Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name Masterkey
Type Shotgun
Place of origin Flag of the United States United States
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Service history
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Used by {{{used_by}}}
Wars {{{wars}}}
Production history
Designer {{{designer}}}
Designed {{{design_date}}}
Manufacturer {{{manufacturer}}}
Produced {{{production_date}}}
Number {{{number}}}
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Weight 2.6 kg (5.75 lb)
Length 43.2 cm (17 in)
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length 25.4 cm (10 in)
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew {{{crew}}}
Cartridge 12 gauge
Caliber {{{caliber}}}
Action Pump
Muzzle velocity {{{velocity}}}
Effective range 50 m
Maximum range {{{max_range}}}
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This article is about a shotgun. For the security key, see master key.

The Masterkey is a door breaching shotgun system manufactured by Knight's Armament Company.

The Masterkey project was initiated during the 1980s to provide assault rifles with a potent built-in door breaching tool. Individual soldiers were often forced to carry a breaching shotgun in addition to their standard issue rifle, but the Masterkey removes this need. The system consists of a Remington 870 12 gauge pump-action shotgun mounted on a M16 or M4 assault rifle in an underbarrel configuration, much like the M203 grenade launcher. It has a 3-round internal magazine and can carry a fourth round in the chamber.

The shotgun cannot be operated independently because it has no grip behind the trigger - when firing the Masterkey, the M16's magazine must be used as a makeshift pistol grip. Independent stocks and grips for the 870 are available for use, but they are incompatible with the M16 barrel mount. KAC makes a independent stock for the Masterkey that also can be used with a M203 grenadelauncher.

The Masterkey may be superseded by the XM26 Lightweight Shotgun System (LSS). However, the LSS is still an experimental weapon, and it has only seen limited service during Operation Enduring Freedom.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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