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Shotguns at IWA 2017

The shotgun side of IWA is huge, so things are inevitably missed, but you couldn’t overlook the sheer number of Turkish makers present, or the exuberant diversity of their creations. Meanwhile, European makers were typically pursuing diversity in a more subtle manner, with products designed to appeal to an ever wider range of potential customers.

  • Benelli


    Benelli launched a new SP (Speed Performance) version of the M2 semi-auto developed in collaboration with Finnish 2015 Standard Manual World Champion Kim Leppänen. It’s configured for Standard Class IPSC competition and its most striking features are a long, red, magazine extension that gives the SP total capacity of 9+1. Slick operation is facilitated by a chromed bolt carrier and an oversized free-rotating, cylindrical charging handle. The ventilated top rib sports a big 50mm x 2.5mm red fibre-optic element at the muzzle, and a windage adjustable, flip-up U-notch leaf sight that sits below flush when folded. The gun comes with a 26-inch steel-proofed barrel, three extended Crio choke tubes, a 2.5cm anatomicallyshaped recoil pad and a set of shims for drop and cast. GMK give an SRP of £1525. Benelli are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and marking it with a deluxe edition of their Raffaello Powerbore, complete with opulent scroll and game scene engraving, gold inlays, red highlights and richly-figured walnut. The edition is limited to 1000 examples in 12g and 500 in 20g. Barrel lengths are 28- and 30-inches in 12g and 26- and 28-inches in 20g. SRP is £3K.

  • Perazzi

    Fellow Italians, Perazzi, are 60 this year and their commemorative gun is the even-more-limited Platinum Anniversary Edition of their flagship High Tech gun. Just 61 guns have been made and “0” will remain on display at Perazzi’s headquarters. Perazzi’s gun shows its class in a glossy “total black” finish, complemented by deceptively-simple white lettering that turns out to be inlaid in pure platinum, and by a special case, upholstered in gunmetalcoloured leather and embellished with an embroidered 'High Tech'logo. I understand that all the guns, priced at €23,600, are now spoken for: which is no surprise. Perazzi’s vast stand was adorned with reminders of just how many successes have been achieved with their guns over the last 60-years.

  • Beretta


    The main shotgun news from Beretta this year was the launch of the Vittoria O/U shotguns with stock dimensions designed to fit the female physique. The series includes 12g versions of the 690 Sporting and Field in grades I or III, with the latter also available in 20g. The Vittoria line was created with help from some of the leading ladies in European competitive shooting, and the result is a stock that offers a slightly shorter lengthof- pull (355mm/14-inches), a slimmer pistol grip with a smaller radius, and a raised semi-Monte-Carlo comb giving a drop of (35/45/55mm).

  • Blaser

    Blaser has also shown a laudable interest in getting more women involved in shooting, through the launch of their Intuition series, which offers female-friendly variants of their R8 rifle and F16 O/U shotgun. Blaser’s approach is focussed on ergonomics, not aesthetics. There are a carefullyresearched set of dimensions designed to enable female shooters to work intuitively with their gun. The Intuition’s stock also shows reductions in the lengthof- pull, in the drop at the comb and heel — achieved by means of a Monte-Carlo-style comb, in the circumference of the pistol grip and in the distance from the grip to the trigger, along with an increased cast at the toe. Barrel length remains 28- or 30-inches for the Game variant and 30- or 32-inches for the Sporter version. Wood options are limited to Grade 2 or Grade 4, but the F16 Intuition is offered at the same price as the standard equivalent.

  • Fausti XF4

    Fausti are best known as makers of game guns, so bringing out a new clay gun was the obvious next step. The gun is called the XF4, and shows a roundbodied black action, ventilated top and side ribs and a stock with a tightly-radiused grip and an adjustable comb. Barrels are available in 28-, 30- or 32- inch lengths and with fixed or interchangeable chokes, and there’s choice of straight or semi-beavertail fore-ends. The choices don’t stop there either, since -unusually for a clay gun-, the XF4 is offered in 20g, 28g and .410, as well as 12g.

  • Franchi


    In keeping with their identity as a stylish entry-level brand, Franchi use twenty-something brand ambassadors to evoke the freedom, fulfilment and friendship found in forays into the field with a few friends and a Franchi. This is interesting, because their latest gun, the Esprit, is that most-unfashionableof- things: a boxlock side-by-side. Yet, by showing the .410 and 28g versions in the hands of their young stars, Franchi manage to convey a sense of tradition as something that moves forward instead of simply looking back. The Esprit is like that too. The recipe is classic English, with a straight-hand stock and fore-end in more-than-passable walnut, an action body that’s colour-case hardened instead of engraved, a concave rib with a silver bead at the tip, and an orange rubber buttpad. It also offers the modern conveniences of a single trigger, a barrel selector built into the safety lever, and interchangeable chokes. The Esprit looks good and feels agile. But precisely because this is a modern gun, made almost entirely by machines, you do feel the lack of hand finishing -the action is tight but not smooth, the oil finish on the stock is even but not deep. All the same, it’s as nice a boxlock ejector as you can buy new for €1890, though the 28g is €210 more.

  • Darne


    In 1881 a French gunmaker called Régis Darne set up shop and went on to make some unusual guns with rotating and sliding breeches. The latter type are the most famous, and feature a vertically pivoting top lever with distinctive ears. Over the decades, these side-by-side guns were made in considerable numbers and in a wide range of grades, and there are still a good many well-used ones doing the rounds in the French second-hand market. Indeed, every now and then one comes up for sale over here. It turns out that the Armurerie Darne remains a going concern, although now its guns and rifles are produced on a bespoke basis, and by some exceptionally skilled craftsmen. Well I never!

  • Turks get tactical

    A few years ago, Turkish gunmakers began to produce magazine-fed semi-automatic shotguns that emulated the AR16/M4 rifle; the first guns were essentially standard semiautos in fancy dress, those that have followed them, such as the Derya MK12, Typhoon Defence F12, and UTAS XTR12, show a much more authentic build. The AK hasn’t been forgotten either, as evidenced by Kral Arms’ XPS and Armsan’ RS S1 (an officially licensed copy of the Kalashnikov/Saiga 12K). In some cases, the standard guns are not UK-legal, on account of their sub-24-inch barrels, but Turkish firms have a good track record in supplying longerbarrelled versions for the UK.

  • Armsan


    Armsan’s Armtwac RS S1 is a licensed copy of the Kalashnikov Saiga 12K (030) shotgun. It has a 24-inch barrel with a 3-inch chamber, and comes threaded for a muzzle brake and interchangeable Armsan choke tubes, three of which are supplied with each gun (full, modified, cylinder). The AR-type telescopic stock and pistol grip are complemented by ribbed polymer upper and lower hand-guards. It is equipped with AK-type adjustable front and rear sights, a 7-inch Picatinny rail on the top cover and a short accessory rail under the gas block. Armsan’s magazines, come in 5- and 8-round sizes. One of each size is supplied as is a hard travel case. It costs around £950, and extra magazines are around £50 for 5-rounders and £80 for 8-rounders.

  • Kral Arms

    Kral Arms

    Kral Arms, offer their ‘AK’s in two main formats. The first has a tactical look, with a folding telescopic stock, a quad-rail handguard, an 18-inch barrel and a ventilated barrel shroud. The second is more classic, with a fixed stock, no rails, a small notch and bead sight, a 20-inch barrel and a slender muzzle brake and each has a classic AK optics rail. Magazines are available in 2-, 5- and 8-round sizes and one of each size is supplied with each gun. A 20-round drum magazine is available separately. Overall, the Krals feel like they’d give the Armsans a run for their money. Unfortunately, I was unable to get prices.

  • ATA Arms

    ATA Arms

    ATA arms were showing a prototype tactical 12g, with the stock, upper receiver and hand-guard all formed from extruded aluminium sections. This does give it a sleek and futuristic appearance, but it also makes the working parts less accessible and isolates it from the constellations of aftermarket components and accessories for AK and AR platforms.

  • Aksa Arms

    Aksa’s T12 is essentially a 12g version of an M4 carbine (although AR10 sized) with a telescopic stock and an A2 grip. The ‘upper’ has a rear charging handle, a forward assist and a Picatinny rail fitted with a carry-handle rear sight, a gas-block mounted front sight and an A2 flash hider. Magazines hold 5 or 9 rounds and the 18.5-inch barrel are 4140 chrome moly steel.

  • Typhoon Defence

    Typhoon’s ‘AR’ shotgun is the F12 and comes in a fitted case, complete with three magazines holding 2, 5 and 10 rounds respectively, adjustable sights, a grip-pod VFG/bipod, a dummy suppressor, and a tool kit. Fitted to the gun are a futuristic-looking muzzle brake, a rubber over-moulded pistol grip, a quad-rail hand-guard and a 3-position telescopic stock with a rubber recoil pad and an adjustable comb. Cocking is via a large cylindrical handle on the port side. The major modification, since there’s no magazine tube, is that it uses the barrel itself as the axis for the piston, spring and action bars. This permits the use of a slender hand-guard, and the inclusion of a piston that can be reversed for use with lighter or heavier loads, but means that the outer surface of the barrel bears the brunt of any fouling and as there’s no spring in the buffer tube, the MK12 could be fitted with a folding stock. Optional accessories include a 20-round drum magazine. The UK price looks likely to be sub £1000, but this may not include the full cased kit.

  • Derya Arms

    Derya Arms

    Derya Arms’ MK12 is almost a twin to the F12, and aside from some minor external differences, there’s not much to tell them apart. Internally, however, it’s another story, as although the MK12 also uses an annular gas piston around the barrel, its return spring is located in the buffer tube at the rear of the gun. The MK12 does have some additional refinements, however, such as the ability to set up the charging handle for R/H or L/H use and a comfortable polymer grip located between the ribbed front of the mag well and the base of the hand-guard. Magazines hold 2, 5 and 9 rounds respectively. The gun is supplied in a brown suede fitted case, along with 1x 2-round and 2x 5-round magazines, two choke tubes, a combined choke key and disassembly tool, a ventilated barrel shroud and a dummy suppressor (like the magazine cap of a conventional semi-auto these keep the hand-guard in place), and several polymer accessories. No information was available on possible UK sources, but I reckon it would be a pity if we missed out on the MK12.

  • UTAS

    The UTAS XTR12- is already here, complete with 24.5-inch UK-spec barrel. Moreover, as with the Aksar, it is built like an AR internally as well as externally, with an AR-type bolt carrier and rotating bolt, the return spring in the buffer tube, and a gas piston tube above the barrel. There’s also a T-handle at the rear, plus an ambidextrous safety catch and magazine release. The grips, stocks, safety and mag release are all compatible with aftermarket AR-10 accessories too. UK versions come with 1x 5-round magazine, and x choke tube (cylinder), though extra magazines and accessories, such as a compensator and iron sights are available separately. The UTAS XRT12 costs around £950, and 10-round magazines are around £50. The optional choke set costs around £75.

  • Frankenguns

    Most Turkish companies take a more down-to-earth approach to global sales, adapting conventional semi-auto actions to give customers what they want within the constraints imposed by local jurisdictions. Several Turkish firms offer guns in lever-action and even ‘straight-pull’ formats, all built on classic Berettastyle receivers. It’s a unique look, but if it keeps people shooting, who’s complaining.

  • Adler Arms

    The straight-pull guns in particular seem to be a response to new restrictions on lever action shotguns following a media panic in Australia about a highcapacity Turkish lever-action called the Adler A110. Adler do a ‘bolt action’, magazine-fed AR-style gun called the B210, too, complete with compensator and folding telescopic stock!

  • Pardus Arms

    Pardus Arms covers all the bases, offering semi-auto guns in AR (SBX) and AK (SBS) formats, as well as tube- and magazinefed lever-actions (LAX12), plus the new BA12 straight-pull. The latter shows a receiver with a charging handle on each side, though I think Pardus missed a trick by not copying the best there is, the Browning Maral. Pardus’ tube magazines hold up to nine shots, and their box magazines have a 5-, 7- or 10-shot capacity, and SBX/ SBS barrels run from 22- to 18-inches, and LAX/BA ones from 30- to 18-inches. The latter specification is of particular interest because lever-action and straight-pull shotguns are not bound by our 24-inch barrel rule, and because Norwegian silencer specialists A-Tec have just brought out a shotgun suppressor (see below). Complementing an 18-inch barrel with a 12-inch A-Tec A12 suppressor would result in a 30-inch barelled gun, making it a good deal handier than the 37.5-inches of a Hushpowered Mossberg and a promising pest-control tool.

  • A-TEC

    A-Tec’s new A12 shotgun suppressor can be fitted to any pump-action or semi-auto shotgun with an interchangeable choke system and is available with adapters to fit all popular types. Available in 12g only at present, it is 300mm long and weighs 560g. A-Tec claim an overall sound reduction of 19dB (c).


The lasting impression from this year’s show is the extraordinary creative and commercial energy of the Turks. Intriguing too was the presence of a new boltaction hunting rifle on Ata Arms’ stand. Called the Turqua, it is the first Turkish-made civilian rifle I’ve ever seen and its existence points to a more permissive attitude to the manufacture of rifled longguns on the part of the Turkish authorities. Turkish makers have already made huge inroads into the airgun and shotgun sectors, so could the Turqua’s arrival presage a radical change in the rifle market?


Adler Arms: http://adlerarms.com; [UK: Practical Shooting Supplies]

Armurerie Darne: www.fusildarne.com

Armsan: [UK: Highland Outdoors]

ATA Arms: www.cfysilah.com [UK: Wildhunter]

A-Tec: www.a-tec.no [UK: Jackson Rifles]

Benelli: www.benelli.it [UK: GMK]

Blackmore Vale Guns: www.blackmorevaleguns.co.uk

Browning: browning.eu [UK: International Sports Brands]

Cheshire Gun Room: www.cheshiregunroom.com

Derya Arms: http://deryaarms.com

Fausti Steffano: www.faustiarms.com [UK: Stag Country Sports]

Franchi: www.franchi.com [UK: GMK]

GMK Ltd: www.gmk.co.uk

Highland Outdoors: highlandoutdoors.co.uk, International Sports Brands

Jackson Rifles: www.jacksonrifles.com

Pardus Arms: www.pardusarms.com

Perazzi: www.perazzi.it [UK: RUAG]

Practical Shooting Supplies: www.practicalsportingsupplies.co.uk

RUAG Ammotec UK Stag Country: www.ruag.co.uk

Sports / Fausti UK: www.stagcountrysports.com

Typhoon Defence: www.typhoondefence.com [UK: Cheshire Gun Room]

UTAS: www.utas-usa.com [UK: Practical Shooting Supplies / Blackmore Vale Guns]

Wildhunter: www.wildhunter.eu