Remington released a new version of the venerable Model 870 shotgun. The TAC-14 version of the Model 870 is specifically designed for close-quarters engagements, where space for maneuverability may be limited or compromised.
As the name implies, the TAC-14 seems to be purpose-built for law enforcement SWAT or specialized entry teams, however there are additional uses for this compact shotgun as well.
Reducing the length of a long gun comes with benefits and costs, especially when the stock has been dramatically altered like the TAC-14 pistol grip. As we review the TAC-14 we’ll discuss the positives and negatives of such a short shotgun to provide a solid groundwork for readers to decide if this shotgun has potential or is just another gimmick gun.
Note: Make sure you read Randy’s article Police Shotgun – Carry It! regarding the continued use of the shotgun in law enforcement. Additionally, our friends from Police & Security News wrote Optimizing the Police Shotgun, a great article on updating the scattergun for the 21st Century.
The TAC-14 Shotgun
The Remington Model 870 shotgun has a strong claim to being “America’s shotgun.” With more than 5 million Model 870 shotguns sold in America there is no doubt this shotgun is popular, productive, and durable across the board. The new Model 870 TAC-14 is a stark departure from most of the previous models that have a more traditional appearance with standard shoulder stocks, and longer barrels and they do it in a non-NFA format so the paperwork is much easier.
The new Model 870 TAC-14 will come in 12-gauge only at first, but if it shows signs of popularity I would not be surprised to see a 20-gauge version as well. All standard action features of the Model 870 are included in the TAC-14. The safety is a push-bar trigger safety located at the rear of the trigger guard. Designed for right-handed shooters, pressing the bar to the left makes the safety lever flush with the trigger guard and exposes a red line on the now pushed out portion on the left side. The action release lever is located at the front, left side of the trigger guard.
Remington removes the standard stock on the TAC-14 and replaces it with a Shockwave Technologies Raptor pistol grip. The Raptor pistol grip is made of glass-filled polymer making the grip extremely durable and scratch-resistant. This grip is attached with a 3/16″ hex wrench. The Raptor grip does not have a sling swivel, but Shockwave Technologies provides instructions for drilling a 1/8″ pilot hole in the desired location of the shooter to begin threading the chosen sling mount.
The Remington 870 TAC-14 also replaces the standard fore-end grip with the very versatile Magpul 870 MOE M-LOK. The Magpul fore-end grip is longer than the standard grip and comes with both front and rear hand stop ridges for enhanced slide manipulation. The Magpul M-LOK system allows shooters to add Pictanny rails where they see fit, rather than from set positions or lengths like some competitors. The Magpul grip is also made from reinforced polymer reducing overall weight, while not compromising on strength or durability.
In addition to the shortened stock, the Remington 870 TAC-14 comes with a shortened 14.0″ barrel. This highly reduced profile reduces the overall length of the TAC-14 to only 26.3″. With such a short and powerful firearm the situations for practical use are somewhat limited. For instance, this would not be the ideal shotgun to take into the field for hunting. At the same time it would be hard-pressed to assign the TAC-14 to a patrol issue shotgun. However, the TAC-14 could be an excellent choice for the following situations requiring close quarters engagements:
- SWAT Entry Team use
- SWAT Team door breaching
- Undercover detective operations
- Home defense
- Personal vehicle defense
- Just plain ole fun shooting!
The Remington 870 TAC-14 receiver is CNC milled from a solid piece of steel providing the highest level of design and manufacturing integrity. This shotgun may not be your granddaddy’s shotgun, and it may not have a full range of practical uses, but the TAC-14 does offer some unique advantages in certain situations. It also doesn’t hurt that it tends to tickle the giggle switch for shooters.
- Receiver Finish: Black oxide
- Stock: Shockwave Technologies Raptor (synthetic)
- Barrel Type: Cylinder bore
- Overall Length: 26.3 inches
- Barrel Length: 14.0 inches
- Weight: 5.6 pounds (unloaded)
- Capacity: 4+1
- Sights: Front bead
- Fore Grip: Magpul MOE-M-LOK 870 (synthetic)
- MSRP: $443.05
When I first observed the Remington Model 870 TAC-14 at SHOT Show I had mixed opinions. Like I mentioned earlier I’m not a real fan of greatly reducing the length of a long gun. Somewhere along the design shooting platform, or barrel length must be sacrificed, and both play a pivotal role in accurate long-distance shooting (expected of long guns).
However, the more I examined (and shot) the TAC-14 the more I realized there is a place for this shotgun in certain circumstances. The potential for SWAT and undercover operations in police work are huge selling points. The TAC-14 provides superior firepower in close quarters, and allows the officers incredible mobility and maneuverability in tight spaces like hallways or vehicles.
For personal home or vehicle defense, the TAC-14 provides the same benefits as it does to law enforcement. I would highly recommend some serious training on this shotgun, however, as the shooter must learn the unique firing positions and how to ensure shots go where they need to go. The hip shooting may be easiest, but it’s also less accurate. The extended 2-hand position provides the best chance for accuracy, but the shooter must learn to handle the different recoil than a shoulder-mounted shotgun. I would not personally recommend the one-handed pistol-like shooting choice, unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator.
Obviously, the TAC-14 could be a very fun shotgun for blasting things on the range and generally relieving stress and bring a smile to the face!
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