I get images and questions about SPAS12's that look like these pictures. Some call the SPAS "Stainless", some "Marine", some "Satin Nickel."
What are they really made of? If they have been plated, who plated them? Are they "factory?"
I can only tell you what I know, and a lot of it is from what has been told me. Since there is a disagreement here, I am sure to make some people unhappy.
First off, "Factory." This can mean a lot of things. Sometimes the Importer modifies or enhances guns after importing them -- is this still factory? The "divertor" or "spreader" isn't from Franchi, the importer American Arms came up with them.
I have been told that one distributor had one plated and awarded it to the top selling dealer. This would be sort of factory.
I have been told that a box of them straight from Franchi was opened at a distributor,. and there was one silver gun inside (along with an 18.5" SPAS12). That would be factory.
So, are there are plated guns out there, and they could have been plated by Franchi, the importer, or anyone else. Who knows? Bottom line -- do you like the gun?
The big question -- are any of them made from Stainless Steel?
I know that the "stainless" or 'marine" version of a gun like a Winchester 1200 Marine Pump has a stainless steel barrel, but everything else including the receiver is plated.
I also know you can't just substitute stainless steel for normal carbon steel. The tooling won't work, the steel won't be strong enough in places, will need to be made thicker.
So do I think Franchi tooled up with all
new tooling to make a few stainless models? No.
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