SPAS-12 Shotgun History

Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun:

1:26 – Yessssss that folding stock with the hook, is what really sets it apart visually!

Joe-Biden-Finger-PointAnyone own, or ever shot one of these things?  How are they?  Reliability etc…?

Gat tip: Adrian



Tom March 7, 2015 at 10:46 am

I have two friends with them and have shot them some. They are very heavy with harsh recoil, the tiny metal buttplate folding stock doesn’t help. Recoil is a little better in auto mode.

Did not have any reliability problems, but also didn’t shoot extensively in auto mode (and you can’t shoot extensively in pump mode without a shoulder pad). The owner was worried about excessive wear as the auto mode is designed for very light loads. It also gets pretty hot pretty quickly.

With the stock folded it’s about as useful as any pistol-grip shotgun (IOW, I can’t hit the broadside of a barn).

It does look pretty dang bada** though, either folded or extended. IMO one of the best looking shotguns out there.


Kevin March 7, 2015 at 04:53 pm

All I think when I see that shotgun is “clever girl….”


sam March 9, 2015 at 05:32 pm

Love that scene. Mediocre movie for me, but the hunter was a great character. Lent credibility to the idea that the raptors were dangerous and scary without much further special effects or crazy action.


Uncle Joe March 8, 2015 at 07:40 am

+2 for using Creepy Uncle Joe Biden’s picture on every post about shotguns!


ENDO-Mike March 9, 2015 at 02:23 pm

haha thanks!


hydepark March 8, 2015 at 02:53 pm

Not one bit of real-world footage in the whole video? C’mon. And yeah, just get a Benelli M4 and a bunch of ammo. Glad I did.


Mike March 8, 2015 at 04:51 pm

The series of YouTube videos this comes from focuses on the history and depiction of popular firearms in video games, and always uses in-game clips on screen.


Weer'd Beard March 8, 2015 at 08:01 pm

Ran about 5-6 rounds semi-auto through my friend’s. Stock was REALLY uncomfortable and ripped out my beard hairs, gun was heavier than it should be, and it ran like a top for those few rounds.

No thanks for me, too expensive for no gain.


SmS March 9, 2015 at 07:49 am

There was a recall on these due to Ad’s when the safety was moved from the on -to off position. Non repaired arms can be identified as still having the lever throw safety as opposed to a push button which was the retro fit repair.


Disco March 9, 2015 at 01:59 pm

There are two great days in a gun owner’s life:
The day he buys a SPAS 12 and the day he sells it.

Every 80s kid who grew up on Miami vice and terminator found a way to get one. They haven’t been sold since 1994. They haven’t been manufactured or serviced worldwide by Franchi since ’99. All the ones out there have changed hands plenty of times over. That is a hint.

I had one. It LOOKED cool. But no…it was horrible.


T March 9, 2015 at 04:23 pm

Exactly. Looks flippin’ sweet in the safe, and wherever else it’s just sitting around, but it’s just a hunk of metal designed to fling more metal downrange with no regard to the shooter’s rapidly aging shoulder.


Krugger March 17, 2015 at 04:35 pm

Dude you have no idea how awesome this shotgun runs when it is clean and the old hard parts are replaced on it. The folding stock used to punch me hard but then I realized my receiver buffer was hard as a rock ( I didn’t crack the receiver thank god) also the stock shock absorber was missing. Once I replaced both shock absorbers with the new soft ones the thing was easy as can be to absorb its own recoil and easy to fire all day long. I also had to clean out the gas ports on it and replaced the gas o-ring and holy crap it does cycle almost faster than 4 rounds a second in auto and the light loads are no problem… I bet the one gas port was clogged prior to my friend buying it. My friend sold it to me saying it was a POS and it cant cycle without slugs and wont pump without binding and he couldn’t get it to cycle. I paid $1400 with the box and folding stock with hook and once I repaired it and replaced the wore out shock absorbers on it, it is a very mean SOB now! The heat shield was crushed and bent on it also from over the years and I straightened it out with a wooden block and rubber mallet and it pumps without any effort whatsoever now, no binding anywhere. I sold my AR-15, Mossberg 500 and Benelli M1 for it and now that I know the secret of what needs to be done to make it function correctly it is my last shotgun I am buying and it is flipping evil….


Krugger March 17, 2015 at 04:43 pm

Also my friend wants the SPAS back now that it runs perfect but a deal is a deal and I told him id leave him in my will for it if he leaves me his NFA registered Uzi.


Jayoh April 8, 2015 at 06:59 pm

Oh this one I can answer for you! Well Krugger beat me to it- but who cares, here’s concurrence!
Bought one new in late 1989 (??). The initial import ban on some ‘evulguns’ had just happened. I went to shop to check on ordering one, guy called it in to FIE and was told 2 left… So, sure, do it! (thing that cracks me up all these years later? That was my first shotgun! Silly noob I was but everyone starts somewhere. I did pay a premium, but was bachelor and had something for spending(as opposed to drinks and chicks etc, right?)
Why? Besides looking cool as hell and having a badass rep? (LoL-I’m honest enough to say that was part of it.) The BIG reason was, at the time, it was the fastest shotgun made. (well their semi only LAW12 tied.) 9 rnds in 1.5 seconds. Semi required mag shells to run the spring(first poster got that backwards-ha). Pump mode would eat anything ya stuck in it.
Keep in mind these only shot 2.75″ shells. 3″ etc did not exist yet.
Many times doing a 9shot string as fast as possible- I would be surprised they were all gone already- count the hulls and yes- all there. Course then Benelli came along with 5 rnds under 1 sec and they just continued to run with great products. THAT was the end o the SPAS, imho…
Clean- she ran great. After about 110 rnds in a session, semi would get sticky. Hell, I was tired anyway. Go home and clean it.

I had a buffer die on me in extreme cold- after about 15 years(I shot it a LOT for first 5- not much after.) life changes blah blah… So yes, the buffers would harden and toast(funny that cold night- It did fire a second round for me- which HAD to happen- but it went right(dif story) and then was jammed! Cool end for that situ. Replacement was no bigge. Back to runnin.
Yes, it was heavier than other stuff. That’s what slings are for!~ YES, I did go squirrel hunting once with it. And forgot the sling :( Holy Shit THAT sucked! Last time for both those situations-Ha!
As to heavy recoil? BooHoo-Really??? Oh sure, large round count would bruise some. Pfft, whatever… That buffer statement above by Krugger is excellent point on hard recoil, so I could see that situ causing some sucky reviews.
Funny- Back then, A friend got some kind of bullpup pump conversion for a regular shotgun. It took the 3/3.5 ” shells. Now THAT thing was a smoking pile of crap for recoil from the shoulder. Ran it a couple times and handed it back. Thanks.I will keep shooting mine! hahaha. No wonder he thought hip shooting was cool!~ sigh…

Pros: Clean she ran great. Factory sights were dead on. Style pts for ownership(It’s TRUE:)-
Cons: Heavier than rest of crowd. Extra feed controls took extra practice. Cleaning was bit more involved than other units (the neg side of style pts~lol).
It sure was FUN! I did finally let it go just a couple years ago. Luck smiled on me and I won a new, domestic, common unit! That became the more practical replacement. Good news-old girl had appreciated;) and that owner change solved a pressing issue then for me. I miss it as it served me well and as a friend, we had a LOT of history;)
Maybe someday I’ll replace it with a Benelli, or maybe a Saiga?
If you get a chance to shoot one- set the sling and 4shot high brass are the ticket. Keep er tight at shoulder and have fun!



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