The new Sentry 12 pump-action shotgun, first showcased at the 2020 SHOT Show, is now available on the US market: a highly maneuverable design, the Sentry 12 was conceived from the ground up for defensive and tactical applications and breaks down in seconds
At the 2020 edition of the NSSF SHOT Show, Blackwater Worldwide announced its investment in Iron Horse Firearms, a small yet innovative gunmaker from Salt Lake City, and that Iron Horse products would be manufactured and marketed under the Blackwater Firearms brand.
Among those is the Sentry 12 tactical pump-action shotgun – a magazine-fed pump-action platform chambered for 70mm / 2.¾" and 76mm / 3" shells alike – available for purchase through the Blackwater dealer network in the United States starting October 1st, at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $899.
The Sentry 12 was designed from the ground up as a tactical and defensive shotgun, particularly addressing the needs of law enforcement. Feeding from polymer detachable magazines – each holding five 12-gauge shotshells, as of today, the future availability of higher capacity versions from either Blackwater Firearms or third parties can't be ruled out – the Sentry 12 removes the need to field multiple color-coded weapons for lethal or less-lethal ammunition.
A single weapon can thus easily be switched to any type of 12-gauge ammunition in seconds, using color-coded magazines in order to avoid confusion.
The Blackwater Firearms Sentry 12 pump-action shotgun is built around a reinforced polymer receiver, featuring an AR-15 style ambidextrous magazine release button and manual safety, and an ambidextrous disconnector tab located right underneath the magazine release, at easy index finger reach.
The machined 6160-T6 lightweight aluminum alloy upper receiver hosts a full-length top 17" / 43 cm Picatinny rail for optics or accessory flip-up iron sights, and features ventilation cuts on both sides. The Sentry 12 pivots open just like an AR-15 and strips easily in three main components – upper, lower, and bolt assembly – for easy cleaning and maintenance.
The Blackwater Firearms Sentry 12 pump-action shotgun comes from factory with a black phosphate finished, 18.5" / 47cm steel barrel, which brings the overall length to 36" / 91,44 cm and makes it not subject to the provisions and restrictions of the 1934 National Firearms Act, and thus legal to purchase "over-the-counter" in the United States.
And yet, the design of the fixed polymer tailstock gives it a relatively short, 12" / 30 cm length of pull – providing, in Blackwater Firearms's own terms "spider monkey-like agility" to the platform for urban or otherwise close quarters deployment.
In addition to numerous cross-platform similarities to the AR-15 design – making it very quick and intuitive for users to familiarize with – the Blackwater Firearms Sentry 12 pump-action shotgun is also very versatile: an easily untightened 6160 alloy barrel nut allows replacement of the barrel with a shorter one for CQB or other tactical applications.
The stock can also be replaced with an armbrace, which would keep a shorter-barreled Sentry 12 NFA-compliant for civilian sales and ownership. Two QD sling swivel cups, one per side, are located just in front of the stock for convenient single-point carry. There's also a sling cut on the stock.
In its baseline configuration, the Blackwater Firearms Sentry 12 pump-action shotgun weighs in at barely 6.5 lbs / 2,94 kg. Each sample comes issued from factory with two 5-shots magazine, a safety lock, and an instruction manual and warranty card, all in a Blackwater-marked packaging with die-cut foam inserts.
As of today, no information concerning the distribution and pricing of the Sentry 12 on international markets has been released. We will keep you posted as soon as any indication on export availability is brought forward.
Update - July 15 2021
After a successful partnership and collaboration, in April 2021 Iron Horse Firearms and Blackwater Worldwide have mutually agreed to end their relationship and pursue endeavors more in alignment with the respective brands.
Iron Horse Firearms will continue to manufacture their flagship products of the Sentry 12 and the Iron Horse line of thumb operated AR-15 style rifles. All products remain in full production and dealers will continue to receive orders on schedule.
“We’re grateful for our time with the team at Blackwater Worldwide and all of the opportunities that the relationship created. As we move into this next chapter, we’re looking forward to the continued development and manufacture of our line of products under the original Iron Horse Firearms brand, as well as branching into some of our E-Commerce and manufacturing software offerings designed for businesses in the firearms industry.”
– Ryan McDonald, CEO of Iron Horse Firearms