The Remington 870 TAC-14 shotgun-like-firearm wasn’t on my radar. When it was announced I was as surprised as anyone and really didn’t know what to think. I’ve seen that kind of design before from boutique manufacturers but they never really caught my eye for long. But when Remington rolled the TAC-14 design on the venerable 870 platform with a Magpul forend, I stopped what I was doing to look.
Seems my experience is pretty typical. The TAC-14 was unveiled at the NRA show where Remington Shotgun Product Manager Daniel Cox was proudly standing by his newly announced baby. People would walk by, glance, stop, pick up the short gun and the grin from ear to ear. And they didn’t even get to shoot it! But I have…!
I think I went from mildly skeptical to curious pretty quickly. Then I took delivery and like everyone else started grinning. Why? Because while this is billed as a home defense niche gun, it’s really quite a load of fun! I guess we could say the Remington 870 TAC-14 is work and pleasure; or it’s practical fun; or would that be practically fun…?
The practical side is really amplified by Remington’s use of the M-LOK Forend. It allows for the attachment of lights and lasers, particularly useful in home defense, or even hotel defense scenarios. You could also add an M-LOK handstop kit if you wanted a bit more physical contact to control the operation of the TAC-14.
The obvious big question here is how this avoids the restrictions of the NFA (National Firearms Act) that governs rifles with barrels less than sixteen inches in length, silencers and, of course, shotguns with barrels shorter than eighteen inches. The TAC-14 has a fourteen in barrel. Ultimately, it’s how the feds define “shotgun.”
The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger. – 18 U.S. Code § 921 – Definitions (italics added)
This shotgun-like-firearm was never intended to be fired from the shoulder. It was not designed to have a butt stock, just a grip. And though the TAC-14 barrel is four less than a typical eighteen inch shotgun barrel, it exceeds the overall length requirement to avoid the NFA restrictions by .37 inches. Essentially, a quarter inch of freedom delivering miles of fun!
Miles of fun is illustrated in the accompanying video filmed on cell phones during an impromptu first shots session at the NRA Whittington Center. These are literally the first shots I took with the 870 TAC-14. Spoiler: Silly grins from beginning to end.
You’ll see the pattern briefly in the video. At ten yards, it doesn’t cover the width of barn door. You need to point it properly. The fourteen in barrel is cylinder bore, essentially a Remington 870 police shotgun barrel.
The Magpul handguard facilitates MLOK accessory mounting. Think light and laser for example. A typical light beam would be similar to shot pattern at what we might call “hallway” distances. A Crimson Trace Railmaster might make a sweet low profile addition.
Sadly for some, you still can’t have this sweet gun. Even though the Feds have cleared it, the usual suspects have rules to keep it out of your hands. These include states like NJ, CT, MA, CA, HI, NY and RI. Rules change all the time so this list may or may not be applicable to you at any given time. As always, know the law where you live.
Then we have a couple of surprises. Hello, Texas! I’m talking about you! Texas doesn’t define “shotgun” adequately. So can you have an 870 TAC-14 there? As far as I can tell as of this writing, no one has tested the legality of owning one in Texas. Simple solution? Texas needs only to adopt the Federal definition of “shotgun” and Texans could then enjoy the TAC-14 without any question. There’s a similar scenario in Ohio. Live there? You know what to do.
We’ll circle back later after spending a bit more time with this unique firearm. We know the 870 platform is the gold standard for reliability, we know the TAC-14 is a load of fun. Perhaps we can explore accessory options and light recoil loads. I can even envision some seriously close quarters hog hunting as a crazy possibility! What would you like to see us try? Tell us in the comments below, no login required!