When it comes to tactical shotguns, perhaps the single biggest issue is limited magazine capacity. The UTS-15 pump-action shotgun solves the problem: it holds 15 shells. In a shotgun, that’s a lot. But it’s not just magazine capacity that makes the UTS-15 an intriguing shotgun. Its unique design is full of features to enhance its performance as a tactical shotgun.
I first saw the UTS-15 shotgun at the IDEX arms show in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in February of 2011, and that fall I traveled to Turkey to visit the factory and see what this gun was all about.
The UTS-15, which stands for “Ultimate Tactical Shotgun, 15 Rounds” is a bull-pup-style shotgun that uses a two-tube magazine system, with each tube holding seven shells. Add one more shotshell in the chamber and the total capacity is 15 shots. The magazine tubes can be used together, alternating feeding automatically from one then the other, or isolated to use only one tube at a time. That means you could have buckshot in one and slugs in the other and selectively decide which to use, depending on the situation. Selecting the magazine is as simple as moving the lever on top of the gun, which takes a fraction of a second.
The design creates a gun that is short, only 28.3 inches long, so it’s easy to maneuver in close quarters, such as inside a building or when exiting a vehicle. The shotgun has a pistol grip so that it can be held, aimed, and fired with one hand if necessary. The UTS-15 has an 18.5-inch smoothbore barrel that is threaded for screw-in chokes with Beretta style threads.
The gun’s comb is straight and in line with the top rail, so it raises the shooter’s eye well above the line of the barrel. As a tactical shotgun, the UTS-15 is designed to be aimed, with either optical or iron sights mounted on the top rail, rather than pointed like a conventional shotgun. Any sight or optic designed for an AR-15 style rifle will work fine. The gun has optional, adjustable iron sights. The front sight has a protected post with a bead that is adjustable for elevation. The available rear sights are either a large aperture ghost ring peep or a flip-up V notch and are adjustable for windage. The UTS-15 also has an optional, integral light and laser system to illuminate the target and help aim in poor light.
This shotgun makes use of modern construction, including fiber-reinforced injection-molded polymer to keep its weight down. The gun only weighs 6.9 pounds empty. It’s is available in black, desert, OD green, several camo styles, and Muddy Girl, which is a pink camo version. There is also a marine version that is saltwater-corrosion resistant.
Its length of pull is short at 12 inches. The gun is operated by sliding the forend, just like any other pump-action shotgun. The grip is close to the line of the barrel, which aids in point shooting. Vented covers on both sides of the gun are marked with numbers indicating how many shells remain in each magazine tube, so the shooter can tell at a glance how many rounds are left.
The gun is loaded by opening a door on the side and pushing the follower into the magazine, where it clicks into place. Each magazine tube holds seven 2-3/4-inch shells or six 3-inch shells. With the selector switch on top set in the center, the gun will alternate magazine tubes as it feeds. Pushing the switch to one side or the other means the gun will feed off that magazine only.
The slide release button is located underneath the buttstock. The two-position safety is right hand only and is mounted on the left side, similar to an AR style rifle. The right side has a selector for the light or laser. The right side ejection port has a magnetically latched, hinged, spring-loaded dust cover that can be closed when the gun is in battery. The pistol grip is plastic with a rough gripping surface. The metal trigger guard is large enough to operate the trigger while wearing gloves.
I put more than 1,300 shells through three different UTS-15 shotguns, mixing slug, buckshot, and birdshot loads. I also conducted an accuracy test with the slugs:
UTS-15 Accuracy Test at 50 Yards
Federal TruBall Low Recoil, 1-ounce; Velocity (fps @ 15 feet): 1273; Energy: 1574 ft-lbs.; Group Size: 3.2 inches
Winchester RackMaster, 1-1/8 ounce; Velocity: 1455 fps; Energy: 2283 ft.-lbs.; Group Size: 4.2 inches
Federal Magnum Rifled Slug; Velocity: 1422 fps; Energy: 2283; Group Size: 7.2 inches
While all that shooting was hard on my ammo supply, it did give me a lot of insight into what this gun can and cannot do.
Like most pump-action shotguns, the UTS-15 depends on a high slide speed for positive ejection, so it’s best to “run it like you want to break it.”
My testing found that this gun is capable of split times of 0.4-second between shots, which is very fast shooting.
With a little range time to learn the gun, the UTS-15 is a high capacity-shooting machine that may well be the future of defensive shotguns. Shooting it is a lot of fun, and I promise it will draw a crowd at any shooting range.
Gauge: 12, 3-inch
Action Type: Pump
Barrel: 18.5-inch smoothbore, threaded for chokes
Capacity: 15 rounds
Sights: Rail for mounting sights or optics
Overall length: 28.3 inches
Weight: 6.9 pounds (empty)
Accessories: Chokes, barrel extension, sights, carrying case
MSRP: Black unit tested, $1,250