Ever since first laying eyes on the Siaga 12 gauge semi-auto, I’ve always wondered why we don’t see more semi-auto shotguns built that feed from an external box magazine. Why not one build on an AR-platform, for example?

Apparently, I’m not the only one who wondered that.

There’s at least one already built and on the market…before this one:

Sold by Atlantic Arms for a whopping $399, this is well within the normal gun-buying budget.

It doesn’t just look a little like an AR-15, though. The safety and mag release are set up to mimic the M-16/M-4 platform. It also boasts a carry handle like the M-16 while still having a Picatinny rail system for mounting other goodies like optics or lights.

The lower receiver, pistol grip, and stock are all molded from a single piece of polymer, which introduces some cause for concern. After all, can the polymer withstand the abuse? I’m not completely sold on polymer lowers for AR-15s, after all. Then again, 12-gauge is a lower pressure cartridge than a 5.56 round, so who knows?

The AR-12 comes with two five round magazines.

It can also work with magazines built for the MKA 1919, another AR-platform 12-gauge.

However, there are still a lot of questions about this firearm- in particular, reliability and accuracy. If it performs will well on both of those, I’m curious how a gun like this would work for something like 3-gun competitions. The reloading speed alone might warrant their use…if they’re reliable and accurate.

Those are also essential factors for a personal defense firearm or a hunting gun. Otherwise, these are just fun guns and nothing more. Which is fine, of course. Not every gun has to serve a practical purpose. Some can be just for personal amusement. Defining your reason to buy a given gun as “just cuz” is perfectly acceptable.

But that does limit the market a fair bit, and I’d really prefer these to be practical firearms. Yes, it’s for selfish reasons, and I don’t mind admitting that. I really, really want these to be accurate and reliable.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they’d be ideal for competition, defense, or hunting even if it is. After all, it may be a lot easier to swap out a shell in the chamber on a pump action or traditional semi-auto than on one of these, which may be important in defensive situations.

Regardless, it’s always awesome to see new products enter the market, especially at a price point that makes them obtainable by most folks. The AR-12 does just that, which means it may be worth snagging one just to experiment with.

The question then becomes where does this fall on people’s “To Buy” lists.

For me, it’s down a bit, but at that price, it’s a little higher up than some guns I want to buy and will have to spend years’ worth of savings to get (I’m looking at you, Barrett!). After all, $399 is hard to beat, even with the required transfer fees.

But that only works if the gun is actually worth the $399. Whether it does remains to be seen.