Shockwave Technologies have introduced their Raptor F1 shotgun furniture kits for the Mossberg 500/590 and Remington 870 shotgun models. These furniture sets include the forend and heat shield, and a bird’s head pistol grip. Shockwave Tech was nice enough to send a sample of each to review. Bird’s head shotgun grips have become wildly popular of late since the release of the Mossberg Shockwave, and Remington Tac-14 and Tac-13 shotguns. Shockwave Tech’s shotgun forearm furniture is a new, modular take on the forend with a twist. The optional top cover to the Shockwave Technologies forearm attaches to the slide action and acts as a heat shield, and also incorporates a front and rear sight.
RAPTOR F1 SHOTGUN FURNITURE: INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
I typically like a traditionally stocked shotgun, but my initial impressions of the Shockwave Technologies shotgun furniture were pretty favorable, and I began to understand more about the shorty shotgun configuration the more I held the Raptor F1 furniture. The bird’s head grip feels extremely solid, which I initially just chalked it up to good engineering and materials. However, considering that a shotgun equipped with a bird’s head pistol grip is really limited to close-in fighting, I’m now convinced that the solid construction of the Shockwave Tech grip is meant to double as a melee weapon, and this would certainly hold up in a self-defense fight.
Right off the bat, I liked the high-walled, slabbed sides of the new forearm, which includes M-LOK slots for mounting lights and lasers. Overall, the forearm looks pretty good just by itself, but my only gripe with it is that the contoured portion in the middle makes it look a bit more like a toy, but the construction of the forearm is also very solid, and I didn’t doubt that it too would hold up to long term use and abuse. The heat shield that attaches to the forearm is a unique addition that looks a lot like an FN M249 handguard. This inclusion may seem a little strange, but it does add a curiously aggressive look to the overall package. Once I had mounted the forend to my Remington 870, I was pleased to find that it didn’t interfere with my side saddle when the action was open.
The heat shield’s integrated sights are a unique feature that users may or may not find useful. One negative aspect in regards to accuracy is that the sights are inherently attached to the forend, which has a certain amount of play in it due to the circular magazine tube it surrounds. If users should find that the sights interfere with their iron sights, they can easily be cut off from the heat shield.
RANGE TIME WITH THE SHOCKWAVE TECH FURNITURE
The Shockwave Technologies Raptor F1 shotgun forend felt good in my hand, and I found that I liked gripping it with my fingers high on the slab sides. Although, working the forend with a tighter grip on the ribbed contoured center section worked just fine too. The Raptor F1 heat shield naturally keeps your fingers from getting burned on the barrel, but also allows a more whole handed grip while the F1 pistol grip is installed. This combination, though unconventional, does work with a lower firing position such as from the hip. Wrapping my thumb over the heat shield helped with recoil management (a lot), as well as helping rack the action without having to move my thumb off the barrel first since it’s connected to the slide action. Despite the non-traditional look, I was actually quite impressed by the function and design to simplify the shorty, boomstick-style shotgun configuration into a more efficient self-defense weapon.
Since my Remington 870 short-barreled shotgun project was still in progress, it was missing a front sight, so the Shockwave Tech Raptor F1 heat shield didn’t have anything in the way. As seen in the picture below, my first shot with the Raptor F1 forend and heat shield worked with the integrated sights as I hit the bad guy target in the head (the rest of the shots were with no sights at all). I was shooting in low light, so I was a bit distracted by the large fireball from my 12 inch barrel that I didn’t notice the heat shield fly off. I think two things contributed to this. First, since I was using a traditional stock at the time and actually aiming down the sights, my thumb wasn’t over the cover. Secondly, I had also forgotten to fasten the supplied heat shield retaining screw, so between those two factors and the proximity of the muzzle of the 12 inch barrel produced enough blast to remove the heat shield. Considering that the Raptor F1 furniture was designed to make as short a shotgun as legally possible, such as the Remington Tac-14 and the Mossberg Shockwave with 14-inch barrels, I’m sure the top cover is safely positioned enough behind the muzzle. Just remember to install the heat shield retaining screw regardless of what length barrel you have.
I’ve always preferred traditional style stocks on shotguns, but the Shockwave Technologies Raptor F1 furniture actually helped me wrap my head around the popularity of the pistol gripped style shotguns. The unique heat shield design of attaching it directly to the forend may not be completely necessary while using a shoulder stocked shotgun, but almost seems like a requirement to me now while using a pistol grip only.
Shockwave Technologies sent me their Raptor F1 kits, but they also sell each component individually, as well as a 410 bore option for Mossbergs and a 20 gauge option for Remingtons. Their forearm removal tool was quite handy since it works on both Remington and Mossberg shotguns, which is listed for $13.95.
The Raptor F1 kits are listed for $69.95, the pistol grip by itself is $24.95, while the forend only is $24.95 and the heat shield is $16.95. You can view all of Shockwave Tech’s products at their website, or check out their shotgun pages for each individual component for Mossbergs and Remingtons.
What do you think about the Shockwave Technologies Raptor F1 shotgun furniture?