2017 was the year of the ‘not a shotgun’ 12 gauge firearm. Going into 2018 we are going to see even more of these not a shotgun 12 gauge firearms. Every Youtuber, gun magazine, and gun writer is covering them. The two Titans of American Shotguns, Remington and Mossberg have both unveiled their own 12 gauge firearm designs. The question is, which one is for you? Well, let’s do a little Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 showdown.
Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 Throwdown
I’ve recently purchased both of these ‘firearms’ and wanted to take a fair and even look at them. I’m not going to be declaring a winner because it’s generally a futile exercise in the gun community. Opinions, and experiences will always differ among shooters. Personally I’ll go ahead and say it, the Shockwave is the better gun in my opinion.
What we can do is take a good look at the features and designs of each ‘firearm’.
- 14 inch barrels
- Shockwave Raptor Pistol Grip
- 12 Gauge
- Pump Action
- Bead Sights
- Cylinder Bore
Fit and Finish
When handling both guns I was more impressed at the finish of the Remington 870. The darker black finish is well applied, and gives the gun a very sleek look. The Mossberg Shockwave uses a lighter finish that’s closer to dark gray than black. Both guns do have nice and tight lock up.
The Pump on the Mossberg feels a bit looser with some more slack in it, it wobbles just a bit. The Remington’s pump feels nice and tight. In the months I’ve owned both guns, neither have had any issues with rust or corrosion.
Since both guns are pump actions the ergonomic differences are minor, but can be important to consider. Both guns feature the Shockwave Raptor grip. This bird head design is quite different than your average pistol grip. It’s much more comfortable and easier to shoot with. It fills the hand, and gives you a softer recoil impulse than a 90-degree grip.
The Mossberg’s tang safety is much easier to use for lefties, and equally easy for right handed shooters. Due to the design of the Shockwave grip the tang safety is very easy to manipulate.
As a righty, I don’t have any issues with the Remington’s push button safety. It’s easy to reach and press with the trigger finger. Due to its location its likely to be the bane of left handed shooters.
The choice of Pumps on each gun is also interesting. Mossberg uses a corncob forend with a hand strap. Remington uses the Magpul shotgun pump. I have a few thoughts on both.
The Mossberg strap pump is a pretty good idea. It keeps your hand from slipping forward of the pump when shooting rapidly, which could end in disaster. Outside of the safety aspect this little gun wants to jump with full powered buckshot. The strap keeps it in your hand, and makes it easier to control.
However, the Magpul pump is well made, and modular. It allows for the attachment of accessories like grips, lights, and lasers. It does lack that strap so rapid fire isn’t as safe as with the Mossberg.
With this said I still I added the Magpul pump to my Mossberg 590 Shockwave, but I wouldn’t suggest it for a beginner. I did add a vertical foregrip to both guns, and I think a vertical grip or handstop is a must have for safety reasons. In general neither of these guns are good for new shooters.
Judging the guns without modifications I’d have to say the Mossberg with the strap is safer and more effective. If you are willing to add a hand stop or foregrip the Magpul pump is superior.
Red Dot Compatibility
The Shockwave does come tapped and drilled for a scope mount. The Remington does not. I’ve found a substantial increase in shootability with the addition of a red dot sight. (I use the Meopta Meosight 3.) This is especially true when running slugs. The Aguila mini slugs plus a Meosight red dot gives me an effective range of about 35 yards.
I was actually pretty shocked when I first handled the Mossberg Shockwave at Shot Show and found out it had a 5 + 1 capacity. That’s a very reasonable capacity for such a compact weapon.
The Remington Tac 14 comes in with only a 4 + 1 capacity. That’s a 20% difference in ammunition on the gun. Theoretically you can add a +1 extension to the Remington Tac 14, but Remington doesn’t make this easy. My Tac 14 is dimpled to hold the plastic plunger in place. To install a +1 adapter you’ll need to remove the dimples. Personally that’s too much hassle for me.
If we start looking at modifying the gun the Mossberg 590 does have the ability to utilize the Opsol Mini clip. This little device allows the Mossberg 590 Shockwave to cycle the Aguila mini shells. This gives the gun a 9 + 1 capacity. This is a clear advantage in the Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 throwdown.
Weight and Length
Both guns have to an overall length of 26 inches. If they are any shorter than 26 inches overall, they become AOWs, which are regulated under the NFA. The difference in length is very short, with the Shockwave being 26.37 inches and the Remington being 26.3 inches.
When it comes weight, both are pretty lightweight guns. The Remington does weigh 5.65 pounds and the Shockwave weighs 5.25 pounds. The difference in weight comes from the materials used in the receivers.
Materials and Construction
Keeping on the subject of weight we can look at the material difference. Remington goes with steel and Mossberg with aluminum. Overall there isn’t a practical difference in terms of actual use. No one is going to crank the guns so hard the receivers bend or break. While steel has a higher tensile strength, it isn’t a major concern. Plenty of firearms utilize aluminum and its never been an issue.
Both guns are solid and well made. The Mossberg does have two extractors which helps with positive and consistent extraction. The Remington features a single extractor. So far, I haven’t had any issues with either gun when it comes to extraction, ejection or general reliability. They are pump action firearms, so the simplicity keeps them reliable.
In the materials and construction category, the Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 are pretty close. The dual extractors in the Mossberg are not only nice but easier to replace. The extractor is often the first major repair needed on a shotgun. With the Remington, you’ll need a gunsmith or gunsmithing skills and tools.
The difference in price is small. The Tac 14 has an MSRP of $443.05 and the Shockwave comes in at $455.00. Oddly enough I purchased the Tac 14 for ten dollars more than the Shockwave, from the same gun store. Technically the 870 should be a bit cheaper. The price via msrp gives Remington the slight advantage in our Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 contest.
The classic Mossberg vs Remington debate is about as played out as the 45 ACP vs 9mm debate. If this was a competition between tactical shotguns we could look at round counts, parts, failures, and things like that. Let’s be real, these are fun range toys and not much else.
They are the perfect candidate for those looking to build a short-barreled shotgun because the short barrel and tube are already there. Adding a stock is a lot cheaper than finding a factory short barrel. These two ‘firearms’ are the cheapest way to build an SBS short of a hacksaw.
Both are great guns, and I personally prefer the Mossberg, but can and will admit the Remington Tac 14 is also a solid contender in the market. It’s certainly nice to see interest and competition in the 12 gauge firearm realm. At the end of the day the real winner in a Mossberg Shockwave versus Remington Tac 14 fight is us, the consumer.
I doubt anyone would be disappointed with either gun. They are both a literal blast to shoot and a range conversation starter. I now have two of these, and won’t be getting rid of either anytime soon. Make sure you check out the 20 gauge versions of both of this guns at Shot Show 2018.