Rock Island Armory VR80 12 Gauge: Not Your Grandpa’s Shotgun


The Rock Island Armory (RIA) VR80 12 gauge is a magazine-fed shotgun  light years away from your grandpa’s goose gun.

The VR80–imported by RIA parent company, Armscor–is a many faceted firearm that ships with flip-up front and rear sights. However, it is highly customizable, with a picatinny rail running right atop the shotgun and short rails on the left and right sides near the end of the barrel. This railing configuration immediately offers itself to optic and light configurations that appeal to man gun owners.

And the VR80 ships with five round magazines, but aftermarket magazines in 9 and 19 rounds are available.

The VR80 has a buffer tube for recoil reduction, which makes shooting the gun a pleasure. You still feel some degree of recoil with it, but it is nowhere near what you feel on 12 gauge shotguns without some recoil mitigation system.

The VR80 shoots 2 3/4″ or 3″ shells and it cycles perfectly whether shooting shot or slugs. The compatibility with slugs is important because hog hunting was one of the immediate applications we noted for this shotgun.

In fact, we took the VR80 onto an 8,000 acre ranch in Texas and shot numerous hogs with it. The VR80 is a perfect fit for that application.

The firearm is well-suited for home defense shotgun as well. A VR80 loaded with heavy shot is not formidable, it is a home intruder’s worse nightmare.

Last point—the VR80 is gorgeous. It is lean and mean and feels good when you pick it up, when you shoulder and shoot it, and when you gaze at it somewhat star-struck afterward.

This is NOT your grandpa’s 12 gauge.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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