What would you think if I asked you about a Benelli M2 with a 26 round capacity? Work of science fiction? Only if micro mini shells have been introduced? Did I smoke rock this morning? Such a thing exists and it’s brought to you by our friends at Roth Concept Innovations (RCI).
Necessity Drives Invention
The Xrail system has actually been around for a few years, I remember seeing them on the 3 Gun circuit as early as 2011. Mark Roth, the inventor, is a friend and prolific competitor. For the shooters in “Open” Class in 3 Gun, there is no limit on capacity, which gave you two options before if you wanted a chance at winning. First was a magazine fed shotgun, all of which have proven to be unreliable to date. Second, was a system of tubular speedloaders, which allowed you to reload 8 at once. Roth had another thought. What if you just never needed to reload? Thus the Xrail was born.
- Gauge: 12
- Capacity: 25+1 rds.; or 24+1 rds.
- Weight: 9 lbs. empty; 11.4 lbs. loaded with 26 rds. of birdshot
- Barrel Length: 21 in.
- Overall Length: 42.5 in.
In concept, the Xrail is relatively simple. Execution, well, I am glad my life doesn’t depend on my engineering skills to make one. In place of the normal magazine tube is four rotating tubes. These are housed in an aluminum shell, giving you something to hold onto. As one tube goes empty, with the last shell moving onto the shell lifter, the drum rotates to the next slot, and your shotgun feeds without a hiccup. It’s ingenious, and most importantly, it works.
The Xrail was available for many years as a bolt on. Shooters could simply unscrew the magazine cap and slide on the XRail. However, in 2018, it will only be available as an integrated part of a Benelli M2 in RCI’s package: RCI XM2XI. A solid move in my opinion. The M2 has proven to be one, if not the, most reliable semiautomatic shotguns around. In my testing of Federal birdshot loads, buckshot, slugs, and random nonsense 12 gauge I had laying around the house, I experienced zero malfunctions.
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A fully loaded M2 is a bit front heavy, which is kind of to be expected with 25-plus-one rounds in it. From playing the 3 Gun game though, I assure you I would take a little more swinging mass over the need to reload. It does happen, but it is rare if the shotgun stage is over 25 rounds. And if you do find one, you can still quad load with the Xrail attached. The weight does help dampen recoil, making this one flat shooting 12 gauge.
Why might one want such a gun, besides competition? It probably helps that RCI is based out of Wisconsin. Some places in the North have no capacity restriction when hunting snow geese, since they’re such a menace. You can take four shotguns to the field, or one Xrail. That sells itself. For a home defense gun, you could certainly do worse. I don’t think much of shotguns for this scenario, mostly because they are slower than Christmas to reload. The Xrail kind of negates that argument. Lastly, I am kind of surprised these haven’t caught on with law enforcement yet. One of the few things a 12 gauge does better than a rifle is offered less lethal options. Not only could a dedicated breacher handle an entire hotel hallway without pausing, full of ferret rounds or rubber balls, this is a one man riot stopper.
This is one of the coolest guns I have played with this year. If you like shotguns, this is one system you need to get your hands on.
For more information about XRail, click here.
For more information about Federal target loads, click here.
For more information about 3 Gun competitions, click here.
To purchase a Benelli M2 on GunsAmerica, click here.