The IRS Shotgun

By now you have probably heard about the news that the IRS is buying Remington 870 shotguns. Why? Who knows. I have never heard of a government tax collection agency arming themselves. Regardless of the social issues associated with arming tax collectors, you must give those accountants some credit: they know how to choose a decent gun. The IRS Shotgun (as it shall know be known on TFB) is pimped-out 14″ short barreled Remington 870. It is similar to the Remington MCS Tactical Entry/CQB Shotgun (pictured below).

Remington 870 Modular Combat Shotgun in the Tactical Entry/CQB Weapon configuration (14″ barrel)

When cutting down the barrel length of a shotgun, or tube magazine fed rifle, you lose magazine capacity as you shorten it. The 14″ length is a good compromise length and in an 870 can accommodate 5+1 capacity.

The IRS Shotty specifications also calls for a Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight, XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock and and Speedfeed ribbed black forend.

The Knoxx stock features a spring system which slows down recoil

[ Many thanks to all the readers who for emailed me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Bill Rushmore

    Two things that strike fear into people: an IRS audit and the click-click of a pump action shotgun cycling. Now you can get them both at the same time!

  • Gregg

    The IRS has its own internal security force; they get a LOT of threatening calls/emails/letters/etc. and need to be able to secure their facilities and people from all sorts of threats.

    Oddest thing I ever heard them having to deal with was someone who sent them a box full of bees.

    • Gregg, ha, I guess a beekeeper was paying his taxes!

  • Texas Reader

    It’s not the accountants at the IRS who would be carrying these weapons. Few people realize that the IRS has its own (very small) police department — as does the U.S. Postal Service — who investigate tax crimes, mainly high-level fraud/tax evasion cases involving big-time white collar criminals and dope traffickers. They work in concert with the FBI, BATF, DEA, etc. They are professional law enforcement officers, though they obviously have an appreciation for the numbers side of things. No one should assume these shotguns being wielded by untrained accountants or the irritating lady who puts you on hold for 15 minutes on the IRS’ 1-800 tax helpline. These weapons are going to be given to law enforcement officers. I think few readers would begrudge the right of law enforcement officers to protect themselves when busting down the door of some cocaine trafficker.

    • Yea guys, it was said with tongue-in-cheek. Although I do think it would be more efficient if the IRS crimes unit would use local PD … I mean these are white collar criminals hiding behind their accountants.

  • George

    They are for the Criminal Investigation Division. From their Website.

    IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) is comprised of approximately 4,100 employees worldwide, approximately 2,700 of whom are special agents whose investigative jurisdiction includes tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act laws. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.,,id=98205,00.html.

    They also are not new.

    On July 1, 1919, the IRS Commissioner created the Intelligence Unit to investigate widespread allegations of tax fraud. …

    … It attained national prominence in the thirties for the conviction of public enemy number one, Al Capone, for income tax evasion, and its role in solving the Lindbergh kidnapping. From these promising beginnings the Intelligence Unit expanded over the intervening decades, investigating tax evasion by ordinary citizens, prominent businesspersons, government officials, and notorious criminals.

    In July 1978, the Intelligence Unit changed its name to Criminal Investigation (CI). Over the years CI’s statutory jurisdiction expanded to include money laundering and currency violations in addition to its traditional role in investigating tax violations. … .

    Since CI’s inception in 1919 to the present, the conviction rate for Federal tax prosecutions has never fallen below 90 percent. This is a record of success that is unmatched in Federal law enforcement.

    This appears to be an upgrade or replacement order since these 870’s are mandated to be consistent with existing inventory and since they are buying only 60 shotguns when they have 2700 SA’s.

  • B

    Great, auditors with shotguns. You thought they were bad enough as is. And I have to deal with them on a regular basis… I wonder if I can claim body armor as a deduction now to go represent clients?

  • Kevan

    I have an uncle that was part of the IRS’s tactical investigations unit. They performed all sorts of duties, including drug busts, surveillance, etc. The majority of their activities was centered around location and capture of dangerous and potentially violent ‘criminals’ that had not paid their taxes.

  • Will

    It’s true. That shotgun is bitchin’.

  • Bill

    The IRS does employ special agents under the 1811- criminal investigator job description, just like any of the other 3 letter agencies (FBI, DEA, ATF, etc.).

  • Jason

    You have pictured the wrong stock. That one you show is adjustable, but non-Recoil Suppressing. The one you wanted to show was:

  • JStar

    You’ve never heard of the armed IRS goon squads?

    They have more than shotguns, let me assure you. MP5s, P90s, you name it.

  • Pete

    Does the IRS have a SWAT team style enforcement team?

    I noticed they ordered 60 of them. How many regional offices do they have? It could be only a few shotguns per office. But then again, why do they need these?

  • jdun1911

    Can’t blame them. Bush’s tax cuts will expire this year. That means the middle class will paid more taxes and a lot of these people won’t have a job. The IRS needs all the protection they can get.

  • Lance

    What Steve you never heard of shotgun armed criminals….lol

  • Matt Groom

    While I’ve already said this in other places, does anybody see the irony of the IRS choosing the very type of weapon they’ll likely be arresting people for possessing? Guess that means they (SBRs and SBSs) have a legitimate purpose and should no longer be restricted, hmmm?

  • Zach

    These aren’t for tax collectors (who, by statute, cannot carry weapons), but for criminal investigators – the IRS’s version of FBI/DEA/ATF/etc. Special Agents, who have been armed for decades. They’re some of the best forensic accountants in the world, and are at the forefront of the government’s terrorist funding investigations. They also took down Wesley Snipes.

  • Kyle Huff

    Perhaps they expect to run into some knife-wielding Italian-Americans.

  • subase

    Pay your taxes or else!

    I sense some dissonance between theft by large corporations and theft by small companies.

    This is all just a phony ‘show of force’ to reassure the worried taxpayer that the government is on the job fighting tax evasion by the big bad wolf.

    Meanwhile, corporate lobbyists rule the government, military/government contractor get rich off war and off the blood of soldiers and civilians and wall street almost causes a worldwide depression costing trillions, meanwhile they make billions and at the same time get billions from American taxpayers.

    Blame the sheeple for believing in this nonsense.

  • Matt Groom

    If corporations ruled the government, subase, we’d be in a lot better shape than we are now. Corporations know how to turn a profit, reduce overhead, and curb unnecessary spending. Oh, and corporations make all the medical and technological advances that allow us to live long lives of comfort an ease and we pay for these privileges voluntarily, as opposed to governments which kill people for not paying their taxes.

    I’d tell you who the rubes are, but they (corporations) make mirrors for that.

  • Destroyer

    matt, corporations do rule the government. haven’t you noticed?

    in relation to the article, isn’t arming criminals illegal? 😉

  • Jim

    I’m genuinely surprised at the amount of reasonable, factual commentary in the comments. I expected more tax rage.

    Also, Jdunn you have your math wrong. The middle class will be paying less taxes this year, not more.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Mr. Groom, not to quibble, but as AIG, GM and countless other examples show, corporations do not know how to turn a profit, reduce overhead and curb unnecessary spending. Most of the R&D for corporations comes from state supported universities. You have confused the private sector with a free market. There is utterly no magic in corporations, the magic lies in the free market. Which is sadly distorted by government intervention and tax policy in today’s economy. A corporation may make the product that R&D has developed to make our lives more comfortable. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that corporation will be in China.

  • Phil Ward

    I thought the IRS bought SPAS 12’s about ten years ago, although further investigation leads me to believe the SPAS 12 was only on the Oleg Volk poster…

  • Daniel

    I don’t know if anyone noticed this, but I believe that last photo you posted is not the Knoxx Recoil reducing stock, it’s actually the Knoxx NRS (non recoil-reducing Stock) a cheaper stock from Knoxx that doesn’t change the recoil at all. It retails for about 64 bucks rather than the 100+ of the recoil reducing model.

    Not very important, just thought I should point out the glitch. 🙂 Good post. I love this blog, i check it every day!


  • Matt Groom

    @ Destroyer

    Ipse Dixit.

    @ Jim

    Classes don’t pay taxes, people do. If you increase the taxes on one group, especially the group that produces goods, services, and jobs, then the other groups who are dependent upon them will pay those taxes too, through higher prices on goods and services, and through fewer jobs. Corporations are tax collectors, not tax payers.

    @ Tom Sawyer

    You are correct. I was asserting a theoretical that “IF” corporations had ruled the world, we would be better off. I was not asserting the reality that the Federal Government rules the world and controls all major corporations with an iron fist, to the great detriment of us all.

  • Komrad

    Gaah! Politics! I read this blog to get away from rants!

  • subase

    I actually look forward to the day corporations rule the world and you are right people WILL be better off. Because there is nothing more a business needs than worker bees content to sign off a third of their life and sort of happy consumers whos greatest pleasure in life is buy stuff.

    We are almost there.

  • Destroyer

    no matt, that is not what you were saying and that is not what i was saying. Corporations do rule the federal government…not the other way around (the best example is the military industrial complex). This ventures into politics, so i apologize moderator.

    i agree with subase’s satrical comment. that is already happening. why wish it any more?

  • jdun1911

    Show me a country that is rule by corporation(s)? Don’t confuse individual bribery with total control. It is a childish fantasy to said that corporations rule the government, any government.

    Corporations are their to make money. They are not welfare institutions. Government are welfare institutions. All they do is spend money. They don’t make money. They are not productive.

    For example. the US military industrial complex is there to make money. They gain nothing by controlling the US government. Don’t use War as an example of how the military industrial complex is controlling the government.

    War is counter productive to the military industrial complex. You look at how many huge contracts the industry lost when the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraqi. Comanche helo cancel (billions lost decades of R&D lost), Paladin Mobile Artillery cancel(billions lost decades of R&D lost), Sea Wolf cancel(billions lost decades of R&D lost), F-22 cancel (billions lost), etc. They are all canceled because they do not fit into the current war needs. These large contracts are for the survival of the corporation and now it is gone. Replaced by repairing and improving existing designs.

    Trillions of future weapons sales all gone because of those two wars. The money are spent in other places that is not part of the military industry complex, like a car shop retrofitting existing land vehicles against IED or companies that make bullet proof glass that mainly sell to banks. You get the idea.

  • Destroyer

    jdun1911, i suggest you read “the Shock Doctrine” “War is a Racket” and “Corporatocracy”. You have to be blind to say that the united states is still a democratic federal republic. It is a corporatocracy. The petrol-military industrial complex essentially dictates (with money) foreign and domestic policy within the united states. pharmaceutical companies and health insurance giants thrive on the pain and misery created from our broken health care system (which is rated 37 in the world and is number one in cost), and the war on drugs perpetuates the prison industrial complex which earns america the distinction of “most imprisoned persons in the world”, despite only having 308 million citizens.

    “War is counter productive to the military industrial complex.”

    do you even know what you are saying? war is the reason why the MIC was created in the first place! remember Eisenhower’s farewell speech (google it if you do not know). Take into consideration that the united states spends more money on military than the 10 nearest countries combined. War is anything but counterproductive for the MIC.

    The childish fantasy is believing that the military industrial complex and corporations have nothing to do with government (and the belief that the damned thing is working the way it is supposed to)

    • Enough politics. Discuss the gun, not the politics.

  • charles222

    I was going to say-it’s an IRS responsibility to arrest tax evaders, some of whom may well prove violent, given that people who are deliberately evading taxes are probably breaking the law in other ways as well.

  • Ken

    Maybe if they didn’t have taxes for everything under the sun and SPENT LESS, people wouldn’t complain so much. As someone who wants to start his own business, I CAN’T BELIEVE how many petty taxes they have for things.

    The IRS is like the delinquent teenage son of a rich man. He comes around after frittering all the money away that you gave him and obnoxiously asks for more. You don’t want to pay him anything because you know he’s going to blow most of that money, if not all of it, on the most brainless things.

    I can see why the IRS feels they need to arm themselves. The question is…why have we allowed our spending to be so excessive that we need to ask honest citizens for SO MUCH?? Maybe they have pushed people and taxes them excessively especially given the times.

    Oh, by the way, a 14-inch barrel is considered an NFA item and is suited for close quartered combat. This is a specialized weapon and more specifically an SBR. I guess they plan on repossessing businesses by force? Why didn’t they just buy handguns???

  • Come on now-most of are sick to death of whats going on with the country but whats it say right below The firearm blog? “Guns not politics”!!!

  • Michael Zupcak

    Does anyone know if IRS Agents are issued firearms? Technically they’re Federal Agents, right? I know some employees of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) are armed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if IRS agents are.

    • 276pedersen

      They’re for the Criminal Investigation Division

  • If ever there was an Elephant in the Room that needed pointing out it is this:


    US Personal Income tax was NEVER ratified. It NEVER passed into law. Many US citizens have challenged this in the courts and won.

    Do not pay this illegal tax. Claim back the money you have already paid. Hold onto hour home, your mortgage.