New Gun: Citadel’s Wicked RS-S1 Shotgun

New Gun: Citadel’s Wicked RS-S1 Shotgun

Fast shooting and hard hitting, the Citadel RS-S1 has a definite intimidation factor.

The skinny on the RS-S1:

  • The semi-automatic shotgun operates off an AK-47 gas-piston system.
  • Its stock is designed to mitigate recoil and make the gun more controllable.
  • The 20-inch chrome-moly barrel can handle steel shot.
  • The RS-S1 has a 3-inch chamber and reliably cycles nearly any shell.
  • The gun's MSRP is $799.

Unless you're still traveling around by Conestoga wagon, semi-automatic shotguns are nothing new. For around a century, fast-shooting, recoil-operated scatterguns have wowed sportsmen and clay shooters alike. The last 50 years or so, gas-operated smoothbores —once the recoil was dialed down from mule kick — have become status quo. More recently, another leap has taken place within this niche of the shotgun world.


Taking a cue from the battle-tested AK-47, gunmakers have flooded the market with shotguns utilizing its rock-solid piston-driven system. The move makes sense, given the operating system is not only rugged but fits nicely into a more tactical configuration. Love it or hate it, that's the way the wind is blowing all across the gun world.

Legacy International's Citadel brand is among the latest swept up in the whirlwind, releasing one of the most recent examples of an AK-style shotgun — the RS-S1. For shooters familiar with the platform, the smoothbore holds true to past examples. That said, it also boasts enough distinctions it's not simply another face in the crowd and stands out as a solid option in a market that's becoming saturated.

To this end, the 12-gauge RS-S1 boasts innovative polymer furniture that lightens the overall package, while maintaining the shotgun's manageability. With a unique stock design, the gun mitigates the generally uncomfortable recoil of heavier shotshells, directing the energy straight back into the shooter's shoulder. Additionally, a textured pistol grip and fore-end ensures the gun is always sung in the shooting position. Also aiding the cause, a generous recoil pad that definitely takes out the sting.


Constructed around the reliable AK-47 gas-operated, piston-driven system, the RS-S1 shotgun cycles most any shell run through its action. The 3-inch chambered shotgun shoots heavy home-defense 00 buckshot as quickly and dependably as it does 2 3/4 field loads. Furthermore, outfitted with a 20-inch chrome-moly barrel, the RS-S1 is more than capable of running steel shot. The shotgun is compatible with all Beretta/Benelli choke tubes, it has a short section of Picatinny rail below the gas block for the addition of an accessory, a top rail for an optic and comes outfitted with a fixed post front sight and adjustable rear. Moreover, the RS-S1 is customizable, able to accept all Molot Vepr aftermarket components.

The Citadel RS-S1 rings up about average to most semi-automatic shotguns with an MSRP of $799. And it ships with two 5-round detachable box magazines.

For more information on the RS-S1, please visit:


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Elwood Shelton is the Digital Editor for Gun Digest. He lives in Colorado and has provided coverage on a vast spectrum of topics for GD for more than a decade. Before that, he was an award-winning sports and outdoors reporter for a number of newspapers across the Rocky Mountains. His experience has consisted of covering the spread of chronic wasting disease into the Western Slope of Colorado to the state’s ranching for wildlife programs. His passion for shooting began at a young age, fostered on pheasant hunts with his father. Since then, he has become an accomplished handloader, long-range shooter and avid hunter—particularly mule deer and any low-down, dirty varmint that comes into his crosshairs. He is a regular contributor to Gun Digest Magazine and has contributed to various books on guns and shooting, most recently Lever-Actions: A Tribute to the All-American Rifle.


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