Savage has made a hard play at the semi-auto shotgun market with something new and innovative that reflects the “new Savage” with the completely new Renegauge series of gas valve shotguns. The Renegauge models are delivering extreme reliability with very strong, rugged, and competitive models for field, competition, and security-focused shooters.
Though the competition model features a bright-red color theme, long barrel, extended magazine tube, and skeet choke all optimized for 3-gun competitions; the DNA, chassis, and action are the same as the rest of the Renegauge models. The Renegauge series was designed from the ground up by Savage and is produced in the USA.
Many shotgun brands start with a sporting shotgun as a base and modify it — sometimes awkwardly — for tactical and competition needs. Savage had the luxury of designing from a different perspective by including all the control and ergonomics that customers would expect in a competition-focused shotgun in its entire Renegauge lineup. Savage felt that every shooter would want to have the same ergonomics, manipulation, and features as they transitioned from field to security to competition.
Shooters also wanted easier and faster reloading, faster shot times, less recoil, lower maintenance intervals, full adjustability, more reliability, (oversized) easier to manipulate controls, and a reliable gas system that would support nearly any 2¾ to 3-inch shotshell without adjustment. Generally, these are all extras from other manufacturers. However, Savage included them as base features that all work together instead of being one-off upgrades and potential sources of problems and these are all included in the Renegauge Competition model.
Apart from a 24-inch vs. 28-inch barrel, 9+1 vs 4+1, extended vs standard fiber-optic sights, skeet vs field chokes, and finish differences, the Competition Model is about 95% the same spec as the Field version. Savage has even included the Benelli-style CRL (Cartridge Release Lever) on the front of the trigger guard to allow improved cartridge feed control manipulation.
All Renegauge models, including the Competition model, offer excellent controls and configurable ergonomics, customized fit that includes oversized controls, heavily-flared loading ports or a fully-adjustable stock for length of pull, comb height, and drop and cast with all the adjustment parts included. The Competition model includes one extended, skeet screw-in, tungsten and steel shot approved choke, but all Beretta/Benelli choke are compatible.
The faster we run our shotguns the dirtier they get. Delivering a soft shooting and reliable semi-auto shotgun that is shotshell weight, power, and length independent has been big design challenge for the shotgun market. Generally, the softer the recoil, the less reliable or more finicky to dirt and grime it becomes. A design focus on reliability typically means the shooter gets battered with higher than average recoil.
The Renegauge Dual Regulating Inline Valve (DRIV) system may be one of the best shotgun systems on the market. It delivers light recoil, fast cycling, and extreme reliability. The DRIV system is a self-regulating valve and requires no adjustments or valve swaps between the lightest to heaviest rounds and dumps all the excess gas out the front dual ports. The DRIV system uses tuned ports and springs on the valves to pass cycling gas or port the excess gas automatically. The result of the DRIV system is less unneeded gas blowback into the action, a cleaner and longer running action, more reliability, softer recoil, and the ability to support pretty much any 2¾–3-inch shell you can stuff into the loading port.
- D.R.I.V. gas system
- Extended Magazine Tube (9+1)
- Matte black stock that is adjustable for length of pull, comb height, and drop and cast
- One-piece, chrome plated action bar assembly
- Chrome-plated reciprocating components
- Stock rod buffer that reduces felt recoil
- Fluted barrel with Melonite finish
- Carbon steel ventilated rib with red Hi-Viz Tri-Comp Front Sight
- Competition-ready easy loading magazine port
- Oversized controls
- Extended Skeet2 Light Mod. Choke (.015”) (Beretta/Benelli)
- Red Cerakote receiver, extended magazine tube, and extended choke
With a Competition shotgun you want clean running reliability and the DRIV system delivers a big benefit here. Another notable benefit of the Savage DRIV gas system, dumping all the unneeded gas, is that it can run longer than other gas-operated shotguns without being cleaned. This is important for a Competition shooter who can shoot more in an afternoon than most field hunters do in a half-dozen seasons.
Thankfully, when it is time to field strip and clean the Renegauge, the process is almost completely tool-less. It’s fast too, thanks in part to the barrel/magazine assembly and chrome-plated bolt disassembling quickly. For the Competition model, the barrel clamp and magazine tube do need to be removed as an added step, compared to the hunting models.
Barrel color: Black
Barrel finish: Melonite
Barrel length: 24 inches
Barrel material: Carbon steel
Caliber: 12 gauge
Magazine capacity: 9+1 (2-¾ shells)
Length of pull: 14.25–15.07
Overall length: 46.2 inches
Receiver material: Aluminum
Front sights: Red Hi-Viz Tri-Comp
Stock color: Red
Weight: 8.2 pounds
Savage has proven the reliability of the Renegauge since its introduction in 2020. The reliability has been a well noted advantage for even the most hardcore shotgunners who are deeply rooted with other brands. Though I have had occasional cartridge bobbles and feeding issues with many Savage Renegauge models, this Competition model performed flawlessly — out of the box through a case of shells, plus a random mixture of whatever shot, buckshot, and slugs with various shell lengths that I had on hand.
Savage has done an outstanding job with the Renegauge’s design and features. This Competition model is nicely packaged — out of the box — to jump right into a 3-gun match. The red finish is sharp, and a unique look in an industry full of black guns. Savage has clearly worked with the competitor market to understand exactly what it expected from a competition-ready shotgun. Before you reach for some of those other brands, I would take a very hard look at the Savage Renegauge line.