gunsamerica.com reports that their SHOT show preview of the Akdal MKA-1919 lit-up their website like the Christmas tree at 30 Rock. So the firearms blog pursued a review of the AR-15-style-that-doesn’t-use-genuine-AR-15-parts shotgun like a lingerie marketing maven chasing Candice Swanepoel. The result (of the gun review)? As my father used to say, “another myth exploded.” You don’t need to be able to read between the lines to see that the Akdal MKA-1919 makes a great club (rather than an excellent self-defense shotgun). But it helps. To wit: “Out of the box performance hasn’t had a great reputation, and our test gun didn’t work that well either . . .

The MKA-1919 needed a couple boxes of shells to run fairly reliably. Out of the box every magazine had at least one stovepipe or failure to extract until about 40 rounds in, which comes out to 8 magazines. This was with Federal target loads. Now she runs pretty well, but still experiences an occasional stovepipe jam. Once the gun looses up a bit more and comes apart and back together for cleaning, it will probably run reliably, but in today’s American firearms market, you really aren’t going to make it unless you can produce out of the box reliable guns.

But at least the Turisk scattergun’s better than the I Double M (It Must Be Modified) Saiga. Seemingly.

The 3 Gun customizers who have been working on Saiga guns for more than a decade seem to prefer the Akdal MKA-1919, so take that for what is worth. Saigas nearly always need serious work for hard shooting . . . The gun doesn’t work so good right out of the box . . . After my initial excitement about this gun at SHOT Show, it is something of a disappointment.”

Ya think?

59 Responses to Guns America: Akdal MKA-1919 AR-15-Style Shotgun Sucks

  1. Pity. I was just about to put one of these on layaway at my local shop. But I’m just not dropping $700 or $800 on something I have to tinker with to get it to work right.

    Maybe if I could someone else figures out a working fix.

    • Check out centerfiresystems.com they have them for $399 may not be the best gun but where are you gonna find a semi auto for that price?

    • Mine has been flawless with various light shot, heavy buckshot, heavy birdshot and my handloaded magnum velocity slugs. The only ammo it does not like much is the crappy Estate brand. About 500 rounds so far

    • My Saiga .308 runs like a top, my Saiga 12 ran great and I sold it to buy the .308. The guns run great if you don’t tinker with them. And if you do tinker with them stay away from Crapco parts and mags. If you want to compete with a Saiga you have to dump cash into it, they aren’t imported in a condition that makes competition easy. So complaining about spending money on 600 shotgun is laughable.

  2. what a bummer, I thought these looked sweet and was a really creative idea…
    I tend to agree with “it should run new out of the box flawlessly”

    • It does run flawlessly out of the box , heavy loads only, OObuck and slugs. Not set up for light loads but you can change out the spring and it’ll work. Call RAAC , they’ll get you a light load spring if that’s what you want your gun set for.

      • These come with a light and a heavy buffer, use the right one for your load. Personally the heavy buffer has worked with everything except the crappy Estate brand shells

  3. Regarding the ongoing practice of making cute allusions or references in a post utilizing a non sequitur, random model or pin-up girl…

    …Keep up the good work.

  4. 40 rounds is 2 boxes which is about $16. I can live with that small a break in period (heck, I had Kimbers that required more). I would only consider this gun for 3Gun matches, so I would need to know how it holds up after 500-1000 rounds.

    • I have a mka 1919 that I shoot in 3 gun matches. I have a Salam 6 conversion on it. Runs great with winchester black low brass. The only bad part with the mka is no one makes a drum for it yet.

  5. I have one of these. Actually only shot 2 mags of 3″ slugs then tried walmart 71/2 target loads. After the 2 mags of 3″ no issues. At least 300 rounds through it in one day. I did take apart and clean/lube before doing this. So far, very HAPPY!

    • The shotgun rolls flawlessly with OObuck and slugs , it is set up for heavy loads , not light loads. You can change the spring out and it’ll roll that light stuff fine.

  6. Kahr pistols require (both by maker recommendation and what I’ve read from owners) a break in period, yet owners generally seem happy with them. I would still consider buying one of these – if I could.

    • Meh…I did the break in period (200 rounds) with no name Academy brand 9mm on my CW9. The result? Zero failures to fire or eject. Ever since (about 1K rounds)? Zero failures. YMMV but I think most of that stuff is just a CYA. Though the trigger pull has gotten smoother over that 1K rounds, it’s a joy to shoot now.

  7. I have 2 Saiga 12’s.One 2008 and a 2011.Both run 100%.I do not like the drum mag
    used in the shot gun,it’s cuts into load time and bulky.I guess a day on the range shooting is fine,but in terms of reloading and engaged,ill pass.I learned one thing,each one is independent.The 2011 needed gas ports opened more,2008 runs 100% stock.Both guns are ready for self def in confidence.

  8. The MKA 1919 is ( out of the box) not set up for light loads. This can be adjusted by replacing the spring. Clyde Woods at RAAC will be glad to help you set up this shotgun any way you like. I use 00 buck and slugs , heavy loads , and it’ll roll flawlessly. The target market for this gun was police and military. Out of the box they didn’t intend for it to be a ‘toy’.

    • I bought a 1919 had a problem with it out of the box,it would only fire like one round out of five, tightened up the nuts inside the hand rail, its getting better using slugs but still have to tighten the nuts after each mag that i shoot, getting 4 out of 5 shots fired , its breaking in i guess . thinking i will put lock tight on those nuts above the spring, anyone else had this problem?

  9. Actually I’ve had wonderful luck with this shotgun. I will admit the first 100 rounds were not that great but after that I don’t think it has burped since and I’ve put several hundred rounds through it. From light bird shot to 3 inch slugs it works great. Sorry about your luck with yours but I love mine.

    • has anyone else had a problem with the gun not firing shells.sometimes fires fine and other times just leaves a small divit in the primer, i put the same shell with divet in my winchester pump and it never fails to fire

  10. My Akdal BONZ 1919 worked great right of the box with heavy loads…buckshot and slugs…bird loads need a lighter spring…but who wants to shoot bird loads thru this anyway? I bought this for home defense. Back before the mass shootings…I got a case of RIO brand 00 for a great price and worked flawlessly. The only issue I’ve had is with the cheap front ar style sight. It kept turning under the recoil…tighten the screws down as far as they would go and it still rotated after a few rounds….so I removed the front post and carry handle and mounted a reflex sight. BAM! perfect!

  11. Akdal has a next generation model, the Akdal MKA-1919 XN. According to RAAC, the differences are:
    * XN has a commonized magazine that fits both size shells, 2 3/4 and 3 inch;
    * XN has a reverse thread locking nut on the op rod to keep the barrel tight. Early guns have the tendency to work loose after firing;
    * XN shotguns have a gas system that has been reworked to give about 30% more power coming out of the barrel. This helps on break in for those of us that try to break the shotgun in with low power shells;
    * XN shotguns also have a metal trigger;

    I thought the readers would be interested in the latest and greatest.

    • Jesus, i have been searching on google for 1 hour without any info about the difference. Now i find a post that you posted a year ago that has the most info ive seen, at last. Thank you =D

  12. glocks need 1500 to 2000 to break in. why would a break in period be used to consider the reliabilty of any gun? if you want to shoot some light loads reliably man up and put a few hundred big boy shells through it to loosen it up. or there is parts you can change to allow you to shoot ight loads out the box but then you will have to worry about reliabilty problems later on. guns that need a break in is not a bad thing.

  13. Guess you didn’t read your manual. Break in with at least 4 boxes of buckshot befor shooting light loads. Broke mine in right, then ran 200 rounds of walmart 71/2 loads thru it. I LOVE MY MKA 1919 , and every one that shoots it does too. It is just one of those guns that are just fun to shoot. Oh, and 9 out of 9 pellets of 00 buck in target at 50 yrds ain’t bad.

  14. I bought my MKA-1919 about 2 months ago..I’ve put 50rds plus through it and haven’t had a single misfire…I love the gun and I’m about the buy the drum magazine…

  15. I’ve had nothing but trouble with my MKA 1919. From not feeding the next round to dropping the mag after every shot. I’ve run probably 200 rounds through it. Lots of modifications from the bushing ring they make you buy “to shoot lighter rounds” (I don’t really consider single ought “light”) to honing the flanges of the mags it still isn’t reliable. I bought it for home defense for my wife, but I’d much rather her use her pistol at this point. At least I got mine cheap through a buddy ($650), but I wouldn’t have even spent that much if I’d known about the headaches. I sure hope I can get it to run flawlessly eventaully as other have experienced

    • I’ve got to wonder if you have one of the early models or one of the new XN models. If you have one of the first generation models, I’m sorry to say they have several problems, especially with light loads. That is not to say that XN models will be trouble free. While I’ve not heard of any issues, I still have not had time to put my new one through all the paces to give you a first hand review. As soon as the new range opens up near me that allows shotguns, I plan to run it though its paces. If it passes, I’m then going to do a 922R conversion so I can legally use the high capacity magazines.

      It’s a lot like when I bought my Mossberg 930 SPX, my current home defense shotgun. I made sure to get a third generation model and had no problems with it, but I heard many with first and a few with second generations that had issues.

    • Steve….I’ve heard you also need to install a lighter spring from other forum submitters. I only shoot hvy loads so bavent had any problems otber than the front ar style sight rotating…so I removed and installed a reflex sight. Is the mag a factorg magazine or aftermarket? Hqve had no problems with mine…..u may need to give an extra slap to the .ag which I’m sure you probably already tried.

  16. I have a MKA 1919…put about 100 rounds thru…ran flawlessly….tried some low brass…had a couple of malfunctions….bought a spring bushing….runs low brass great…….looking for a drum

  17. I bought one and the instructions are clear to me from the owner’s manual. “3 to 4 boxes of high velocity, hunting loads.” It will work with lighter loads, but I have found ANY ammunition under 1,200 FPS is not enough to cycle the weapon correctly. I’ve run 5 boxes of 2 3/4″ Hornady SST slugs through it with a manufactuerers rating of 2,000 FPS., one box of 3″ duck and pheasant load, one box of 2 3/4″ goose load and one box of 2 3/4″ rabbit and squirrel load etc. All these rounds including the rabbit and squirrel loads are all rated above 1,200 FPS. If I tried to use loads less than 1,200 FPS, it didn’t work real well. This gun is the Desert Eagle of shotguns, treat it as such, no lame loads.

  18. I am reading a lot of talk about “break in periods” to get your firearm to shoot well.

    Modern firearms should not have a break in period.

    My HK has always shot flawlessly. If HK doesnt need to be broken in, why do these other weapons need to be broken in?

  19. small break in period but the most rifles and shot guns need a break in period. Rifles need to be broke in fired a couple times, cleaned then do it again. My 1919 runs like a dream, even mixing 23/4 and 3″ in the same mag. Only draw back is the sight, worthless for hunting birds, tried a r\pentax hollagraph, blew the lens out on the second shot, working on something different. love the gun.

  20. If break-in periods are such an issue for some of the reviewers, then why do high performance engines in high dollar vehicles recommend them??? Firearms are no different to me. 1911s always worked better after a couple hundred rounds… an aged M16 always seemed to function better after time. My Mossberg pumps got better with time and rounds… so, WTFO? I’d rather a tight action and spring out of the box, than one that is “pre-broken” and gets loose and aged way before its time.

    Let me do the work on it, don’t prematurely age my weapons.

    I am quite certain that I have ZERO issue with breaking in my new 1919 to achieve peak performance.

    • This will be quick and easy. Last week I took my new 1919XN for its first ride. Break-in period? Really? Whats the big hoopla? I didn’t have one. Fresh out of the box with minimal wipe-down, I was rapid firing with OOO-Buck 2-3/4″… emptying 5 and 10 round mags with only 3 mis-feeds in 100 rounds, and nothing after that. I had only 2 with 3″ OO-buck. Who could complain about all that?

      Whiners and nay-sayers perhaps? Folks that don’t even own the weapon? Very likely.

      To be honest, I was driven to prove/disprove the reviews about this break-in debacle… well I did so in my mind. I love my new shotgun, and have the memories from 200 rounds to prove it.

      Bottom-line: Don’t discount a weapon out of the box when the manufacturer recommends a break-in period. Think of it as a finely tuned engine. It needs time to reach its peak. In my case, it worked as expected right out of the box!!!

  21. I have an MKA 1919….and it runs great….if you want to shoot low brass, just have to buy a $9.00 bushing that goes next to the spring…….Im VERY happy with mine

  22. Disappointing article. And I blame the author. Too short with no detail. I have an XN model and I love it. It has worked perfectly with only one FTE during break-in. I think thetruthaboutguns needs to do another review with a better author

  23. My new MKA 1919 (bought 5-2014) worked perfectly out of the box with heavy loads. Next I’m planning a billet AR15 lower and a slidefire stock plus left hand charging handguard

  24. MKA-1919-XN: I have yet to run 3 inch shells. I found that the gas piston needs 2-3/4 inch shells with a velocity of at least 1400 fps to operate without a failure to eject. It really likes 1560 fps. The 1600+ fps requires patience (for the smoke to clear so that I can see the target again). Oh, yeah – it has a difficult time differentiating between a 2-3/4 shell and a thumb. (Do one thing at a time).

  25. I bought one in 2012 that had the older magazines with it. The owners manual also said not to lubricate it. It was a piece of junk. However, I bought the gun because of all reviews indicating that they stood behind their product. I sent it in and they sent me a newer one with the magazines that handle both 2 3/4″ and 3 inch shell. With the new one, there was no break in period. It shot light shells from the beginning. The new owners manual also indicated that it needed to be lubricated. Bottom line: it is a great gun. Never had any issues with it. Handles any ammo I put in it.

  26. Don’t be alarmed just shoot 1 mag of 3 inch buck shot threw the weapon and it’ll work flawless all guns have a break in period

  27. Mine ran great right out the box? Shooting tac loads through it since I purchased for home defense? Have a couple regular shotguns for hunting so I don’t see the need to be shooting light game loads through it? Though I did shoot some low brass Winchesters through it just for fun and they cycled without issue? Excellent gun, more reliable than my Saiga 12 was…

  28. I bought an 1919 last spring. It runs fine on heavy slug loads. The mag tended to drop out however I found that I wasn’t “slapping it in” hard enough.
    Light loads are still a problem but who cares? I didn’t buy it for bird hunting.

  29. I got one and love it. It’s my goto turkey gun now. With a truglo #172 choke it puts full load on 12 inch target at 25 yards…….. Federal turkey thug #6. Short,light,easy to manuver thru brush or in blind. Using the factory irons. Mod choke works best with buck. Perfect for turkey hunting just like zombies “Ya gotta shoot em’ in the head!”

    Shoots winchester universal target loads for fun. by the 100 rd box.

  30. I have a 1919, bought it used and had problems with it…after looking at I don’t think it had ever been cleaned, after about 5 hours of cleaning she runs like a champ! Shoot skeet with it now, love it!

  31. I just bought the mka 1919 match pro. It came with 2 gas rings. One for light loads and one for heavy. Its very easy to change them out. I put the light load ring in for lowbrass Walmart ammo. And high power ring for 00 buck and any 3″ ammo (hunting and self defense rounds) the gun came with the light load ring installed. And I fired 250 rounds of various Walmart Target and birdshot rounds with absolutely no malfunctioning. Great gun and we’ll worth my money.

  32. Just bought the mka 1919, reading alot of mixed reviews but for 389.99 you can’t go wrong, break In period or not. Anything worth while takes time to perfect, why would a shotgun be any different. I’m hoping that the model I got is the xn model. I bought it brand new from classic so wish me luck

  33. Shot 70+ rounds of 00 buck through my MKA 1919 in less than an hour shooting hogs from a helicopter. The gun only jammed a couple of times on hot military rounds. Remington, Winchester ran perfectly. It is a great gun that performs well for the average shooter. It is not perfect, but neither are the shooters behind it in spite of what some would have you believe. Realistically, the gun needs to be oiled and cleaned occasionally to perform as one should reasonably expect.

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