Why do I want a sawed-off shotgun, a tiger skin rug, and a moonshine still? Mostly because the government tells me I can’t have them. At least not without some serious hoop jumping. After all, anything is an option if the price is right. But for us mortals, we don’t have thousands of dollars and lawyers on call. Good news. Remington solved one of those problems for us this week. At least in a new gauge, they did.
- Chambering: 20 Ga. (3-inch chamber)
- Barrel: 14 inches
- OA Length: 26.3 inches
- Grip: Shockwave Raptor Grip
- Sights: Bead front
- Action: Pump
- Finish: Black oxide
- Capacity: 4+1 rds.
- MSRP: $443
Earlier this year, the release of the Model 870 TAC-14 helped further illustrate the mass stupidity that is the National Firearms Act of 1934. I am no lawyer, but somehow a Remington 870 that has never had a buttstock on it, and possessing a 14-inch barrel, that shoots shotgun shells, is not a short-barreled shotgun. Nor is it a short barreled rifle, a pistol, or an “ Any Other Weapon.” Which apparently classifies it as a firearm. Period. No tax stamp, no registration, just a normal 4473 like you would fill out for a new deer rifle. Awesome sauce. This year the TAC-14 was originally released in 12 gauge, and it sold like hotcakes.
Now a few problems presented with the original model. Not a design flaw, but problems for the end users, nonetheless. Many people lack the hand and wrist strength necessary to handle 12 gauge recoil in such a compact package. Imagine if all pistols were released in 10mm first. It might be fine for most, but it’s not a flavor for everyone. Having shot a metric grip of doorknobs off with a breaching shotgun, I assure you 12 gauge gets old even if you are conditioned to it.
The Raptor Grip on the TAC-14 ( ie, the pistol grip) is a massive improvement over a true 90-degree pistol grip. Not only does it get the firearm to a magic non-NFA length, it positions your wrist to better handle the recoil. One of the dumbest things I have witnessed involved a pistol grip shotgun. I was working private security for a woman in her 70s. My company had just replaced a bunch of chuckleheads, and I was doing my walkthroughh/inventory of firearms. Underneath the woman’s bed was a full pistol grip shotgun, in 12 gauge, loaded with high brass slugs. I am confident it would have shattered her wrist if she ever sparked it off. The Raptor grip is very reminiscent of the old witness protection special, used by U.S. Marshalls. It creates a very different recoil path since your wrist is already locked in a strong position as you grab it. If you’re in the market for a short shotgun, I would absolutely recommend you check out the TAC-14, especially in its new chambering. Big Green implemented this grip that it a major improvement over most short shotguns on the market.
It is entirely possible to let your hand slide in front of the muzzle since it is less than 2 inches from the end of the pump. The good news is, the pump furniture is Magpul. For $24.95, you can free yourself from any worry about this. Just put it on backward from the Magpul picture, and you have a perfect M-LOK handstop. I am kind of amazed Remington didn’t install one from the factory, all of our breaching shotguns in the Army had one. It adds very little to the overall height of the gun, and it is a feature I would highly recommend.
How about the gun jumping out of your hand under recoil? Happily, this is not much of a problem with the 20 gauge. But I have a couple of rounds under my belt with these. The question is, under recoil, can your hand get in front of the barrel before the shot column passes the crown? I, for one, kind of doubt it. My degree in physics hasn’t shown up in the mail yet, but let’s think that through. Recoil starts after the gunpowder in the shell are already burning, which means the projectile is already moving. Recoil also tends to push the muzzle up, not down. Is there any human speed that can beat a shot column out of a 14-inch barrel? Highly unlikely. Also, this is a pump gun. You can’t fire another shot until you run the pump. Either way, a Magpul hand stop alleviates any doubt.
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During my time on the range, I fired it from multiple distances with slugs, birdshot and buckshot to see how the TAC-14 in 20 gauge handled. I’m happy to report it functioned flawlessly in regards to feeding and the patterns were impressive in the shorter distances. As we stretched it out to longer distances, it became more challenging to hit the target and the pattern opened up quite a bit. When people consider a compact shotgun such as the TAC-14 for home defense or a truck gun, there’s some planning that goes into selecting it for home defense. Off the top of your head, rattle off the farthest distance you could shoot in your home? Many people can’t. For this testing, I took a rangefinder and surveyed my home — the farthest range I could shoot is 10 yards, which the TAC-14 performed impressive pattern at 10 yards. For our first round of shooting, I tested Remington’s No. 3 Buck 2 3/4 inch shells. It had an 8-inch spread at 5 yards, at 7 yards it was 11 inches across and 1 foot tall, and 13 inches by 13 inches at 10 yards. I also shot Hornady slugs at 25 meters. It’s not the load you’d want to select for home defense. The recoil was quite substantial, but they did hit their intended targets.
Contrary to what many may think, there is quite a bit of skill that goes into shooting a compact shotgun. Arguably the most stable position and easiest to maintain recoil is from the hip. However, it also increases your chances of missing. Those who are interested in the TAC-14 as a truck gun or home-defense gun should take it to the range and practice with it. It takes a bit to get used to.
So, all that being said, what is the point of this gun? Is it the most useful gun? No. It is not. But it is cool. Like a Desert Eagle, a two barrel 1911, and a Smith and Wesson 500, it is not the most practical thing around. But the price is right. Those other toys cost thousands. The TAC-14 has an MSRP of $443. It is fun, and for certain defensive situations, it is useful. The 14-inch barrel throws a pattern that surprised me, opening up to almost a foot square by 7 meters. Even the 5-meter pattern was respectable.
There is a limit to the range it is viable, right around 20 meters. But inside of that, it is hell on wheels.
For a truck gun or a bump in the night firearm, this is going to be hard to beat. It is small enough to conceal in places a regular shotgun would be silly. The overall length makes it easy to maneuver for those not versed in CQB. For an across the room gun, there is nothing like it.
So far, this is the best invention in shotguns I have seen in several years. Now I just need to decide what gauge I want. And at this price, one of each isn’t out of the question.
For more information about the TAC-14, click here.
To purchase a Remington shotgun on GunsAmerica, click here.