Not So Forgotten Weapon: Franchi SPAS-12

Nathan S
by Nathan S

I swear I am developing a man crush on Ian from Forgotten Weapons. He gets to play with all the cool things including a Franchi SPAS-12, a combination semi-auto/pump action shotgun. The “SPAS” stands for “Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun”

While it failed at its namesake (I agree, it can barely be called “sporting”), the shotgun has an indelible place in our popular culture. The Matrix comes to mind, when a few SPAS-12 shotguns were used in pump-action mode (which if using buckshot, was entirely unneeded). Sadly, the shotgun was no match for Trinity and Neo.

While importation stopped in 1994, a few did make it into the country and one is ready for auction at the RIA December event.

For those who have been living under an entertainment rock, the “Lobby Scene” from The Matrix is included below. Look for the guy who says, “Freeze!”

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

More by Nathan S

Join the conversation
2 of 56 comments
  • Bill Bill on Nov 14, 2015

    Yeah, and there was a rack full of them in the blockhouse. I remember seeing a few at Pro-Arms and at the COTW Salt Palace gun shows, which were like visits to collectors heaven back in the day. The latter was also where I saw not one but two Bren Tens, COPS in both .357 and .22, dozens of Detonics Pocket Nines, numerous Auto Mags, a few Wildeys and even a genuine ASP Model 39 with Guttersnipe sight, clear grips and mint Seventrees holster (the only reason I didn't trade a kidney for that one right then and there is that nobody had a scalpel). God, I miss the 80s!

  • Capn Stefano Capn Stefano on Nov 14, 2015

    I have one, bought it new over the counter in the 1980s. HEAVY but totally reliable, accurate with deep sleeps while in the Zombie apoc I'll use my FN SLP MK 1

    Arnie used one in the Terminator 1 movie, blowing away an entire police station