A NEW TWIST ON THE MOST ICONIC EVERYMAN’S SHOTGUN
The biggest news in shotguns this year is the arrival of pump-actions from Remington and Mossberg that are fed by detachable magazines. The systems certainly herald a significant change for this style of shotgun and have generated a lot of interest among the tactical and personal-protection crowds.
Quickly reloading a shotgun with a tubular magazine is a difficult skill to master, so the promise of magazine-fed shotguns that operate reliably has been on many shooters’ wish lists. Because these shotguns aren’t meant for wingshooting, we didn’t include them with the rest of the field.
For hunters, a box magazine has some definite advantages. It allows for easy control over ammo, which is extra helpful when taking young or less-experienced hunters afield. It makes verifying that a shotgun is unloaded a simpler task. It offers a speedy way to show that a shotgun cannot hold more shells than allowed by regulations. And it gives hunters a quick way to swap shells, should conditions call for a different type of ammo. For personal protection, it offers similar benefits, plus it gives you the added bonus of being easy to reload in a hurry.
The Remington 870 DM Predator ($799) we tested is configured for turkeys, deer, hogs, and predators. It comes with both 3- and 6-round magazines and takes Extended choke tubes, which have helpful names like “Boar Blaster” printed on their sides. The 870 has a simple peep sight but also comes with a Picatinny rail for mounting optics.
The magazines were easy to load and swap out. Otherwise, it operates like a traditional 870, though our sample’s action was a bit on the rough side.
The Mossberg 590M ($801) we tested came with a heat shield over the barrel and a bunch of extra mags. We heated this gun up pretty quickly, busting clays with it on the skeet field and having a grand ol’ time. As with the Remington, loading and changing the magazines was a quick affair, and given that the Mossberg’s mags come in 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-round sizes, it is more clearly geared toward tacticool and personal-protection shooters.
Before you ditch your trusty tube-fed pump gun for one of these, it is worth noting that when we accidentally dropped a magazine on the ground, it ejected all its shells, leaving us with an empty hunk of polymer. Point being, there’s still a lot to learn about these interesting new shotguns before betting your life on one.
1. The Remington 870 DM Predator comes with a camo finish and Extended choke tubes for different hunting applications. 2. Mossberg’s 590M is geared more toward personal protection and competition.