Tokyo Marui Franchii SPAS 12

This is a small review of TM’s SPAS 12, thats Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun, a 6mm BB Airsoft version of Franchii’s stylish and efficient assault shotgun, star of Half-Life and NewWorldOrder.

Ddeveloped in the late seventies this assault shotgun was made for close quarters and rapid assault deployment against terrorist targets by the italian company Franchii. as expected with an italian company, the result was as sexy as it was expensive. however it offered a more adaptable package than many shotgun manufacturers at the time, with the feature that it could be fired in an ‘automatic’ capacity simply by depressing the trigger and repeatedly pumping the action untill the eight round buckshot magazine ran dry.
the airsoft version works in much the same manner, except the magazine holds ten rounds in the receiver, instead of a long tube type magazine. these are fired in bursts of three from three seperate ‘hopped up’ barrels inside the main outer barrel. thats right, it fores a blast, not just a single bb for all your cocking effort.
to emulate some of the form of the origional shotgun, mauri allow two extra shells to be stored in the tube mag. however this requires you to remove a very fiddly knob at the front of the weapon in order to get at your spare shells. not very cool in combat. to get past this problem i removed the spring feeder and the cap from this tube and inserted an armoured maglite with a red filter, thus giving the fore end some extra weight and adding functionality to a (sorry marui) rather silly feature for a frontline assault weapon.

how does it feel? marvellous, not as heavy as the real steel (a GOOD thing unless you’re in the army and have time to train with twenty kilos of gear every day) it has a good heft to it and only takes a little practace to get used to in terms of a slightly hard to use cocking handle, i have modified mine with some skateboard grip tape as my hands sweat when i’m changing across the landscape in full battledress, go figure. the muzzle report is distinct, as is the intimidating ‘ker-chack’ of its cocking action.
bear in mind this weapon is not small, as even without the optional stock the SPAS is the same length as an AK47. it also requires more discapline to use than an assault rifle as shots in open areas have to be considered, and you really do have to rely on your teammates for covering fire. however, i found once word got around that a maniac was out in the woods to play with a pump action shotgun the opfor kept some distance, so perhaps the reputation of the SPAS preceeds its use.

reliability?
its a tank, no doubt about it, i landed on mine on very uneven and hard ground forcing some of the grip out of the main casing. being the caring and considerate weaponsmith that i am i belted the twisted peice of ABS off the nearest tree to push it back to the correct place and charged on.
i also found that in muddy, wet environments where AEG’s jam on dirt and their batteries heat up and drain fast in the soaking wet that the spas simply laughs at the weather and keeps on working. as long as you can still cock it, it’ll keep firing. handy if you play alot in england.
overall this weapon is efficient on ammo, hard as nails, doesn’t need batteries and easy enough on the wallet compared to many AEG’s. it does require you to be fit enough to cock it, coordinated enough to reload shotgun shells over nice big magazines and able to consider your shots over spraying your HICap all over the place.

reliability 10/10
looks: 8/10 (stock, 10/10modified 😉 )
cost: 7/10 (there are cheaper solutions)
range: 6/10 (its a bleeding shotgun. get closer)
intimidation: 8/10 (10/10 if you suprise a squad early on in the day, they’ll be diving for cover every time they hear a twig snap like the wonderfull sound of a SPAS being cocked)

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