Most shotguns I own are rugged and functional, but none are semi-automatic and measure under 29 inches! The Tokarev TBP 12M boasts both features, because it is a bullpup. What if your pump shotgun could blast out five rounds without pumping? 

The TBP empties its 12-gauge magazine as a semi-auto and is a full 10 inches shorter. Only a bullpup can do that! Will it jam? Can I control the kick of full power loads? Stay with me as I review and shoot this compact shotgun with the famous Russian name.


Table of Contents

Video
My Impressions
Controls
Specifications
Range Time
Pros & Cons
Conclusion
Customer Reviews

VIDEO

 

 

MY IMPRESSIONS

 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup
The Tokarev TBP packs an impressive amount of 12-gauge firepower in a semi-auto bullpup design. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


At first, I thought the TBP looked like my KelTec KS7 pump. However, there is no pump! What about that detachable five-shot magazine? Ten and even 20-shot magazines are available, which will increase firepower dramatically. 

The gun has a hefty feel with its center of gravity located at the pistol grip. The safety and bolt release are borrowed from the AR-15-style rifle, making it intuitive to control. Picatinny rails on the receiver and under the forearm will allow me to customize this little gun to suit me. The 18.5-inch barrel is comparable to most short pump shotguns but is mostly hidden inside the receiver. 
 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup sights
The folding sights are adjustable for windage and line up well. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


When I shoulder the gun, the sights come to view naturally. I like the rear peep sight. It aligns with the post front sight quickly and will make up for the short sight radius of this bullpup design. The polymer sights are adjustable for windage and fold to a backup position when using an optical sight like a red dot. The short length of pull forces me to choke up on the rear sight. This is to be expected on a bullpup. 
 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup
The butt plate is solid, with no built-in recoil absorber. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


I will need to pull this little gun tight when shooting high-velocity loads to reduce felt recoil. The Picatinny rail forend M-LOK slots will aid in this, as will the forward trigger guard. The firm polymer butt plate has no recoil absorber built into its design. A firm hold will be required.
 

CONTROLS

 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup
The safety is easy to use with my right hand... (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Controls on the Tokarev are in favor of right-handers. Grasping the pistol grip with my right hand, I can easily reach the safety lever. My left hand can reach over to pull back on the cocking lever on the top right of the receiver. The bolt release is also reached easily. I find the magazine release to be simple and positive. 
 

...as is the mag release. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
Note the right-side ejection port... (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


The ejection port is also on the right, not a good place for a lefty! The magazine is held with my right hand, and my thumb pushes the release button to pull out the mag quickly. This is an important feature of the design. No need to fumble for loose shells. Just insert a new magazine, release the bolt, and keep on shooting – much the same as an AR-15 rifle.
 

...and charging handle. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


I think the TBP will lend itself to instinctive hip shooting. It seems to point itself when braced at my hip. Close-quarters shooting is where a bullpup shines, and I will test this feature soon. Tokarev USA has also included three Benelli choke tubes. It is doubtful that this shotgun will be seen on the skeet field any time soon, but it is a nice custom touch.
 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Benelli choke tubes
Tokarev includes a set of three Benelli-style choke tubes. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)
  • Overall length: 28.5 inches
  • Length of Pull: 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds, 11 ounces
  • Barrel length: 18.5 inches
  • Magazine: 12-gauge five-shot is standard, but 10- and 20-round versions are available
  • Material: Polymer stock, marine nickel metal finish
  • Sights: Polymer flip-u, BUIS style
  • Choke tubes:  Three Benelli Mobil type (1/3/5) included
  • Trigger: 11 pounds
  • Picatinny rails: 12-inch top and 6-inch lower forearm
  • Safety: Right-hand, AR-15-style lever 
  • MSRP: $359.99
     

RANGE TIME

 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup
The TBP is a perfect match for my Area 51 targets. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


The Area 51 range is prepped and ready, and I cannot wait to let the root beer fly! This is the first bullpup semi-auto shotgun that I have tested. Will it jam? I am using quality Winchester Valor 12-gauge 00 buck 2.75-inch shells. These beautiful shells are tightly crimped and push nine 00 pellets at 1,325 feet per second. This ammo works well in my other guns. 

Loading the five-round magazine requires special attention. Push down on the rear of the shell with index finger as the next round slides to the rear. This stops the brass base of the upper shell from catching on the lower one. Five rounds can then be loaded into the AR-15-style magazine quickly.
 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup magazine
The Ar-style magazine holds five 12-gauge shotshells. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Today I have two magazines and will be pattern testing at 9 yards. To test reliability, I fire quickly at the first five 2-liter root beer bottles. It is pleasing to see the plastic bottles disintegrate as quick as I can pull the trigger. Yahoo, no jams yet! Recoil is noticeable but controlled by pulling the gun tightly into my shoulder. 

Next is a pattern test on steel. My milk-bottle-shaped steel target takes the full nine-pellet load a bit low. Look, one pellet deflects low and hits a 2-liter bottle, a spurter! I am sure that some sight adjustments will raise the point of impact as needed later. Aiming a bit higher on the paper target, the Tokarev centers all nine pellets nicely. 
 

Tokarev TBP 12 gauge bullpup
The Tokarev is a tactical cannon. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


Despite the improved cylinder choke, the pattern does not open much at such short range. Even at the longer 12-yard distance, the bottle blows apart easily. Ten shots fired from two magazines without a jam. Both magazines load into the magazine well firmly and release easily when pulled. I am impressed.  
 

PROS & CONS

Pros:

  • Good quality for the money and Low price-point!
  • Compact: 10 inches shorter than most defensive shotguns
  • Reliable: no jams during testing
  • Quick to reload
  • Potential for high magazine capacity: 10 and 20 round magazines available 
  • Supplied with 3 choke tubes
  • Comes with adjustable folding polymer sights
  • Marine nickel and polymer construction: resists corrosion

Cons:

  • Noticeable kick
  • Not ambidextrous
  • Safety concern: Short overall length, so muzzle awareness needed
     

CONCLUSION

 

Tokarev TBP 12-gauge bullpup shotgun
The TBP offers plenty of PIc rail space up front. (Photo: Ben Philippi/Guns.com)


The Tokarev TBP is more than your money’s worth! It is useful for self-defense and takes up little space in a vehicle or home. Although an unusual design, I would use it for a 3-Gun action competition and could have a lot of fun with it on the trap field. 

The Tokarev is highly customizable, accepting any number of optics, lights, lasers, or bipods. Do not judge this book by its cover. It may fit a need you have, and it scores a “10” on the fun factor, in my book. 


Customer Reviews

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