For those of us who live in a “free state,” we love high magazine capacity for our firearms. Whether it’s a 33 round Glock happy stick or a sport rifle 60 round magazine, high capacity equals a more exciting range experience. But what about shotguns? We seldom see large capacity magazines for shotguns. Perhaps an extended magazine tube or a drum mag here or there but seldom is the shotgun given hi-cap love.
Rock Island Armory has a new series of magazine fed shotguns in their “VR” series. They have the VR80 semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun which embodies the looks and controls of AR15 rifles. Not to be outdone, they created a VRBP100 which is similar to the VR80 but in a bullpup style of semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun. Just recently, RIA introduced their VRPA40 which is also box fed but in a pump action 12 gauge shotgun. Each of these “VR” series shotguns have their own personality and style. They all come standard with a five round magazine.
What makes the Rock Island Armory Shotguns unique is that nine and 19 round magazines are available. Yes, you read that correctly – 19 round 12 gauge magazines. The nine round magazine is the perfect balance of range practice and home defense. It is large enough to get the job done while still compact enough to maneuver around corners of the house. I consider the nine round magazines the most practical between the five round and 19 round magazines.
However, this review focuses on the over-size and somewhat ridiculous looking 12 gauge 19 round magazines. As gaudy, silly and heavy as it looks, it screams, “American Freedom.” For that reason alone, I love it. The 19 round “banana” magazine only accept 2 3⁄4” shells. The question remains, will it cycle reliably?
I decided to compare the Rock Island Armory semi-auto VR80 against the pump action VRPA40 with both firing the 19 round magazines. The purpose was to see which shotgun would perform more reliably with the large capacity 19 round magazines. Check out the short video and see for yourself how these shotguns performed.