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This year’s crop of new smoothbores is dominated by the cut-down “Shockwave-pattern” design introduced by Mossberg in 2017. Though Mossberg didn’t invent this new breed of gun, it was the first major player to commercialize it. The Shockwave is classified as a “firearm” by the BATFE and not a shotgun; its tremendous success has created a barrage of copycat models made by big and small players alike.

This year has also seen a number of noteworthy designs like bullpups and those that use detachable magazines. In short, shotguns are still going strong after hundreds of years. Let’s take a look at 18 new shotguns for 2018.

This article was originally published in “Tactical Life” August/September 2018. To order a copy and subscribe, visit

New Shotguns: American Tactical Omni Hybrid

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The redesigned .410-gauge Omni Hybrid shotgun looks and operates like a typical AR-15. It’s named for its lower receiver. The receiver is made of polymer molded over a zinc-aluminum shell. This helps cut the firearm’s weight to only 6.5 pounds when it’s unloaded. This year, American Tactical updated the design by changing the magazine, bolt, chamber and gas piston system. A set of four internal chokes and a magazine loader are also now available. One 5-round magazine is included, and 10- and 20-round versions are available. Finally, the Omni Hybrid takes 2½-inch shells, and American Tactical imports several affordable loads. (

New Shotguns: Benelli Super Black Eagle 3

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Benelli’s new Super Black Eagle (SBE) 3 Left Hand and Rifled Slug are semi-autos. Its features have been refined over several model revisions to make them more accurate and easier to use. The safety, bolt handle, magazine tube cap and triggerguard are all oversized for easier operation while wearing thick winter gloves. Both are inertia operated, which means fewer parts and much easier cleaning. The ComforTech buttstock helps absorb recoil and can be adjusted for length of pull, cant and drop. The barrels—24 inches for the Rifled Slug and 26 or 28 inches for the Left Hand—are cryogenically treated for tighter, more consistent patterns downrange. (

New Shotguns: Beretta 1301 Tactical

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This year, the 1301 Tactical is offered in four new finishes. It’s also equipped with the new Optima Bore HP choke. This produces better shot patterns through more gradual constriction. It also has a modified bolt release lever that eliminates the possibility of putting two shells onto the shell lifter at once. In addition, the Picatinny top rail has been upgraded to aluminum instead of polymer. The loading port is also oversized with beveled edges for faster reloading. The front sight is removable for easier changing should it become damaged, and the rear sight is fully adjustable. Completing the package is a stock adjustable for length of pull, cant and drop. (

New Shotguns: Charles Daly Honcho

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The new Honcho from Charles Daly may look like just another short-barreled smoothbore, but it’s the only commercially made .410. It also has a spring-assisted pump that slams the action closed. Spring-assisted pump actions have been around for some time; their use in guns classified as “firearms” is confined to Black Aces Tactical and the Honcho .410. The theoretical benefit is faster cycling, but the more realistic value is to assist someone with an injured hand. Honchos are also available without the spring-assist feature in 12 and 20 gauge, and every model has a 5+1 capacity. (

New Shotguns: CZ-USA Sharp-Tail

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CZ-USA is now importing Sharp-Tail side-by-side shotguns that have modern features like single triggers; coil springs; and barrels with black chrome finishes. These shotguns are made in 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 gauges with Turkish walnut stocks, 28-inch barrels and color-casehardened receivers. Five chokes are included in all but the .410 variant, and they all have manual safeties. For those who prefer something shorter and more maneuverable for hunting or Cowboy Action Shooting, the Sharp-Tail Coach has 20-inch barrels and is made in 12 or 20 gauge with 3-inch chambers. (

New Shotguns: Fabarm STF 12

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New to the U.S. market this year is the Italian-made Fabarm STF 12 pump action with a 3-inch chamber and a 5+1 capacity. This tactical shotgun’s action and controls are based off the ubiquitous Remington 870, but the barrel, stock and sights are enhanced. The STF 12 is also proof-tested to a higher pressure than required by law as a testament to its strength, according to Fabarm. The full-length Picatinny rail on top has a removable, fully adjustable ghost-ring sight with fiber-optic inserts while the grip and forend use rubberized inserts for a comfortable hold. There’s also a detachable muzzle brake with rows of sharp teeth for breaching duties. (

New Shotguns: Fostech Origin 12

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The semi-auto Fostech Origin 12 has been produced for several years, but it’s still among the most unique combat shotguns available. The Origin 12 uses a patented long-stroke gas piston system based on the AK-47, but shooters can tune the action to optimally cycle everything from target to magnum loads. You simply turn a knob on the gas block by hand. The Fostech Origin 12 also uses detachable box magazines that hold five, eight or ten 2¾-inch shells, and 20- and 30-round drums are also currently available. Several variants are made. (

New Shotguns: IWI Tavor TS12

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The most unique shotgun hitting the market in 2018, this 12-gauge bullpup can be configured for either right- or left-side ejection and operation. It feeds from one of three magazine tubes that can hold four 3-inch shotgun shells or five 2¾-inch shotgun shells. This means the gun can potentially hold 15+1 rounds. The Tavor TS12 also automatically loads a round in the chamber once the subsequent loaded tube is rotated into position. Additional features include four sling- attachment points, M-LOK rails and an overall length of only 28.34 inches despite an 18.5-inch barrel. (

New Shotguns: Mossberg 590 Shockwave JIC

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Mossberg’s 590 Shockwave has several companies trying to offer similar short-barreled “firearms.” But the Shockwave holds more rounds, 5+1, and it’s also the only one with a forend strap to keep your support hand from sliding in front of the muzzle. Joining the lineup of Shockwaves this year are a 20 gauge for more manageable recoil and two 12 gauges with Flat Dark Earth or stainless Cerakote finishes. The latter is sold as the JIC (Just In Case) and comes in a water-resistant plastic tube that floats on water or can be safetly buried for a future emergency or rainy day. (

New Shotguns: Inland Stakeout II

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Built with help from the Ithaca Gun Company, Inland’s new 12-gauge Stakeout II sports an oil-finished walnut stock while the 20-gauge model (so new its name hasn’t been finalized) has a black, right-hand, wooden thumbhole stock and a waving American flag on the receiver. Both of their magazines can hold four 2¾-inch shells, and they use the M37’s unique bottom feeding/ejecting design that works well with righties and lefties. The receiver is made from a solid billet of steel. (

New Shotguns: Mossberg 590M

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The new pump-action 590M uses detachable magazines holding five, 10, 15 or 20 rounds. The magazines are made of very durably polymer with heat-treated feed lips, and they’re double-stack designs, which reduces their length considerably for better handling over comparable single-stack magazines. The 590M also features an ambidextrous steel mag release, and the mag is secured on all sides when inserted. The shotgun takes 12-gauge, 2¾-inch shells and is offered with a bead sight or as a tactical model with a front post sight, a ghost-ring rear sight and a heat shield on the barrel. Both versions have ribbed pump handles. (

New Shotguns: Nighthawk Tomahawk

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The Tomahawk starts as a Remington 870 before Nighthawk adds several features for enhanced performance. Along with an action job for smooth cycling, the barrel is ported and back-bored by Vang Comp for tighter patterns. The 24 ports near the muzzle provide better control by reducing muzzle rise while the Hogue forend and pistol grip cushion against recoil. The sidesaddle holds four rounds at the ready, and the safety is oversized. The Tomahawk also has a mag extension so it can hold 5+1 shells. (

New Shotguns: Remington 870 DM

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Remington’s new 870 DM shotguns use detachable box magazines and are available with traditional hardwood or synthetic stocks. There’s also a camo-clad Predator variant with a thumbhole stock, a Tactical model with a pistol-grip stock and another version with a special Magpul stock. Several 870 DMs have receiver-mounted Picatinny rails with ghost-ring rear sights as well as ported breacher-type muzzle brakes. (

New Shotguns: Remington 870 TAC-14

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Remington’s line of short-barreled TAC-14 “firearms” has grown to include five models. Now there’s one that uses a detachable box magazine, another with an arm brace, and the Marine Magnum version has nickel plating on all of its steel parts for extreme rust resistance. There’s also a 20-gauge TAC-14. Every variant has a tubular magazine that holds four shells while the DM version holds 6+1. (

New Shotguns: SRM Model 1216

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SRM shotguns have many worthwhile features like a roller-delayed mechanism that reduces perceived recoil and a break-action design for easy cleaning of the internals. The charging handle and ejection can also be reversed to accommodate left- or right-handed shooters. The Model 1216 has a relatively compact length of only 32.5 inches thanks to its magazine, which has four separate tubes that each hold four standard shells. The magazine is mounted under the barrel and is grasped by the support hand. As one tube is emptied, the operator manually indexes it to a loaded tube. (

New Shotguns: Standard Manufacturing SKO Shorty

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Standard Manufacturing is no stranger to designing blockbuster tactical shotguns, and the SKO Shorty is a cut-down version of the SKO released last year. It’s a gas-operated semi-auto “firearm” with detachable two-, five- or 10-round magazines that accept 2¾- and 3-inch shells. SKO shotguns have right-side charging handles as well as ambidextrous safeties, bolt catches and magazine releases. The 18.88-inch barrel is threaded for chokes, and the SKO Shorty is 28.75 inches long. (

New Shotguns: Standard Manufacturing SP-12 Shorty

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The SP-12 Shorty from Standard Manufacturing is a pump-action “firearm” with a 14-inch barrel and 26-inch overall length. It’s based off the DP-12 and holds 5+1 standard shells or 10+1 mini-shells. Like the DP-12, no adapter is needed to reliably cycle the minis, according to the company. This piece works well for right- of left-handers with its bottom feeding and ejection, ambidextrous safety and slide release lever positioned just in front of the triggerguard. (

New Shotguns: UTAS XTR-12

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The XTR-12 is the closest you can get to a 12-gauge AR with a lower receiver that accepts .308- caliber DPMS uppers. This shotgun uses a gas piston system, and the action locks back after the last round is fired. Aside from lacking a forward assist, the XTR-12 also has the same manual of arms and identical takedown procedures of an AR. The platform has evolved over the years, but the barrel is 20 inches long and can be threaded and modified to accept Benelli-style chokes. The XTR-12 accepts 2¾- or 3-inch magnum shells, and several Cerakote finishes are available. ( 

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