Fully In Charge

Citadel will put your customers in charge of their home defense with the BOSS 25.

Fully In Charge

There was a time on the America Frontier when homesteaders and ranchers kept a shotgun (or other firearm) near the back and front doors. These were “just-in-case” guns, on the possibility they might need to fend off burglars or varmints or whatever else, and these shotguns could be grabbed up quickly and put to use.

We (hopefully) won’t be returning to the Wild West anytime soon. And yet, 2020 gave us a Covid-19 pandemic, empty grocery store shelves, riots and political instability. All of which appears to have made millions of people reconsider just what their personal safety might require and if a just-in-case firearm might be the thing to have these days.

For those people who want to go the scattergun route for home- and personal-defense, but for whom the old-time single-shot or double barrel doesn’t seem effective enough, what then?

It may well be the Citadel Boss 25 AR-style 12-gauge imported by Legacy Sports International, distributor of several foreign gun makers. Citadel firearms are made in Turkey by Francolin. 

The gas-powered Boss 25 features an 18.75-inch barrel, a black, fixed butt stock with an adjustable comb, and adjustable and raised tactical sights that fold down when not needed and quickly pop up and into place when it’s time to shoot. The shotgun handles 2.75- and 3-inch loads and is sold with five choke tubes and two five-round, steel box magazines. Citadel also offers 10-round magazines for the Boss 25, with a suggested retail of $39 apiece.

My review model Boss 25 sported a matte black finish, but the shotgun can also be had with an FDE finish. And, of course, the Boss 25 features all the AR-style accoutrements including a Picatinny rail atop the receiver and under the forend, lots of space along the handguard to attach various accessories, a pistol grip, AR-style bolt catch and magazine release controls, plus a SAFE and FIRE control on the left side of the receiver.

The bolt on the Boss 25 even locks to the rear when the last shell in the magazine is fired.

Semi-automatic and sexy, but how does it shoot?

Breaking it In

In the instructions, Legacy Sports International recommends a 50-round break in period for the Boss 25. Part of this guideline is to get the buffer tube spring seasoned and ready for 2.75-inch loads. I say this because when I started shooting the Boss 25 I used 2.75-inch loads, and while the shells went off without a hitch, the Boss 25 action would not cycle.

After 25 rounds or so, the 2.75-inch shells began working fine, but — and customers need to know this — even once the buffer spring is broken in, 12-gauge shells of either size are going to require at least 1,300 feet per second velocity at the muzzle to effectively work the action.

The Boss 25’s tactical look and feel had me immediately thinking home- and self-defense applications. So, my shooting began and ended with various 3-inch buckshot loads, including: Federal Premium Vital-Shok 00 Buckshot, loaded with 15 copper-plated pellets; Remington Magnum 00 Buckshot and a 15-pellet load; and Remington Magnum 4BK holding 41 pellets.

As the Boss 25’s buffer spring loosened up, I added Federal Premium Law Enforcement OO Buckshot loaded with 9 pellets, and Remington’s Ultimate Defense OO Buckshot, also delivering 9 pellets.

One problem me and my rapidly aging eyes encountered was that the Boss 25’s rear and front sights are black. As in, black rear peep with a black front post, with the post in the center of a black semi-circle. All that black ran together for me and I knew it was affecting my accuracy.

My solution? I cleaned off the front post with rubbing alcohol, let it dry thoroughly, and then touched up that front post with some inexpensive white nail polish. Now, the front post really popped and got me on target fast and efficiently.

I shot targets at 25 yards using the Boss 25’s Full Choke, and accuracy was very solid.  My best accuracy with the Federal Premium Vital-Shok 00 Buckshot had eight of the load’s 15 pellets striking the target area, shooting offhand, while a quick two-shot sequence with the Remington Magnum 4BK had 45 hits in a Dirty Bird Splattering Bad Guy target from Birchwood Casey, and another nine hits right on the margins.   

I didn’t do much shooting with 12-gauge slugs, mostly because I didn’t have a good supply on hand. But at 25 yards, with the Boss 25 outfitted with the cylinder choke, I was able to punch center-mass of my targets without a problem.

As the Boss 25 moved through the break-in period, recoil got easier. I assume that’s because the buffer tube became less stiff. That also meant that the first 20 rounds smacked back into my shoulder with a good deal of force. Let your customers know about this reality, and that the shotgun’s ability to handle and distribute recoil improves with additional shooting.

Another reality for customers is that a 12-gauge, gas-powered shotgun is going to get dirty relatively fast, especially with the kind of volume shooting this semi-auto encourages.

That’s just the nature of the Boss 25 and any other gas-fed beast that eats 12-gauge shells. Let your customers know about this, and suggest they buy a cleaning kit plus extra solvent and lubrication.

Add-On Potential

To sell the Boss 25, a retailer may only need to make the shotgun visible — yes, it’s that striking, as various people at my shooting ranges let me know. (Common reaction:  What is that? Can I shoot it? Just once, please?)

So, make sure the Boss 25 is displayed, in profile, where it can be easily seen. Consider displaying it above the shotgun and the AR racks. Many fans of AR-platform rifles might not even know a shotgun version exists and will be more amenable to such a rig versus many older, more traditional shotgun users.

As part of the display possibility, Chad Peters suggests retailers trick out the Boss 25 for even more eye appeal.

“You might want to add a red-dot to the Boss 25 and a foregrip,” suggested Peters, territory manager for Legacy Sports International. “You’ll need signage to explain that these items are not standard with the shotgun. But there’s a good chance you will also move the red-dot and foregrip as add-on sales.”

Speaking of add-on sales, Peters says salespeople should stress how easy it is to accessorize the Boss 25.

“Point out the Key Mod forend, and that there’s not only a pic rail atop the receiver, but a smaller rail on the forend,” he suggests.  “Make sure they also understand that the Boss 25 comes standard with five chokes — C, IC, M, IM, F — and that this means they can not only modify the pattern of the shotshells they use, but they can also shoot slugs.”

Of note, there’s even a 20-round drum magazine available that fits the Boss 25 — the Pro-Mag MKA 1919. Retailers may want to have some of these cool magazines on hand to score another sale.

Built-In Versatility

Along with the more obvious home-defense and tactical applications, Peters mentions the hunting market as one more box the Boss 25 can check.

Actually, the more I shot the Boss 25 and saw the tight patterns with buckshot, the more I wondered about its utility as a hunting shotgun. So, I set up several Turkey Splattering Targets from Birchwood Casey at 20 to 25 yards and tried out a couple turkey-hunting loads, including the 3-inch Remington Nitro Turkey shells loaded with #6 shot.

Shooting offhand, I could’ve easily killed a tom turkey at 25 yards.

To make the Boss 25 work under such regulations, one would have to home-gunsmith the existing magazines to only hold two shells or search out an aftermarket option.  Currently, Citadel and Legacy Sports International do not offer a two-round magazine option. I couldn’t find a two-round magazine to fit the Boss 25, but it was a quick Internet search, and such mags may well exist. Or will appear in the near future thanks to some enterprising manufacturer.

Still, that’s all very intriguing. A home-defense just-in-case AR Boss 25 that is an obvious choice for the tactical market and can easily take on Tom Turkey?

That’s a versatile shotgun, another huge selling point for the Boss 25.


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