The Semi-Auto Civilian Atchisson Assault Shotgun, AKA the AA-12

The original AA-12 shotgun (sometimes known as the Sledgehammer) was developed way back in the seventies. The most recent version was further refined by Jerry Baber beginning in the late ’80s (read TTAG’s interview with him here). Designed as a military and police-only room and street sweeper and close range battle gun, Baber couldn’t drum up much interest in the low recoil select-fire 12 gauge among government buyers. For whatever reason.

Now, however, Sol Invictus Arms and Tactical Superiority Inc. have announced a semi-auto civvy-legal version. The first thousand are now available for pre-order on Armslist. Here are the stated specs, such as they are:

  • Closed Bolt Design
  • Semi Automatic
  • Minimal Recoil
  • Stainless Steel Construction
  • No Lubrication Necessary
  • 12 Gauge 2 3/4 inch shells
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Includes 1 – 20 Round Drum Magazine *
  • Boje Cornils Engraved Signature on Bolt

Save your shekels. The price is a cool $3250 per (including optic). Here’s their press release:

Melbourne, FL – Sol Invictus Arms with Tactical Superiority, Inc. is proud to announce the release of the AA-12 shotgun. This venerable, proven shotgun is a new addition to the Sol Invictus Arms product offering. With several improvements, changes to manufacturing processes and enhanced variants catering to the civilian market, this shotgun, once only available to law enforcement and military is now being re-released to the general public.

Originally designed by Max Atchisson, the design was sold in 1987, and the AA-12 underwent more than 100 changes made by Boje Cornils enabling a fully functional and reliable firearm. Now Boje Cornils is working with Tactical Superiority, Inc. and Sol Invictus Arms, to bring this amazing firearm to the masses. Not only will the production models include new and improved versions of the already known AA-12 in a full auto configuration for military and law enforcement, it will now include a never before seen, 100% legal semi-automatic version for the civilian market. The newly available AA-12 represents significant improvement over past production techniques, including improved design elements, and is now available at a significantly more consumer friendly price point.


“We’re proud to be a part of the legacy of the infamous AA-12 Shotgun and happy to be able to bring a civilian version to market.” Said Michael Conn, President and CEO of Tactical Superiority, Inc. when asked for comment.

The first release of the AA-12 will be a pre-sale offering, available on initially and followed on a few weeks later as a limited edition called the “Boje Signature” model. Each edition will be limited to 1000 shotguns. Expected delivery will be in December of 2018.

You can find these limited edition firearms on the respective sites ( and for pre-purchase.

About Sol Invictus Arms 

Sol Invictus Arms was created by the team at Tactical Superiority as an avenue for innovation in the firearms industry. The name is derived from the Roman Sol Invictus, meaning “to protect the troops”, it represents the company’s dedication to producing the finest innovations in the industry and focusing on practicality, reliability and efficiency, suitable for use in the line of duty and beyond. Sol Invictus Arms is based in Melbourne, Florida.

About Tactical Superiority, Inc.

A multimillion dollar manufacturing company, founded in 2010, Tactical Superiority is a contract supplier to some of the largest names in the firearms industry. Chances are, you have personally used one or more of their parts in a firearm at some point. Their focus has been primarily in the M4/M16, AR-15 and M110/AR .308 markets. As a supplier to the largest companies operating in the space, Tactical superiority has cemented its legacy as a quality provider of parts kits, critical components and innovative add-ons to the industry.


  1. avatar Section General Ratio Tile says:

    That’s pretty neat. No surprise on the closed bolt config

  2. avatar Bill Seiber says:

    3200 bucks is kind of out of most people’s price range for a shotgun. LOoks good would love to shoot one

  3. avatar Gralnok says:

    It’s super simple, could be fired from any position, needs little lubricant, has such little recoil I’ve seen it fired one handed, and could advance the entire shotgun itself. Of course the military would want nothing to do with it, the technology is just too good and too reliable. Less money spent on the military machine. 🙄

    1. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

      It also weighs 11lbs unloaded and has a cyclic rate of five rounds a second, which is slower than most people can fire a semi-auto shotgun like the M1014. Shotgun shells also don’t hold up well being loaded in box magazines for extended periods of time and drum magazines make already bulky 12 gauge ammo dramatically more so.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        Okay, so it isn’t as good as I thought it was. It still has a revolutionary recoil management system, your last name doesn’t have to be miculek to cycle it fast, and I’m pretty sure there are more substantial shells that will hold up better in a magazine, other than Universal birdshot rounds. You don’t get a performance car and feed it regular unleaded fuel, after all.
        I still think it’s a great gun and a great idea, even if a little more polishing is needed.

      2. avatar gustavogiggle says:

        The military version of the m4(1014) is better in that it has a wider range of shells however your argument about cyclical rate I call b.s on. The aa12 recoil system would allow more effective and controlled fire. Idk if you have tried rapid fire with a benelli m4 but it doesnt work as well as you might think without a lot of training, even still the aa12 wins in that area. Try shooting as fast as you can and watch the muzzle rise(sure not doing that 1 handed either)

        1. avatar MikeD says:

          I own one of these semiauto versions. The recoil control is out the window in this closed bolt version. There is no quick follow up shot. The action takes forever to work and there is no recovery until the movement is done. You can get back on target way quicker with basically any other semi shotgun on the market. Also the military never picked them up because they are super unreliable. Most videos out there try to hide the jams. There are 2 hidden jams in the Future Weapons episode alone… They are the least reliable gun I have ever fired. It’s a shame but true…

    2. avatar B-Rad says:

      Plus limited range, limited amount of ammo carried.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        It’s a shotgun. Of course it has limited range. Also, how many rounds would you like it to carry? Keep in mind, each little tube is filled with lead.

        1. avatar B-Rad says:

          For military use, 300 meters and 210 rounds. A combat load.

  4. avatar Mark says:

    Interesting. Can’t imagine getting a cheek weld on that stock though. Would need one hell of a riser. : )

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    “12 Guage 2 3/4 inch shells”


    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      I didn’t even notice they misspelled gauge. I must be getting soft! The errors are infiltrating my mind! It’s getting so common, I can no longer see them! 😱

    2. Copied and pasted from their listing. Missed it. Oops.

  6. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    And the screams of outrage begin in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,…

  7. avatar Jack Crow says:

    Maybe my sporting clays scores will improve with a 20 rd drum…

  8. avatar little horn says:

    no way near worth that in any way. most i would put down is probably 2k.

  9. avatar Bob says:

    Pro’s, awesome.

    Con’s, For $3200 I’d want something that looks less like a prototype brick.

    Sell like hot cakes if they get the price down to about $1200

    Guess its better to sell 1000 @ $3200 than 100,000 at $1200

    What am I a mathetist…

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Give it time, the Turks will clone it before long

    2. avatar Rick Hess says:

      Yep, 3,200,000 vs 120,000,000, makes perfect accounting sense, if you’re an idiot.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        exactly, everyone wants to get rich quick and recoup their money in the first couple sales. Once sales drop off they will either lower the price or end production.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          You know, unless the business model doesn’t scale that way (impossible, I know)

  10. avatar Danny says:

    AA-12 for “Atchisson Assault Shotgun.”

    Please note that gun manufacturers and other participants in gun commerce were using “assault” as a descriptor for civilian combat-ready firearms long before anybody in the anti-gun movement was using the word pejoratively, and long before the NRA’s peanut gallery started insisting it was a “made-up thing” or applied only to select-fire guns.

    1. avatar DrewNd says:

      It was fully automatic and never intended for the civilian market though.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Cops are the civilian market.

      2. avatar MikeD says:

        Actually Max Atchisson was marketing a semi version to civilians in the 80’s. He also planned a selectfire version. The new owners of the design decided to do a fullauto only.

    2. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

      “Assault weapon” is a made up term. Assault rifle isn’t. Nobody is legally selling new assault rifles to civilians in the US. The AA-12 was intended for sale to military and LE. It turns out that nobody wants an 11lb full auto shotgun that fires slower than the lighter weight semi-auto shotguns they already have. So, the design was reworked to semi-auto to hopefully sell a few to wealthy gamers. Stop being willfully ignorant.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        All terms are “made up”. And like it or not, but in some states “assault weapon” does have a legal definition. You may not like it, but that does not change the fact that in some instances it is a legal definition.

  11. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    At the time it was pretty cool because there weren’t a lot of other semi auto, mag fed shotgun options. Or full auto for that matter. There are lots of AK style shotguns now, bullpups, AR looking ones, etc. Or even the Remington and Mossberg mag versions.

    Maybe Franklin armory will make a binary trigger for it? Or try it out with the ol’ rubber band “bump stock.”

  12. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Got to shoot the full auto version back in the 90’s. Pretty slow cyclic rate. My Benelli super 90 outran it.

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      Perhaps, but could you fire your Benelli one handed with very little pain involved? 😉

    2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      It felt heavy and clumsy to me. Didn’t fit me at all. And I love me some shotguns.

      1. avatar Gralnok says:

        You shot it? I haven’t. If you say it’s heavy, then I have to go with your judgement. I just think it looks cool and has an awesome recoil management system.

        1. avatar MikeD says:

          The recoil control only works in open bolt. Even then it doesn’t really kick in until the following rounds after the first. In closed bolt semiauto the recoil is so long and out of control you can do quicker accurate follow up shots with basically any other semi on the market.

  13. avatar Gralnok says:

    I forgot to mention in my previous comments that I want it. I really want it. Semi auto, full auto, doesn’t matter, I want it. I’d probably regret spending that much on a gun, but until I get the obligatory buyer’s remorse, I want it. It’s pretty, it’s shiny, it’s new (ish) and I would trade many things for one. Not that anything I own is worth one, though.

  14. avatar Soylent Green says:

    Price is near inline with some of the top of the line custom open division 3gun shotguns…

  15. avatar Texican says:

    You could buy a Saiga 12 or similar shotgun and spend $2k+ to get it to work as well or get the AA12. I’d definitely want the Frag12 ammo, too! It’d be great fun to shoot a grenade through a window 200 yds away! They should have done this years ago when they couldn’t get any military contracts!

    1. avatar MikeD says:

      Hopefully they make them work first because the semi version I own and the auto versions I have fired are complete junk. The least reliable guns I have ever fired. With that said I have yet to find a Saiga-12 that I couldn’t make ultra reliable in more than 30 minutes of adjusting. It’s a shame but the AA-12 really sucks.

  16. avatar whoopie says:

    So how come the old Street Sweeper with it’s wind up drum and DA only trigger is still NFA?

    1. avatar 16V says:

      NFA because it’s considered a “Destructive Device”.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Politics. And the mean sounding name.

  17. avatar Some guy says:

    Good for Tactical Superiority. Last I had heard they were trying to stay out of bankruptcy.

  18. avatar Docduracoat says:

    Sol Invictus does not mean what they said it means
    It means “ Unconquered Sun”

  19. avatar Jon in CO says:

    The problem is there is no mention of extra mags for it or cost of such things. You get 1-20rd drum, or 2-8 rd sticks. If I’m getting that much shotgun, I’m gonna need at least 9 more drums.

    1. avatar Fallschirmjäger says:

      The problem then would be, “Without a Sherpa, how are you gonna carry 9 drums?”
      I have a USAS-12 and after 1 drum in the shotgun, 2 on a vest along with 4 stick magazines you’re pretty much out of vest ‘real estate’. 100-rounds is a substantial basic load for a 12 gauge of any flavor.

      NB, it’s also as hard or harder to carry around than a SAW, … not exactly graceful to get in and out of vehicles with or for patrolling (based solely upon trying to carry it around all day a few times, not ‘real world’ use which I suspect would up the pucker factor just a tad.)

      1. avatar Jon in CO says:

        I wasn’t worried necessarily about carrying it all at once, but just having spares since it will probably inevitably not be made or supported after that 1000 unit run.

  20. avatar achmed says:

    Cool toy.

    Hard to really see the tactical utility.

    Would be great to piss off old guys on a trap field though.

  21. avatar Boom boom says:

    That’s a lot of plastic.

  22. avatar former water walker says:

    Well it LOOKS cool…SRM is a viable alternate choice for a hi-capacity semiautomatic shottie. For a lot less(if you do Turkish)…

  23. avatar Survivordude1090 says:

    Call me old fashioned, but stick with my 590A1.

  24. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    Yawn. Shotguns are for bird hunting and that’s way to heavy to carry on a quail plantation, or to swing on ducks. They’re going to make a fortune selling them to Hollywood though.

  25. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    $3250.00, but it has an optic…

  26. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Oh, come on guys. This is just way cool looking. It would also drive the nutso leftists nuts if someone plastered it all over Faceplant, Instantgranny, Twitsville social media. Talk about scary looking. What a big middle finger to gun grabbers.

  27. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Lord have mercy that price. I get why it would be a higher dollar shot gun, a good semi auto shotgun isn’t easy to make on the dole. But over 3 grand? If I’m spending more than 2 grand on anything it better have a giggle switch.

  28. avatar gargo says:

    Why that optic? Who took that picture and thought, “that looks good, would prefer 8 inch optic height but I will settle for this.”

  29. avatar Greg says:

    They can pound sand at that price.
    I’ll stick with my SPAS-12.

  30. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    $3250? I’ll buy me a really twice barrel first. Southwind Plantation? Pencil me in for the annual father, son hunt this November.

  31. avatar Paul McMichael says:

    Really “nice” that is.

  32. avatar Paul says:

    Stashed in my basement I have an original AA-12 brochure and a pre-order purchase agreement guaranteeing a sub 500 serial number. As I recall the quoted price was $450.00 USD.

    Unfortunately, at the time I was a poor college student with no money.

    I’m sorely tempted, but have a family to spend my money on now 🙁

  33. avatar ironicatbest says:

    That is a very unique looking firearm to me. $3200 is a little steep for a weapon that’s eventually going to be stored on the bottom of a lake.

  34. avatar Twisted Swifter says:

    I’m going to buy one when they offer it with a bayonet.

  35. avatar Sich says:

    @ B-Rad

    On problem, “Military Police Systems” isn’t US Military. It’s a Private company that acquire the Patent Rights for the AA-12 in 2005.

  36. avatar Excedrine says:

    R.I.P. “Mac.” :[

  37. avatar Boje C says:

    A large number of aa12s were shipped to foreign military operations.
    All were reported to be highly reliable by those ops.
    We received follow on orders from most ops.

  38. avatar Boje C says:

    The article ( The Story ) The Truth Behind the Myth was written by my wife Dottie is a complete fabrication.
    None of it is true.
    Max Atchisson is the true arcitech of the AA12 not me.
    I only played a small part along with 12 other
    extremely tailored vendors.
    I’m 84 years old an felt I have to set the record straight while I am still able.

  39. avatar Mike D says:

    Thanks Boje.
    Now I know who to sue over your junk semi that I paid $3000 for.

    Your wife DOTTIE over her fabricated (The Story ) which convinced me to buy Max Atchisson’s gun which you trashed with 100 changes.

  40. avatar Leslie says:

    I sort of remember a .410 gauge sub-machinegun in “American Survival Guide Magazine” in the early ’80’s being offered but with no buyers being interested, except with the Chinese. I sort of wonder what happened to that deal…

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