Striker 12: Shotgun Turned "Destructive Device"

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Forgotten Weapons

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Shared October 3, 2019

This was Lot 1146 in the October 2019 Morphy Extraordinary auction; sold for $5,843.

The Striker shotgun was designed by a Rhodesian named Hilton Walker in the late 1970s, although not manufactured until after he had emigrated to South Africa. He partnered with the owner of the Armsel company to finance production, which was actually done by a company called Aserma Manufacturing. The original Striker version of the gun used a wind-up spring-powered 12-round cylinder coupled with a gas auto-ejection system for all but the final round fired. This was treated as a semiautomatic shotgun by the South African police, and Walker redesigned it in 1991 to be manually indexed (by pivoting the front grip and barrel shroud between shots). This allowed for less regulated sale in South Africa at the time.

For the export market - like the United States - the distinction was not relevant, and it was the Striker model with its wind-up cylinder that was brought in by a company called Sentinel Arms. Both a full-length version with an 18 inch barrel and folding stock, and an “entry” version with a 7 inch barrel and no stock, were sold. In 1994, public pressure led the Clinton administration to designate the Striker-12 along with the Cobray Streetsweeper and USAS-12 shotguns as Destructive Devices under the 1934 National Firearms Act. This was legally possible because the NFA considers all firearms with bore diameters over 1/2 inch to be Destructive Devices, with guns like shotguns exempted if they are considered suitable for sporting purposes.

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