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Gun Review: SDS Imports Lynx-12 Semi-Automatic Shotgun

SDS Imports Lynx-12 Semi-Automatic Shotgun

Take a look at the Lynx-12 shotgun in our in-depth review.

Many gun enthusiasts were not happy when the Saiga-12 was no longer imported into the USA. Now, the all new Lynx-12 shotgun is set to step up in its place.

We got a chance to review the SDS Imports Lynx-12 Semi-Automatic Shotgun, and we discovered that it's not only a unique idea, but an effective one, too.

It's been more than a few years since the last Saiga-12 Shotguns were imported to the United States from Russia. The magazine-fed, semi-automatic shotgun was greatly sought after, and prices went through the roof. Gun show dollar amounts spiked, and collectors held on to the ones they had.

All of that has now changed. SDS Imports has brought us the LH12 Shotgun, otherwise known as the Lynx-12. This AK style semi-auto shotgun is imported from China and is based on the Russian Saiga-12 with some variations.

The 12ga Lynx-12 comes with a 19" threaded barrel. That barrel length is perfect for quick, close range action. It will accept Saiga-12 choke tubes, a nice feature for fellow hunters. The Lynx-12 has a fixed black synthetic stock, a Bulgarian-style side rail for optics mounting, and a four position gas system. This gas-operated shotgun allows shooters to tailor their gas system to the load used.

With a forged bolt and trunnion, the Lynx-12 Shotgun also sports a parkerized military-type finish. It will accept all AK-47 style stocks, grips, and most aftermarket Saiga style fore-ends. The Lynx-12 Shotgun will accept any Saiga-12 style magazine as well. The fact that it can have pistol grips makes it a great, unique firearm.

The factory where the Lynx-12 Shotgun is made is quite familiar with AK-47 style weapons. It has been making Type 56 AK-47s for over 40 years. It truly is a case of "My grandpappy was a Type 56." Talk about already having the right tooling for the job and the knowledge on how to do it right! This new gun has quite an epic ancestry.

SDS Imports sent over a Lynx-12 Shotgun for review, and after picking it up from my good friend Steve at Silverado Arms, I took a few minutes to break it down and have a close look.

While it may appear to be similar to a Saiga-12 Shotgun, there are differences. A rubber buffer is present on the mainspring. This allows a softer surface for the bolt to come in contact with, which creates less jarring recoil. The safety is like a standard AK-47 but with an extra tab to allow the user to use their trigger finger to disengage the safety. That is much quicker than without this handy feature.

It also has a manual bolt hold open, unlike the earlier Saiga-12 Shotguns that usually lacked them. As quick as it was to disassemble, it was just as easy to put back together. It was time to see how it shoots.

Packing the Lynx-12 Shotgun and 50 various rounds of 12 gauge field loads, I hit the gun range. Every shell fired and extracted with zero problems. The gallon milk carton and coffee can never saw it coming. Can you imagine a game of sporting clays with the Lynx-12?

The supplied 5-shot magazine worked very well and seated quick and easy. Target shooting with the Lynx-12 Shotgun sure is a blast. That was just a start to the thorough testing, though. Not bad for a shotgun literally plucked from the shipping box, examined, and then immediately fired. I decided at this point not to clean the Lynx-12 during my initial testing. It is an AK-47 variant, and it should live up to that hype, right?

For the next range trip I packed another variety of shells to try. This time, heavier loads such as shotgun slugs and buckshot were the test munitions. All of the heavy loads functioned flawlessly, just like the lighter loads did.

The shorter AK-47 style stock is great for smaller shooters or when heavy clothing or body armor is worn. As a 6 foot tall shooter, I found a recoil pad was useful for adding a bit of length to the shorter stock for summer testing.

When I kept the front sight slightly raised, my point of aim for the Lynx-12 Shotgun was dead on for both shot and slugs.

I tested the supplied 5-shot magazine, along with the SGM 12 round, AGP 10 round, Russian 5 round, and the iconic MD-20 Drum Magazine. They all fit, fed, and functioned with no problems, proving that sentiment true.

So what are my final thoughts on the SDS Imports Lynx-12 Shotgun? Well, it is a hard use shotgun that will shrug off abuse without any problems (yes, it is technically a large AK-47 action). Try that kind of abuse on your fine blued and wooden stocked Browning shotgun without shedding a tear.

Even the traditional purist blued steel and wood stock shotgun aficionado will nod approval when the rain is coming down and the mud is up to your eye balls. This shotgun just plain shoots, and does so reliably.

For the tactical shooters (or folks looking to just do some recreational blasting), this shotgun is a bunch of fun. Load up any 12 gauge 2.75" or 3" Magnum shotgun shells or slugs, and tear stuff up. For competition shooting and home defense, this shotgun certainly would be second to none. This is a must-have shotgun that indeed can do it all from hunting to home defense.

I highly recommend it after piling up quite a large assortment of empty shotgun shell hulls with 100% reliability. With the standard AK-47 ergonomics, shooters will take quickly to this familiar feel shotgun. For rabbits and grouse, the gun as-is would be an excellent choice. Add a full or extra full choke tube and you can hammer high timber squirrels. You can mount optics and load up shotgun slugs for big game hunting, too.

Be sure to check out the Lynx-12 Shotgun on the SDS Imports website. This shotgun is going to sell fast so grab your wallet and get one quick. It is certainly one of the best semi-automatic shotguns now on the market, and it's all business and no useless frills.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.  

NEXT: BIG-GAME RIFLE REVIEW: HENRY ARMS SINGLE-SHOT .45-70 RIFLE

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Gun Review: SDS Imports Lynx-12 Semi-Automatic Shotgun