If a manufacturer understands firearms, quality will follow its products wherever they go. The Savage Renegauge is a terrific example of this relationship. After it proved itself through some of the harshest outdoor conditions, homeowners requested a shorter version to use for home defense. Savage got to work, and they didn’t disappoint. Dubbed the “Security,” this compact semi-automatic shotgun found its way into gun stores when the market was at its hottest.
The reliability of the Savage Renegauge line comes from its signature Dual Regulating Inline Valve, or DRIV, gas system. This system involves a pair of valves that bleed off excess gas, leaving just the right amount to cycle the bolt properly without beating up the action or the shooter. A lightweight bolt is also involved, ensuring that the gun will run reduced-recoil shells just as reliably. This package all adds up to faster target re-acquisition after recoil and a shotgun so easy to shoot you’ll want to practice more.
An outstanding action is just the start of this masterpiece, as Savage put the same effort into ensuring that it would be as easy to load as it is to handle. Oversized controls come standard, which is an important element for self-defense, as fine motor skills abandon us when adrenaline gets flowing. The charging handle is large enough to get nearly two fingers on and is finished with some fine checkering to ensure that your fingers don’t slip. The same goes for the bolt release; I found that it barely took any pressure to actuate. Lastly, the loading port is also oversized, making it easy to fumble shells into during the dead of night.
Mated to the action is a barrel that is unapologetically Savage. With its heavy contour (for a shotgun, at least), the manufacturer was able to mill in some deep fluting that is not only attractive but also helps the gun cool. This overbuilt launch tube allows for far more shots before it gets as hot as a typical thin-profile shotgun barrel, and the extra mass soaks up a good bit of recoil as well. Savage threads these at the factory to accept Beretta/Benelli chokes and includes a three-tube set (full, modified and improved cylinder) from none other than Trulock. If you know shotguns, that name ought to resonate as one of the leading manufacturers of this oft-overlooked component. Furthermore, the ability to accept chokes opens this gun up to other uses, which means more opportunities to build proficiency and speed.
Working from the rear, the Renegauge Security comes with three different recoil pads to allow for a tailored length of pull. Each is built with a gel-like composition to absorb recoil. Moving forward, each Security comes with three cheek risers, allowing the owner to fit the gun to their unique facial features or to accommodate an optic should they choose to add one. As you approach the grip, you’ll find a deep recess that puts your shooting hand a good bit under your face, reducing the chance of punching yourself in the nose under recoil.
Keeping your hands in place are a variety of textures that include sandpaper-like side panels and a serrated front strap that melds with your fingers the moment you clamp down. For ultimate comfort, the relation of this entire package to your shoulder can be adjusted simply by dropping in any of the included cast spacers. This brings us to the fore-end, which features the same texturing as the grip and a thumb rest on either side to provide a tactile reference point for solid repeatability.
Lastly, Savage included an MLOK adapter that is just begging for a high-quality flashlight or perhaps even a laser to help align the shotgun when holding it in an awkward shooting position.
I just love blasting things with shotguns, so, needless to say, I was pumped to take this semi to the range. With everything going on, Federal co-branded its personal defense buckshot load with the NRA and is donating proceeds to help fight for our right to defend ourselves. It wouldn’t be prudent to just let these sit on the shelf; this is particularly true since they’ve already proven themselves to me in previous testing, so off we went to the range. From 15 yards, I shot 10 of these onto their respective targets. The patterns weren’t so tight that I might as well be shooting slugs, but at the same time they weren’t so wide that I’d have a realistic fear of them leaving the target and causing collateral damage.
Typically, when I pattern a shotgun, I note how far off the point of aim my impacts are; however, as the Renegauge Security is fitted with a fully adjustable rear sight, I zeroed it at 7 yards—even at 15 yards, it provided surgical precision. No group measured larger than 5 inches with the modified choke tube installed.
As I transitioned from target to target, I was made aware of the blazing speed at which this shotgun cycled and how light the recoil was. The flat-shooting nature of the Security, coupled with its crisp trigger, made for an altogether simple firearm to run, even with defensive buckshot. In seconds, I could exhaust its six-round magazine, and thanks to its ergonomics and engineering, replenish it fast. My testing included 35 rounds of this buckshot and a mixed bag of both 2-3/4- and 3-inch shells left over from previous range sessions. The Security didn’t mind.
As I wrapped things up, I took a lot of positive notes on the new Renegauge, including its ease of use, handling and rapid follow-up shots; in fact, the only downside I could find was its price tag, but that's to be expected with a shotgun of this pedigree. That extra coin gets you a gun that can fit the entire family and serve more than just guard duty, as it is a sheer joy to shoot.