BREAKING: Is the Atchisson AA-12 Fully Automatic Shotgun Up for Sale!?

Dear reader, are you a manufacturer looking to expand your lineup? Here’s a suggestion: How about entering the fully automatic shotgun market by buying the rights to the successor of the famous Atchisson AA-12? That’s what the below video published by BC Engineering Co of Russellville, Tennessee asks, regarding their BC Jaeger, the descendant of Atchisson’s famous automatic shotgun design:

The AA-12 was first invented in 1972 by Maxwell Atchisson as the Atchisson Assault Shotgun, but the early versions had problems with reliability and polymer fouling from the plastic hulls of shotgun shells. In 1987, the design was sold to Jerry Baber of Military Police Systems, who rebranded it with its familiar “AA-12” name; then in the early 1990s German-born Boje Cornils was hired on to help improve the design and create the tooling to mass produce it. By the early 2000s, the design had been substantially improved, including a complete aesthetic overhaul thanks to an external two-piece polymer shell. In 2004, the design was demonstrated to the US Marine Corps, which substantially raised its popular profile. In 2005, SOF Magazine floated the idea of combining the AA-12 with a new type of ammunition: The Quantico-developed FRAG-12 explosive shaped charge 12 gauge shotgun round. This combination captured the imagination of journalists, perhaps reaching the peak of its popularity with the tenth episode of the second season of the popular TV show FutureWeapons, on March 17, 2007.

At some point, it seems that Cornils moved on from Military Police Systems, and now works for BC Engineering Co., and their BC Jaeger, which is essentially an improved MPS AA-12, is up for grabs!

EDIT: My readers have of course noticed what I did not, that the BC Jaeger is a semiauto only variant of the fully automatic AA-12. Thanks, guys!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Petto

    Hickok45 video when?

  • Aklover

    I feel like if you’re trying to market the rights to the most famous shotgun nobody wants, you should at least hire someone to demo it in a way that doesn’t make it look like hot garbage

    • Bob Smithsonian


  • BattleshipGrey

    I have $3 in my pocket.

    • Major Tom

      I’ll buy that for a dollar!

      • Bob Smithsonian

        5 dolla

  • lowell houser

    I’ve got an idea, if you actually want to make money on these damn things why not make them with a semi-auto trigger group? This shotgun has been hyped for 20 years and meanwhile Saiga started actually selling something that worked.

    • Giolli Joker

      You’d have to change all the design, it’s an open bolt gun.
      AFAIK to make it legally semi-auto you’d have to convert it to closed bolt, basically redesigning it and losing one of the features that helps in making the gun controllable under rapid fire.

      • Xanderbach

        Did you watch the video? “closed bolt” is said at the start of the video.

        • Giolli Joker

          Actually nope, I was in the office.
          I’ll check it.
          The one I handled (not shot) was open bolt (and the bolt is like an anvil being rocketed forward).
          I know that the design went from API blowback to gas operated, locked breech, but still open bolt.
          I was not aware of a closed bolt version.

          • Good catch, thanks. I completely assumed the darned thing was fully automatic like the AA-12. I’ll fix it!

          • Giolli Joker

            You just fell asleep as soon as the video started. I feel you. 🙂

            BTW: pretty cool gun, quite famous, never been available to civilians as it was FA; they are the first to make a commercially viable version and… they end up marketing it so poorly. It’s kinda sad.

    • Giolli Joker

      It is actually a semi-auto version…

  • Giolli Joker

    I’d actually like to see the .357 version.

    So, how much?

    • I included a drawing of my “concept” with the letter. It’s probably still running around here somewhere…

    • Bob Smithsonian

      Sig or Maximum?

  • derfelcadarn

    Just because you can does not mean you should. Exactly which question is this the answer to ?

  • SignalFromTheRim

    Were they speaking English?

    • Bill

      I speak Appalachian, but I didn’t know that “implemental” was a word.

  • Major Tom

    So the shotgun that’s famous for only making it into the Modern Warfare video game series is up for trademark sale? Yeah, it’s the CAWS program all over again and the Pancor Jackhammer.

    There’s no value in a fully automatic shotgun. Semi yes, but auto no.

    • iksnilol

      I feel we should take it to its logical conclusion: a belt fed shotgun, basically a rechambered PKM (preferably bullpup).

      Just because.

      • jcitizen

        I always figured I could modify an M2 to shoot 20 gauge using the links that come with the regular 50 cal ammo – might have to modify the stops on the belt tray, and the claw that grabs the cartridge – probably not, but would be fun project on a roached ANM3 barrel. The only problem would be the change in dynamics – might have to build an all aluminum barrel carrier group to encourage a full cycle. I’d probably just put a modified ordinary shotgun action inside the barrel carrier. It is all too complicated, but anything fun like that is worth it when you don’t have to design the entire feed mechanism. That is the hardest part of all.

        • iksnilol

          PKM feed mech is already sorta made for it. I mean, only needs to scale up.

          • jcitizen

            You think it would feed a cloth belt? That is the only easy solution, if that works. It has been a while since I changed the barrel on a PKM, but I don’t remember it being particularly large diameter on the trunnion. Of course you don’t need that much metal on a shotgun chamber, so I digress. I suppose you could put a stack in place of the upper latch and pin to make up for more room.

          • jcitizen

            Scaling up is the part I hate – too much CNC work. If my .50 cal idea worked I might think about buying feed plate parts for an M2 and then modifying a more ordinary semi auto shotgun. I’m convinced those shells would fit, even though the neck spring on each link would have to be lopped off. If not the 20 gauge, maybe the 16? Hmmm?

  • MrFN

    What a lot of people are missing is that this is a semi only capable gun. Look, he only shoots in semi and the bolt isn’t open like on an AA-12, which if I remember correctly didn’t even have a selector, just a safety. Hell, if it’s cheap enough I’d buy one.

    • Richard

      Me two

    • Keyser Soze

      Honestly, the rate of fire on the full automatics is so low anyway that you wouldnt even miss it.

    • Anon. E Maus

      Oh boy, so it doesn’t even have the “lightened recoil” from the bolt slamming forward or the advanced primer ignition, which is part of the point.

      Don’t expect to see this below $1000, they gotta recuperate their costs.

  • Iggy

    While the Frag 12 was obviously a bust, the thing that confuses me is how it got tied seemingly exclusivley to the AA-12 and no one played on the potential entertainment value of using them in a sawed off as a mini grenade launcher (in more ways than one).
    Or you could use it in the silenced model of the Six12 for a silenced grenade launcher (my favorite weaponry oxymoron).
    Yes it’s impractical, but I feel the potential awesome outweighs that.

    • aka_mythos

      It came down to the intent of the Frag12 design to penetrate engine blocks and disable vehicles. If a single shot were good enough to achieve it they’d use a .50cal rifle.

      • iksnilol

        Doesn’t the AA 12 use a box magazine? And aren’t drum mags kinda box mags as well?

        • aka_mythos

          Not really, not as far as safety concern goes. The concern is that if the magazine has a series of rounds stacked in a column like traditional magazines you have a significant enough amount of explosive stacked in contact with another and another and another round. That if you have an out of battery detonation, it is much more likely to set off all the rounds in the magazine, if it is the straight channel and stack up than if the rounds are out alignment. Even if a detonation propagated into a drum it has more air space that doesn’t channel the blast directly into the next round.

          Other magazines for other weapons could very well be just as safe but it a case of the AA12’s being the ones tested and proven safe.

    • Austin

      I associate the FRAG rounds with the USAS-12 but that’s is due to how ridiculous that combo was in the early days of Battlefield 3.

    • iksnilol

      Am I the only one that understands the value of a silenced grenade launcher?

      HINT: Grenades are subsonic, ergo it will be hard to find out where the grenade was launched from. Especially considering that grenades explode and make it harder to judge the angle from which it was shot.

      • Bert

        It has merit, however the explosive payload a 12ga such as this can carry is less than impressive. The hulls of a 12ga are 18.53mm in diameter, so already less volume in the round compared to the abandoned 20mm round from the xm29. Grenade launchers are already pretty quiet, as you mentioned, so a suppressed grenade launcher isn’t adding a lot except for weight.

        • jcitizen

          The amount of high explosives in a forty mike mike is not all that much is you see the tiny ball inside that contains it. I’d say it would be easy to put the same amount in a cylindrical round; but then you’d have to rifle the barrel to stabilize it, and be sure to invent a fuze that doesn’t arm until it is way out there! I’d bet a 25mm fuse would work, except the circlip would have to be modified for such low velocity.

          • Bert

            …Except I already addressed that. The 20mm round from the xm29 was abandoned in favor of the 25mm round used in the xm25, due to insufficient volume for high explosive or frag. 20mm was ineffective. A sub 18mm round would be even less useful. If this is the host weapon and caliber, remember that the hull walls of the shell take up space, further reducing usable volume. In addition, small explosives need frag to wound, taking up further space in the round. 12ga is not a suitable grenade caliber. To achieve the same effect on targets as a 25mm or 40mm, you would need considerably more rounds per engagement, negating the benefits of weight savings and of more ready rounds. Using the 25mm’s fuse as you suggest would probably also necessitate using the xm25’s albatross of a sight module.

          • jcitizen

            Thanks for that assessment; you are undoubtedly correct – I wonder if at least they be worth while as a flash bang choice for law enforcement – at least. When I was pointing to the fuse, I was talking about the simple dynamic fuse used in the 25mm of the mid century. It was a simple offset that would align the firing pin hole after several rotations – I used to play with them in engineering school, and they were small enough to mount on the nose of a 12 gauge round. But as you said – not very practical anyway – and besides electronic fuses are getting more and more reliable every year.

  • claymore

    Jesus nobody caught the doubling when the “cameraman” was firing look starting at 6:46 and onward. Several doubling probably from his loose grip and bouncing off his trigger finger like those sliding stocks. It you can’t see it close your eyes and listen they are clearly audible.

    • Giolli Joker

      Nope… nobody reached 6:46…

      • Twilight sparkle

        I didn’t even make it past that t shirt at the beginning

        • Core

          Mommy issues huh.. He said Magmm instead of Magwell. Rofl

    • roguetechie

      Yep I caught the doubling too. The woman seems to have a double maybe two as well.

      Like others point out, I see way more recoil than the full auto version. This shouldn’t surprise anyone with a working knowledge of how AA-12 and Ultimax actually work and the mechanism of recoil mitigation used. If you understand the system you’d immediately dismiss building a closed bolt semi version.

      Interestingly enough single shots can be fired by the real versions using good trigger discipline, and still maintain the low recoil characteristics.

    • iksnilol

      Dude, we others don’t have the training, skills or endurance to watch this stuff for 6 and a half minutes.

      Like we’re mere mortals/civilians.

  • Patrick R.

    That was painful to watch! Terrible sales pitch.

    If someone does make this it will sell like gangbusters with the tactical crowd, look at all the borderline useless double barrel pump or double magazine shotguns that are floating around, that alone is proof that they would fly off the shelf.

    • DropGun25

      I feel like bringing in your mom to help “sell” your product might be a red flag towards quality.

    • iksnilol

      Hey! Double barrel pump gun is a simple work of genious.

      Darn young people, they don’t remember what it was like gunning down cacodemons with a simple break action double barrel. No appreciation of the modern technology, I tell you.

    • Anon. E Maus

      Honestly, the DP-12 isn’t that bad, it seems goofy but it’s a weapon I could see myself using practically. One pump, two shots ready, maybe it’s a niche thing, but I can see a lot of appeal in it.

    • Core


  • Richard

    I would legitimately buy one if they were for sale

  • Stages of denial with a machine gun design
    1. Try to sell it to the military.
    2. get some gun writer that will write anything to “review” the gun and say its the best thing since sliced bread.
    3. Failing military try to tell LE they need it and that the military tested it, leave out the fact that they rejected it.
    4. Having failed at 1 and 2, find a action movie that is being produced and get it shoved into the hero’s hands at some point.
    5. Try to get LE and military sales based on movie appearance.
    6. Having failed that try foreign military sales but since US has laws against kick back you fail at that too.
    7. Get gun in some video game and hope when the young players grow up they want to procure it when they get in military/LE.
    8. Every B action movie that comes along gets gun shoved into hero’s hands because you are letting them rent it on the cheap.
    9. try telling every foreign LE that they need it.
    10. Try selling it to rich Arabs and convince them that its so great, just look at all the movies and video games its in that say so!
    11. Reality sets in and you realize that no full auto sales are coming, you redesign for semi auto and sell it to all the video play junkies but you price it so high to pay for the 20 years of failed full auto sales.
    12. You wonder why you can’t sale it in a market that has been flooded with cheaper alternatives for 20 years.
    13. You sell the rights on to the next sucker at a substantial loss.
    14. the next sucker is a video game guy that made it int he tech industry and has no clue on tight tolerance manufacturing and turns out a POS that does not work and so harms the gun’s reputation that sales are no longer viable.

    • Giolli Joker

      “10. Try selling it to rich Arabs and convince them that its so great,
      just look at all the movies and video games its in that say so!”
      I hand a chance to put my hands on an AA-12 (with fake carbon fiber wrap…) in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, it belongs to the personal collection of one of the sheiks.
      (Sadly I did not fire it, but pulling the trigger letting that bolt run forward almost feels like having shot a round.)

    • Anonymoose

      Let me tell you a tale about a little gun called the ACR…

      • sean

        I really wish Magpul kept that for themselves and never sold the Masada. Remington ruins everything.

    • captainmidnight

      I rarely read long posts, but yours was great. I think #10 is the best way to go!

  • Joe Schmo

    Man, that video was hard to watch. If they want to demonstrate a firearm, they should only do so with trained professionals in front of the camera. I don’t want to watch one of those “LOL FUNNY GUN FAILZ 2016 EDITION” videos when I’m trying to learn about any firearm. When they bring untrained or inexperienced people in front of the camera without standing right next to them, it is very unappealing to me. But that’s just me, what do I know, I’m just some guy on the Internet.

  • Y-man

    Why were his hands so dirty?! And that T-Shirt at the beginning!

    • Tassiebush

      he’s a dirty mother liker

  • SnowblindPariah




  • DropGun25

    Wasn’t one of the big technological selling points of the AA-12 being it basically had zero recoil? That seems to have a lot, if not comparable recoil.

  • RickH

    Are there any military or law enforcement agencies around the world that would actually want this? Didn’t HK develop one also? As interesting as the concept is, I can’t see it being practical. And I’m sure this has all been discussed before…..

    • AldanFerrox

      Yeah, HK developed the CAWS. But they had a goverment contract.

  • Robert Bryan

    Damn nice piece of weaponry!

  • Giolli Joker

    Nope. The original is open bolt. Their redesigned version isn’t.

  • loopydupe

    The open bolt AA12 is super easy to keep on target, and it sacrifices being a reasonable weight in order to achieve that.
    you fully understand HOW the open bolt AA12 manages to be so
    controllable, you’ll understand how this closed bolt variant won’t be.
    bolt slamming shut, without being opposed by instantly firing, will
    move the gun forward in a sudden jolt, exactly the sort of thing the
    AA12 was made to avoid.

    If they’re not upfront about this being
    less controllable than the open bolt original, when people try it and
    are disappointed, the reputation for extreme recoil controllability that
    the AA12 has earned will be tarnished.

  • Captain Obvious

    That was possibly the worst video ever. I cringed every time someone touched that shotgun.

  • hami

    It’s interesting to see that it really hasn’t been in many movies. I immediately thought of the Expendables, Predator, Justified, and breaking bad. I just assumed more. I suppose when the AA12 does make it on screen it makes quite the impression.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      I’m guessing that the shotgun might be hard to get your hands on.

    • jcitizen

      I’ve seen it mostly on Military Channel in test video of robot applications. That’s about it.

  • Damn you are right, I forgot the airsoft. Then again, most airsoft are unlicensed knock offs so that may or may not be much of potential income stream for the machine gun marketer.

  • Keyser Soze

    Hmm. Someone tell central casting that when the next video comes around they might want to try pulling volunteers from some place other than the local buffet line and old folks home

  • Benjamin Goldstein

    Wonder how it compares to a Korean USAS12?

  • ft

    Wow, I have just sen a video on how to NOT handle a weapon. That elderly woman was shooting pretty high.Hope they had a really high berm or back stop. Also the older gentleman was pretty much pointing the thing at his foot.
    I don’t think I want to go shooting with any of those people.

  • RickOAA .

    I’ve heard people ask for these at local gun stores. When you tell them to get something you can actually buy like a Vepr or Saiga 12 they look at you crazy.

  • Mike F

    This would’ve sold but I think the market for magazine fed shotguns has been filled. In the years it took to decide civilian sales would be profitable, the AA12 got squeezed out by Russian and Turkish guns.

  • sean

    “Even a child can operate it”!….Sell them to Boko Haram. I kid I kid.

  • MIstwalker

    That video was painfully poorly made. Hopefully the shotgun is better. But, it’s a day late and several dollars short, what with all the other semi-auto mag fed shotguns out there.

  • Arturo Suarez

    I couldn’t stop watching…I was waiting for someone to have an ND.

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    Someone needs to spend the money to hire a professional videographer.

  • jcitizen

    Yes, that guy is kinda like watching America’s dumbest videos! HA!

  • jcitizen

    There is only three types of outer shells the ammo would have that I’d accept in shooting in a drum fed semi or full auto – and that is either the old Russian full metal surplus that was available a few years ago, paper, or full brass. The last two are very hard to find, and you’d have to reload them your self. I have my doubts the statement that was made about the fixing of the plastic round hangups, and I feel that is pushing the limit of credibility. Sorry!