In the world of shotguns, you have two common formats: Pump actions and semi-autos. In the latter category, you’re most likely to see traditional-looking models from companies like Benelli, Beretta or Remington. Then there are those competitors who prefer a bit more speed and capacity on board, so they opt for AK-pattern guns like the Saiga-12.

The missing link has always been a semi-auto shotgun with the AR-15’s ergonomics and modularity. Some shooters have gotten into the MKA 1919 for that reason, but it’s a bit old school.

The Armscor VR80 Semi-Auto

Then there’s the new VR80, available through Rock Island Armory through Armscor. It represents a dramatic rethinking of semi-auto shotguns; because it’s an AR first and a shotgun second. The controls and styling are all similar to a modern AR-15’s, but with a bolt-mounted charging handle on the right side.

The gas-operated VR80 uses upper and lower receivers made from 7075-T6 aluminum, takes 2.75- or 3-inch shells, and comes with flip-up sights. The 20-inch barrel has a protective shroud to keep it from being dented (we’re looking at you 3-Gunners), and the lower receiver is compatible with most commercial AR-15 buffer tubes, stocks and pistol grips, so you can make it your own. The VR80 is supplied with a five-round detachable magazine. However, it also accepts nine- and 19-round aftermarket magazines as well. What’s not to like?

MSRP is $699. For more information, please visit

Armscor VR80 Specs

Caliber:  12 Gauge
Finish:  Black Anodized
Action:  Semi-Automatic
Stock:  Black Thumbhole Fixed Stock with Pistol Grip
Front Sight:  Folding Post
Rear Sight:  Folding Adjustable
Barrel Length:  20 inches
 Overall Length:  40 inches
Weight:  8.27 pounds
Capacity:  5+1 Detachable Magazine
Safety:  Manual
Receiver:  Black Aluminum with Picatinny Rail
Chamber:  3
Chokes:  Three Choke Tubes (Mod, IC, Full) Mobil Thread
Butt Plate:  Black Rubber Recoil Pad

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