Introducing SRM Ringfire, a safer less-lethal shotgun (VIDEO)

SRM Arms, inventor of the revolving-magazine semi-auto shotgun, has been working out a new way to avoid a simple — but potentially fatal — law enforcement mistake. The Ringfire system prevents self-defense loads such as buckshot or slugs from being fired when inadvertently loaded into riot shotguns.

Pump shotguns, 12-gauge in particular, are some of the most flexible firearms in existence. Combining their ability to cycle and feed just about any type of payload conceivable that can fit inside a shot shell with their low cost and well-understood manual of arms makes shotguns some of the most prevalent tools in the law enforcement toolbox.

That flexibility is exactly what makes riot shotguns so dangerous. Mechanically no different than standard 12-gauge shotguns, they can load and fire lethal payloads just as readily as they do beanbags and pepperballs. Ammo, particularly in stressful situations, is easily confused, and can lead to catastrophe.

SRM’s Ringfire addresses this directly. Originally developed for their revolving-magazine bullpup shotguns, the Ringfire system has been adapted to work with the most popular shotguns in use today, including the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870.

“The message we heard from these agencies is that they need a 12 gauge less-lethal platform that will not fire a lethal 12 gauge round,” said Jeff Hajjar, SRM president. “The issue boils down to liability for the officers and safety for the public. With our patent pending Ringfire platform we solve both of those problems.”

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The Ringfire’s firing pin is not in a position to be able to fire lethal centerfire ammunition if it is loaded into a Ringfire-equipped shotgun. (Photo: SRM)

The Ringfire system uses a larger-than-standard primer and an offset firing pin instead of standard shotgun parts. The offset firing pin can’t strike a standard shotgun primer. The shells can load and cycle but won’t fire.

It uses proprietary less-lethal rounds and compatible shotgun bolts, but that’s a small price to pay for the type of security the Ringfire system offers. For law enforcement agencies that are called in to administer less-lethal force, the Ringfire shotgun system has a lot of appeal.

There aren’t a lot of details about the SRM Ringfire system yet, such as pricing and availability, but we do know that SRM plans to roll out a complete Ringfire platform for their shotguns and other popular shotguns before the years’ end. Guns.com will release more information about this potentially life-saving less-lethal system as it becomes available.