Firearms / Shotguns / Franchi SPAS-12

Franchi SPAS-12

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Shotgun

  • ORIGIN
    Italy

  • NICKNAMES
    Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun (original designation)
    Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun (renamed in 1990)

  • DESIGNED
    1970's

  • DESIGNER
    Franchi

  • PRODUCTION
    1979 - 2000

  • PRODUCERS
    Italy - Franchi

  • QUANTITY
    About 37.000 SPAS-12 produced, plus over one thousand SAS-12 and a several thousand LAW-12.

  • UNIT COST
    $ 1.500 in 2000.

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Semi-automatic and pump-action
    Limited recoil
    Heavy and cumbersome

Introduction

The SPAS-12 is a shotgun of Italian origin. SPAS stands for Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun, although from the very start it was designed for law enforcement and military use. Due to the distinct look resulting from the large heat shield and folding stock it has become an iconic firearm. It was replaced in production by the magazine fed SPAS-15 shotgun.

Design

The SPAS-12 is a semi-automatic gas operated shotgun capable of pump-action operation as well. The pistol grip and pump-action slider are made of plastics with the rest of the weapon made out of metal. Normally a metal folding stock is fitted, with a wooden or plastic fixed stock as an alternative. A wide variety of muzzle attachments is available.

Firepower

The SPAS-12 fires 12 ga shells with a length of 2.75 inch. Semi-automatic fire is possible with full power shells. The pump-action mechanism is to be used for low powered non-lethal shells. The tubular magazine under the barrel may hold 8 shells, but loading 7 rounds increases reliability.

Users

The SPAS-12 was successful as a law enforcement shotgun. It was hardly adopted as a patrol shotgun, but was acquired by many special military and police units. The SPAS-12 was sold around the world, but mainly in Europe and the USA. In Europe and the USA it was also marketed as a civilian shotgun, but in most nations it was banned after a few years.

Variants

SPAS-12

The SPAS-12 is a pump-action combat shotgun and the basis for several variants. The original SPAS-12 is the most common of all variants. Various different barrel lengths were available, with the exception of the short barrel version these were mainly for civilian use. The short barrel version was nicknamed SPAS-12 Shorty in the USA.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine8+1 round tubular magazine
OperationGas operated or pump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic or pump-action
Barrel length546 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed or foldable
Length1.041 mm / 805 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.36 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine6+1 round tubular magazine
OperationGas operated or pump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic or pump-action
Barrel length457 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFoldable
Length952 mm / 716 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight4.2 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

LAW-12

The LAW-12 is a semi-automatic only version of the full size SPAS-12. As a result low powered rounds cannot be used as the mechanism will cycle. The LAW-12 looks different from the SPAS-12 due to the different forearm without pump-action mechanism. It was sold with a fixed stock, but a foldable stock can be installed.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine8+1 round tubular magazine
OperationGas operated
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length546 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1.054 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.3 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

SAS-12

The SAS-12 is a pump-action only version of the SPAS-12. SAS stands for Slide Action Shotgun. The pump-action mechanism is conventional and features no heat guard. It is the only version of the SPAS-12 family that accepts 12ga rounds of 3" in length. It was sold with a fixed stock, but a foldable stock can be installed.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75" or 3"
Magazine8+1 round tubular magazine
OperationPump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump-action
Barrel length546 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length1.054 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight3.3 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

PA-3

The PA-3 is a customized short version of the SPAS-12 that features the same stock and pistol grip. Due to the shorter barrels than the original SPAS-12 it is a pump-action only shotgun. The PA-3/215 is the smallest version and has a vertical slider. The other versions feature a conventional pump-action mechanism.

TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine3+1 round tubular magazine
OperationPump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump-action
Barrel length215 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFoldable
Length715 mm / 470 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.7 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine5+1 round tubular magazine
OperationPump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump-action
Barrel length345 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFoldable
Length840 mm / 595 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.8 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-
TypeShotgun
Caliber12ga 2.75"
Magazine7+1 round tubular magazine
OperationPump-action
Fire selector0-1
Rate of firePump-action
Barrel length470 mm
RiflingSmoothbore
Muzzle velocity?
StockFoldable
Length970 mm / 725 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight2.95 kg
SightsIron sights
Remarks-

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