Daewoo USAS-12

The Daewoo Precision Industries USAS-12 (Universal Sports Automatic Shotgun 12 gauge) is an automatic shotgun designed as a combat shotgun manufactured in South Korea by Daewoo Precision Industries during the 1980s.

Daewoo USAS-12
Class Manportable
Type Rifles
Manufacturer Daewoo
Origin South Korea
Country Name Origin Year
South Korea 1989
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
South Korea View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Daewoo View
The USAS-12 is a gas-operated, selective-fire weapon which is designed to provide sustained firepower in close-combat scenarios. It accepts detachable 10-round box magazines or 20-round drum magazines. Both types of magazine are made of polymer, and drum magazines have their rear side made from translucent polymer for quick determination of the number of shot shells left. It has an effective range of 40 m.

The history of the USAS-12 dates from the 1980s vintage designs of Maxwell Atchisson. In about 1989, Gilbert Equipment Co. (USA) decided to bring up the selective fired weapon, broadly based on principles employed in Atchisson shotguns. The design of the new weapon was produced by John Trevor Jr. Since Gilbert Equipment Co. had no manufacturing capabilities, it started to look for possible manufacturers. It turned out that the only maker that agreed to produce this weapon was the South Korean company Daewoo Precision Industries, a part of the high-tech Daewoo conglomerate. Daewoo engineers adapted the new weapon to their manufacturing techniques, and mass production commenced in the early 1990s. The USAS-12 sold well to military and security forces of several (unspecified) countries in Asia, and more than 30,000 of USAS-12 shotguns were made by mid-1990s.

During the same timeframe, Gilbert Equipment Co. tried to bring semi-automatic version of USAS-12 to the U.S. market, but Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen classified this firearm as "having no sporting purpose", so it became a "destructive device" under the U.S. National Firearms Act of 1934. This greatly restricted its civilian use. During the late 1990s, RAMO Defence Co. began to assemble USAS-12 shotguns from Korean and U.S.-made parts for sale on domestic market, but sales of this weapon were limited to government agencies only. Today, this shotgun is still being manufactured by S&T Daewoo in Korea for military and law enforcement sales only.

A US firearms manufacturer, Ameetec Arms LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, has started the manufacture of a USAS-12 semi-automatic clone, called the WM-12; it mainly differs from the USAS-12 by the lack of fixed sights and carrying handle, replaced by a Picatinny rail. The manufacturer states that the WM-12 is not a "destructive device", and is thus readily available to civilians. As of January 2008, however, the WM-12 was no longer to be found on Ameetec Arms online catalogs because it was discontinued after its initial semi-production run. Only a few WM-12s were built using USAS-12 Demilled shotguns.

The semi-automatic version of the original USAS-12 is manufactured by DGN Enterprises Inc. near Martinsville, Indiana, under the store front Guns & Ordnance. The new production USAS-12 is still registered as a "destructive device".

Weight - 6.2 kg (with 10-round magazine)

Length - 960 mm

Barrel length - 460 mm

Cartridge - 12 gauge

Feed system - 10-round Box magazine or a 20 round drum magazine.

Sights - Iron sights standard, Optical sights may be fitted.

End notes