A Rare Look at the Techno Arms MAG-7 – the Worst Shotgun Ever?

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Often seen, but rarely in person, the Techno Arms MAG-7 was one of the firearms fixtures of my childhood, appearing in seemingly every compendium and encyclopedia of small arms I could get my hands on growing up. It’s an extremely strange gun, sort of a hybrid of a Remington 870, an Uzi, and the designer’s dubious sanity. It’s really thanks to it occupying a sort of aesthetic and conceptual “halfway point” between a shotgun and a submachine gun, I think, that has made it so popular in the tabletop gun books I kept on my shelves growing up.

Ian of Forgotten Weapons posted a video yesterday where he takes a rare look at an imported MAG-7, including a brief overview, field-strip, and shooting the weapon:

Production of the MAG-7 began in 1995, and according to that most trustworthy of sources, Wikipedia, Techno Arms Ltd. is still in business as of 2012 and making the MAG-7, although who they could possibly be selling them to is evades me.

With only five rounds, and such poor ergonomics, the MAG-7 was destined to be a curio. Even its hallmark trait – the short overall length – is not so impressive when you consider that a pistol-grip only Remington 870 with a 4 shot tube, +1 mag extension, and 14″ barrel is only about 26.5″ in overall length, compared to 21.6″ for the MAG-7, while bringing vastly superior ergonomics, weight (an 870 in such a configuration would be about 3 pounds lighter), and far better ammunition selection. Despite being in theory a hybrid between a submachine gun and a shotgun, the MAG-7 seems to be in execution just a pretty poor shotgun.


Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • DW

    Cobray terminator takes the cake. At least the Mag-7 is pretty capable when you have proper shells

    • Cobray Terminator might actually be the worst gun made in the last century.

      • DW

        INSAS

        Cobray terminator at least ain’t priced like holy cow and does work better than a…. holy cow? haha no offense.

        • As uninspiring as the INSAS is, it’s still a mostly functional assault rifle.

          The Cobray Terminator is a wire stocked pipe shotgun.

    • Darren Hruska

      Cobray, a company from the future! 2287, that is…

    • UCSPanther

      I think a better name for the terminator would be ” The Slammer” when you consider its operation. Cobray had some weird names for their more exotic/novelty firearms when you think about it.

      As a general rule, slam-fired shotguns are the dark-corner-of-the-bargain-basement special when you can’t even afford the old single-shot break action shotgun.

  • Petto

    Worst? Nah , i think when you got a proper ammo and having the finger in trigger guard you are good to go
    on other hand it is awkward and heavy shotgun which had only 5 round capacity
    It was a “good compact” shotgun in that time , although it has more cons than pros

    • Bigbigpoopi

      Saiga’s and MKA 1919;s are just as lo-cap as that. The aftermarket fixed that. Besides, that would be cool as a “firearm”

  • George

    It seems pretty obvious that shorter mags / internally blocked mags to fit the mini-shells, or perhaps gluing short 15mm long foam or plastic blocks to the front of Aquila shells, might work.

    Or making your own 60mm shells from cut-down 2 3/4?

    • NobelSport Italia also makes mini-shells that are closer in length to the original Techno Arms shells. Depending upon the literature, the NSI mini-shells are either 2″ or 2.25″.

      • Stan Darsh

        Exactly what I was wondering. I was actually trying to find info if the Nobel 12ga 2.25″ 6 pellet shells work reliably in the Mag-7.

  • wetcorps

    Perfect screenshot. Ian’s face is priceless 😀

    • Giolli Joker

      I came here to post this! 🙂

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Freaking South Africa… This couldn’t kill a prawn…

  • Tassiebush

    It’s interesting to see how disappointing these theoretically cool guns always seem to be.

    • Stan Darsh

      That’s why you should never meet your childhood hero.

      • Tassiebush

        Totally thinking of Michael Jackson and Rolf Harris. BTW I love that name.

  • FWIW: Here is the patent.

    https://www.google.com/patents/US5463828

  • ZEBRA-wit-RABIES

    Hey Bro! Nice pump action Uzi shotgun thing that takes proprietary shot shells to actually function correctly. Read to go shoot some 3 gun BRUHHH???????

  • Great_Baldung

    Huh, I didn’t know that the Swag-7 actually sucks in real life. The things you learn every day…