A Non-NFA 14” Remington 870? The New TAC-14 – Full Review!

The Remington Tac-14 is a pump-action 12 gauge “firearm” with a 14-inch barrel and no NFA-based restrictions. It is also quite compact.

I have witnessed the birth of several categories of guns over the years, and the process usually follows the same path. First, the small specialty companies get in and lead the way. Then, as sales grow with features and expectations set, the major players take note and begin offering products to the larger gun market. The latest trend of this nature is a class of guns described as pump-action firearms (click here to see our review of the Mossberg Shockwave). Guns that fit into this category are pump firearms with a 14-inch barrel and no stock or pistol grip, firing 12 gauge shotgun rounds, and with an overall length of more than 26 inches.

Newest Addition

Following the market into this hot new category, Remington has launched the Tac-14. Before we get too far in, let me take you through the rules that have given birth to this category:

The Tac-14 features a curved Shockwave pistol grip that helps get the firearm to an overall length of more than 26 inches for its non-NFA status.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, and you should not rely on my advice to make legal decisions!

Here are some important points to consider:

  • All shotguns are intended to be fired from the shoulder.
  • All shotguns must have at least an 18-inch barrel. If the gun was manufactured with a stock and a barrel shorter than 18 inches, it is classified as a “Short Barreled Shotgun” (SBS), requiring a $200.00 transfer tax.
  • If the shotgun has a pistol grip and is less than 26 inches in overall length, it is considered an “Any Other Weapon” (AOW). Good news: AOWs only require a $5 transfer tax.
  • The Tac-14 is created as follows. Start with a shotgun that has NEVER had a stock attached. Add a pistol grip, and the gun is now considered a PGO (Pistol Grip Only). It is NOT a shotgun, as it is not intended to be fired from the shoulder. Next, add a 14-inch barrel so that the overall length is 26.3 inches. The length being greater than 26 inches disqualifies the gun from being an AOW. So, the BATFE declares that you now have a “Non-NFA Firearm.”
  • The Tac-14 is not a shotgun, nor a handgun, but a firearm. It requires no special paperwork other than the 4473, and the buyer must be 21 years old. Some states may have restrictions on firearms like the Tac-14, so check your state and local laws!

Voila! You can pick up a Tac-14 today, from your local dealer, without any extra government paperwork or waiting on the BATFE to approve the transfer.
Story continues below…

The heart of the firearm is the 870 steel receiver. If you have run an 870 before, you can run this gun.

SPECS

  • Chambering: 12 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
  • MSRP: $443.05

Unboxing the “Firearm”

The Tac-14 came in a small green box with the Remington logo boldly emblazoned across the side. The word “shotgun” is nowhere to be found on the label. Rather, it says “pump action firearm 12 gauge.” The gun was fully assembled in the box, with the usual cable lock, instruction manual and a prudently placed admonishment about the firearm (see below).

Note included with the Remington Tac-14.

The Tac-14 sports the Shockwave Raptor Grip. This bird’s head grip is best in class for shotguns in my opinion, and head and shoulders above the standard pistol grip affixed to most AOW and “cruiser”-style shotguns. The receiver is milled, solid steel billet, finished in Black Oxide. The 14-inch barrel will accept 2¾- or 3-inch 12-gauge ammunition. There is a bead attached to the end of the barrel—I think this is mostly because the barrel is taken from standard short-barrel 870 shotguns as it is not really of much use on this firearm. The tube magazine will hold four rounds with a fifth in the chamber. The forearm slide is covered with a Magpul M-LOK Forend; this is usually my go-to aftermarket forend. I currently have these on both of my 870 shotguns. However, in this context, I had my doubts about holding onto this short little firearm. My preferred forend for my AOW shotgun is the corncob with a nylon strap, to keep my hand in place under hard use.

The Tac-14 has a 3-inch chamber, but the author did not want to try anything heavier than 2.75-inch shells.

The author and several shooters had a lot of fun with the Tac-14, but also found that hanging on to the forend in rapid fire was a handful.

On the Range

Preparing for the range was as simple as deciding which Remington ammunition to feed the little boom stick. I settled on Remington Reduced Recoil slugs and buckshot, both in 2¾ inch. I just don’t enjoy guns that hurt, so no 3-inch shells for this guy. Hey, if that’s your bag then the Tac-14 is up for it as well as it has a 3-inch chamber.

After arriving at the range, I loaded four rounds into the magazine and cycled one into the chamber. And then, away I went! My first impression was much what I expected, as I had fired this type of gun before. Things began to change quickly as I began to push the gun for additional speed. My ability to hold on to the Magpul foregrip diminished further and further the faster I attempted to run the little Tac-14 faster and faster. The function of all the Remington bits and pieces was, as you would expect, flawless. The Raptor grip did not disappoint either; it was easy to hold and did not have a tendency to hurt the hand or wrist.

I was set to be teaching a class out of town for a week, and decided to bring along the Tac-14 and give all those willing a turn on the new gun. Over the course of the class I had a police officer, trap shooting coach, football coach, and one former marine elect to take a stab at shooting the little thunder hammer.

The shooters’ experiences were like mine; this is a gun that is decidedly fun to shoot. All the controls are familiar and easy to use. Not one person had a malfunction of any sort as the gun fed, fired and extracted without protest. However, as the rate of fire began to be pushed, the shooters’ ability to keep a firm grip on the Magpul M-LOK Forend was diminished. Eventually, you have to either shut it down or surrender your grip.

The tubular magazine has a bright orange plastic follower for high visibility.

The author really liked the Shockwave Raptor pistol grip on the Tac-14.

The Magpul forend covers the entire magazine tube and cap’s length.

Conclusions

The Tac-14 had the ability, in my mind, to be the leader of this new pack of pump-action firearms. However, if I were asked about purchasing this Remington, I would have to offer some cautions. That Magpul forend is going to get away from you if you find yourself in a situation where you have to sustain rapid fire; it’s only a matter of time. Now, this is not a semi-auto, so it is not like you have a round in the chamber as your hand comes off the forend. But, it still bears comment. I would describe it in this way: imagine a Dodge HellCat with the traction control turned off. If you push it too far it can and will get away from you, no matter how skilled or persistent you are.

Generally, this would be easily addressable on most pump-action 12 gauges. Not so with the Tac-14, as the warning in the box clearly states that modifying the gun in any way could make it into an NFA weapon. I have yet to read an ATF determination letter on what modifications they will allow before running afoul of this class of firearms. All good “loopholes” have the potential to tighten around your neck on its way through, so keep this in mind with the very interesting little Tac-14.

For more information, visit https://www.remington.com/shotguns/pump-action/model-870/model-870-tac-14.

To purchase a Remington 870 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=Remington%20870.

{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Bubba November 4, 2017, 2:58 pm

    I put a bayonet on mine. Just in case.

  • Bud September 29, 2017, 7:24 pm

    Guys want a Good laugh I was in a Gun store in Ohio they had the Shockwave on Sale . So Go Figure

  • Digz July 6, 2017, 8:36 pm

    Does anyone know if it’s illegal to put an afg on the forend? Specifically in Illinois?

  • Remington 870 Shooter July 6, 2017, 1:46 pm

    What an awesome range toy! I want one to add to my collection of Remington 870 shotguns!

  • John Mack June 20, 2017, 11:11 pm

    Love the comment. “Shortcomings of the magpul”. What shortcomings? You are firing a 12 gauge shotgunshell out of a light firearm … hold on. It is not an airsoft or a 22. Don”t shoot a 30.06 if recoil bothers you much less anything bigger and complain about recoil. Stick with the 243 etc. Just don’t go for big bear (guess you can if you want). But it has nothing to do with a magpul shortcoming. If you do not feel capable of handling one then don’t. But seriously guys … try it first. It may not be not for you.

    Perhaps they will come out with one in 20 gauge or perhaps Magpul will put a strap on if they don’t already. However if you are bothered by recoil of a lightweight 12 gauge perhaps better if you stay away from both of these weapons. However if you have tried them which I have the recoil is not at all bad. A .410 out of a Judge kicks, definitely not for everyone. They even make a .410 derringer again not for everyone. But let me say again the recoil is not at all severe. I do not like to shoot it one hand … guess what … I don’t do it. See problem solved.

    I am only saying that there seem to be too many people here judging these weapons and have never even held one let alone fired one. I purchased the 870 and wonder if I should have purchased the Mossberg because of the 5 + 1 as opposed to 4 + 1. The Magpul or corbcob does not enter into the picture.

    • Vic October 5, 2017, 9:48 am

      “Shortcomings of the magpul”. What shortcomings? You are firing a 12 gauge shotgunshell out of a light fir,,,”

      John respectfully.. Your simply mistaken.. The article’s author is absolutely correct in bringing to the potential purchaser consideration of the fore grips functionality. His perceived downside of the current design. He did not get into the weeds of it because it is hard to articulate in a concise review..

      Weeds follow: Which hand controls the firing mechanism on a particular firearm.. What is the supporting hand. Where are they located.?.. Please don’t bother with “Ideally they are both even… Yeah we get that… Ninja Nonsense. Lets now talk normal Non Ninjas.

      Most would agree the dominant or weapon controlling hand would normally be the hand controlling the trigger. This is true for the vast majority of people in controlling Rifles, Pistols , Revolvers, Shotguns. It is not true
      to the same degree with firearms like the Tack 14.. While you still light the thing off with your trigger hand most of the control over the weapon is in the weak hand …on the what? The Fore Grip. The proof of this? Hold the weapon fully loaded solely by the “raptor grip”. …. that will get old fast.. Now hold it by the Fore Grip.. Ho Hum .. all day long

      The End

  • RoboCop June 5, 2017, 9:49 pm

    They can’t ship them to Texas or Ohio because of State’s Constitutional interpretation of Shotguns. Hopefully there will be a special session and get an amendment.

    • Cory June 11, 2017, 3:45 pm

      The law has been changed for Texas, it takes place September 1 of this year and then they are legal.

  • Kel May 31, 2017, 4:15 pm

    Interesting ‘loophole’ theory, kinda seems like it would be difficult to control ‘efficiently’ for some users/situations. kinda agree with the smaller shell idea noted above for a ‘grip’ like that…

  • MIKE May 29, 2017, 10:03 pm

    I had a Remington 1187 12 ga. with a 21 in. barrel. Called Special Purpose (non rifled bore). I put more Buckshot Pellets in a target at 35 yards than my Friend with a 26 in, barrel Benelli. My gun was stolen, but I will get another one if I can find one.

  • Art C. May 29, 2017, 7:07 pm

    I agree with those who prefer the “corncob” style of forend over the one chosen by Remington. Asylum Weaponry (the small company that “invented” both of these 14″ guns) offers their original version of the Remington 870 with the corncob forend as the Gatekeeper II. If you also want to add the web strap under the forend, it is available directly from Shockwave. I think highly of both the Mossberg & the Remington, I prefer the Remington steel frame, but the Mossberg holds one more shot.

  • Dexter Winslett May 29, 2017, 4:01 pm

    Except for chambering, this is no different from a ” Snake Charmer ” . Why would it be illegal?

    • Art C. May 29, 2017, 7:12 pm

      I own a Snake Charmer, it (and every other one I have seen) has an 18″ barrel.

  • Tom Cantu May 29, 2017, 3:44 pm

    Does anyone know if this 870 or 590 is legal or not in Texas? I am leaning towards the Mossberg.

    • Flep Vandergaard May 30, 2017, 1:01 pm

      I have been trolling the web concerning this firearm and it’s Mossberg bretheren. For what it’s worth, Palmetto State Armory has the Mossberg Shockwave on special (5/30/17) in stock for less than $400, BUT they will not ship to Texas or Ohio… this is not a definitive “NO” , because they stopped shipping AR receivers to my former state of Massachusetts about 2-3 years before the AG made her unconstitutional pronouncement.

    • Michael Harkins May 30, 2017, 7:43 pm

      In my opinion the 14 inch barrel of this firearm violates Texas law which requires that the barrel of a shotgun be no shorter than 18 inches. Check the Texas Penal Code.
      Sadly I would not want to be one charged with carrying a short barrel shotgun trying to convince a jury that this AOW is not a shotgun under Texas law. Not worth it for me.

  • M. Johnson May 29, 2017, 1:02 pm

    Is there any requirement this has to be 12 gauge? I see the implication when describing it but have to wonder if the controllability of a 20 gauge would be desirable here.

  • Metalreiner May 29, 2017, 12:47 pm

    Well now this seems to make my Rossi mares leg in 357magnum a home defense option after all…

  • CharlieKing1 May 29, 2017, 12:13 pm

    Spoke to a couple of big-time, long-time gun dealers in Austin, TX. Both said the same thing- they believe this TAC-14 would be illegal in Texas and refused to carry them. I’ve read and re-read Chp. 46.01 (10) of our Penal Code and IMHO, the TAC-14 is legal, however, no one wants to be ‘that guy ‘for the legal test case. If anyone from Texas has a different view, I’m open for opinions. I was hoping to ‘legally’ own one here in Texas, but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait for another day or wait for ‘that guy’ to be the test case and see what happens in the court.

    • Beachhawk May 30, 2017, 12:21 am

      Ask the company to send you a letter with a photograph, a complete description of the firearm, and the ATF opinion. Forward that information to the Texas attorney general and ask for an opinion on the firearm as the law in Texas applies to it.

      • Flep Vandergaard May 30, 2017, 1:03 pm

        Excellent suggestion! I commend you for response!

      • Flep Vandergaard May 30, 2017, 1:13 pm

        I see the Mossy version of this in my future. I believe that I will send it off to Vang Comp for some barrel tuning to tighten the groups and reduce felt recoil. I have no delusions of this being anything other than lots of fun at the range. Mounting a light/laser combo seems to be a good way to destroy a light/laser combo by recoil. JMHO.

    • rth60098 August 14, 2017, 12:49 pm

      The devil is in the details. I think you’re screwed in Texas until they change the wording of your law. Illinois is ALMOST as bad however they do not mention “short barreled” firearm, just address rifle and shotgun barrel length. They then move on to describe other “weapons.” It would seem that one could argue that Illinois law follows the same logic as the BATFE and that this is not a short barrelled anything. Even so, you don’t want to be the test case.

      Illinois statute: relevant section of (720 ILCS 5/24-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24-1) Sec. 24-1. Unlawful use of weapons.
      (ii) any rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length or a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or any weapon made from a rifle or shotgun, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such a weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches; or

  • bart simpsonson May 29, 2017, 11:04 am

    This would be much better as a 20 gauge, if it could ever be any good at all. Just sayin’……..

  • Ed Leb May 29, 2017, 10:57 am

    All I can say is, get pulled over by your local police, better expect to go to jail, and get it confiscated. They aren’t experts in the gun manufacturing laws, and that could allow this being seen as an illegal shotgun. So be wise and be prepared. Or you will have to get a lawyer to deal with the issue, pay bond, sit in the lock up with the dregs of society, etc, etc, etc. Not my cup of tea for sure.

    If you keep in in your home, it should be no issue.

    But trying to explain firearms laws to an officer is not an easy thing to do. Just saying. Especially not these days, when the criminals are running rampant in our cities, and the police are on edge already. So this is something I’d really have no use for. And certainly there are a lot of easier ways to modify and already shorter barrelled shotgun. Especially if the cops can see easily it is legal.

    • Cyrus May 30, 2017, 11:33 am

      I couldn’t agree more with you. This is just a huge problem waiting to happen and all I can say is if you have a lot of extra money sitting around for Lawyer fees go for it. I find zero value out of owning this stupid gun!

  • CD3 May 29, 2017, 10:53 am

    I’ll stick with the Mossy 590A. Yeah I had to go through the ATF rigamoroll, but I can put any kind of stock, sights, or optics I want on it. The temptation to “modify” this thing will be too hard to resist for some folks. As for the hands slipping off the forend, I wonder if this thing in 20ga. would be more forgiving.

  • Eric N. Spear May 29, 2017, 10:41 am

    I’ll stick with my Kel-Tec KSG…26.1″ overall length and 15 rounds of 12 gauge.

  • David May 29, 2017, 10:13 am

    It looks too much like something they stick in your window a dark intersection. Useless unless that is your line of work.

  • David May 29, 2017, 9:46 am

    Short barrel has little value except making noise. I discarded one and bought a 26 inch with full choke. Now the detonation propelled shot has the penetration power it is meant to have. Unless you have double 0 or slugs, a short barrel is worthless beyond 30 feet. Try it on any ordinary corrugated box at various distance. Rapid fire noise is silly waste of time.

    • George May 29, 2017, 10:47 am

      Not true. You’re obviously using the wrong ammo. My department purchased 14″ 870 barrels with a modified choke after we tested them with our Federal Truball reduced recoil slugs and 00 buck with Flitecontrol wads. The slugs shot just as good as the 18″ barrels and the buckshot was still in the kill zone at 25 yards which is our mandated distance for switching to slugs. I have a personally owned 14″ 870 with a folding, collapsible and recoil reducing stock on it which will out shoot any 18″ police shotgun. It has been threaded for Remchokes and I have a modified choke installed but I’m considering an improved modified or full to extend the range of buck out past 25 yards in case I need it in a pinch. Its not the gun but often the shooter that’s the weak link…

      • Paul Mitchell May 29, 2017, 4:33 pm

        Now your Talking George…

      • David May 29, 2017, 11:30 pm

        My 1911 .45 can make 7 new assholes out to 50 yards. In closer it will inflate and blow all guts out the new assholes. Talk is cheap get a short barreled shotgun with 4 shots if you want.

    • Will May 29, 2017, 11:26 am

      Dude, you’re missing the point about the intended purpose of this gun. It is a close quarters weapon meant to be a truck gun or a trail gun that is easily portable. This has ENORMOUS value if used as intended.

      • Paul Mitchell May 29, 2017, 4:40 pm

        As a 80 year old retired member of Law Enforcement.. IF used as intended the Remington 870 can not be understated. it for all practical purposes is a Close Quarters weapon.. THAT, can if called upon be lethal out to 100 + yards ( properly loaded and equipped )

    • Oaf May 29, 2017, 1:42 pm

      Gee, thanks for the heads up on your brilliant deduction that this is a short range firearm. I was gonna buy one for skeet and trap, maybe some duck hunting, but after reading your genius review I think I’ll pass.

      • Paul Mitchell May 29, 2017, 4:43 pm

        I agree with your conclusion… But, might add you would be better served if you stuck to “Tiddly Winks”

  • Norm Fishler May 29, 2017, 9:37 am

    Is the 14″ barrel interchangeable with any other 870 barrel? Could the possession of another bone-stock 870 Wingmaster firearm be construed as ‘intent’ to create an SBS? Don’t laugh or snort derisively; a similar situation occurred not so many years back when our favorite alphabet agency took issue with an individual who had a stocked T/C Contender Carbine as well as a Contender pistol. The ATF called ‘intent’. It took many years of court battles to get that one ironed out. It would seem to me as though one should buy the Remington if they hunt with a Mossberg & vice-versa . . . Just a thought. There! All cheered up now? Thought so!

    • Duray May 29, 2017, 10:43 am

      That was all hashed out in Thompson Center vs US. The Supreme Court’s already dealt with it.

  • Larry May 29, 2017, 9:33 am

    I’ll take the Mossberg. Easier to hold onto under rapid fire situations. Plus, nothing ever seems to go wrong with a Mossberg pump.

  • Gary D. Albright May 29, 2017, 8:35 am

    Hi Folks~~ I’m a lefty , can I buy a left handed model ? Thanks Gary

    • 33Charlemagne May 29, 2017, 11:12 am

      I could see a lot of people BECOMING lefties after using this gun!

  • Marc May 29, 2017, 7:50 am

    The physiological effect or noise of the shotgun if noting else will have an affect or distress giving you an edge.

  • Mike May 29, 2017, 7:47 am

    Very dangerous hand slips off end – can see hands getting blown off here …!!!

    • Deadmeat99 May 29, 2017, 11:51 am

      How? If your hand comes off the forend because the firearm recoils while firing, then shells are no longer being loaded, therefore zero chance of “hands getting blown off”.

      If this firearm scares you because of ATF boogymen or it looks bad or it might hurt your delicate hands, simply don’t buy one.

  • Dr Motown May 29, 2017, 7:24 am

    Held both of these at the NRA meeting last month…felt more secure with the Mossberg Shockwave, which is also adaptable to mini-shells

  • RetNavet May 29, 2017, 6:52 am

    The author reinforces what I suspected. While I would prefer the 870 action over the Mossberg 590…the shortcomings of the Magpul foregrip make my decision between the Tac-14 and the Shockwave pretty easy….sorry Remington I prefer to keep my fingers

  • Ralph Mouth May 28, 2017, 5:21 pm

    “The Tac-14 is created as follows. Start with a shotgun that has NEVER had a stock attached.” NOT true. You must start with a receiver which was never registered by the manufacturer as anything not even a shot gun. The 12 gauge chambered gun when built over 26″ with no stock and shorter than 18″ barrel is registered by the manufacturer as a firearm. If the receiver was registered as a shot gun at any time you cannot convert it to this type of firearm. People on the internet are thinking that they can convert their shotguns over into this configuration and they cannot do it legally.

    • Bob May 29, 2017, 11:59 am

      I have heard others put forth your line of ligic, but I don’t believe you are correct. That is a misconception put out by Remington and maybe Mossberg, who want to sell you another gun. The manufacturer can csll the gun whatever they wsnt, but that does not change its physical characteristics or how BATF views it for the consumers purposes.

      • Richard May 30, 2017, 2:19 pm

        Well sir you are wrong. You must start out with a pistol grip firearm chambered in 12 ga. Just like an AR 15 pistol must be a virgin receiver or a pistol to begin with before turning it into an AR15 pistol.. You cannot change a rifle to a pistol, it is still a rifle….same thing with a shotgun. It is forever a shotgun! Just like an M14 is always a machine gun even if parts are machined off and welded and machined again. It is forever a machine gun. These schematics are what law is made of and if you wish to tempt the ATF then by all means go cheap and modify a shotgun. If and when they find it with you, they will look it up quite easily with a serial number as ALL manufactured firearms are in ATF’s database.

  • Will Drider May 28, 2017, 11:25 am

    It’s a sad day when Remington makes a Mossberg clone! Lol.

    • Gregory May 29, 2017, 8:57 am

      🙂

    • sestis May 29, 2017, 9:31 am

      Bingo!

    • JCitizen May 29, 2017, 12:30 pm

      I assume that is why the guy in the video said in the last statement, ” what you have here is a Mossberg 870″ Huh? What does that even mean? If he had made a direct comparison to the Mossberg 590 Shockwave, THAT would have made sense!!

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