Today we take a good look at the FABARM Professional STF/12 Telescopic FE pump-action shotgun. “FE” stands for 'Flat Earth' color scheme, achieved with a high quality Cerakote finish on all metal surfaces and the use of tan colored polymer slide, pistol grip and cheek piece.
Features of the FABARM STF/12 Telescopic FE Professional shotgun
The STF/12 Telescopic version obviously features the proprietary, non-folding telescopic stock and an 11” (280mm) long barrel, which makes it a Title II NFA short barreled shotgun in the US and a handgun in the B/1 category in Europe. We analyzed the Fabarm Professional STF/12 modular pump-action shotgun system in this article, so, we will not repeat ourselves, at least not in regards to the general description of the platform and available models.
We will, however, focus on the specific features of the Telescopic FE model with 11" barrel.
The fixed telescopic stock fully closed allows the shotgun's total length, including the door breacher/muzzle brake, to be just 770mm or 30.31” long, versus the 620mm / 24.4” of the Compact model with folded stock. The weight is substantial: with the Picatinny rail and muzzle brake it sets the scale at about 3850g, just shy of 8 and a half pounds.
The proprietary telescopic stock is a Fabarm internal project: built out of Ergal 55 (trade name of the 7075-T6 alloy, the same material of the gun’s receiver) and technopolymers, it is extremely rugged and reliable. It is adjustable in length of pull, with 6 positions from 25 to 36 cm, and in height of the cheek pad, to obtain an ideal eye position when using optics. The cheek piece does not raise in a straight line, but rather with a tilting movement, its hinge placed rearward, right next to the buttstock.
To adjust the LOP of the telescopic stock, the shooter squeezes the release lever located inside the skeleton stock frame and moves the stock assembly, a very quick and easy operation. Once adjusted, the stock locks down as if it was welded. Cheek pad adjustment is a little more difficult because of the stiffness and uncomfortable position - close to the pistol grip backstrap - of the release button.
The color scheme of the FE model is interesting, with the two different shades of the Cerakote finish and the Polymers contrasting with the matte black of the barrel and most metal details of the gun.
Included with the shotgun we find a magazine extension tube (adds one cartridge bringing capacity from 4 +1 to 5 + 1 rounds), a full length top Picatinny rail with Pivot mount, a set of removable and fully adjustable LPA iron sights, two internal chokes, and the door breacher / flash hider that doubles as a very effective muzzle brake (adds 82mm to the total length of the shotgun), a small set of accessories and the user manual. The slide features three small Picatinny rails mounted, two on each side and one on the bottom.
Fabarm STF/12 Telescopic FE: Range test
The action of the Fabarm STF/12 shotgun is a proven design: bottom loading, side ejecting tube magazine fed, 12 gauge pump action shotgun, with the bolt locking with a tilting lug into a groove milled on the barrel extension. Fabarm improved this basic design making the STF/12 a real reference in the pump action scene for reliability, accuracy and ruggedness. The slide travels in Ergal 55 guides, with a smooth movement as if moving on roller bearings and with no slack; the action is lightning fast and feeding is always perfect, with any ammo brand and loading we tested.
Trigger is excellent, with a very short travel and crisp release, short reset, and limited overtravel. Trigger pull is around 1600g – 3 and a half pounds.
The manual safety is a cross-bolt design, that locks the trigger mechanism; its triangular shaped, oversized push button shape is designed to increase speed in operating the safety.
We tested the Fabarm STF/12 Telescopic FE with the muzzle brake and mag extension installed, and we used 12 gauge 26g Geco Slug "Coated Competition" shotshells, B&P 28g Target Slug rounds, the powerful RWS Exact Magnum 3 inch shells with Gualandi slug, and the classic Rottweil Express 12/67.5mm with 33g of 8.6mm shot.
Recoil is always manageable, only with the 3” Magnum loads our shoulder really felt the quite hefty kick of the gun. The weight of the shotgun and the massive muzzle brake however mitigates the "kick" and target picture acquisition is always quick.
Accuracy at 25m range with Slug ammo is excellent; we used an Aimpoint Micro T1 and the LPA Ghos Ring sights, with similar results. A low magnification variable riflescope (such as a Short Dot or similar) in our opinion can greatly improve target results.
In our opinion, the Fabarm STF / 12 Telescopic FE with the 11” - 28cm barrel is an excellent smooth-bore weapon for tactical and professional use, an enjoyable and accurate sporting shotgun for range use and, with suitable ammunition, a very credible home defense gun.