Mysterious Chinese Shotguns

Mr. Max Popenker shared this fascinating photo with me of two unknown Chinese, possibly prototype, shotguns. The top shotgun is fed from a box magazine and is select fire 🙂 It really like the sleek, almost H&K, styling.

The bottom gun has multi-magazine feed system. I cannot figure out how it transfers shells from the magazines into the chamber (or even where the chamber is). Anyone have any ideas?

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • bima

    the bottom firearm seem to be inspired by the calico type firearms.
    with a horizontally spiral magazine, that drops a round in to the chamber from the front of the cylinder magazine.

    • TxDog

      I’m not so sure it’s a Calico-type mag. It looks more like an SRM Arms 1216-type magazine (four separate tubes essentially welded together) to me.

      • Avery

        I think it’s more likely 5-6 tubes welded together. I can see 3 tubes clearly visible, while if it was 4, I’d see 2 tubes, plus a partial visible tube.

        Also, I’d debate calling it a bullpup, at least until we get better photos. Because, I do think it’s design was somewhat inspired by the Calico and I think the action for that gun and perhaps this Chinese shotgun is forward of the grip.

  • I believe the bottom one uses rotating block of several tubular magazines that should be re-indexed (automatically or manually – I have no idea) each time the bottom tube of the pack is empty. Much like SRM 1216, but with more magazine tubes in the rotating bundle.

  • Gregor

    My bet is, that the lower model is inspired by the Xrail system: 4 rotary tubes filles with shotshells:

    The chamber is probably above the handguard/in front of the trigger, because their aint much space for a chamber in the back

  • BenJamin

    Looking at the foregrip, I’m guessing the mechanical action for this particular weapon looks like a forward-back pump system, similar to that of the RMB-93. I’m a thinking that the SRM1216 is still way better (And not as fugly lookin either)
    Me personally, If I were to design this weapon, I would do it with a forward-back pump action in a bullpup layout to avoid wasted space and to give it a smaller profile. I’m surprised SRM hasn’t tried this with their gun yet.
    Speaking of shotgun “innovations” What’s become of the Halo P12 Shotgun? I think that one has all the answers that everyone is looking for.

    • BillCa

      I’m not sure that the foregrip on the lower model isn’t simply a grip with a housing for a tactical flashlight. Given the slimness of the receiver, however, you may be right about it being a bass-ackwards pump action.

  • BillCa

    The bottom one looks to use a rotary “tubular magazine” system. Whether that automatically indexes when a tube runs dry is anyone’s guess. The bullpup design isn’t new, but it is unusual in the shotgun arena. Look up the High Standard Model 10 or 10B. Produced in the 70’s it was a simpler semi-automatic bullpup design that held 4-5 rounds, allowed integration of a Kel-Light or MagLight on top and was loaded conventionally through the bottom port. Ejection was right hand. The M10 had a pivoting shoulder piece that allowed firing the gun right or left hand, or from a cradled position with the shoulder piece parallel to the ground against the lower bicep. Straight-line recoil reduced felt recoil considerably and it was no problem to empty one on target in less than 3 seconds.

  • John Koh

    These two shotguns (in 12 gauge or 18.4 mm as designated in the PRC) were exhibited at a recent Law Enforcement Equipment & Gear Exhibition held in Beijing around late May 2012. I’ve gone through some of the Chinese language blogs on firearms and the first shotgun (with “H & K” styling) is believed to be the LW3 18.4mm/12 gauge full-auto shotgun, a product of Hsari Pte Ltd (the privatizatised former state administered Hubei Small Arms Research Institute). The second gun with multiple feed is identified as a CO2 powered non-lethal firearm similar to the FN-303, no manufacturer is mentioned but likely to be the same.

  • 123

    china stealing as usual

  • Jon406

    Bottom one, no idea. It would not surprise me if it was a saiga-12 with some sort of Chinese aesthetic package

    • Jon406

      Oops, the top one for the asthetics package

  • John Doe

    If you just glance at it, the fellow at the top does look a bit like a G36, while the one at the bottom looks like a Calico. If the Chinese gov’t would be so kind, we wouldn’t find test-firing them.

  • West

    This is interesting, the designs are obviously stolen.
    Im reading a book called “Cyber War” by Richard Clarke. In it he describes how the Chinese methods of cyber-war are mainly aimed at commercial interests. Clarke doubts that any major American or European country has not been infiltrated by Chinese hackers. Many people believe that the Chinese stole design secrets from Boeing and handing the over to Airbus.
    Not to mention the hidden trojans and malware embedded in the electronics they manufacture for us.

  • Mike Knox

    I’m not surprised the chinese copied more foreign designs again..

    • TxDog

      Which designs did they copy?

      • Mike Knox

        Well, the chinese are quite notorious for forgeries, counterfeits, imitations, and plain old rip-offs, just ask apple. Military journalists have been noting this trend even since the industrial age.

        The one on top clearly looks derived from an HK UMP and a Daewoo USAS while the bottom one is from a Calico M950 and SRM M1208. The latter seems like a stopgap since helical magazines are difficult to work around with rimmed cartriges, especially large ones like the 12 ga…

    • ragnarok220

      Yep, just like they copied FAMAS into QBZ 95.

      • DW

        As if the Famas is gas piston operated and use large hollow “pins” to join the barrel and the receiver.
        To say a Type 95/97 a ripoff of FAMAS is like saying the VZ58 is a ripoff of AK47…

      • ragnarok220

        I was being sarcastic…

      • DW

        Oops, friendly fire lol

    • TxDog

      Mike Knox,

      You seem to be confusing aesthetics with actual design. Unless the gun upsized .45 ACP interiors to handle whatever shotshell the shotgun is supposed to handle, I don’t see how it can be considered as much a copy as you say it is. I’ll grant you the top looks a lot like a UMP, but unless the interiors match it piece for piece (upsized to handle larger rounds, of course), it’s about as unfounded as saying the QBZ-95 is a rip off of the FAMAS.

      • Mike Knox

        Not my words actually but Military Journalists, authors or just end users of their products in almost everywhere, even in hong kong. Its the plain old truth about chinese industry. If they can’t make something good themselves, they copy someone else’s. If they can’t make it work, they make shortcuts around it.

        Unless you’ve had experience handling their products and those simillar to it, your say has little to deter the obvious. Reading about it online isn’t enough to get the whole picture..

    • Kyle

      The chinese make a mag fed semi auto shotgun called the Hawk.

  • إبليس

    Why hasn’t anyone developed a rimless shotshell to enable smooth feeding from box magazines? “Shot” versions of pistol ammunition don’t count.

  • Ben

    Seems like a chinese equivalent to the AA-12, considering how many upgrades their army has been having in the last few years they’ve really got some heavy firepower at the minute, can’t wait to see some civi versions! 😀

  • Tinkerer

    Many posters claim that these weapons are “stolen” designs. May I inquire as to which designs have been stolen?

  • Big Daddy

    The bottom weapon looks like a semi auto, maybe DI like their 35mm AGL. The rotary magazines might work like the Milkor M32 GL or moved by a rod working off the gas system. The only place it seems like the whole chamber and bolt/bolt carrier assembly could be is in front of the pistol grip with left side ejection. So the tube magazines drop the round from their front into the chamber and eject to the left.

    I don’t think it’s pump action.

    It may work somewhat like a revolver with a simple locking mechanism for the small bolt all working like the M16 DI gas system. I think they would use an already existing system like the their 35mm AGL QLZ87. Notice the similarities to that weapon.

    • Mike Knox

      You know what, that’s not a bad idea. A piston operated revolver tube magazine cluster..

  • Lance

    Looks like a cross between a USAS12 and a Spas12 interesting.

  • TxDog

    To all the folks saying the designs are “obviously stolen,” I’d like to ask from whom?

    Which nation out there has semi-auto, mag-fed shotguns?

    Russia has the Saiga-12, but does it look like a Saiga-12? No.

    Is it the Valtro? No. The Valtro is a pump gun.

    Is it the H&K CAWS? No. The CAWS was a bullpup and used a proprietary round.

    Is it the Adkal MKA 1919? No, that “ripped off” the AR-15.

    Is it the Dominion Arms Grizzly? No. Those are pumps and apparently manufactured in China.

    So tell me, which semi auto, detachable mag fed shotgun did China rip off? I’d love to hear from the “experts” about this one.

    • Other Steve

      Um…. That top one is clearly a shotgun interpretation on an HK UMP.

      • Tinkerer

        The UMP is a traditional layout firearm, with a box magazine, a pistol grip, and a skeletonized buttstock. There are dozens of similar designs like it out there -because it’s hardly unique, and certainly it’s not the first firearm to use that layout. Simply, this weapon was designed in the most universally adapted layout that most firearms use. It’s no wonder that it resembles other weapons that use that same layout -like the UMP, but also the MP5, the FAMAE SAF 200, the Skorpion EVO III, etc.

    • Anonymoose

      While externally it may look sort of unique, it could be very similar to existing foreign designs internally. For the last 30 years the vast majority of Red Chinese service rifles have been a combination of SKS, AK-47, and SVD. For example, the QBZ-95 looks nothing like a mainstream Russian design, but it’s actually based on old Soviet tech from the middle of the 20th Century. My bet is that the shotgun at the top of the photo is based on one of the more successful select-fire shotguns out there today- either the American AA-12 or the South Korean USAS-12 (which itself is based by the 1970s iterations of the AA-12).

      • TxDog

        I doubt it… both the AA-12 and USAS-12 are huge, both weighing in at over 10 pounds unloaded.

        And in terms of the top model copying an existing design, as far as shotguns go (or most firearms for that matter), it’s hard to come up with truly unique actions. We tend to toss around charges of piracy when we stand to look good by making it. I notice, for example, that no one accuses the AR-15 of ripping off the MAS-49 even though both are direct impingement systems.

        If there is a rip-off, I’d say the bottom one copied the SRM Arms 1216. The revolving, non-helical tube magazines clustered together is pretty much the SRM 1216 to a T.

      • Mike Knox

        Mow you’re ripping off from me. The SRM statment was mine despite your denial of it..

  • angry

    what did you expect when manuals are printed in china !

  • J

    Speaking of mysterious Chinese firearms. Behold, the clearest picture yet of the ZH-05 (Chinese OICW).

    Granted it’s still not very clear but it provides a lot more detail than the earlier photos and screen captures.

  • Yves


  • Sean

    To be completely honest, knowing China these are just mockups that will never really go anywhere.

  • Sam Suggs

    Its odd how the chinese firearms industrie went from total non inovation to a new military shotgun, assualt rifle and other weapons

  • D. Santos 1st