Having owned three of them I'd say that IMO the bayonet equipped 1898 Winchester is almost as silly & useless as the bayonet equipped Webly. The model 1898 may have been a fine hunting arm in its day, but its a poor "combat arm" in the field--- at best.---Ray
If I recall the intention was for specially equipped assault troops to clear trenches in WWI so I suppose the intention was to have something besides bad language for the sixth angry Hun.
Not the shotgun I find ridiculous but the BAYONET equipped shotgun. If you've never owned one the bayonet mounts are a flimsy outfit AT BEST and were seldom used by troops after the first trench raid. The tactics didn't stress Bayonets after the first encounters. Here's how they did a shotgun armed trench raid: 12 men: #1 and2 carried shotguns loaded with buckshot to clear the path. # 3- 4-5-6 carried 1911's and large bags of ammo and grenades (gas and blast/frag) and shotguns that were reloaded in relays then passed to the point men / "bombers". The last four men were armed with '03's and .45's and fought as a "drag" or rear guard. If it was a night raid the "Point" might be armed with clubs or knives for silent killing, but otherwise it was a "run and gun" killing everyone they encountered and throwing frags/gas down every hole for 50-100 yards then bugger off home. And the 1897 Winchester shotgun IS a six shooter. It is also a blue BITCH to strip and clean (nearly impossible to clean in the field) and will jam hopelessly if even a little muddy.---Ray