In 2011, the Turkish company UTAS presented its version of the "assault shotgun", the magazine capacity of which was 14 rounds 12/70 +1 in the barrel or 12 + 1 rounds 12/76. However, few people know that in fact this gun is not entirely Turkish, but developed by Smith & Wesson. So, a Turkish company was only supposed to be engaged in production, when all the development tasks weapons lay on the shoulders of the American armory company. Let's try to figure out how the American gun became Turkish, as well as get to know this interesting sample of weapons.
The idea of creating a weapon that would have a large-capacity store was born in 2006. Actually the idea was not new, many manufacturers set before their designers the task of creating such weapons. The main problem with the design was the fact that almost all the weapons layouts, which make it possible to install a large-capacity store, were either too large in size or belonged to other weapon companies. Options for which you would not have to pay the money would disappear almost immediately, because it was decided to consider the already existing models of weapons in order to create their model on their basis, which, of course, should be better in all respects. After a brief search, the company's attention was drawn to the South African model of weapons, known as Neostead. This smooth-bore rifle had a layout in which food was supplied alternately from two tubular stores located above the barrel. Handle hold, and accordingly, the trigger mechanism was located in front of the chamber, to minimize the length of the weapon while maintaining the capacity of the tube-shops, because you can even say that the weapon was created in the bullpup layout. The total capacity of the two stores was 12 12 / 70 + 1 cartridges in the chamber. The weapon was reloaded manually with the help of a mobile forearm. Sights were mounted on the handle for carrying weapons in the form of front sights and dioptricheskogo pillar. The equipment of the stores was carried out while raising their back part above the trunk. Interestingly, the mechanism of weapons allowed food only from the left magazine or only from the right one or alternately from each store. In more detail, this sample will be analyzed somehow in another article, but for now let us return to the Turkish-American gun.
Having chosen the basis for its future weapons, the company decided not to put pressure on authority, but honestly acquired permits for the use of individual solutions in its weapons and several units of South African smoothbore guns. As a result of the study of the received samples of weapons, Smith & Wesson decided to preserve the layout of the weapon and its basic principle of operation. However, at the same time, they decided to completely redesign all the mechanisms of the gun, and also to reduce its weight as much as possible without losing strength, since 3,9 kilograms of the Neostead gun without cartridges seemed too heavy for modern weapons. From that moment on, Turkish designers "joined" in the development of weapons, offering their solutions on their own initiative with which it was not so easy to argue. The project was led by Ted Hatfield, it was his ideas to take the South African gun as a basis. Work on the Urban Tactical Shotgun project with a total capacity of two stores took almost 3 years. When the weapon was already ready for mass production, Smith & Wesson sold the rights to this weapon to a Turkish company, and from that moment the gun became Turkish.
The reasons why Smith & Wesson abandoned the idea of selling this sample under their own name is not a big secret. In 2008, it was very difficult to find customers who could afford to buy these weapons in the amount that would suit the company. Given the financial crisis, many people became interested in this weapon and made offers to buy "on credit" under the most favorable conditions, but when the money was needed already yesterday, such offers were not even considered. The Turkish company offered money immediately, seeing the prospects of the new model, which was the reason for the sale of the rights to weapons.
Since in 2008, many people were interested in weapons, but few could pay, the Turks did quite cleverly. They simply hid this sample until better times, and so that no one pulled them, it was reported that the weapon needs some work. Unfortunately, it is not known whether this sample was actually refined or not, but only in 2011 was the old-new rifle presented to the public, just when the global economy was no longer actively shaking.
This model of weapon was a rather interesting externally model of an “assault” gun. Tube shops, like the barrel itself, were hidden under impact-resistant plastic. On the surface of the model there were several controls, allowing not only to switch the modes of operation of the weapon, then to control the ammunition without taking your eyes off the sighting devices. First of all, an interesting solution was to deduce the external sliders, which were connected to the feeders in the stores and acted on the surface of the weapon. With their help, it was not only possible to control the number of cartridges remaining in the stores, but also to fix the feeder spring in order to facilitate the ammunition equipment. To control the ammunition on the surface of the weapon there are figures corresponding to the number of remaining cartridges, however, they are designed for 12 / 70 cartridges, therefore when using 12 / 76 ammunition they will not correspond to reality. Also in the upper part of the weapon there is a switch that is located almost in front of the shooter’s face. The task of this switch is to provide the ability to switch the power supply of weapons from a particular store or to force a weapon to feed from two stores alternately. Recharging is carried out using a movable forearm gun, locking the barrel when turning the bolt on the 3 stop, which are not coupled to the projections of the receiver, but directly behind the barrel itself, which reduces the strength of the materials used, without loss of reliability of the gun. Above the pistol grip on the left is the switch fuse, in fact, it is the only convenient element of the weapon in this sample. The switch of stores, located in the face of the shooter, is inconvenient neither for switching, nor for control, if, of course, the shooter does not have a squint.
In the process of creating weapons completely ruined the ease of reloading, which was present in the South African gun. Now, instead of lifting the tubes over the barrel and inserting the cartridges one by one, we had to do the same, but through the window on each side of the weapon, the insertion process was not facilitated, and before charging it was necessary to pull the spring of the feeder forward and fix it in the compressed position, while still holding the charging window open. Partially, this procedure was facilitated when the weapon cover was removed, then the charging was carried out directly into the tubes and there were much less chances to deform the cartridges, but still it didn’t give that simplicity to the loading procedure of the weapon like a South African rifle. Plus, do not forget that the windows for charging, even if covered with lids, in fact, open doors for dust and water. Throwing out the spent cartridge case is carried out on the right side of the weapon, also through a covered window. Consider a significant drawback, the presence of multiple moves for dust and water into the weapon, according to the manufacturer, is not worth it, after all, the weapon is intended for urban combat, but personally it seems to me that the fighter will absolutely not care under what conditions his weapon will fail.
Sights for this sample can be very diverse. Even open pillars and front sight are installed on a long bar of the picatinny type and can be replaced with more convenient ones for the shooter. Of interest is the nozzle on the trunk, which comes standard in the kit, it allows you to safely knock out locks from the door. An interesting solution in the weapon was to equip it with a laser target designator, as well as two types of flashlights, one of which is very ordinary, the second shines in the infrared range, which can be useful when using active night vision devices. Naturally, the equipment may vary depending on the wishes of the customer, and even such a question as to chrome the barrel bore or not is also negotiated.
Opinions about this weapon were divided among experts. Some consider it too large and inconvenient for urban combat, noting separately that it is impossible to quickly equip stores with ammunition, against the general background of the risk of deformation of ammunition when charging, which, of course, can cause gun failures. Others consider such a model to be an ideal smooth-bore weapon in the city and in confined spaces, noting that 15 cartridges are enough. Of course, I’m far from foreign experts, but I have a definite opinion about this weapon. This is a really easy sample of a gun with medium dimensions, which will fit well into the conditions of the city and during combat in rooms, I would like less of course, but then the store capacity will suffer (we do not take into account the barrel length, since it is not really needed at short distances) . Two capacious stores are a definite plus for the UTS-15 rifles, however, in fact, the inability to replenish the number of cartridges is an undoubted minus, because no one knows how much the event can take. Separately, it should be noted the possibility of deformation of cartridges and failures associated with this. Of course, we can say that failures are easily eliminated when the top cover is removed, but if the normal possibility of replenishing stores with cartridges was organized in the weapon, then it would not have been necessary to eliminate anything. The possibility of firing only from the right or only from the left magazine is sufficiently demanded as you can switch between bullet and shotgun ammunition or any other two types of ammunition. And everything would be good in this switch if the switch were not located in front of the shooter’s face. In general, initially the idea of such weapons was good, but they only realized it as if they had created a bunch of problems that they immediately had to solve. Why it was impossible to leave the possibility of raising stores up above the barrel for reloading, as in the South African Neosread gun to me is completely incomprehensible, because it would solve almost all the problems of weapons and it would have remained only to move the store switch to a convenient place.
The weight of a shotgun without cartridges is only 2,8 kilograms. Its total length is equal to 720 millimeters with a barrel length of 470 millimeters. The chamber chamber is designed for sleeves with a length of 76 millimeters, which does not interfere with the use of cartridges with a sleeve length of 70 millimeters.
The production of UTS-15 rifles is organized both in Turkey and in the United States to ensure this really large sales market. Weapons are offered in a wide variety of external coatings, from “radical black” to camouflage coating, depending on the area where the weapon will be used. There is no information on whether there is a civilian version of such a weapon, but I think that many hunters would be happy to have two versions of ammunition at hand, between which you can switch, that's just the appearance of the gun is not at all hunting.
Summing up the article, I would like to note that the UTS-15 rifle is definitely a beautiful model. In the best traditions of Hollywood, the very idea of a weapon is beautiful and, under normal implementation, would quickly destroy all competitors who are also trying to position their guns as fighting ones ... Once implementation and pumped up. Probably, weapons for people who are comfortable to use, have forgotten how to do it completely, and all forces are directed to ensure that it is “like a movie.”
UTS-15 Assault Rifle
- Karasik Kirill
- Photos used: