The Army’s New Shotgun- M26 MASS


The Army has began to issue the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS) to troops. The first to receive this new shotgun is the 2nd BCT of the 101st Airborne Division according to Clarksville Online . So what exactly is the M26?


It’s a 12 gauge shotgun that can be mounted underneath a M4 rifle or used as a standalone shotgun. Because it is magazine fed, it measures only 24 inches in standalone configuration and 16.5 inches underneath a M4. Its a “bolt action” meaning you have to pull the charging handle to the rear and then push it forward to chamber the round. Its pretty much a pump action but with a little handle on one side.

Is there a need to replace our Mossberg 500′s we currently have? Depends on who you ask I guess. Yeah I get that you are supposed to be able to transition from your breaching weapon to your primary weapon (M4), but is the cost worth it? I know our shotguns never leave the wire. Our machine gunners carry them around the COP and I have never had to use a shotgun to breach a door here in Afghanistan, atleast where I am.

The Army issued me a M320 grenade launcher. Same concept as the new M26 shotgun. You can use it underneath your M4 or you can use it standalone. I can tell you from experience, having anything mounted to the bottom of your rifle sucks. It becomes heavy very quickly, and makes it awkward to shoot effectively with your M4, so we use them in a standalone configuration.

In a standalone configuration, the “bolt action” will come into play. You will have to remove your hand (and therefore a good grip on the shotgun) to chamber the round and then return your hand making for slower and I am guessing less accurate shot groups then a traditional pump action. I know that this is not intended for direct use on enemy and made for breaching, but what if you need to use it as a direct force weapon?

I will say that the M26 in standalone configuration does look pretty good, but it looks absolutely horrible attached to the M4.

All This Ammo, How Do I Store It?

So you got all this ammo now that you have started saving it. Now you are asking yourself, how do I store it? Well my friends, here are some answers.

By far the 2 most common ways to safely store your ammo is in either ammo cans or a firearms safe. I love ammo cans. People do however use a bunch of other things such as jars, vacuum sealing them in bags, coffee cans, Tupperware, the list goes on and on. I am going to talk about ammo cans in particular, but the same ideas can be applied to whatever container you decide to use.

The enemy of your stored ammo is…..

It may seem as simple as just throwing your ammo into some ammo cans and calling it good. However, there are several elements that can have a huge negative effect on your ammo if you plan on storing them for awhile. If you store your ammo improperly you can cause duds and misfires. To prevent those from happening to your ammo stockpile, you need to minimize heat, humidity and moisture. Using an ammo can you can take these steps.

  1. Make sure you ammo can is free of holes, rust, dents and the hinge operates smoothly.
  2. Check the seal to make sure it is not dried out and does not have any cracks and missing sections.
  3. (OPTIONAL) Add a silicone based grease/lubricant to help the rubber gasket seal- beware of vasoline as it will eat away at the rubber.
  4. Add a desiccant packet to help absorb moisture in the can. You can take them out of shoe boxes and reuse them. They also sell some reusable desiccant packet that you just throw in the oven to renew them, or you can make your own desiccant packets for pretty cheap.
  5. Store your ammo can in a cool dry place. Try to limit its exposure to heat, dampness and dramatic temperature changes.
  6. Check up on it every few months to switch out the desiccant packet.

A tip I would recommend is that you write the date you stored the ammo on the box that way you can rotate your stock and keep your ammo fresh. You can also opt for the car gun safes which comes in small size and can be installed in your car quickly.

Here is a quick video I found on YouTube showing one way to setup an ammo can

In case you missed my earlier posts on this related topic, here is why you should stockpile ammo and how much ammo you should be stockpiling.

Can You Fire a .50 BMG In A 12 Gauge Shotgun?


Would a .50 cal fit into a 12 gauge shotgun? What would happen if you try to shoot it? I am not sure why someone would have these questions, but hey why not right? I mean, if the shoe fits. Finding the right gun safe is very difficult, but we have reviewed the best-selling gun safes available in the market and recommended some top models for you according to their sizes and usability.

Now I am not saying you should start shooting .50 cal out of your shotgun, but it was interesting to know what would happen if you were so inclined to do so. If you are looking for some specific gun safes which are high end, we would recommend you to go with winchester gun safes which are value for money.

First off, will it even fit in the barrel of a 12 gauge?

Ok, so it fits. But will it fire and not cause you to die in the process?

Now, I really hope I should not have to say this, but don’t be stupid. Don’t shoot ammo in your shotgun not designed for it. Besides, I would not want to be on the backside of that shotgun when the .50 cal goes off. If you don’t die, I am sure it would be painful.