The new M26 12-Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun System, otherwise known as MASS, is an under-barrel shotgun attachment for the M16/M4/AR-15 series of rifles. It’s the same concept of the Masterkey, giving soldiers the ability to use their rifle as a shotgun for close quarters combat, breaching barriers or for non-leather use. The MASS improves upon the Masterkey however as it features a detachable magazine and can be used as a stand-alone shotgun when fitted with a detachable pistol grip and buttstock.
The MASS was tested by Missouri National Guard recently. NCO Sgt. Kerry Proffitt from the 1138th Engineer Company said of the MASS at Pulaskicountydaily.com, “We can maneuver quickly between non-lethal and lethal ammunition — use the shotgun for non-lethal and the rifle for lethal purposes . . . We can breach through a door real fast and then use our rifles. We can also use the shotgun for its scatter shot ability, in case there are multiple targets in one general area.”
When compared to the tried and true Mossberg 500 Spc. T.J. Hubbert said, “I think the M-26 is better. If you need a shotgun, the Mossberg is a second weapon that you have to carry. But with this one, you attach it, and you have both. This one is also a little bit lighter.” That’s a might big claim. The MASS is currently being field tested in Afghanistan and is expected to be deployed later this year.
[Source: Pulaskicountydaily.com, top image via Wikipedia]