M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System Photos and Video

The M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System is a straight pull bolt action shotgun that can be used standalone or fitted to an M16 or M4. It is designed to fire lethal, non-lethal and breaching rounds.

350Px-Xm26 2 Highres

Military.com were not fond of the action when they recently tried it:

That’s all well and good, but I found the cocking mechanism to be clunky and inefficient. Instead of an under-barrel pump-gun style action, a metal bar attached to the bolt extends out to the side, forcing the shooter to transition his hand position to load another round into the breach … I wasn’t the only one with that complaint.

38,000 MASS’s are going to be fielded in late 2008 to replace the Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotguns.

Specs of the XM26, the M26 may have changed slightly:

* Caliber: 12 gauge
* Operation: Straight pull bolt-action.
* Capacity: 5 round detachable magazine.
* Ammunition: 2.75 and 3 in lethal, less-lethal and breaching rounds.
* Barrel length: 7.75 in (197 mm) with integral breaching stand-off adapter.
* Under-barrel version:
* Overall length: 16.5 in (419 mm)
* Weight: 2 lb 11 oz (1.22 kg)
* Stand-alone version:
* Overall length: 24 in (610 mm) (stock collapsed)
* Weight: 4 lb 3 oz (3.80 kg)
The standalone configuration:

 Shotgun Xm-26-2

Some more photos. Click to increase the size of each photo.
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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Tannim

    Seems like the Knight’s Armament MasterKey system would be easier to operate

    The detachable magazine would reload faster, but not much considering you have that slow bolt to operate.

  • I agree. A pump action would be much more intuitive. Maybe the MasterKey is too heavy?

  • Also, I would much rather have a pump action than the stand alone version.

  • gerard

    good for breaching doors only

  • the raj

    It is inteded for breaching, but most guys on the ground are only issues buckshot, which is terrible for breaching. After seeing the video, I don’t think the action will be too hard to work with a bit of practice, and at least it is magazine fed. A pump action would cause the design to weigh significantly more, hold fewer rounds, and be more difficult to change types of rounds.

    A lot of people need to join the 21st century regarding shotguns. Converted sporters are outdated (including the Benelli M4).

  • Tech Raven

    The reason why the Masterkey and the similiar Ceiner Ultimate were not seriously considered is because they weren’t developed internally by the Army. This was designed from the ground up at Natick- yes, the same Natick that gave us ACUs and Land Warrior and all sorts of other crap that really could be done better.

  • Will

    I think that I would be more secure with a Mossberg 500/590 or a Benelli M4 slung with a folding stock/pistol grip set up (I own 2) in addition to my M4. Just give me 20 varied rounds for the shotgun, the extra 5-6 pounds isn’t of any consequence when you consider what you can do with a shotgun if push comes to shove. This new tool is retrogression, a stop gap measure for the duration of this particular war that will have to be cleaned up later; much as a whole lot of this crap that has been built and thrown into the fray as temporary solutions to pressing, long term, long standing problems of proper equipment (Small Arms and vehicles, etc). It is a door-breacher that I bet get thrown in the nearest ditch rather than humped by Marines and Troops to hell and back. Welcome to the 21st century and thank you Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton for leaving us ill equipped to fight in it…

  • Will, I agree with you. I would have thought a mossi 500, maybe with a short barrel, would be a better option.

  • Will

    I agree that the Knight’s Armament MasterKey is a better system. Also, Mossberg makes a shotgun (500 series) with an 18.5 inch barrel (I own one) with a pistol grip (hell Mossberg sells them in a tube as a survival kit called ‘Just in Case’ http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=28&section=products), this could be easily modified the Military need only req. a system from Mossi. Pump, or auto-loader is always going to beat this Mickey Mouse POS! Come on, we can do better than this!

    I was thrilled when the Benelli M4 became available, now we go from the best of the best, to this POS! There was a shotgun shown on the military channel, on ‘Future Weapons’ I believe, that showed an all stainless steel auto-loader that didn’t require lubrication. Does anyone know what I am talking about? That is the type of thing we should be looking at IMHO…

  • John

    The full auto shotgun you saw is called the AA12. There is some good video of it on the web and there used be a short discription of the specs on the future weapons website. I think that this weapon would be a wonderfull answer to the house to house CQB situations that our troops so often are faced with in the current fields of operation. I personally feel that not much is more intimidating or effective at room clearing/CQB than a good short barreled 12 guage. Like the TV commercial says”BOOM BOOM BOOM”.

  • I dug around about combat shotguns (usually not a special interest of mine) and found this.

    “* Stand-alone version:
    * Overall length: 24 in (610 mm) (stock collapsed)
    * Weight: 4 lb 3 oz (3.80 kg)”

    Four pounds something doesn’t look like 3.8 kg to me and I read 1.9 kg (apparently without sights) for the stand-alone version everywhere else.

    By the way; the greatest advantage about this shotgun is its radically lower weight. An infantryman or MP with a shotgun isn’t just a shooter with a gun, but a heavily laden man in permanent struggle with gravity, secondary struggle with climate and after a long list of other struggles he’s also a shooter.
    0.5-2 kg less weight than other systems is a HUGE advantage.

  • AK™

    So either someone at the top was playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 1/2 or watched that Jet Li movie “The One” that had LAPD SWAT using these shotguns.
    Personally I would use a separate gun..AR-15 and possibly a Serbu Shorty for door breaching and less than lethal.

  • Branden

    I’m just curious if it will be available to the civilian world would make the ultimate truck gun and overunder

  • Josh Carpenter

    Did anyone else notice that it uses a Saiga 12 mag? That means it can be fitted with a 20rd drum, a 13 rd box, a 10 rd box, and lower. Very cool addition to the perfect squirrel gun.

  • Mike

    Am I the only one to niotice that the demonstrator exhibited practically no muzzle blast or recoli? Looks & sounds like a .22 rimfire! Is this another bogus military demo, like the Sgt. York sham? Incidentally, this thing looks like a cure in a desperate search for a disease.

    • Sam Suggs

      Its quite real its just got a large assult rifle attackechet to it negating the muzzy rise hes also probobly using birds hot and the microphoone sucks

  • Sean

    The gun is good for more than just breaching, it can use lethal rounds for room clearing and nonlethal rounds for crowd control (hence the action and magazine design, quick to switch out different types of rounds for different purposes).

    As for the AA12, the video I saw of that thing looked way too large, and probably too heavy. This shotgun is extremely light, and right now weight is one of the top priorities when developing new equipment, as modern soldiers have enough crap to carry as is.

    I don’t know what they were firing in the video. It could have been blanks. Then again, shotguns don’t have as much recoil as many people expect anyway, and this one is designed to absorb recoil better than most.

    @Tech Raven: The ACU color scheme was designed for urban camo, it was not meant to be “universal” camo. Natick did not recommend the ACUs, as other patterns like multicam did much better. However, someone higher up was pushing it. They gave Natick the requirements that to be “universal” the ACUs had to be better in woodland environments than desert camo, and better in desert environments than woodland camo. Since it met that requirement, whoever wanted this to happen was able to claim it passed the tests at Natick. So don’t get too disgruntled with Natick, the ACUs were not their fault.

  • Sam Suggs

    why not just carry an ultralight break action that would let you breech without screwing up the ergonomics of your rifle I mean I dare you to try and qualify with that frankengun

  • well i like to have all my options

  • Michael Walls

    As a urban defense weapon (cessation of order) the stand alone version would be far superior to an assault rifle and be secondary only to my full 18″ Remington 870 as a ‘sneaker’ – I want one!!