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UTAS XTR-12 Answers Shotgun Questions

By Oleg Volk

UTAS Tames the Recoil and Solves the Slow Loading Problem

The UTAS XTR-12 solves most of the usual complaints about shotguns. The expected recoil of full power 12-gauge buck and slugs is tamed by a short-stroke piston gas system and linear recoil buffer. The slow single loading has been replaced with 5- and 10-round box magazines. The manual of arms of a typical tube fed scattergun, so different from the familiar AR, now matches that of the AR-10. For those who desire rifle-like accuracy, a competition barrel accepting Benelli-style chokes—including rifled inserts—is available. With that and Brenneke or DDupleks full caliber slugs, as well as Federal or Hornady sabot slugs, the XTR-12 can keep up with any 45-70 rifle. And, if this isn’t enough, the AR-10-compatible UTAS lower accepts any DPMS pattern AR-10 uppers for an even longer reach.

The effort to shoehorn 12-gauge into rifle actions date back to the 1990s. While AK action types spawned Saiga and Vepr, the FAL and AK mixed and matched produced Origin 12, the only AR-like shotguns were the pale imitations like the Akdal MKA1919, with the outward look of an AR-15A1 and the innards largely cribbed from Remington 1100. A recent effort to introduce a proprietary 12-gauge cartridge for the AR-10 platform predictably crashed and burned at the marketing stage. Enter the victorious XTR-12, a product of three years of improvements to the original Turkish design.

From the outside, this shotgun looks like an AR-10 with a bull barrel, the only giveaway being a coverless ejection port and the distinctive texture of the bolt side. At 8 pounds loaded with a 5-round magazine, XTR-12 handles more like an AR-15 than an AR-10. The relatively thin-walled 18.5 inch barrel and the skeletonized bolt carrier make the weapon slightly less top heavy than the .308 counterpart, improving its balance and reducing perceived roll upon shouldering. The magazines, at this time 5- and 10-round stamped steel ribbed boxes with aluminum followers, are strong and slender enough to fit standard 7.62mm magazine pouches. While the length of the 10-rounder is excessive for field...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N1 (January 2018)
and was posted online on November 17, 2017

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