Shotguns are incredible firearms that serve a variety of purposes. They can be used for self-defense, recreational or competition shooting, and hunting.
But one of the major limitations of most modern shotguns is the limited magazine capacity. Most shotguns can only hold between two and five rounds at a time.
This means, you only get a few shots before needing to reload. For hunters in particular, where having enough rounds out on the field is vital to success, extension tubes are useful to increase the round carrying capacity of your guns.
These are simple shotgun accessories that mount directly on the gun, adding more round carrying capacity. Wondering what the best shotgun extension tubes are? Looking to find the right shotgun extension for your model? Keep reading to find out how.
Benefits of Extension Tubes on Shotguns
So why would you need to add gun accessories like extension tubes on your shotgun? Well, because two, three, or four rounds often isn’t enough for many people.
Imagine being in a self-defense situation, where an intruder enters your home. In all likelihood, you are going to be full of adrenaline and all shook up. It’s likely you may not connect your first shot or two. In this case, having more rounds available in your firearm could be a lifesaver.
For hunters, having additional carrying capacity could mean the difference between coming home with meat for the freezer, or coming home empty-handed.
Turkeys are the most common game species taken with a shotgun. To hunt turkeys, you need to head out into the woods, with all the gear you’re going to need in your backpack or in your hunting vest. You don’t want to have to carry a bix box full of shells in your pocket. It’s clunky.
But you also don’t want to rely on a couple of shots loaded in your magazine. What if you miss a shot or two? Or what if you finally hit the turkey, but need to get another shot off to prevent it from flying away and losing it forever?
It certainly pays to have extra rounds ready to go, without having to deal with the bulk of carrying them separately. And it’s vital that they are always ready to fire, rather than having to take the time to reload the magazine before you can take another shot.
The Best Shotgun Extension Tubes
With that being said, let’s dive into the best extension tubes you can get. Some will only work for specific models, so you can’t just buy any tube.
- Nordic Components
Nordic Components produces a modular shotgun extension tube. These can work with almost any 12 gauge shotgun.
However, you need to ensure you choose the one intended for your specific firearm. They produce tubes for popular brands such as Browning, Mossberg, Remington, Winchester, and more.
These tubes are essentially the same piece of equipment but customized to fit each manufacturer’s firearms. They are simple to install, making it possible for even the most mechanically challenged people to get it in.
The Nordic Components tubes are made up of three parts; the tube, tube cap, and tube nut. This makes them more reliable and easier to install. The tube nut is the piece that is customized to fit different manufacturers.
These are lightweight, aluminum extension tubes, making them ideal for those using an already heavy gun, especially hunters. Depending on the length of tube you choose, you can boost your carrying capacity to around 10 rounds.
You can order the most popular shotgun extension tube here.
The Remington 870 is one of the most popular and most reliable shotguns. Since there’s a good chance you own one, you might want to consider the extension tube also made by Remington.
It’s a two-piece extension tube that allows for smooth, easy feeding. It’s also a bit longer than other tubes, likely extending past the end of your barrel. It features a bracket groove allowing you to secure it to the barrel to keep it secure.
These tubes are reliable, as they have been used for decades by law enforcement and the military. Plus, they are manufactured right here in the US.
It’s made out of steel, making it a bit heavier than the aluminum tube by Nordic Components, but still lighter than most steel tubes. The Remington extension tube can add two rounds to your magazine. But it requires a slightly more complex installation process, making it better suited to those who like to tinker, and don’t need a quick installation or removal process.
The extension tube from Lancer is one of the lightest you can get your hands on. Made with carbon fiber, it sports a clean aesthetic and a top-quality feel.
It’s lighter than both aluminum and steel. However, carbon fiber is known to break sooner than either metal. But as long as you care for your gun and avoid big drops, it shouldn’t be an issue.
You can pick up a Lancer extension tube for Remington, Stoeger, Mossberg, Beretta, and Benelli shotguns. And you can choose a size that adds a minimum of two extra rounds and up to nine extra rounds.
The weight savings and the huge amount of extra rounds available make this a great option for hunters.
Magload’s extension tubes are also made out of carbon fiber for an extremely lightweight solution. But unlike Lancer, where you choose from pre-determined lengths, Magload’s custom tubes are made to order.
It takes a few weeks to finally get your custom tube, but it means a better fitting solution. This is ideal for those with custom-built shotguns or modified firearms where length adjustments are critical to a functional, well-handling gun.
However, if you have a standard shotgun, you can also choose from a selection of lengths, between one and 10 extra rounds.
Ditch the Bare Minimum
Just because it’s a shotgun doesn’t mean you have to settle for fewer rounds. By adding some simple extension tubes to your shotgun, you can go from carrying five rounds to carrying over ten. This can make for an entire day or weekend of spring hunting.
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