect your home.

It was an absolutely awful firearm, and though I would have preferred that the free operation of the marketplace be responsible for its demise rather than the government I can’t really say I’m sad it’s gone. Most of those who ever had the displeasure of shooting one would probably tell you the same thing; it’s only those who’ve never used it who think it’s a great idea!

For those who’ve never had the opportunity, Ian at Forgotten Weapons took one to the range recently and videoed his experience. From my perspective, his range session was better than average — and as nice a guy as he is, even Ian can’t come up with much good to say about the Streetsweeper. Be sure to go to the site and read his additional commentary!

-=[ Grant ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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