Here are some images of other Franchi shotguns that are relatives of the SPAS12. Click here for specifications on all of these plus most other Military and Police type shotguns.
The SPAS15 information grew to the point where it has its own SPAS15 Page.
SPAS11 SPAS Franchi riot shotgun, October 1979. The 11 had a 900 mm folded length, a 500 mm barrel, and weighed 3.2 kg.
SPAS12 Prototype -- Note the lack of those sexy holes in the folding stock, the short barrel. Also note the grip safety sticking out in the front surface. They dropped it, but the place for it remains in the grips, filled with a plastic piece.
SPAS14 Prototype -- Artist's conception of prototype described in Jane's Infantry Weapons as a SPAS12 with a box magazine.
LAW12 -- The Franchi LAW12 was developed from the SPAS12. The new firearm appears to be one of the major contenders on the semiauto combat-shotgun market. Its gas operation (to minimize recoil), light weight, and the wide range of accessories available for it also promise to help it gain quick acceptance among those needing such a weapon. (Drawing courtesy of FIE)
The LAW12 was developed from the SPAS12 and, like its sister shotguns, is imported to the United States by FIE. The LAW12 can use all the accessories designed for the SPAS12. This means that, in addition to the pistol-grip, plastic stock designed for it, a folding stock (which has an optional carrying handle when folded) or the Choate skeletonized plastic stock can be used with it. The LAW12 can take a lot of abuse and is capable of firing a wide range of loads (though, for best operation, the loads recommended by the manufacturer should be used in combat).
The LAW12 comes with a cylinder bore; screw-in chokes and a spreader attachment are also available for it, as well as a scope mount.
Unlike the SPAS12, the LAW12 is relatively lightweight and is a lot simpler to operate since it works only in the semiauto mode. The firearm has two manual safeties, both located at the front of the trigger guard. One is called the quick-employment safety, and works in a manner similar to that of an M-14 or Garand rifle. The second safety must be rotated 180 degrees to get from safe to fire position - Ideally, this safety would be used only during storage of the weapon. Disassembly is similar to, but simpler than, that of the SPAS12.
Although the LAW12 was not yet released for testing at the time of this writing, it appears that it will become one of the major contenders on the semiauto combat shotgun market. Its gas operation (to minimize recoil), light weight, and wide range of accessories available for it also promise to help it gain quick acceptance among those needing such a weapon.
Overall length 41 in. (31 in., stock folded)
Barrel length 21.5 in.
Weight Believed to be 7 lbs.
Magazine capacity 8 rounds
(From STREETSWEEPERS, Courtesy Paladin Press)
SAS12-- (Slide Action Shotgun) The Franchi SAS12 shotgun is modeled after the SPAS12 shotgun but is lighter and operates in pump mode only. The shotgun can use any of the accessories designed for the LAW12 or SPAS12, including folding stock, divertor tube, choke tubes, scope mount, slings, etc. (Drawing courtesy of FIE, Inc.)
The safety system of the SAS12 is identical to that of the SPAS12 (see the next chapter). Finish on the SAS12 is matte black; the shotgun comes with a black pistol-grip stock and extended magazine which make it an ideal off-the shelf combat weapon. The shotgun is (was) slated for release in the United States in early 1987 and will be (was) marketed by FIE. (From STREETSWEEPERS, Courtesy Paladin Press)
PA3/345 -- As used by the Italian NOCS. It has a 345 mm (13.6") barrel and a 5 round magazine capacity. It is 595 mm long folded, 840 mm extended and weighs 2.80 kg. It is 12 gauge with a 2 3/4" chamber, has a chrome bore, and has the muzzle threaded to take SPAS-12-type accessories.
There is also a PA3/470 (not shown) that has a 470 mm (18.5") barrel and a 7 round magazine capacity. It is 725 mm long folded, 970 mm extended and weighs 2.95 kg. It is 12 gauge with a 2 3/4" chamber, has a chrome bore, and has the muzzle threaded to take SPAS-12-type accessories.
I personally don't think there is much difference, if any, between the SAS12 and the PA3 other than the longer barrel of the SAS12. The SAS12 might really be a PA3/550 -- I could be wrong.
PA3/215 -- The most compact PA3 version. It has a 215 mm (8.5") barrel and a 3 round magazine capacity. It is 470 mm long folded, 715 mm extended and weighs 2.70 kg. It is 12 gauge with a 2 3/4" chamber, has a chrome bore, and has the muzzle threaded to take SPAS-12-type accessories.
PA3 Compact -- A customized version of a PA3/215 (we think).
HK 512 -- An HK 512 semi-auto 12 gauge assault shotgun. The receiver is made by FRANCHI ITALY, it is one of less than 300 in USA. It has factory shot divertor (same as SPAS), mag extension, sling swivels, rifle sights and walnut stocks. HK matte black finish on metal surfaces. I'm told the shotgun was originally made for a Austrian special ops unit. HK did a 1500 gun contract over run and 263 of these were sold to Kessler Police Supply, only known guns in USA.
SPAS12 Almost -- This one isn't a SPAS12? Sure looks like one, doesn't it? Well, it is a SPAS12 -- Air Soft air gun made by Tokyo Marui.
Here is a Hong Kong site with some nice images (but only 10% of the guns available): Tokyo Model Company
These are very serious air guns, almost every gun you've ever heard of, all full size with every detail, semi and full auto -- and they leave quite a welt. The SPAS shoots 3 BB's with each pump. These are much more fun than you might think, especially the electric and gas powered models. My HK MP5A5 in full auto is a blast! And how else can you buy a Beretta 93R, or a GE Mini-Gun?
Franchi Prototype .410 Full-Auto Shotgun -- Yes, not really related to the SPAS except it's made by Franchi, but I had to show it. 15 round box magazine, 200 rounds per minute in full auto. Usefull if ever attacked by a mass of small rodents.
Franchi SPAS97 -- (10 ga. FSAPDS ammo) Taking its cues from the RSG "Sniper", Franchi developed their own version of a sniping shotgun. Firing the same round, this weapon operates either by pump or semiautomatic. When loaded with normal ammunition this weapon becomes a formidable combat shotgun. Franchi has bested the RSG with this design, and it will be interesting to see how things progress from here. (A totally fictitious gun from a popular kill-everything-in-sight game).
If any owner of any image or information used here feels their copyright is being violated, a single e-mail with documentation will get it removed. I hope everyone is proud to have their images here for the benefit of all SPAS owners. Chris does not make any money from these pages, in fact it costs him to have them. Private users without any financial motives have Chris's permission to copy and/or distribute without financial gain any SPAS information here.