As a longtime fan of both AKs and 12-gauge shotguns, I’m always intrigued to see semi-auto shotgun designs that utilized the basic AK operating system. Properly tuned, AK-style shotguns tend to run well, shoot softly (for a 12 gauge) and provide ergonomics more in line with a rifle than your typical tube-fed shotgun. They are perfect for tactical operations because they’re simple, solid and, if built properly, very reliable.

Of course, some issues can arise with AK-style shotguns. The controls can be difficult to reach, and adding rails is costly and problematic given some import restrictions.

While a few companies have built models to deal with these issues, Fostech has come up with an interesting design that pretty much answers them all. And, because the Origin-12 is built in the U.S.A., it does not suffer from ATF import regulations.

The Origin-12’s receivers are polymer where possible to reduce weight. The shotgun’s modular design also allows you to swap barrels without re-zeroing your iron sights.

There is even a 10-inch Short-Barreled Shotgun (SBS) version available. The adjustable gas port and modified operating system allow for use of a wide variety of ammunition. It also uses proprietary five-, eight- and 10-round magazines as well as 20- and 30-round drums.

The controls are also ambidextrous and easy to reach with either hand. The forward, left-side-mounted charging handle is non-reciprocating, and the bolt locks open after the last round is fired.

Check out the video to see the Origin-12 in action, and keep your eyes peeled for a full review in an upcoming issue of TACTICAL WEAPONS. To subscribe, visit

For more information on the Origin-12, please visit

Up Next

Army Chief Wants Glock 19 as Next Sidearm For Soldiers

Gen. Mark Milley wants to move quicker than the current Modular Handgun System and...