Let’s clear something up right off the bat. We’re not talking about shotguns in the purest, legal sense. We’re talking about firearms. That’s because firearms that ignite shot shells that aren’t designed to be shouldered aren’t considered “shotguns” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). That’s why these firearms can have barrels shorter than 18 inches and not fall into the restricted NFA category. With that said, if we slip up now and then and use the word shotgun, it’s only intended to be descriptive of the ammo it consumes.

When Mossberg launched the original Shockwave and Remington came out with the 870 TAC-14 line, people clearly liked these portable smoothbores. Short, compact, light, and handy, they still pack a veritable punch. With plenty of new models from a variety of manufacturers, shorty shotties are here to say. Let’s look at some new entrants in the market from SHOT Show 2019.

Mossberg 590 Nightstick

Mossberg Nightstick

The new Mossberg Nightstick (top) seen with other variants of the company’s popular 590 Shockwave non-NFA “firearms.”

David Maccar

Remember the Winchester 1897 “Trench Gun” used in WWI and WWII? I wonder if users might have preferred a shorty version of that classic…

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