I met Dave Fillers at the Big 3 East event last year. I have been intrigued by the guns he has been making and importing from China. At the October Big 3 East Media Event he showed me a sneak peak into a tennis racquet bag and inside it was the first Chinese Bullpup 12 ga semi auto shotgun in the states. The Canadians have been importing this shotgun for the past year under Lever Arms. It is called the LA-K12 Puma and the DDI shotgun bears the same markings on it as well.
I was excited to get this in my hands and play with it. First off the LA-K12 Puma looks very similar in style to the QBZ-95 assault rifle issued to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Due to the Chinese Arms Embargo we cannot get any military style weapons like the QBZ-95. However shotguns are exempted from this. This is why we have such guns as the Catamount Fury mag fed clone of a Saiga12. So this LA-K12 Puma will be the closest thing we get to a QBZ-95.
The QBZ shotgun has a 5 round magazine. Now the mags are a bit narrow and you need to test fit your ammo in the magazine. I came across issues trying to load Wolf Buckshot into the magazine. The crimp of the shotgun shell was a little too long and would not allow the round to go down into the magazine. Also this shotgun does not do well with shotgun loads under 1300 fps. I shot two boxes of 12 ga ammo that said they were over 1300 fps and still had some cycling issues. I did not experience any issues shooting buck shot or slugs.
The QBZ shotgun is a bull pup so the over all length is very short. In fact it is almost as short as my Zenith Z5-RS MP5.
Here is the QBZ next to two other bullpup shotguns. The Standard Manufacturing DP-12 and the Kel-Tec Shotgun. While the QBZ only holds five rounds in the magazine, it makes up for it since it is a semi auto 12 ga.
The QBZ shotgun barrel comes threaded with the same thread pitch as a Saiga 12 or Vepr-12. I reached out to Legion USA and they sent me one of their blemish GK02 muzzle brakes. I had heard good things about this muzzle brake and have seen shotgun shooters use them on their race IPSC Saiga 12 shotguns. So I figured it might work well on the QBZ shotgun. It works great on slugs and buck shot.
I also had a Saig12 adapter for a Salvo 12, thanks to Silencer Co. My friend Andrew H. was kind enough to lend me his Salvo 12 to see how well the QBZ shotgun ran and sound suppressed. I only used buck shot and slugs. They ran great. The Buckshot was pleasant to shoot without hearing protection but the slugs were just marginally uncomfortable.
The QBZ shotgun has a rather short top picatinny rail so real estate is at a premium. I went with a Primary Arms Advanced Micro Red Dot on a Midwest Industries T1 QD mount. One issue with the QBZ shotgun is the position of the charging handle. I like forward charging handles, but this one sits too close to the picatinny rail so your knuckles will hit most scope mounts.
I alleviated this issue by flipping the mount around and having the QD lever on the right side of the gun. However the mount still sticks out a little on the left. This gun needs an angled charging handle badly. Wearing gloves would help but still it will snag on stuff.
I tried using a VG6 offset mount and while it works, the front sight would occupy the remaining rail space.
Since the top picatinny rail is so short, I went with Magpul MBUS Pro and the Unity Tactical Monkey Bar. This allows me to mount a SureFire Scoutlight M300 onto my front sight and save rail space.
As you can see in the image above, there are threaded brass inserts in the ribbed handguard. Unfortunately the gun does not come with any side rails. However I do not think I would want side rails as I prefer to hold the shotgun by that hand guard rather than use the vertical foregrip below it.
The QBZ shotgun should retail for under $1000, according to Dave Fillers. No word on larger capacity magazines but in there lies an issue of 922R compliance. At least that is what I was told. This shotgun would look better with a barrel chop and a salvo 12 or the GK02 on the end. It weighs just 8 lbs but feels extremely light. It is deceiving. When you pick it up you would think the gun was only 6-7 lbs. The mag release buttons are a tad too small for quick reloads but that could be fixed with an aftermarket part. I hope these shotguns do well and companies like Manticore Arms makes upgrade parts for it.