Why We Think Box Magazine Shotguns Are The Best
You may know I have a fetish for high-capacity shotguns and I think now is the time to buy a box magazine shotgun. That is the tech that has won the day.
Now Mossberg and Remington have released official shotguns, rather than third party conversions, it’s time to get one.
The Mossberg 590M and Remington 870 DM are the best shotguns in the world right now, in my humble opinion. Well, there’s a curveball here in the Vepr 12, but the box magazine shotguns are the step forward we have been waiting for.
Shotguns are great, but they’re generally limited by a puny capacity that means they’re just not the first port of call for most of us when it comes to home defense anymore.
Grandpa used to grab his trusty shotgun. Now? The trusty AR-15 or even more trusty AR pistols offer 30 rounds and unerring accuracy with a red dot.
The shotgun was in danger of becoming a forgotten memory.
Novelties like the Kel-Tec KSG and Tavor TS-12 showed the way back to relevance with radical and yet complex designs. The box magazine fed shotgun is simply the combination of age-old tech that we know works.
Specialist Shells Will Change The Game
The worry with mag-fed shotguns is that shells tend to settle when they’re stored in mags and that can make for an unreliable shotgun.
Rotating shells every few days really isn’t a big deal, just pop them out the mag, swap them out and rinse and repeat. It’s a manageable issue.
But now we have the works shotguns, there’s an intriguing possibility and I am sure they are coming.
We will soon have specialist magazine shells that solve any issues. They might come filled with gel that burns up right away, or thicker shell walls, or just a new design shotgun shell, but these shells have to be on the way.
The TL;DR version? The guns are set. They will develop, but they don’t need to. The big jump should come from the shells now.
So you can buy the guns with confidence that your box magazine fed shotgun wont be gathering dust in the back of the safe next year.
Here are the best mag fed shotguns on sale right now.
1. Mossberg 590M Ghost Ring
- Price: $479.99
- Barrel Length: 18.5″
- Total Length: 39.5″
- Weight: 7.75lb
- Capacity: 10+1 rounds / 20+1 Optional
The Mossberg 590M comes with an optional 20-round mag. Really, 20 rounds of 12 gauge venom and then you can pop in another mag and start firing again.
It also means you can load up an ammo belt with buckshot and slugs, so it suddenly becomes a versatile gun as well. Fit a red dot, use the right slugs and this is a total self-defence weapon. Up close, load up with buckshot and it’s a beast.
This is a real tactical shotgun, with ghost ring sights, a
In my humble opinion, the Mossberg 590M is one of the best shotguns in the world today. It isn’t expensive, and it could be a real equalizer.
It is also a simple pump action shotgun with detachable box magazines that hold up to 20 rounds of your chosen shotgun ammo.
Gun reviews have noted, though, that the 20-round mag is noticeably harder to rack. It isn’t smooth and it is hard work, so you might opt for the 10-round version of pure performance reasons. The mags are also expensive.
The shotgun itself was way more expensive than the Remington, too. Mossberg seems to have relented and we’re starting to see sensibly priced 590M. Now with this deal that gives you the ghost ring sights and much more menacing set-up than that base-level for a price that isn’t too far away, the Mossberg 590M is our new best magazine-fed shotgun on sale in 2019.
The Mossberg 590 has been with us since 1960 and there’s a vast number of Mossberg parts and accessories. You can produce a fully custom Mossberg 590M, then, and turn this gun into something truly special.
A lightweight, AR tactical brace and pistol grip can turn your Mossberg 590 into a serious weapon for home defense.
2. Remington 870 DM
- Price: $429.99
- Action: Pump Action
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 38.5 inch
- Weight: 7.5lb
- Capacity: 6+1
The pump action magazine shotgun war inevitably has come down to Mossberg vs Remington. For a long time, the Remington held the advantage thanks to the price.
Remington just kept undercutting the opposition and at this cheap price for the basic Remington 870 DM Hardwood, well that is a bargain in anybody’s book. It has lost the top spot to the new Mossberg, but it’s seriously close and probably comes down to brand loyalty.
The Remington’s other USP is that it can take either 2 3/4 inch or 3 inch shells. The Mossberg can only take the smaller shells and this does make the Remington more flexible in the field.
On the downside, the Remington can only take six shells in the mag and we’re waiting to see if this pump action shotgun with a a magazine gets a bigger box mag in the future.
The stock might look like veneer, but it’s actually real wood. There’s a Magpul version floating round that looks more operator, but this is just a good look for this gun and it’s the right price.
A SuperCell recoil pad helps soak up the impact on your shoulder and this is a great shotgun that is simply a Remington 870, with a mag. That makes it awesome in our eyes.
The Remington 870 pump-action shotgun is an icon. It has been with us since 1950 and although it has evolved, it has been basically the same shotgun since. Until now.
The addition of a magazine changes the gun’s character, as well as it’s potential. This is a real tactical shotgun now, a shotgun that gives you options in the field. You can hunt with it, you can keep it loaded with slugs and by your door, you can use it for what you want.
It’s very clearly an 870 that has been modified with the grafted on mag receiver, and that’s good. It just needs a bigger mag and we are sure that is on the way.
3. Kalashnikov KS-12T Tactical Shotgun
- Price: $999.99
- Caliber: 12 Gauge
- Barrel Length: 18.25 inch
- Total Length: 38 inch
- Weight: 8.86lb
- Capacity: 10+1
Kalashnikov is back with a 10-round 12 gauge shotgun that could quite literally blow you away.
We’re toying with the idea of elevating this gun to number one and only the elite level pricing on this
Kalashnikov was hit with a US import ban for a while, but Kalashnikov USA has solved that thorny issue with US-built firearms and you can now get an official Kalashnikov shotgun that looks like an AK-47 to the untrained eye. I mean why wouldn’t you want that?
The 10+1 magazine is just the cherry on the cake as far as we are concerned. If you’re looking for a mag-fed shotgun and you like a modern take on military history then this is about as good as guns get. You don’t need a sales pitch, this is really one of those ‘Shut up and take my money’ moments.
The modern collapsible polymer stock and handguard give this fresh look at the AK-47 the edge in my humble opinion. This is a great looking shotgun that comes with enough rails to hang all your tactical gear off this assault shotgun and the pistol grip is perfectly situated.
It’s a rifle layout, whereas others have the folding stock, but don’t think you’ll be restricted to proprietary Kalashnikov parts. All the Saiga mags, drums, muzzle devices and more will slot straight on to this firearm and turn it into a semi-automatic weapon of war.
4. AA-12 Shotgun
- Price: $3000
- Barrel Length: 18″
- Total Length: 39″
- Weight: 11.4lb
- Capacity: 20+1 rounds / 32+1 Optional
This is basically an overgrown Uzi, according to the creators. There is almost no recoil on this gun, it comes with a massive capacity and it’s an absolute beast of a home defense system.
It comes with a 20-round drum mag, although 32-round drums are available. Put a red dot on it, and this would be a monster to have in your home, in modern semi-automatic form.
Originally, this was just for the special forces, which needed an automatic warrior for the increasing issues presented by urban warfare.
As a SHTF, last line of defense, zombies are closing in kind of gun, I can’t think of a better one. Mag fed shotguns really could be the grim future. Up close, they’re AR-15 killers.
You can fit box magazines with a lower capacity if you don’t need the full fury of the drum mags, too.
It was a secret military weapon for many years, but Max Atchisson signed over the rights to this gun in 1987. Jerry Baber has refined the basic concept since then and finally the gun went on sale to the public this Summer. Kind of.
Every sale is limited to 1000 units and they’re going through Gunbroker. So you have to be on your toes to get one of these. if you do, you will simply love one of the best shotguns for sale in 2018. It’s a seriously expensive semi-auto shotgun, but it is basically Milspec.
You get a basic bullpup design that looks like someone made it at home, but that’s a simple polymer case for the serious welded metalwork underneath. It’s stainless steel, it doesn’t even need lubrication and it has been taken into action by some very serious fighting forces around the world.
The Russian fella got one too, and he thinks it’s even better than the Saiga thanks to the reduced recoil and the sheer stopping power of a 32-round shotgun.
Of course his is automatic, natch. But even in semi-auto shotgun form, the AA-12 is an almighty magazine fed shotgun that could make you rethink your home defense firearms collection..
5. MOLOT Vepr 12 Tactical
- Price: $899.99
- Barrel Length: 19″
- Overall Length: 38.5″
- Weight: 8.5lb
- Capacity: 5+1 / 8+1/ 10+1 optional
Long before Mossberg and Remington opted for box magazine shotgun options, Kalashnikov in the Eastern Bloc was making waves with the Saiga 12 semi-automatic shotgun.
Due to the vagaries of Russian copyright law, there are several variations of the basic AK 12 Gauge. The MOLOT Vepr 12 is one of the best.
This is AK functionality with 12 gauge horsepower.
It’s not just one of the best mag fed shotguns, it’s one of the best home defense shotgun for sale in 2019. It’s a tactical shotgun and then some.
You get a pistol grip, Picatinny rail, a folding stock and a 5+1 round mag that can easily be switched out for the 10+1 mags that can be found on the web. There are even 20-round drums, so it depends on exactly how much ass you need to kick at any given time.
It was designed around the AK basics, which means it’s tried and trusted technology and nobody tried to get too clever.
Check this one out, the crazy Russian has a fully automatic version of the Saiga-12. You will get the semi-auto shotgun, which does almost as good a job.
Now the gun is used in 3-gun competitions and it’s a star on Youtube. All the gun reviews are basically eulogies to the best semi auto shotgun in the world.
It is an assault shotgun, not just a magazine fed shotgun. You can even trust the bigger drum mags from these guys, as they’ve been around so long and they’ve just kept working on the basics.
Fit a drum mag and you can have 20 shells, with no pump action required. Bear in mind, burn through that in a home defense situation and you’ll remodel your own house in the process.
That is a serious weapon right there folks, and could make you think twice about grabbing for the AR-15.
It is also a seriously well-loved hunting shotgun, with the longer barrel, because it’s more or less an AK platform.
That means accessories fit, you can slap your red dot on top, you can tune your MOLOT Vepr 12 and there is even a cottage industry in custom parts and high-end firearms. It’s basically unique, but some have taken it to the next level.
You won’t get much change out of $4000 for a Lone Star Saiga 12 conversion, but it is an intense shotgun that shoots like nothing else.
You can find bullpup configurations, or a more traditional SBR that we prefer. Check out this 3 Gun custom weapon in action to witness the Saiga 12 in its purest form.
It’s one of the best magazine fed semi-auto shotguns in the world. Get one.
6. Mossberg 590M Shockwave
- Price: $599.99
- Barrel Length: 14.37″
- Total Length: 27.5″
- Weight: 6.55lb
- Capacity: 10+1 rounds / 20+1 Optional
Shockwave is Like a Sawn Off Shotgun With AR Capacity
The mag-fed Mossberg 590 Shockwave version is even more menacing in its own spectacular way. It’s a home defense Pitbull of a pump action
We love the Mossberg for that optional 20-round magazine, but you might find yourself opting for the lighter 10-round magazine instead. If you do, then the Mossberg loses its decisive competitive advantage as a magazine fed shotgun. Suddenly it has bog standard options nibbling at its heels in terms of capacity.
The smaller detachable box magazines make it easier to swing and pivot the gun, though, so there’s always a trade-off. Shotgun shells are heavy and you will feel the difference between a slimline detachable box magazine and a clunky drum mag.
A box magazine fed shotgun has its advantages, then. It’s a very different kind of tactical shotgun and you have to decide if you would trust this gun with your life. I would, although there are other options with serious appeal.
The near instant reload of the semi-automatic Kalashnikov means it wins out for me, but these old school pump shotguns with a mag will probably sell in far greater numbers.
That’s because it’s tried and trusted tech. We know this gun and the Mossberg seal of approval to the magazine fed shotguns fold will carry weight as well.
It’s a compact, devastating firearm, as well. This is exactly the kind of weapon that could end a home invasion before it begins. It’s an intimidating gun that gives you the edge, as long as you have the capacity to back it up. With the magazine reload system, you really do.
The Mossberg 590 Shockwave magazine fed shotgun is a fussy eater. It will only take 2 ¾ inch shells, while the Remington happily spits and swallows 3” magnum shells.
Right now, you can only get a 6-round magazine for the Remington 870 DM, but it will shoot anything and the 20-round mag might be just round the corner.
The Mossberg is still a real contender with this capacity. Find the right ammo at the range and then stick with it.
7. Armscor VR60
- Price: $400.00
- Barrel Length: 20″
- Total Length: 39″
- Weight: 7.4lb
- Capacity: 5+1 rounds
If you could get a bigger mag, Rock Island Armory’s AR platform would have finished higher up the list. It has to come, this is too good a firearm not to service properly and RIA will surely get a 10 round mag and even a 20-round out there before too long.
There’s nothing fancy about the Armscor. All the furniture is basic polymer, although you do get a recoil pad to handle the substantial kick.
It’s a semi-automatic shotgun, but that magazine is the Achilles Heel right now. If Rock Island Armory can supply a bigger mag, this gun could be a smash hit. Especially at this price.
7. Remington 870 Tac-14 DM
- Price: $432.50
- Barrel Length: 14″
- Total Length: 26.3″
- Weight: 6lb
- Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
Remington 870 Tac-14 is Awesome
Remington has its own alternative to the Mossberg Shockwave in the Remington 870 Tac-14 DM. It’s compact, it looks like a sawn off shotgun and yet technically it isn’t a shotgun at all, it’s a firearm in NFA speak.
And if we hadn’t already given the price to its sibling, this gun could easily be the number one.
The Raptor birdshead grip is a neat thing, as is the Magpul M-LOK foregrip, and the Remington does look a monster.
The gun just looks sexy, and the overall length of 26.3″ means it’s a compact firearm you can have fun with. It’s not quite concealed carry, but it’s absolutely a truck gun. The only problem is the Mossberg does the whole mag fed pump shotgun thing better.
8. Panzer Arms BP-12
- Price: $599.99
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 29.5 inch
- Capacity: 5+1
We are getting down into the new breed now, which you will either love or instantly dismiss as novelty shotguns. When you break it down, though, the Panzer Arms BP-12, that’s BullPup 12 Gauge, has a lot of positive features.
This is a compact shotgun, which nestles in the shoulder by design. The barrel is long enough to take it on a turkey shoot, although people might stare, and yet it’s one of the most intriguing shotguns here when it comes to home defense.
Put a red dot and a strobe lamp on this and you’ve got more or less a home intruder’s worst nightmare. It’s an almighty weapon out in the field, too, especially with larger 10-round mags that you can obviously source pretty easily. The fold-down iron sights that come with the Panzer Arms BP-12 shotgun are enough for pretty much all close up purposes.
That Picatinny rail could handle a full-on scope and with shotgun slugs tuned for long-distance shooting, you’ll find this shotgun can outperform an entry-level AR-15 when it comes to range and the payload at the far end. It’s a legit hunting weapon with 10+1 rounds at your disposal, Picatinny rails everywhere, a recoil pad and a form that basically makes sure your shooting technique is right. That’s got to work for some of you.
There are plenty of bullpup 12 gauge shotguns hitting the market right now and it’s really down to personal taste and your own brand allegiances rather than any real discernible difference. Panzer Arms has a solid rep at a sensible price point and this gun certainly looks the business.
It’s our personal favorite of this new breed of bullpup shotguns, but we want to point out that there’s an element of personal bias.
9. EAA Akdal MKA 1923
- Price: $649.99
- Barrel Length: 20 inch
- Total Length: 29.5 inch
- Weight: 9.7lb
- Capacity: 5+1
You will see a number of this type of shotgun out there in the wild and this is basically no better or worse than a good few of them. It’s a bullpup based on the IWI Tavor, with the action and magazine behind the trigger.
Now it’s generic, but it works and the short bullpup layout means it’s great for home defense. The 5-round mags switch out for a 10-round alternative and this basic design doesn’t have a massive amount to go wrong.
You can also get a solid grip on this polymer frame and there’s a long rail for a red dot, iron rear sights and tower front that comes with the package or other
It’s not the most prestigious shotgun here, but the bullpup mag-fed shotgun is showing just how to make friends and influence people. It might be a bit of a mongrel, but we kinda like it.
10. SRM Arms M1216
- Price: $1,699
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inch
- Total Length: 33.75 inch
- Weight: 7.75lb
- Capacity: 16+1
The four rotating tubes on the SRM Arms M1216 makes it look a little like the much more famous Tavor TS-12. But there’s another trick up this shotgun’s sleeve. As well as a 16+1 starting capacity, you can pop those four tubes out as one and replace it with another 16 rounds of buckshot.
That’s cool, but be under no illusion that this is as smooth as popping out a mag from a box mag shotgun. It really isn’t. But there’s a lot of trick-tech on this shotgun that we do like.
Like the Tavor TS-12a semi-automatic. So you rotate the tube into place and if there’s a shell in the pipe then it will load automatically. It’s a roller-delayed blowback firing system, much like the iconic HK SP5K, which isn’t a bad system to copy if you’re going looking for inspiration.
Design wise, the stripped down SRM Arms M216 shotgun for sale isn’t the prettiest thing and in some ways it looks like the first rough prototypes for the Tavor TS-12. But the fact you can pop out that mag and fit another, which could also overcome reliability problems with a mag that just isn’t feeding right, then this is actually a better shotgun.