Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

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.

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