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All about the SPAS 12 and SPAS 15 Field Tool or "Key"

SPAS 12/15 Tool

Some of you may have gotten these little guys with your SPAS 12's and wondered just what the heck it is.  A can opener?  A divot removal tool?  Allow me to shed just a little bit of light on these guys, as they seem to have been popping up on popular auction sites pretty frequently.

This tool, also referred to as a SPAS 12 or SPAS 15 "key", was supplied by Franchi to aid in the field stripping of their prized auto-loading shotguns.  They only serve three real purposes.

Choke Wrench

The first purpose for these guys was a choke/muzzle device wrench.  It has a crescent shaped cutaway with a tooth that's a perfect fit for removing chokes and thread protectors from your SPAS 12/15 barrel. 

Let me tell you why I like this purpose:  you want to know a great place to keep a backup o-ring for your gas piston?  Right there behind your muzzle device.  There's an o-ring there anyway that is slightly smaller, but to be honest it's purpose is pretty non-existant and a gas-system-sized o-ring will fit there and serve the same purpose, only now you also have a backup in case your original one blows at the range!  Now you have an appropriate wrench to remove your thread protector and access your spare!

This tool, also referred to as a SPAS 12 or SPAS 15 "key", was supplied by Franchi to aid in the field stripping of their prized auto-loading shotguns.  They only serve three real purposes.

Pin Punch

On the backs of these little tools is a swiveling spike with a fairly dull tip.  This was to be used to flip out and use as a handy punch to pop out the trigger group retaining pins.  Honestly that's a little bit more handy than I think some folks might realize.

For those of you that have replaced your receiver buffer, you know how much easier the process is made by removing your trigger group.  If you have one of these guys in your range bag you'll always be able to properly remove your trigger group for making sure your favorite buffer is tucked away safe and sound at the back of your receiver protecting your favorite investment.


Anyway, the final intended purpose for these guys was a screwdriver...of sorts.  The tip on the end can be used to remove the screw that holds on the rear portion of your ghost ring sights, allowing you to further disassemble your forend while field stripping. 

Why?  I don't know, maybe you dropped a nickel in there.  Why do you have a nickel near your SPAS 12 in the first place?   Because even though Franchi thought to make a tool with some purpose for the SPAS 12 (and 15, I know) they still didn't provide a proper tool to remove the folding stock.  Honestly I can't say that I would be terribly comfortable using the screwdriver unless it was an emergency for risk of damaging the head of the screw that's there, it fits pretty poorly.  I've said it before, I don't care if my SPAS 12 has a rough look about it but I also don't want to damage it if I don't have to.  Just grab a real flat-head screwdriver for this task.

There are also variants with what can best be described as bottle opener cutouts on them.  I don't know if they're more rare or not, but I'm certainly jealous of the guys who bust one out to crack a fresh beer and when people ask what the heck they did it with they get to launch into an amazing story about how they own the only shotgun chosen to put down dinosaurs, you might have to use the pokey end to fight off the crowd of women that will surely encircle you.

These tools are a great little collectors item and definitely something I'll carry in my pocket if I take the SPAS 12 to the range as a "just in case" or even just as a conversation piece. 

So now you know and hopefully can make an informed decision on whether or not you need one of these things.  If you're completing your SPAS 12 you should definitely grab one, as they're probably the cheapest pickup if you're looking for all the accessories (slings, shot diverters, scope mounts, etc.) If you're looking for a tool to replace half the tools on your bench...look elsewhere.

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