Since the inception of the Model 870 in 1951,
Remington has sold in excess of ten million of those
smooth-shucking pump shotguns. The design has proven to be
rugged, reliable, and affordable, and has been made in many
variations and grades of decoration over the decades. Chambered
for every popular and semi-popular gauge and bore diameter, the
870 has become a classic that shows no signs of slipping in
The latest variation of the 870 shotgun is
not a shotgun at all. At least, not legally a shotgun. It is the
870 Express Tac-14 shown here, and according to Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (BATFE)
regulations, it is defined as a “firearm”; not a shotgun.
Because of this definition, the Tac-14 can be purchased in most
localities within the United States with a simple Form 4473, and
does not require any NFA (National Firearms Act) approval stamp.
In other words, even though the Tac-14 wears a fourteen-inch
barrel, it is not defined as a short-barreled shotgun (SBS) or
an AOW (Any Other Weapon). It has an overall length exceeding 26
inches, has no shoulder stock, and is therefore defined as a
“firearm”. There is no requirement to ask the government
“pretty please” and pay an extortion fee for the privilege
of owning the TAC-14. While it is legal to purchase in most
jurisdictions, I have read unconfirmed reports that it is not
allowed in some localities, as in many places, government
officials are elitist pricks who do not trust the citizenry with
proper weapons for defense of the home and family.
However, in most places here in the U.S., the
Tac-14 is legal to own, as it should be. The Tac-14 is just a
lighter, handier, shorter version of what is likely the
most-popular pump shotgun on the planet. The 870 uses a steel
receiver and twin action bars, and is one of the
smoothest-shucking pump guns available. The safety is a
crossbolt type set into the trigger guard. The trigger pull on
this particular Tac-14 shown here releases with a crisp four and
one-quarter pounds of resistance.
The TAC-14 weighs in at five pounds, ten
ounces empty. The magazine tube holds four rounds, and the
weapon will chamber both 2 ¾ and 3 inch 12-gauge shotgun
shells. The barrel has no choke constriction at the muzzle, and
the weapon handles both shot and slugs very well. The Raptor
grip on the TAC-14 is very comfortable to hold, as is the Magpul
M-LOK forend. The barrel wears a simple bead sight, which works
well. Like all 870 Express shotguns, the TAC-14 wears a matte
black finish on the steel receiver and barrel. The TAC-14 comes
with a magazine plug, just in case the owner wants to use it on
doves or other migratory birds. However, the weapon is built for
social work, and it fills that role very handily.
The TAC-14 is a very versatile weapon.
Exceedingly handy to maneuver is tight quarters or a vehicle,
the 26.5-inch overall length and relatively light weight makes
for a very useful and powerful weapon in situations in which
there is just not enough room to effectively use a full-size
fighting shotgun. 12-gauge ammunition diversity makes the TAC-14
a good choice for a bedside gun, no matter the type of dwelling
in which you live. In most cases, it is hard to beat a good load
of buckshot, and I keep a modest supply of both Number 4 buck
and 00 buck on hand. If
I lived in an apartment or another dwelling in which there were
other people in an adjacent room, with only a
residential-type wall between us, I would keep the TAC-14 loaded
with a good field load of number 5 birdshot. Across a typical
residential bedroom, a load of birdshot is very effective, but
loses velocity and power quickly after passing through a couple
of layers of drywall. For distances out past thirty yards or so,
a good slug of any type is effective, but one that I have been
testing recently is the DDupleks Broadhead slug. It has a steel
core for deep penetration, and also has six steel petals which
break off and go in six different directions upon impact,
damaging tissue and blood vessels.
I tested the TAC-14 using several types of
12-gauge ammunition, from light target loads to heavy magnum
buckshot loads, as well as the aforementioned Broadhead and
Foster-type slugs. Every shell fed from the magazine smoothly,
fired without fail, and ejected flawlessly. The TAC-14 is as
reliable as an 870, because it is an 870. Perfect. Since I know
the question will be asked, no, the TAC-14 does not function
with the short Aguila Mini-Shells, nor was it intended to do so.
However, any 2 ¾ or 3 inch 12-gauge shotgun shell will work in
the Tac-14. Recoil was about what would be expected from a
sub-six-pound 12-gauge, but the shape of the grip and forearm
makes the weapon easy to handle. Recoil with three-inch magnum
loads can be heavy, but again, for an experienced shooter, it is
not a problem to control. A novice would be better-served to
begin with a different weapon. However, when a lot of power is
needed in a relatively compact package, the TAC-14 is hard to
beat. As of the date of this review, the suggested retail price
of the Remington TAC-14 is $443.05 US. The Remington TAC-14 has
a Limited Lifetime Warranty and is made in the USA.
Check out the TAC-14 and other Remington
products at www.remington.com.
To order the TAC-14 online, click on the GUN
GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality 12-gauge ammunition, go to www.midsouthshooterssupply.com
a list of dealers selling the Broadhead slugs, go to www.ddupleks-usa.com
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