I love shotguns, and more importantly, I love shotguns with wood furniture. Also, let’s make them really short and use an odd definition to ensure they are not NFA regulated items. Thanks. That incredibly picky request has now been made a reality with the TAC 14 Hardwood model from Remington. The TAC 14 is Remington’s not a shotgun firearm with a 14-inch barrel and Shockwave Raptor Pistol grip. This 12 gauge pump-action firearm is one of many that have hit the market in the last few years and Remington has released several different variants. The TAC 14 Hardwood model has by far become my overall favorite.
I mean besides looking freakin’ sweet? Let’s be real clear I bought this gun because I like shorties, and the wood furniture looks fantastic. It immediately reminds of the original Witness Protection guns utilized by the US Marshals and produces by Jim Wilson of Wilson Combat. If you look deeper than just the wood pistol grip and pump the gun has a few other features from the Witsec guns. Namely, look at the Shield/Sling keeper on the front of the gun. These were present on Witsec guns as was the dual sling attachments.
I saw the TAC 14 Hardwood at SHOT last year and loved them and as soon as one hit my local store I swooped in and grabbed it up. I own a standard TAC 12, and more than a couple of Shockwaves, but this gun is by far my favorite.
Inside the TAC 14 Hardwood.
The TAC 14 Hardwood is sadly an 870 Express with the Matte finish. I really wish they would’ve gone with the Wingmaster and given the gun a dark blue finish. I’m sure in a year or two they will and I’ll go broke buying it. The TAC 14 Hardwood does differ from the standard TAC 14. Of course, it has wood furniture, but the sling keeper and handguard combo is nice. More than that the gun accepts 5 rounds of 2 3/4 buckshot versus the TAC 14’s four rounds.
The TAC 14 Hardwood adds a +1 extension and doesn’t dimple the tube I wasn’t the only person annoyed by Remingtons dimple four round tube when I received my original TAC 14. With the extension, the magazine tube is now flush with the barrel that gives the gun a much better and symmetrical look.
The TAC 14 Hardwood also comes with a sling, a cheap one, but it is appreciated. On top of that, the Box has some awesome custom cut phone. I give them a 10 for presentation. The gun looks absolutely fantastic.
More than a Pretty Face
These guns can be hard to handle if you aren’t familiar with shotguns. It takes a lot of time and ammo to really get comfortable with one. Blasting away at the hip is fun, but that is far from using one in an effective manner. With the right technique its not hard to handle these aims or even aim them.
Admittedly their effective and accurate range is limited, but they can still deliver a sledgehammers worth of payload into a target when used effectively. This does require getting a good solid grip on the gun. The rear grip is smooth, but the geometry of it ensures a pretty good grip. The front pump uses an old school but effective texture to help you maintain it’s grip as well.
The gun’s action is incredibly smooth and the pump slides rearward very easily with minimal twisting, grit, or roughness. It’s incredibly satisfying and it delivers that classic shuck sound with style. Handling wise the placement of the safety is awkward without a traditional stock, but with some practice, you can learn it to take it off with ease. However, putting the safety back on is another issue entirely. It’s not so easy, but when in doubt just move the firing hand and get it done safely.
The trigger isn’t bad, and as a shotgun, it’s not exactly that important. Reloading this gun is also far from easy and I’d imagine it’s a little simpler to just transition to a pistol than attempt a speed reload. The gun is a hefty 5.6 pounds so trying to reload it with the firing hand in place isn’t easy, or even really effective.
It’s a lot easier to hold the gun by the pump and reload via the firing hand. Alternatively, you can bring the gun in the box like a handgun and reload it.
Recoil is admittedly rough with these guns, but with practice, it can be controlled. I fire standard 2 3/4s buckshot and I find it manageable. It’s not as effective as a properly stocked shotgun of course, but its a lot easier than I imagined. There is no pain due to the rear grips ergonomic design. The recoil does shoot straight back into the wrist. It more or less forces the gun upwards instead of rearwards.
Controlling the gun and firing it somewhat rapidly is doable, but again a lot of birdshot practice should be conducted prior to shooting. The TAC 14 Hardwood is a very fun gun to shoot. It’s not an easy one, but that is part of the fun of the gun. It’s difficult to control and to shoot well. This challenge is where I find the most fun.
The gun is a pump shotgun and it runs reliably. As a pump action weapon its plenty reliable. The gun extracts and ejects and loads the next shell with absolute authority. This includes high and low brass shells. The gun runs everything as it should without much effort.
The TAC 14 Hardwood runs as good as it looks. It’s an 870 so you can accessorize it to a good degree but you shouldn’t. The beautiful wood furniture needs to stay put. If you are looking for a fun, reliable, and challenging tool with old school cool appeal the TAC 14 Hardwood is for you.