ATI TACSX2 Shotgun Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
February 11, 2015

American Tactical ATI TAC-S (TACSX2) Shotgun Review

For those of you who have followed some of my other reviews, you know that I'm not afraid to take on some "value" oriented firearms to see what you get for your money.  Actually, some of my favorite reviews are value firearms which turn out to be true "diamonds in the rough."  As I was looking through an email from one of my local stores in the Atlanta area (Adventure Outdoors), I came across what I thought could be a potential extreme value semi-auto shotgun.  The shotgun they had listed was the American Tactical TAC-S Semi Auto 12 Gauge Shotgun with a 18.5" barrel chambered in 3" shell for a bargain price of $219.99.

American Tactical ATI TAC-S (TACSX2) Shotgun Review

My thoughts were that if this shotgun could prove to be dependable, it would be a great home defense shotgun for those willing to sacrifice the reliability of a pump shotgun for the simplicity of a semi-auto.  The next day I made it down to the store and purchased one at this $220 price for this review.  In all honesty I missed this same opportunity earlier in the year so potentially the sale price bargain may be closer to market price for those willing to shop around.  I did a search on the internet and found one forum saying they found a Christmas sale for $180 and other places trying to sell them for $300.  MSRP on this shotgun from American Tactical is $379.95 so make sure you shop around for the best price because there can be a significant savings if you purchase at the right time.

 

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the American Tactical website on 9/5/14 or Owners Manual and gives the specifications for the TAC-S Shotgun.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

  • Model: TAC-S Semi-Auto
  • Model Number: TACSX2
  • Gauge: 12ga
  • Chamber: 2.75" & 3"
  • Color/Finish: Black Synthetic / Blued
  • Barrel Length: 18.5"
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs review shotgun weighed in at 6.48 lbs empty
  • Capacity: 5 + 1 Owner's Manual stated 5+1 but I was only able to load 4+1 with 2.75" #4 Buckshot
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
  • Length: 38.85"
  • Length of Pull: 13.9"

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • My first impressions started at the store when I was selecting this shotgun and my impression was very positive.  The shotgun seemed solid with no rattles.  The finish on the barrel and receiver were uniform and had a quality appearance.  The polymer stock components had a good feel and texturing and the recoil pad seemed to have a level of softness that would make it effective.  The action of the bolt seemed to be smooth and the trigger seemed to be good enough for this style firearm.  Overall, I was impressed and this was a contributing factor for me to select this value oriented shotgun for review.
  • In Part 3, I didn't see any issues and it looks like you get a good fit, finish and features for the price.
  • During range testing I put about 250 rounds through the shotgun and it was 100% reliable.
  • Clearly the cost is a big pro for this semi-auto shotgun.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • The fullness of the choke will help in keeping tight patterns with bird and buckshot, but the constriction of the full choke will cause pressures to increase in the barrel and could potentially be very bad with slugs.  In reality, most people would never need to shoot slugs for a typical home defense situations so I wouldn't worry about being limited to bird or buckshot.
  • Although the Owner's Manual very clearly states the "Capacity of the gun is (5+1)", I was only able to load four rounds of 2.75" #4 Buckshot into the magazine tube giving the shotgun a 4+1 capacity with 2.75" shells.
  • Although I feel the ATI instructions on disassembly are lacking, disassembly of this shotgun does not require you to be a rocket scientist and most people could probably disassemble it even without instructions.
  • The ATI TACSX2 is not compatible with Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 buttstock components.

Cons:

  • I was also a little surprised at the wear marks on the inside upper surface of the receiver and front of the hammer after my range testing.  Only more rounds down range will tell if the wear will become an issue in the future.  Since most people wouldn't consider an 18.5" length barreled shotgun one that they would hunt or shoot clay birds with, most likely this shotgun will become a value oriented closet home defense shotgun and wearing the shotgun out would not be an issue.
  • The stock bolt is screwed directly into the aluminum receiver.  I would have preferred some type of steel insert in the receiver to prevent potential stripping/wearing of the aluminum threads.

 

Bottom Line:

The ATI TAC-S shotgun I purchased for this review has been 100% reliable which is a key factor in it being a true value.  I observed some potential wear areas inside the shotgun after range testing, but only more rounds down range will let me know if those will ever become an issue.  The fit and finish of the shotgun looked good and the shotgun was relatively soft and fun to shoot.  If your interested in a value semi-auto shotgun, make sure you do your research and consider the TAC-S as a candidate.  At a price around the $220ish range, it is hard to pass up.


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