Sultan P1 12 Gauge Fighting Shotgun from American Tactical Imports

 

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

August 28th, 2011

 

YouTube Video

 

 

 

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

ATI's Sultan P1 12-gauge fighting shotgun.

 

 

Receiver is machined for scope mounts.

 

 

Charging handle is large and easy to grasp.

 

 

Bolt release (top), bolt lock (center), crossbolt safety (bottom).

 

 

In keeping with the Sultan's serious purpose, the cylinder bore barrel has no choke tubes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home defense is becoming more and more of a concern to folks who are coming to realize that, when trouble starts, no one is coming to help, and it is left to the individual to defend himself and his family, or in many cases, herself and her family. Most police agencies in the US are pretty good, and when they receive a call, they will get to you as soon as they can. Other police agencies have been turned into rolling tax collectors, more concerned with traffic violations for which they can increase revenue than in protecting the citizenry. However, most are still good cops, and do everything that they can to protect the community. The problem is, that many agencies are stretched too thinly, and there is a backlog of calls. Still, if an emergency call goes out that there is a home invasion in progress, they will do the best they can to get there. Unless you live next door to the police station, they will not arrive soon enough. This is not a slam upon law enforcement, it is just pure logistics. The police cannot be everywhere at the same time. If armed thugs kick in your front door, you are own your own. For more on that topic, I refer you to my article titled Can You Reach Your Weapon?

Keeping in mind that the punks who just crashed through your front door have taken some time to plan this action, even if only for a few minutes, you will be taken by surprise. You actions will be reactions to theirs. They have the advantage already, and your reaction must be swift and violent. I keep a pistol within reach of my hand twenty-four hours per day, unless I am on an airplane. There, I have no firearm. I am not defenseless on an airplane, but that is a topic for another time. For now, unless in that situation, I am armed. In addition to the pistol, when possible at home, I have a shotgun within reach or just a couple of steps away, and that brings us to the subject of this piece: the Sultan P1 fighting shotgun.

Up close and personal, a shotgun is likely the most effective weapon that most of us can legally own. Across a room, I would rather have a good shotgun than even a submachine gun. I do not know their current training, but at one time, the FBI trained its agents to, if faced with multiple opponents armed with a pistol, a rifle, a sub-gun, and a shotgun, to take out the shotgunner first, as he is the one most likely to do the most harm. At close range, a shotgun is devastating. Even using a load of birdshot, a 12 gauge will put a fist-sized hole in flesh across the distance of a typical room in a home. With buckshot, it is very effective out to around at least fifty yards, but here, we are dealing with home defense, and the distances are more likely measured in feet instead of yards.

First, let's forget the oft-spouted myth that the spread of a shot load will kill anything in the general compass direction in which the weapon is pointed. That is not true. With an open-choked or non-choked shotgun, at twenty-five feet, the spread of shot can usually be covered with the palm of your hand. That is a good thing. If someone has forcefully and violently entered your home, chances are that they are not there selling Girl Scout Cookies. You want to take them out of action immediately. You want them on the floor, without the ability to wiggle their trigger fingers. Even if down, if they can pull a trigger, they can ruin your day. The shotgun delivers a devastating blow, with at least one full ounce of lead shot, preferably more. One of my favorite general purpose defensive loads for a shotgun is the Winchester PDX1. It throws a one-ounce lead slug and three plated 00 buckshot. It is effective down a very long hallway. Even better, I think, for close range is a load of number four buckshot. If over penetration of walls is a concern, which often is in a residential dwelling, number five or six birdshot is a very good choice. If you miss your target, those small pellets lose energy quickly after penetrating a wall, and will not kill your neighbor in the next apartment or house next door. That makes for very serious legal problems. You are responsible for every pellet that leaves the bore of your shotgun, so choose your ammunition to best suit your particular situation.

Choice of shotgun usually comes down to semi-auto or pump for most people. A good two-pipe is very effective, but slower to sustain fire over multiple shots, so most will choose a pump or an auto. Both have their advantages. A good gas-operated auto softens recoil, but suffers reliability problems in some designs. Like a good defensive handgun, the shotgun must be reliable, and for this reason, lots of folks choose a pump. The pump gun also has the advantage of being inexpensive. Most good autoloaders cost twice as much as a pump of equal quality. Still, I prefer an auto myself, but again, it must be reliable. The auto has the advantage that it can usually be operated faster by most shooters, and even more importantly, it can be operated one-handed if necessary, such as if one arm is disabled and taken out of the fight. With the auto, especially if it is light enough and handy enough, it can be used with only one hand.

One good autoloader that I have recently discovered is the subject of this review; the Sultan P1 from American Tactical Imports. The Sultan is made in Turkey, as are many shotguns these days, for the Turks build some quality weapons, and building there keeps the cost low. For many who need a good shotgun for home protection, paying well over a thousand dollars is just not possible. While I advocate buying the best that you can afford, sometimes spending more does not get you a better shotgun. The Sultan is not only a good shotgun for very little money, it would still be a good shotgun for a lot of money. The main reason for this, and of paramount importance, the Sultan P1 works. Reliability is first priority with a defensive weapon. Everything else comes after. The Sultan is a gas-operated shotgun, using a traditional gas system with twin action bars. The Sultan can fire either 2 or 3 inch twelve gauge shells, and I tried a variety of both in this shotgun. The first shell fired from the Sultan did not eject, and I attribute the fault to me. I pulled the gun out of its box, assembled it, loaded it and fired it. It was pretty heavily oiled, and most likely had oil in the gas ports. After that first shot cleaned out the oil, the Sultan functioned perfectly for the duration of all shooting.

The Sultan P1 has a very good trigger pull, measuring just three and one-half pounds, which is just about ideal for a fighting shotgun. The barrel is a handy eighteen and one-quarter inches long, and the overall length measures just thirty-nine inches. The length-of-pull measures fourteen and one-quarter inches. The weight is a light and handy six and one-half pounds. The stock is black synthetic, and wears a very comfortable pistol grip. There is a short post sight up front, with no rear sight. The aluminum receiver is machined for a scope mount, for those who prefer an optical sight. The Sultan wears a matte black finish of stock and metal, with the bolt and operating controls left bright. The operating handle is easy to grasp, even under stress or while wearing gloves. The Sultan holds four shots in the mag tube, giving a loaded capacity of five. Another advantage of using a tube-magazine gun instead of a double barrel is that the mag can be topped off, without taking the weapon out of the fight. Anytime there is a lull in the action, another shell or two can be thumbed into the magazine, while keeping the weapon pointed in the direction of the danger, and the shooter's finger ready to engage the trigger. The Sultan P1 has no constriction at the muzzle, and is not threaded for choke tubes. This shotgun is built for fighting, and is not meant to double as a hunting gun, but it does pattern well enough for close range bird hunting, but again, this is a fighting shotgun, and excels in that role.

The Sultan P1 is short, light, handy, reliable, and easy to use. At close range, it is a very effecting weapon. It is also very affordable, being priced lower than many pump guns. I usually do not list suggested retail prices, as guns usually sell for less, and prices change over time. However, price is a very important feature of this weapon. Suggested retail price as of the date of this writing is only $307.95 US. That price is lower than most pump guns, and is the lowest-priced semi-auto twelve gauge shotgun of which I am aware. Most importantly, the Sultan P1 works, and it works well.

Check out the Sultan P1 and other firearms from ATI online at www.americantactical.us.

To buy quality shotgun ammo online, go to www.luckygunner.com.

For the location of an ATI dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

 

Very comfortable pistol grip.

 

 

Soft recoil pad.

 

 

Winchester's PDX1 fighting ammo has a one-ounce slug and three 00 buckshot.