Shotgun manufacturers have been long overdue for a handy smoothbore gun for a Bug Out defense from a vehicle or other modes. Remington has really stepped up to the plate with this one. The new Tac-14 is a prepper dream based on the time honored reliable model 870 pump action 12-gauge shotgun. First out of the chute is to understand this shotgun has a 14-in barrel. So, why does it not have to be an NFA registered short gun?
Because, Remington purposed this design to defeat those NFA rules by making the Tac-14 with a 26.2-inch overall length. These dimensions comply with all NFA compliance rules. Hoorah, a legal “short” shotgun.
This shotgun version of the 870 platform is indeed true to form in features and functions. It works exactly like a standard 870 of any other configuration including loading, unloading, pump cycling, the push button safety, and take down procedures, cleaning and maintenance. The receiver is the same with its durability, and steel construction.
The obvious differences other than the size of the shotgun, first, is its pronounced grip handle which is a Shockwave Raptor Pistol Grip. The forend hardware comes from Magpul with M-Lock slots, so you know that is good stuff. Everything is finished in black and all the metal on the gun is set in a black oxide finish. It is designed for stealth work, unobtrusive, and covert.
The plain Jane barrel has a cylinder bore choke or open choke as some know it. There are no screw in Rem-Chokes on this shotgun. The front barrel “sight” is a brass-like bead set up on a platform so it stands out from the contour of the barrel. The receiver top is flat and matte for a clean sighting plane. This is a basic point and shoot smoothbore gun.
The factory spec sheet does not mention an official weight for this shotgun, but it tips the not-so-accurate bathroom scales at between 4-5 pounds. It feels heavier, but upon handling it and carrying it around the house for a trial run, it is easy to move into action, swings up naturally for a point-shoot mode.
The Tac-14’s shotgun shell capacity is one in the chamber and 4 up the magazine tube. This works for either 2 ¾ or 3-inch shells. I would suggest trying some of the shorter shells first before stepping up to the 3-inch stuff to see how the shooting recoil control goes for the individual shooter. For self-defense you are likely going to want a heavy load like buckshot, so be prepared to experiment to see which loads pattern the best for close range self-defense. I am not for certain yet, but I am guessing the Tac-14 is a 30 yard gun, maybe 40 max. After all, it is a defensive intent shotgun, not a duck gun.
The only initial issue I have with the Tac-14 so far is how slick handling the pistol grip knob is going to be in every day practical use. If operating the Tac-14 in wet weather, snow or icing conditions, I could see this gun slipping out of the user’s grasp. I would recommend using a gripper type shooting glove(s). I intend to wrap this grip with a couple strips of two-sided sticky tape like that used on a carpenter’s hammer or big mechanics wrench.
But What For?
Also Read: 1887 Model T Shotgun Review
For sure this is a unique shotgun and a timely introduction for both preppers and survivalists or just home owners looking for some personal security. I could envision using this shorty shotgun for a wide variety of applications. Primarily its main suitability is as a personal self-defense shotgun. It could be used at a Bug In location to protect against short order threats in the drive way, yard, up the sidewalk or even at an entry doorway. I suspect 4-5 shots from this rig would disperse just about any crazed zombie. Be sure to keep extra ammo close at hand though.
This gun is equally as important and adaptable for an escape mission to avoid a coming SHTF or to head out to an alternative Bug Out location. So, it can find a good use for carry in a vehicle where it can be placed beside the driver’s seat, or just across the center console or floor hump. If driving solo, it could be placed in the opposite seat. Someone riding “shotgun” in the back seat could deploy this gun that way, too.
Stuff That Works: Remington Model 870 Shotgun
In these manners with practice and training, the user can deploy the Tac-14 out an open window or with the vehicle door open. This takes practice. This gun can also be carried rather discreetly by the grip just behind the hip, letting it hang down to the knee. You have to work at carrying the gun this way, then wielding it into action in a second nature second. Again, these motions and use modes takes some practice to be proficient. Plan for that.
At a Bug In, the Tac-14 can not only provide short range security, but it could be used to collect small game meat for the pot. By stalking within short ranges, this gun should be able to take squirrels, rabbits, game birds and other food animals with the proper game loads. It’s an easy shotgun to tote about camp or on patrol ready to take advantage of any edible targets of opportunity. Any active prepper or survivalist knows these situations well and how to act upon any chance to provide food. The Tac-14 can do this work well enough.
Preppers and survivalists both for a lock down hunkered Bug In or an escape Bug Out scenario will find great use for the Remington 870 Tac-14 shotgun. It’s not a conventional shotgun by any means without a standard buttstock to steady shots. A shotgun using various choke tubes has more hunting options. This gun has to be hand gripped with the bore muzzle thrust forward into the shot as the fore end is held up for aiming. You have to be prepared to manhandle this one.
Accessories could be added, but personally I would probably avoid any barrel attached items for this gun like a light. It might be worth trying so long as it does not throw off the balance of the gun, one of its most positive attributes. There are plenty of other modes to provide illumination not to have a light attached directly to the gun, especially short barreled shotgun like the Tac-14.
Related: Cut Shotgun Shells For Survival
Though the Tac-14 has a Magpul fore end with M-Lok slots, my own personal preference is not to lock something onto a pump shotgun fore end that has to be pulled back and forth to eject spent shotshells and to load fresh ones. Such action is not only critical to the function of the pump action gun, but doing so could constantly loosen up whatever is attached. Again, it might be worthy of a trial, so each user has to assess their own judgments on such things. My only suggestion is to keep this short shotgun as unencumbered and handy as possible.
A shoulder strap carry can be applied by replacing the factory magazine cap with one that has a swivel stud feature to accept a standard screw lock sling attachment loop. The rear trigger assembly pin can be slowly tapped out to install a GG&G or GrovTec replacement pin that has a push button sling attachment receptacle built on.
Other users may find other accessories to adapt to the Tac-14. Another item to consider would be a 5 or 6 round shotshell saddle attached to the side of the receiver. This may not work with the sling rig detailed above. These are choices the user has to make depending upon their own personal priorities of use for such a weapon.
Related: Survival Shotgun Selection
The Tac-14 is a grip full, but it is not overwhelming especially with 2 ¾ inch game or defense loads. With some judicious practice, I think most users will get to the point of being able to handle the heavier 3-inch shells. There are a lot of shotshell load choices that can be used for a variety of purposes when deploying this shotgun. Try trial, error, and experience.
One more thing for this shotgun. Get a discreet nylon shotgun carry sleeve that are so popular now to house this gun. These heavy duty sleeve cases have a shoulder strap, a lash down strap to hold the gun in the sleeve as well as Molle strap attachment points should you want to add other items. With such a case the gun can be secured and protected in a vehicle, on a UTV or ATV or over the shoulder for field carry.
That about sums up the Remington 870 Tac-14. These are new to the market and could be hard to find at dealers right now. Retail pricing should be under $450. I saw two at a recent gun show for well under that amount. If you see one, grab it quick. I think these short barreled shotguns are going to be very popular in short order.
Have questions about the sling? Visit our article on “How To Sling A Tac-14 Shotgun“