Black Aces Tactical Shotgun

Black Aces

Black Aces Tactical (BAT) announced the release of a new 12 gauge shotgun that features an 8.5″ barrel and is fed by a detachable box magazine.

According to BAT, the shotgun is classified as a standard firearm by the ATF and is not an AOW or short-barrel shotgun that requires any special tax stamps under the NFA.

These pistol grip pumps have the following specs and features:

  • 12 gauge
  • 8.5″ barrel
  • 27″ OAL
  • SIG SB15 pistol brace (folding optional)
  • 10-round, detachable box magazine (5-round mags available as well)
  • Magpul RVG forward grip
  • multiple different Cerakote finishes available
  • MSRP $1,179

Black Aces

The intricacies of the National Firearms Act and related rules are not my area of expertise. Can someone chime in an clarify how this shotgun can avoid the tax stamps?

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • BearSlayer338

    Pretty cool but at over 1K,I would rather buy a Serbu Super Shorty for $700 and pay the $5 AOW tax.

    • Pike0331

      Right? Thats what I was thinking

    • NikonMikon

      The Serbu doesn’t even have remotely the same capacity.

      • Bill

        Does it matter? Why make a micro-sized gun that has a magazine that increases the footprint of the weapon so much? I’d far rather have a relatively svelte Serbu and practice keeping it topped off than this thing which looks like it has testicular elephantiasis. I can hide a Serbu under a windbreaker, this would need something from the tent and awning store.

        • iksnilol

          Well, you can keep a small 2 round mag (+1 one in the chamer) in the gun while carrying and a larger mag as a spare in case you need to reload.

        • Mystick

          +1 for using “testicular elephantiasis” in a conversation…

  • USMC03Vet

    Maybe because it’s stupid expensive and gaudy?

  • MatKep

    If it was originally manufactured without a stock then by definition it is not a shotgun. If it’s not a shotgun, it can’t be a SBS. But it can still be overpriced, ugly and gimmicky. Which it is.

  • Tyler

    There were a few people up in Canada who bought some Shottys from black aces and the fit and finish was apparently terrible and the magazines looked like Helen Keller made them. A few politely mentioned it to the guys at black aces and they completely spazzed out and went off the reservation.
    It got so bad with them that the company importing them into the country stopped doing business with black aces. Up here we have a few options from China and Turkey for box fed pumps that are almost or more than half the price of the Black Aces.
    Stay away from the junk and gimick, you guys get a lot for more fun box fed semis than we do.

  • Nandor

    The biggest selling point of the Black Aces series of modified Mossberg shotguns was that it could take Saiga 12 mags. After buying one however, it became very clear that a lot of modification was necessary to make them work, pinning extra plastic to the top and using their special followers. Was rather disappointed.

    • Yep, I dumped them from my list when I found out that Saiga 12 mags were no longer supported from the factory. No point, I’d rather have a KSG.

  • thedonn007

    I actaully have a virgin Black Aces Tactical Mossber 500 reciever. So, I suppose I could build one of these if I really wanted to. I am concerned with the folding “brace tube” option however, I would think that the 27″ length is measured with the tube folded open, it would be less than 26″ with the tube folded closed.
    Also, I would think that I could build it as a Title 1 firearm, and then install an 18″ barrel and stock to use it as a shotgun, but I am not 100% sure on that.

    • Ethan

      Typically overall length is measured with the Stock fully extended I believe. (See Folding AKs, ACR, etc..)

  • valorius

    How is it possible that this is not an AOW? I can all but guarantee ATF will change their mind about that before too long. People will keep sending letters asking over and over if the gun is legal, and one day, some agent will be like, “No, it’s an AOW,” and that’ll be it for everyone.

    • BryanS

      And then we contact our congressmen and women and demand that the ATF stop making arbitrary calls, and push for the removal of the SBS et al from the NFA>.

      • valorius

        Well that’s worked smashingly well thus far.

        • BryanS

          Sig seems to be doing a fair job of making the ATF look pretty damn stupid.

          • valorius

            Hold on real tight to that.

    • Cymond

      This has been covered before. It’s not an AOW because it’s over 26 inches overall (see also the Franklin Armory XO-26). It’s not a SBS because it’s not intended to be fired from the shoulder. However, ATF claims that it becomes an SBS if you do shoulder it and/or it becomes an AOW if you conceal it.
      You may notice Shockwave posted that in December 2011, so it’s not exactly a new ruling.

      • valorius

        its only over 26 with the stock opened isnt it?

        • Yes, but the OAL regulation is in firing configuration. That has pretty much always been interpreted as meaning stock fully extended (whether folding and/or telescoping, OAL is measured in longest config).

          • valorius

            So just for clarification, it cannot fire with the stock folded?
            Or the law only cares what the opened lenth is?

          • Doesn’t matter if it can fire folded or telescoped all the way in, etc. ATF says that the OAL is “the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore,” which means it’s measured with the stock in the longest configuration the stock is capable of. Also, keep in mind that on a gun like this one if you were to remove any part of it that causes the OAL to drop under 26″ then you’ve just illegally manufactured an NFA item (e.g. in this case if removing the Sig Brace dropped the length under 26″, it would become an AOW). Yeah, that would include removing for cleaning and such also. If that stock came off for any reason whatsoever, no matter how temporary, it’s an AOW under the law…

  • Porty1119

    Ugliest damn gun I’ve seen this week.

  • Dracon1201

    To answer your question Mr. Johnson. The definition of an SBR is that of a firearm under 26″. If the weapon is longer than that regardless of barrel length it meets the definition. Very confusing, but it works.

    • Uhh, I don’t think that’s right. And I’m a flippin Canadian. Isn’t the SBR a dual gate? 16″ barrel and 26″ OAL? Also, this isn’t going to fall under short barrel RIFLE law anytime soon, since it’s a shotgun.

      • Cymond

        SBS & SBR are very similar here in the USA. Shotguns have a 18 inch minimum barrel while rifles have a minimum of 16. Both have an overall minimum of 26 inches, and both are intended/designed to be fired from the shoulder.

        In this case, the firearm is over 26 inches (not an AOW), but it avoids SBS classification because it is not designed to be fired from the shoulder.

        But you’re right, Dracon seems to have overlooked the barrel length part.

  • noob

    Is there a semi auto Saiga 12 with 8.5″ barrel and an arm brace thing?

    Or does the gas system not work with short barrels?

    • Ethan

      Yes please! I’ve been wanting to build a folding-stock, mag-fed, semi-auto SBS for a long, LONG time… but so far have not found a suitable host platform.

      I’d settle for not having mag-fed capability or not having a folding stock, but not both.

      • iksnilol

        Look at my comment above this one.

    • iksnilol

      There is a guy who built a Saiga with a 15 cm barrel (6 inches). Goes by the handle “evlblkwpnz”; You can find him on the Saiga-12 forums.

  • westford86

    Black Aces is a company that needs to go away. I wouldn’t mind someone probing the limitations of NFA rules with the items they produce if it’s something worthwhile. However, their shotguns are some of the most retarded (yes that is the appropriate word to use) firearms I’ve ever seen. I will be quite pissed if we have to deal with any new rules or “clarifications” because they persistently push the limits to create useless crap.

    If you see their products and think to yourself “that’s bass-ass, I want one” please go lock yourself in a basement and never come out.

    • mosinman

      or maybe they help prove how useless and unneeded the NFA laws are….

  • Captain Obvious

    To clarify, a short barrel shotgun (SBS) is one made from a shotgun,i.e, a weapon that was made or designed to be fired from the shoulder i.e., had/has a stock. Since these are made with virgin receivers (no stock) they are not shotguns. They are simply classified as “firearms” (AKA smooth bore firearms) and thus exempt from the under 18″ bbl restrictions of shotguns. It should be noted that any “shotgun” that came from the factory with a pistol grip is actually a smooth barrel firearm and can have a less than 18″ bbl. Further distinction is that both a SBS and Any Other Weapon (AOW) have an overall length (OAL) of less than 26″ while a “firearm” must be 26″ or over in OAL regardless of the barrel length.

  • Blake

    ATF has specifically stated in the past that SIG braces on shotgun-caliber “pistols” are a no-go.

    If a Serbu Super-Shorty is an AOW, then this is an AOW. Which is fine by me. Personally I think the simplest first step to ease up on archaic suppressor, SBR, etc restrictions would be to lower the permits to $5 like AOWs.

    • Cymond

      That was right before the “don’t shoulder it” ruling. As I understand it, it’s just like a pistol with arm brace: legal to possess, but becomes illegal if shouldered.

      • That brace should never have been allowed to be produced. Anyone with sense knew that people were going to use it as a shoulder stock violating ATF rules.

        • Justice

          That’s where you’re incorrect. The Sigbrace was originally designed for Handicap shooters. It was designed by a Veteran (or for a Veteran IIRC). What other people do with it i.e. shouldering it is an unintended consequence. As such, you can also shoulder an AR pistol buffer tube, although it was not designed to be.

          • So tell me why is it illegal if you were to attach a stock to one of these pistols and then hollow it out so you can put your arm through it? The brace should never have been accepted. A frigging strap could have done the job and if someone tried to use it as a stock it would collapse.

    • Patrick Mingle

      The OAL of the Serbu is under 26″ this is over 26″. Thats the difference

    • Michel_T

      Why not just do away with the paperwork?

      A gun is a gun, if you can be trusted with one, it shouldn’t matter what it looks like

  • Budogunner

    It looks like you couldn’t fully pump that thing without hitting the magazine with the foregrip if the foregrip were mounted vertically. I guess that is where the funky, angled mount idea came from.

    There is a phrase used in jest in the software world for questionable design choices like this: “It’s not a bug, it’s a ‘feature’.”

    Overall, I can’t tell what they were trying to accomplish here. I wouldn’t buy one for even half the asking price. I’m serious.

  • Don Ward

    Oh boy. Something else to look forward to out at the sporting clays range.

  • valorius

    Mag fed shotguns are long past due as a common feature.

    • Duray

      All pump shotguns have been “mag fed” for over a century.

      • valorius

        I’m pretty sure you know what i meant wise guy.

  • Swarf

    KSG paw.

  • Blake

    This is not an aow or a sbs. If a shotgun ships from the manufacturer and has never had a stock attached then it isn’t even legally a shotgun. So all those pistol grip shotguns you can by in store bar and new are not technically shotguns, they are classified as a “firearm” and the 18 inch barrel length rule does apply . Now that is unless the overall length is shorter than 26 inches. If the overall length is shorter than 26 inches then it is considered an AOW. To get around this some companies have installed those long “mares leg” type pistol grips on 14 inch barrel shotguns make the overall length over 26 inches and putting them out of the NFA. That is same thing Black aces is doing but instead of the “mares leg” grip to extend the overall length they are using the Sig brace since it isn’t technically a stock. Theoretically you could even have a permanently attached metal rod sticking out of the back of a 6 inch barreled shotgun and have it be outside of the NFA if the OAL was over 26 inches as long as the gun was originally manufactured that way. This gun is the culmination of the idiocy that is the NFA.

  • Andrew

    These are the same guys who ****ed up being able to legally shoulder Sig braces for all of us. If they keep harassing ATF with their stupid “Red Jacket wannabe loophole inventions,” who knows what we’ll lose next. Who keeps approving these Bubbas’ business loans?

  • Cymond

    Yes, as has been discussed by Shockwave a few years ago.

  • Captain Obvious

    Don’t hate me but I bought a Black Aces stripped receiver last fall on clearance and built one of these using parts from a $100 pawn shop Mossberg 500. It uses Saiga 12 mags and drums which I already had (some work more reliably than others). As long as the OAL is 26″ the bbl can be as short as you are willing to make the magazine tube to operate the slide. The first version I made had a 14″ bbl and a birds head grip. Subsequent versions used a shorter bbl but added a pistol grip adapter and buffer tube to get OAL to 26″. Whatever you take off one end you have to add to the other or vice versa. I could also convert it back to the original version by swapping out the barrel and grip or add a 18″ bbl and stock. I got less than $400 in mine including the donor gun. It is a fun companion to my Saiga 12.

  • GOT12

    this shotgun might be slightly less useful than the double barrel 1911