FN’s motto is, “The World’s Most Battle-Proven Firearms.” Based on my experiences with FN, I would have to say, that statement is correct. Their line of handguns and rifles are proven to be top quality firearms that many people consider the most reliable in the world. My experiences with the FNS 9c, SCAR 17S and the military issued FN M16A4 have taught me that FN makes outstanding firearms that truly are “The World’s Most
I think that many people are unaware that FN also makes shotguns that are just as reliable as their rifles and handguns. Recently, I had the pleasure to review FN’s pump action 12 gauge shotgun called the FN P-12. The P-12 is their only pump action shotgun which is also the least expensive in their shotgun line. The MSRP on the P-12 is is $669 however when searching gunbroker, I learned this shotgun could be purchased between $400 and
$450. The main thing that intrigued me with the FN P-12 were the many additional features that make this shotgun stand out as a worthy home defense or hunting choice.
Gauge: 12-gauge with 2 3/4” and 3″ chamber
Type of Fire: Pump-action repeater
Trigger Pull: 6.2 to 7.3 lbs
Weight: 7 lbs 7 oz
Overall Length: 39″
Barrel Length: 18”
Magazine Capacity: Standard, Five 2 3/4″ or Four 3″
Sight Radius: 14″
Standard Invector™ Improved Cylinder choke tube included
The P-12 has a synthetic matte black stock with aggressive texturing on the buttstock grip and forend. The heavy texturing reminds me of the same “non slip” stippling they use on some of their handguns. The deep texturing on the forend is nice for a solid purchase when working the pump action. The butt-end of the stock has a thick rubber non- slip recoil pad that soaks up the 12 gauge recoil which gave me the feeling of shooting a less intensive 20 gauge. There are also two steel sling studs located on the end of the magazine tube and the other on the bottom of the butt stock. I like to attach a sling to my long guns so the sling studs are a nice addition for me.
The barrel FN uses for the P-12 is quite impressive. It’s an 18 inch chrome lined barrel that offers longer life and corrosion resistance. The barrel is also cantilevered which means a weaver rail is attached to mount an optic above the receiver. FN uses Standard Invector™ choke tubes that mount flush with the end of the barrel. I used an “all purpose” modified choke in the P-12 that suits both defensive and hunting objectives.
The receiver also has some quality features that I find outstanding. All of the metal surfaces have a matte black finish on the aircraft grade aluminum alloy. One of the things I noticed immediately when I first handled the P-12 was how light the shotgun was. The aluminum alloy receiver accounts for much of the light weight. FN uses a rotating bolt as the pump action is activated which offers greater consistency with high pressure loads.
The P-12 has a fiber optic front sight and a flip up rear sight. Due to the fact that I did not mount an optic, I really liked this sight combination. The rear sight, which sits in front of the receiver, has a “V” cut that lines up well with the front sight. I found that target acquisition was quick with this set up. The magazine tube holds five shells of 2 ¾ inch and four 3 inch shells. I demonstrate in the video attached that the P-12 cycles the 3 inch shells easily and without issue.
My shooting impressions of the FN P-12 were excellent. I expected it to function well however I was sincerely impressed at how well it shot. The pump action was smooth and cycled the shells with short strokes allowing for rapid and consistent shooting. Albeit a lighter shotgun, the recoil was manageable and the shots were accurate. I have shot many shotguns in my day and I have to say that this FN P-12 was the finest shooting pump action shotgun that I have ever experienced. The additional features mentioned, in which many are specific to FN, made the range session even better. The P-12 instilled the confidence I would need for home defense or hunting purposes. It’s not the least expensive shotgun on the market but when it comes to defense, I don’t want a cheap shotgun. I want a quality shotgun and that’s what I found in the FN P-12.