Remington TAC-14 Shotgun, by Pat Cascio

By request, from our own Jim Rawles, we are taking a close look at the Remington TAC-14 shotgun.

Unique in Barrel Length

Something a little unique about the Remington TAC-14 shotgun is the barrel length of only 14 inches. Normally, this would be considered an NFA firearm and you’d have to jump through all the red tape and hoops in order to own one. However, Remington cleverly got around this in a number of ways. First of all, there is the overall length of 26.3-inches. Secondly, the very unique Raptor Pistol Grip gives the TAC-14 the much needed few more inches so this isn’t considered a “sawed-off shotgun” that we’ve all heard about.

Shotgun For Home Defense

I used to advocate a short barrel (18 inch) shotgun as the ultimate in home defense, and that is still true, in a few cases, but it’s not the best choice. When I was teaching SWAT techniques to small police departments, they all had “riot shotguns”. And when trying to maneuver through narrow hallways in a house or a business, the shotgun proved cumbersome and hard to work with. It was not quite what you want when a threat is around every corner or in every room. Next time, try taking your home-defense shotgun through your house and walking through narrow hallways or small rooms. See just how fast you can bring the shotgun up and ready to fire, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Twelve or Twenty Gauge and Various Loads

Of course, then we have to discuss if you want a 12-gauge or 20-gauge shotgun for home defense. Both will sure deafen you when fired indoors, and then we have the recoil. There is no way around the law of physics. There is going to be serious recoil. We have to discuss if you have your shotgun loaded with 00 Buckshot, 000 Buckshot, or some other target or bird loads. For my money, you need to have the shotgun stoked with at least 00 Buckshot to get the job done.

Remington TAC-14 Options

The Remington TAC-14 is available in either 12 or 20 gauge, and both come with that short 14-inch barrel and hold 4+1 rounds of shotgun ammo. That’s if you keep a round in the chamber; otherwise, you have four rounds in the magazine tube. The barrel is cylinder bore, for the widest pattern. I don’t know if that is ideal for close quarters shooting inside of your home or not. The barrel has the typical bead front sight, as found on most shotguns; however, you could mount a red dot sight on it, but that makes shooting difficult if you pull the gun up to eye level with the Raptor pistol grip. Ugh!

Forend, Receiver, and Pistol Grip

The forend on the TAC-14 is by MagPul, and it’s their M-Lock forend, which is a good choice. The receiver is black oxide coated, and as mentioned, the overall length of the TAC-14 is 26.3 inches. The Raptor Pistol Grip is worth mentioning. It isn’t a typical pistol-gripped shotgun grip. It isn’t mounted at 90-degrees; instead, to bring the length into the legal parameters, this Raptor Pistol Grip extends rearward, and only at a shallow downward angle.

Pistol Grips and Dealing With Recoil

In the past, I’ve owned and tested a number of 18-inch barreled shotguns with the traditional pistol grip instead of a full stock, and they were no fun to shoot. They were extremely hard on the wrist. The Raptor Pistol Grip on the TAC-14 is all that more difficult to hold on to, and it obviously is named after the Raptor dinosaur. It lets you know just how mean this shotgun is to shoot, no matter how big and strong you are. My shooting partner for this test is 6’5” tall and very strong, and even he didn’t find the TAC-14 much fun to shoot, and the same goes for me.

As with all Remington shotguns, the dual-action slide bars were smooth and easy to pump the next round into the chamber. Also, ejection was sure and never failed. Remington is famous for smooth action pump shotguns. They always have been, so that’s a positive aspect of the TAC-14. Neither myself or my shooting buddy raised the TAC-14 to eye level to aim. This gun isn’t designed for that. It is meant for close-in fighting. So, the gun was fired from the waist as well as bringing it up next to distance between the belly and lungs, with the gun on the side of the body, still not aimed.

Bird Shot

We used everything from target loads to heavier bird shot, and, of course, 00 Buckshot loads. The TAC-14 was not comfortable or fun to shoot in the least. We had a few people stop by and want to fire this shotgun, and with most it only took one or two rounds before they were done; the recoil is harsh and very hard on the wrist. An extremely strong hold on the Raptor Pistol Grip is an absolute must, period!

Target Testing

We set targets out from 25 feet to 20 yards, and the short cylinder bore barrel didn’t let us down. While it spread out the hits on the targets, it didn’t open up nearly as much as we thought it would. Still, out to 20 yards, some of the 00 Buckshot was off the kill-zone of the target. Of course, when firing indoors, your shot pattern will be much tighter. That’s a good thing.

Personally, I’m not sure where the Remington TAC-14 fits into my firearms battery. The gun tested was not mine, nor would I purchase one. I can see many people purchasing one for the sheer novelty of owning a “sawed-off shotgun” and having the ability to show it off to their friends, and of course, take them out to run a few rounds through it, just to see the expression on their faces from the recoil and to watch them complain about the recoil on their wrist. The TAC-14 would not be my first, second, or third choice to reach for when something goes bang in the night in my house. I much prefer something that I can aim, has less recoil, and is easier to walk though my house with.

TAC-14 Owners

I’m sure some of our more macho readers, who own the TAC-14, will probably flood our comments section with their bravado about how they can fire their TAC-14 all day long without any problems. All I can say is, they are a better man than I am and better than some of the other testers who fired a round or two out of the TAC-14 we tested. The overall opinion by everyone was that the TAC-14 was “fun”, in a sorted twisted way, to fire. No one expressed any desire to rush right out and purchase one for their own use though.

A Different Kind of Remington Shotgun

Of course, being a Remington shotgun, it pains me to give this particular type of shotgun two thumbs down, or maybe one and a half thumbs down. While I’m sure many will rush out and buy one, just because it is a bit different, is something akin to a “sawed-off shotgun”, and it will make a nice conversation piece, I don’t think they will be running a lot of ammo through their new toy. And, I can think of a lot of other firearms that I’d reach for when things go bump in the middle of the night. Needless to say, the quality is there, because this TAC-14 is made by Remington. I’m guessing they will sell a lot of them, and that’s not a bad thing.

Test-Fire First

I’d suggest you find some place or someone who owns a TAC-14 that you can test-fire, before you spend your hard-earned money on one. Several of these guns were sold through the gun shop I haunt, and several of them were returned, with customers complaining of the “kick” and how much it hurt to shoot, especially in the wrist area, where we have a lot of tiny bones that as we age get more brittle and break easily.

The Late Col. Applegate Would Have One in his Gun Collection

The TAC-14 is unique enough that many gun collectors will want one for their collection. I know if the late Col. Applegate were still alive, he’d have one in his collection, but I’m also betting that he would have handed it off to me to “test” for him. That’s something I wouldn’t relish doing. I’m sure the TAC-14 has a place, and it might best be deployed by SWAT teams, instead of a longer version shotgun with a butt stock or pistol grip and longer barrel. But I’ll just have to pass on getting one for myself. Full retail is $443; however, I checked around, and they are selling for about a hundred bucks less.


  1. SB braces makes a arm brace “stock” for this firearm. You are legally allowed to shoulder the SB braces now and it turns this gun into basically a 14 inch barrel shotgun without NFA paperwork. I have some in my gun store and they are a really good option for this style weapon. I am not sure how you were holding the gun during testing but the raptor grip was meant to be held at the hip allowing a straight wrist when firing and a subsequent movement of both arms backwards like a swing set. If you were holding it up at eye level then they are miserable to shoot but that can be said of anything that is shot incorrectly.

  2. So…what would you recommend for an ‘aging’ female for home defense? Gauge and load? Any advice would be appreciated! Am almost ready to trade my old Remington 870…

    1. A 410-shotgun, perhaps a small pistol, in .380 would work. I have a mossberg 20-ga. shotgun, and my wife finds its recoil challenging. Granted, for home defense, you hopefully will not be firing many rounds.
      I would suggest going to Local Gun stores (real gun stores, not big-box sporting goods stores), and asking the staff their recommendations. Go to several for a variety of opinions. In fact, I’d recommend finding one out in the country vs. one in the city, they may even allow you to ‘test fire’ something or three out back.

    2. Not a shotgun. My petit wife greatly dislikes shooting shotguns, and I only have her practice with birdshot for snakes.
      But she’s completely fine shooting a lightweight ar-15. Much easier to use, so much more firepower, so little recoil.

  3. I would be interested in a review of the Mossberg 590 shockwave. It is 5+1 and is not that bad for me to shoot. I have not tried the short shells which might be a good home defense option.

    1. I have the 12 g shockwave and recoil is not that bad. Being 70 I am not what I used to be and find the hand slipping under recoil and the safety bitting your hand. I think the recoil strap helps on the recoil management. 20 might be the way to get the best of both worlds. Black powder loads at night, now that is a hoot with this beast!

  4. No offense, but I’ll pass. I have done Cowboy action shooting for years and shooting from the hip is very difficult and takes constant practice to be able to do well. I’ll just keep my Mossberg 500 with buttstock and it’s ability to change out barrels. 18″ for home defense, 26″ barrel for upland hunting and rifled slug barrel. It does it all.

    1. Yep…these are cool looking and portable but even an experienced shooter is very likely to miss targets with this design…even at 10 feet. Bead sight, no cheek weld, cant shoulder. A friend has one and he said he had no problem with it and keeps it in his truck. He is ex- SF. I had him demonstrate how he holds it. He is locked up wrist to shoulder and when I say locked up…his arm and wrist are locked as straight and high as possible. I would just go SBS on a Saiga pattern myself…that way you can have a drum. Still 5″+ overall longer, but more versatility for my $.02

  5. It’s hard to find a grip as long as a Stakeout grip but you could fit it with a Arm Brace to take it over 26″ after all it’s not a stock. I only mean Federal Law as I can not know all the laws where you live. Now the BATFE say you can shoot along arm fitted with a Arm Brace from the shoulder as long as you don’t [sic] buy it planing to do that or use it that way every time.
    Remove the barrel and place it in a different room or better yet a different building (over kill I know but you want to be 100% safe under the law). Remove the Stakeout grip and fit something like a Mesa Tactical LEO Buttstock Adapter (Brownells Stock no: 100-011-374WB – Mossberg 500: 100-011-375WB). Then fit it with your favourite AR15 pistol grip. Add a pistol only extension tube (one that can not be fitted with a stock) like Midwest Industriesand AR-15 Pistol Buffer Tube (100-015-717WB) and add a Arm Brace, say a Sig SBX Pistol Stabilizing Brace (732-000-477WB). All you need now is to get the barrel back and fit it. At no time when it was a working firearm was it under 26″.
    On AR-15 pistols if they are over 26″ it’s not in law a pistol it’s a “firearm” [we need a better name] and the BATFE will let you fit a forward vertical grip so you may be able to fit a pistol grip forend. I would not want to be the first to do this and after someone else is first I’d give it a year or so, though some of the Black Aces Tactical firearms have pistols grip forends so I would say you are OK.
    Some Black Ace guns are also fitted with Folding Arm Brace which when folded looks like it makes it under 26″ just like the BATFE will let you have a folding stock rifle which when folded is under 26″. I would not risk this as a rifle has to have a stock to be a rifle but a “firearm” [still say we need a better name] does not have to have a Arm Brace or a extension tube I think this is way too risky. I think you would have to be mad to do it but you could fit a Folding Stock Adapter (like a Law Tactical’s – 100-015-850WB) between the Buttstock Adapter and the Pistol Only Buffer Tube.

  6. 1) Does anyone know if (a) it is possible to put the Remington 870 folding stock on this firearm and (b) if BATFE says it is legal to do so. I.e, to get something like this:

    Instead of this:

    2)Note that the Short has a valid use other than robbing banks. The increasing deployment of body armor — and materials research — is putting body armor out ahead of ammunition improvements. In the future, a head shot with a shotgun may only be the way to stop an armed robber. I think shooting an aimed shot with a stock support is far better than shooting from the hip.

    I concur that Double ought is the way to go.

    My understanding is that you can get tight groups outs of an unchoked barrel by using hard shot (doesn’t deform) and somewhat lower velocities.
    Plus some people have mentioned special barrels or modifying an existing barrel (lengthened forcing cone,etc.)

    1. Shockwave pattern was tighter with #4 buck at 25 feet than son’s 18″ Mossberg. Not enough to worry about at ranges that this will be used. Big difference in penetration. Only 3 going through the washer with the 14″ barrel. All went through out of the 18″ barrel.

  7. My experience with a Mossberg 12 ga. Shockwave:
    I have fired mine over 100rounds of birdshot, buckshot and slugs. I find that firing from a low position with the grip pulled snugly into the lower ribs and the support arm extended straight is an accurate and controllable firing stance at close range. I also had no problem with an eye level hold producing accurate hits on steel at 25 yards. Observations:
    Talon or similar grip tape is very useful to keep the strong hand from sliding up and contacting the safety under recoil.
    An XS Sights Big Dot is necessary to align POA/POI under sighted fire. The factory bead results in the POI hitting significantly high.
    My support hand took more of a beating than my strong hand, due to the fore end bouncing off under recoil.
    I have the OPS clip to modify for mini shells, but have not tested it due to difficulty in finding mini shells. They may be a useful load for recoil control and capacity issues. By all accounts they function well with the modification.
    I settled on Federal Tactical #1 Buck with the Flite Control wad as the best load for me. I don’t notice much difference in recoil from regular birdshot. The pattern is tight and hits to POA at 25 yards with the XS Big Dot sight. I also keep a couple of Brenneke Home Defense slugs on the side saddle. These and the Winchester PDX segmented slugs are controllable. I used a four shot saddle for compactness.
    IMO, this is the “J Frame” of shotguns. Small, light, compact and easier to keep concealed and stored than a full size shotgun. It fits easily and completely in a OneTigris 29” shotgun scabbard purchased from Amazon and hides well under the back seat of my Jeep Wrangler. I put a Blue Force Gear sling on my Shockwave, and it rides well and low profile on my back in the scabbard or on the sling. Like the J Frame, it is intended to be carried a lot and shot a little. The attendant control issues require dedicated practice. It is not a weapon to be recommended for an inexperienced user. Inside the home or other defensible location, a full size 18” shotgun would be a better choice. However, with the new SB Tactical “Arm Brace”, that difference may be less. If I were to use an “Arm Brace”, I would go with a Remington TAC-14, due to the position of the safety in relation to the grip.

  8. My department uses the 870 and 590a1 with a choice of solid or folding stock. We tested the shockwave and found everyone loved the weight compared to the 590 but would rather have the option of the folding stock. I personally thought the shockwave would have made a great vehicle weapon for a driver with limited cabin space. If I had to use a weapon like this my preference would be to use it with a laser site (I know I can’t believe I’m saying this). When we tested it our training sgt. mounted it with a viridian laser sight. Normally I would never use one but we found that it helped immensely when firing from the hip and around corners in fact the site almost compensated for the lack of stock.

  9. This is just for general interest but I have a Tac 14 and my son has shot a few rounds of skeet with it and he says the recoil is not bad but this is with low power target loads. I would be careful doing this with higher power loads as you might be making a trip to the dentist! He is a 24-25 shooter normally and of the 4-5 rounds he has shot with it he averaged 20 with the tac 14. I can’t hit the clays with it really. I shot some double 00 with it and didn’t think it was bad, put all the pellets in a silhouette at 15 yards. We have found a fore grip helps as one can push on it and pull on the grip.

  10. I don’t particularly like defensive guns where you have to have nearly perfect stance and hold to have it not break you. I’ve racked (no pun intended) my brain and I can’t think of a good use for this or the Shockwave.

    If someone can produce a semi with a smoothed-out recoil impulse, now that would be something, particularly with a box mag. It wouldn’t be $389 at the LGS, I get that.

  11. Here is a summary of the aux equipment listed so far:

    Remington TAC-14 4+1
    Remington 870 with a choice of solid or folding stock.
    Mossberg 590a1 with a choice of solid or folding stock.
    Mossberg 590 shockwave. 5+1
    Mossberg 500 5+1 18″ for home defense, 26″ barrel for upland hunting and rifled slug barrel

    Stakeout grip
    Mesa Tactical LEO Buttstock Adapter (Brownells Stock no: 100-011-374WB – Mossberg 500: 100-011-375WB).
    Midwest Industries AR-15 Pistol Buffer Tube (100-015-717WB)
    add a Arm Brace, say a Sig SBX Pistol Stabilizing Brace (732-000-477WB).
    Black Aces Tactical firearms
    Talon grip tape
    XS Sights Big Dot
    OPS clip
    Federal Tactical #1 Buck with the Flite Control wad
    Brenneke Home Defense slugs on the side saddle
    Winchester PDX segmented slugs
    OneTigris 29” shotgun scabbard
    viridian laser sight

    Recall that a functional equivalent was used in the 2010 film ‘Book of Eli’ starring Denzel Washington to great effect.

  12. To all: want a short ( under 28 inches) shotgun, shoulders really well, mitigates recoil with buckshot/slugs well enough, and holds 14 plus one shells? Get a KelTec KSG. I have and it is one nice package. Yes you have to stroke the pump action emphatically and yes the reload cycle is a bit slow, but your starting off with 15 rounds! And with the dual feed tubes one side can be loaded with buckshot nd the other with slugs ( or whatever you choose ). It’s pretty cool.

    1. I will second the KSG 12. I have put a few hundred rounds of various loads through it and I think it is ideal for home defense or CQB. I run 00 buck and slugs for my loadout.

  13. When I was much younger, and in far better strength and shape, our agency got to “qualify”with the US Marshals and their WitSec shotguns. I decided after only five rounds (I think), that shotgun while looking impressively “bad”(cool), wasn’t for me at all. Glad that Pat “took the hit” for me at least! Enjoyed the review, Pat!

  14. I’ve had a Tac-14 for about a month now and have about 200 rounds through it of mixed bird shot and buck, Mini’s run just fine through it as well. I do not think the Shockwave/500 will eat the mini’s which is one reason the 870 always gets my recommendation, that and its steel construction makes me feel better about its service life. The Tac-14 isn’t for everybody like Pat mentioned, even serious shooters have trouble with it. Still not sure if its right for me as that niche between handgun and long gun is a very small niche. With a +1 extension it makes for a lot of 12ga on tap for such a small package. I find it very handy and fun sans stamp.

  15. Everything Jim says about the TAC-14 is true. It IS the nastiest thing in two hands on the back end….if you use standard buckshot loads. Four rounds were all I could deal with my first time out. I’d have to seriously debate which was worse, being dragged from my car and kicked to death by a riotous mob, or shooting this shotgun? I did some homework.
    Next time, I tried Fiochi Reduced-Recoil LE 00 buckshot. 1100 fps. I also bought some friction tape (cloth-based electrical tape) and lavishly installed it on the rear grip, with a bit of a forward rib to stop my hand from bashing into the trigger guard. With these loads, it was a pussy cat! Hand skid was eliminated. The producer of The Book of Eli must know something, as Eli’s shorty is similarly taped. I fired 35 rounds next time around. I get patterns the size of my opened hand at 30 feet. The first loads I tried were 8 pellet OOO buck, and my small hands were very unhappy. Seriously considered crying. I didn’t dare fire it at eye level! With the reduced-recoil loads, I could fire it at eye level without fear. Remember to pull forward on the fore-end, HARD.
    My main purpose for this piece is as a car gun. In winter, in a seat belt, it is often difficult to access a pistol from a holster. The short shotgun rides next to me, muzzle on the transmission tunnel the receiver nestled in the crevice between the seats. I added a Suarez one-round extension but you have to work the dents out of the factory magazine tube for it to accept the extra round. The shotgun is very easy to maneuver in the truck cab, and I can easily engage a threat at the rear fender without bumping mirrors, steering wheel, etc.
    Neighbors do not notice transporting the shorty to and from the house. A sleeping bag cover fits over it nicely.
    Slugs are also available in reduced-recoil format. Law enforcement has been using R-R loads for years because female officers can effectively use the 12 gauge without complaint.
    Royal manufactures a 00 buck 20 gauge load in 2 3/4″ length. But I’ll bet it is a full-charge loading.
    I’d carry it in bear country without a doubt on backpacking trips or fishing. Would I prefer a conventional tactical shotgun in the house? Sure would! The TAC-14 is truly a niche gun. For vehicles, at close range, it has its place. I will not allow my girls to try this gun! I’m not a fan of abuse, either, and would not keep this gun if I couldn’t get my hands on reduced-recoil loads. Even the target loads are loaded heavier than you think. My hands have some arthritis, and I’m over 60. I made it work for me. My local LE friends are smitten with it, and ordering their own…and a case of the tamer loads. I expected a stiff kick my first time at bat, but HO LEE COW.

  16. Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch did a good video of the Mossberg Shockwave:

    He insists the foregrip strap is essential for safety (the Tac 14 does not have one). He demonstrates shooting it at eye level but extended out a bit from the face, and it looks controllable hitting steel plates reliably out to 15 yds at least.

    I could see these potentially as a vehicle gun, for camping, or even for the home. But personally I think I would rather have my Glock 23 and several mags.

  17. .300 blackout in AR pistol configuration with an 8.5 inch barrel is now my home defense gun. Minimal flash, short barrel for maneuvering. 30 rounds of 155 grain ammo with minimal recoil is the ticket…mounted light of course.

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