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[Hands-on Review]: The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14

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The National Firearms Act ensured that the days are gone when you can pick a shotgun off the shelf and proceed to the cashier. But that is not all this Act did, it also spurred a fair bit of innovation. One being the revolutionary Remington TAC-14. Why revolutionary? Well, it is a shotgun, but not actually a shotgun.

I have mentioned previously that I own more than 150 guns and firearms. Many of those are shotguns that come quite handy when it comes to home defense. But if you’re curious, you can see my piece on the Best Home Defense Shotguns. So, what is this TAC-14 and how does it differ from all other guns?

I’ve made a concise summary of the pros and cons of this gun:

Pros
  • Small and easy to maneuver
  • Easy to buy non-NFA firearm
  • Fun to shoot
  • Best used as a truck gun defense
  • Impressive finish
  • Well-textured grip
  • Smooth trigger
  • Easy to load ― pretty smooth along the thumb
Cons
  • Lacks rear-sling swivel
  • No drilled and tapped receiver
  • Magpul pump is hardly textured

The pros pretty much outnumber the cons. In this review, we’ll delve into the Remington TAC-14 and see if this suits your needs.

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A Very Brief History

Let’s talk about the brief history of this firearm first. The Mossberg Shockwave was released in 2017. After its release, we can guess that its competing shotgun manufacturer would counter and release its own.

Sure enough, come late April of the same year, Remington announced the release of TAC-14.

The Remington Tac-14, also called Remington 870 Tac-14, is an 870 pump action 12 gauge shotgun that works exactly like the standard Remington 870. In fact, the standard Remington 870 was the main inspiration behind the Remington Tac-14. The main difference between a standard Remington 870 and Remington Tac-14 is its length.

Legality

Although this gun has a 14-inch barrel, you can buy it right off the shelf as if it was a pistol. You don’t need to go through all the legal processes for shotguns and other firearms to get this fun gun. Let’s discuss how this thing is even legal in the first place.

The Mossberg Shockwave and Remington TAC-14 aren’t considered short-barreled shotguns, even though they have 14-inch barrels. This is because these weapons don’t have a stock. Rifles and shotguns have stocks, and the National Firearms Act regulates the purchasing of guns that have one.

In the United States, a shotgun is a weapon that’s designed or redesigned to be fired from the shoulder. If it’s never had a stock, it’s not designed to be fired from the shoulder, and barrel lengths don’t apply.

What does apply, is the overall length. The weapon must remain longer than 26 inches, or it becomes “any other weapon” (AOW). Now, these must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This includes the tax stamp and a long waiting period.

The Remington TAC-14 neatly fits in between these two definitions and you can therefore buy it like any other gun unless your State has a state law covering it.

Specs and Characteristics

Action TypePump
Chamber Size3 inches
Overall Length26.3 inches
Capacity5+1 (2.75-inch shells), 4+1 (3-inch shells)
Weight (Unloaded)5.5 pounds
Weight (Loaded)6.3 pounds
Barrel Length14 inches
FinishMatte blued
ChokeCylinder bore
GripBird's head-style, textured polymer
ForendMagpul M-Lok, polymer
Front SightBrass bead
Trigger Pull Weight4.5 pounds
SafetyManual trigger block
WarrantyTwo years
Telephone(899) 243-9700
WebsiteRemington.com
Country of ManufacturerUnited States

Unboxing Remington TAC-14

The box itself is green cardboard with custom-cut foam. Upon opening the box, the view is fancy and elegant.

The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14 Remington TAC-14 inside the box
Upon unboxing: Remington TAC-14 inside the box taken by cee_Kamp

The polish is quite magnificent. It’s dark, thick, and evenly applied to all its parts. This astounded me as Remington had quite a few issues with polishes for the past years. Additionally, the TAC-14’s pump glides backward smoothly and tightly. No issues or stoppage whenever pulling and gliding it.

The Magpul pump made this even more impressive. To begin with, you can attach a variety of rails and accessories to this pump.

The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14 Magpul Pump M-Lok
Up close: Magpul Pump M-Lok from Magpul.com

Also, the Magpul pump suits this gun over a Picatinny rail-equipped pump 12 gauge. The latter can result in some pain, considering the strong recoil this gun can cause.

Now, this all-steel receiver and long lenght makes it fairly massive, but it’s not that heavy. You’ll be surprised the first time you lift it up.

The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14 The Remington TAC-14
The beautiful and impressive Remington TAC-14

The Remington TAC-14 comes with the bird’s head-style Raptor grip. However, I think that it is lacking a swivel stud for a sling. There was also a transitional piece between the grip and receiver that made me unhappy. Anyway, I was elated with its surface, which was nicely ribbed. It also featured a flared edge at the front and rear. With this, your hand won’t slip toward the muzzle nor between the receiver and forend when cycled. Shockwave Technologies brought the grip back to the mainstream.

The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14 The Raptor grip 870
The magnificent Raptor grip 870 from shockwavetechnologies.com

It is worth remembering that without the Raptor grip, these 14-inch barrel 12-gauge firearms wouldn’t exist. It adds to the length and removes the need for a sock. Thus, exluding itself nicely from the firearms category in the National Firearms Act.

The trigger guard is made of polymer, with “Remington” engraved on the outside of it. The safety is located behind the trigger guard like all Model 870 shotguns.

The TAC-14 in Action

The first thing to note is that the Remington TAC-14 is challenging to use, especially without a brace. You have to make sure that you’re holding it with the right grip. You need to be very deliberate so that the rearward recoil force is absorbed in the arm. It’s also kind of hard to aim at the target considering the 14-inch barrel. But that’s what makes it fun to use. Fun yes, but also one reason I recommend that beginners avoid this gun.

The Magpul Pump, Right Grip & Recoil

I have mentioned that the Magpul Pump really suited the TAC-14, and it was pretty impressive. But I found its foregrip a little too slick, which is what I least like in the gun. Don’t get me wrong, the Magpul Pump is still the best option here ― it’s just that it’s not perfect. Since this firearm does not have a stock, it would make you put more pressure to close the action. This could make you lose your grip. So, when you are already in the zone and doing a shooting-pumping-shooting action, make sure to be extra careful so that your hand won’t slip in front of the barrel.

What I like most about the Remington TAC-14 is the fun and excitement it brings me whenever I pump and shoot. You may think that the recoil and blast are a bit brutal, but it’s not painful. The challenge of controlling and shooting a 12-gauge in such a package is simply cool!

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A Little Advice

To enjoy your first try with the TAC-14, I have some suggestions for you. First of all, it can smell fear, so you need to hold this little monster with some authority and confidence.

Try to push forward with your firing hand and, at the same time, pull rearward with the support hand. This push-and-pull method will help you stabilize the weapon and fight the force of the weapon.

Pushing forward with the support hand keeps the gun from coming rearward into your face. Pulling rearward with the support hand will help ensure your hand has the rearward momentum. It will keep you from tossing your hand in front of the barrel. To keep the gun from coming backward, you want to avoid putting the Raptor anywhere close to your face.

Now that said, I really love the Raptor grip. It makes it much more comfortable to shoot than a standard vertical grip. The recoil force won’t abuse your wrists as it pushes the recoil upward more than rearward.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics of this gun are straightforward. The push button is a little more difficult to reach with the Raptor grip, but still doable.

The Non-NFA Remington TAC-14 Close-up trigger and push button
Close-up trigger and push button from personaldefenseworld.com

The pump release is easy to reach with the Shockwave grip and very friendly. The trigger is also smooth, so no issues with that.

Feeding the TAC-14

As I loaded the TAC-14, I found it easy and smooth on my thumb. There were no sharp edges, and I loaded it swiftly without hassle.

When feeding the Remington TAC-14, I personally don’t suggest using mini shells. I had issues when I tried once. Yes, the capacity would be around 8+1 or 9+1, but it was inconsistent. When you start your rounds, it tends to flip over when the shells come out. This is because it’s shorter than it was supposed to be. My personal favorite round with these little monsters is the Black Magic Magnum 12 GA 3-inch slug. This travels 1,500 feet per second out of the TAC-14.

Overall, the gun flings the shells aggressively yet smoothly from the chamber with a satisfying release.

Face-off: Remington TAC-14 vs. Mossberg Shockwave

As expected, these two are the main competitors in the market, especially for this type of firearm. Gun Tests made their own comparison of these two firearms. You can see how the comparison came out in this article.

Both the Remington TAC 14 and Mossberg Shockwave have a 14-inch barrel with a Raptor grip. But neither is a true shotgun. I mentioned before that I find the pump of the TAC-14 a little slick. As for the Mossberg, it has a front strap that gives confidence that your hand won’t ever slip in front of the muzzle.

Another point for Mossberg is it has a drilled and tapped receiver. It enables the pointing and mounting of the optic. A scope is not necessary on such a gun, but to have one would be a fantastic addition to this style of firearms. However, I find it as one of the negatives of the TAC-14.

The TAC-14 gave me similar patterns with the birdshot at 17 inches. Compared to the Mossberg, the buckshot load opened up to 6 inches, and the rifled slugs shrunk to 3 inches. The TAC-14’s accuracy and ability to fire for accuracy and speed made me satisfied.

Spicing Up the Remington TAC-14

The Remington TAC-14 is already a bit of fun eye candy. But with accessories to add, it can improve even more and become one of your favorite guns.

First are the braces. TAC-14 was made as a pistol-grip firearm and with its 14-inch barrel, it’s hard to aim and hit the bull’s eye without a stock. I highly recommend the SBM4 stabilizing brace for your TAC-14. This addition will make it easy for you to aim and shoot using this firearm.

Another one to consider is the JOYCA & Co. Leatac Remington TAC-14 Leather Forend Protection Safety Strap. It is made from premium leather. This can provide you confidence and more secured grip while holding the pump. This can address the slick grip, and a necessity to avoid having your hand go to the barrel.

Finally, a good buy to finish your TAC-14 is the Precision Print Labs TAC-14 Rubber Grip Sleeve. This comfort grip is one of the best accessories for your Remington TAC-14 gun with a pistol grip. It features a single finger positioning groove and nonslip texturing. It is easy to install, and it offers much better control as well as reducing recoil of the TAC-14.

Conclusion

Overall, The TAC-14 could be used for home defense as it is small yet very powerful. However, this may not be suited for you as there are more reliable and easy-to-use guns out there. If you’re planning to buy one, you can check out the Best Guns for Home Defense.

This gun is for fun. It’s a terrific gun for those who are finding a means to own a small 12-gauge without paying $200 and waiting six months due to the NFA. If you are looking for a challenge and some fun, this is going to be a good buy.

A few other shotgun articles for you:

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