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Scattergun Technologies Tactical Response TR-870 Shotgun

December 01, 2006  |  by Mike Detty - Also by this author

The Knoxx Spec Ops stock makes shooting even heavy magnum loads comfortable.

To make the shotgun as accurate as possible with slugs, Scattergun chokes the 18-inch barrel with a cylinder choke. While this will guarantee the best accuracy with slugs, it also causes the buckshot patterns to be open more quickly. Using Federal Tactical Buckshot loads, I fired groups at 15, 25, and 50 yards to see what kinds of patterns the TR-870 is capable of. At 15 yards the round produced a gaping hole just an inch-and-a-half wide. But at 25 yards the nine-pellet load opened quickly to around seven inches in diameter. Out at 50 yards the same load printed a 20-inch pattern. Given its intended purpose and range limitations, the gun, when used properly, is capable of doing everything that could be reasonably asked of it.

Experienced Hands

My friend Ed Chavez is an instructor at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center and is very familiar with the Remington 870 shotgun-a gun that was issued when he was a police recruit 21 years ago and is still issued by the Tucson Police Department. I thought it would make sense for him to put the TR-870 through its paces. The former Recon Marine was impressed with the fit and finish of the gun and how smoothly its action worked.

I was interested in seeing just how quickly he could work the action of the TR-870. I brought along a box of light birdshot loads and I used a PACT timer to measure the time between shots. Chavez was able to cycle that shotgun faster than I would have guessed. His time between shots averaged around 30⁄100ths of a second. His fastest split, or time between shots, was a blazing 25⁄100ths of a second. On a good day, that's about how fast I can doubletap a close target with a semiautomatic 1911. The fact that Chavez could do this with a manually operated shotgun earned him my respect.

Final Thoughts

Scattergun Technologies TR-870, as sold by Wilson Combat, possesses worthwhile refinements and accessories that make it an ideal choice for tactical applications. It also has the accuracy and reliability that is needed for dangerous endeavors.

Mike Detty is an NRA-certified rifle, pistol, and shotgun instructor. A certified rangemaster and competition shooter, Detty served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Arizona.

Scattergun Technologies Tactical Response

TR-870 Shotgun

Model: TR-870 Standard Model with optional Knoxx Spec Ops stock

Capacity: 6 + 1

Barrel: 12-gauge, three-inch 870 Magnum with an 18-inch barrel (cylinder bore choke)


Rear: Adjustable Trak-Lock ghost ring

Front: Ramp-type with tritium self-luminous insert

Stocks: Knoxx Spec Ops buttstock, SureFire tactical foregrip

Finish: Armor-Tuff black matte

Overall Length: 37 inches (stock collapsed)

Weight: 8 pounds

Accessories: 4- or 6-shot side saddle carrier, tactical sling, 2-shot mag extension, high-visibility follower

Price: $1,150 with standard stock, $1,209 as tested


Next-Generation Shotgun Ammo

It was while Ed Chavez was giving me a tour of the state-of-the-art shooting facility at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center that I ran into old friend Kevin Florey. Florey is a department armorer and also a sniper on the SWAT team. He was admiring the TR-870 when he asked if I had used any of the new Polyshok Impact Reactive Projectile rounds.

I had to admit that I wasn't familiar with Polyshok, and he was kind enough to give me a quick and enthusiastic education on the new "smart" round shotgun shell.

The round uses 472 grains of powdered lead in what looks like a conventional shotgun wad/shot cup with a high-density polymer compound actuator located at the nose of the projectile. The actuator is what causes the payload to disrupt, and transfer its energy, on impact. Even though the Polyshok is not an explosive projectile, it is designed to mimic a shaped charge and concentrates its energy within or in tight proximity to the target.

When the Polyshok round hits the target, it releases a controlled radial energy discharge, creating a highly disruptive focused pressure wave that is responsible for the transfer of energy. Any remaining energy dissipates rapidly and becomes non-lethal just beyond the target. Remember, we're talking about a powdered lead projectile, so danger of over-penetration with the Polyshok rounds is less than any conventional shotgun slugs, or pistol or rifle rounds.

That means the Polyshok round can penetrate an auto windshield and be completely lethal to the front seat occupant that the round is aimed at, but chances of collateral injury to someone in the backseat are relatively small.

Used on denim-clad 10-percent ordinance gelatin, Polyshok rounds create a permanent wound cavity up to eight inches deep and five inches in diameter. This test is consistent with what I've heard about actual shootings. Polyshok's Website also documents one-shot kills on a bear and moose by wildlife officers.

Besides their obvious anti-personnel use, the Polyshok rounds can also be used for taking out car tires and breeching doors. Their accuracy matches or surpasses that of conventional slugs, and the recoil is less than that of a skeet load. It will even function in semi-auto shotguns. Now that's a "Smart" round!

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