The shotgun is a formidable weapon to master. It’s superbly capable for extreme close quarters and delivers an unbeatable level of firepower per trigger pull. Yet, it offers low capacity, has high recoil, and is slow to reload. A company called Fostech recognized the issues with the shotgun and sought to create a weapon that could dominate close-quarters battle. The weapon, called the Origin 12, brings the shotgun into the modern world.

But does it solve the problems with the shotgun? Well, let’s explore the Origin 12 and see what’s what.


Inside the Origin 12

The Origin 12 traces its lineage back to the Saiga series of shotguns, well, more like to the AK series of rifles. Like the Saiga 12 and AK rifles, the Origin 12 utilizes a long-stroke gas piston system. When a round is fired, the gas bleeds off from the barrel into a port and cycles the action of the gun.

The long-stroke gas-piston system has long proven itself robust and reliable. It’s very simple and works well with shotguns due to its ability to be easily adjusted to compensate for lower-powered shotgun ammunition. The Origin 12 has a patented gas system that allows it to function with the widest variety of ammunition.

Origin 12 shotgun
(Courtesy Fostech)

To help with reliability, the Origin 12 uses a massive ejection port paired with an ejection port cover. The large ejection port ensures the empty hulls fly outwards with ease, and the dust cover keeps dirt and debris out.

The Origin 12 uses a box magazine system that eliminates the tube magazine used with most shotguns. Magazine capacities vary widely, and box magazines are available in five-, eight-, and 10-round capacities. This allows for a rapid reload when the gun runs empty and helps partially solve the capacity problem. On top of the box magazines, drum magazines also exist. These contain 20 to 30 rounds of 12 gauge.

Origin 12 shotgun
(Courtesy Fostech)

This is an absurd amount of ammunition that admittedly makes the weapon quite heavy. In practical applications, the box magazines make much more sense. Fostech ensures these magazines are well made, reliable, and extremely capable. A box mag fed shotgun delivers more firepower while keeping the weapon fairly short and easy to reload.


Recoil? Ha, What Recoil?

The Origin 12 deals with recoil by using a semi-auto gas-operated system. This system takes a big bite out of shotgun recoil. When I first handled the Origin 12, I was shocked at how lightweight it is.

Given its light weight, I expected a fair bit of punch.

Boy, was I wrong. Not only does the gas-operated action help reduce recoil, but the barrel also sits oddly low. It’s almost perfectly in line with your shoulder. This helps keep the recoil impulse directed rearward and reduces upward muzzle movement.

With low recoil and muzzle rise, guess what?

You can unleash this beast.

It fires extremely fast and ensures you have absolute control over the gun. Most shotguns are like battle axes, and if you miss, it takes a fair amount of time to recover. The Origin 12 is like a battle-ax wielded by a roided, PCP using Viking. If he misses, it doesn’t matter because the next swing will be coming quickly.

shooting the Origin 12 shotgun
(Courtesy of IV8888)

The Origin 12 allows you to fire a fast follow-up shot in case you miss or are facing multiple threats. The Origin 12 handles a lot like an AR 15 in terms of recoil and follow-up shots. Except, you are firing a repeating claymore, not a single 5.56 caliber round.


In Action

The Origin 12 utilizes inspired ergonomics and ignores the old AK ones: We have an AR-like safety that’s easy to manipulate. The charging handle sits above the barrel, much like an MP5 or G3 style rifle. The bolt release is huge and AR-like, and the magazine release sits inside the trigger guard for quick and easy access.

Shooters can also quickly change the barrel to accommodate a variety of sizes. You can go from a standard 18-inch fighting shotgun to a short CQB or breaching gun in no time at all. The Origin 12 is complete with plenty of rails for lights, lasers, and optics. It’s a very modern shotgun.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the most modern shotgun in existence. The Origin isn’t for everyone but does reduce the number of downsides the shotgun has.

What say you? Does the traditional scattergat hold more appeal to you? Or are you all about the Origin 12? Let me know in the comments below.