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Between the world wars, the Walther company designed and marketed a short recoil, toggle-locked 12 gauge shotgun for sporting use. It was patented by the Walther brothers, but actually manufactured by the Deutsche-Werke consortium, which was organized by the German government to employ German workers and export guns for much-needed foreign hard currency (they also made the Ortgies pistols).
The Walther shotgun was not particularly successful though, with only about 5700 made over about a 10-year period in the 1920s. I suspect the problem was as simple as the excessive recoil generated by the action. As I discovered shooting this example, it kicks substantially more than other comparable semiauto shotguns, and was really quite unpleasant to shoot. I cannot blame potential customers for choosing different guns (like, for example, the Browning Auto-5) that would have been available at the time.
Thanks to H. in Sweden for letting me shoot this quite uncommon shotgun!
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!