View Full Version : John W Winter and the Swatriplex-18

October 16, 2008, 12:22 PM
I'm doing another research project and other then a few odd referances in books and online can find very little on John W Winter and the Swatriplex-18. Any leads would be appriciated. I am interested in leads on specs, drawings, photos, patent referances, ect. Also anyone know if one of the prototypes might be sitting in a museum or the BATF Tech branch.

This is a follow up on research I did on the Neostead which included speaking with Hans Stead, as well as one of the few US owners before they were "donated to the BATF" as a non-sporting weapon, not eligable for import.

Consortium W (Winter) SWATriplex-18 prototype 12-gauge semi-automatic combat shotgun

Designed in the late 1970s specifically as a combat shotgun by John W Winter, the SWATriplex-18 had a number of unusual features, some of which appeared in later shotguns. Unfortunately, the company which was supposed to manufacture the weapon (Consortium W), pulled out after only a few prototypes were built and Winter was never able to attract anyone else to manufacture, let alone buy his unusual shotgun.

The SWATriplex-18 used a semi-bullpup design using twin tubular magazines under a single barrel. Feed could be from one magazine at a time, or alternately between the right and left magazines. Operation was semiautomatic, using gas operation and something quite unusual in a shotgun, a telescoping bolt. Construction was with a combination of light alloys and steel (for the barrel and where strength was critical). The 22-inch barrel was surrounded by a shroud/handguard which was ventilated for cooling. The SWATriplex-18 has ejection ports on both sides of the weapon; each could be sealed, and this allowed use of the weapon by both left and right-handed shooters by simply reversing the ejection direction, charging handle, and cheek rest (something most designers of bullpup weapons seem to overlook). The SWATriplex-18 used rifle-type sights on raised stands; both were adjustable for elevation and windage by knobs. (The raised sights were thought of as a potential problem, and Winter reputedly was considering either removable sights or moving the sights down to the receiver itself.) The stock was of light alloy, but the butt was synthetic with a rubber recoil pad. The top of the receiver had a carrying handle which could be folded flat against the receiver if desired.

The SWATriplex-18 was most likely a design which was way ahead of its time; many companies thought it was simply too weird-looking to sell, despite its reliability and advanced features. This may have killed the SWATriplex-18 more than anything else. Unfortunately, even the prototypes seem to have disappeared, and examples of the weapon now exist only on paper. However, the SWATriplex-18 design can be credited of a modern spawning as can surely have been a source of inspiration for the South-African designers Tony Neophytou and Heyns Stead for their highly successful Truvelo NS-2000 "NeoStead" pump-action combat shotgun

October 24, 2008, 09:12 AM
Still looking. Even the author Bruce Canfield, had nothing to add....

November 5, 2008, 10:04 PM

commander bond
November 7, 2008, 12:19 PM

I have a front-end photo from gun digest book of assault weapons.

November 30, 2008, 10:26 AM
Thanks, could you e-mail me a scan? If not what year was it?

November 30, 2008, 11:33 AM
Also anyone know if one of the prototypes might be sitting in a museum or the BATF Tech branch.

Why don't you contact them and ask.

WildchelseajustscoredAlaska TM

November 30, 2008, 11:49 AM
I'm waiting on a response from BATF now(still).


December 2, 2008, 10:40 AM
Not at home now to check, but maybe the book The World's Fighting Shotguns" by Thomas Swearengen <sp> may have some info?

December 19, 2008, 09:38 PM

December 27, 2008, 03:24 PM
Looked through a couple dozen of my reference books but no mention. The only bit I found online is http://www.pmulcahy.com/best_stuff_that_never_was/best_shg_that_never_were.html

January 2, 2009, 01:23 PM
I have the Dec 79 Gun's article now, writen by John Winter, very interesting. Any other data availible?