DP-12 Review–A Functional Double Barrel Bullpup

Check out the specs: http://www.stdgun.com/dp-12-double-barrel-pump-shotgun/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /DP12

Here’s the piece we ran from SHOT show, earlier this year.

Standard Manufacturing may not be a name that you recognize. It isn’t exactly the first name in defense. But their latest entry to the shotgun market could change all of that. That’s a big claim for a little company, I know, but it all comes down to a gun I think is going to be a game changer.

Let me introduce the star of this review: the DP-12. It is a bullpup and a pump action, both of which have been done before. Yet the DP-12 does it well and adds a second barrel to the equation. Bullpup shotguns have always been somewhat of a novelty. Until now. When we first ran across the DP-12 at the SHOT Show, we assumed it would be toy. It looks like a made-for-TV movie prop. But we ran it there with good results, and have had even better luck with it in our prolonged testing.

Specifications and Features:

  • 12 Gauge – 2 3/4 or 3″ shells
  • Two 18 7/8″ barrels
  • 29.5″ overall length
  • Unloaded weight is 9 pounds 12 ounces
  • 16 Round capacity, 14 rounds in the magazines and two rounds in the chamber
  • Single trigger
  • Machined from aircraft grade 7075 aluminum
  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Ambidextrous pump slide release
  • Two Picatinny rails on top and bottom
  • Co-Molded non-slip rubber pistol grip
  • Slots to attach MOE rails
  • Shell indicator window
  • Shock absorbing spring loaded recoil mechanism
  • Both barrels include spreader choke tubes with Tru-Choke thread pattern
  • MSRP $1395
The action is based off of the Ithaca 37.

The action is based off of the Ithaca 37.

Compact--only 29" overall length.

Compact–only 29″ overall length.

As compact as it is, the double barreled from end looks very intimidating.

As compact as it is, the double barreled from end looks very intimidating.

What you get in the box:

  • Choke tube wrench
  • Heavy duty lock
  • Instruction booklet and warranty card
  • Composite fore-grip
  • Front sling attachment
  • Sling swivel attachment on stock

Design

The DP-12 is a bottom ejecting bullpup shotgun that is less than 30 inches long, weighs under 10 pounds empty, and fires from two barrels. When fully loaded you can carry 16 rounds of 2 ¾” 00 buck. And it is easy to top off if you find yourself needing more ammunition. It is also chambered for 3inch shells, but I find that to be overkill for just about everything but dinosaur hunts.

Though it is compact, the DP-12 makes no bones about width.

Though it is compact, the DP-12 makes no bones about width.

The gun is built of steel, billet aluminum and polymer. With no rattle or chatter, the DP feels remarkably solid. What initially looks like a bit of a gimmick has proven to be a real workhorse.

Working off the foundations laid by its competition, the DP-12 makes use of the best features and seems to leave behind all of the flaws. It takes a similar layout of the KSG but beefs up the furniture and adds an AR-15 style safety selector. It embraces the nonstop feeding of the UTAS 15, but loses the counter intuitive topside feeding system.

The DP-12 is reliable and overbuilt, which is good. The only obvious down-side is the additional weight. But with its extra barrel in the picture and noticeably lower recoil impulse, I have yet to complain or handed it to anyone who has criticized the extra pound or too.

The DP-12 is designed around the world-renowned Ithaca 37, though it doesn’t actually share any parts in common. Nor does it actually stay true to the original design. Instead it riffs off of the proven mechanical action and simply doubles it in almost every way but one, the trigger.

Imagine welding two Ithaca 37s together and then attaching a side-by-side’s trigger mechanism to it. I’m obviously simplifying the what Standard Manufacturing has done, but you get the idea. Everything run in parallel, except the trigger–it still fires one barrel at a time.

The gun produces a reasonable spread in its stock configuration.

The gun produces a reasonable spread in its stock configuration.

Shooting the DP-12

Shooting the DP-12 is unlike shooting any other shotgun on the market. The first thing that you have to come to terms with when running the DP-12 is the muscle memory you have developed with other pump shotguns. The ergonomics are well thought out (and easily mastered), but the operation of the firearm is unconventional. Pulling the trigger once fires the left hand barrel; pulling the trigger a second time fires the right hand barrel. You then pull the forend to the rear and cycle the action. This for me was a huge hurdle; it took me nearly 50 shells just to break the habit of racking the action every time I pulled the trigger.

Once you learn the ropes, the DP becomes smooth and noticeably faster than any other pump shotgun. The gun inspires double-taps and allows you to make that follow up shot instantly. It is a heady experience. If you can think back to the very first time you fired a shotgun–any shotgun–that’s the feeling you get when you hit that first, fast double-tap.

The DP-12 is an ammo hog. The Best way I could find to feed it was the SOE Gear Micro Cop Rig (upper right). The rig keeps extra ammo front and center.

The DP-12 is an ammo hog. The Best way I could find to feed it was the SOE Gear Micro Cop Rig (upper right). The rig keeps extra ammo front and center.

The trigger of the DP-12 is comparable to most standard shotguns. It is clean, crisp, and resets with authority. In reality it is one of the better bullpup triggers I’ve used and honestly suits the gun perfectly. It is heavy enough that you have to pull it, and won’t drop the second barrel unexpectedly.

The recoil energy hits a spring loaded buttpad.

The recoil energy hits a spring loaded buttpad.

Recoil in the DP-12 is manageable, even with high brass shells. Maybe it’s just the weight, or maybe it’s the spring loaded butt pad, but the DP isn’t as rough on the shoulder as some bullpups. 2 ¾ 00 buck feels more like 20 gauge trap loads than a high power defense load. Id even go as far to say that the DP-12 is a great shotgun for recoil sensitive shooters, if they can handle the weight of the gun.

Loading the DP-12 is extremely unorthodox. Being that the gun is a bullpup, and that it has two magazine tubes, it is somewhat difficult to speed load the gun or top it off in a rush. With practice I was able to master it and found it to be nearly as fast as a traditional pump shotgun. I shove the butt of the gun into my side and twist it to reveal the chambers. In this position, I can easily thumb shells in. Given that the gun has two separate chambers and magazine tubes, you can drop the shells into the separate openings and slide them into the tube without fear of missing, or causing a traffic jam.

How does it pattern?

Accuracy of the DP-12 is dependent on the chokes. In its stock form, it is outfitted with spreader chokes in Tru-Choke thread pattern. It produced acceptable accuracy. I was able to shoot a 4.5-inch pattern at 10 yards and a 7-inch pattern at 20 yards. With a different choke you could expect tighter or looser groups.

One catch is that the two barrels don’t hit at the same point of aim. You can zero the sights for one barrel or the other. Alternatively, I chose to make point of aim between the impacts of both barrels. At the close ranges this gun is designed for, it doesn’t really matter much. Just make sure you don’t try and negotiate any hostage situations with the DP-12 out side of 7 yards.

Holding onto the forward grip helps keep your hand behind the muzzle.

Holding onto the forward grip helps keep your hand behind the muzzle.

Ergonomics

The gun is short, yet long enough to be comfortable for most shooters. The controls of the DP are modeled after a mix of the KSG and an AR-15. The action release screams KSG, but the safety is ambidextrous and rotational like an AR-15.

The pistol grip and vertical grip of the shotgun have a similar grip angle to a 1911 and offer good traction. The pistol grip is molded with an integral recoil pad that protects your hand form shock.

The butt pad is made of a soft rubber and sits on a spring-loaded plate that mitigates most of the recoil that would be transferred to the shooters shoulder. The butt pad also angles down from the shoulder. This keeps the gun on your shoulder in rapid fire.

The bottom of the receiver is beveled and has two separate loading bays. The internal parts are smooth and present no opportunities for snagging. Unloading the DP is also easy. The shell holders are accessible and easily depressed which allows you to unload the gun without ever having to work the action, or chamber rounds.

At the end of the day

The DP-12 is like other combat pump shotguns, in that it is rugged, dependable, has above average capacity, and easily set up for the users specific needs. It may be a new design, it may look like it belongs on the set of the next Mad Max, and it may be an amazing range toy, but don’t be fooled. There’s more to this gun. The DP-12 redefines what a bullpup shotgun can be. It comes down to this: you can fire two shots from the DP-12 as fast as you can from any semi-auto. Yet you still have the reliability of the pump gun.

Check out the specs: http://www.stdgun.com/dp-12-double-barrel-pump-shotgun/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /DP12

The DP-12 should find a home next to the best of the bullpups.

The DP-12 should find a home next to the best of the bullpups.

Seeing double.

Seeing double.

The butt of the DP-12.

The butt of the DP-12.

The grip has recoil mitigation, too.

The grip has recoil mitigation, too.

It is compact enough to fit into most diversion packs.

It is compact enough to fit into most diversion packs.

There's ample rail for attaching optics or sights.

There’s ample rail for attaching optics or sights.

As compact as it is, the double barreled from end looks very intimidating.

As compact as it is, the double barreled gun, from this end, looks very intimidating.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Tim November 23, 2016, 3:35 pm

    To each their own, I suppose. I bought one a few months ago. Have run about 600 rounds through it, using Federal and Winchester rounds, from target to LE Magnum. Definitely a new learning process (coming from an over/under 12 as my primary shotgun learning tool), and took me about 400 rounds to truly get comfortable. Second shot is fast as heck. Weight is well balanced, total non-issue in my opinion. Recoil is minimal with target loads, manageable with magnum loads. Shot all loads with Rem 870, my old Universal over/under and the DP12. Recoil was, by far, the lightest with the DP12. A very solid shooter, in my personal experience. Consistent patterns at typical interior HD distances. No regrets here!

  • Tomo August 10, 2016, 9:43 pm

    All the semi autos, including those shotguns, are gone once Hillary gains the White House and stacks the bench. Australian rules: lever, pump, bolt snd wheel guns. Then there will be legislation msking it illegal to posses more than 50 rounds. Hyperbole? Maybe but …….

    • ksetuni November 26, 2016, 12:27 pm

      Good thing that Hillary didn’t get the white house and we don’t have to worry about those restrictions for a while huh?

  • Hawkflyer December 27, 2015, 11:53 am

    Based on a read of the coments there are very few trained combat shotgun shooters in the list. Bullpups in general are NOT designed for sport shooting, they are a speciality guns designed for close quarters combat; mostly indoors where a long barrel becomes a serious liability. Sport shooting with these guns would only be for training and familiarization purposes so short commings in this area are meaningless.

    The DP-12 has a better design for shoulder firing that the KSG. The KSG stock is very stright and as a result when shouldered sighting along the top of the barrel requires either higher sights or tipping the head. The DP-12 stock has a “drop” built into the butstock that brings the gun up to a much better sighting position. The double barrel aspect allows for a very quick second shot, and while an argument can be made that a semi-auto does the same thing; most semi-autos lead with the barrel around corners. That means that your quick second shot may be made while the bad guy is pushing the barrel off target and you are in a fight to keep possession of the weapon.

    Frankly, most of the negative comments on the DP-12 (and bullpups in geneal) relate to issues that can be overcome by training. Short cycling, shucking live rounds, reloading, sighting issues, shooting ones self, etc.; are all training proplems. While there have been some actual mechanical shortcommiings as these weapons have been brought to market, that can be said of EVERY new design. Lets not forget that a lot of conventional designes from major manufacturers have seen recalls for design issues. It is easy to point at a fully field tested and refined design and say look how trouble free it is and forget the first few years of growing pains it went through to get there.

    Clearly a different format of firearm will require a different manual of arms. As a result in my view the only single issue for this and other bullpup designs is sufficient training. Mechnical short commings will be fixed over time. As most people do not spend the requisite amount of time to become fully familiar with the gun they have; the DP-12 and other similar designs are not for everyone. Furthurmore, critiziums from people who have never fired a particular weapon, and who speak of issues that the gun was never designed to address; are of little value in determining if a particular gun is right for you. While on the trap range the DP-12 might be a fun toy, in the dark confines of a building that must be cleared of more than a few bad guys; it becomes a serious tool. As for bullpups in general; i’ll take one of each thank you very much.

  • Batman December 15, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Bet his shoulder n cheek are sore as FU*K

  • Jeremy December 14, 2015, 7:32 pm

    I’ve had my eye on this shotgun since I heard about it during SHOT SHOW 2015. I like bullpups, but the other two bullpup shotguns on the market, the KSG and UTS-15, have been less than reliable in most reviews I’ve read due to their complicated feed mechanism. Since this is just basically two standard feed mechanisms feeding one barrel from one tube, it makes sense that it would be more reliable. I’m happy to hear yet another review stating this is a reliable and serious combat shotgun, and not just another cool looking range toy like the KSG and UTS. I think I’ll be buying one in 2016.

  • retrocon December 14, 2015, 6:53 pm

    Looks heavy. thinking i could bolt a lot of accessories onto my Saiga-12, and still pack a 20 round drum or some 12 round stick mags for that weight, and have more firepower, faster. And yes, it will feed anything form low-brass walmart specials to high-brass buck.

  • Michael December 14, 2015, 10:56 am

    Frankly, I’m not sure what this “new” shotgun accomplishes, or what new “problem” it is designed to resolve (other than to entice us to open our wallets for another “new” weapon). Is this a situation where someone doesn’t have access to a magazine fed semi-automatic rifle, or they’re in an environment where “over penetration” is an issue, or what? If someone anticipates the need to “spray” this amount of lead at shotgun distances, I’m not sure why an AR15 chambered in 300 AAC Blackout (using subsonic ammo) loaded with a standard 30-round magazine or a 60 or 100-round SureFire magazine would not be a substantially better alternative. I live in a rural environment with few neighbors within a mile. My “driveway” gate is 900 feet away so “over penetration” is not an issue. As a result, for me a magazine fed semi-automatic rifle is a sound solution to any noises that go bump in the night. And I do have the requisite Remington 870’s and Mossberg 500 shotguns just in case I missed the predators at the 300-meter distance! And a pistol? My pistols are primarily for me to use to fight my way to my rifles! 🙂

  • Dennis DiGiacomo December 14, 2015, 9:50 am

    Can the DP-12 cycle Aguila’s Mini-Shotgun shells… (Keltec can) ?

  • ej harb October 4, 2015, 4:52 pm

    I’ll get one of these and I’m not a big time shotgun guy.the only other I have is a double my dad owned. Reasons I like it are obvious lol

  • Slick-Willy September 6, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Thanks, but I’ll stick with my Winchester Defender. 1 barrel, 1 tube, very light, plenty lethal, adequate capacity, front pistol-grip “swivels” 180 degrees allowing downward-to-engage quickly….I could continue, but I’ll get to more important matters : no re-train, no possible (likely) confusion, no required gym membership to prepare for carry/use….

  • Ringo Lapua September 1, 2015, 5:53 pm

    IMHO…… the Turkish MKA 1919 fires faster and reloads ten tims faster. I’ve owned mine for two years now and
    with the right high pressure 2.75 slug ammo, it will fire 10 rounds before DP-12 can fire 4 (check out the You Tube videos on the MKA 1919. Also the recoil on the DP-12 will jar and bruise the heck out of you, while the MKA has no recoil and is smooth as silk. I have 15 ten round magazines and can fire off 100-150 rounds before the DP-12 fires 32 rounds. Now the real kicker: You can buy a MKA 1919 for around $600.00 and the DP-12 is more than twice that price.

    • Ray September 2, 2015, 4:02 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth ! 1919 loaded weighs same as KSG unloaded and DP-12 is 3 lbs heavier unloaded. don’t have 15 ten round magazines, only 2 tens plus the 2 five rounders that came with for a grand total of $700. Easy to clean, operate and reload with very little recoil.

  • Joe September 1, 2015, 9:25 am

    I guess i’ll stick with my good ole Browning auto five. IF those pesky zombies are still there after five rounds of double ott buck shot i’ll pick up my good ole savage auto and give them another five.

  • John Peschke September 1, 2015, 1:05 am

    This is the gun that answers a question which nobody has asked .

  • Forrest Gump August 31, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • DHHilliard August 31, 2015, 9:13 pm

    I’ll stick with my Kel-Tec. 12 Aguila mini buck shot in one tube, 11 mini slugs in the other, your choice in the chamber and the ability to switch as needed seems much more practical. Not to mention they’re down to about $800 now. Kel-Tec and $600 worth of ammo for the same price.

  • loupgarous August 31, 2015, 5:15 pm

    Think I’ll wait a while till that the mechanical parts of that system have had a chance to start breaking before I plunk $1400 down for one, but it’s a great concept, and potentially gives the shooter an edge in a firefight.

  • Jerry August 31, 2015, 2:45 pm

    I have several questions:

    1. Is there any way to select which tube it is pulling from? One of the benefits that I’ve read of with either the UTS-15 or KSG is that you can run two different types of shells (rubber or tear gas on one side and regular on the other) and control which you draw from.

    2. What happens if you return to the muscle memory of every single pump shotgun to date and pump it before emptying the second? Does it prevent that and only cause a loss of (possibly crucial) time, or do you just drop a (possibly crucial) loaded shell onto the ground?

    3. If someone doesn’t load the tubes equally and hears the “click” on an empty chamber, how will they know if the other is loaded or not? This could potentially be a safety hazard, particularly if a range decides to rent this out to an unfamiliar user.

    4. If the first round has a dud primer, will it still fire the second or does the recoil from the first play into resetting the trigger?

    • Mikial August 31, 2015, 5:45 pm

      @Jerry
      Every one of the issues you bring up are valid, and every one can be mitigated with training and practice. Just like any other gun, you have to practice to be proficient with it. I like Kel Teks and currently own 3, but I would buy this weapon over the Kel Tek version. Watching a viddie does not give you an accurate feel for how to handle any weapon. It’s like trying to learn marshal arts from a book or video.

  • Fred August 31, 2015, 12:47 pm

    2 shots for each stroke? Only fires through one barrel at a time? These do not produce any gain over the Kel-Tech but does produce liabilities (loss of unfired ammo, excess weigh, aim and stance adjustment) . I can see this as a street sweeper, firing through both barrels simultaneously but not much more. Intimidation, terror, riot control (massacre), and Zombie apocalypse are good scenarios; home invasion not so much.

  • Methadras August 31, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Why would I drop $1400 on a bullpup when a Remington SemiAuto goes for much less or even a pump action. What does this shotgun differentiate itself from that a cheaper alternative couldn’t take care of?

  • 33Charlemagne August 31, 2015, 11:59 am

    I don’t like the two shots for every pump feature. It would be too easy in some situations to forget if one had fired that second shot or not. That’s far more dangerous than a semi auto where you know for certain that once the gun is cocked and the safety is off that trigger is live until the gun is empty. I may seem too alarmist but I have met two different guys who each lost a right hand and forearm to a shotgun accident.

    A second barrel with a different point of impact is another bad idea. At close ranges it would not make much of a difference in most cases but the ability to reach out further with slugs if necessary is one of the advantages of a shotgun. Having to compensate for a different point of aim on every other shot decreases the utility of this weapon.

    • ksetuni November 26, 2016, 12:40 pm

      Have you actually handled one? I suggest you do as the concerns that you air are invalid and incorrect.

      Two shots for each pump is accurate. It requires two trigger pulls. It is impossible to fire both barrels at once. If you have fired one barrel and not the other, the action will not cycle unless you hit the manual release. That is located on the forward side of the trigger guard and activated by pulling down.

      Try handling one before commenting.

  • JohnR August 31, 2015, 11:39 am

    Pump once, pull the trigger twice, repeat? No thanks.

    • Scotty Gunn August 31, 2015, 1:19 pm

      That is why I have several Benellis. Pull the trigger, let go , repeat. If I trick load it, it can hold ten rounds. Pretty close to this thing. Bet it weights less,too.

      • praharin December 14, 2015, 9:51 am

        Since you have “several”, may I have one for Christmas? I’ll let you adopt me too.

  • iRev August 31, 2015, 11:27 am

    Mr. Mark.

    How do you differentiate the visible brass on trap loads vs the visible brass on buckshot loads??

  • jay August 31, 2015, 11:22 am

    I’ve seen a few reviews of this shotgun and still I wonder why none of them show a breakdown and fieldstrip..

  • Mark August 31, 2015, 9:18 am

    What does “high brass” have to do with recoil?,high brass was used for paper shells so the powder wouldn’t burn through the shell when fired, absolutely nothing to do with recoil.

    • Dale August 31, 2015, 7:13 pm

      Not true. High-brass in modern plastic hulled shotgun shells is loaded to higher pressure than low -brass, and has significantly more felt recoil than the low-brass shells. try shooting one and then the other in the same gun and you WILL feel a difference.

  • Eric Spargo August 31, 2015, 8:32 am

    Have they solved the problem where it wouldn’t feed if you are holding it pointing down?

    • Jon June 4, 2017, 7:26 am

      That is now a non-issue. I have had no problems jacking shells in and shooting from any angle.

  • miles Higgins August 31, 2015, 6:07 am

    How much

    • Jerry Jones August 31, 2015, 7:21 am

      According to the article above….$1395 MSRP

      • Shayne Jackson August 31, 2015, 8:03 am

        That’s for the single barrel.

        • George August 31, 2015, 10:30 am

          Follow the links to GA Sellers and you’ll find its selling for $1299 to $1425 for the double barrel version.

  • sammyg August 31, 2015, 4:58 am

    Dang looks like a nice shotgun for home defence.I don’t think any intruders would want to tango with that!

  • Aaron August 29, 2015, 3:06 pm

    Seems like the first bull pup design worth having. Any desire for more shells can be fulfilled with a mag fed or Mexican reload.

    But those solutions do not give the speed of lead down range that this does.

    Coupled with two leg holsters with double barreled 1911s, you’d actually be ready for the zombie apocalypse. I just fear you’d prevent it through intimidation in that load out.

    • P.G. August 31, 2015, 11:45 am

      Mexican Reload??

      • Aaron August 31, 2015, 2:01 pm

        It’s a bag full of revolvers. Instead of reloading, you drop the empty and grab a loaded one.

        Similar to world record for speed shooting or from Last of the Mohicans, one shot rifles are handed off for reloading while shooter is given fresh ones to keep up the barrage. Not sure if the term is offensive or not…

        • icetrout August 31, 2015, 5:53 pm

          offensive to who ? Mohicans were “BAD ASS” !

          • icetrout August 31, 2015, 5:55 pm

            Awaiting moderation …WTF screw this fag blog !

      • Dave Hicks August 31, 2015, 2:50 pm

        I had this kind of idea 10 or more years ago.Take a left hand 1100 and a right hand 1100 bolt them together and BOOM BOOM . Do the same with AR 15’s Left and right eject. The Mexican reload is when you give them an empty weapon.

    • Steve Warren September 4, 2015, 8:47 am

      “Unloaded weight is 9 pounds 12 ounces” plus 16 rounds of ammo plus a sight (EOTech or whatever), plus the trailer to pull it around on… I don’t know, think I’ll stick with my slick, simple, fast 870.

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