Less-lethal technologies have come a long way over the years, both in launchers and with munitions. Wilson Combat is known for its premier line of 1911 pistols, along with its 870 shotguns and AR-style rifles. And the company recently introduced a less-lethal 12-gauge launcher that is ready for duty right out of the box. Note that I used the term “launcher,” not “shotgun.” In my agency, we removed all firearms-related terms in our less-lethal program. We launch munitions, not fire them. It is a launcher, not a shotgun. This was deliberate, and so far, it has worked well.
The new Wilson Combat Less Lethal 870 combines all of the features that the company’s scatterguns are known for. As its name implies, it’s based on a new 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun, which has been a mainstay of American law enforcement for over 60 years. Designed with a steel receiver and dual operating rods, it is almost impossible to wear out one of these shotguns. And while my test model featured an 18-inch, cylinder-bore barrel, Wilson also offers a 14-inch-barreled CQB model that is controlled by applicable NFA laws.
The Less Lethal 870 came equipped with a Mesa Tacticalsix-round sidesaddle machined from aluminum as well as Wilson’s Trak-Lock ghost ring rear sight, a very robust design that is adjustable for elevation. This is paired with a high-profile front sight with a green fiber-optic insert that allows for rapid target acquisitions and follow-up shots. A Wilson two-shot extended magazine tube increases the capacity of the 870 and includes a powerful, non-binding spring for reliability and a high-visibility green follower. This new follower improves feeding and provides a highly visible indicator when the magazine is empty. The extended magazine tube also has a mounting plate for a sling.