Review: DTAC Mongoose Recoil Reducing Stock

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Anyone who has felt the pain of a 3″ magnum slug in a pump-action is probably wincing right now. Its like thinking of a risqué Roseanne, the thought just hurts. DTAC, a start-up out of Easton, PA, has a new solution to the shoulder-numbing kick that plagues pump actions.

The DTAC Mongoose is a adjustable and convertible stock system designed reduce recoil by recoiling into itself and absorbing energy through its internal spring systems. Once it bottoms out, the springs will push out and reset the shotgun for the next shot. Its ingenious in its simplicity.

Cutaway of the stock courtesy of DTAC. Note the adjustable LOP .

Cutaway of the stock courtesy of DTAC. Note the adjustable LOP .

DTAC originally sent TFB a prototype for evaluation, but we ultimately tested a full production-representative model. The stock was not sent in retail packaging but included the tools needed to mount and adjust it (SAE hex-wrench set) and the grip screw. Without the grip mounted, it fit easily into a typical USPS envelope and arrived in good form.

The Mongoose unmounted at a medium LOP setting.

The Mongoose unmounted at a medium LOP setting.

Using a modified Hogue “Tamer” pistol grip, the Mongoose is designed to be broken down easily.  By pulling the top mounted retention knob and twisting 90-degrees, the shooter can remove the stock portion. (Handy for close-quarters or transport) Length of pull can also be adjusted by removing the bottom thumb-screw. The stock has slots for 13.5″ to 14.75,” enough for most shooters, but I would have preferred it collapse down to full 13″ to accommodate younger/shorter shooters.

Shortest LOP setting

Shortest LOP setting

Longest LOP setting

Longest LOP setting

My first impression of the stock was that it feels unrefined. Many of the threads to the stock itself or the hex keys holdling the buttplate are exposed. The choice of colors was interesting, as it did not match the typical all-black shotgun that it would be mounted to. Personally, it looked tacky on the ready-to-rock Mossberg 590A1 used for testing.

A view of the retention knob  pin. Its a modification to a Tamer grip that extends only about 3/16" into the stock itself.

A view of the retention knob pin. The design is a modification to a Tamer grip that extends only about 3/16″ into the stock itself.

Close up of the "male" end of the stock. This section inserts to the grip and the o-ring helps take up the space.

Close up of the “male” end of the stock. This section inserts to the grip and the o-ring helps take up the space, reducing play.

To mount the stock, remove the existing stock and simply mount the Hogue grip to the receiver with the 1/4″ hex wrench. Hand-tighten and connect the stock portion to the pistol grip. All done!

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The stock stock and the Mongoose.

Shooting the Mongoose

Shouldering it for the first time was uneasy. I immediately noticed that the stock is not entirely stable on any of three axis. It has about 1/16″ play at the mounting hole in the vertical and horizontal axis. On the z-axis, the spring is not strong enough to overcome my pull to the rear when I try and get nice and ‘tight’ behind the gun.

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A local shooter at the range I used for outside feedback. He put his cheek forward on the gun and found it unsettling to have the rubber pad move during firing.

The next issue arises sighting in. Using the bead sight requires a good cheek weld. When properly positioned, my cheek was almost entirely in the silver exposed portion (I shoot with my head far back on stocks)–the portion that slides into the stock during recoil. The first shot gave me a good pinch and the second caught my beard hairs. (Y’ouch!) DTAC should have reversed the recoiling section, putting it near the grip instead of the stock. Doing so would avoid issues catching beards.

During recoil, the cheek piece slides to the rear.

During recoil, the cheek piece slides to the rear.

Modifying my shooting posture, I was able to start using the stock to its potential. Keeping my face off the stock (and thus not getting a good stock picture) it did reduce recoil, but only to a similar felt level as the MagPul 870 with the “AirCell” recoil pad. Across the full magazine, my wrist started to hurt. With the firearm moving to the rear violently, my right wrist was take a significant amount of recoil since I normally “push forward” with it.

As such, the only way to shoot the stock is to hold it the shotgun limply and let the stock do its work. Doing so, the shotgun turns into a tamable beast, even with magnum slug loads. Its by no means pliant, but there is no wince after the shot breaks. Alas, running the gun limply, slows it down.

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Experienced shotgunners “run with the recoil” and use it to rack the action to the rear. With the shotgun moving so fast to the rear on the buffer, it outruns the action hand, keeping it in battery longer. This is compounded by the instinctual desire to keep heavy objects away from the face. As such, my forward hand actually pushed against the pump trying to keep the shotgun recoiling too far. It was unnatural and took a few boxes of shells to overcome. After doing so, I could run with the recoil, but the action was noticeable slower. My best splits went from .35 to .50 seconds.

Video example of running with the recoil courtesy of Remington 870 blog.

My last comment is on the stock itself. The stock is simply a harder piece with raised striations to hold it in your shoulder. For the hefty price ($185.00 retail), I cannot understand why the stock does not come with a quality recoil pad. While it would still come at the expense of more speed, adding the pad would take the tamed gun and turn it into a gentle kitty.

The Good:

  • Adjustable length-of-pull
  • Removeable stock
  • Hogue Grip

The Noteworthy:

  • If using a typical “push, pull” grip, it can hurt your pushing wrist on the grip
  • $185 Retail
  • Easy disassembly into component parts.
  • Currently only available for the Mossberg 500/590 and Maverick 88 series shotguns.

The Bad:

  • Why does a recoil reducing shotgun stock lack a recoil pad? Why?
  • Can’t “run the action with the recoil” as intuitively
  • Rips beard hairs and pinches cheeks.
  • Looks and feels “unfinished.”

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Final Thoughts:

The DTAC Mongoose is an imaginative solution to the recoil of the pump-action 12-gauge. It certainly reduces the recoil into the shoulder, but the reduction comes at serious expense to the shooter’s cheeks, wrist, and the shotgun’s usability. Using the typical push-pull method, the shotgun beats you up despite reducing recoil.

This may be a good recoil reduction solution for a shotgun with a scope that does not require a cheek weld (look out for scope bite!). For those looking to run a pump gun fast, defend their homes, or simply reduce fatigue over long shooting sessions, a Limbsaver or thick recoil pad is just as comfortable without the modifications to your shooting form.

If you were looking to spend the $185 anyways, a semi-auto may just be the ticket.

Specs:

  • 1.2 Lbs
  • LOP adjustable from 12.5 to 14.75 inches
  • Q/D stock portion

Gallery:



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • What is the max, and average distance of travel on the spring-shock? (I.E. pressing it on the ground until it won’t compress any longer, and what an average blast will cause it to travel?

    Easy to determine by placing a o-ring on the exposed metal cylinder.

    Also, how much compression are you getting from holding the gun tight to you?

  • Bob S.

    Think you should check your text “For the hefty price ($18 retail)….”

    I think there is something missing there — hint “5”

    For the hefty price ($18 retail),
    For the hefty price ($18 retail), I
    For the hefty price ($18 retail), I</

    • Cymond

      “It like thinking of a risqué…”

      I think the word “is” should be in there, too. As in “It is like thinking of a risqué…”

  • Skippy Doodle

    BOING!!!

  • Dave

    Ugh, yet another “springs dampen shock impulse” bro-science aftermarket part. I’ll let you guys in on a little secret. It ain’t the springs on your car that give it a smooth ride. It’s the dampers. The springs reset the dampers, but it’s the hydraulic damper or “shock absorber” that actually absorbs the bumps and impact. Well that and tire wall flex..

    The product is well designed, but like all of the other “recoil reducing” parts I’ve seen, they use a myriad of springs in so many configurations.

  • Renegade

    Until the words “risque Roseanne” are removed, I recommend this article be purged from everything ever.

  • DTAC

    Obviously, your not a fan, but a couple things in my products defense.
    I believe most combat shotgun instructors advocate a face forward stance, I believe placing the recoil reduction component nearer the shoulder is an advantage, not a liability. The recoil reducer is not just a spring, but a pneumatic dampener in both directions. This product was designed to compete with the likes of Blackhawk’s spec-ops and Phoenix’s Kicklite—these types of recoil reduction stocks require a little getting used to, more so for experienced users, than a traditional stock….but I do want to thank you for taking the time to review my product, still a TFB fan…………

  • Alex Nicolin

    At that price, one can just save the money, sell their pump action and buy a decent semiautomatic shotgun that kicks a lot less.

  • Cymond

    Thanks for the review. Although it looks weird, I really liked the quick detach feature … on paper. I was hoping this would turn out to be a good one.

  • wetcorps

    Looking at the photo on the main page I thought for a second “cool, a new Y-man article!”.
    I am disapoint.

    • Y-man

      LOL! Same here… I saw the picture too and tried to remember when I had written a new article in my sleep!
      Not to worry, more exciting articles coming soon! A lot of stories to tell you guys!

  • Bill

    Just a thought – how about we accept that the laws of physics are just that – laws, and that trying to gizmo our way around them is probably not going to work as well as utilizing a good stance, cheek weld and follow-through. Recoil is largely psychological, and these and there ilk are largely placebos. Try mixing in one of the non-“recoil reducing” stocks in with the identical stocks, and no one will notice.

    • erwos

      I’ve run the Enidine and FAB Defense recoil-reduction solutions, and they work as you’d expect. In particular, they turned my 870 with slugs from a shoulder buster to giving a mild shove. The difference is huge and unmistakable. I see a similar difference when using my Saiga 12.

      Simply put, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Bill

        I know exactly what I’m talking about, having trained hundreds of cops on the shotgun, using just about every conceivable stock they could come up with. Simply put, no mechanical device will substitute for good technique. If you’re getting your shoulder busted, you’re doing it wrong.

        • erwos

          The only person claiming those products are a substitute for technique and training is you. It’s clear you simply don’t have extensive experience with the products I’m discussing, so I guess you haven’t actually seen it all yet. You see, if you did have that experience, you’d know THEY ONLY WORK PROPERLY WITH GOOD TECHNIQUE. You absolutely need to tuck them tightly into your shoulder while you’re leaning forward, otherwise they’ll never compress enough to actually soak up the recoil.

          I can shoot a hundred slugs without any serious wear on my shoulder using Enidine and Mako recoil-reduction products. I don’t give a shit how good your technique is, that is not something you can replicate without such products. Training doesn’t mitigate the laws of physics – but springs can make them work for you. It’s not really that unbelievable of a claim.

          Is it really so hard to admit that, sometimes, you can get a technological advantage that enhances training? I’m a pretty good shot with irons, but you better damn well believe I run reflex sights on most of my rifles.

          • Bill

            Ok, you’re right about everything, I defer to your masterful expertise and will ignore everything I have learned and done in real life in deference to an anonymous internet expert.

            Of course, if you do everything you say you do about bearing into the gun, weight biased forward, and presumably maintaining a slight bend in the knees, your entire body and legs, your entire support structure functions to absorb recoil and transmit it through your stance, making expensive gadgets redundant. Your arms and legs are the springs, your torso and hips the pneumatic damper. But hey, you’re the expert, you say so.

          • Cymond

            “I defer to your masterful expertise and will ignore everything I have learned and done in real life in deference to an anonymous internet expert.”
            You expect us to do the same for you – ignore our experiences and trust you, another anonymous internet “expert”. Recoil pads help, no matter what you say. Whatever recoil reduction technique you use, it will still be better with a good recoil pad.

          • erwos

            So, according to the logic you’re positing, recoil is basically a scam. Everyone bitching that their 12ga is a hard kicker when shooting a hundred slugs in a class – they’re just whiners with the wrong stance? You’ve got to be kidding me.

            Seriously, you need to try this stuff before forming an opinion. I’m not saying to mount it on every damn gun you can find – clearly, it’s not going to help much on a 5.56×45 gun. But your original position that “you can’t tell the difference” – I’m sorry, but that’s just not the case, end of story.

          • Bill

            “Whiners with the wrong stance” – pretty much, again from training hundreds of cops. Believe what you want., but after having rotated enough shotguns with multiple different types of stocks among multiple shooters, nada. No changes in score, accuracy or speed. Those are actual quantifiable variables. “The gun kicks too much” is not. Sometimes a shooter will say they felt less recoil, but their performance hadn’t improved, thus there is no benefit to the investment. Sometimes they won’t know if they are shooting a gun with a recoil-reducing stock or not; Knoxx made both, and even with a non-recoil reducing stock they’ll say they felt less. That is by definition a placebo effect, end of story. Most say they feel no difference.

            YOU may feel a difference because you WANT to feel a difference; you’ve made a significant financial, therefore emotional, investment and want a positive return.

            It’s no different than having blood drawn or an injection. If you are convinced it will hurt, it will hurt. If you train yourself that it’s inconsequential, it’s not a problem.

            And 100 slugs? In one session? Why? I’m not going to train someone on how to take and slip a punch by punching them 100 times in a row, but by using intervals so as to reduce the potential for training scars and by making it a positive experience. If your idea of training people is to have them slam out 100 slugs, they’ll probably tape maxipads to their shoulders by mid-class. This sounds suspiciously like something done the day before deer gun season opens.

          • ghost

            (There are two people in the world I trust, you are not one of them.)

  • Parnell

    Wouldn’t a simpler solution be for other manufacturers to adopt the Stoeger mercury-filled recoil reduction tube that fits in the conventional stock. If I’m not mistaken it costs $75.00 and reduces recoil quite a bit.

  • Leo

    i would better buy another shotgun for this money

  • gunslinger

    i’ve fired some mean turkey loads. i don’t think they are bad

  • ghost

    I understand the concept if you are going to use elephant killer loads. Fortunately I don’t see many (real) elephants in Texas. 00 low brass 12 gauge is good enough for ass-holes. Recoil is not a problem, the paper work is. (full disclosure, any ass-hole but me).

  • ghost

    If you have ever fired an M1 with a grenade launcher, then you know what recoil is. How often do you fire one? I see way too much about recoil. If you can not handle it, why shoot it? I am 5’4 150#, (ok, I gained 25# since 1965, the VA says I am 5’6, who you gonna believe?). I have no problem with recoil using standard 00 buck in a pump shotgun. There is very little recoil. If you shoot heavy loads often, then this might very well help. For a home defense firearm, if it turns you around when you shoot it, you might want to reconsider your choice of firearm/ammo instead of the stock. I could be wrong, I thought I was once, but, turned out I was just mistaken.