The New Face Of Semi-Auto Shotguns

The shotgun market has hit an interesting zone. It seems that we are finally coming to believe in the semi-auto shotgun. They’ve gotten to the point where they are reliable with a wide variety of loads and don’t tend to be ammo picky. That means they’ve seen a much higher level of adoption with tactical shooters. We’ve recently seen the rise of three new semi-auto shotguns that are defining the genre. We have the new Beretta Ultima Patrol, the Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical, and the Savage Renegauge Security. 

I don’t want this to be a versus article where I try to declare one better than the other. I simply don’t have the range time with two of the three to have a real opinion there. However, I want to examine what these three guns offer the shotgun shooting world and maybe examine where the shotgun world seems to be going. 

These three guns have a lot in common. They are all semi-auto, gas-operated 12 gauge shotguns aimed at the tactical market. They all feature a number of modern features that shotgun shooters have long desired. 

Digging Into the New Generation Of Shotgun 

I believe each of these shotguns offers you a specific advantage over the other. They also provide a few features shared between them that are really making them stand out. I want to break these three guns down and explain why you might choose one over the other. I do have a bit of a bias, and I am a fan of the Mossberg 940 Pro, although I do plan to eventually own all three of these shotguns for a very in-depth examination. 

The Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical 

Mossberg designed the 940 Pro Tactical by improving the 930 series by leaps and bounds to produce a very competent semi-auto shotgun. The 940 series really worked to improve the reliability of the 930 and offer a competent out-of-the-box fighting shotgun with the Pro Tactical. They improved the internals, as well as the externals. 

On the outside, they equipped the gun with massive controls that are all easy to grip, hit, and engage with. Mossberg opened up the ejection port and loading port for easy loading. With the 940 Pro Tactical, they added a cut to facilitate the use of red dots with the Shield RMSc footprint. The stock offers insert-based LOP adjustments and an M-LOK barrel clamp for slings and accessories. 

On top of all that, the 940 Pro Tactical is the cheapest of the bunch, often for sale for under 900 dollars if you shop around. 

The Beretta Ultima Patrol 

The Ultima Patrol premiered at SHOT this year and showed us that Beretta could make an affordable semi-auto shotgun. With the price of 1301s rising, the Ultima Patrol offers a semi-auto shotgun with the Beretta stamp for less than a thousand bucks. While we lose the BLINK system, we get an American-made Beretta fit the brim with features. This semi-auto shotgun is thoroughly modernized. 


It features a series of enlarged, easy-to-use controls. It has ghost ring sights and an optic mount. The gun features a hook and loop patch to toss on side saddles with ease. The end of barrels feature M-LOK clamps, and the forend features a few M-LOK slots as well. Beretta is the king of semi-auto shotguns, with the 1301 and the Benelli series under their ownership. 

Savage Renegauge Security 

The Renegauge Security didn’t get the same attention as the Ultima or 940 series, and that’s a real sin. The Reneguage Security uses the DRIV system, which is the Dual Regulating Inline Valve system that vents gas before driving the bolt. The benefit is that this makes the gun low recoiling, likely the lowest recoiling of this group. It’s impressive how easy handling it is. 

The Renegauge also features an adjustable M-LOK via a series of inserts. The stock itself is very Magpul SGA-like, with a sharp pistol grip but a traditional layout. The gun features larger-than-average controls but not larger than the 940 or Ultima. This gun also has the M-LOK clamp feature that makes accessorizing easy. We get ghost ring sights as well, with wings to keep them safe when things get abusive. 

The Downsides To These Semi-Auto Shotguns 

Each of these guns has a downside worth acknowledging, and let’s dive into these features. 

Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical – The gun features a lack of proper sights and relies on a high-viz sight no better than a bead. 

Ultima Patrol – Lacks any means to adjust the LOP and feels like a budget 1301. 

RenegUge Security – Not only is it the highest-priced gun, but it lacks optic compatibility. 

The Future of Semi-Auto Shotguns 

I do think these three semi-auto shotguns are the future, or at least their features are. They have huge controls, which is nice to see. They also feature M-LOK barrel clamps, and I really want a company to make these for other guns. Two of the three feature LOP adjustments, and I think that’s a must-have. Another two of the three are red dot ready, and like all guns, shotguns benefit from optics. 

Now all I want to see are reversible charging handles. If I could get any of these guns with that feature, I’d be an instant fanboy. The shotgun market is finally expanding a bit, and they seem to be finally modernizing, and it’s lovely to see. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.