In this video by The Forgotten Weapons, Ian features a Crossfire MkI. The Crossfire MkI is a combination gun – it is both a rifle and a shotgun with two barrels sharing a single pump action mechanism.
The Crossfire MkI is a unique weapon. It essentially supports two independent actions with separate, reciprocating, multi-lugged bolts. It is, however, fired by a single trigger. The rifle is a 5.56mm NATO barrel feeding from a bottom-mounted AR-15 pattern magazine. The shotgun is a 12ga bore barrel, with a 4-round tubular magazine located on top of the buttstock. Ideally, this ability to select from a rifle or shotgun round allows shooters to adjust their firepower depending on the situation they are in.
The Crossfire Mkl is primarily made of plastic and steel materials. Its firearm length is 37.3 inches, and its barrel lengths are 19.3 inches and 16.5 inches.
The initial design of the combination gun was a creation of Crossfire LLC, which was then engineered by Saco Defense. The Crossfire MkI was first debuted at SHOT Show in 1988, but it wasn’t until about 10 years later that the first Crossfire MkI guns actually hit the market.
Ian notes that he believes the Crossfire MkI was intended for folks who expected that the combination of a shotgun and rifle would produce a universally handy weapon, suitable for any situation. The pump action simplified the design significantly, and also allowed the designers to use standard AR type magazines during the period of the US Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 to 2004. Ian thinks, however, that the Crossfire Mkl is very awkward to use, and requires a non-trivial amount of practice to run reliably. He points out that the pump handle is exceedingly far forward.
The Crossfire MkI also had an initial MSRP of just under $2000 – an insane price tag that helped ensure its position as a true commercial failure.