ATI TACSX2 Shotgun Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
February 8, 2015

American Tactical ATI TAC-S (TACSX2) Shotgun Review

In this part of my ATI TACSX2 Shotgun Review, I try to show all the external and operational features of this semi-auto shotgun.  For a quick recap, the TACSX2 is a Turkish imported value (budget) oriented semi-auto 4+1 12ga shotgun with a 3" chamber and is imported into the US by American Tactical Imports (ATI).

 

Everyone has their own opinions of what makes a shotgun attractive and my opinion is that this shotgun has a nice look with the accented lines of the synthetic furniture, white lettering on the receiver and traditional simplistic look. These next photos show some isometric views of the TACSX2 shotgun and clicking on these (or any other photos) will bring up high resolution photos allowing you to see the finer details.

Figure 1
ATI TAC-S Review: Front Right Iso View

Figure 2
ATI TAC-S Review: Front Left Iso View

Figure 3
ATI TAC-S Review: Rear Right Iso View

Figure 4
ATI TAC-S Review: Rear Left Iso View

These photos below are the same ones from Part 2 of this review and give you the overall plan views of the TACSX2 shotgun.  The shotgun measured about 38.85" in overall length.

Figure 5
ATI TAC-S Review: Top View

Figure 6
ATI TAC-S Review: Side View

Figure 7
ATI TAC-S Review: Bottom View

Figure 8
ATI TAC-S Review: Left View

The American Tactical TACSX2 Shotgun weighed in at 6.48 pounds empty.

Figure 9
ATI TAC-S Review:  Weight Empty

With 5 rounds of Federal 2.75" #4 Buckshot, the shotgun weighed in at 7.11 lbs.

Figure 10
ATI TAC-S Review: Weight Loaded

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.  This next photo gives you a rough idea on how much magazine spring compression there is with four shells in the tube.

Figure 11
ATI TAC-S Review: Magazine Shell Capacity

Since the unfired length of a shotgun shell can vary per manufacturer, I included the actual length below for one of the shells shown in this review.  For those who may have never taken the time to measure a shotgun shell, you might find this shorter length of a 2.75" shell a little surprising.  The thing to remember is that the stated shotgun shell length is considered to be the fired length after the shell end is opened.

Figure 12
ATI TAC-S Review: Shotgun Shell Length

The center of gravity (CG) of the loaded shotgun was about 20.38" forward of the buttpad.  I like to look at numbers to compare the "point-ability" of a firearm so I came up with a basic calculation that tries to take into account the mass moment of inertia of a shotgun.  The equation is simply weight x CG2.  The ATI TACSX2 shotgun has a point-ability value of 2952 lbs-in2.  I have tabulated this data for some other pump shotguns and you can see how it compares by going to this link.  Bottom line is that the lower the number the better, and this shotgun has the best point-ability number of all the pump shotguns I have personally measured.  Actually the point-ability was also better than my semi-auto Mossberg 930 Tactical.  Ignoring all the numbers and looking at it from a subjective point of view, this shotgun is light weight and has a good feel when shifting between targets.

Figure 13
ATI TAC-S Review: Center of Gravity

Looking at the details starting at the muzzle, the shotgun comes with a fixed choke that measured about 0.697" in diameter which is about 0.032" of constriction that makes the choke somewhere between a light full and full choke.  You may find some varying opinions on this, but I would not recommend shooting slugs through this barrel.  The fullness of this 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 when shooting slugs and could potentially be very bad.  In reality, most people would never need to shoot slugs for a typical home defense situation so I wouldn't worry about being limited to bird or buckshot.

Figure 14
ATI TAC-S Review: Barrel

The 18.5" barrel has a matte blued finish and is made from 4140 chrome moly steel and is chrome plated on the inside.

Figure 15
ATI TAC-S Review: Barrel

The front sight is soldered to the barrel as shown below.  The sight has a high bead position to match the height of the receiver.

Figure 16
ATI TAC-S Review: Front Sight

These next photos give you a look at the front portion of the barrel and magazine cap.

Figure 17
ATI TAC-S Review: Barrel Top

The magazine cap is made from aluminum.  Under the cap is a polymer spacer that is attached to the handguard and the spacer is what presses against the barrel lug when you tighten the magazine cap.

Figure 18
ATI TAC-S Review: Right Side of Barrel

Figure 19
ATI TAC-S Review: Bottom of Barrel

Figure 20
ATI TAC-S Review: Left Side of Barrel

When you remove the magazine cap, you see the threaded portion of the magazine tube, the magazine spring cap and the hole in the center of the magazine spring cap for a magazine plug.  No magazine plug is provided with this shotgun.

Figure 21
ATI TAC-S Review: Magazine Cap Removed

The polymer handguard has a a nice look and feel with stippling on each side to provide a good gripping surface.

Figure 22
ATI TAC-S Review: Forearm Iso View

Figure 23
ATI TAC-S Review: Forearm Top View

The ribbed area on the front of the handguard is primarily for looks because it is too far forward for any type of hand position unless you have extremely long arms.  Each side of the handguard has two vent holes in the ribbed area.  The fit of the handguard under the barrel is very good and these vent holes help to allow gasses to escape.

Figure 24
ATI TAC-S Review: Forearm Right View

Figure 25
ATI TAC-S Review: Forearm Bottom View

The only markings on the barrel were the "12 GA. 3"" shown below and this identifies the TACSX2 as a 12 gauge shotgun chambered for 3" shells.

Figure 26
ATI TAC-S Review: Forearm Left View

The receiver is aluminum and has white lettering as shown.  This shotgun includes an extended operating handle which extends out about 0.83" from the side of the receiver and I feel this handle does aid in manually cycling the bolt.  My personal preference would have been for the round portion to be slightly larger in diameter, but the small diameter is not too bad.

Figure 27
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Iso View

The top of the receiver includes a ridged area running down the centerline that helps you to center your eye when aiming/pointing the shotgun.  It also includes tip-off style mount locations that measured about 0.46" at the top of the mount dovetail.  I tried some 3/8" tip-off mounts in these slots and did not like the fit.  I didn't have any 11mm mounts, so before you purchase mounts, you might want to test fit them at your local gun store prior to purchase.

Figure 28
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Top View

The right side of the shotgun has white lettering showing the ATI logo, "AMERICIAN TACTICAL", serial number, and "ATI ROCHESTER, NY."  Since ATI is an importer of firearms and since the other side of the shotgun clearly states "OTTOMANGUNS - TURKEY", Rochester is probably where these shotguns are first imported into the US.

Figure 29
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Right View

This next photo shows the bolt open.  The bolt will remain open only when the magazine is empty and after the last shot or cycling of the bolt.  For this photo I ensured the gun was unloaded, pulled the trigger and then pulled the bolt open.  Pressing the bolt release button on the side of the shotgun releases the bolt.  The trigger pull measured 5.3 pounds based on an average of 10 pulls using a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge.  Overall I would say the trigger had a decent feel for a shotgun.

Figure 30
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Right View

You can see below that the shotgun includes a cross bolt safety similar to many other shotguns.

Figure 31
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Bottom View

The safety includes a red ridged area that is visible when in the "fire" position so that you have both a visual and tactile indication of the fire position. The shotgun also includes a shell release lever on the left front side of the trigger guard.  When the shotgun is loaded and you manually pull the bolt back, the shell will extract from the chamber and eject from the shotgun, but a shell will not feed from the magazine tube.  A shell will feed from the magazine tube only when the hammer is not cocked (after a normal shot) or when you pull back on the shell release lever.  The advantage to this shell release lever is that you can unload a round from the chamber for safety reasons or for swapping out a single round and not having to deal with a round being released from the magazine tube.  This is the first shotgun I have owned which has this feature and it didn't take long to gain an appreciation for this feature.

Figure 32
ATI TAC-S Review: Reciever Bottom View

The only lettering on the left side of the receiver is "OTTOMANGUNS - TURKEY".  You can see the Ottomanguns website at this link and if you click on the "TAC" button you can see the 2015 versions of this line of Ottomanguns shotgun.

Figure 33
ATI TAC-S Review: Receiver Left View

The image below is from the Ottomanguns website and shows the 2015 version of this model shotgun.  I have no idea if the future ATI imported versions of this shotgun will include the slight differences shown in this picture.

Figure 34
ATI TAC-S Review: 2015 Model from Ottomanguns

The black polymer butt stock has a nice look and checkering at the grip.  Personally I think the stock has a nice look and feel.  Since the stock is hollow, it does have a hollow sound when you tap or bump the stock.

Figure 35
ATI TAC-S Review: Stock Iso View

Figure 36
ATI TAC-S Review: Stock Top View

The length of pull on this shotgun measured about 13.9" and the stock has a drop at the comb of about 1.5" and heel 2.5".

Figure 37
ATI TAC-S Review: Stock Right View

The bottom of the stock includes a hole for mounting a sling swivel stud.  For some reason, not that it matters, I was a little surprised to see checkering instead of some type of branding logo on the bottom of the grip area.

Figure 38
ATI TAC-S Review: Stock Bottom View

Figure 39
ATI TAC-S Review: Stock Left View

The recoil pad has some slight curvature to interface with your shoulder.  Between the softness of the rubber and vented areas, I believe the recoil pad will be effective in reducing felt recoil.

Figure 40
ATI TAC-S Review: Buttpad View

 

Thoughts

Other than this shotgun being mis-advertised as a 5+1 instead of it's actual capability of 4+1, I don't see any issues and it looks like you get a good fit, finish and features for the price.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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