The NeoStead 2000 is a unique manual pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun developed by Truvelo Manufacturers Ltd of South Africa for the military, security and civilian markets. The system features several patented components including a unique dual-tube magazine design. To date, the weapon system has seen some export success in places across Europe but is yet to be cleared for purchase in the United States. Low-rate production began in 2001 and has been ongoing since.
The NeoStead 2000 sports a bevy of clean lines and smooth contouring. A good deal of its length is made up of the receiver with its integrated stock, common with firearms utilizing the "bullpup" configuration (the bullpup arrangement is merely the fitting of the magazine and firing "action" to the rear of the trigger group as opposed to ahead of it as in a traditionally conventional firearm). The NeoStead's stock sits firmly against the shoulder and adds a third point of stability when firing the weapon (the trigger hand and forend become the other two points). The angled pistol grip is set at about the midway point of the receiver underside for maximum balance. The trigger is large and well-curved forward within an angular trigger guard. The barrel is buried within the lower portion of the receiver and covered at the front by the slide. The magazine tubes sit atop and to either side of the barrel. A carrying handle is affixed to the top side of the receiver. In all, the NeoStead 2000 presents a unique profile form and is unlike most any other 12-gauge shotgun currently in production.
One of the unique qualities of the NeoStead 2000 is its forward-moving, pump-action slide system. Conventional shotguns utilized a similar slide action but the action takes the slide rearwards. The dual-tube magazine can hold up to twelve 12-gauge shells (6 shells per tube) and only one tube can feed the firing action at a time - though the operator can set the weapon to feed from a specific tube or alternate between them by way of a integrated selector switch. The value of this preference setting means that an operator can be fielded into a riot situation and carry both lethal and non-lethal ammunition for his weapon - both ready to fire. An additional shell can be "pumped" into the firing chamber for a total of thirteen ready-to-fire shells. The magazine selector switch, slide lock and safety catch are all made ambidextrous for complete universality. The main safety catch is found behind the trigger while the slide lock is located under the slide itself.
The magazine tubes are loaded by bringing each tube to an upward angle, exposing the open rear breech of each tube. Shells are then deposited into the spring-loaded tubes as needed. The magazine tubes are then set down once again over barrel until locked in place, ready for the slide action to come into play. Spent shell casings are safely ejected downwards out of the bottom of the buttstock and actuated by the pump-action slide operation. Visual cues to the operator on how many remaining shells are in each magazine tube are provided for by way of open slots. The operator can always access the magazine tubes when needed, this accomplished by activating the slide lock, pushing the slide forwards and raising the magazine tubes. The action provides clear access to either tube for reloading, maintenance or cleaning.
The weapon weighs in at just 3.9 kilograms (8lbs, 10oz) and features a 690mm running length. It is available in two barrel lengths measuring either 18 inches or 22 inches (the 18-inch barrel length limits the ammunition count to a "five-and-five" plus one shell in the firing chamber). Compared to conventional shotgun systems, the NeoStead 2000 enjoys a rather compact profile and construction includes heavy duty polymers.
For all its inherently good qualities, the NeoStead 2000 has yet to make a definitive impact on the world firearms market. Regardless, it is an interesting weapon that may come into its own soon enough, particularly for those parties needing hefty firepower in close-quarters ranges. Such parties may include riot police and home defense customers in the short term.
The British special forces group SAS ("Special Air Service") is known to have trialed the NeoStead 2000 for a time. Early production forms were noted for not having any manufacturer markings, latter ones found with the "Truvelo Manufacturers" logo on the receiver.