The Crossfire MK-1

This Crossfire MK-1 is a combination Rifle / Shotgun designed by Crossfire, LLC and engineered by Saco Defense.

From (the no longer live) link at crossfirellc.com we have this description:

“With the simple movement of your finger you have a choice of shotgun or rifle…# 6’s or .223 Rem…any type of shotgun ammunition available including less-lethal rubber pellets, bean bags, CS/CN tear gas, or 00 Buck and slugs..the rifle is designed with at 1-9 twist to use the advanced cartidge design in .223 cal ammunition.

Manufactured in the United States of America under ISO 9001 quality control standards, using the best milspec features, the Crossfire® has everything the sportsman, hunter or law enforcement officer wants, such as: pump action for both firing systems, optional Meprolite® Tritium adjustable night sights, Invector®-style choke tubes, single trigger, single fire control selector, Picatenny style optical rail on the receiver and under the forearm, 4 round removable shotgun magazine, AR-15 type 5-round rifle magazine, composite stock and forearm, and is available in black oxide or camo finish. To have all of these features available in on compact package could only add up to one thing, Crossfire, the ultimate 21st century firearm

The Crossfire MK-1 was first available in the Spring of 1999.

(From Blue Book of Gun Values) Crossfire MK-1 – 12 ga. (3 in. chamber) over .223 Remington caliber, unique slide action over/under design allows stacked shotgun/rifle configuration, 18 3/4 in. shotgun barrel with with invector chokes over 16 1/4 inch rifle barrel, detachable 4 (shotgun) and 30 (rifle) shot magazines. Open sights, Picatinny style rail scope mount, synthetic sock and forearm in black finish. Single trigger with ambidextrous fire control lever, 8.6 lbs.

From Holt Bodinson wrote this for Guns Magazine in October 2000:

The Crossfire
Guns Magazine, Oct, 2000 by Holt Bodinson

Designed as a tactical weapon, this unique part-rifle, part-shotgun is great for turkey and varmint hunting as well.

Designed by Crossfire and engineered by Saco Defense, the Crossfire MK-1 is a .223/12 gauge over/under, selective fire, repeating, pump action rifle/shotgun. We first heard about the Crossfire last year. but as is often the case with new designs, production was delayed.

Staying in communication with Bob Gates, Crossfire’s National Sales Manager, we waited over a year while the firearm was slightly re-engineered at Saco Defense for ease of production. Saco, by the way, manufactures all the Weatherby rifle lines, as well as the MK-19 automatic 40mm grenade launcher and the M2 and M60 machine guns. As might be expected, this defense contractor produces firearms under strict ISO-9001 quality control standards.

The production models are now flowing and available for purchase, and we were pleased to get one of the first production units available.

Birth Of A Fighter

As might be expected, the origins of the Crossfire lie in the law enforcement and military communities. Here is a dual caliber, repeating firearm system that has obvious applications for executive protection, SWAT operations, prison or embassy security, close-quarter urban combat and routine police patrol duties. These are all operations that could benefit from giving the participants an immediate choice of either a rifle or a shotgun or, in the case of the shotgun, a choice between lethal or non-lethal ammunition.

As a hunter, I was interested in the sporting attributes of the Crossfire. Sportsmen have enjoyed combination rifle/shotguns for at least two centuries. SxS or O/U combination guns were not uncommon throughout the muzzleloading period, and more recently, sporting models like the Germanic drillings or our own Savage O/Us go to the field daily.

Having the choice of either a rifle or a shotgun with the push of a button is a real plus in many types of hunting. Having a repeating shotgun and a repeating rifle at your command with a flick of the switch is simply revolutionary.

Beyond The Limits

The greatest limitations of our traditional crop of combination sporting guns are that they offer only one or two shots with a particular caliber and they’re typically built on hinged, break-open type frames. Not so with the Crossfire.

Fully loaded, the Crossfire carries a four-round, removable, 12 gauge rubber-coated magazine that forms the comb of the stock. The magazine and chamber accept either 2 3/4″ or 3″ shells. The magazine well of the .223 rifle portion of the Crossfire can accommodate any AR-15 or M-16 style magazine, although the factory-supplied sporting magazine, that seats flush with the magazine well, holds only five rounds.

The action of the Crossfire is actually two independent actions with separate, reciprocating, multi-lugged bolts, fired by a single trigger. The selector switch on the left side of the action has three clearly marked positions. In the center, which is a raised, tactile type tab, the Crossfire is on “safe”. Depressing and pushing the switch up activates the shotgun mechanism and moving it all the way down engages the rifle.

Movement of the selector switch is firm enough to minimize the possibility that the switch could be accidentally moved from the desired setting, whether during carry or handling. There is also an action release tab housed within the front sight band between the two barrels. Pushing forward on the tab releases the slide, thereby allowing the action to be cycled for loading, firing and unloading.

The shotgun barrel is 18″ long and is supplied with three “Invector” style choke tubes — F, M and IC or Skeet. The Crossfire choke tube wrench is rather interesting. It’s a simple flat piece of black-oxidized metal with the relevant choke tube “notch” codes clearly engraved into it. What a great idea! The little wrench also carries a handy key-chain ring at one end.

The rifle barrel is 16″ long and is chambered to NATO 5.56mm standards, The twist is 1:9 and will stabilize the standard NATO SS109 bullet as well as some heavier hunting bullets. Both barrels are hammer forged by Saco.

All The Extras

The top of the Crossfire receiver carries an integral — and increasingly universal — Picatinny rail that can accommodate open sights, scopes, red dots, night vision devices and frankly, any optical device that can be secured by Weaver-type mounts. As supplied by the factory, the Crossfire comes with a detachable, ghost ring aperture rear sight that is adjustable for windage with the help of a screwdriver. The M-16 type, post front sight is adjustable for elevation by depressing the pin lock with the point of a bullet and rotating the post up or down.

The composite stock of the Crossfire actually wraps around the receiver and makes up the butt stock, pistol grip, trigger guard and magazine well. The composite forearm features an accessory rail that could carry white light or laser devices as well as a forward assist handle that we found indispensable to the operation of the gun. The Crossfire carries quick-detachable swivel bases and is supplied with a nylon sling. And, ah yes, a trigger lock.

The Crossfire is supplied in either an overall pleasing black oxide finish or Realtree Hardwoods camouflage. Weight runs about 9 lbs. and overall length is 37 1/2″.

Careful attention is necessary to become proficient with loading, unloading, firing and safely handling the Crossfire. The company not only includes a clear and detailed owner’s manual, but also an invaluable video tape that thoroughly covers the operation of the Crossfire, After you have viewed an instructional video like Crossfire’s, you have to wonder why every manufacturer doesn’t include one with their firearms.

Going The Extra Inch

Not surprisingly the Crossfire system includes some unique features. Both the rifle and shotgun actions are cocked and locked simultaneously as the pump is thrust forward — all the way forward. The last inch of the forward movement offers some resistance. Although I wear a 33″ sleeve, I could not easily thrust the forearm into the locked position without the addition of a forward assist handle that locks into and extends down from the forearm itself.

For my use, the forward assist handle became the forearm. Holding a vertical handle under the forearm may look unstable, but it’s not. On the range and in the field, the combination of the pistol grip and forward assist handle worked just fine.

When thrust fully forward in loading or unloading, the slide is locked in place by a moveable tab within the front sight band. Here’s where I initially went astray. Thinking in terms of a normal slide action, I pushed the release tab forward while pulling back on the forearm. Nothing happened. The slide would not unlock. I thought I had a jammed or defective gun. Then I re-ran the video and quickly spotted my error. In contrast to other guns, when activating the slide release, it is not necessary to touch the forearm. It springs back out of battery all by itself.

The trigger also took some getting used to. As the single trigger fires both barrels, it gives the feeling of a rather heavy, creepy, double-pull trigger. This heaviness occurs because the trigger activates a selector arm, which in turn fires either the rifle or shotgun. It would be a tough trigger to master for small targets at long range with the .223, but the Crossfire was not designed for that.

Super Coyote Gun

I wanted to take the Crossfire coyote hunting, so I headed to the range with some of Winchester’s 50 grain .223 Ballistic Silvertips, their 3″ Supreme coyote-chasing #4 Buck load, and — to test the shotgun’s capabilities with turkey loads — Winchester’s 2 3/4″ Supreme Double “X” Magnum #4s.

If I owned and hunted a great deal with the Crossfire, I would probably mount a matte finished, Leupold/Gilmore Red Dot as the sighting system. For the purposes of testing the Crossfire and doing some close-in coyote calling, I used the effective aperture sight supplied with the gun. Frankly, I was most interested in seeing if, once the rifle was zeroed, the shotgun barrel would shoot to the same point-of-aim at shotgun distances.

I zeroed the .223 at 50 yards which permitted me to check the alignment of the shotgun barrel with the rifle barrel. For coyote and turkey calling, a 50-yard zero is actually very useful. With the ghost ring sight combination and that heavy trigger, I averaged 1 1/2″ with the Winchester Silvertips.

Loading some Winchester #4s in the shotgun half of the Crossfire, and moving up to 40 yards, I fired at several test targets consisting of Birchwood Casey’s “Shoot-NC” turkey, head/neck silhouettes. The combination of Winchester’s latest turkey loads and the Crossfire with a full choke delivered exceedingly deadly patterns. Better, yet, the impact of the pattern was in line with the zero I had established with the rifle. Finally, the #4 Buck loads at 50 yards just devastated the target.

Did I get a coyote? Two — one with the .223 and one with the 12 gauge. Where does this position the Crossfire as a sportsman’s firearm?

It’s a very useful medium-range, varmint and turkey combination, and on future hunts, I would add a Red Dot or a low power variable scope. The Crossfire would make an ideal camp or yacht gun, a handy gun around the farm or ranch, and the Crossfire could always double as a home defense firearm.

I might add that because of its design and its loading, unloading and firing protocols, shooting the Crossfire requires thought and attention to details. Without studying the instructional manual and video, the average person would be challenged to operate it. Even the owner is urged not to disassemble the Crossfire if there’s a problem, but to have it serviced by the Customer Service Department, a trained armorer or qualified gunsmith.

If you enjoy innovative firearm design, you will find the Crossfire a very intriguing new firearm indeed.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Publishers’ Development Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

Bibliography for “The Crossfire”
Holt Bodinson “The Crossfire”. Guns Magazine. Oct 2000. FindArticles.com. 12 Feb. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_19_46/ai_65017379


The Crossfire MK-1 was manufactured from mid 1998 to 2001.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (2001) was $1,895.

Original manual is included.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Name (required)

Email (required)


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Share your wisdom


"Anyone who still wants guns, rifles or ammo should go to Traction Control/Well-Regulated Militia: http://tinyurl.com/2ea4lhn Still pre-panic prices and a huge inventory and good reliable service. Tell everyone you know"

Posted by: DAve at December 23, 2012 02:55 PM (XDC0v) at AoSHQ


Top 100 Gun Blog


Join the NRA

Support the TSRA

  • Political Continuum

  • Unorganized Militia Propaganda Corps