The shotgun is built using components of the AR-15 weapon system so there is a strong resemblance. The but stock, upper and lower receiver(s) are the same, with a different bolt and barrel assembly. It uses metal magazines of the AR-15 type which are modified to accommodate ten .410 cartridges. I read some comments about Vepr 12, well Safir T-14 is a well made gun looking high tech.
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Since it is based on the AR-15, receivers are made of aluminum and a lot of plastic components are used. That makes the gun considerably lightweight comparing to the Saiga type of shotguns. Ofcourse the use of the AR receivers does prohibit the further exploitation of the Stoner design for a family of shotguns as there is not enough real property for a 12 gauge, not even a .410 magnum. Thatís why Safir was limited to .410 only. I remember Bill Holmes did in the past design and made some shotguns in pump action which had some concepts of the AR platform at least in modularity, fabricating his own receivers in bigger dimensions to accommodate the bulkier shell.
T-14 can have a retractable butstock or a fixed one. The one that I tested came with the fixed one with the standard trap and compartment for the storing of cleaning accessories.
Although the short hand guards are used in some models there is no carbine version to apply with the Turkish prohibitive barrel length restrictions.
Safir utilises the AR 15 magazines. The follower doesnít have the steep angle of Saiga and itís fabricated from metal . Interestingly the magazine spring is much shorter than the one in Saiga and conclusively less springy. That means that the Safir ten round magazine is shorter in overall and much more easier to accommodate in somebodyís pocket, pouch etc. Also it is much easier to load the magazine manually. The 410 shells are arranged in the magazine box same way as in the Saiga (the rim of the bottom shell is placed a litlle bit to the back, in relation to the rim of the upper shell). Contrary to Saiga shotguns the metal AR magazines can be easily be found and modified by somebody with some skills at hands and a Dremel imitating the follower contours should be no problem.
As in the AR-15 one does not have to change his pistol grip during reloading. A magazine can be changed by pressing the magazine release button with the index finger of the right hand and inserting the magazine with the left. Cocking the gun is made with the left hand pulling the charging handle to the rear and afterwards the bolt catch should be pressed.
After that the gun is ready for firing. Safety cannot be engaged if the gun is unloaded.
It impressed me with itís accuracy. I could very easily hit center at 90 yds. Thereís very little felt recoil and muzzle lift .The gun is very easy to shoot and controllable.
When the last round is spent the bolt remains in the open position locked. A full magazine is inserted, bolt catch is pressed again and so goes on…
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Safir T-14 does suffer though from the fundamental problem of all box type magazine shotguns -feeding malfunctions. However it should be understood that all these types of shotguns are derivatives of rifles in which ofcourse a pointed bullet is much more easier to consistently feed properly than a blunt ended shell. In the case of Safir for my tests I used Winchester and Remington slugs made in US. Winchesters were unable to feed properly while with Remington I noticed no malfunction at all. After a cursory examination it was found that Winchester shells are a little bit wider on the front end lip of the plastic ferrule which forbids them from entering properly into the chamber. With Remington I fired over a hundred rounds with no malfunction and the gun worked smoothly.
Generally I liked very much behavior of this gun. It has all the standard pluses of Stonerís design over Kalashnikovís and all what are considered by many minuses.
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What I found as a major drawback is itís price comparing to the punch…
It costs around 1200E in Europe, around 1700$ which is way too much.. . Secondly the gun did only function with the Remington slugs which –behold- cost 1.30 E a round. So every time a magazine is spent so deeper goes oneís pocket.
I have read posts on this forum commenting about the unavailability of such a US made shotgun. Well it is very difficult to understand the purpose of such a gun.
Safir T-14 in the literature accompanying the gun is designated as a hunting shotgun with many photos of boar taken by it. Now I am not an expert on this matter but the last gun I would have taken with me for wild boar would be the Safir. Not that it cannot get the job done with an expert shooter but generally the tiny payload of .410 I think is considerably insufficient for that purpose.
This is why such a caliber with AR was never attempted in the US. It is much more logical and cheaper to buy the real McCoy . It does make sense though in Turkey and in the European countries governed by oligarchies, as generally one cannot legally obtain a semiautomatic AR-15, so customers are prepared to pay the premium.
I think that a US equivalent, provided a source for the barrels could be found, is not that hard to be made. Judging from the fact that all the Safirís were sold like hot cakes in Europe, it should be a financially feasible enterprise also.
Edited by Joe Blasco, 20 December 2007 - 08:20 AM.