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Old 12-29-2016, 05:14 AM
Mazryonh Mazryonh is offline
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Unhappy What could have been: The RAS-12 semi-auto shotgun

There haven't been many semi-auto or select-fire shotguns that feed from detachable box magazines, partly because those magazines are often bulky and don't hold many rounds. Furthermore, models like the SPAS-15 and the Saiga-12 have been banned for importation into the USA.

One company that tried to go further than usual with this firearm type was Intrepid Tactical Systems, which made a shotgun system called "RAS-12" that could be built off a standard AR-10 lower attached to a dedicated upper, took Magpul PMAGs for AR-10s, and also used unique 12-gauge ammunition that was rimless and had a round polymer tip to make feeding much more reliable than on something like the Saiga-12, and possibly even allowing for reliably-feeding double-stack magazines (something that is difficult for most rimmed ammunition that isn't 7.62x54mmR, or .303 British, etc.).

These features should have made for a very attractive semi-auto 12-gauge platform, at least on paper, but Intrepid Tactical Solutions folded and the RAS-12 never made its debut. Since the RAS-12 was also American-made, it would not have been subject to the importation bans that kept out the SPAS-15 (probably the only dual-mode box-feeding shotgun around) and the Saiga-12.

You can read a more thorough breakdown of the RAS-12 here. Is this failed gun something that the users here on imfdb would have been interested in buying had it been produced, or was it going too far, too fast?
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:04 PM
BlackIce_GTS BlackIce_GTS is offline
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I remember reading that Firearm Blog article, I was pretty excited until it said it took proprietary ammo. It looks like a lot of people agree with me, based on the comments.
It seems like this sort of thing has failed several times, and for the same reason. None of them are 'better enough' to be able to push their new ammo on the market.
What does the ammo do? It does what 12ga does.
What does the gun do? It does what a Saiga does, but slightly better.
Speaking this thing vs. Saigas, wasn't the Russian importation ban only this year though?

Tangent: what is it about 54R and .303 that makes them work in a double stack when other rimmed cartridges don't?
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:21 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Nothing really. Rimmed cartridges went out of fashion about the time double column mags came out so those are just the ones ones that ever got made in large quantity. There were also Siamese Mausers and Arisakas in 8 x 50 and 8 x 52 Siamese with dual column mags, and both those and Lee - Enfields have been converted to .45-70 in fairly large quantities. I've also seen tons of 1889 Schmidt-Rubins converted to .30-30 over the years.

8mm Lebel doesn't very well but that's more to do with the taper than the rim.
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:31 AM
Mazryonh Mazryonh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackIce_GTS View Post
I remember reading that Firearm Blog article, I was pretty excited until it said it took proprietary ammo. It looks like a lot of people agree with me, based on the comments.
It seems like this sort of thing has failed several times, and for the same reason. None of them are 'better enough' to be able to push their new ammo on the market.
What does the ammo do? It does what 12ga does.
What does the gun do? It does what a Saiga does, but slightly better.
Speaking this thing vs. Saigas, wasn't the Russian importation ban only this year though?
Proprietary ammo isn't always a problem. It helps if you're a big company like FN that can push lot of marketing and promotion for something like the 5.7x28mm cartridge, even though FN only makes 2 firearms chambered for that caliber. .300 Blackout succeeded in getting a good amount of market share even without a major manufacturer, and the TFB link I posted claimed that ITS was trying to make deals with Remington to get the RAS-12 ammo made in large quantities at competitive prices.

I think the demand for "significant improvement" in firearms is sometimes wrongheaded. How many "new rifle" programs have been cancelled and the allotted budget wasted because the firearm proved not to be "enough" of an improvement over the old models? The RAS-12 was significant because it used COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) components for its lower and magazines, which would in the long run have cut costs. The TFB article also outlined how the RAS-12 was more reliable than the Saiga-12, the latter of which often came with substandard proprietary magazines and occasionally had problems with feeding the rimmed ammunition. If ITS ever wanted to make a comeback, the fact that the Saiga-12 was banned from importation in 2016 is another mark in the RAS-12's favour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackIce_GTS View Post
Tangent: what is it about 54R and .303 that makes them work in a double stack when other rimmed cartridges don't?
It could be that the larger the diameter of a rimmed cartridge, the greater the circumference of the rim and the more likely will butt up against others or even interfere with the loading process. Recall that despite .357 mag's popularity, there have been next to no semiauto handguns in that caliber with double-stack magazines.

On the other hand, there have been millions of .303 British bolt-action rifles made by Lee-Enfield, and the 7.62x54mmR still sees use in semiauto weapons with double-stack magazines, like the SVD rifle and its derivatives. So the difference between a protruding rim's size that will work reliably in double-stack magazines for semiautomatics and a size that will not work can't be large, even though there isn't a big difference in rim diameter between the .357 mag and 7.62x54mmR or .303 British (circumference is another matter).
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