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DIY: Improving a Remington V3 TAC-13 Short-Barreled Shotgun

This article originally appeared in RECOIL Issue 42

Stocking Up the New Remington V3 TAC-13

For the last couple of years, Remington and Mossberg have been going tit-for-tat with their scattergun options. Both have 12-gauge “firearms” that we featured in Concealment Issue 8. Then came 20-gauge versions. Then magazine-fed pump guns. The latest in this Cold War is the Remington V3 TAC-13, the first semi-auto offering in the “firearm” category for Remington.

Given recent history, you bet your ass Mossberg will have something coming down the pipe too.

Remington chose to use the V3 shotgun as their base for the TAC-13 — not only does it lack a recoil spring assembly extending into the buttstock, it has a VersaPort gas system that’s very compact and generally regarded as reliable.

Curiously, the TAC-13 includes a barrel with a vent rib betraying its V3 origins. Somehow it’s befitting. Other features we liked were the slightly enlarged controls that have become more common in recent years and a red, highly visible follower that shows your gas tank’s on empty at a glance.


But of course, we certainly couldn’t leave well enough alone. We started out with the basics: lights and sights. Remington included a short Picatinny rail that attaches to either side of the barrel clamp, just the perfect length for a weapon-mounted light. If it might possibly be used to ID a threat, it’s damn well getting a light. We opted for a SureFire M300 body with a no-longer-produced Cloud Defensive head from the parts drawer.


If you don’t know what a Versamax looks like, the initial breakdown may look a little weird.

We added a rail (any 870 top rail fits) and a Trijicon RMR for easy aiming. Oh yes, and also a buttstock. Non-NFA? Not anymore. No way.

Our number-one issue with these stubby shotties is how much harder they are to control. Certainly, the TAC-13 has been the easiest of the bunch; a gas-operated semiauto beats a pump any day. And the fact you can blow through shells rapidly doesn’t hurt either.

Just a few bucks of tools results in custom screws for life.

The turnaround time for an electronic BATFE Form 1 to manufacture an NFA item is measured in days, not months. If you live someplace where a short-barreled shotgun is legal, there’s very little excuse left. Leave hip-firing to awful ’80s action movies where it belongs.

Believe it or not, attaching the stock itself was the hardest part of the process. Conveniently, Remington included a V3-to-870 adapter with the TAC-13 so that piece of the puzzle was taken care of. The screw was the issue. The included short screw for the shockwave grip was too small for our purposes. But because the adapter adds to our length of pull, you still need something longer than an OEM screw.

After staring at the shelves at a hardware store for an hour, a solution was apparent: just make our own. Using a piece of ¼-inch cold-rolled steel, a ¼x28 die, a ¼x20 die, and some small parts and pieces any length of screw can be easily fabricated for around $10.

Stock screw too short? Make your own.

Another note on stocks: Skip the pistol grip ones — that added length of pull makes them look more silly than an M14 in a SAGE EBR chassis.
To keep more ammo on hand, we picked up some shotgun cards — but buyer beware, our first set had useless Velcro that came undone under recoil. Skip the cheap stuff and go with Esstac or HSGI — or something fancier like the Airdus Industries QD-C.

Unlike the TAC-14 (but like the Mossberg Shockwave), there’s a strap for your support hand included with the TAC-13. We absolutely applaud the use of this piece of safety gear with any stubby shotgun — it’s far too easy for your hand to slip off the front and inadvertently earn you the nickname “Stumpy.” However, the placement wasn’t ideal for us. Not only did it place our support hand further to the rear than we’d like, but it also made it extremely difficult to activate the mounted light.

Stock handstrap locations are less than ideal. A Dremel will fix it in under 5 minutes.

A little bit of Dremel magic relocated the strap right where we want it. Our hand stays away from the blasty part of the barrel, and we can still flick on the light. Win-win.

On the Range

Just as we expected, it was far easier to shoot the V3 TAC-13 than its pump brethren. And add in a stock and a red dot? No contest. We were pleasantly surprised that it greedily gobbled all manner of el-cheapo birdshot with no complaints. We even tried out some of the Aguila Mini-Shells, but they wouldn’t cycle the shotgun; sources tell us that we may be able to get them working with some gas and spring tuning. Maybe for a rainy day.

This is a 13-inch barrel, so we weren’t expecting miracles, but Hornady TAP Reduced Recoil 00 patterned well at across-the-house distances. Our normal advice with any shotgun, in general, and a semiautomatic shotgun, in particular, is to keep notes about what loads run properly and which ones pattern the best. A simple trick once you find a good load is to rip off the top label of the box and toss it in your range bag for future reference.

Unfortunately, the V3 TAC-13 doesn’t come threaded for chokes from the factory, so testing with a SilencerCo Salvo-12 will have to be saved for a later date.

Loose Rounds

Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge fan of shotguns outside of gun gaming or breaching — but if you’re going to own a shotgun, own cool ones. And a short-barreled-and-stocked Remington V3 TAC-13 fits that bill perfectly. Fun and actually practical? We’ll do that all day.

 remington v3.01


The Push/Pull Technique
Making the Shotgun Less Punishing

By Tim Chandler

The push/pull technique helps mitigate recoil from shotguns, big-game rifles, and — believe it or not — it works pretty well at combating muzzle rise with full-auto fire too. What we’re trying to do is use all the muscles in the upper body (chest, arms, back) to help us mitigate the recoil of the shotgun.

Pull the shotgun deliberately into your upper body with your strong hand. With the other hand, get a good grip on the fore-end and try to push it away from you. Do this right before you actually fire the shot. If you stand there trying to tear the shotgun in half the whole time you hold it, you’ll fatigue very quickly, and it won’t work.

The goal is to learn to do this right before the moment of ignition. As a mental picture, try to think about it as if you’re actually pulling the trigger into your trigger finger.

The bigger and stronger you are, the more effective the technique will be. When a big strong guy does it right, the big, bad 12-gauge doesn’t even move. But, of course, big strong guys can bully just about anything.

It pays the biggest dividends for smaller people who can’t rely on sheer mass to dominate the gun. For them, the gun will still move and have some felt recoil, but it’s dramatically decreased. It can make the difference between being kicked hard and bruised within a few shells and being able to spend an entire day shooting 200 to 300 shells through a shotgun without even feeling sore the next day.

In class folks usually pick up on it pretty well inside of a box of shells. The great thing about the shotgun is that if you forget to apply the technique, you’ll feel it instantly.

We teach push/pull after we’ve already taught fundamentals of stance (nose over toes, loading weight into the gun by flexing the forward knee), because for the beginner it gives them that extra little bit of control to make using the shotgun very comfortable.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you can use the technique even when your stance is compromised. Firing around a barricade from an awkward not-quite-kneeling position with full power slugs can be most difficult if you aren’t doing it right.

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