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Developed in the mid 1990s by South African designer Tony Neophytou, the Neostead 2000 is a pump action shotgun with a substantial cult following. It was the first truly high-capacity shotgun put into production, with two magazine tubes over a single barrel (a concept which was independently implemented by KelTec in their later KSG shotgun). This configuration gave it a capacity of 12+1, and a selector switch allowed the shooter to control whether only one tube was fed from or if both would be used alternating back and forth. Thus the tubes could be loaded with different types of ammunition to have readily available at the flip of a switch. It was produced only in 12ga, with a 3″ chamber.
The Neostead has a bullpup type layout, with the action and ejection port behind the grip and trigger. This allows a full-length barrel in a short overall package, and it is for this reason that the pump mechanism is designed to cycle opposite of traditional shotguns (forward to open and back to close). By having the shooter pulling their hand rearwards to close the action, the potential danger of the hand slipping in front of the muzzle while firing (something that has happened on the KSG) can be avoided.
Production of the Neostead did not happen until the early 2000s, and only 200 of the guns were made. The problem was ultimately the excessive complexity of the design. Short-stroking the pump could result in two shells both trying to feed onto the lifter, which would require field stripping the gun to resolve. The internal complexity also made the gun quite expensive – too expensive to be commercially successful. Most of the guns remain in South Africa today, where they are sought after as collectible items.
Many thanks to the anonymous collector who provided the production gun for disassembly, and to Mr. Neophytou for providing his prototype for firing!
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