Four New Box-Magazine-Fed Shotguns

These semi-autos function much like their AR and AK rifle counterparts, with reload speeds to match.

At the 2017 SHOT Show, we got a first look at the SKO-12 shotgun from Standard Manufacturing. You might know them as the manufacturers of the double-barrel pump shotgun, the DPS-12.

The SKO-12 is a box magazine fed, semi-auto shotgun with AR-pattern controls. Now, here’s the thing about magazine fed semi-auto shotguns…they always seem to run into problems. There’s something about scaling up an action to handle those big fat, flat-fronted shotgun shells that makes them bind up.

Of course, there are some good ones out there as manufacturers are slowly getting over the hurdles plaguing the design, and from this GunsAmerica review above from Clay Martin, it looks like the SKO-12 fits that bill. Let’s take a look at it’s specs and some of the newest box-magazine fed semi-auto shotguns on the market.

Standard Manufacturing SKO-12 semi-auto shotgun.
Standard Manufacturing SKO-12 semi-auto shotgun.mfg photo

The SKO-12 has a layout that will be istantly familiar to AR shooters, meaning a short learning curve. The company also has a Shorty version of the SKO on it's website with no stock and an 18-inch barrel, for an overall length of just-legal 26-inches, and no top rail. There was also a bullpup version of the SKO on display at SHOT Show, though it was not available to shoot and is still listed by the company as unavailable.

SKO-12 Specs:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3"
Receiver: AR style upper and lower - 7075 aluminum
Magazine: Detachable box in 2, 5, 10-round capacities; 15- and 25-rounds drums coming soon
Action: gas system
Barrel: 18-7/8" - threaded for wide variety of choke tubes
Rails: 22-inch top rail, points for mounting additional rail sections on foregrip
Sights: None
Stock: 6-position adjustable AR-style
Controls: AR-style controls
Overall Length: 38-inches
Weight (unloaded): 7 lbs., 10 oz.
Produced: USA
MSRP: SKO-12 - $1,100; SKO-Shorty: 575

The Fostech Origin-12 shotgun.
The Fostech Origin-12 shotgun.mfg photo

The Origin-12 will be readily familiar to many gamers. Another American-made semi-auto shotgun, the Origin is semi-auto and was designed primarily for use in sport shooting like 3-Gun and home defense.

It is based loosely on the Russian Saiga-12 shotgun, but it was largely designed from the ground up. The gun features a barrel and gas block that are a quickly detachable unit, which means it’s easy to change barrel lengths. Detachable box magazine are available in 5 and 10-shell capacities with drum magazines holding 20 or 30 rounds.

Origin-12 Specs:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3"
Receiver: Saiga-12-style receiver, steel
Magazine: Detachable box in 5- and 10-round capacities; 20- and 30-rounds drums available
Action: semi-auto long-stroke piston gas system with manual gas regulator
Barrel: 18.5-inches (various barrel lengths available)
Rails: nearly full-length top rail, underbarrel rail, and optional side rail sections
Sights: rail-mounted AR-style adjustable
Stock: side-folding, adjustable
Controls: AR-style safety, charging handle is on left side, near muzzle
Overall Length: 36.25"
Weight (unloaded): 9.25 pounds
Produced: USA
MSRP: $2,600

The Molot VEPR 12-01 shotgun.
The Molot VEPR 12-01 shotgun.mfg photo

This Russain made import is based on the AK platform, this semi-auto shotgun is another favorite of competitors and shares some of its legendary characteristics with the RPK. The safety is an improved version of the standard AK safety selector, and while the gun is based on the AK, it allows users to insert magazines straight into the magwell, like an AR, instead of rocking them in like an AK mag. The shotgun features a polymer pistol grip, polymer lower handguard and upper handguard, and a fixed tubular stock with a cheek rest, though wooden thumbhole stocks are also available. The barrel is compatible with Saiga-12 muzzle devices.

VEPR 12-01 Specs:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3"
Receiver: AK-style
Magazine: 5-round detachable box, higher capacities available
Action: semi-auto, gas
Barrel: 19 inches
Rails: top rail on receiver
Sights:  RPK style Windage adjustable rear sights; Windage and elevation adjustable front sights integrated to the gas block
Stock: folding, tubular stock with cheek rest
Controls: AK-style safety and fire selector
Overall Length: 38.5 inches
Weight (unloaded): 9.7 pounds
Produced: Russia
MSRP: $724.99

The TriStar KRX Tactical shotgun.
The TriStar KRX Tactical shotgun.mfg photo

Here’s another AR-pattern semi-auto shotgun that makes it easy for shooters to learn. The KRX is a semi-auto box magazine fed shotgun that uses a removeable choke system that accepts Beretta/Benelli Mobile Threads, including extended tactical chokes. The stock and forearm are made of injection molded polymer and it features a full-length top rail, removable carrying handle ,and a bridge front sight and rubber recoil pad.

KRX Tactical Specs:

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3"
Receiver: AR-style-upper and lower
Magazine: 5-round detachable box (two included)
Action: semi-auto, gas
Barrel: 20 inches
Rails: full-length, underbarrel rail sections available
Sights: Bridge front sight, rear sight in carrying handle
Stock: fixed AR-style
Controls: AR-style controls
Overall Length: 38 inches
Weight (unloaded): 7.4 pounds
Produced: USA
MSRP: $595