Ten Years Later . . . Army Deploys M26 Shotgun

“Army equipment officials recently fielded the first of its M26 Modular Shotgun Systems to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky,” kitup.military.com reports. “The M26 is the straight-pull, bolt-action shotgun the Army began designing almost 10 years ago for mounting under the M4 carbine. It weighs 3.5 pounds, has a 7.75 inch barrel and fires 12-gauge shells from a five-round magazine. . . . Army officials maintain that the M26 is the ‘most reliable, durable, rugged shotgun in the Army inventory.'” kitup isn’t down with that. “That sounds impressive, but I just can’t help wondering — if the M26 is so great, then why hasn’t the special-operations community adopted it?” Or, for that matter, FPSRussia.


  1. avatar IdahoPete says:

    If I had to carry the extra weight on my rifle, I would prefer the M-203 (40mm grenade launcher). The 40 mm shells have a 400 yard effective range, 5-yard lethal blast radius. Shells are high explosive, white phosphorus, armor piercing, buckshot or flechettes. Boom.

    1. avatar USMCVeteran says:

      I agree.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      It’s hard to argue with that logic. Not that I’d want to argue with you.

    3. avatar Veekay says:

      Far from an expert, but one thing I can see is that this thing has 5 (5+1?) rounds vs. 1 round for M-203. Plus, I’m pretty sure 12ga ammo is cheaper than those buckshot M-203 rounds. Depends what you need it for.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        Price isn’t a consideration for the military. They get considerable increases in funding and each year they desperately need to find more pet projects to toss cash at.

        The biggest reason I’m thinking they have this over a M203 is for door breaching. In Iraq, many soldiers ended up carrying a pistol grip shotgun AND a M4. It’s heavy and just bad times.

  2. avatar Joseph says:

    My son used the M203 in Iraq…..no complaints.

  3. avatar Andrew says:

    wouldn’t it have been easier (and cheaper) to have designed an insert for the M203 that held a 12ga shell for door breaching and the like?

    and that is one high speed pic.

    1. avatar John says:

      They got that.

  4. avatar JP in Tennessee says:

    Sounds like a redundant item of kit.

  5. avatar twency says:

    So this would be “ordinary military equipment” that could “contribute to the common defense”, so under U.S. v. Miller we have a Second Amendment right to own it, correct? 😉

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      I don’t know how much reading you’ve done on the Miller case, but from where I sit it’s a shocking case of judicial malpractice.

      Miller wasn’t even REPRESENTED; his lawyer basically just sent copies of what he used for the previous court level.

      Also, if I recall correctly, Miller was already dead at that point.

      1. avatar twency says:

        Hence the winkie. 😉

        I had in mind Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion in
        Printz v. United States.

        Our most recent treatment of the Second Amendment occurred in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), in which we reversed the District Court’s invalidation of the National Firearms Act, enacted in 1934. In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen’s right to possess a sawed off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be “ordinary military equipment” that could “contribute to the common defense.” Id., at 178. The Court did not, however, attempt to define, or otherwise construe, the substantive right protected by the Second Amendment.

  6. avatar Tom says:

    It took ten years to develop this?

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Didn’t Red Jacket do it in a week?

      Even though it had “Nevah bin dun befoe”.

      1. avatar GUNSnDONUTS says:

        “Game changer!” LOL.

      2. avatar HSR47 says:

        Hell, theirs was even semi-auto, and not bolt-action…

        1. avatar John says:

          Wasn’t theres a Saiga? Which, according to one of the authors here, is a major POS.

  7. avatar Tom says:

    It took ten years to develop this?

  8. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Another solution desperately in search of an actual problem, funded by our tax monies.

    Anyone remember the OICW? They could have further tried to justify the weight of that white elephant by coming up with a door-knocker in 20mm….but instead, we get morphodite shotguns hung off the M4.

    At the rate the DOD is pissing money away on white elephant projects, in 10 years, our armed services will be attacking the enemy with pointed sticks… because that’s all we can afford.

  9. avatar Ropingdown says:

    The example shown has a ‘stand off’ device on it for door breaching. Beats carrying a separate 870. Could breach a door with an M203 but it wouldn’t be pretty. The M26 isn’t an “attack shotgun,” but a utility device.

  10. avatar Kevin T says:

    I’ve seen Infantrymen try breaching doors with M203 rounds. They stand too close and the round bounces off the door because it didn’t arm in time. Then they have to wait around for EOD to come deal with the possibly live 40mm HE round on the ground.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:


    2. avatar Chaz says:

      M576 Buckshot Round?

      WikiPedia says “though it is a multipurpose round, it is most effective in thick vegetated areas or for room clearing. Inside it has at least 2,000 pellets, which cast a cone of fire 30 meters wide and 30 meters high and travel at 269 meters per second.”

      Might help my skeet shooting…!

    3. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Wouldn’t the 40mm shotgun round work for door breaching?

  11. avatar Ed says:

    I have to say the we haven’t made any major small arms changes since 1956. Meanwhile even though the Russians we in dire geopolitical straights with lack of funding and internal power struggles. They managed to figure out how to minimize felt recoil to the point of cancelation in the AK107/108 using piston opposition thus canceling felt recoil. This creates an advantage of multiple shots on target “Just like shooting a Ruger 10/22” The best we can come up with FN SCAR the transformer of the ballistic world. Who cares if you can change calibers or barrel sizes? Unless someone is just putting the finishing touches on a pulse rifle or some sort of electric smart bullet launcher so once a target is select it fire and “good bye”. If not then we need to stop screwing around because the Russian Federation is about to spend the equivalent to 770 Billion dollars in Military modernization. They have been watching us fight for over 12 years and learning what they need to dominate meanwhile we are pissing over Obama-care and the Unaffordable Healthcare. We are in a world where the Jones need to keep pace with the Smiths. It appears to me that Vladimir Putin is about to pull a 1980’s Reagan on us. He has already secured a Naval base in Egypt so they are in the Middle East in a big way. All the while we are distracted fighting about political B.S. its like this is a plan of diversion. Whenever we wake up from this dream we are going to be in for a treat.

    1. avatar Jeremy says:

      To all men and women of the United States of America : comes forth an honerary citizen of our beuatiful land. I empoly you to muster your power , your since of self being and worthiness. As of this day, its an arms race, I know all of you care about your lifestyle and comfort their in so understand you have to protect it at all cost. WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR US!! NOT MONEY!! LET US GET OUR COUNTRY BACK! Design, fabricate , and use your imagination. If we have in our possesion greater weapons and powers than them we WILL succeed!! Pray we have the strength to take our country and put in back in the rightful hands!! OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. avatar Howard says:

    Ok look at this with a 20 round drum DDI-12 GA 12GA SHOTGUN SAIGA FURY AR-15 if they buy 10 or more I believe they would get a discount

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