Logan Metesh for TTAG
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Back in 2017, I wrote an “Obscure Object of Desire” piece for TTAG about the AA-12 shotgun. Check it out here.

Fast forward to the 2019 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, and I had one of my dreams come true: I got to shoot one of these full-auto bad boys!

The entire AA-12 concept – from design to production – has been acquired by Sol Invictus Arms from BC Engineering, who had been shopping it around since 2016. They moved all of the tooling, etc from Tennessee to Florida and jumped headlong into bringing the fabled design to market.

Featured in more than a dozen video games and countless TV shows and movies, the AA-12 is a gun that’s hard to forget once you’ve seen it. Slightly peculiar in design, the original AA-12 from 1987 was a full-auto offering. While that concept has been retained, Sol Invictus Arms has also developed a semi-auto version.

Logan Metesh for TTAG

The full-auto model at Industry Day at the Range was a beast. Loaded with 20 rounds in the drum mag, the gun ate up the 12 gauge shells in short order, firing from an open bolt and spraying the empty shells all around those watching.

Despite the gun’s size, it’s very easy to handle. Doing a full mag dump was no problem.

Logan Metesh for TTAG

The AA-12 is no longer that obscure, and is projected to cost less than 25% of what the “newer” production guns from the early 2000s were costing, making it much more desirable.

Check out the video of yours truly putting the AA-12 through its paces at SHOT Show:


Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.

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    • Anyone know the status of that? The gunbroker preorders said December 2018 for release. Now there’s a lawsuit and BATFE hold up of some sort apparently.

    • “The closed bolt semi-auto versions are a ripoff too”.
      I bought 3 different versions in quest of a good semi-auto 12 gauge, and ended up selling each one. The first two, the Saiga-12 and the VEPR-12, were both based on the AK platform which I really didn’t care for. I had a 25-rd drum on the VEPR and there were many customizations to he had. The third one was the Rock Island VR60, which was more AR-based but the polymer stock was not removable/replaceable so really no customization. Sold it. Then I stumbled up the Typhoon Defence line and fell immediately in lust with their version, a true AR-based 12 gauge! I read about it on a UK forum (of all places) and when I ordered the piece from my local gun dealer, it took about 2 months to get it. Go on their website and check it out, I got the Bronze colored shotgun with the adjustable stock. http://www.typhoondefence.com/f12-bronze
      There are about 20 different color options, they take 5- and 10-round mags, as well as a 20-rd drum.

    • Yep. I got to run one of the full auto versions at a rental range in Utah. Fun. Yes. Hell yes. But no way would I want one of my own. Clumsy feeling. I class it as a fun range toy, nothing else.

    • As far as I know, it isn’t really banned, but has been re-classified as an NFA device…

  1. Being “old school”, RVN Class if 68, I default to the Ithaca Model 37 pump in reference to an automatic 12 guage defense weapon.

    On firing the first round, keep pressure in the trigger and it will continue to fire each time you cycle the action. Boomboomboomboom

    Only six rounds, you say? If you haven’t cleared the compound with that a d your 1911, maybe you should transfer to supply or ground maintenance.

  2. Seems like I remember a version of this thing in the late 80s or early 90s.

    Would be fun to play with….not much into massive shotguns.

    I did not like the KelTec…too danged heavy.

    I’ll stay with a Winchester model 12 or an Ithaca 37 for my uses.

    • hard to envision how this would be used…police work..maybe..but it runs dry too quickly for it to have a sustained combat role…

  3. What the hell does anyone need with that. This is exactly the problem with gun owners in this country. Go ahead, ruin it for every gun owner with a sane mind by buying this kind of garbage. Some of y’all are bound and determined to make the rest of us to lose our rights.

    • Actually, it’s people like you who think that only guns that appeal to you should be legal. You are doing half the work for the anti’s who want to make all guns illegal. You are delusional if you think the anti’s will stop at these types of guns. Stand for gun rights not for individual gun types.

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