UTAS XTR-12: 12 Gauge AR Shotgun | NRA 17

At the NRA Annual Meeting something caught my eye at the UTAS booth. I will be honest I am not a fan of the UTS-15 when it comes to bullpup shotguns. However UTAS has something relatively new that I missed at SHOT Show last January. It is their XTR-12. It is an AR styled shotgun. In fact I would not even bother calling it “AR Style” it is an AR shotgun.

According to the guys at UTAS, the XTR-12 uses a DPMS AR-10 lower. In fact, you can get a DPMS .308 upper slap it on the XTR-12 lower and it will work.

Since the lower is a DPMS AR-10 lower, that means you can use any trigger you want and swap out any other controls you prefer, like extended mag releases and grips.


UTAS said that this shotgun is direct impingement. You can see the size of the gas block under the handguard.

Due to the gas block size, you are limited on choices for handguard options. However what comes on the XTR-12 is really not that bad at all.


Below is the massive bolt.


They recommend using 1&1/8th Oz loads when shooting birdshot, or anything 1250fps.

The XTR-12 come with 5rd magazines but they make 10rd metal magazines and retail for $69 each.


The XTR-12 barrel is externally threaded for chokes or muzzle brakes. I am not sure what the thread pitch is but I suspect it is similar to the Vepr12/Saiga 12 thread pitch.

For an additional $200 you can send your upper in and have the barrel swapped out for an internally threaded barrel. For your $200 you will get your externally threaded barrel back along with the upper. It will come with five Benelli Cryo chokes. While they do not thread the outside of this choked barrel, the reps at UTAS did mention that 3Gunners are having their barrels threaded for muzzle brakes.


The XTR-12 retails for only $1099 for the all black version. It has last round bolt hold and as I said earlier it is compatible with DPMS .308 uppers. UTAS will be coming out with a combo set that will have both the 12Ga and .308 uppers as well as magazines to feed both guns. The combo set will retail for $1800.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • b0x3r0ck

    Is it just me or is the magazine price a little high? It’s basically a AR-10 mag setup to use 12 gauge.

    • Nicholas C

      Price is relative. Look at the Sig MPX. Lancer makes their mags and they cost $60. Go check out how much H&K MP5 magazine cost.

      • Vhyrus

        As a counterpoint, SGM makes 10 round magazines for the VEPR 12 that cost half the price of the xtr magazines. It can’t be that much more expensive to cut holes in different places.

        • Dracon1201

          It is that expensive. Especially if you don’t make thousands a day.

    • Flyingchipmunk

      Well it also may be the most complicated and important part of the shotgun. Feeding fat, flat faced, rimmed shotgun shells is really the only special magic this gun has to have. Other than that you can basically copy an AR. Getting them to feed right from an engineering perspective is time consuming and difficult, therefore expensive. It isn’t all about the cost of the magazines themselves, although in low production that matters too.

  • Vhyrus

    I have seen these going for as low as $750 recently. The only downside I can see to them is they have expensive magazines.

  • Gary Kirk

    Can I get just an upper?

    • Russ Kell

      ^ That!

      • Mike Jackson

        ^^ Both of those!

    • bobsolla

      I just interested in the complete Upper as well!

  • Joshua

    A company that actually knows what direct impingement means…I’m impressed.

    • SGT Fish


    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      Actually, it seems that they don’t seeing as how the XTR-12 uses a short stroke gas piston rather than having an AR style or true DI gas system. At least it used to, maybe it has changed. However, looking at the design of that bolt it looks more like a short strike piston, as on a true DI gun (not the AR-15 system), there tends to be a “cup” on the bolt which the gas tube goes into to gather the gas more consistently and efficiently. It also looks like whatever is coming out of the back of that gas block is too big for a simple gas tube, looking more like a piston tube.

      • Joshua

        Normally yes, but looking at the carrier it appears to no longer support the older op rods of the old XTR-12’s.

        It may just be a true DI system, though outside of their word I can’t know for sure,. since I haven’t seen these new models. However I do see a difference in the carrier that wouldn’t allow for use of the old push rod.

        • Mr Mxyzptlk

          My guess would be that they have just changed the layout of the gas piston and operating rod for some reason (if I remember correctly I think the original bolt carriers were breaking so maybe it is related to that). I just found a post on the AR15 forum (https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_121/700254_UTAS-XTR-12-just-came-in–AR-10-style-shotgun-.html) from August 2016 (so not that new) where somebody had gotten one and it uses this exact bolt carrier and the same short strike piston with separate operating rod arrangement. Unfortunately there are no pics of the operating rod out of the gun to show the part that interfaces with the bolt carrier.

          On a broader point, I do not thing that you could do an actual uncontained DI system on an AR platform as the gas would just blow around the bolt and blast out of the charging handle slot into your face. The only reason that the AR gas system works is that the gas is directed inside the carrier and the excess is vented out of the side of the carrier through the ejection port rather than being allowed to blow into the rear of the receiver

  • iksnilol

    But is it compatible with DPMS 308 uppers?

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Finally, someone actually made this. And they don’t want $3000 for it. If I could have it in NJ, I would be on the list. Curious if they will offer just the upper, then you could get it here and be compliant by using one of the non-pistol grip options (all of which look awful, I agree).

  • Garrett Hart

    Avoid these guns like the plague, I got to shoot mine all of 15 times, the tolerances and machine work was horrible. After getting it back from repair the 3rd time and still having issues, I finally sent it back for a refund

  • Piotr Jan W.

    Buy turk guns, fund the new caliphate and expansion of moosleems, sign the death sentence on western civilization and your childrens future.

    • valorius

      Allah Ackbar! (I just threw up a little)

      • tsubaka


  • valorius

    Where’s the forward assist?

  • thedonn007

    I thought that 12 gauge was too big to fit the .308 magwell?

    • bobsolla

      12 gauge 2 3/4″shells fit in my .308/SR25 Pmag magazines.

  • Rogertc1

    Looks well made. However most semi-auto shot guns like this are ammo sensitive. Thus the pump KSG, UTAS (UTAS has problems), and DP-12 exist that shoot most anything. I will remain skeptical of the Turkish delight. Not a bad price at Buds of a hair over $800.

  • Capn Jack

    So much for kicking the tires and drooling over the paint….What does it cost ?

  • DropGun25

    Seems like an impressive turn around from the UTAS Bull pup they were trying to dump on people.