Now I realize that the shotgun in the video below is an “oldie”, but it most certainly is a “goldie” and if you have a chance to pick one up, then by all means do so!!
The SPAS-12 is a shotgun of Italian origin. SPAS stands for Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun, although from the very start it was designed for law enforcement and military use. Due to the distinct look resulting from the large heat shield and folding stock it has become an iconic firearm. It was replaced in production by the magazine fed SPAS-15 shotgun.
The SPAS-12 fires 12 ga shells with a length of 2.75 inch. Semi-automatic fire is possible with full power shells. The pump-action mechanism is to be used for low powered non-lethal shells. The tubular magazine under the barrel may hold 8 shells, but loading 7 rounds increases reliability.
The SPAS-12 was successful as a law enforcement shotgun. It was hardly adopted as a patrol shotgun, but was acquired by many special military and police units. The SPAS-12 was sold around the world, but mainly in Europe and the USA. In Europe and the USA it was also marketed as a civilian shotgun, but in most nations it was banned after a few years.
The SPAS-12 is a pump-action combat shotgun and the basis for several variants. The original SPAS-12 is the most common of all variants. Various different barrel lengths were available, with the exception of the short barrel version these were mainly for civilian use. The short barrel version was nicknamed SPAS-12 Shorty in the USA.