Midland Arms was purchased by Val Forgett Jr., founder of Navy Arms, in 1991. Production was moved from England to West Virginia, but after his death the company remained primary focused Navy Arms’ fine line of historic guns that continue to be popular to this day.
Three years ago, Forgett’s son, who took over the firm’s helm when his father died, seized an opportunity to breathe new life into the Midland line of guns. The budget-friendly long arms are quickly gaining favor among enthusiasts, and the Midland Backpack ranked eighth highest in sales among single-shot shotguns in GunBroker.com’s 2019 rankings.
It’s currently available in 12- and 20-gauge, as well as .410 bore. Barrel lengths available in 12 gauge include 18.5", 24" and 26". In 20 gauge, they measure 18.5", 22" or 26" and the .410 is available in the smaller pair of lengths.
All have steel forged receivers. Metalwork on the break-action shotguns is blued and match the synthetic stock, which is checkered at the fore-end and wrist, nicely. Studs are installed for QD sling swivels and, true to its name, the firearm folds for stuffing in a backpack or storage.
The barrels are threaded to accept Mobilchoke tubes. The gun’s buttpads are removable for storing survival items or other gear, and spacers are provided that allow lengths of pull anywhere from 12.5" to 14.5". The cheekpiece is ambidextrous and drop at comb is 1.5". Drop at heel comes in at 2".
The 12-gauge with the longest barrel weighs the most of all the models, 4.95 lbs., and measures 42.6" long when fully extended. Folded, though, it’s 26.3". The 12-gauge with the 18.5" barrel folds to only 18.75".
All come with a field extractor, trigger-block safety and cocking indicator. Prices start at somewhere around $150 for most .410-Bore versions and go up from there. The company also offers a US Constitution model with a patriotically themed synthetic stock.