By Thomas Murphy – Possibly the most common classification of an AOW is the smooth bore handgun. According to the legal description of a concealable weapon, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) considers a weapon to be an AOW if it has a smooth bore, fires conventional ammunition (both cased ammunition and shotgun shells), is fitted with a pistol grip as original equipment, is less than 26 inches in overall length, and has never had a shoulder stock. These firearms differ from a short-barreled shotgun (SBS) in that the SBS is made from a shotgun that was manufactured with a shoulder stock, has a barrel less than 18 inches, and an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Recently, a newcomer to the AOW field was tested – the Typhoon 12. The shotgun is manufactured in China for Hurricane Butterfly Research, a Type 7 manufacturer located in Washington State. The Typhoon is based on the Remington 870-type action. However, it is configured to take a five-round box magazine. Caliber is 12-Gauge, and the plastic magazine is limited to 2-3/4 inch shells due to space limitations in the action. With one in the chamber, the Typhoon 12 has a total six-round capacity. There is no ammunition in the former ammo tube. This AOW is manufactured by the same company that builds the Harrington and Richardson Partner Protector 12- Gauge pump shotgun.
Overall length is 20.5-inches, barrel length is 8.75-inches, not including the muzzle brake, configured similar to a door breacher, which brings the total length to 11.75-inches. Empty weight scales right at 5.8-pounds and the plastic magazine adds two-tenths of a pound.
The mag has a plastic follower, steel floorplate and spring. When the last round is fired, the follower rises up into the action and holds the bolt open. The magazine release latch is between the rear of the magazine well and the front of the trigger guard. Both full and empty magazine drop freely. A lip on the magazine stops it from seating too deeply. There are two holes in the side of the magazine that allow a shell count. The prototype gun was finished in Ceracoat. However, the standard finish will be blued with Ceracoat as an option.
During development, hundreds of rounds were cycled through the magazine with only one failure to fire. The chief engineer at the factory inspected the firearm and stated the problem was with the ammunition. A different batch was sourced, and no further problems were encountered. Some problems arose when steel shot was run through the Typhoon 12. Additional testing discovered that the wad/ shot collar was causing some small malfunctions.
The forearm doesn’t have a fixed grip. Instead, there is a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail fastened to the action bar which allows a number of different grips to be used. The firearm tested has a Magpul Rail Vertical Grip (RVG) in place, but any foregrip configured for a rail can be easily added.
The Typhoon 12 is imported unassembled without a shoulder stock, so it qualifies as an AOW instead of an SBS, which requires a $200 tax stamp. It’s assembled with a synthetic pistol grip to follow BATFE requirements.
There is an attachment point on the upper rear to take a single-point sling. A double-point sling can be attached by using the hole in the tube nut on the forward end of the tube barrel.
If the potential buyer wants an SBS, any buttstock for a Remington 870 would fit. Then it would have to be registered and the $200 transfer tax stamp procured.
The Typhoon 12 should be available just about when you are reading this. There are 300 currently being shipped to the USA, as this Small Arms Review issue goes to press (December), the distributors are cataloging them for sales. Hurricane Butterfly’s CEO stated that the price will be set in the $575-$600 range, but as this is being written, no final price has been determined.
MAKE: Hurricane Butterfly Research
MODEL: Typhoon 12
CALIBER: 12GA 2/3/4” shells only
WEIGHT: 5.8 lbs. 6.0 with empty magazine
CAPACITY: 5 + 1
REAR GRIP: Synthetic Pistol Grip
NFA STATUS: Any Other Weapon (AOW)
TRANSFER FEE: $5 (USD)
ESTIMATED PRICE: $575-$600
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N1 (January 2017)|