U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- About a year ago I wrote an article for Ammoland on the Asylum Weaponry Gatekeeper II. The Gatekeeper II is small 14-inch barrel shotgun-like firearm built on a Remington 870 receiver. This firearm is basically the same as the popular Remington Tac-14.
Since the ATF classified the Gatekeeper II and the Tac-14 as firearms instead of shotguns, they can have a barrel shorter than the NFA requirement for a shotgun barrel of 18.5-inches. The 14-inch barrel means that a user cannot install just pistol grip like a pistol grip shotgun because it would make the overall length too short. The firearm would then be considered an AOW (Any other weapon).
An AOW is only a $5 charge for the tax stamp, but it still has the long wait required to get the ATF's blessing. By adding a raptor grip, the total length of the firearm reaches 26.3 inches. It falls right in the sweet spot by having an overall length greater than 26-inches and is not subject to the NFA.
Firing one of these non-NFA firearms makes me wish that I could install pistol grip. It was a bummer that I couldn't put a standard pistol grip on the gun, but SB Tactical came out with the TAC14-SBM4 and the TAC14-SBL and offered one to me for testing on my gun. Both are arm braces for the Remington TAC-14 and other firearms based on a Remington 870 receiver.
SB Tactical is the best-known makers of arm braces for rifle caliber pistols and sub guns. SB Tactical is now producing braces for the two most common shotgun-like firearms. The Remington TAC-14 and the Mossberg Shockwave (based on the Mossberg 590).
The SB Tactical TAC14-SBL is a brace similar to the SB-Mini brace I have on my .458 SOCOM pistol. I was impressed with the SB-Mini when I reviewed it for Ammoland, but I didn't think I would like the way it would look on My Gatekeeper II.
The other SB Tactical offering I did chose for my Remington 870 receiver firearm was the TAC14-SBM4 brace. This brace had a more traditional look compared to the TAC14-SBL. In my opinion, this brace looks better than the TAC14-SBL on a shotgun-like firearm. Looks are one thing, but the most important thing is how it would perform when being shot.
Taking off the raptor grip off the Gatekeeper II was easy. All I had to do is pop off a little plastic piece at the back of the grip which exposed a screw. Once I got the grip off the firearm, I had to install the included stock adaptor for the brace.
SB Tactical used an ERGO Remington 870 stock adaptor for the TAC14-SBM4. ERGO makes their adaptor out of a plastic polymer. The use of a plastic polymer concerned me about the kit. I have other adapters on my other shotguns, but they are all made out of aluminum. I was worried it would not be strong enough, and that is the reason why I have avoided using polymer adapters and the past. I scheduled multiple trips to the range, so I could stress the adaptor more than I would in a usual review.
The TAC14-SBM4 brace went on my gun easily. It attaches to the adaptor by using a built-in buffer tube with a castle nut. I have learned in the past on a polymer AR15 lower receiver that with a plastic polymer you have to be careful not to cross-thread the buffer tube. I paid extra attention to this step.
The pistol grip SB Tactical used for the TAC14-SBM4 is also made by ERGO. I love ERGO pistol grips. The rubbery feel is comfortable in my hand. I was really happy to see the ERGO grip included in the TAC14-SBM4 kit. The grip installed onto make Gatekeeper II just like it would on an AR15.
Altogether, the SB Tactical TAC14-SBM4 installed on my Asylum Weaponry Gatekeeper II looked as good as I imagined it would look. I am glad I went with the more traditional look over the minimalist look on the TAC14-SBL. Looks are important, but It doesn't matter how good it looks if it doesn't work. I needed to head to the range.
At the range, I did not use the brace as SB Tactical intended a shooter to use it. I used the TAC14-SBM4 to shoulder the firearm which you are allowed to do again according to the ATF. Check the laws before shouldering your weapon because the ATF is known to change their minds. It was comfortable in the pocket of my shoulder. It took a lot of the recoil out of firing the gun. A friend and I put 30 slugs through the firearm on the first trip to the range and it held up great.
Unfortunately, I ended up hurting my shoulder in a non-shooting incident, so I had to farm out stress testing the firearm to test the strength of the adapter. I had plenty of friends to lean on, so the gun was taken out six more times and had about 100 more slugs put down the barrel. The adaptor held up fine. There is no noticeable damage to the adaptor.
By farming out the stress test I was able to get other opinions on the TAC14-SBM4. One of my cop friends commented on how it makes Tac-14s and similar guns better for home defense than a standard shotgun due to the decreased length. Overall, everyone really liked the gun.
SB Tactical sales the TAC14-SBM4 on their website for $199.99 when it is in stock. It is an incredibly popular brace. If someone is looking for one and sees one in stock they should pick it up because chances are it will not be stock for long.
Overall the SB Tactical TAC14-SBM4 is an excellent addition to any Remington 870 based firearm. If SB Tactical had gone with a metal stock adapter, I wouldn't have any real complaints. The adapter did hold up to the force of the firearm, so it is not a big complaint.
SB Tactical is on the Internet at http://www.sb-tactical.com.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people from all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.