Originally designed in 1980 by a Rhodesian man named Hilton Walker, the Striker shotgun was refined and manufactured in South Africa before making its way over to the US. Its claim to fame was a 12-round capacity in a fixed drum magazine, which was significantly larger than magazine capacities available in other shotguns at the time. Today, of course, there are several magazine-fed shotguns that can give the same capacity without all the negative features of the Striker/Streetsweeper (primarily the Saiga-12).

The more refined South African Striker guns used the vertical front grip to load and wind the drum and featured automatic ejection of spent shell cases, but the version built in the US and marketed as the Streetsweeper (could they really have picked a worse name?) was a simpler and cheaper design. The Streetsweeper has a winding key on the front of the drum, and shells must be manually ejected with a rod much like a Colt Peacemaker revolver. It also “features” a nice cylinder gap, and sprays gas and particulates for out the front of the drum onto the shooter’s forearm and out the back into the shooter’s face. The trigger is a double-action type similar to a revolver’s, except that the first stage releases a catch and allows the drum to rotate one position under spring tension, where a revolver rotates with pressure supplied from the trigger mechanism. The second stage of the Streetsweeper (I feel dirty just typing that name) trigger releases the hammer to fire a round.

In 1994, the Treasury Department issued a finding that the Striker-12 and Streetsweeper shotguns did not have a sporting purpose. Since they have bore diameters over .50 inch (as do all 12ga and 20ga shotguns), this redefined them as Destructive Devices under the NFA. As such, existing ones had to be registered with the ATF, and sale of one today requires a $200 tax stamp and the standard NFA transfer process. The side effect, however, is that barrel length of destructive devices is unregulated, and to the guns can be cut down to 12″ (the shortest convenient length, given the handguard) barrels without any other paperwork or legal issues.

I got my hands on an example of the Streetsweeper with its original 18″ barrel, and took it out to the range for a spin:


  1. I’ve been looking around, and all of the videogames and sims that have this weapon have an outomatic ejection system. Was this ever utilised?

    The designer in me thinks it would use direct impingement directly on the empty case to fling it out.

    • Long Mountain Outfitters used to have a lot of these, and the Cobray version, from various movies.

      A few of the very short ones, around 2″ barrel length, had auto-ejectors.

      They worked most of the time..

  2. I got stuck with one of these in ’94. Since I do kinda enjoy it, I decided to modify it and up the “coolness” factor. I have replaced the folding stock with a M4 style stock and added a full, custom built rail system. This week it is getting a barrel cut down and the addition of a Chaos Warthog muzzle devise.

    • Now THATS what Im talking about. Most firearm afficionados grossly underestimate the “coolness” factor of certain weapons that may be lacking in practical applications. They tend to take a far too clinical-& cynical-perspective. But like myself,you have chosen to embrace and even take it a step further and even modify it. I salute you,my friend. Because when its time to take out the trash…Streetsweeper by Cobray. No other shotgun looks scarier,lol.

  3. Nothing against you Ian but I’m not sure how good of a choice it was for an article on the streetsweeper, it’s not exactly forgotten. Perhaps an article on the Danish Sjögren 12 or the MAG 7, don’t know how feasible an article on the MAG 7 would be seeing as I’ve never even heard of one existing in the US and likely never will unless domestically produced. The Sjögren shouldn’t be too hard to obtain or borrow, I’ve seen quite a few in the US up for sale and even in person down here in Florida. I may even be able to borrow one for you to do an article on.

  4. Videogames like Resident Evil 4 get this gun completely WRONG! It has no ejection port as an autoloader would have because it is NOT an autoloader. This gun is actually very like a classic Colt Peacemaker from the late 19th century; a revolver with a loading gate. Yes, this is essentially the largest revolver ever made. The shroud is just a dust cover for the cylinder.

  5. My friend had one in his safe. atf found out he had it. he bought it at a gun show never knew they reclassified it. when they came and got it. This guy spent a lot of money to stay out of jail to lawyers mostley. He ended up being a Felon for the rest of his life for this . now he cannot even be around firearms. I think this is wrong. How many people now know that this has to have a stamp . I didnt

    • I owned one also which had been bought legally at that time. I too did not know until too late that Lloyd Cutler and his marxists at the treasury dept. had reclassified it as a class 2 weapon. I tried to make it right with all the proper forms but was rejected. I had to surrender it without compensation. I , of course, deactivated the shotgun as to make it impossible to fire. My congressman tried to help. The gun groups out there gave little or no help. I made them sign a receipt under camera at my place of bussiness. Any one who thinks registration does not lead to confiscation is fooling themselves. The gun cost me 600 when purchased. I saw one “legal” one at a gun show years ago asking 2200 for it. It is far less effective than it’s modern counterparts but it grinds my gears that I was forced to give it.

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