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The use of APCs on urban streets leads invariably to ‘tanks quell riot’ headlines in the media, and thus a spate of public unease. Moreover, both tracked and wheeled APCs are very expensive to maintain and not optimised for internal security (IS) operations. It was this and other reasons that persuaded the British army to retain obsolete wheeled APCs for use in Northern Ireland, and wheeled APC manufactures also offer specialised IS variants of battlefield vehicles. For a variety of reasons tracked APCs are not suited for the IS role, so many companies have designed wheeled vehicles for use in IS operations. The hull of such vehicles must provide protection against attack with762-mm (0.3-in) rifle projectiles. In som countries the terrorist’s most commonly employed weapon is the mine, often laid in culverts under roads in remoter areas and intended for detonation when a military or para-military vehicle runs over it. If the mine is a standard antipersonnel mine or small anti tank mine, the vehicle designer can help to minimise the amount of damage inflicted on the vehicle by careful design of the hull armour. The design ensures that the blast is deflected sideways and upward, and thus not contained under the hull of the vehicle, which would lead to the vehicle being lifted and turned over or alternatively to having its lower surface penetrated by the blast. For example, the British Saxon vehicle has an integral hull with the areas above the wheels manufactured of sheet steel so that they blow off should a mine detonate under the vehicle. The South African Rhino and Bulldog have a V-shaped lower hull raised well above the wheels so that if the vehicle runs over a mine it is the wheels and suspension that take the blast.

Preference for diesel

The designers and users of IS vehicles prefer diesel engines to petrol engines because diesel fuel is of lower volatility than petrol and therefore does not catch fire as easily. The commander, driver and troops must have all-round fields of vision through windows providing the same degree of protection as the rest of the hull. The commander’s and driver’s windows must have wipers and a reservoir of special cleaning liquids to ensure that paint thrown by demonstrators is removed speedily.

The means of entry and exit must be as numerous and large as possible. If the main door is at the rear and the vehicle is ambushed from the rear, for example, the occupants cannot leave the vehicle in safety unless they also have access to side doors. Moreover, the doors and handles must be designed so that unauthorised entry is not possible, and there should be no external fittings that rioters could use to help them climb onto the vehicle.

The tyres must be of the run-flat type to enable the vehicle to be driven some distance after the tyres have been damaged by bullets. The vehicles should also have a fire detection and suppression system, especially around the wheel arches as rioters often throw petrol bombs at any IS vehicle’s rubber tyres. The roof must be sloped so that grenades roll off before exploding. The openings around the doors and the engine compartment must be carefully designed so that any flaming liquid from petrol bombs runs down to the ground and not into the vehicle.

Creature comforts

As the troops or police may have to stay inside the vehicle for considerable periods, the interior must be insulated and provided with a heating/cooling system. The seats must have belts because if the vehicle does run over a mine, many of the casualties could result from occupants being thrown around the vehicle’s interior. Adequate stowage space must be provided for riot shields, weapons and other essential equipment.



Some IS vehicles are fitted with turred-mounted 12.7- or 762-mm (0.5- or 0.3-in) machine-guns, while other have a simple armoured observation cupola for the commander. Specialised equipment such as a barricade remover at the front of the vehicle is standard on some vehicles, while others have provision to be outfitted as command post vehicles or ambulances. The type can also be used to carry EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) teams and their equipment, and it is common for IS vehicle to carry water cannon or gas grenade launchers.

Some countries use standard military wheeled APCs for the IS role while others prefer to operate cheaper vehicle based on standard light truck chassis such as those from Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover.

APCs for the IS role

Some wheeled APCs are used in an internal security role. These include the MOWAG Roland, MR 8 and Piranha ranges of 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 vehicles, AV Technology Dragoon, Cadillac Gage Commando family and Commando Ranger, Humber ‘Pig’ Alvis Saracen, GKN Sankey AT 105 Saxon, ENGESA EE-11 Urutu, SIBMAS, Vickers Defence Systems/BDX Valkyr, Fiat Tipo 6614, Renault VAB, Berliet VXB-170, Panhard VCR and MS, ACMAT, BMR-600 and BLR-600, Ratel, Transportpanzer, Condor and Soviet BTR series.

IS vehicles based on a Mercedes-Benz chassis from Germany include the UR-416 delivered from 1969, and also the more recent TM 170 and TM 125. Since 1965 Shorts of Northern Ireland has built very substantial numbers of its Shorland armoured patrol car, and 1974 introduced the Shorland SB 401 Hotspur of Wales has also developed APCs in 4×4 and 6×6 configurations on the Land Rover chassis.

The Fiat 11A7 A Campagnola 4×4 light vehicle is used by many countries, so the Advanced Security Agency SpA of Milan developed the Guardian range of 4×4 IS and now offers such vehicles on the original Fiat chassis and also on those of the Land Rover One Ten and Mercedes-Benz 280 GE.

In addition to making the Piranha range of 4×4 and 6×6 vehicles under licence, Chile also builds the VTP 2 which is similar in some respects to the German Thyssen IS vehicle, and the Multi 163 APC that is also used to patrol airports and otjer high-risk areas. The Bravia company of Portugal has built the Chaimite range of 4×4 APCs in variants almost identical to the V-100 family by Cadillac Gage, which has built for the US Army National Guard the Commando Mk III APC that is similar in basic concept to the Shorland vehicles, although somewhat larger.

While Western countries have, over the years, developed many types of vehicle suitable for use in IS operations, up to the time of its collapse the Warsaw Pact countries in general and the USSR in particular did not develop vehicles specifically for this role.

Events in Afghanistan then revealed  that the BTR-60 and BTR-70 series of 8×8 APCs suffered from a number of drawbacks in the IS role. Some of the vehicles were fitted additional armour protection and more firepower, including an AGS 17 grenade launcher.

Some time ago East Germany built two types of vehicles for IS operations in the form of the SK-1 armoured car and the SK-2 armoured water cannon. The SK-1 was armed with a turret-mounted machine-gun. The SK-2 armoured water cannon was built on the chassis of the G5 6×6 truck, and on its roof to the rear of cab had a high-pressure water cannon.

  Alvis OMC Casspir Mk III




Weight 12.58 tonnes
Dimensions Length 6.87 m (22 ft 6,5 in); width 2.45 m (8 ft 0,5 in); height 3.125 m (10 ft 3 in)
Powerplant One ADE-352T liquid-cooled 6-cylinder diesel developing 127 kW (170 hp)
Performance Maximum roa speed 90 km/h (56 mph); maximum road range 850 km (528 miles);  folding 1 m (3 ft 3,5 in), gradient 65 per cent; vertical obstacle o.5 m (1 ft 7,5 in); trench 1.06m ( 3 ft 5,5 in)
Armament Between one and three 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-guns




During a riot, troops or police must try to keep a reasonable distance between themselves and the crowd. This prevents the security forces from being outflanked or overwhelmed, and tempers tend to remain cooler if a distance between the two sides in maintained. However, these measures are not always possible. When contact is unavoidable, the most common and simplest means of crowd control is the plain wooden baton or truncheon. Ecuritc force will also have CS gas (the most commonly used txype of gas) grenades, which can be thrown by hand or fired from a variety of antiriot weapons, including  shotguns grenade launchers and convetional rifles. Many of these weapons can also fire anti-riot projectiles of various sizes and lethality. Most commonly these are rubber or plastic ‘bullets’ designed to counter petrol bombers or stone-throwing crowds up to a range of about 60 m (65 yards). Intended to cause no more than bruising or shock, such rounds can be lethal when used at very closo range. Baton rounds, as they are called, do have the advantage of being selective: if a youth is seen to be on  the verge of huring a petrol bomb, he can be targeted directly without any significant threat to possibly innocent bytanders on ither sie of him. Gas, on the othr hand, i indiscriminate. CS causes extreme discomfort to the eyes, nose and breathing pasages, yet rarely  has serious or lating effects. Many armies in countries pro to riot use it freely. Though in European countries t is normally used only in very seriou disturbances. Although it can be a very effective crowd disperser, CS can affect rioters, innocet bystanders and security forces alike. Crowds all over the world have learned that the wearing of wt hndkerchiefs over the face combats the efffect of the gas, and have learned to throw or kick the grenades back at the security forces.

Riot vehicles

All over the world, a wide variety of wheeled vehicles have been adapted or manufactured specifically for riot control. They range from modified light personnel carriers. Riot control vehicles provide protection and upport. Vehicles often have large unfolding fenders on eah side that provide troops with protection from thrown missiles and, if the vehicle is parked in the middle of a relatively narrow road flanked by buildings, can  block mut of the road off and prevent rioters from progressing further. At the same time, the vehicle i a refuge for anyone who is injured, and it  can house reliable radio communications. Other attachment may include roof- or turret-mounted searchlights, loudspeaker systems, cowcatchers for the removal of illegal street barricades and water cannon for dampening the enthusiasm of crowds. It is even possible to electrify the outer surface of such vehicles to prevent rioters from climbing on to them.


Increasingly, helicopter are used to monitor crowds. This tehnique was widely used by the British army in Northern Irelans, and has been adopted by the police forces all over the world. Police helicopter are generally fitted with video camreas,  thermal imagers and powerful searchlights. Some have datalinks which allow live telvision pictures to be transmitted back to a head-quater on the ground, where the information an be evaluated and acted upon.

A choice of tactics

Police forces around the world use varying degree of  force to disperse a riot. IN some countries the army is automatically called out; elsewher, the army i comitted only as a last resort. Many countries have formed special so-called ‘third force’ organisations, specifically to deal with riot andd other public order problems: examples are the Compagnie Republicaine de Securite (CRS) in France, and the Bundesgrenzschutze, or Federal Border Guard, in Germany. The philosophy ot the CRS is diametrically opposed to that of the British security forces or most US police forces. In France, maximum force is used at an early stage, to show rioters that the authorities mean business and to deter further misbehaviour. The CRS put down the May 1968 student riot in Paris ruthlessly. The Germman police and other European forces tend to use much the same tactics. The British, however, usee only the degree of force necessary to meet any given situation, relying on good intelligence, observation and communication to effect the channelling of a demonstration, only escalating their reaction as appropriate

Different perspectives

There are arguments in terms of pure efficiency for both approaches. The fiece reputation of the CRS must give any would-be rioter pause for thought. However, the more measured  approach, while slower to resolve a difficult situation, offers the chance to control matters before too much damage  or injury occrus. When British troops were first sent to Northern Ireland, inexperienced soldiers often found themseelves in the middle of riots. Initially, the frightned and confused young mmen rreacted violently, but in 25 years of operations the army developed effective methods of dispersing crowds and cooling the situation. Ideally, soldiers should never get involved in crowd or riot control, nbut history has shown that the police are not always able to cope. When that happens, soldiers are expeected to act ‘in support of the civil power’, i.e. the police. It is often an unpleasant busines, but it is one that the modern soldier must expect to encounter and cope with.



Designed by Maxwell G. Atchisson in 1972, the Atchhisson Assault Shotgun gas-assisted recoil-operated prototype paved the way for a new type of weapon, the assault (as opposed to combat) shotgun.Bsed on M16 rifle components, the Atchinsson had about the same dimensions nd configuration as the M16 rifle but was deisgneed to fire buckshot or solid slug ammunition. Of simple design, its barrel screwed into a long, tubulat receiver which housed the bolt and the recoil spring. A BAR M1918 trigger mechanism combined with the pistol grip of the Thompson sub-machine gun constitutedd the trigger asssembly. The weapon was capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire, and fired from a five-round box or 20-round drum magazine. With the concept proved, Atchisson spent the period between 1973 and 1979 creating an improved version. The most obvious change was the enclosure of the eentire mechanism in  teo ciamsell stock halves. Production was undertaken in modest number from 1981 in the US and Korea, and in 1984 the standard was revised to include a bayonet mounting, and the non-slip ptterning was omitted from the fore end of the clamshell. All the Atchinsson weapons could fire NATO standard rifle grenades, and the mgazine optinions were a seven-round single.row box magazine and a 20-round rum magazine

New generation

In the early 1980s the USAd began the CAWS (Close Asault Weapon System) programme to develop a weapon able to fire high-impluse multiple projectiles to an effective range of 100-150 m (1110-165 yards). One of the teams was Heckler & Koch and Winchester / Olin, the former responsible for the weapon and the latter fore the ammunition. The Heckler & Koch CAW emerged as a selective-fire smooth-bore weapon using high-pressure ammunition to fire tungsten shot and sflechettes. The CAW was based on a gas-operated action with a moving barrel, and in appearance was similar to the G11 assault rifle in its bullpup layout with an integral carrying handle. The cocking handle was located under the carrying handle, over the receiver, and was ambidextrous, and the safety / fire-selector’s three postions were safe, semi-automatic and three-round burt. The CAW was tested by the whole CAWS programme was closed and development ceased.

  Atchisson Assault Shotgun
Calibre 12 gauge
Length overall 991 mm (39 in)
Weight 5.45kg (12 lb)
Feed 7-round  tubular magazine
Rate of fire, cyclic 360 rounds per minute  


  Heckler & Koch CAW
Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 686 or 457 mm (27 or 18 in); overall 988 8r 762  mm (38.9 or 30 in)
Weight 3.86 kg (8.5 lb)
Feed 10-round  box magazine




It is very probable that over the years more Remington shotguns have been used for combat purposes than any other make. The list of Remington gun s such that even a listing would probaby cover a page, so only one combat model will be considered. This is the Remington Model 870 modified foruse by the US Marines Corps and known formally as the Shotgun, 12-gauge, Remington, Model 870, Mk 1. The Model  870 has been one of the most widely- used of all shotguns for some time. It has been produced in basic models such as the Model 870R (Riot) and Model 870P (Police), but there have been many other types and an equally large number of convesions and adaptations. The Model 870 i s a slide-action  weapon, and ehwn the US Marine Corps conducted propective combat shotgun  trials during 1966 it decided that, for reasons of reliability in combat, such a weapon would be peferable to one of the many semi-automatic actions availble, and the Model 870 thus became the U Marine Corps’ main choice. After  a  few modifications had been effected to make the weapon an exact fit to the serivce’s requirements, the Model 870 Mk 1 was palced in production and has remained in UMC service ever since. These modifications included a longer magazine, a heatshield round the barrel to prevent the firer from burning his hands, and a protective non-glare finish that alsso protects the weapon from the inroads of corrosive rust.

Orthodox action

The Model 870 Mk 1 is a pump-action weapon with dual action bar and a tilting breeech block that lock directly onto the barrrel extension, and has a seven-round tubular magazine below the barrel. The barrel can be changed in a matter of minuts, and the weapon is used to fire a wide range f ammunition types rnaging from light shot to flechettes. The gun has many ‘extras’, such as sling swivels, to meet the requirements of the US Marine Corps, and the holding bracket for the magazine extension (added to increase the magazine’s  capacity) has a lug to mount a bayonet, which is exactl the same as that used on the M16 assault rifle. The ventilated hand-guard over the barrel and the rubber butt pads founds on many civilian Model 870s are nor fitted to the Model 870 Mk 1 as they were deemed unnecessary for a shotgun used in the combat role. The US Marine Corp has used its Model 870 Mk 1 shotguns quite frequently since they  were introduced. The weapon is not one that is usually carried during large-scale amphibious operations, but the US Marines Corps has many other combat tasks including the creation and despatch of boarding parties during actions such as that carried out during the ‘Mayaguez incident0 of May 1975; when an American merchant ship was in  effect ‘cut out’ of an anchorage near the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville after being detained illegally. The guns were used widely during th Vietnam War (often by SEAL teams) and are still in gainful service. At on point there was a project to convert the Model 870 Mk 1 to accommodate a 10-or 20-round box magazine, with obivous tactical advantages, but the end of the Vietnam War terminated the scheme at the advanced development stage. The Model 870 has also found favour with police, security and para-military organisation, who generally opt for a model with its magazine legthened to take eight rounds, fixed or folding stocks with or without a pistol grip, a 551-or 709 mm (14- or 18-in) barrel with cylinder or improved cylinder chokes, rifle.type or ghost ring (peep) ights, tactical flashlight, laser aiming spit and provision for firing a number of non-lethal special-purpose rounds (including tear gas grenades and rubber bullets) as well as the mor convetional lethal types such as buckshot and unitary slug.

  Model 870 Mk I
Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 1060 mm (41.73 in); overall 533 mm (21 in)
Weight 3.6  kg (7.94 lb)
Feed 7-round  tubular magazine





The Pancor Jackhammer is a recent arrival on the combat shotgun scene, but uses an operating mechanism that has been around for some time. The weapon was designed by John Anderssen, who began to seek patent protection for his design in 1984, and haas many original features, not the least its ability to fire on full automatic and its use of a pre-loaded 10-round rotary magazine. The Jackhammer is a gas-operated weapon, has an unusual on a ‘bullpup’ configuration with the rotary magazine therefore located behind the trigger group. The plastic magazine holds 10 rounds and is clipped into the weapon before the foreend of the stock is moved to and fro to cock th weapon. On firing, the barrel moves forward. As it does so, a gas-operated stud moves in an angled groove on the magazine to start the rotation to the next round. Once it has reached the forwrd limit of its movement, the barrrel is pushed back by a spring and the magazine rotation is completed. (This system was used in a British weapon of World War I, the Webley-Fobery revolver.) Once the barrel has returned, the weapon is ready for the next shot. Firing in fully automatic mode the weapon has a cyclic rate of firre of 240 rounds per minute, and barrel jump is partially offset by a downward-angled muzzle compensator that doubles as a flash eliminator

Little metal

The Jackhammer makes much use of tough plastics throughout its construction. In fact only the barrel, return spring magazine rotation mechanism and muzzle flash eminator are steel. The magazines, known as ‘ammo cassettes’, are delivered pre-loaded and sealed in plastic film (removed before loading) colour-coded to indicate the type of catridge enclosed. It is not possible to load single catridges, but single-round fire can be selected. The sights are contained in a channel n the long assembly that act as a carrying handle. Firing the Jackhammer is not a problem for left-handed firers as no spent catridge cases are ejected: thesse remain in the rotary magazine discarded once all the rounds have been fired. When the magazine is empty, a retaining catch opens and allows the component to fall fre. The Jackhammer  is an interesting weapon with considerable potential, but has not yet been placed in production.

Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 457 mm (18 in); overall 762 mm (30 in)
Weight Loaded 4.57 kg (10.1 lb)
Feed 10-round  rotary magazine
Rate of fire, cyclic 240 rounds per minute  




The US Repeating Arms Company, uually known as Winchester, is best known for its rifles, but also produces shotguns for the sporting market and for police and para-military use. In the past Winchester shotguns were produced in a wide variety of models, including the classicc Model 12 used during World War II and some of the few box-magazine combat shotguns ever produced, but current models are limited to a few manual slide-action models. The basic Winchester shotgun model is a 12-gauge design known as the Winchester Defender. This was specifically created, developed and manufactured for use by convetional police forces, but the weapon has also found its way  into the hands of several purely military forces. In overall terms, the Defender is of perfectly convetonal design, but the action is notably compact and, as is always the case with Winchester weapons, the standard to which the weapons are manufatured and finished is very good.

Rotary bolt action

Operating the slide action opens and closes a rotary bolt of the type that provides a very postive and afe lock, and the unlocking is recoil.assisted to speed the action considerably, placing the weapon almost into the semi.automatic class. The tubulst magazine extends to just under the muzzle and can hold six or seven catridges, depending on whether they are normal shot catridges or the longer heavy slug type. The finish is usually blued or Parkerized, but there is a version produced specially for police use, all the metalwork being may be fitted with rifle-type sights for firing slugs, and the magazine is slightly shorter than that of the standard Defender. Sling swivel are provided

Navalised model

Perhaps the most unusual of the current Winchester sshotguns is the Model 1300 marines produced specially for use by naval and marine forces. This is based on the Defender but is more akin to the stainless steel police model for it ha been designed to be corrosionresistance. All weapons in a naval environmnt are subject to the effects of corrosive salts, and stainless steel is proof againt many of them. To ensure  virtually complete protection the ‘marine0 Winchester also has all it external metal parts chrome.plated. The result is a weapon of notably striking appearance, but one which would also seem to have some eye-catching drawbacks in combat situations. However, thi model has been sold, usually to paramilitary forces such as coast guards who feel the need for a shotgun with which to arm their boarding parties.

  Winchester Defender
Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 457 mm (18 in)
Weight 3.06 kg (6.74 lb) or (stainless steel modelss) 3.17 kg (6.99 lb)
Feed 6- or 7- round tubular magazine or (stainless steel models) 5- or 6- round tubular magazine




In the USA the shotgun is a well established police and prison service weapon, to the extent that many shotgun manufactures find it wll worth their while to produce weapons tailored to individual police department specifications. Some of these weapons some very close to military specifications, and such is the Ithaca model LAPD shotgun, a weapon based on the Ithaca Model DS (Deerlayer, from the comapny’ s trademark). In it turn the Model DS was based on a very well established design known as the Ithaca Model 37 M and P, very robust aand well-made weapons produced for policing requirement.

Long pedigree

The Model 37 series has been around for some time: during World War II it was one of the shotguns selected by the US Army for military use. It was used durin that period for general shotgun purposes, including riot control and guard dutie, and was then available in three barrel leengths. The current Model M and P are not significantly dissimilar from the World war II versions, but are now made that much more rugged. The current shotguns are produced in several forms and with a range of options available. Two inportant variant are the model 37 Homeland security for self-defene and police-use, and the model 37 Stakeout compact weapon with a shorter barrel and a pistol grip in place of the convetional stock. Model 37 weapons may be fitted with a five-or-eight-round tubular magatine, and the two barrel lengths are 470 mm (18.5 in) and 508 mm (20 in). Both are used to fire the usual range of 12-gauge shot catridges using a cylinder choke barrel whereeas  the Model DS has a precision-bored cylindrical barrel that can be ued to fire heavy slugs. The Model DS has only the 508-mm barrel, and sights are provided. The option of a five- or eight-round magazine is carried over. The Model LAPD for the Los Angeles Police Department is th Model D with a rubber butt pad, special sights, sling swivels and a carrying strap. It has a 470-mm barrel, a five-round magazine, and like all the other model in the Model 37 range, robust manual slie pump action. Ome of these weapons are used by pecial forces of several nations. All the weapons in the Model 37 M and P range have Parkerized finishes to reduce wear and the need for constant cleaning.

  Model P and M
Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 470 or 508 mm (18.5 or 20 in); overall 1016 mm (40 in) with the 508-mm barrel
Weight 2.94 kg (6.48 lb9 or 3.06 kg (6.745 lb)   depending on barrel length
Feed 5- or 8-round tubular magazine



Is basically a police Model 500 with a non-reflective finish and extra attention given to the protective finish of every component. A bayonet mount is provided, and there is even provision fr mouning a telescopic sight for use when firing slugs, although this feature would appear to be little used. A peforated handguard may be fitted over the barrel and, as with most of the Model 500 range, an up-and.over folding metal buttstock may be used in place of the normal hardwood fixed component.  The Model 500 ATP-8SP has sold well but has been replaced by an updated combat model

Bullpup design

Thi is the Model 500 Bullpup 12. S its name implies, this is a bullpup design with a pistol grip assembly placed forward of the receiver. This make the weapon considerably shorter than its convetional equivalent, and thu much easier to handle and stow in confined spaces, a cnsiderable selling point for many police and military authorities. On the Bullpup 12 the receiver and much of the weapon body are entirely nclosed in a strong thermoplastic material so there are few component to catch on clothing or anything else. This is partly negated by the allinline bullpup layout that dictate that the rear and fore sights have to stick up on posts, but these can be folded down when not required. The Bullpup 12 can be manufactured from new ‘ but Mossberg produces a kit to convert existing Model 500 weapons to the revised configuration. Another Mossberg shotgun with military potential i the Model 590 developed in the 1970s with a strengthened structure.

  Mossberg Model 500 Bullpup 12
Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 508mm (20 in); overall 784 mm (30.87 in)
Weight 3.85 kg (8.49 lb)
Feed 6-or 8-round tubular magazine



Developed by the South African company Armsel, the Striker is a semi-automatic 12.-gauge shotgun that appeared on the market in the mid-1980s. The Striker is an indigenous South African design that is now being manufactured by Reunert echnology ystems near Johannesburg, although initial production was by Armel;  the weapon is also made under licecee in the USA, where the Striker has been adopted by many law enforcement agencies for use by their weapons teams, and also been developed into other forms. The Striker was designed for a wide range of operational roles  ranging from civilian elf-protection to full military combat applications.

Rotary magazine

The Striker’s most inportant single feature is its 12-round rotary magazine. This is loaded with catridges through a trap on the right rear of the drum, which is rotated by a spring tensioned by a key at the front of the magazine. Once the weapon is loaded, one pull of the trigger fires a round  and rotates the next round into line with the firing pin, it being impossible to fire the weapon until the firing pin is exactly in the linee with the next catridge. The reocil is claimed to be less than that of a normal shotgun, althoughh exactla why this should be is not clear for the barrel is certainly shorter than those of most other similar weapons. It is possible that the reocil is masked by the fact that the Striker has a foregrip under the barrel an a pistol grip: there is also a metal stock that can be folded up and over the barrel. The barrel has a perforated metal sleeve to dissipate heat produced by prolonged firing an to prevent the hot barrel being touched by the firer’s hand, for the rapid firing of the full 12 rounds would certainly produce a very hot barrel

Gas ejection

Other features of the triker are a double-action trigger and a as ejection system to remove a spent catridges from the system as the next round is fired. The Striker can fire a wide range of 12-gauge ammunition ranging from bird shot (often used in ancien.regime South Africa for the dispersal of crowds) to heavy metal slugs. The weapon can be firedwith the butt folded, although the discharge of the heavier loads without use of the butt could prove somewhat too lively for comfort.

Short-range use

Tthe sights are very simple, for the Striker is obviously not meant as anything other that a very short-range weapon for clearing crowds or perhaps in close-quarter combat in built-up areas. It could also prove to be very useful in bush warfare where infantry engagement ad ambushes are often at very close ranges as a consequence of the overall lack of visibility resulting from the prevent short scrub vegetation. As well as its widespread service with American law enforcement bodies, the Striker ha been adopted by the South African army and police, and has also found an operational niche with the Israeli armed forces and police.



The SPAS-15 shotgun is a further development of the earlier SPAS-12 shotgun, and is intended as police and military weapon offereing considerable firepower through the use of a gas-operated semi-automatic action and a detachable single-stack box magazine. Thu multiple shots can be fired in quick succession from a magazine that can be changed more quickly than a tubular magazine can be reloaded. Versatility is offered by the provision of a manually selected ingle-shot pump action to complemenet the emi-automatic action, this allowing the weapon to fire low-presure non-lethal ammunition such as tear gas and rubber slug projectiles. The firing modes are chosen in the fahion of the SPAS-12. The SPAS-15 is based on an action with a rotary bolt and a short piston stroke, the latter located above the barrel. The bolt group is mounted on dual guide rods together with the reocil springs, and can be removed as a single unit. The cocking handle is located on top of the receiver under the carrying handle, and can be operated with either hand. The SPAS-15 has a manual afety located inside the trigger guard to lock the trigger, and an automatic grip safety on the pistol grip under the trigger guard. The SPAS-15 has open adjustable sights, and can be fitted with additional sighting devices such as red dot sights or laser pointers. The receiver of SPAS-15 i made from aluminium alloy and its furniture from polymer plastics. Earlier models hd a fihe magazine is plastic.


Calibre 12 gauge
Length Barrel 450 mm (17.72 in); overall 1000mm (39.37 in) with butt extended and 750 mmm (29.53 in) with butt loaded
Weight empty 3.9 kg (8.6 lb)
Feed 6-rounddetachable box magazine