I like shotguns; I really like them. My second and third Gunsite classes were shotgun courses.
When I started at the sheriff’s office, we didn’t have patrol rifles; it would be another three years before we fielded the first ones. Your shotgun was whichever one was in the car you got the keys for that day—cleaned & lubed or dry & nasty? Four rounds in magazine tube or maybe something else? Spare ammo or slings? No, none of that. Just a box stock 870 with one of three sights and whatever else you choose to bring with it.
Following Covid-19 and the street insurgencies in many U.S. cities in the U.S., people went looking for defensive firearms. Very quickly, that depleted the stocks of known, brand-name guns. Additionally, one of our best-known shotgun manufacturers – Remington – was in bankruptcy and wasn’t producing anything for quite a while. Used guns, on consignment, disappeared too – even at outrageous prices.
It took a while before the shelves began to be re-stocked.
Last fall, I was at my local gun store where previously I got a historic rifle at an un-hoped-for price. I saw several new 12ga shotguns, both semi-auto and pump. While the markings were in English, I didn’t recognize any of the brands.
So, I asked the staff about them. These Turkish guns were coming in after the combined Covid/Insurrection concerns. They were selling a bunch of them. Are they breaking? Nope, none have come back. How much are they being shot? Uh, no idea. Hmmm.
So, I bought one to see if it would fail and how. Mine was $300 in the SF Bay Area; I’ve seen them as low as $249 on the websites of some nationally known retailers.
The safety works like Remington’s and it is in the same place.
For a functioning defensive shotgun, you can’t beat a price tag of $250-$300 per gun. There is a molded-in section of Picatinny rail for mounting a light. Since this is a shotgun, ensure you use a thread locker, witness mark it, and pay attention to its snugness. There is a free-swinging front sling attachment – get it to the correct side before mounting the light. There are two favorable comparisons here to the Remington 870 – after clearing the chamber, the magazine tube unloads like the 870, and the safety is in the same location.
Single hole from a round of Flite Control 8 pellet 00Buck at 5 yards
From the back of the stock to the trigger face, it is 14 & ½”; too long for nearly everyone. Additionally, the stock and the recoil pad fit together with a triangular shape in the stock. It is not conducive to traditional ways of reducing the LOP.
The length of pull needs to be a lot shorter, like 12 1/2 to 13″.
Next is the combined optics mount/rear sight assembly. It is a Picatinny-like rail mount atop a U-shaped channel that doubles as a rear sight. Unfortunately, the bottom of the track sits noticeably higher than the shotgun’s receiver. Using it as a rear sight will send your shots high, even in close. The mount slides onto slots machined into the receiver and is held in place by a single tiny screw. The screw loosened up before I fired thirty rounds through the shotgun. After de-greasing it and using a thread locker, I re-attached and tightened it. Unfortunately, I saw the screw depart from the mount at shot #98 before disappearing on the range.
The rear sight rail could be better secured to the receiver.
The front sight is plain black with a rounded top on a post rising from the barrel. It would benefit from a hi-viz insert.
The construction of the front sight is solid, it should be easier to see.
The bolt catch was annoyingly sharp. It would benefit from being tumbled in polishing media and de-horning before assembly.
The rear sling is on the bottom of the stock. That makes it awkward to configure a sling with the front swivel at either 3 or 9 o’clock. I moved the sling attachment to 9 o’clock on the stock.
Then, the chance to finally take Shotgun Skills from Rob & Matt Haught of SymTac Consulting. This is a class I’d wanted to take for over a decade, but it had never worked out. Rob teaches a Push/Pull method of recoil management that is quite different from how I was taught to work the gun. I planned to start the class with a pump gun and switch to the SDS after lunch on Day #1, which I did.
Here two shortcomings of this design became apparent.
My defensive shotguns have been shortened to 12 ½” to 12 ¾” lengths of pull. The AR-T02’s is right at 14 ½”. That may not seem significant, but it adversely affected mounting the shotgun at speed and getting the stock where I wanted it.
The other issue was the charging handle. It had sharp edges making it uncomfortable to manipulate throughout the afternoon’s shooting. I’ve since rounded it off with emery cloth.
Rounded off bolt catch along with boxes of Federal Flite Control and Winchester Ranger reduced recoil slugs.
The shotgun handled the afternoon’s shooting requirements without issues. However, I switched to another semi-auto to finish the class.
Total Round Count
I’ve shot 200 rounds of #8 birdshot from various manufacturers, 58 rounds of 00Buck, and 18 Winchester Ranger reduced recoil slugs. Quite frankly, that is a lot more rounds than go through most shotguns.
Federal Flite-Control 8 pellet 00Buck at 5 yards (A zone headshot), 10 yards (D zone), and 15 yards (C zone). Quite acceptable within a home.
This shotgun shoots lower than the point of aim, whether 00Buck or Slug. At 25 yards, the three slugs were in a hand size group but very low and right. With Federal Flite Control, it printed very tightly at 5, 10, and 15 yards.
Yay or Nay?
Ultimately, this is an acceptable defensive firearm, with the caveat it is based on a sample of one. For $500, I could buy one of these and a fair amount of #8, 00Buck, and Slug to validate, pattern, and determine where it hits. And, I would still have ammunition left to do some training with it. I would have a gunsmith shorten the stock to a reasonable length of pull, remove the optics mount, and de-horn the charging handle. After verifying that it works, I’d clean and lubricate it.