2021 Shotgun of the Year: Rock Island Armory VRBP-100

American Rifleman is pleased to announce the 2021 Shotgun of the Year Award goes to Rock Island Armory.

posted on December 17, 2021
2021 Shotgun of the Year: Rock Island Armory VRBP-100

Of the myriad rifles introduced and tested by your American Rifleman, Rock Island Armory's (RIA) VRBP-100 shotgun earns the top honor for 2021 as Shotgun of the Year. Based on the Rock Island VR series, which includes the AR-styled VR60 and VR80, the VRBP-100 comes from Derya Arms of Turkey as a gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun configured to the bullpup style.

In a market filled with makers that span the globe— and designs suited to all manner of purposes—the shotgun category can produce some real wild cards. Our pick, reviewed in the “Dope Bag” (August 2020) proves the point. “The VRBP-100 is marketed as “ideal for home defenders, hunters and competition shooters alike” and it fits all three categories.”

2021 Shotgun of the Year article magazine picture text gun shotgun schematic


What makes the VRBP-100 an “ideal” shotgun?

Staff testers remarked, “[f]ollowing the break-in period, the light piston functioned with all the 2 3/4" shells we fed it, from light birdshot to slugs. With the heavy piston installed, the VRBP was flawless with all 3" magnum loads. Trigger pull is a hefty 12 lbs., but had little take-up and a positive reset. It is easily managed with a shotgun “pull” instead of a rifle “squeeze.””

Thanks to the 12-gauge shotgun’s bullpup configuration, an overall length of 31" is achieved with a 20" barrel. Stock spacers give users added versatility and detachable-box magazines enhance the gun’s overall function while also providing a layer of versatility, whether five- or 19-round units are employed for use. The box magazine elevates the VRBP-100 beyond traditionally configured shotguns with tube magazines. It is important to note, despite its barrel length and the fact it can be fired from the shoulder, the VRBP-100 is less than 5" longer than the 14"-barreled pistol-grip-only “Shockwave”-type firearms.

With its flip-up iron sights, finger-grooved pistol grip, Picatinny accessory rails and available, curved 19-round magazine, the VRBP-100 handled all sorts of loads—ranging from birdshot to slugs—with aplomb, owing to swappable “light” and “heavy” gas pistons and Beretta/Benelli Mobil-compatible choke tubes, and testers confirmed the maker’s claim that the gun could be pressed into service for everything from home defense to hunting to competition.

We concluded, “[T]he bullpup layout and box-fed magazine system have combined to form a potent pairing in an affordable and reliable package,” thus earning the Rock Island VRBP-100 our recognition as Shotgun Of The Year.

Are you interested in more VRBP-100 content? Watch American Rifleman staff editors shoot and discuss the RIA shotgun live on the range in this NRA Gun of the Week video.

So what does it take to make the cut? The winners are selected by a seven-member committee consisting of editors, graphic designers and veteran NRA Publications staff, representing more than a century of collective experience in the shooting and hunting industry. The criteria required to qualify for consideration of a Golden Bullseye Award include being: introduced and available to consumers prior to the selection of the Golden Bullseye Awards; used/tested by a staff member or regular contributor to the magazine and/or affiliated media; reliable in the field, meeting or exceeding the evaluator’s expectations; innovative in design and function; readily perceived as a value to the purchaser; and styled in a manner befitting the shooting and hunting industry and, perhaps more importantly, its enthusiasts.


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