By Lars Dalseide | October 1 2012 14:41

In September's Shooting Illustrated, Gary Paul Johnston takes SRM Arms' new 12-gauge shotgun — the SRM M1216 — out for a spin ....

SRM M1216
This radical design puts 16 12-gauge shells in your shotgun, making it a formidable choice for self-defense.

The M1216 12-gauge shotgun made by SRM Arms, of Boise, ID. Traditionally, semi-automatic shotguns have been limited to tubular magazines holding from four to six rounds of ammunition. More recently, box and drum magazines holding eight or more rounds have been growing in popularity. Now there is a new self-loading scattergun in town. It is called the M1216 and it is made by SRM Arms, of Boise, ID.

This 12-gauge holds 16 rounds in four magazine tubes in a cylindrical fore-end. Molded of strong, glass-filled polymer, this magazine fore-end is manually rotated to bring each four-round tube in line to feed. The magazine is instantly removable and is inserted under the 18-inch barrel with the help of a funnel on the front of the receiver to guide it into place. Removal is accomplished by depressing an ambidextrous lever at the front of the mounting housing. Ambidextrous levers above and behind this release lever pivot down using the shooter’s thumb to unlock and rotate the fore-end.

The M1216 uses a locking system unique among shotguns. It employs a roller, “half-locking” system, much like the Heckler & Koch G3 and its many offspring. The rollers of the SRM M1216 differ mainly in being held in recesses at the rear of the M1216’s hardened-steel receiver.

When loading a full (four-tube) magazine into the M1216, if one of the tubes is in line to feed, the shell retainer will automatically trip to release the shells, with the first shell feeding onto the carrier in the receiver. If the bolt is in battery, it will be necessary to retract and release it to chamber the first round. However, if the bolt is locked back in the open position when the magazine is inserted, the first shell fed into the receiver will trip the bolt hold-open lever and the round will be automatically chambered. When the last shell from that tube is fired, the bolt automatically locks back until the next loaded tube is rotated into position, causing the M1216 to load immediately after rotation. In this system, shells in all four magazine tubes can be fired in fast succession with minimal practice.

An ambidextrous thumb safety on either side of the M1216’s pistol grip is marked in Heckler & Koch fashion and is pulled back for safe and rotated forward for fire, making this easy to remember—back means shells stay back and forward means shells can go forward.

Read the rest of Shooting Illustrated's review of the SRM M1216 online now.

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