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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, January 21st, 2011

The world’s largest trade show for the firearms industry wrapped up today with what the sponsor, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, called record attendance.  NSSF says that more than 57,000 people were there.

Remington announces their Versa-Max semiautomatic shotgun, which feeds a broad array of shotshells that spans the range between mild and wild. We old gunnies remember when we had to laboriously adjust the gas ports of an autoloading scattergun if we were switching between light trap and skeet loads to full power “express loads,” or to short Magnum shells. They have a patented gas operation system with two pistons and seven gas ports that they call VersaPort™, which Remington says will “self-regulate” for reliable feeding with any shell of any power level, from 2 ¾” to the heaviest 3 ½” Magnum load.  They promise that the sophisticated gas system will reduce recoil to a high degree, as well. Read more from Remington at .

Speaking of new shotshell dispensers, that Raging Judge 28-gauge revolver from Taurus has, according to rumor, been stepped on by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. I say “rumor” because I haven’t seen anything official on it yet from Taurus or BATFE. Can’t be a “sawed off shotgun” thing, since it has a rifled barrel; I suspect was the concern that a solid slug load for the 28 gauge would have a diameter larger than .50 caliber. Stay tuned for updates on that. There’s also scuttlebutt that the popular Saiga, a semiautomatic shotgun styled like the AK47 and feeding quick-change box magazines, may be banned by the Government as well. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

Shotgun fanciers who want something different can console themselves with a new entry from Mossberg, says Backwoods Home’s man on the ground there, Russ Lary. It’s a double barrel over/under with 18.5” barrel, and takes up to 3” Magnum 12 gauge. It has a Picatinny rail for a tactical light. Yeah, I know, a two-shot firearm sounds a little counterintuitive for “tactical” work, and I don’t think you’ll see SWAT teams adopting them anytime soon. However, its two shots are probably enough for  “farm gun” chores. The attachable light will work great for the midnight raccoon, or the proverbial “fox in the henhouse” after dark; and because a double barrel has a shorter receiver (frame) than a pump or semiautomatic shotgun, it’s shorter overall. Combine that inherent shortness with the “barely legal” (but definitely legal, at least in the USA) 18.5” barrels, and you’ve got an easy-handling gun that will come out of a pickup truck or an ATV with smooth alacrity, and will be less likely to smack against the vehicle while you’re doing so.  I spent some time with an 18 ½” over/under 12 gauge by another maker back in the ‘70s, and found it to be a remarkably nice, fast-handling quail and partridge gun.

Many thanks to Russ Lary for being Backwoods Home’s eyes and ears on the show floor and behind the scenes! Now that he’s retired as a police chief, he’ll have some time  to write, and I expect y’all will be hearing more from him as time goes on.

You get to meet pretty cool people at the SHOT Show. Here are two of them. Left, “The Gunny,” R. Lee Ermey; Right, our own Russ Lary.

16 Responses to “SHOT SHOW WRAPUP”

  1. Sian Says:

    and here I was hoping the BATFE was going to be relaxing import rules on shotguns, thus letting us get neat pieces like the VEPR12.

    How can they say the Saiga12 has no legit sporting purpose if it’s so popular in 3-gun?

  2. Wolvie Says:

    I just read today that Taurus has cancelled the Raging Judge.

    I’m guessing that there was probably going to be no way to get BATFE approval.

  3. Karen Says:

    Hi Mas!
    There are some really good restaurants in Las Vegas! I know! waaay off subject but can you tell us what your favourite restaurant in Las Vegas is??

  4. Mas Says:

    Hell, Karen, Las Vegas ain’t where I go for fun, it’s just where I go for work, when I have to. I eat where the clients eat, strictly business.

    My last trip there included training, and we caught the food where we could find it. There were 7-11 hot dogs…:-(

    Wish I could have been more help…:-(


  5. Mad Saint Jack Says:

    Does anybody make a 28 ga Slug?

    Speaking of shotguns…

    I’m wondering how bad Kel-Tec’s legal team will freak out if people want to load lethal and less-lethal ammo in their dual magazine shotgun.

  6. Marc-Wi Says:

    Thank you and Russ for the commentary,

  7. Md Matt Says:

    Can you give us any more detail on the saiga rumor?
    I’m looking to pick up my next firearm soon, and if it’s going to be flat out illegal I’ll avoid the saiga, but if it’s going to be a ban after a certain date…I’ll go out and grab one quick like.
    Is there a source on the web for this sort of thing with some reputability I can point to?
    (besides backwoods ofcourse;)

  8. Bruce Says:

    Russ looks more like an Army E5 than a retired police chief.

  9. Mas Says:

    Md Matt, do a Google search. I don’t blog daily, but some others in the know do so, and this Saiga situation may be more fluid than it looks.

    Bruce, Russ is a long time National Guardsman, and equally comfortable in military and police duties.


  10. Kevin A. Says:

    I posted about the Saiga concern on my local IDPA forum. Someone posted a link to what I believe to be the document used to base any restriction on this shotgun
    It’s not sounding too good..

  11. Matt Says:

    “Shotgun fanciers who want something different can console themselves with a new entry from Mossberg, says Backwoods Home’s man on the ground there, Russ Lary. It’s a double barrel over/under with 18.5” barrel, and takes up to 3” Magnum 12 gauge. It has a Picatinny rail for a tactical light.”

    Saw one while setting up at Winston-Salem show. UNIMPRESSED.

  12. Kevin A. Says:

    For some reason the link didn’t appear in my last post here. I’ll try once more. “”. This is a pdf document by the ATF. The implication is that somehow the Attorney General has to right to determine what is a “Sporting Purpose” of a shotgun (look at the 4th page of the document).

  13. Michael C. Says:

    @Matt, or anyone else for that matter: What is the name/model of this new Mossberg O/U? it’s not in their current online catalog, and I’ve googled every turn of phrase that might even come close to producing it. Would like to check it out for myself, but first have to know what it is I’m looking for!

    Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

  14. Michael C. Says:

    Just in case anyone else was looking, it’s the Maverick HS12.

  15. Roger McWhorter Says:

    Please edit the rageing bull info. It is not 28 gauge but a 410. A great home defense weapon and snake gun but probably not good for much else.
    Everyone talks so mocho but the truth is that most people have never been in a “gun necessary” situation and the shot shell will always imporve accuracy when one is exicited and nervous. It’s just a very short barreled shotgun which is great for close range protection especially for people like me that have lost some close vision and have a hard time accurately aiming a pistol. Now I can point as close as possible and have a great chance of hitting my target.

  16. Toni Webb Says:

    Roger…I’m a prepper, and disabled, old(60), and raising my 9 year old grandson…..I’m hoping the Saiga meets my needs, as I don’t have great aim, and am sure even more practice wouldn’t improve it much as I need glasses also. I need a scatter shot, and a semi automatic…with a drum would be nice….what do you all think?
    Thank you.

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