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VR80 Shotgun: Best fun gun under $600?

Rock Island Armory has done it again. They've created an attractive, reliable, semi-automatic, magazine-fed AR shotgun that's fun to shoot for under $600. Meet the VR-80:

Ain't she purdy?

"But it's Rock Island Armory, and it's Turkish-made!"

We know, but hear us out.

Rock Island Armory is known for making inexpensive but well-designed firearms. They're perhaps best known for their 1911 model handguns. Most "serious" gun owners never consider purchasing anything made by RIA, as the lower price points instill a sense of cheapness. But the reality is that RIA has excellent quality control and even better customer service. We've had great experiences with their products, and we highly recommend picking up a VR80 for your next "fun gun" or home defense weapon.

The VR80 is part of the VR shotgun series (surprise), and you may be wondering what makes them stand out in the competitive shotgun market. These shotguns resemble the AR 15 platform, with similar ergonomics and controls. These shotguns are also quite economical while also appearing modern and operating reliably. Most importantly, the VR shotguns are a hoot to shoot, and the VR80 is no exception: it's the most fun we've had shooting a firearm this year.


Let's talk a bit about design and feel. Gone are the lower gas tube and bulky hand guard from previous designs. Instead, we have a sleeker M-LOK handguard with some Picatinny rail parts. A full-length optics rail and fold-up iron sights are also available. The VR80 features the same choke system, two 5-round magazines, and a suppressor-style barrel shroud. Magazines have the same design and are backward compatible.

Features Of The VR80

Aside from the eye-catching, sleek design, the first thing you'll notice about this shotgun is its rigid construction. Weighing in at 8.25 lbs, the VR80 is built to last, and you can feel that when you hold it. It features flip-up sights and a fixed, polymer thumbhole grip. The barrel is 20", and the gun's overall length is 40". It comes with two magazines and sports a 5+1 capacity. Overall, the VR series is regarded as well-made and dependable, as evidenced by some stellar reviews at Shot Show 2019.

Other design elements include a reversible charging handle, an ambidextrous mag release button, and a black anodized finish.

VR80 Shotgun's Specifications

  • Action Type: Semi-auto, gas-operated

  • Chamber Size: 3.0 in.

  • Caliber: 12 gauge (accepts 2¾" and 3" shells)

  • Barrel Length: 20 Inches

  • Overall Length: 40 inches

  • Weight unloaded: 8.25 lbs.

  • Weight Loaded: 9.35 lbs.

  • Width: 2 inches

  • Height: 7 inches

  • Chokes: Mobil

  • Capacity: 5+1; 9- and 19-round magazines available

  • Choke Tubes: Full, Modified, Cylinder supplied

  • Trigger Pull Weight: 7.0 lbs.


The VR80's appearance isn't the only upgrade over previous models. Regarding the magazine release, safety, and bolt release, the controls are still AR-style. However, they are more intuitive. The safety rotates between positions with a pleasing click and has a relatively short 45-degree throw. The safety is ambidextrous, and the magazine release is more prominent and easier to press.

When it comes to releasing the magazine, the increased size gives you an advantage. The magazines drop free with a simple button press, and the magazine well is flared, making reloading easier.

The Benefits Of Owning A VR80 Shotgun


We took a VR80 to the range and ran several hundred rounds through it. It cycled flawlessly, and it's hella fun to shoot. Those familiar with the AR platform will feel at home from the first trigger pull.


The stock sights are pretty accurate out of the box, and it's more than enough to hit targets at the range or to use in a home defense scenario. If you want to make it competition-worthly, consider installing some Beretta MobilChoke choke tubes. Flite Control buckshot performed notably well for 50-yard shots on a human-sized target.


The AR platform is known for being highly versatile and customizable, and the VR80 is no exception. You can replace chokes, install rail items, mount an optic, and swap the stock and pistol grip, which isn't bad for a proprietary weapon. Modifying the rifle is simple, thanks to its AR-style construction (right down to two takedown pins and a carbine buffer tube!). You'll find it relatively straightforward when installing a new stock, grip, compensator, magazine well, or other accessories.

Quick Summary

The VR80 shotgun is a semi-automatic shotgun in the AR style. It is an excellent weapon for close-quarters combat and home defense, but it is also just a ton of fun to shoot at the range. With a conventional gas-driven mechanism, a 5-round replaceable box magazine, and M-16/AR-15 type controls, the VR80 shotgun is meant to behave and feel like your AR-15.

It has a 20-inch full shrouded barrel chambered for 3" and 2 3/4" 12 gauge ammunition and threading for Mobil Chokes. The VR80 shotgun's list of features does not stop there. It features a Picatinny rail for optic attachment and flip-up front and rear sights to provide the versatility required for a weapon to be highly operational in tactical situations.

The 7075-T6 aluminum alloy receiver is corrosion-resistant. It will provide years of dependable service, while the sturdy and durable polymer furniture and pistol grip improve the user's ability to control the weapon. These qualities combine to make the Rock Island Armory VR80 a formidable gun capable of meeting all your tactical, hunting, and home protection demands.

Interested in purchasing your VR80? Shop in-stock models now at Founders Tactical.


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