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.
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:
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…
- 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).
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.
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 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.