How IWI’s bullpup TS-12 shotgun is a sci-fi beast

Semi-automatic shotguns have been around for a while now, but few are remotely as cool as the TS-12, which Gear Scout had the opportunity to look at during this year's SHOT Show.

Israeli Weapon Industries has found itself associated with bullpup-type firearms for the better part of nearly 20 years after developing and fielding the Tavor -- its flagship assault rifle, now in active service with the Israeli Defense Forces among other militaries around the world.

Now, the Israeli small arms giant is entering the scatter gun forum with a bullpup-style shotgun which looks every bit as futuristic and sci-fi as its elder cousin the Tavor did when it was first announced.

Bullpup guns pack a full-length barrel into a more compact frame, typically with the firing mechanism and the action being located towards the rear of the gun, behind the pistol grip and trigger. Most are also fed from magazines loaded into the rear of the gun, though the TS-12 is a bit of an exception to that rule.

By fundamentally changing the layout of the gun, the user is provided a lighter and more maneuverable weapon that's ideal for close quarters combat, especially in urban environments.

As such, the TS-12 is a bullpup 12 gauge shotgun which uses a short stroke gas piston system, feeding from three rotating cylinder magazines. located in front of the pistol grip. This gun, which more like the M41 Pulse Rifle from the movie Aliens than most other shotguns on the market today, is also uniquely loaded from ports on both sides of gun into the three magazines.

Each of these three mags can hold a total of four 3-inch shells, or five 2 and 3/4 inch shells, with an overall maximum capacity is 15 rounds plus one more in the chamber. As soon as one magazine is exhausted, another can quickly be snapped into place by the operator manually twisting the barrel underneath the gun.

An automatic loading mechanism ensures that whenever the magazine is locked into the feed position, a shell is immediately chambered, allowing the user to have his or her weapon ready to fire almost immediately after a mag goes black on ammunition.

The TS-12 additionally features M-LOK attachment points along the front guard, four sling attachment points, and a continuous Picantinny upper rail to mount glass as the user sees fit.

All TS-12s are ambidextrous, meaning that the gun can be modified for left and right-handed users, including a switching the side spent casings are ejected from. The gun weighs a paltry 8 lbs for its blocky design, and uses an 18.5 inch barrel housed, while the entire weapon is only around 28 inches in length.

IWI offers an MSRP of USD $1,399 on the TS-12, and has generated interest from both the military and law enforcement markets with this beast of a shotgun.