A New and Improved UTS-15 (New Gun Review)

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The UTS-15’s distinctive look is hard to ignore.

The New UTS-15

Who makes the world’s most complete, most bad-ass combat shotgun? It is a question that will stir some heated debates. Pump guns almost always have a leg up over fickle automatics. Capacity is an issue. For civilians who don’t want to bother with registering an SBS, length is still a concern. Ultimately it comes down to two main discussion points: reliability and ergonomics. UTAS-USA, makers of the UTS-15, now has a horse in the race. They’ve released an overhauled version of their UTS-15 bullpup.

Will it settle this debate once and for all? Of course not, but the gun may shake things up.

UTAS-USA

Let’s go back a couple of years. The UTS, after its initial debut, was hammered by the press. These negative reviews gained a lot of traction. That’s how this industry works, sometimes. Some of the reviews were so negative, and so caustic that they were re-posted and forwarded around precisely because they were so viscous. I’m not implying that the reviews weren’t honest. Most of the ones I watched chronicled reliability problems that could easily have killed the whole UTS-15 platform.

Yet there’s another side of this coin. Where were the positive reviews? They were much harder to find. Even GunsAmerica’s first review of the UTS, one which was–overall–positive, had a couple of factual errors. I would bet that there were a fair number of shooters who had positive experiences with the UTS that kept their opinions private. After all, the cool kids were panning the shotgun. The negative review is much stronger than the power of the positive review. This is a dangerous fact, and one that is amplified by the viral nature of video.

Yet UTAS didn’t cave in to the criticism. The company took all of the comments back to the drawing board and began a concerted effort to fix the problems. When we ran into the company at the NRA show this past April, they were showing off an updated UTS-15, and UTAS sent us out a new gun to showcase their efforts.

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The side ejection kicks empties clear of your shooting arm.

How about this version of the UTS?

When I review a gun, I beat it up. I bring all of my expertise to the proverbial table, and see what I can do to get the most out of the gun in a variety of situations. I also try to use the gun as a novice would. As a friend of mine said recently, I “try to break it like a drunk hillbilly at 2:00 a.m.” I’m not advocating a method of firearms evaluation that involves intoxication and a return to my Appalachian roots, but you understand the colorful metaphor. If something can go wrong, it will, and I try to make it happen.

There are some fickle guns out there. This version of the UTS-15  isn’t fickle. I’ve had it in for testing now for a couple of months, and it hasn’t even come close to letting me down.

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Raise the hood to check on the engine.

Aw Hell. I’ve done introduced him enough…

On with the specs. Let’s say you’ve never seen a UTS-15 before. It is, at its core, a 12 gauge pump shotgun. The 12 gauge is the go-to round for combat and defensive shotguns, though the size of the round severely limits most shotguns’ capacity. The UTS-15 solves this by doubling up the magazine tubes, allowing for 15 rounds to be carried in the gun. Yet this increase in capacity is paired with a bullpup design that brings the full length barrel deep into the stock, reducing the UTS’s overall length. So it is a compact shotgun that holds twice as much ammo.

And this one happens to have a sharp dipped camo finish. Kryptek Mandrake is haute couture camo, and its popularity is easy to understand. From up close, it looks jarringly geometric. From farther away, the colors blend as camo should.

The magazine tubes

I’m going to gloss over the 12 gauge’s attributes, and go straight for the capacity increase. The UTS has two magazine tubes that are placed above the barrel. This doubles the width of the gun and, as previously mentioned, doubles the capacity. Each tube will hold 7 2.75” shells. With one in the chamber, that’s 15.

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Shells load in through both sides of the gun.

Each tube can be run individually. Should you want buckshot in one tube, and birdshot in the other, no problem. Slugs, less lethal, high brass, low-recoil, etc. etc. For most of us, this isn’t a really big benefit, but it is good to have as an option. For others, it solves a persistent problem. Even on my defensive shotgun, a Mossberg 590A1, I load intentionally, and keep color-coded shells in a shell carrier, and more in loops on the strap. The dual tubes can make selection a no-brainer, or can be used to cycle 15 rounds of whatever you choose.

The compact length

The traditional pump shotgun is a reasonably long package. Even with an 18.5 inch barrel, the guns are still hard to maneuver in close quarters, and when entering and exiting vehicles. The bullpup UTS-15 has cut that 39-40 inch pump gun length down to a manageable overall length of 27.8 inches which makes the UTS incredibly maneuverable. Empty, the gun weighs about two pounds less than your typical tactical shotgun, coming in at just over seven pounds.

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The compact design of the bullpup UTS-15 shifts the balance of the gun into the shooter.

Some of the early criticism of the UTS pointed to the slide release as a hindrance to effective operation. Most bullpups change the placement of controls. The very nature of moving the forward on the gun makes control placement awkward, at best. The slide release for the UTS is on the bottom of the gun, midway down the stock. It isn’t a natural position, especially if you’re used to having the button accessible at the end of the trigger finger, or your thumb.

Yet muscle memory is easy to build. After a day at the range, I found that I could use the drop reliably, consistently. It just takes some practice.

Shooting

Each tube can be run independently, or together (which pulls one from the left, then one from the right) if the switch is in the middle position. Running through 15 rounds, as fast as you can run the slide, is a blast. It will also stand you up straight. With 3 inch shells in the gun, the recoil from 15 fast-paced rounds will knock the wind out of you. But this has little to do with the UTS, and everything to do with the 3 inch 12 gauge round. It kicks, no matter what you shoot it from.

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If you do encounter a problem, visual inspection of the chamber is easy to do.

There are other features, though, that deserve more attention. The ergonomics of the UTS are both intentional and intuitive. The rail, which runs the whole length of the gun, sits higher than it is on most shotguns. The barrel sits lower in the frame. Iron sights sit on the rail right at eye level. The gun points naturally, and there’s no need to dip your head for sight alignment. The weight balances out nicely, which allows it to move easily between targets. Because the gun is so flat (vertically), it points well from the hip and is easy to point-shoot.

The grip and safety mirror those of the AR-15, so there’s more cross-platform knowledge transfer. In fact, I shoulder the UTS like I would an SBR. I put the stock below my clavicle on my chest, and stand squared to the target. While it may not function exactly like all of the other pump shotguns on the market, it isn’t totally alien to me, either. I don’t know why there aren’t more shotguns that borrow from the AR platform. It is such a sound design principle.

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AR functionality means almost all shooters will have a fast learning curve.

Reliability

The big question. The center of this debate over the UTS. Will it fire, reliably, every time?

Yes. Yes it will. This is no small point. We ran the UTS with every type of shell we could get our hands on, and found no difference in any of the 2.75 or 3 inch shells.

One of the key things that UTS did when redesigning this gun was to replace some of the plastic parts with aluminum. The company still makes 80% of the UTS-15 form fiber reinforced polymer, which significantly cuts down on the weight, but they’ve been selectively upgrading the parts that were responsible for some of the earlier reliability issues.

There is a learning curve. When compared to most pump shotguns, the UTS has a much shorter range of movement. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that the shooter has a restricted range of motion. This short motion takes a bit of getting used to, honestly. The stroke feels different when you are cycling a bullpup. The motion is more confined

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The light is built into the gun below the barrel, and has a 200 lumen output and an adjustable green laser. The downside is that the light doesn’t act as a hand stop.

Problems

There is only one thing I’d like to see altered on the UTS, and that is the front end of the pump. I’d like to see a more prominent forward stop that I could really push hard on, just to mitigate the possibility that I might slip forward, which would suck.

While I’m suggesting structural changes to the gun, I’d like to see a larger—or somehow more prominent—slide release button, but that is less of a safety issue.

If there is a problem with the cycling of shells into or out of the gun, a jam can occur. Such issues can be cleared by opening the cover on the back of the gun. You may not be able to simply wrack the slide back and stick your finger in, but it isn’t too complex, either.

We only had one issue in all of the rounds that we fired, and I think it was my fault—not the gun’s. I pulled off 13 fast shots, and had lost count of how many I had. After an odd short stroke, I pulled the trigger on an empty chamber. At that point, I thought I was empty, but wracked the slide a couple of times anyhow (a habit I’ve developed) just to make sure there wasn’t anything left in the tube. Well there was–one lone round. That, though, was the only problem, and I’d call it user error. Every other round fired and extracted perfectly.

uts-15The extras

This UTS has a leg up over a lot of shotguns in that it comes equipped with a light and a laser built into the slide. Because the magazine tubes are higher on the frame, and the pump isn’t riding on that tube (as it does on most pump shotguns), the space that held rounds can now hold a light/laser combo and batteries. This means you won’t need extra rails to mount an external light.

The green laser/light combo isn’t an inexpensive addition. It sells for $329, but it does its job well. The 200 lumen light has a wide flood beam, with a tighter, brighter center. It is powered by two CR123A batteries. The internal design keeps the gun streamlined.

Who’s going to buy the UTS?

The market for this shotgun is hard to pin down. The Kryptek model starts at $1,350.

When UTAS released the gun in 2012, the hype was extraordinary. The look of the gun immediately made it a crowd favorite. Yet, the reviews that followed the release, as I mentioned, seemed vindictive. This produces something of a conundrum.

The UTS-15 is a sharp looking gun. It has double the capacity of most shotguns. Some of the design elements put it at the forefront of shotgun design. Yet almost all of the initial negative press about the first versions of the UTS pointed at a variety of failures that could have run everyone off.

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With the Tactical Choke tube in place, the gun looks even more menacing.

Yet there’s more to this story, too, and I’m talking about the power that comes from a recognizable name. UTAS-USA is an American company. UTAS has a subsidiary in Turkey, but the UTS-15 is made in Illinois. The company that makes this gun has built guns for Kimber and Smith & Wesson. The UTS-15, as a concept, originated from a request from S&W for a new duty shotgun.

Smith & Wesson is a household name. There are songs written about their guns. Kimber is an icon of quality. Are people hard on their respective failures? Of course. Yet the strength of their brand will carry them through. UTAS, even though they have won awards for guns the produced for both Kimber and S&W, has a tougher row to hoe simply because the name isn’t as well known.

Back to the question at hand. For people who want a badass, slick looking shotgun, the UTS is a clear favorite. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the UTS has almost no competition. If you buy badass range toys and have the testicular fortitude to admit it, the UTS-15 is going to make you smile. And you’re going to go broke (while lining the pockets of your chiropractor) dumping 15 rounds of buckshot at a time, over and over, until you can’t see straight.

The hardcore operators who were looking to the UTS for the ultimate QCB shotgun are going to be the hardest to please, and the early negative reputation of the UTS continues to haunt UTAS. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these guys read this review, a positive review of the UTS, and scoff at it, or accuse me of being bought by UTS.

Nothing could be farther form the truth. This gun works. It works reliably. And it does some things that other shotguns don’t. The capacity is one element that puts the UTS into a very small group of competitors. The ability to load different rounds in the separate tubes, and load from each—at will—is another plus. For me, I’m drawn to the height of the rail. When I shoulder the UTS, the sights and optics are at eye level. I don’t have to crane my neck to get a cheek weld, or put risers under red dots and iron sights.

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The Kryptek Mandrake pattern is a nice touch on a gun that is already aesthetically distinctive, though it will wear in places that receive a lot of contact.

Then there are the immediate extras, like the built in light/laser, the AR style safety controls, the availability of patterned finishes, and the easy-to-read tubes that show you how much ammo you have left.

When you combine all of that together, in a gun that fires and cycles reliably, it is worth taking the extra time to learn the controls. And, if all of the guns rolling off the line work as well as this one does, the reputation of UTAS is going to soar.

The Warranty

Each UTS-15 comes with a 1 year warranty. If you do run into a problem, UTAS will stand behind their work. They’ll fix the problem, or replace the gun. This is something I got to test first hand with the UTS. When the gun arrived for this review, I did my typical pre-flight check. While I couldn’t see the problem, there was one. After a few rounds, the aluminum tube that is molded into the bottom of the frame began inching forward, ever so slowly. It wasn’t a fatal flaw, and it didn’t prevent the gun from working, but it also wasn’t acceptable.

How responsive is UTAS? After the third tube loosened in the frame, they cast some in clear polymer to identify the problem. What was wrong? These tiny bubbles aren't supposed to be there. Replicating the problem means they now know how to prevent it. (Photo Courtesy of UTAS-USA)

How responsive is UTAS? After the third tube loosened in the frame, they cast some in clear polymer to identify the problem. These tiny bubbles aren’t supposed to be there. Replicating the problem means they now know how to prevent it. UTAS took this photo to show us what they’d found.

I called up UTAS and talked with Ted Hatfield, UTAS’s Director of Product Development. I sent some pictures of the problem. They’d seen it before. Twice. After making more than 12,000 of these, this was the third time a tube had shot loose. The problem came from incredibly small bubbles in the polymer that made it slightly weak.

After this third occurrence of the issue, UTAS took this part back to R&D and is conducting tensile strength tests now to see if they can replicate the problem. And, if they can–if this isn’t a fluke common to only .03% of the early production, I trust that they’ll fix it, just like they fixed the one they returned to me. I’ve put it through its paces since, and can’t make it fail.

In the end

The UTS-15 is one hell of a gun. Its reputation should change, though, as more reviews like this one filter out. It is deserving of a serious testing, and close scrutiny. I would need much more testing before I’d recommend it as a duty weapon, but it passes my initial testing. And we’re going to keep rolling with the gun.

Operators aside–what about the rest of us? I shoot guns because shooting guns is fun. And there’s that are some Second Amendment considerations thrown in, and a desire to protect myself and my home. During the course of this review, I’ve put the UTS-15 where I used to keep the 590A1. While I’m not likely to completely replace my go-to shotgun anytime soon (mainly because of all of the accrued training I have with that gun), I wouldn’t hesitate to trust the UTS with the protection of my family, and that’s about the highest praise I can give it.

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The high placement of the rail means sights are higher than those of a typical shotgun.

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The Kryptek camo really  does look sharp. And it works, too.

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The control for the light switch is right where it should be, at the tip of your trigger finger. It is easy to get to for right handed shooters.

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The vents in the polymer frame help dissipate heat, and the holes show through to the magazine tube.

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The trigger guard is hefty, but the grip is an AR grip.

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Another view of the new top rail. It is long and flat, yet structurally rigid.

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The UTS-15 is a large gun, yet the height and width are not a hindrance when paired with the compact overall length.

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For those door-kickers out there who like a little extra kick, the UTS-15 has a screw in stand-off choke.

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Some of the pieces that had been polymer are now made of more substantial materials.

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The rail on the top is now aluminum.

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The futuristic look is even more prominent from the front of the gun.

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The UTS-15 comes apart fully to allow for deep cleaning.

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Trigger pull on the UTS-15 registered right at 5 pounds, much like a typical AR trigger, and spot on for a shotgun.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Chase January 9, 2017, 3:00 am

    mine will jam with low bras. hard jam cant get open with out hitting butt on table .

    • Josh September 10, 2017, 2:29 am

      Check for cracks at your trigger group housing. It is located on the bottom of your buttstock. Check around the two pins and the button to unlock the bolt. If the front of the housing breaks it will cause a problem just like yours.

  • Ron Thomas December 10, 2016, 8:33 am

    I traded for a NIB Gen. III and had a few issues. After running about 60-70 Remington and Winchester low brass target rounds I had a few that didn’t clear…two didn’t fire but, I blame that on low quality ammo. Ran them thru again and they fired. After about 100 rounds the gun stopped functioning completely…wouldn’t chamber, wouldn’t shoot..period. That was the bad part, now the good…Called Utas… “Absolutely no problem” was their response. “Just send it back and we will correct the problem.” Sent me a shipping label so I paid no S&H. About a week later they called and said the gun was ready to be worked on…would put it back as original at no charge or I could choose several “upgrade” options that are standard on the Gen IV’s. Did the gearbox assembly, (polymer to metal) only. Very few differences between the III and IV. Another week or so I received the gun and test fired it. About 100 rounds of No. 1 and 00 buckshot, had two that didn’t quite clear. Maybe user error??? Awesome gun, I’ll fire it some more before deciding to use it on duty. Also had an issue with the red laser/light combo. the light burned out. Called Utas and again had great service. They replaced the light…no charge. It’ll be hard to beat the 870 Tactical but if the Utas continues to do well I’ll be making a change in what I carry. Less than 29″, lightweight, 15 rounds…that’s hard to beat. A big thanks to Utas for their excellent customer service.

  • Jason May 27, 2016, 10:39 pm

    Bummer, my Gen one sucks. Im stuck with it because I couldnt in good conscious sell it to anyone. Should have bought a KSG.

  • roger May 27, 2016, 11:37 am

    They are on Gen 4 UTOS now. Still seeing mixed reviews which picjk the KelTeck KSG over it. I have a KSG and if the Terks ever get it together I will get one.. I do have a DO-12 on order that blows both of those away in quality and reliability.

  • James March 25, 2015, 9:05 pm

    So, I guess that no one here is going to ever buy from Colt again either. Since; they put faulty, untested, and unreliable M16s in the hands of Marines that cost some their lives due to its malfunctioning. But, I bet that most of the people that have left negative comments here own an AR of some forms. It has taken the weapons industry 50+ years to get the AR to where it is today, yet we can’t forgive a company that took less than 5 years to put reliable and dependable product on the market. I’ll never understand why we Americans are always impatient and quick to judge while forgetting history.

  • Barrett December 28, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Wow. Haters going to hate.

    Where do I start? If you haven’t shot or owned this gun you are NOT qualified to render any opinion. Reading someone else’s review and continuing to spread misinformation doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. Yeah, I won this gun. Why? Because I can. It is my way of continuing to give a middle finger to the anti-gun regime out there and it does it better than any other shotgun I know of. It is a blast to fire at the range. Yes I have had FTF. There are some brands and type of shell that don’t cycle as well as others. I found this to be true in every gun I own or have owned and that is quite a lot of guns. Experience tells you which types of ammo work and which don’t and you learn how to operate each weapon to the point it is muscle memory and you don’t have issues…ever.

    Someone asked how do you tell an earlier version from a new version. Here is how:

    1) New version have solid metal tube selector switches. Earlier ones were polymer.

    2) The loading chambers in the tubes are now metal also. The original were polymer.

    3) The top rail is not magnesium. Original were polymer.

    4) Shoot it. If it cycles now and you don’t have FTF then it is a new generation.

    About buying guns from a “Muslim” country…I hate to break the bad news to you but I can’t think of a manufacturer today that doesn’t or hasn’t made a gun in Turkey. It’s what they do and they are good at it.

  • Alex September 13, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Why support a firearms company based in muslim country (supporting islamic extremists) and manufacturing weapons that could and will be used against you?

  • Pevlor September 6, 2014, 3:38 pm

    If it is ‘new’, it didn’t exist to be improved. If it has been improved, it existed earlier and in not ‘new’. It can not be both ‘new’ and ‘improved’. It must be one or the other.

    • Mark September 16, 2015, 9:34 pm

      It’s a NEW model that was IMPROVED from previous models.

  • Kevin Higgins September 3, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Based on the article, both the original and the new version were given the UTS-15. So, when one comes across one of these in a store or at a gun show and is in the mood to buy, how can you determine whether the weapon you’re holding is the original or the new and improved version? Did I miss that somewhere?

  • Steve Powell September 2, 2014, 5:01 pm

    My penis has more sperm in it that yours……..

    • Mark January 30, 2016, 9:47 am

      Why dont we just talk about facts instead of talking BS and nitpicking. Im on here to learn about guns not hear your penis jokes
      And people just argueing with every post. Im a man not a child!

  • Mike September 2, 2014, 4:41 am

    ” Some of the reviews were so negative, and so caustic that they were re-posted and forwarded around precisely because they were so viscous.”

    Viscous? Really? Were they as viscous as water, or as viscous as syrup in the wintertime?

    I’m embarassed for you…this dumbing-down of America really depresses me…..

  • cody September 2, 2014, 3:00 am

    If your going to talk about all the upgrades the shotgun has can you at least list them?! Tell us what was wrong with the first version and how UTS fixed the problem. Don’t just tell us they fixed it and the gun works now. I would really like to know why the UTS got such bad reviews in the first place w/o having to do a whole bunch of research. A recap at the beginning of the article would have been nice.

  • W. Clardy September 1, 2014, 8:37 pm

    Personally, I’m still hoping that UTAS (or KSG) will see fit to offer a 20-gauge version — measurably smaller (not shorter), proportionally lighter (especially fully loaded), and faster to fire effectively with the combination of lesser recoil, less muzzle blast.

    • Russ September 2, 2014, 1:55 am

      yes 20 CA is smart.

  • John Daugherty September 1, 2014, 8:14 pm

    Did anyone consider the shotgun choice of our marines Test the Beneli M4, Like to hear what you decide?

    • Russ September 2, 2014, 2:09 am

      Benelli M4 is a great GTW SG.
      This topic was focusing on High cap bullpup and mainly UTAS
      I would rather have the reliability of the Benelli over the UTAS
      Those are hard to find. I think the military took them all 😉

  • Russ September 1, 2014, 7:02 pm

    I’m sorry to be the voice of reason here, but for $1350.00 you can buy two Remington 870’s with bullpup kits.

    Everyone’s trying to work the kinks out of the overpriced new SG bullpups out there, you know, this UTS15 and the KSG.
    Meanwhile you can just take your (old reliable) 870 7+1 pump and turn it into a bullpup that functions better than those higher capacity BPSGs.
    BTW, I’m I the only one out there that thinks the UTS is ugly as hell?—-> U.T.S. = Ugly Thickass Shotgun

    870 is cheaper, lighter, better functioning.
    Even if you bought a new one for about $350. and ad the BP kit for $300. that $650. sounds a lot better than a $1350 UTS—- (some UTS sell as low as $940.)
    If you had to have a higher cap SG, the KSG’s are down to $900. these days.
    My 1st and most sensible choice would be the 870 with a bullpup kit.
    I’m just thinking 8 rounds of 00 buck and another 8 rounds of slugs in a side saddle should clear the block.
    My 2nd choice for a higher cap would be a VEPR SG—A true and proven battle tank of an SG.
    Just my not so humble opinion I guess. But hey, go see for yourself what’s out there—->
    http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/shotguns.html

    Here’s a little info. on the 780 bullpup;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=FWURmsw2mAs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=49kXNQ4TkzM

  • Floyd Petri September 1, 2014, 5:15 pm

    I bought the UTAS-15 and it is still new in the box. I am saving it for the end of the world as we know it. Now after all the bad reviews since it came out I wish that I had not bought it because it may not work in a pinch. Like cars have recalls, UTAS should recall the bad model or furnish parts to update it to the working model for free if there is a problem. This could easily be done with serial numbers. Everyone before serial number XXXX is defective and here is your free parts kit to update it or here is your recall certificate, etc.

  • JD September 1, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Wow! What a bunch of (mostly) useless, whiny prima donna comments. From what I see, the few people who actually shelled out money for the new UTS have had very positive results, and in some cases shelled out more for a backup. That doesn’t seem to be the case from the “fool me once” crowd. My only real hesitation here is the hefty price tag for the moment. Other than that, I would say it’s definitely time to take one on the range and give it a workout to see if it will cut it for home defense. Meanwhile, the rest of you can go cry in your martinis or Shirley Temples or whatever.

    • Dennis September 2, 2014, 12:46 am

      jd , I’m with you . I’ve owned scores of shotguns and most have been quality however there is always the outcrop which proves to be a pain . The 1100 Rem when it first came out wasn’t the most reliable but today it’s very hard to beat if it can be . The Model 50 Win. had problems but I used a later model and shot pro with it and wouldn’t have traded for the world and wore out two barrels . It still shoots 50 years after I bought it .
      I would love to see one of these close up and run it for a while .

    • Dennis September 2, 2014, 12:46 am

      jd , I’m with you . I’ve owned scores of shotguns and most have been quality however there is always the outcrop which proves to be a pain . The 1100 Rem when it first came out wasn’t the most reliable but today it’s very hard to beat if it can be . The Model 50 Win. had problems but I used a later model and shot pro with it and wouldn’t have traded for the world and wore out two barrels . It still shoots 50 years after I bought it .
      I would love to see one of these close up and run it for a while .

    • gary66 September 3, 2014, 6:12 am

      “From what you see”? How about from what was written. Numerous complaints to which THE COMPANY

      “Yet UTAS didn’t cave in to the criticism. The company took all of the comments back to the drawing board and began a concerted effort to fix the problems. When we ran into the company at the NRA show this past April, they were showing off an updated UTS-15, and UTAS sent us out a new gun to showcase their efforts.”

      Even in this comment there’s a crossing our fingers and hoping undertone, “their efforts”. Buy one, disregard the comments others have made. They’ll come out with something else after this one, buy that one when it first does.

      Of course you’ll get:

      “One of the key things that UTS did when redesigning this gun was to replace some of the plastic parts …”

      Show all the “whiny prima donna” what a real man is like, be part of the “learning curve”.

  • JU September 1, 2014, 2:16 pm

    Turkish plastic toys will never compare to Russian steel. Save your money and buy a Vepr 12. Even at the hype prices right now for the Vepr 12, you still have money left over to buy a few Russian Molot 8 rd mags for it. The Utas is a cool looking gun but just is not durable or well made after how many generations? It has no proven combat or competition experience and probably never will.

  • Tom Shue September 1, 2014, 12:55 pm

    There is no way I would ever buy or use this for self defense. There are two shotguns that get it done. The remmington 870, and my personal favorite the Saiga 12. The Saiga 12 shotgun is an AK-47 but a shotgun and is hands down the most reliable platform on the planet. I don’t know who is approving these articles, but get a clue!

  • John Vogelsang September 1, 2014, 11:46 am

    I bought one. Put it through it’s numerous drills. No malfunctions.. So I bought another. Backup to my primary. Ran it through the same drills. Again no malfunctions. This is now my primary home defense weapon. Very easy to operate in close quarters. One drill we ran was running a target towards me. Instructions were to shot as fast as you can accurately. One of the instructors comments were “dang that’s fast.” Fifteen rounds out, all on target.
    I ran all types of loads through the shotgun. As I said before no malfunctions with any load I ran.
    The only thing that needs attention is the laser light combo. At twenty five feet you am center mass, the laser is lining up, or pointing at the crotch. Most intimidating, but that’s not where the round is going. I found the laser can only be adjusted down. Not up. I think the adjustment set screw needs to be put on the opposite side or adjustment set screws top and bottom. That way you can adjust your laser, should you use it, for a more accurate visual picture when you look through your sights.

  • Christopher Shay September 1, 2014, 11:29 am

    Looking at this weapon I wondered if, at least in high-tech scattergun terms, it would be possible to make use of custom triangular shells and a triangular-milled firing chamber and/or barrel, or even square shells in a square firing chamber and/or barrel? Not with a shotgun slug of course (unless you used a sabot:-), but wouldn’t you be able fit more high-gauge shells into a given magazine if they weren’t cylinders? I suspect internal pressures could strain the gun interior unevenly, but, hey, high-tech milling.

    • Engineering is Fun March 8, 2016, 11:05 pm

      The extra material needed to deal with uneven pressure loads and stress concentrations caused by a not-round (internal) barrel would likely make the weapon heavier and bulkier than a round-barreled equivalent… But I do agree it would look nifty. Caseless ammo would especially benefit from a non-circular chamber but that’s an idea that materials tech and chemistry haven’t fully solved (not to mention it makes governments very concerned)

  • Rip September 1, 2014, 11:13 am

    Looks good but is it ambidexterous. I did not see an ejection port for left hand shooters. Slide stop would be nice.

  • brett phillips September 1, 2014, 11:01 am

    Dont see the awesomeness, sorry. Loads from two sides… which means flipping the shotgun left to right, which im sure is not easy while holding. Maybe they’re thinking 15 rounds means no reloading. Think something more conventional with an extended mag tube could load, fire, and reload as fast or faster than the UTAS could load and fire. Especially if you were on the move. Plus good quality automatics are not any more “finicky” than other firearms. just load and shoot them as designed and they usually do just fine. Do not expect a dove load to cycle the action on your VEPR12.
    I would trust my beretta over this thing any day. Not to mention cost. $1300 for a pump shotgun? 870+mag extension+ tac stock would be like $600.

  • Michael Jergen September 1, 2014, 10:17 am

    Needs a forward grip – or at least provision to mount same. The reliability is good news.

    • Ron Thomas December 10, 2016, 8:44 am

      The Gen IV model has a forearm grip capable of mounting a vertical arm.

  • jukk0u September 1, 2014, 10:03 am

    Its always been a fact of business that if you do a good job for someone they might tell their friends but if you do them dirt they will TELL THE WORLD! (paraphrased axiom devised by someone(s) far smarter than I)

  • D. Hicks September 1, 2014, 8:16 am

    I think the UTS looks complex and clumsy. I don’t like bullpup designs or polymer parts on or in a firearm that I use.

  • TBG September 1, 2014, 7:54 am

    Something all gun reviewers should include: Where do the shells eject from? Lefties need to know. Thanks

    • Mark September 16, 2015, 9:24 pm

      Just FYI for anyone new reading this, they eject on the right side.

  • James Greenblatt September 1, 2014, 7:50 am

    I purchased the UTS-15 2 years ago. I must admit that the shotgun was not a smooth manufactured or machined gun. The chamber looked like it was cut with a hand drill and the action was very rough due to poor machining. I sent the UTS-15 back to UTAS two times for service. The last time was in April 2014. UTAS was very pleasant to work with and very helpful. My UTS-15 was returned and I immediately went to the range and shot 100 rounds in complete mag dumps, all fired with out a issue. I have now sighted in the UTS-15 with Slugs and Buck shot for Fall Hog Hunting in South Florida. I expect the gun to fulfill is intended role in the field.

  • gary66 September 1, 2014, 7:31 am

    “Yet UTAS didn’t cave in to the criticism. The company took all of the comments back to the drawing board and began a concerted effort to fix the problems”

    Here’s my problem, the company sold their product and used the sale of the product to fund the development and research. People don’t spend their money to be a part of the development and research, makes for very bad pr.

    Fool me once…

    The company has fundamental customer relation issue and knowing they will “fix problems” after I tell them the problem isn’t good business. The weapon itself isn’t the problem here, it’s the company. It basically creates a bottle of Scotch claiming and charging high end but uses too much water, when someone complains they promise to fix the problem. That is unacceptable in a high end product. They knew what the weapon should be and sold it promising it was when they knew it wasn’t. Your claim they didn’t cave implies some positive character attribute, I don’t see it that way. I see it as they were called cheating. Expected in a discount store, totally unacceptable in a high end product.

    Had a recent experience with a company, the sample sent had flaws, When pointed out the rep said they used what they discarded as samples. Why would I purchase a product that had flaws with the promise that I’d get a product that had none?

    Problem these days isn’t figuring out which company to avoid, it’s finding one to deal with.

    • Bill November 24, 2014, 7:13 pm

      “People don’t spend their money to be a part of the development and research, makes for very bad pr. ”

      Ever hear of a company called Microsoft? Worked for them.

  • RM September 1, 2014, 7:16 am

    “There is only one thing I’d like to see altered on the UTS, and that is the front end of the pump. I’d like to see a more prominent forward stop that I could really push hard on, just to mitigate the possibility that I might slip forward, which would suck.”

    I agree with you. I saw a photo of what was left of a SWAT officer’s hand after his hand slipped off the slide of the other manufacturer’s bull-pup shotgun as he fired a round. Personally I want either a big hand-stop or a forward grip to hang onto, after viewing that photo.

    • Chris Davis September 1, 2014, 10:09 am

      I agree. I had one of the original UTAS shotguns and it was a POS. Among other things, the light and laser were crap. Didn’t work every time and the laser light was faint. Worse than that, you have to push hard forward on the slide to get it to chamber properly. Too light and it won’t fire. Very unreliable, but also forces you to put a heavy shove forward… hence the risk of your hand slipping off the slide and getting blasted. If that hasn’t been one of the fixes for the new shotgun, then I definitely won’t be a buyer. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice?… not gonna happen.

    • jukk0u September 1, 2014, 11:10 am

      The article I read on Guns Save Lives stated that it was a Promag VERTICAL GRIP that slid off of the KSG’s rail.

  • Greg September 1, 2014, 7:14 am

    Ok, let me get this straight…1) the gun comes out a couple years ago to wild fan fare, but falls on its face due to bad operability and reliability issues. 2) There are few good reviews, which the author believes irs because the “cool kids”already thrashed the gun. 3) the gun really didn’t operate well, which is why the company went back and redesigned it.

    The author blames the people who reviewed this? Come on now. The company obviously rushed a product to market before it was ready or properly tested. I call into question this whole sorry story based on the authors lack of objectivity. I’ll wait for other reviews before even considering the UTS.

    • IIIBoomerIII September 1, 2014, 11:07 am

      I agree. I think a good question to ask yourself is, why didn’t S&W want their name on this shotgun. I think we know the answer. The first version of this gun was prone to jams. There was no concerted effort to bad mouth this gun, the simple fact is it was a Jam-O-Matic. You also have to realise that the reviewer is laying in the same bed as the product he is reviewing. He is walking a fine line of telling the truth and keeping a potential advertiser happy. If the reviewer says bad things about the gun, even if it is the truth, he screws himself. At some point it all comes down to business and not necessarily the truth. Caveat Emptor!

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