Capacity has always been a problem with shotguns. Roth Concept Innovations has fixed this with their XRAIL add-on, which gives operators 14 to 22 shells on demand without permanently altering the weapon.
For many, the shotgun is still a versatile tool, especially as it pertains to less-lethal, gas and even true riot rounds. Many of these rounds will not cycle in a semi-auto, however, and a pump is the only choice. For riot control teams, rubber pellets, teargas and beanbag rounds are critical.
Shotguns loaded with less-lethal rounds are also essential for S.W.A.T. operations. Depending on the target location, it can be preferable to deploy a team with a 12 gauge and gas rounds. Many immediate action teams still have someone with a shotgun loaded with less-lethal to back up the Taser. Lastly, many still see the pump shotgun as a viable and practical patrol weapon. It is simple, reliable, and can handle most tasks an officer is ever asked to do.
As suitable as the pump shotgun is for all of these tasks, it still has one limitation: ammunition capacity. This has spawned all kinds of gear designed to deal with the issue, such as a sidesaddle or spare ammunition pouch on your gear. Many still use a sling that accommodates spare ammunition. There are even “speedloaders” designed for fast reloads. These generally have no tactical value at all and are often dangerous, but they illustrate the point. Attending some training classes, the avid shotgun shooter looks like something straight out of the 19th century with ammunition on the gun, holster, sling and anywhere else it can be tacked on.
The XRAIL really came out of the need for capacity in the 3-Gun world. Although many speedloading systems existed, they generally required you to alter the weapon, often permanently. They were also dedicated to that gun and not interchangeable. Roth Concept Innovations (RCI) designed a pretty solid solution to this. The XRAIL adds as many as 22 rounds to your shotgun’s capacity and is interchangeable with several shotguns. It’s really an ingenious design.
The XRAIL has quickly become the first choice among top competitors in any action discipline that requires a shotgun. It gives you a reliable capacity that, once expended, allows the weapon to be loaded as normal for the rest of the course. With the exception of changing out a magazine tube on some shotgun models, the XRAIL does not alter the weapon. You can easily return the shotgun to its original condition.
But how does the XRAIL fare in the tactical world? Often, innovation that comes out of competitive shooting enhances the tactical environment. Most of the enhancements now seen as stock on a 1911 pistol came directly from the competitive shooting world. Does it always cross over? Not always. But at times it does, and you really never know until you give it a try.