870 Love, Sh-tty Kitty Edition

Official caption: “A Marine armed with shotgun and ammunition belt stands guard at a rail aboard the aircraft carrier USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63), 12/15/1984”

Dig those crisp cammies and leather shell bandolier. Talk about Cold War esthetic. Photo 330-CFD-DN-ST-87-09135 by PH3 Davidson via NARA 

While many just talk about the Marines going from the Winchester 97 Trench Gun in WWI, to the Winchester 12 in WWII and the Mossberg 590 and Benelli M4 today, for years the Corps fielded a specialized version of the Remington 870, dubbed the M-870, Mark 1, complete with a bayonet lug forend over a lengthened mag tube. These guns are highly collectible when encountered in the wild today.

USNS JOSHUA HUMPRHEYS (T-AO-188), Marine FAST team member with an M870 MK1 Remington shotgun, notably missing the front sight post

A Marine demonstrates a standing firing position with a Remington 870 M-870, Mark 1 12-gauge shotgun, 5.3.1989. Note the kevlar, woodland BDUs, and Bianchi M84 holster with the M9 Beretta. DM-SN-93-00537 et.al via NARA.

As for Kitty Hawk, one of the Navy’s last conventional supercarriers, she was decommissioned in 2009 and is awaiting disposal. The Navy recently said she will undergo a drydocking in early 2021 at Puget Sound NSY’s Dry Dock 6 to remove sea life in anticipation of being moved to the breakers. She long outlived shotgun-wielding Marine Dets, which were pulled from flattops and disestablished in 1998.

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