The STF/12 modular pump-action shotgun is the mainstay in the Fabarm product line: let's take a look at the best tactical shotgun manufactured on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean!
The modularity concept has only very recently been accepted and implemented by the notoriously conservative Italian firearms industry. Even more generally, at a global level, so far it has found very limited application on pump-action shotguns – generally speaking a traditional, rigid firearm platform that has changed very little ever since the end of the 19th Century.
But times change, and designs must evolve to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the users. Modern pump-action shotguns must remain up-to-date with the evolved needs for personal protection from civilian shooters, as well as the needs of security professionals, police officers and specialized military operators who rely on this category of firearm in demanding situations and environments.
In 2014, the FABARM S.p.A. company – Europe's biggest manufacturer of pump-action shotguns, headquartered in Italy, and one of the most important outside of America – launched the "Fabarm Professional" product line, which as of today includes a single product: the Fabarm STF/12 pump-action shotgun system.
And both a "system" and a "single product" it is, because while the STF/12 can be purchased in several configurations right out of the box – either in their Initial version, without accessory rails and muzzle devices, or otherwise – most, if not all, components can be purchased separately and combined to adapt the design to any hunting, sporting, tactical, defensive or operational need conceivable by either civilian or MIL/LE/Govt. end users.
The Fabarm STF/12 pump-action shotgun is manufactured around a CNC-machined ERGAL-55 lightweight aluminum alloy receiver that's available in a MIL-SPEC Type III hard-anodized black variant or in olive drab green and Flat Dark Earth Cerakoted models. Nickel-coated versions are also available, providing superior resistance to corrosion in marine environments.
All configurations of the STF/12 pump-action shotgun come factory-issued with a pistol grip and sliding forend manufactured out of polymer, with a Soft Touch finish. The forend features a short MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail portion for accessories in a 9-o'clock position and can be fitted with additional rail portions if need be.
The cross-bolt safety and the disconnector switch are located respectively behind and in front of the enlarged trigger guard – which provides a convenient trigger reach even when wearing gloves.
The Fabarm STF/12 pump-action shotgun comes factory-issued in all its configurations with the company's own Racing trigger, originally conceived for sporting shotguns, offering a very short travel and an average weight of 1,6 kg (3.5 lbs).
The STF/12 shotgun comes issued with LPA low-profile front and rear sights; they serve as a mounting platform for purpose-built machined aluminum MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny full-length rails, issued with higher-profile LPA Ghost Ring sights and providing plenty of space for optical sights or red dot sights.
Available for the Fabarm STF/12 pump-action shotgun are a polymer stock that can either be fixed or mounted on a right-folding hinge; as well as Fabarm's own, purpose-designed collapsible buttstock with adjustable cheekpiece.
Each stock can be removed by the user and replaced with any other stock compatible with the STF/12 in a matter of minutes; alternatively, the STF/12 can be left in a simple pistol grip-only configuration.
It must be said that the substitution of the stock with another one requires some tools, but the fact to have the possibility to fully configure the guns to macth different needs is one of the most attractive aspects offered by the Fabarm STF/12 system.
The Fabarm STF/12 comes in five barrel lengths: 11, 14, 18, 20 and 22 inches. Eleven inches barrel versions are available and classified as handguns in Italy and many other countries, while in the United States all the variants under 18" of barrel length would be considered short barrel shotguns and thus subject to NFA regulations.
All barrels are cold-hammer forged out of steel and feature a matte black outer finish; the shorter 11", 14" and 18" barrels offer a standard 18.4mm bore, while the 20" and 22" barrels offer Fabarm's signature Tribore HP profile.
Also, all barrels offer a removable factory-issued Inner HP Accuracy choke; a machined aluminum ventilated barrel shroud; and all are test-proofed for high-pressure (1630 Bar) ammunition, providing superior resistance even when used with steel shots or other high-friction ammunition. A tactical muzzle device is among the available accessories.
The standard capacity for the Fabarm STF/12 shotgun is of five 12-gauge shells – four in the magazine tube, one in chamber. Extensions to the tube can be installed to boost the overall capacity to six, seven, or eight shotshells. The 76 mm / 3" chamber allows the use of basically every sporting, defensive or professional load, including less-lethal and less-than-lethal shells.
The bolt group of the STF/12 shotgun is machined out of coated steel, and integrates the firing pin, the extractor and the tilting locking lug; the sliding forend runs on two bars of machined and hard-anodized aluminum, which makes it a breeze to operate and provides for a jam-proof action, with short-stroking less likely.
The Fabarm company offers a plethora of accessories for the STF/12 pump-action shotgun: a rigid waterproof case; the black 600-deniers nylon "Commando" soft bag, offering plenty of room in its main compartment and its external pockets, which can be turned into a backpack with adjustable straps; a much more classic STF/12 soft tactical bag in black and blue polyester; a single-point bungee sling and a three-point tactical sling; a four-shots shell-holder and a five-shots shell-holder, both made out of plastic and conceived to be clipped on the left side of the receiver.
Despite being priced higher than most of its direct competitors – including the vast majority of Fabarm's own shotguns – the STF/12 is definitely worth every dime: it is dead-on accurate, hell-bent reliable, extremely well made, and definitely the most modern and highest-quality shotgun to be currently manufactured outside of the United States.
Should we really want to find a downside to the STF/12 design, that would be the weight: the Fabarm STF/12 is massive and heavy, but how could it be differently for a Combat Shotgun, which should serve the purpose also when empty/unloaded?
Even if quite aggressive in design, Its standard configurations makes it desirable for those shooters who would be uncomfortable with the radical design found on other pump-action shotgun of the latest generation. It's no wonder the Fabarm STF/12 is one of the best-selling pump-action shotguns ever made in a European Country!
Fabarm STF/12 - Specifications
12 gauge, 76 mm / 3" chamber
Single action, Fabarm "Racing" trigger
Ambidextrous cross-bolt safety located behind the trigger guard
5, 6, 7 or 8 shells overall, depending from the configuration
Standard 18.4mm-bored barrels lenghts: 11"/28cm, 14"/36cm, 18"/46 cm
Tribore HP barrels: 20"/51, 22"/56 cm
Matte black outer finish; proofed for high-pressure (1.630 bar) and steel shots; factory-issued Inner HP Accuracy removable choke; removable flash hider
Depending on models: LPA low-profile sights, or full-lenght MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail with high visibility LPA Ghost Ring sights (also available as optional accessories).
From 53 cm (21") to 84 cm (33"), depending from the configuration
Starting at 2,6 kg (5.7 lbs)
Black hard-anodized, Nickel-coated or Cerakoted lightweight aluminum alloy (ERGAL-55)
Matte black stainless steel.
Pistol grip and front grip in Soft-Touch rubber finish
Consult your dealer for local availability and pricing
Flash hiders, additional Picatinny rails, high-visibility sights, magazine tube extensions, external shell carriers, fixed or telescopic stocks, tactical slings and dedicated carry bags are available as factory-issued or optional accessories.