In excitement for the release of Jurassic World I've been watching a lot of the original movies lately, which has got me on a bit of a movie prop kick. In visiting great websites all over the Internet regarding the "screen accuracy" of everything from Jeeps, to costumes, and other props, but I noticed there didn't seem to be anything regarding the variations of the SPAS 12's used in the film.
So I took a Blu Ray copy and stepped it through frame by frame whenever a SPAS 12 was on screen to see just exactly what was going on with the SPAS 12's used in the film.
Hopefully you'll enjoy the article, and if you have anything new to contribute to it please send it along and I'll happily update the article with credit!
Seeing the oversized/Combat Bolt Releases popping up on Gunbroker and eBay but not sure you can handle the install? It's not that bad! Just requires a few simple dental tools available at your local hardware store and about 10 minutes of your time!
I'll get deeper into the use of it and why it's more beneficial in another video when the whether warms up. My backstop needs rebuilt and the ground is too frozen to work on it, but I definitely want to get more shooting videos up this summer.
Folding stock shock absorbers took a hit there for a second and I'm trying to play catch-up with them, should have all orders for them out this weekend, as well as some more in the online store, my apologies for the delay.
Update, 3/10/2015: Bernhard G. has created the following album of pictures (LINK HERE) comparing one of these darker hooks to another one of his own. He shows weight as well as measurements for comparison.
Update, 2/25/2015 10:00pm EST: I've now received numerous emails regarding these hooks from SPAS 12 owners here in the United States. I have spoken with both the buyer and seller at length, as well as a technician at Benelli in Italy who is familiar with the SPAS, as well as several trusted sources here in the US and have come up with the following information, please be advised before reading that I am only going to put the facts given by those I've spoken with and allow you to draw your own conclusions.
-I contacted the seller, and he immediately obliged my request to send some more photographs (seen here) of the hooks he received from a contact of his in Italy who he believes to be reputable and has gotten SPAS parts from in the past. He has noted that these hooks are parkerized black, like the barrel, not the phosphate gray/green in his auction.
-The buyer provided two videos (one, and two) depicting him with gun oil on his hands, rubbing the hook, and showing residue left on his hands.
-The seller has informed me that he has also seen the video and believes it is the protective oil coming off the hooks.
-After seeing the buyers demonstration, the technician at Benelli in Italy declared that this is not in line with the behavior of exposing any parkerized metal to oil, and he believes it is paint. He also still maintains that the pin weld is inaccurate as well as he believes the cap has a grain to it that is not in line with the factory pieces he's familiar with.
-I showed the video to a professional firearm refinishing shop here in the US to double-check and was told, "The finish used on that hook would not be parkerizing. Parkerizing chemically etches the surface of the metal."
-It was explained to me by both Benelli USA and the owner of what remains of American Arms SPAS 12 inventories that it would be difficult to discover exactly what Franchi's production finishes were like towards the end of production, as in the United States we only could import the SPAS until 1994.
-(2/26/2015) From the seller: "I will however confirm the finish is NOT paint. If it were then it could be scratched off. Also the cellulose thinners would have stripped this in seconds."
I received an email this morning from a SPAS 12 owner who believes he may have been taken advantage of, and after bouncing the pictures off of a few trusted folks and doing a little Internet digging we think these hooks have a chance at being of questionable origin.
The person who has contacted me said that as soon as he put gun oil on it, the finish began to rub off on his hands. This person then got in touch with an employee at Benelli in Italy who gave the hook an inspection and said that the "F" marked cap seemed to have a different grain to it than the original as well (possibly indicating a casting). His contact at Benelli also seemed to think the finish might be spray paint. Also just looking at the pictures, the bends seem slightly off, most notably the final tip arcing back towards the main stem of the hook.
The real difference seems to be the welded-in pin showing through the rear of the hook. The factory pieces all seemto be flush ground.
The gallery below shows the hook in question. I'd invite you folks with hooks to compare yours to the ones in the picture and share your thoughts.
After seeing the sticker shock of what it takes to get a factory sling, SPAS 12 Project man-of-the-hour Paul S. decided to take it upon himself to shop around for someone willing to make a sling for our favorite shotgun, and I'm happy to announce that Fire Force Tactical Gear based out of California answered the call. I have a few in the online store, but you should really check out FireForceUSA.com as well. All products made in the USA and a heck of a nice company to deal with.
This video was brought to my attention recently...and it is SPAS 12 related so I thought I should post it.
4 Basic Safety Rules, guys...super simple stuff...
I tried coming up with a good title for Valentine's Day but I'm unfortunately not that clever.
Anyway, there is a SMALL number of replacement hooks in the online store. The first batch was supposed to be larger, however an issue in the quality department (which sent me through several machinists) chewed up a lot of the original resources.
The hook in the picture is one of the replacement hooks. These are carefully titled "replacement hooks" and not "replicas", they were bent using an entirely different process and as such the bends are not 100% identical to the original, but it does help keep the price low. They DO have a plastic cap, though it is not "F" marked, and they are finished in the same parkerization as the SPAS was. They will appear slightly lighter in color as the finish is not seasoned by decades of use, oxidation, and oil, however there are methods to darken it if you choose to do so.
If you are reading this and missed out on these first hooks, I am very sorry! I have already ordered the next batch of materials. I'll set the time frame as 6 weeks out, which I really hope is an overestimation. I appreciate how many emails I've received wanting folks to hold one for them, but I hope you will respect that in fairness to everyone I will be listing them all on the online store. One of the foundations that this website was built on is that I will not take any money for items I do not currently have available and am ready to send out. If you want to be alerted by email of when the next batch has arrived, please comment on this post that you are interested and check "subscribe" and you will be alerted via email when replies are made to this thread (which I will do when the next batch is finished.)
I want to add that I am absolutely humbled by the emails I've been receiving lately. The show of support for this tiny project has been nothing short of phenomenal! The Project is viewed by thousands of visitors each week and I have been working on some new content to keep everyone entertained, including a big article with the inner workings of a very special SPAS 12 that has never been seen before. I also updated the "Contribute" page with a new wish-list if anyone has some of the rarer accessories they can send pictures of.
Also, I am not one of the young hip kids that fully understands the smart phone app "Instagram", but I will say that it makes posting upcoming items and fun SPAS 12 pictures very easy, and I admit I have been using it fairly often. If you would like to see some of the things that are being worked on and "behind the scenes" look at the SPAS 12 Project, search for the user "spas12project" and follow me!
After a slight piffle in offering these shot diverters myself, I decided I could still post an overview of how I was able to replicate my own shot diverter for far less than it would cost to buy an original FIE diverter, for educational purposes.
It actually was pretty easy! Noticing the similiarities between the original FIE shot diverter and an old shot diverter called the "SHUR-HIT" I decided to figure out how to make an adapter, and the process was fairly simple.
Using a SPAS 12 choke tube (available here, if you call) I simply had to create an adapter that would accept the original shot diverter. To the lathe!
The SHUR-HIT includes a choke adapter for several shotguns, giving me a pattern to work from. After carefully measuring twice and cutting once I was able to remove the tube section of the choke leaving only the threaded "barrel bushing". This was then turned on a lathe to match the exact dimensions of the SHUR-HIT choke tube. If I didn't have my own lathe, I wouldn't imagine it would take an experienced machinist or gunsmith any longer than an hour to replicate.
Here are some pictures after it was finished.
It seems like the grip plug is just another one of those pieces that the SPAS likes to reject over time, along with it's share of buffers, bumpers, and o-rings. A replacement is now available through the SPAS 12 Project! Made in the USA.
Hey guys! After receiving several requests I'm happy to announce that both old and new-style receiver buffers are now a highly visible blaze orange, allowing you to see your buffer without needing to disassemble your SPAS 12!
There are now hundreds of SPAS 12 Project buffers in use all over the globe, and while there haven't been any reports of a single one failing, your SPAS 12 wasn't cheap and the extra peace of mind from knowing your buffer is in there protecting your investment is a great thing!
While not immediately visible to detract from the menacing aesthetics of the SPAS 12, a simple tilt towards the sunlight and a glance through the cutaway on your receiver and the blaze orange will alert you that you're still in ship shape.
These are still made of the same durable impact-dampening polyurethane, and will remain the same price.
To those of you who placed orders this evening, you will be receiving the blaze orange buffers and you should all have emails letting you know.
There will also be another post or two this weekend so check back in for some new stuff over the next couple days!