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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Adjustable length-of-pull
- Removeable stock
- Hogue Grip
- 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.
- 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.”
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.
- 1.2 Lbs
- LOP adjustable from 12.5 to 14.75 inches
- Q/D stock portion