So I purchased a UTAS UTS-15 12 gauge shotgun almost a month ago and I figured I'd throw together a little thread on how its been so far. (I will update with pictures soon, its night right now and lighting is poor.)
So lets start with construction and quality. The gun itself is made half polymer half steel, now before you start balking at that UTAS did a good job. The polymer is a good sturdy feeling composite and they put some thought into what needs to be steel and what could be lightened with polymer. For example, the main body of the weapon is one thick polymer component and they did a good 1/4" thick wall of polymer to make sure its sturdy.
But components like the bolt, slide rail, magazine tubes, top rail are all good ol' steel.
The whole gun weighs close to 8lbs unloaded, over all length with the tactical choke installed is about 27.5" long with a 18.5" smootbore barrel. It shoulders rather comfortably for me, but I had one person say they would have liked a longer length of pull (I believe UTAS or perhaps a aftermarket company will come out with thicker pads, if you look at the attached picture it wouldn't be too hard to swap them out.)
Trigger pull feels nice and crisp, I have a very solid, smooth pull when firing the weapon. The whole gun feels pretty comfortable when shouldered, my only real complaint has to do with my still getting used to the iron sights. It has an AR Style safety on the left hand side easily switched by the thumb, there is a button for the optional LED Light/Laser combo on the right side that can be engaged with your index finger easily. The LED/Laser combo is still in work by Cree LED I believe, UTAS said I'll get it around the beginning of December. Honestly, construction and quality get good marks in my opinion, its a well thought out and well built gun. (There were some issues with the first batch of weapons, but UTAS has been quick to correct them, I seem to have the superceeded model. They just starte production in the US in July)
Loading the UTS-15 can be cumbersome at first, but over time becomes natural, you pop open the loading gates and use your fingernail to push the plunger back into locked position, then load the rounds like a regular shotgun. Final step is to close the loading gate which engages the plunger and applies tension to the rounds. I'm right handed so its become pretty quick for me to load up 7 rounds on the right tube, I'm still practicing a more efficient process for the left tube. The UTS-15 will alternate one round from each tube with the selector in the center, if you wish to isolate the right tube you would push the selector to the left and vice versa. One complaint I have is that the pre-production models had a tab that stuck out for this purpose rather than using the corner of your nail, why it was removed I have no clue.
I haven't gotten as much range time as I would have liked due to my schedule more than anything. But I did put 50 Federal 1oz 2 3/4" Slugs through the gun to just get used to operation and target acquisition. The magazine tubes are on top so when its fully loaded it gives a little more weight on the barrel for recoil control. I found actual recoil to be comparable if not a little better in terms of force transferred to the shooter on par with most pump action shotguns; as for recoil control, its not night and day difference, but it is a noticeably easy to control weapon, even firing slugs. The only misfeeds I've had were due to me slowly racking the weapon, when I stopped babying it and did smooth, quick racks I had good results. As I posted in another thread, the Federal Slugs I am shooting seem to get more lead dust on the front of the gun, but it could also be because its an 18.5" barrel. My local outdoor range does not want shotgunners to use anything other than slugs on their range because too many people tore up their stands so I have yet to run some double ought through it yet.
That's about all I can think of off the top of my head, I just figured I'd share how the gun's been for me with you guys. Feel free to ask questions and such.