Canadian Rossi 12ga Shotgun Pistol

Just the other day Nathaniel F posted about the Short Barreled Shotgun. Well in Canada, Rossi is importing some non-restricted shotguns with pistol grips. They come with 18.5″ barrels but due to some loopholes in Canada’s firearm laws regarding shotguns and handguns this 12Ga pistol is able to be made legally.

Our understanding is that only about 50-60 of the full sized 18″ versions entered the country. With the realization that they had been sold with barrels less than the prescribed 18.5″ they were quickly re-categorized as handguns. As handguns according to Canadian Law; barrels could be legally shortened to a length of no less than 4.25″ and submitted to the Firearms Center for “FURTHER RECLASSIFICATION” and “ALTERATION” by qualified gunsmith. The process includes shipping off photographs of the completed firearm and having its dimensions verified So to answer your question… one is selling them commercially anymore in Canada. They are out there. Only 5 have been changed in this manner legally and been approved by the government for range use. So if you can find one……hang onto your hat…… BECAUSE ITS ONE INSANE SHOOT!!!!!!


I am not sure I would want to shoot one of these. I think this may take the title from the Cobray Terminator as the worst shotgun. Even though it is not shouldered fired, I think I rather shoot the Terminator than this hand cannon.

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


  • Giolli Joker

    Recoil should be somehow in the same category of heaviest .500 S&W loads, however it looks like this thing is lighter than any X-frame revolver and it has no muzzle brake, so… ouch!

    • oldman

      Finley a use for Aquila mini shells.

      • wayne Reimer

        I was thinking exactly the same thing. I have a couple of boxes of those I’d love to be able to run in my Adler lever action shotgun with its 13in. barrel, but they won’t cycle. I’ve been shooting them single shot style, and they would be very managable out of this

        • oldman

          My thinking is with the mini shells in this it would be the perfect snake gun when out hiking or fishing.

          • iksnilol

            Or just get a generic .22 revolver and use rat shot in it.

            Lighter, waay cheaper, and quieter.

          • oldman

            Hush you are spouting common sense this falls in to the I don’t care I want one anyway category. LOL

          • AlDeLarge

            My grandfather carried a little 22 revolver around his property with alternating rat shot and regular bullets, for snakes and other varmints.

  • Why in the world do people who make shotgun pistols insist on giving them the absolute worst grip angles? Of course that thing is garbage to shoot, the grip is dang near ninety degrees to the bore! Contrast that with how easy to shoot everyone reports the Mossberg Shockwave as being, with a grip that’s essentially just a birdheaded traditional shoulder stock.

    • iksnilol

      I think the rubber stripe takes away a lot of the recoil. And the full barreled ones are ported as well.

      • Giolli Joker

        It is the Taurus Raging Bull grip, in theory it is cushioned, but I guess that it just dampens a bit of the recoil.

        • jonp

          The ribbed grip is one thing Taurus got right. Its a thing of beauty taming recoil

          • Giolli Joker

            Do you refer to the one of the Raging Bull with colored cushion insert (used on this Rossi) or the one of the Tracker with thin horizontal ribs (looking like a heat exchanger)?

          • jonp

            I was speaking towards the Raging Bull, I guess but both seem to work very well. They look weird but work

  • PK

    Your description directly contradicts the stated information about why/what happened for these to be in Canada. They came in with barrels at 18″, not 18.5″, and had to be classed as handguns.

    • DIR911911 .

      “Our understanding is that only about 50-60 of the full sized 18″ versions entered the country. With the realization that they had been sold with barrels less than the prescribed 18.5″ they were quickly re-categorized as handguns.” . . . it’s almost like you didn’t read it

    • Phillip Cooper

      Reading is hard…

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    So… Got me thinking… I would love to get one with a 18.5″ barrel and AOW it.

    Does anyone sell these in the US?

    • iksnilol

      You do know that manufacturing an AOW costs the same as manufacturing an SBS ? The 5$ tax is for transfer of AOW, not manufacture (which is 200$ for everythang NFA).

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Ah you are correct. I had the $200 and $5 reversed. Its still early in the morning.

        On top of that Im bested in American law by a Scandinavian… Ill just retire for the day.

        Well then someone start manufacturing 8″ 12ga single shot not-a-pistols and selling them. I want one.

    • PK

      Not that I’ve found so far, but I’ve been looking. A factory break-action without a stock is a prime AOW candidate, whether it’s a single or double barreled example.

      While it’s $200 if you file the paperwork yourself, if you have a friendly 07/02 do the paperwork and then transfer it to you, it’s only a $5 transfer tax. Something to keep in mind, as there are companies out there who would be willing to do that for you for about half the cost of the F1 stamp.

  • oldman

    Should be using the Aquila mini shells instead of wrist beaker loads guess macho knows no borders.

  • jamezb

    Having shot numerous single and double barrel 12, 16, and 20 gauge NFA SBS and AOW pistol shotguns with barrels from 6″ to 12″ using both single and dual hand grips, I cannot understand why people are reluctant to want to shoot them, citing fear of recoil. In my experience the average full-house .44 magnum load or .454 Casull load is far more punishing, being as they push a solid bullet, through a rifled barrel at a higher velocity at higher pressure as opposed to a plastic shot cup through a smooth bore barrel at lower velocity and lower pressure.

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, the loads shown in the video however are 600 grs slugs shot at 1350 fps… it really looks punishing. Of course most loads aren’t as hot.
      Recently I tried a .500 S&W, 4″ barrel, with Hornady 300 grs @ 2050fps, and although brutal it was far more controllable than this 12ga appears to be.

      • iksnilol

        I’m thinking firing a bit lighter slugs at 320 meters per second would be waaaay more manageable… and be nice if you’ve got a suppressor.

  • Maxpwr

    But can you put a pistol arm brace on it and put it up to your shoulder in Canada? That’s what we really want to know.

    • wayne Reimer

      sure can. without modifying the status. its no different than putting a model 92 shoulder stock on a Rossi Ranchhand. Although they have only a 12 in. barrel and pistol grip, they are manufactured that way, not cut down after (which would make it a prohibited weapon) it’s NOT a pistol under Canadian law like it is in the U.S. , it’s a rifle, and adding a shoulder stock turns it from a one trick pony range toy into an absolute kick ass, short barreled bush carbine that in .44 or .45LC makes a nice bear deterrent, or .357 which is a nice 100 yd deer gun. My Rossi ranchhand with a full shoulder stock is my favorite bush gun, and it’s perfectly legal.

      • jcitizen

        Are you sure about that? It was my understanding that only Thompson Center was legal to switch shoulder stocks on their pistol. And that was only after years of court battles and a compromise with a “special” dispensation by the BATF on that matter only. This is the reason you see so many articles here on TFB about adding hand stabilizers to AR pistols, to avoid doing the paperwork, and tax on creating SBRs.

        • wayne Reimer

          Re-read my comment. In CANADA it is legal to add a shoulder stock without negatively affecting the status of the weapon. In the U.S. adding a shoulder stock may render it an SBR. It only works in Canada in specific circumstances, i.e. a lever action rifle like the Ranchhand. Since the rifle comes from the manufacturer as a distinct & separate model from the model 92, it has NOT been shortened by the end user. A lever action is NOT a semi-auto under Canadian law; if it were, it would fall into a restricted category as a SBR. It’s a loophole that hasn’t been corrected and given the small number of arms affected, likely won’t be. Whole different story with U.S.laws

          • jcitizen

            Sorry, I didn’t realize you were referring to Canadian Law.

    • David Sharpe

      Yes, but we can also put a stock on it. We are not restricted from putting a stock on a pistol.

  • A.WChuck

    “loopholes in Canada’s firearm laws”
    They are not loopholes. The is as it is written and they are conforming to the law. Stop feeding the lie.

    • Nicholas C

      I disagree.

      an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules.

      This shotgun was imported with a barrel that was too short to be classified as a shotgun.

      It did not have any real category so they called it a handgun.

      That would not fly in the US. Pistols can’t be smooth bore. They are AOW if they are too small to considered “firearm”. Like the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington Tac14.

      So to an American, this is considered a loophole.

      • Goody

        By your logic, every instance of firearm ownership exploits a loophole (to a Japanese)

        It’s legal in Canada, that’s all there is to it.

        • keazzy

          Goody understands. Nicholas the definition you give is an “idea” of a legal ambiguity. Think of a ban of interstate sales of pornography as any Photograph or Videotape, depicting sexual activity. Then Al Gore invents the internet and Photographs and Videotape don’t exist anymore. Is that a loophole? The intent of the law served very well with no ambiguity or inadequacy. Someone figured out a proverbial better mouse trap. What about automobiles, the interstate, and speed limits? Cars are the most regulated personal item you come into contact with on a daily basis. So if the government regulates them so much, if my car says 150 MPH then obviously the intent of the government was for me to travel that fast. It just doesn’t work that way. If we make the same salary, yet I read the law more thoroughly than you do and thus pay half the taxes you do, am I abusing a loophole? Nope, I just deducted “X” which you could deduct also, yet you chose not to.

      • iksnilol

        pistol and handgun are two different things.

        • David Sharpe

          Not really, a handgun is a firearm designed to be fired with 1 hand, a pistol is normally considered a handgun with its chamber integral with the barrel.

          All pistols are handguns, but not all handguns are pistols.

          And using that definition of pistol, this Rossi is a pistol.

      • Rap Scallion

        So why do we measure the rest of the world by our “Holier than Thou” moral yardstick?????????? Wasn’t this about weapons in Canada?????

      • jcitizen

        Shotgun pistols are legal in two ways here in the US – registered as an AOW, and built as a pistol with minimum over all length. The latter requires no paperwork – so the Mossberg Shockwave needs no AOW paperwork because of the over all length requirement. Just saying to help clarify your statement.

    • Tom Currie

      Agreed. Across the US, the gun media and the marketing departments of various gun dealers are among the worst enemies of our gun rights…. by going out of their way to provide ammunition to the anti-RKBA elements.

      Nonsense like referring to all sorts of perfectly legal situations as “loopholes” or the folks advertising the S&W Saint as “a lethal firing machine” that “fires ammunition at lightning pace, and it’s pinpoint accurate.” Bloomberg and Co don’t need to make this crap up, we write their ad copy for them.

  • Mark S


    • jonp

      It’s fundamental

    • wetcorps

      Why not?

    • DIR911911 .

      it’s a moral imperative

  • car54

    What we really need is birdshead grip single shot short barrel “firearm” with a OAL of 26″ in 20 gauge. No reason Rossi or someone else couldn’t or shouldn’t bring a single in without a shoulder stock on it.

    • iksnilol

      I think the barrel would be longer than 18.5″ then.

    • David Sharpe

      Canadians would have better luck with a short barrel pump, as iksnilol said, the barrel would need to be well over 18.5 inches to be non restricted, and therefore be good for a brush gun.

  • Blake

    Probably feels about like shooting a Serbu Super Shorty:

    • jcitizen

      Although it would be impractical – I’ve always wondered if replacing the front handle with some sort of shorty standard pump handle would be a legal modification. Kinda like that sawed off 1897 that Billy Jack character use in the movies.

    • Probably.
      But the Super Shorty has the advantage of a two handed grip.

  • Deserter

    Of course recoil is gonna hurt if you’re shooting overloaded slugs, it’s like saying 5.56 if you’re shooting 77 gr bullets loaded to 75000 psi, it’s gonna kick like a mule no matter what.

  • Carl_N_Brown

    If this concealable weapon is legally registered as a handgun in compliance with Canadian gun laws, what “loophole” is that?

    Loophole. I remember back in the late 1980s I bought a Blue Sky import South Korean M1 Carbine (IBM 1943) which had most of the post-WWII upgrades including a M2 stock of some odd Korean wood. I got it for $225: neither the dealer nor I considered it collectible grade. It would shoot 3 moa with sporting ammo minute-of-coyote so I put a sporter stock, scopemount, replaced the barrel band with bayonet lug with a plain band, and acquired two five shot magazines. Then came the federal 1994 Assault Weapon Ban. When Sen. Dian Feinstein announced that importers who complied with the AWB by removing banned military features were “evading” the law and the next round of bans would get those guns too, I had an epiphany. To gun banners, compliance with their laws is evasion and loopholes. So I pulled my saved carbine components out of storage and reconfigured my sporterized varmint gun to Korean War issue format and started attending the the local vintage and modern military matches. Schmoopholes.

  • Rogertc1

    I still like USA regulations better than Canada’s. Bet that would hurt. Agree with you See my Terminator. (Older 2009 pic of my gun room) on the Terminator.

    • jcitizen

      That is my kind of man cave! 😉

  • asm826

    “Loophole” is a pejorative term people and organizations describe laws they don’t like and want changed. So a perfectly legal tax exemption becomes a “loophole” that makes it seem like the company that used the exemption was doing something immoral.

    There’s no “loophole”. Canadian law allows smoothbore pistols. U.S. law requires pistols to have rifling. So if there is a market for a smoothbore pistol that fires a 12 gauge shell, it’s legal in Canada.

    Every gun law is unconstitutional.

  • Bill

    Groan. Why is it that every single article on every single internet gun forum has to deteriorate to pedantic bullshit? The article was about the gun and only incidentally about terminology. Yes, folks, we see you. Yes, everyone is right. Yes, you know more than the next guy. God, I miss the heyday of gunzines, when you just read the articles instead of getting into a pissing contest over every single word.

    • dlh0

      Spot on.

      • Bill


  • Jamie Clemons

    Wrist Breaker.

  • Glen Bowers

    Obama was the best firearm salesman the world has ever seen. : )

  • Way too much power in way too light a firearm, especially one fired with one hand.
    Something like a Serbu Shorty with a front grip is as light as I would be willing to go.

  • maodeedee

    As with the Mossberg shockwave, something like this would be much more useful as a 20 gauge or even a 28 gauge. The 20 gauge is plenty powerful for defensive use.

    The 28 Gauge is everything the .410 should be. It’s a shame that it never really caught on and that the guns that were made in 28 gauge have been build on the same size frame as a 20 gauge.
    One of these guns in 28 gauge would be a pleasure to shoot as opposed to a painful experience in 12 gauge. But a 20 gauge version would be both controllable and powerful.

  • Jimbo

    I don’t know much about our perverse firearm laws, but aren’t pistols with bores over .50 illegal in the USA?