The NFA is a big burden for freedom loving Americans. Some us want a hearing safe gun, a stock on pistol, or have a shotgun with a barrel a little shorter than average. Most of the fun stuff in the gun world is heavily regulated under the NFA. This has given rise to an entire industry of people finding legal ways around the NFA. This produced the SIG brace, binary triggers, and firearms like the Remington Tac 14.
These 12 gauge firearms are not considered shotguns in the United States because shotgun is a legal term. For a shotgun to be a shotgun it must have, or have had, or be redesigned to have a stock. A 12 gauge, pump action gun does not have to be a shotgun, it doesn’t have to technically be anything.
The Remington Tac 14 is a firearm. If it’s not a shotgun it can’t be a short-barreled shotgun. This allows the Tac 14 to be NFA free while rocking a 14-inch barrel. These guns could could have as short a barrel as you want as long as their overall length is at least 26 inches. If it was shorter than 26 inches would become an AOW, another type of weapon regulated under the NFA.
What allows the Remington Tac 14 to be over 26 inches with a 14-inch barrel is the Shockwave Raptor grip. This design is a bird’s head grip that’s orientated horizontally and not vertically. Combined with a 14 inch barrel it creates a 26 inch overall length. The Tac 14 is the baby of the old school Witness protection guns. Marshal’s service issued the WitPro shotguns in the 1980s and 90s. Although the grips are made from polymer instead of wood.
The Tac 14 is one of the Remington Express models, so it’s one of the cheaper 870s. MSRP sits at $443.05, but they sell for closer to 350ish street price. The gun does feature the excellent Magpul MLOK Forend. This allows you to add accessories right out of the box.
This little not a shotgun weighs a hefty 5.65 pounds due to its steel billet receiver. For such a small gun, it really has some heft to it. It has a 4+1 capacity with 2 and 3/4 inch shells. You are left with a simple bead sight. I was a bit let down that Remington didn’t drill and tap for a scope base. A miniature red dot is perfect on these little guns.
One thing I want to point out is how smooth the action of pumping the gun is. The pump feels like it’s on ball bearings as it glides backwards. There is no grit, or stumble as the pump is actuated. It’s so smooth that it’s possible to pump the gun via inertia. It feels nice in the hands. I appreciate little details like this with my ‘technically not a shotgun’ firearms.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Remington having a few quality control pains regarding their finishes. Luckily the Tac 14 has a solid finish. I’m not gentle on guns and I live in a humid environment. This is the perfect combination for creating rust buckets.
Fortunately, I can say this isn’t an issue. I haven’t seen hide nor hair of surface rust on my Tac 14. The finish is evenly applied, and hasn’t scratched or rubbed off after a few months of hard use.
If you’ve ever handled a pistol grip only shotgun you are likely familiar with a biting sting in your hand. We all know how painful the recoil is to your wrist. Immediately most people will be turned off from the Remington Tac 14 because of that pain. Well, I have good news, that’s not really a problem.
The bird’s head Shockwave Raptor grip is so much more comfortable than a 90-degree pistol grip. The recoil is displaced much better than a standard pistol grip. Because of the horizontal nature of the grip the recoil goes more upwards than rearwards. I’ve fired bird, buck, and even 3 inch slugs and some of those Winchester PDX slugs. Never would I describe the recoil as painful.
If you want a fun gun this is the way to go. It’s a literal and figurative blast. The heavy recoil is part of the fun factor. Trying to aim, shoot and cycle the gun is a challenge and the challenge is what makes this gun so much fun. Aimed fire is both possible and safe, but you’re limited to about 25 yards for effective fire.
The Tac 14 is not made for rapid fire. The smooth MLOK forend combined with a lot of upward recoil makes this an angry bull. Trying to rapid fire this gun isn’t safe or even possible because it’s trying to buck out of your hand with every shot. Mossberg’s corn cob with strap forend is likely the safer option for rapid fire. The Magpul forend makes it easy to add a vertical grip that will aid in control.
I haven’t had any reliability issues with a few hundred rounds of birdshot and at least a hundred rounds of cheapo buckshot. The gun cycles easily, and tosses the shells consistently. The controls are intuitive for right-handed shooters. My left-handed friends will have some troubles with the safety and pump release. The Mossberg Shockwave seems to be friendlier for left handers.
Since it’s still an 870 you have a number of options to customize the gun. Remember, you can’t add a stock without changing the classification of the weapon. You can swap the forend at your heart’s content, swap the bead for a more proper sight, or tack on a side saddle to haul around some extra ammo. As a Remington 870 the sky is pretty much the limit.
The important thing to realize about the Remington Tac 14 is that a proper shotgun with a stock is the better weapon. If you are looking for a home defense weapon, consider the standard Remington 870. If you are looking for a fun gun the Remington Tac 14 is perfect. It brings a smile to my face every time I pull the trigger. This is the gun you bring to the range to turn money into noise.