As a self-admitted shotgun nerd, I love the idea of the Mossberg Shockwave and TAC 14 firearms. These short little firearms aren’t shotguns, at least under U.S. law. As weapons, they are pretty dang niche, but as fun guns, they are tough to beat. Plus, anything that gives the ATF and gun grabbers heartache gets a thumbs up for me. Today we are looking at my favorite of all of these ‘firearms,’ the TAC 14 Hardwood.
The TAC 14 firearm is the Remington entry into the other firearms, totally not a shotgun genre. Remington predictably uses the 870 Express platform as their base firearm. As such, the TAC 14 Hardwood is a pump-action weapon, chambered in 12 gauge and capable of chambering shells up to 3 inches in length.
The TAC 14 hardwood can utilize the majority of Remington 870 accessories and parts. However, you can’t attach a stock, at least without a tax stamp.
Overall Length – 26.3 inches
Barrel Length – 14 inches
Weight – 5.6 pounds
Caliber – 12 gauge – 3-inch chamber
Capacity – 5 + 1
The Thing About Firearms
The other firearm category is an interesting one and encompasses a few different firearms. Let’s just talk about these shot-shell firing firearms. Shotguns in the United States are defined as having, or having had a stock. If a Remington 870 is built but has never had a stock touch the receiver, then it’s not technically a Shotgun.
So if it’s not a shotgun, then it can’t be a short-barreled shotgun. This allows companies like Remington to produce firearms like the TAC 14 with 14-inch barrels without the need for a tax stamp. On the flip side, while the barrel has no length requirement, the firearm does. It cannot be under 26 inches in, or it’s considered ‘concealable’ by the ATF and, therefore, an AOW.
You might ask, does this have a pistol-to-rifle-to-pistol style loophole where you can add a stock and longer barrel and then revert it to a shotgun? Sorry to say that’s also not allowed. Once the gun has had a stock attached, it is forever and always a shotgun.
Why The TAC 14 Hardwood is My Favorite
I mean, look at the dang thing. The wooden pistol grip and pump stand out, and wood rules. It carries that classic look, but that’s not all. If you are a shotgun nerd like me, you know about the Marshal’s Protective Service shotgun, sometimes erroneously called the Witness Protection shotgun. The Witness Protection label was the privatized product from Bill Jordan.
The Protective Service shotgun was the product of a Protective Service agent and firearms instructor as well as a US Marshal’s armorer. The idea was to build a portable and powerful weapon Marshals could easily use in and out of vehicles. The Marshal’s service wasn’t open to buying Uzis or MP5s, so they took what they already had and modified it to work.
The TAC 14 Hardwood mimics that shotgun almost to a T. Except, unlike the Marshal’s service shotguns, this isn’t an AOW or an SBS. It’s a firearm that you or I could own without the need for a pesky tax stamp and ATF approval.
Besides looking cool, the TAC 14 Hardwood utilizes a number of features that weren’t available on the initial TAC 14. The TAC 14 Hardwood comes with a +1 magazine tube extension for five rounds total, and the magazine tube isn’t dimpled, so you can add extensions even though they’d look silly.
The Shockwave included a strap for your hand to keep it in place, but the TAC 14 did not. On the TAC 14 Hardwood, we don’t have a strap, but instead a big metal shield that acts as both a handguard and a sling keeper. Remington includes a sling with this gun and a sling swivel for the rear pistol grip.
Overall this is the closest you can get to the famed Protective Service shotgun without a tax stamp.
On The Range
As with most of these guns, the TAC 14 Hardwood isn’t for everyone. It’s a 12 pistol grip-only firearm, and the recoil generated by such a weapon isn’t always easy to control and handle. You’ll need to make the most out of your recoil mitigation techniques and really push and pull this thing to keep it tense.
Most people see this gun and think of it as a shoot from the hip type firearm, and while you can do that, it’s not impossible to aim and fire. Even with full power buckshot, you can step back to 20 yards and easily put lead on target. The bead sight on its pedestal works, and you wouldn’t use anything else for a firearm like this.
You’ll be much faster with a proper stocked shotgun than a PGO firearm, but the idea that you can’t aim and fire these hand cannons is downright silly. To help you control the weapon, the pump is heavily textured and easy to grip. You can push it forward, and the Raptor-style grip at the rear of the weapon allows for a natural pullback motion.
The Remington action is slick and smooth. It glides rearward and is nice and tight with minimal slop. Pump-action shotguns are tough to mess up, especially when Remington has been making them for over half a century. The gun cycles fling shells consistently and eats everything. Low brass, high brass, full-powered buckshot, and the lowest recoiling game loads on the market.
It’s a pump-action, and other than those silly mini shells, it works without a problem. The 1.75-inch mini shells don’t work, but those 2.5-inch shells from Nobel Sport work fine.
The TAC 14 Hardwood provides a sweet and short little firearm that performs as good as it looks. These aren’t necessarily effective weapons when compared to alternative options, but it’s a fun gun. Something about the recoil and hard-to-handle nature of these firearms makes them a challenge to use well. Who doesn’t like a good challenge?