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catacombs

Franchi SPAS 12 Shotgun

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The shotguns are quite rare, I have owned a few of them and their prices are low currently for what remains complete at $1500-$2300 currently. Check out gunbroker.com for current sales. As a smith I prefer buying parts and assembly of stripped receivers but that is not the case with a SPAS-12. It would cost over $2000 in parts even if I did all the labor today to build one due to the extreme prices on the individual parts.

Interesting info on it.... Their were only 5% imported out the total production into the U.S. before the Ban of 1989 and the second Ban of 1994. Approx 1850 SPAS-12s made it into the U.S. but who knows how many were destroyed over the years since first importing in 1982. Franchi stopped production in 2000 to focus on the SPAS-15 and if I remember only around 180 of those were imported.

The SPAS-12 with the folding stock and tube extension for 8+1 import marked by the 2 digit date code ahead of the loading port being pre 1990 is the Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun which is the most valuable for collectors. The folding stocks alone go for $650 on average when the owners of the 1990-1994 models want to have it instead of the sporting purpose fixed stock.

The fixed stock, low capacity extension mag tube is 7+1. These are the post 1989 import ban manufactured versions from 1990-1994 as Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun before the final ban of import by the Clinton AWB. Sadly by the time the ban expired the SPAS 12 had been out of production for almost four years.

Their are a few SPAS-12L models that were manufactured and sold to law enforcement only from 1982-1994 in the U.S. these were eventually sold to civilians even though they were imported with the folding stock and High Capacity Magazine during the 1982-1994 period. An estimated 800 imported into the U.S. as L models these are still just as valuable as the Pre 1989 Banned models provided they have a folding stock and high cap magazine extension.

I ended up calling Franchi in Italy when I couldnt get info stateside even from the ATF as the import records were never complete because the importers requested numbers never got filled completly with the 2 different bans on these shotguns (American Arms, F.I.E.).

My personal opinion is... it's a great shotgun when maintained properly. Both Gas ports cleaned and not plugged up with carbon. O-ring for Automatic mode being in good condition and the two shock absorbers for the receiver and folding stock are good and or present.

Otherwise all I ever hear are complaints like it doesn't cycle, it hurts to fire it or the funniest thing it's to heavy to carry at almost 9 lbs. I noticed a SPAS-12 in the past that was difficult to change from the Auto to Manual pump mode before... turned out it was using a LAW-12 Magazine extension, the SPAS-12 does not use the LAW or SAS extensions unless its unscrewed a few turns from tight and it has the clamp added from the law-12 to hold in place. It will work but without the clamp the extensions eventually work right off and throw the spring... kind of funny and stupid all at once. One last bit of info, the SPAS-12s that are difficult to pump... The heat shield has been bent or crushed by someone throwing the shotgun around, If it gets properly straightened it will never be difficult to pump. The forearm when locked in manual mode to the rear should always be able to slide forward freely on the heat shield when the bolt release is pressed. If it does not your heat shield was crushed or damaged. Time to take your time to straighten it. Best to have a new heat shield if all the aliens pulse rifle people haven't destroyed them yet. They usually go $350 on gunbroker.com averaged when for sale. Free Advice, Enjoy.

Updated 09-14-2014 at 07:40 PM by catacombs (Updates)

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