Savage Renegauge Security — A Dark Horse Tactical Shotgun

The Savage Renegauge is a bit of a dark horse in the semi-auto shotgun market. Benelli and Beretta really rule the market with the 1301, the M4, and the A300 Patrol. Mossberg also turned heads with the Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical, but the Renegauge doesn’t get brought up much.

While we first saw the Savage Renegauge Security almost two years ago, it was only last month that I finally got my hands on the Security model of the Renegauge. Since then, I’ve been blasting away wholeheartedly trying to figure out if the Renegauge is worth a look in a crowded shotgun market.

Savage Renegauge D.R.I.V. System

The D.R.I.V. system sits at the core of the Savage Renegauge. D.R.I.V. is proof engineers and marketers hate writers cause those periods are a pain. Anyhoo, the D.R.I.V. is the Dual Regulating Inline Valve gas system. This gas-operated system works like any other. When a round is fired, gas is created and that gas propels the projectile downrange. Some of that gas is siphoned off to propel the bolt carrier rearward and cycles the weapon. The D.R.I.V. system features two valves that work together to regulate the pressure needed to eject the spent shell. One valve sends gas rearward to cycle the action. The second valve redirects excess gas forward.

Savage driv
The Savage D.R.I.V. in action

There is a huge difference between three inch magnum shells and a low recoil tactical load. One creates way more gas and, with a normal gas system, this over-gasses the system. Consequently, over-gassing creates more recoil which is harder on the shooter and ultimately puts more wear on the gun. The dual regulating valves ensure only the necessary amount of gas is used to cycle the gun. It’s a clever way to allow the same performance between high brass magnum shells and reduced recoil loads.

Features and Specifications

The Savage Renegauge Security features an 18.5-inch barrel. The fluted barrel is surprising; but if you can make the gun more balanced, then more power to you. The flute certainly looks cool, and looking cool is half the battle. The gun holds six rounds of 2.75 inch shells, which is one less than the competition. Overall, the shotgun weighs a nice seven pounds.

Fluted barrel
A fluted barrel is an interesting feature you don’t see often on shotguns.

The Savage Renegauge series comes with an adjustable length of pull. That’s great, but what’s odd is the lengths Savage chose. The smallest and shortest LOP is 14.25 inches. That’s great for my six-foot-five-inch frame, but way too long for most people. Normally, that’s a sporting gun length rather than tactical. A long length of pull makes it tough to shoot in a modern shooting position and makes the weapon unwieldy for some shooters.

Renegauge stock
The Savage Renegauge features an adjustable LOP.

The shortest LOP is 14.25 inches and can be increased to 14.7 and 15.07 inches. One of the best length of pulls for most shooters is 12.5 inches, with 13.5 inches being another good option. Starting at 14.25 inches and going longer leaves me stumped for an explanation behind their reasoning.

The Renegauge Security comes with an adjustable rear ghost ring and high-visibility green front sight. The stock has options for adding a cheek rest to get higher on the gun. In addition, you can also adjust the cast of the gun with a series of inserts. Up front, we have a metal magazine clamp with an M-LOK slot for adding accessories. I imagine a sling swivel on one side and a light on the other would be perfect.

M-LOK clamp
The M-LOK clamp allows for easy sling and light attachment.

Finally, the gun comes in an awesome hard case. It’s complete with custom-cut foam and room for everything Savage sends with the gun.


The Savage Renegauge Security addresses a lot of shortcomings we saw with the last generation of semi-auto shotguns. Savage certainly learned the same lesson as Mossberg and Beretta. They added oversized controls, which translates to appropriately sized controls.

Shotgun controls
The massive bolt release makes reloads quick.

Savage installed a nice large charging handle on the gun that’s easy to reach and grip. Beneath it sits a nice broad button for closing the bolt. It’s no bean-sized button, but a respectably sized pad. The safety is a nice big button behind the trigger. I prefer in front of the trigger, but it’s fine.

We already addressed the LOP problem with the stock. Outside of that, it’s solid. The stock has a very Magpul SGA-like design with a nicely defined and sharp pistol grip. Up front, the massive handguard has plenty of room to grip and go.

The ejection and magazine loading ports are both larger than normal. This facilitates easier loading. In practice, I can load the Savage Renegauge Security very quickly and intuitively. Furthermore, my thumb never leaves a DNA sample in the gun either.

At the Range

I went to the road with a wide variety of loads to test. This includes my favorite Federal reduced recoil FliteControl at 1145 feet per second (fps) up to the beefy Hornady Black at 1,600 fps. I also brought a few slugs and lots of various el cheapo birdshot loads. Basically, I wanted to test the D.R.I.V. system and see just how well it worked.

I gleefully blasted through three rounds of reduced recoil buckshot and three rounds of Hornady Black. While the Black had more recoil, it was surprisingly lighter than I thought it would be. It didn’t beat my shoulder to pieces by any means. You can tell the system functions reliably because the cases ejected along the same arc and angle, regardless of the load.

Shooting renegauge
The Renegauge had a slightly lower recoil impulse with hotter ammo.

The Renegauge Security chugged through everything I brought out. I brought nothing with crazy low recoil, all standard ammo from the factory. This included a very old box of Winchester. It had to be 20 years old, maybe older. This ammo caused problems in a wide variety of guns, but no issues in the Renegauge.

I believe this success has to do with the rotating bolt with two massive extractors. It grips and rips everything without a problem. That rotating bolt design is often ignored in the shotgun market, but was proven successful by Winchester decades ago.

Speed and Accuracy

I ran the Savage Renegauge through the Lucky Gunner Home Defense shotgun skills test. It’s got tight par times and strict accuracy requirements. Plus, it requires buckshot to complete. I used Fiocchi 1300 fps 00 buckshot. I had no problems scoring intermediate and advanced par times with the Renegauge.

Renegauge front sight
The Savage Renegauge comes with a huge front sight that’s super easy to see.

This test calls for multiple shots fired, snapshots, reloading, and more. I flowed through it all without much difficulty. By the third run, I achieved advanced par times on all but the first snapshot. A .60 second shot on target from the low ready alluded me. One of the drills requires you shoot three and reload two. I was surprised at how quickly I completed this drill.

Rear ghost ring sight
The Ghost Ring sight is easy to adjust and has LPA vibes.

The big open loading port at the bottom made it super easy to thread those rounds into the magazine and let the lead fly. When going for a port load, I used the big pad without a problem and sent the bolt home in one quick movement.

The ghost ring sights are nice. It’s not as fast as other options, but that big green front sight made more instinctive shooting easier. It stood out well and also made those quick shots accurate shots. Speaking of accuracy, it was very easy to group slugs into one cloverleaf-like group at 25 yards and to score shots in the chest of an FBI Q target at 50 yards.

The Dark Horse

The Savage Renegauge Security is the dark horse of modern shotguns. I think the rotating bolt and drive system are clever and perfect for high-volume shooting. Furthermore, the recoil is comfortable and controllable. The sights are solid, but I’m searching for a red dot option. I love 90% of the ergonomic choices as well. However, the odd choice in LOP adjustments holds the gun back. I think they should redesign the stock to allow adjustments from 12.5 to 14.25 inches.

Outside of the LOP, the Savage Renegauge Security is a rock-solid option. Every feature is well-thought-out. For example, the M-LOK magazine tube clamp is metal instead of polymer. The fluted barrel produces a very well-balanced gun. Little things like that add up to a very high-quality gun that isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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