Review: Panzer Arms BP-12 Bullpup Shotgun

Video bp-12 shotgun review

Sometimes nostalgia corrupts your remembrances. Things I enjoyed in my youth are fondly remembered, but I no longer have to deal with them.

My new six-speed automatic Jeep is so much more reliable and easier to drive than my Dad’s old Jeep panel truck, but I fondly remember the old jeep.

I grew up with double-barrel and pump-action shotguns. While they were useful and still are, the Panzer Arms BP-12 Bullpup is something from a different century.

Standout Features

This shotgun is a self-loader with a five-round detachable box magazine. I have several shotguns that do not even accept a light or optics mount of any type.

The BP-12 has several inches of real estate for mounting lights or optics. The bullpup configuration was first used in rifles and only much later has it become popular in shotguns.

The design places the receiver behind the shooter’s face and the firing grip forward. This allows for a relatively long barrel in a short package.

The BP-12 doesn’t point like a standard shotgun, as the balance of the piece is very different than a standard-design shotgun. The shotgun’s natural point is quite different than a bullpup.

The bullpup must be handled like a rifle and driven toward the target like a rifle and aimed with more care than the usual shotgun.

While modern and effective, a bullpup must be learned and handled decisively to be effective.

Panzer Arms BP-12 Specifications:

Action: Self-Loading Chamber: 12-Gauge, Three-Inch Overall Length: 30.7 Inches Capacity: 5+1 (10rd Magazines Available) Weight Unloaded: 7.8 lbs Weight Loaded: 8.6 lbs Barrel Length: 20 Inches Finish: Blued

Panzer Arms BP-12 shotgun
This is one interesting and formidable shotgun.

How It Shoots

When you are firing the shotgun, your cheek is closer to the receiver than with most shotguns. Muzzle signature is more evident.

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The Panzer Arms BP-12 shotgun isn’t difficult to use well, but these differences simply must be understood. The person who learns to use the shotgun well will find it a very effective firearm.

Those who do not care to practice and learn should choose a simpler firearm. The primary difference between this shotgun and others is that the firing grip is far ahead of the action.

The trigger bar goes through some tangents and this means the trigger will never be as nice as a standard-design shotgun, but then a crisp trigger is part of very few shotgun designs.

Learning to use the bolt release and magazine release isn’t difficult. Simply put aside time for dry-fire practice.

A few words on the shotgun’s quality of manufacture: the fit, finish and machining impress. The hardware fits well and the finish is always even.

The shotgun is delivered with AR-15 type sights, two magazines that hold five 12-gauge shells, and a cheek riser to allow the use of optical sights.

If you are using iron sights, then remove the cheek riser. There are two adjustment rings supplied with the shotgun that must be fitted after partial disassembly in order to change between standard and high-velocity loads.

The cocking handle may be reversed to allow racking from either side. Most right-handed shooters will have the cocking handle on the left side of the receiver.

The bolt handle allows plenty of leverage, racking the bolt isn’t difficult at all.

Panzer Arms BP-12 bullpup shotgun
The fit, finish and function of the shotgun are all impressive.

Other Performance Notes

Simply load the magazine with shells, slipping the shells under the feel lips and pressing them straight to the rear. I always tap magazines on a boot heel or hard surface to seat the shells.

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This ensures feed reliability. Then, angle the magazines in the magazine well and be certain it is properly seated. Rack bolt to load the first shell and you are good to go for firing.

The safety lever is easy enough to manipulate. When firing the shotgun, it seems recoil is easier to manage than with a standard-configuration shotgun.

Fire, get the sights back on target and hit the target again. The large peep sights make for excellent high probability. The shotgun was fired with a variety of loads.

Some did not function properly. Panzer Arms states that a break-in period of up to 100 full-power shells may be needed. This seems reasonable.

Winchester PDX 12-Gauge Ammo
There are a number of truly formidable 12-gauge shotgun loadings.

Other tightly-fitted firearms require a modest break-in. Some full-power shells did not function properly, with the occasional short cycle, while some types came out of the box running.

Fiocchi full-power Aero slugs functioned and so did Remington full-power buckshot. Reduced-recoil loads will not function, at least with the full-power ring installed and during the initial break-in period.

Incidentally, during the test, I dropped a fully-loaded all-steel magazine on the concrete walk of the firing range. The magazine was scuffed of course, but not dented and it never failed to feed properly.

After the initial test, I would load full-power Remington Power Piston loads and rest easy. The shotgun is supplied with three choke tubes for open, modified and full choke use.

I like this option in a combat shotgun. I like to have a shotgun that delivers a solid hit with the buckshot load to at least 20 yards. These choke tubes are Mobil types and are nice to have.

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Conclusion: Panzer Arms BP-12

I like the Panzer Arms shotgun. It is well-made and should prove to be a formidable defender for the home or ranch.

What do you think of the Panzer Arms BP-12? Do you like bullpup shotguns? Let us know in the comments below!

(Like this shotgun? You might also like the Kel-Tec KSG Pump-Action Shotgun. Read our range report on the firearm here.)

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>