Alpha Arms 15SA Review

The Alpha Arms 15SA shotgun is a semi automatic, gas-operated, magazine fed, 12 gauge shotgun made in Turkey. They’re around $550 in Canada,

Alpha Arms 15SA Features

  • Semi automatic, gas piston operated
  • 12 gauge, 20″ barrel
  • 2 3/4 or 3″ shotshells
  • Comes with (2) 5 round magazines.
  • Comes with 3-5 choke tubes depending on model. (Beretta Mobil choke type)
  • Comes with A2-style carry handle iron sights (made of plastic)

Ergonomics

  • Full picatinny rail on top, a slice of rail on the bottom forend
  • Some come with a fixed rear stock, others have an adjustable rear stock, or even adjustable with folding option.
  • Right side charging handle
  • Left side bolt release
  • Bolt locks back on empty magazine
  • AR-style magazine release button (mags do not drop free)

Shooting the Alpha Arms 15 SA

To break in the shotgun, first run 50 3″ magnum shotshells. Many semi automatic shotguns need such a break in before being expected to shoot lighter loads reliably.

The 15SA’s ergonomics are similar to the AR-15 pattern of rifles and so, is very easy to use. The magazines are inserted straight into the magwell, instead of rocking and locking like the Valtro PM5. While they don’t drop free on their own, they’re very easy to rip out.

The magazines are very stiff to load. I would not recommend leaving them loaded for a long time, because it may deform shells if the loaded magazine sits for too long or if it goes through some heat/cool cycles.

The trigger on my 15SA is very heavy, but at least it doesn’t creep much.

The folding+retracting stock model is interesting. The folding mechanism adds some length to the length of pull, so much so that it makes the longest settings a bit ridiculously far.

Video Review of the Alpha Arms 15SA

Use as a Canadian 3 Gun Shotgun

Shotgunning in 3 gun here is a bit different than in the US. Our pump shotguns aren’t limited to a magazine (or tube) shell limit, but semi auto’s are. Well, at least they’re limited to hold the number of shells they’re made for. So that means that a 3.5″ chambered, tube magazine shotgun might fit (7) 2 3/4″ shells in the tube, 1 in the chamber, and 1 ghost loaded. That takes away some of the allure of magazine-fed, semi-auto shotguns, because you can only fit 5 rounds in a shotgun magazine made for a semi auto shotgun. But, and it’s an important one, reloading magazines in a shotgun with ergonomics like this will be faster than reloading shells into a tube for most people. Especially for newer shooters or those who might be used to operating an AR-15, reloading a magazine on a 15SA is very quick. The 15SA readily accepts red dots, which are popular on open shotguns. The magazines are also relatively inexpensive (about $50), unlike other Canadian mag-fed shotguns like the Valtro/Brixia ($80-$100 each).

There’s also something to be said about having a shotgun that shares ergonomics with your rifle. There’s less potential confusion in the heat of the moment, as well as some shared training with manual of arms.

The charging handle is a bit small for a competition shotgun, but you shouldn’t be using it much anyways in action (mostly you’ll use the mag release and bolt release) so it shouldn’t matter much.

What’s the difference between Uzkon, Alpha Arms, Akdal, Bora Arms, Fedarm, Natmil, Torun M-12, and Derya MK10?

Another retailer mentioned in one CGN thread that all the basic parts for these shotguns are made at the same factory, but assembly and accessories are done at individual brand shops. I can’t comment how true that is, but from my research, it looks like some make use of AR buffer tube style rear stocks, some use AR grips, some offer aluminum forends instead of polymer and others offer more basic M4-style handguards, some use a polymer lower instead of aluminum, some have machined trigger parts rather than cast, some come with more or less chokes or a breaching flash hider, fiber optic sights, more or different magazines (5/10 rounders instead of 5) and some come with different anodizing on the receiver. This is also why you’ll see a wide variety in pricing, even though they’re based on the same system.

In general, I’d recommend buying from a reputable local retailer who has a solid warranty themselves, or extends a warranty from a Canadian distributor.

Aftermarket Parts for the BR99/15SA/Akdal 1919

In the US, you’ll need to get some American parts into your 15SA if you want to maintain 922r compliance and use the 10 round magazines.

Firebird Precision and Tooth and Nail offers some aftermarket parts for the SA-15/BR99 shotguns. They’ve got buttstock adapters to attach AR-15 style buffer tubes (and stocks), an aluminum handguard that comes with a left side charging handle, modified bad levers, aluminum lower receivers, lower parts kits, extended charging handles, oversized mag buttons, and more. Contact them to check for parts compatibility with your shotgun, as I haven’t used any of these parts.

Triple F Firearms and Tooth and Nail Armory also have US-made parts for the BR-99 and 15SA.

Summary

When looking at this shotgun, it’s important to consider the cost and use. At $550, the cost is very low, yet it’s competing in a pretty specific niche (non restricted, magazine fed, semi auto shotguns.) There aren’t a lot of shotguns in that niche here in Canada. In the US, they have the Saiga series semi-automatic shotguns, but we don’t have those here in Canada. As a fun shotgun for the range or a low barrier to entry 3 gun shotgun, the price certainly makes this shotgun an attractive choice.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes