Full auto shotgun

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

From the WHQ Forum

“Both the SOW (Special Operations Weapon) and its magazine-fed Remington 870 predecessor (bottom) were
products of mechanical wizard Carroll Childers, an engineer at the Naval Special Weapons Center. The 870 mod
kit provided SEAL shotgunners with a quick-change magazine holding 20 rounds. The SOW was full-auto.”

Very interesting. It must have been a fun gun to shoot!

Thanks much to Sven for emailing me the info.

UPDATE: Daniel found the patent for the SOW. Worth reading if you are interesting how it worked.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Daniel E. Watters Daniel E. Watters on Dec 14, 2009

    The general reason why you don't see high capacity box magazines for shotguns is their length and reliability. Long magazines make it difficult to go prone, and it is hard to get a conventional wire spring to lift so many heavy cartridges over a long distance. Like the 50rd M16 magazines he designed for the SEALs, Childers used constant force springs for the 10 and 20rd shotgun magazines.

    With the magazine mounted above the weapon, the length of the SOW's magazine no longer interfered with the ability to go prone. In addition, gravity now assisted the feeding of the extended magazine.

  • Arthur B. Burnett Arthur B. Burnett on Dec 14, 2009

    Greetings from Texas,
    Daniel brought up an interesting point on shotgun magazines;
    The general reason why you don’t see high capacity box magazines for shotguns is their length and reliability.
    Dose anyone here have first hand experience with the 20 round drum for the Saiga 12 Gauge? I know it cost as much as the Shotgun its self - when you can find one. If the thing works it would be worth it.
    I got the .410 Saiga some time ago intending to experiment with it and either sell it or trade it in on a 12 afterwards. After making friends with it there is no way I would ever sell it. It's great for moving new shooters up to self loading shotguns.