Copyright International Ammunition Association, 2006. All rights reserved.
Cartridge of the Month June 2006

12 Gauge Close Assault Weapon System (CAWS)
Specimen and photos courtesy of Paul Smith

The CAWS program was envisioned to be a multi-purpose weapon capable of anti-area, material and personnel roles within one firearm. The rounds dates from ca. 1985-1986. 

The weapon was designed by H&K and the ammunition by Winchester.  The rounds are easy to identify as they are all brass and have a belt at the base.  The belt was intended to serve 2 purposes. First, to strengthen the case head, and second, to ensure that this ammunition would not chamber in a regular shotgun.


The earliest loadings were with flechettes, but this was soon abandoned due the inability to achieve a stabilized launch which resulted in very poor accuracy. Tungsten buckshot (#2 Buck) was also loaded.


The most common loadings found are regular lead shot (both small shot (about #2) and buckshot (000 Buck). The last rounds developed are ones with aluminum heads and plastic bodies.





This is a sectioned loading of the typical lead buckshot loading.




This is a picture of 2 factory window dummy rounds (tungsten and lead) and an example
of the plastic and aluminum cased round. This is loaded with a #2 shot load under a clear orange top wad.





References: (brochure shown above)

Copyright 2006 by the International Ammunition Association, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  Revised 31 May 2006