THE 15-SHOT UTAS UTS-15 SHOT­GUN

From ul­ti­mate po­lice shot­gun to di­nosaur slayer

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Will Dabbs, M.D.

Ry­land Jaans was a war­rior work­ing in a zoo. Born in post-apartheid South Africa, Jaans had en­listed in the SADF (South African De­fence Force) as soon as he was el­i­gi­ble. Af­ter a fruit­ful stint in the South African Spe­cial Forces, he had plied his trade across the ex­panse of the Dark Con­ti­nent. The con­tacts he had made had taken him from Cape Town to Kandahar.

When he got the text from an ex-british SAS mate about se­ri­ous money to be had run­ning se­cu­rity on an is­land full of di­nosaurs, he made the call. Now six months into his stint with In­gen, the di­nosaur-grow­ing sub­sidiary of Mas­rani Global, he found he was turn­ing the eas­i­est cash of his brief hard life. Tasked with con­tain­ment should any of the bitier di­nos es­cape their lodg­ings, Ry­land had spent a lit­tle time train­ing and a lot of time in front of Call of Duty.

In­domi­nus rex was the apex preda­tor. Ge­net­i­cally-en­gi­neered to be the nas­ti­est ter­res­trial or­gan­ism ever to draw breath, this hy­brid carnosaur stood fully fif­teen me­ters long. For a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, the de­tails of which now seemed fairly in­signif­i­cant, the In­domi­nus was now roam­ing free. As part of the An­i­mal Con­tain­ment Unit or ACU, it was now time for Ry­land to earn his keep.

In min­utes, Jaans was in his gear and had his pri­mary weapon charged. The gun he car­ried was a UTAS UTS-15, a twin-mag­a­zine In­for­ma­tion Age 12-bore with an in­te­gral white light il­lu­mi­na­tor, a laser des­ig­na­tor, and fif­teen rounds of sabot slug chaos on­board. If any­thing would stop In­domi­nus it should be this.

The ACU squad had the ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, but that didn’t count for much. In­domi­nus burst out of the jun­gle fo­liage with a mass and fe­roc­ity that ex­ceeded lit­er­ally

THE UTS-15 BE­GAN IN 2006 AS A RE­QUEST ON BE­HALF OF SMITH & WES­SON TO TURK­ISH COM­PANY UTAS TO PRO­DUCE THE “UL­TI­MATE PO­LICE SHOT­GUN.” SIX YEARS LATER, THE UTS-15 PRO­DUC­TION MOD­ELS FIRST DREW BREATH, AND THEY WERE RAD­I­CAL SMOKE POLES, IN­DEED.

any­thing else on earth. True to his con­sti­tu­tion, Ry­land stood his ground while oth­ers ran, cy­cling through fully half a dozen heavy 12-gauge rounds. How­ever, this crea­ture weighed as much as a re­spectable whale and moved with the grace and speed of a jun­gle fe­line. The thing shrugged off the 12-gauge slugs with ease be­fore dip­ping its head and bit­ing Ry­land Jaans in half.

And now, back to the real world … .

Michael Crich­ton’s sem­i­nal work, Juras­sic Park, not­with­stand­ing, it has been at least a week or two since real flesh-and-blood di­nosaurs roamed the plains. How­ever, the con­cept of res­ur­rect­ing ex­tinct preda­tors via the newly re­fined art of cloning has spawned no less than four big bud­get movies. The 2015 hit, Juras­sic World, was,

AS IS THE CASE WITH ANY AD­VANCED WEAPON, LEARN THE GUN AND RE­SPECT ITS UNIQUE CHAR­AC­TER.

for a time, the most lu­cra­tive movie in his­tory not helmed by James Cameron. It was in this awe­some flick that our fic­tional char­ac­ter, Ry­land Jaans, wielded his UTS-15 in an ill-fated ef­fort at man­ag­ing the lib­er­ated In­domi­nus.

But while the In­domi­nus rex is pure fic­tion, the UTS-15 is not.

The UTS-15 is a rad­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of some sto­ried tech­nol­ogy. The shot­gun as a com­bat weapon dates back to the 1700s. James Fen­ni­more Cooper, the au­thor of The Last of the Mo­hi­cans, first coined the term. British Red­coats packed their .75-cal­iber Brown Bess mus­kets with a lit­tle buck­shot from time to time, and the ven­er­a­ble scat­ter­gun helped es­tab­lish the Amer­i­can colonies. Now, some two and a half cen­turies later, the state of the art has evolved sig­nif­i­cantly.

THE UTS-15

The UTS-15 be­gan in 2006 as a re­quest on be­half of Smith & Wes­son to Turk­ish com­pany UTAS to pro­duce the “ul­ti­mate po­lice shot­gun.” Six years later, the UTS-15 pro­duc­tion mod­els first drew breath, and they were rad­i­cal smoke poles, in­deed. And while the road has been a bit rocky, the UTS-15 of­fers some unique ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The UTS-15 is all fiber-re­in­forced poly­mer and In­for­ma­tion Age tech. The gun feeds from a brace of seven-round tubu­lar mag­a­zines and in­cor­po­rates into its chas­sis both an in­te­gral white light il­lu­mi­na­tor and red laser sight. The light puts out about 200 lu­mens, and both the light and laser feed from com­mon bat­ter­ies.

The ac­tion is a man­ual pump-driven bullpup of novel ar­chi­tec­ture. The gun’s twin mag­a­zine tubes ride above the bar­rel. They feed ei­ther one at a time or al­ter­nately, based on the po­si­tion of a piv­ot­ing mag­a­zine se­lec­tion lever lo­cated atop the gun. While in the­ory, this would al­low the op­er­a­tor to load one tube with one sort of ammo and the other with some­thing else, the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of armed com­bat make it un­likely that most of us could keep track of such de­tails once the lead starts fly­ing.

There is a full-length Pi­catinny rail up top for op­tics, and the pis­tol grip nicely mim­ics that of an M4 in fa­mil­iar­ity and util­ity. The wide­spread use of en­vi­ron­ment-re­sis­tant poly­mers keeps the empty weight of the gun at a mere 6.9 pounds. De­spite the gun’s ful­l­length and non­re­stricted 18.5-inch bar­rel, the bullpup de­sign keeps the over­all length less than most oth­er­wise unadorned black ri­fles.

DE­TAILS

To load the gun, pop open the two load­ing gate cov­ers that pro­tect the rear as­pect of each load­ing tube and in­sert rounds, one at a time. This is a te­dious process, as is the case with any tube-fed shot­gun. How­ever, the tubes are more eas­ily ac­cessed on the top than the bot­tom. Ad­di­tion­ally, with 15 rounds on board, you don’t have to do as much reload­ing as might be the case with a lesser shot­gun.

Once the mag­a­zine tubes are topped off, you snap the load­ing doors shut. There

THE GUN EJECTS OUT OF THE RIGHT SIDE ONLY, BUT THE PORT IS SO LOW THAT I CAN RUN THE GUN LEFT HANDED WITH­OUT THROW­ING EMPTY HULLS DOWN MY SHIRT OR INTO MY FACE.

are slots cut in the mag­a­zines that will let you keep track of the rounds re­main­ing at a glance. The bolt-re­lease but­ton is lo­cated on the bot­tom rear of the gun un­der­neath the butt­stock. De­press this catch and cy­cle the gun vig­or­ously via the re­cip­ro­cat­ing fore­arm.

The ac­tion is re­mark­ably novel and is pro­tected from the el­e­ments by a piv­ot­ing poly­mer cover. The mag­a­zine se­lec­tion switch is a ro­tat­ing af­fair lo­cated above the rear as­pect of the mag­a­zine tubes. Point the switch in one di­rec­tion or the other to se­lect a mag­a­zine tube. Leave it in the cen­ter, and the gun al­ter­nates from each mag­a­zine.

The bar­rel is threaded to ac­cept Beretta-style choke tubes. The gun comes with

THE GUN’S TWIN MAG­A­ZINE TUBES RIDE ABOVE THE BAR­REL. THEY FEED EI­THER ONE AT A TIME OR AL­TER­NATELY, BASED ON THE PO­SI­TION OF A PIV­OT­ING MAG­A­ZINE SE­LEC­TION LEVER LO­CATED ATOP THE GUN.

a par­tic­u­larly sin­is­ter skele­tonized ver­sion sport­ing some vi­cious-look­ing teeth. And should you wish to be the coolest tur­key hunter in the uni­verse, there is even a bar­rel ex­ten­sion. The light and laser are man­aged via a ro­tat­ing bi­lat­eral switch lo­cated just above the trig­ger guard. The uni­lat­eral safety is in the ex­pected spot and op­er­ates like that of an M4. There is a spring-loaded ejec­tion port cover that is held in place with a rare-earth mag­net.

PRAC­TI­CAL TAC­TI­CAL

The UTS-15 is now on its third pro­duc­tion mark, and the lat­est ver­sions are in­tended to rec­tify the pur­ported ills of the pre­vi­ous guns. My copy is an early vari­ant, so it of­fers an un­var­nished re­view. Hav­ing run mine for sev­eral years now, I can of­fer a some­what in­formed per­spec­tive.

The UTS-15 is an ex­cep­tion­ally ad­vanced com­bat shot­gun. As a re­sult, it has its own quirks. Learn the gun and run it ap­pro­pri­ately, and it is re­li­able and ef­fec­tive. How­ever, much like a Fer­rari or a Bu­gatti, the ac­tion is no­to­ri­ously in­tol­er­ant of sloth.

The gun is de­signed to be cy­cled vig­or­ously. Run it as if you mean it, and I have found that the UTS-15 cy­cles re­li­ably and well. How­ever, run the slide tepidly or worse, and it will lock up with de­plorable reg­u­lar­ity. To clear the ac­tion, you pivot up the ac­tion cover and man­u­ally re­move the of­fend­ing round. How­ever, if you op­er­ate the gun with au­thor­ity, you shouldn’t have to.

The light and laser are neat but not as spunky as most ded­i­cated units, such as those from Stream­light or Sure­fire. At 200 lu­mens, most cur­rent weapon lights are two to three times more pow­er­ful. Even so, this means

that bat­ter­ies do last longer.

Re­coil is typ­i­cal for a 12-gauge, al­though the broad, soft re­coil pad does a splen­did job of dis­tribut­ing the gun’s in­evitable vi­o­lence. The gun ejects out of the right side only, but the port is so low that I can run the gun left-handed with­out throw­ing empty hulls down my shirt or into my face. With a proper op­tic in place, the gun will drop slugs right where you want them out to any rea­son­able shot­gun en­gage­ment ranges. There is a pair of re­versible sling swivels mounted on the side of the gun—where they should be.

SUR­VIVAL AP­PLI­CA­TIONS

So, where does the UTS-15 fall within the pan­theon of mod­ern sur­vival firearms? For starters, the gun is just scary as heck. That’s the rea­son the Juras­sic World guys chose to use it to arm their di­nosaur-hunt­ing ACU in the movie. Spooky aes­thet­ics will make you ei­ther roundly feared ... or the first one shot in a true sur­vival sit­u­a­tion.

The gun’s ac­tion is typ­i­cally ma­ligned by those who have not taken the time to train on it and learn its per­son­al­ity. While an AK47 is, in­deed, more stupid-proof, I have also had short-stroke fail­ures in my Rem­ing­ton 870s be­fore. No­body seems to be scream­ing that this cen­tury-old warhorse is any­thing less than a su­perla­tive com­bat tool. As is the case with any ad­vanced weapon, learn the gun and re­spect its unique char­ac­ter.

The qual­ity of man­u­fac­ture and work­man­ship on my gun is su­perla­tive—some­thing I have come to ex­pect from Turk­ish-made firearms. While the Turks do not en­joy the gen­er­a­tional legacy that many more-fa­mil­iar do­mes­tic brands might, they do a bang-up job of mak­ing guns. I have yet to en­counter a Turk­ish-made firearm that was not well ex­e­cuted and nicely fin­ished.

Should your sur­vival plan call for a whole lot of fire­power in a com­pact pack­age, the UTS-15 was de­signed from the out­set to an­swer that call. Handy, ma­neu­ver­able and hard-hit­ting, the UTS-15 rep­re­sents the cut­ting edge in mod­ern scat­ter­gun tech­nol­ogy. It also looks like it fell off the set of the lat­est sci­ence fic­tion block­buster—which, in point of fact, it did.

THE BAR­REL IS THREADED TO AC­CEPT BERETTA-STYLE CHOKE TUBES. THE GUN COMES WITH A PAR­TIC­U­LARLY SIN­IS­TER SKELE­TONIZED VER­SION SPORT­ING SOME VICIOUSLOOKING TEETH. AND SHOULD YOU WISH TO BE THE COOLEST TUR­KEY HUNTER IN THE UNI­VERSE, THERE IS EVEN A BAR­REL EX­TEN­SION.

Left, mid­dle: The UTAS UTS-15 sports a full-length Pi­catinny rail up top for op­tics. Left, bot­tom: A piv­ot­ing lever se­lects which of the mag­a­zine tubes will feed the ac­tion.

Be­low: The muz­zle of the UTS-15 is threaded for Beretta-style choke tubes. The in­cluded muz­zle de­vice sports scary-look­ing teeth.

Near right: The fiber-re­in­forced butt plate has an en­ergy-ab­sorb­ing re­coil pad that is 1 inch thick.

Far right: The safety on the UTS-15 is found in the same spot as that of the M4.

Be­low: The UTS-15 is ar­guably the coolest-look­ing firearm in a decade. Rad­i­cal, in­no­va­tive and mean, the UTS-15 is a re­mark­able piece of en­gi­neer­ing.

Above: A piv­ot­ing poly­mer cover pro­tects the ac­tion of the UTS-15.

Far right: Num­bered slots along the fore­arm al­low you to keep track of rounds re­main­ing at a glance.

Be­low, right: There are load­ing ports on both sides of the gun. Spring-loaded cov­ers keep them sealed when not in use.

Winchester’s PDX-1 De­fender de­fen­sive rounds rep­re­sent some re­mark­ably fear­some tech­nol­ogy. At ap­pro­pri­ate ranges, the ven­er­a­ble 12-bore car­ries more down­range horse­power than any other hand­held firearm. This Winchester PDX-1 round did the deed at 15 me­ters.

At 200 lu­mens, the weapon light in­cluded with the UTAS UTS-15 is not bright by cur­rent stan­dards, but the bat­tery life is fa­vor­able.

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