The AR-15 is one of the most menacing looking firearms ever created. With that menacing design comes some well-deserved clout. After seven years in the military and cycling thousands of rounds through an old Colt, I became very more than proficient at manipulating the ergonomics of the AR platform gun. That familiar design, character, and feel of the AR was like wearing a pair of comfortable old jeans—it just felt right. Akdal Arms in Turkey put those winning ergonomics to good use by wrapping that AR design around a 12-gauge combat shotgun. The RAAC MKA-1919 is a unique semi-automatic 12-gauge designed for a variety of shotgun roles. The Turkish military and police forces have used this shotgun since 2008. As a result, their military fully field-tested the gun and hammered out the new-design kinks. Forget slow loading magazine tubes and awkward tang mounted safeties, the MKA-1919 delivers 12-gauge stopping power with deadly AR efficiency.
When you hold the rifle in your hands, you have to look twice to remind yourself that you are holding a Turkish shotgun and not an American battle rifle. The familiar ergonomics made the first run a breeze. The safety rests right where is should be, just above the grip on the left hand side. Thankfully, I could reach the magazine release button without letting go of the grip. I was worried the larger magazine well would alter the location of the release, but a quick move of my right index finder dropped the empty magazine like bad habit. The only change I had to accept was the way in which I chambered a shell. Rather than being mounted on the rear, just above the buttstock, the charging handle rests on the reciprocating bolt, exactly like an AK. This did not bother me since using an AK takes little training and reaching across to charge the weapon was effortless. The bolt release paddle worked perfectly when slamming new shells into the chamber. Overall, the controls are very straight forward so I was able to cycle through shells and reload magazines at break-neck speed.
The included iron sights are removable, making this shotgun easily customizable. Underneath the detachable carry handle is a Picatinny rail for mounting custom optics. Akdal made the chrome-lined barrel 19.7-inches long and threaded the end for installing different chokes. Included in the box are a cylinder bore, modified, and full choke tube set. The handy choke wrench makes it easy to switch them out if needed. For increased durability, they made the upper receiver from aluminum alloy while the lower receiver is an impact resistant polymer.
The MKA 1919 chambers and fires factory 2.75-inch or 3-inch shells loaded with birdshot, buckshot, or slugs. The gun arrives with one magazine for 2.75-inch shells and a second for 3-inch shells. Make sure you don’t confuse these two, since mixing these up seems to cause an occasional malfunction.
Shooting the MKA 1919 is an absolute dream. My usual gun-snob concerns disappeared once I burned through a few magazines. My esteemed colleagues in the gun industry were able to take the 1919 to the range a day earlier, so they had to fight through the break-in period. The majority of reliability issues sometimes reported with this gun seem to center around insufficient break-ins. The consensus is that you should allow a solid 500 rounds to get the gun running properly. Maintenance for the 1919 is extremely easy as well. A simple swipe with a bore brush and the occasional squirt of oil keeps most of the parts running flawlessly.
I thoroughly enjoyed shooting up the range with the 1919. Its easy handling, lightweight, and familiar controls combine to make a very functional and fun semi-automatic shotgun. It can fill a number of roles with only slight modifications. Hunters can easily plug the magazine and adjust the chokes for birds or clays. Those looking for a home defense gun will have an excellent rapid fire, high-capacity shotgun. The competitors and 3-gunners will love the weight and reliability of this amazing 12-gauge.
Specifications and Features
- Gas Operated Semi-Automatic
- 12-Gauge 2 3/4″ or 3″ Shot Shells
- Upper Receiver: Aluminum with Milled-in Picatinny Sight Rail
- Lower Receiver: Polymer, Fixed Pistol Grip and Shoulder Stock
- Matte Black Finish
- Removable AR-15 Style Adjustable Sights
- Removable Box Magazine
- Barrel Length: 19.7”
- Overall Length: 40.5”
- Height: 7.5”
- Weight: 6.5 pounds unloaded
- Capacity: 5+1 Shells
- Chokes: Removable, Full, Modified, and Cylinder Bore Provided