The SRM 12-series are perhaps the most innovative of shotguns made to-date this century. They’re modern, fully-ambidextrous tactical automatic shotguns designed for the Marines but available to all. We don’t have any complaints.
OK, that’s not true, we have one hangup: it costs $2,400. They have one vendor and that’s what they’re charging. That is our complaint. We wish, in our heart of hearts, that these shotguns cost as much as any Mossberg 500. Barring that, any Saiga 12. They’re spendy, although to be fair, you can spend more and get less in the shotgun world.
First and foremost, these shotguns were designed for the military and police world, so they can cycle both 2¾- and three-inch shotgun shells, and extremely light loads as well, in case they’re needed for less-than-lethal duty.
They’re ambidextrous in that everything on the receiver is reversible, including the ejection port. The magazine indexer and release are at the nose of the shotgun and are permanently ambidextrous. With a dry weight of eight pounds and an overall length of 34 inches, the SRM is also one of the most compact automatic shotguns ever made. For a shotgun with a stock, anyway.
The SRM is a sort of hybrid; the shotgun is automatic, and the magazine is a manual revolving cylinder. Inside the magazine are four tubes of four shells, for sixteen shots. (Twelve- and eight-shot versions exist in shorter, NFA shotgun packages; the standard model is sixteen shots with an eighteen-inch barrel; the shorter versions come with thirteen- and ten-inch barrels, respectively.) After one magazine tube is spent, the shooter toggles the release and rotates a new tube into place, which locks into its index. The next tube loads automatically, and the shooter is good to go.
After sixteen shots, if you’re still facing problems, you can hit the lever under the muzzle, drop the magazine, load up a new one and get right back to work. The only limit there is your spending limit; extra mags run $200.
Intended to use standard AR sights, these shotguns also have three integral rails for all your tactical needs.
The SRM 1216, and its AOW brothers, the 1212 and 1208, are shaping up to be some of the most interesting shotguns in a very long time, pricetag be damned. If you’re interested, you can buy them here and see more video of them in operation here.