Well this is just absolutely fascinating:
You’ve heard the old saying “everything old is new again”. Well, that applies to the tried and true Remington 870 shotgun. The 870 is probably the most popular police shotgun ever. Remington has given the 870 a facelift with several new magazine fed models which would serve just about any shotgunners needs.
There have been various aftermarket attempts to make the 870 (and the Mossberg 500) into mag-fed firearms. Those attempts have met with mixed results and the fact that you may not have even heard of those conversions should tell you how widely accepted they’ve been.*
And then the Russkies came out with the 12-ga AK-pattern guns and all of a sudden everyone started taking another look at the mag-fed pellet-heaver. Problem is, even if you get past the fact that there are ALOT of variations in shotgun shells that make a one-size-fits-all method of semi-auto functioning a challenge, the shotgun shell itself is a challenge.
Ask anyone who owns a Vepr or Saiga or other mag-fed shotty and they’ll tell you that one of the problems is that the plastic shotgun shells, when under the pressure of several others in the magazine, or pushed up against a closed bolt, will start to deform. That nice round profile becomes oblong or squared on one side and feeding issues arise. Sure, the easy solution around that is to store the gun with bolt open on a loaded mag, or switch to brass shotgun shells (which is what the military did way back when.)
If Remington drops this conversion into their 1100 platform I’d be very curious to see how it works. Is it something I’d buy? Well…no. For my needs, I just don’t see it. Pumpguns have two things going for them: a) ability to use funky ammo like rubber buck, blanks, slugs, flares, etc. and b) sheer brutality. I cannot think of many occasions where a mag-fed shotgun is going to be a better choice than my mag-fed rifle…more power, more range, more capacity, more compact ammo, etc.
However…sometimes you want to send a message or make a statement and when it’s time to go to the matresses the shotgun gives your message that bold, heavy underlining.
No doubt, if these things take off, MagPul will wind up being everyone’s mag choice, and someone will come out with a drum. But, for me, a regular 870 with an extended tube will probably serve for most of my post-apocalypse needs. (Although I’m seriously jonesing to get my hands on Mossberg’s 930-series tactical autoloader to try out.)
Anyway, I hope Remington manages to crank these things out with better quality than..well..pretty much anything theyve cranked out lately.
* = Yes, there have been a few factory-made mag-feds in the last few decades (The Franchi, Atchison, Daewoo, and a few others spring to mind.)