The IZHMA 12G is a medium damage shotgun that, unlike most other shotguns in the game, is magazine fed. This allows it to have a consistent and fast reload no matter how many shots have been fired. Another defining feature is its fully automatic fire compared to the pump-action Reinfeld 880 and Locomotive 12G. This gives it impressive damage per second when used at close range and allows one to kill entire groups of enemies in the right circumstances.
The damage is high enough that head shots can kill standard law enforcement in one shell, even the heavily armored FBI agents. Another advantage is that it tends to receive 2 or 3 shells from the ammo drops of dead enemies (without skills to improve this), compared to 1 that the Reinfeld 880 and Locomotive 12G. With this advantage, plus its very high maximum ammo relative to its power, ammo tends to be much less of a concern over a long duration.
Unfortunately, it suffers greatly from both poor accuracy and sharp damage drop off, like all the shotguns. At medium range and farther, it can take nearly an entire magazine to kill even a single special enemy. The recoil can also make it difficult to hit enemies if one fires it for long periods of time. Even after its stability is enhanced with The Tactical Russian Rail, Auto Fire and Tactical Stock, its recoil will remain relatively high. Since the Gage Mod Courier release, the stability can be boosted to make full auto very manageable.
It is also a bad choice for stealth due to its low concealment, and a suppressor will make it harder to kill even the most basic cops beyond close range. Despite all these flaws, however, it can make a great weapon for when one expects to get up close and personal or to lay down suppressing fire for the crew.
When doing the Death Wish Difficulty, the IZHMA will seem to underperform most of the time. Since it may take 2 or 3 shells to get the first kill to start the Overkill skill, the player must be exposed to fire for some time. In the right circumstances, if Overkill can be activated, it returns to the expected performance of lower difficulties, one shot killing most all but the tougher specials. Players that have a lot of experience with the IZHMA can still find it useful and may prefer it in a good team to help round out the loadout.
There are several secondary weapons that work well with the IZHMA 12G. In close quarters maps, the Locomotive 12G allows the player to make an ammo conservation build. Pistols work well to help counter its the poor range by allowing the player the ability to take down snipers and other SWATs at range. For heavy close range builds, the STRYK 18c helps with close room clearing and can be switched to single fire mode to take out snipers with ease.
When using ammunition types other than AP Slugs or HE Rounds, the IZHMA 12G fires 5 projectiles per shot.
While the IZHMA 12G lacks any magazine modifications, Close By Aced gives 15 shells and is an excellent choice that allows one to fire for much longer and take better advantage of its magazine fed nature.
Rapidly pressing the fire button will fire slightly faster than holding it down, which can prove advantageous in close quarters. This technique can be combined with the Full Auto mod to boost damage.
The IZHMA really shines if several of the Enforcer Skills are being used, like Shotgun Impact (15% boost) and Overkill. With the Overkill skill (75% damage boost), the damage can be boosted to over 100 (with the right mods and other skills) and allow it to become a room clearing machine.
Use a grenade on Bulldozers to knock the face plate off, then rush in for the kill while they are stunned. Even without assistance from other players, or having the Overkill skill active, it can take as little as 5 shells to dispatch a Bulldozer (3 with Overkill Active).
The IZHMA 12G is based on the Izhmash Saiga-12K modified with parts resembling those of the AKMS, with the most obvious evidences being the underfolding stock and the ribbed cover of the AKMS which none of the Saiga-12K models have. The magazine well and release group are also positioned directly in front of and integral with the trigger guard similar to an AK rather than separately at a short distance away like the Saiga proper.
"IZHMA" is a reference to IZHMASH, or "Izhevsk Machine Manufacturing Plant" (Ижевский машиностроительный завод), the main manufacturer of the AK rifles in reality. It was renamed the "Kalashnikov Concern" in 2013.
Unlike the in-game IZHMA which is fully automatic, the base Saiga-12K is restricted to firing semi-automatically, although it can be modified for fully automatic fire. This is however never done in any fashion which would require practical use of the gun in any aspect, as the cyclic rate of a Saiga-12K is far too high for it's caliber and recoil would render the gun uncontrollable as a result (at least not without significant additional modifications to control the recoil and reduce the rate of fire).
Without optical attachments, the IZHMA 12G is provided with a rail-mounted pistol-style ironsights system akin to the Marksman Sight on the Crosskill pistol.
The Kobus 90 and the UAR also shares the same default sights configuration.
In Hoxton Revenge, an IZHMA 12G is wielded by the Rat during his encounter within the FBI Safehouse's panic room.
When emptying a seven-round magazine by holding down the trigger, the game will only play the firing sound five times. This is because many of the automatic firing sounds are out of synch with the weapon's ingame rate of fire.
For a long time, the Black Bulldozers used an IZHMA with a Skeletal Stock and a drum mag that was unavailable to players, but later updates replaced the drum with the regular box magazine, exchanging the skeletal stock for a black/synthetic Classic Stock. This may imply that the ammunition capacity was reduced but the stability and/or accuracy were increased. Similarly to the CAR-4's Beta C-Mag, they might not have added it because it would prove difficult to change the reloading animation.
The files for the drum mag still exist, and can be accessed via alterations of the game's asset files.
The old inventory icon and The Guide of Bain's guns section show the IZHMA 12G with a Skeletal Stock instead of its default Folding Stock.
The IZHMA 12G can be equiped with the scope mount without an oft-required sight modification. Although conferring a substantial Stability increase, the mount itself blocks the shotgun's front sight entirely, making it hard to aim correctly in this state.