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Tristar Viper G2 12 Gauge Semi-Auto Shotgun Review

Tristar Viper G2 12 Gauge Semi-Auto Shotgun Review

shotgun review Feb 16, 2023


Welcome to my first-ever Tristar review! The one I have today is a compact 12 gauge with a 24-inch barrel. I believe this is supposed to be a gun that would be good for transitioning kids or smaller framed shooters into a 12 gauge if they've been using a 20 or something smaller. This is definitely a budget-line shotgun. Let's find out if it's worth it!

Tristar Viper G2:

  • The current MSRP is $625
  • This gun is intended for hunting and sporting purposes
  • Get a Free TFL Hat...find out how!


  • 12 gauge gas driven (Available in 20 gauge and 410)
  • 3 Beretta-style chokes
  • 3" chamber 
  • 24"  Barrell  
  • Shotgun Weight is 5lbs 8oz
  • 13" Length of pull (compact) Full Size is 14 ¼"


  • You can tell right off the bat that this is a cheaper gun. Not the worst trigger I've pulled through
  • The pull weight is lighter than most guns in this price range. I like this!
  • 5lbs 9oz (Average pull weight)
  • I am happy with this pull relative to other pumps I've shot


  • This gun feels a little bit funky for me because it is a compact model that is too short for me or most adults
  • The stock and forend are a black synthetic "soft-touch" material
  • The rib is flat
  • Single fiber on the front
  • One thing I have noticed is that the bolt handle and release are super tight - definitely too tight for a youth shooter, in my opinion
  • On the other side of that coin, the tolerances are all pretty tight and impressive for a budget gun
  • Cross-bolt safety on the back of the trigger
  • The recoil pad looks nice but has no flex. If I were to adopt this shotgun, I'd put a Falcon Strike on it. (CHECK IT OUT HERE)
  • I really appreciate the milled-out loading port on this gun
  • The balance of this gun is just a bit forward heavy
  • The G2 comes with swivel studs for a sling 
  • The G2 also offers some cool customization. You purchase an adult stock with this compact model so it can grow with the shooter


  • The G2 shot target loads just fine from the shoulder and from the hip. Average recoil so far
  • The only consistent hiccup was from over the head, where it's usually not fully ejecting the 3rd shot
  • Other than my hand hitting my face because the LOP is too short, the recoil was certainly straight back and manageable
  • Shooting the Federal Black Cloud was definitely a large jump in the felt recoil. Not a fan! I think the gun's weight played a large role in this


  • This gas gun came apart easily
  • The gas piston is unique and doesn't have any porting in it
  • I had a lot of trouble removing the bolt handle
  • I definitely appreciate the one-pin trigger group design
  • The overall quality of the gun is good for the price -  not high-end, but I think it'll hold up
  • Something I did notice, however, is that there was a lot of carbon build-up after only about 20 shots; this could be the result of an inefficient piston


This evaluation is valuable because it tests how all the moving parts come together. I know you're not buying a shotgun to shoot as fast as possible. But when I'm against the clock, every element of the usability of the gun is tested, from the recoil to the balance, point-ability, the mount, literally everything we look for in a shotgun.

  • I was able to smoke three hand-thrown clays in 1.30 seconds, including the throw. My splits were quick in that .18, .19 range
  • What slowed me down the most was my mount, being that this gun is relatively short for me
  • I was definitely impressed with this speed though

In conclusion, my first impression of these Tristar guns is pretty good! I definitely want to get a full-sized gun for myself and try it out.

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,



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