I’ve always been fascinated with the US Marshal’s service, their long history, and unique mission. Maybe it was too much Elmore Leonard as a kid. Combine the Marshals with one of my favorite platforms, the shotgun, and you have a match made in paradise. The Witness Protection 870, or WP870 came to be in the mid 80s. Its design was essentially at 870 with a 12.5-inch or 14.5 inch barrel, a birds head grip, and a custom sling plate hand stop. By the name you can guess what the guns were used for. These powerhouses were perfect inside vehicles and for general short range fighting. It could be concealed under a coat and was a force multiplier. Plus, no looks down the barrel of a 12 gauge and plays chicken.
The Witness Protection shotguns were built by famed gunsmith Jim Wilson. They were a custom gun and were regulated as AOWs under the NFA. In civilian hands, they were never really popular. However, with the recent explosion in popularity of the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington Tac 14, there is a renewed interest in portable hand cannons that are NFA free.
Enter Remington’s new Tac 14
Remington doesn’t explicitly called the gun the Witness Protection 870, and likely can’t due to the fact that Jim Wilson created the original and likely owns the licensing for them. They call it the TAC 14 wood, but if you have an obsession with shotguns and the Marshal’s service you’ll recognize right away what it really is.
Of course, the barrel is 14 inches instead of 12.5 of 14.5. It utilizes the same style Raptor grip and wood fore end. It even incorporates the custom hand stop and sling swivel design. Unlike the original Witness Protection shotguns, this is a non-NFA gun.
That also means you can’t play US Marshal and conceal this rig under a coat. If you conceal this gun on your person it becomes an AOW.
This is one of the guns I’m most excited for at SHOT. I’ve wanted a Witness Protection 870 ever since I was a little kid. Now, I can have one without the NFA and in a factory configuration.
Normally I’m a Mossberg man, but Remington is really impressing me this year.