Practical Retro Firepower: Tokarev USA TX3 20HD A1

Zac K
by Zac K
No word from Tokarev USA as to whether the bayonet mount from the 12-gauge version will fit on this gun. But if it doesn’t, we bet some of y’all will figure out how to adapt it. (Tokarev USA)

Wood-and-blued-steel tactical shotguns are back in style! But if you want firepower with a little less recoil, your sub-gauge options are limited. Now, Tokarev USA is bringing in the TX3 20HD A1 pump-action to offer that retro look with a bit less kick. Or if you want, you can order it in a stainless marine finish for use as a boat gun.

Pump Action Shotguns @ TFB:

Many readers should be familiar with the TX3 A1 series already, as they’ve been in the U.S. market for months now. These shotguns are made in Turkey, and that lets Tokarev USA offer the guns at an affordable price while including features you might not find on other budget shotguns. It also explains how Tokarev USA, a name that sounds like it might be affected by the Russian arms import ban, is able to sell these shotguns—they aren’t made in Russia.

Also available in a stainless nickel finish, if you want a gun that will hold up to damp environments. (Tokarev USA)

The shotgun itself is your basic Turkish pump-action. It’s not a direct copy of any other design, as far as we can tell, but no doubt inspired by the strong points of competitors’ shotguns. No worries there; the patents on those ideas expired decades ago.

The features that set it apart start with the Turkish walnut stock. Both the nickeled and blued versions of the gun come with old-school wood furniture. This includes an extended-length fore-end that should be easy to grab even if you’ve got shorter arms. There’s also a relatively thick recoil pad on the buttstock. If you want the tacticool look, Tokarev USA does say Mossberg 500 and 590 stocks will fit as well. Surely you can find an aftermarket solution there.

Does buying a pump-gun from a lesser-known manufacturer make you penny-wise or pound-foolish? The only way to tell is to pound some rounds through this thing. (Tokarev USA)

Then, add a full-length heat shield on the 18.5-inch barrel (it’s chrome-lined, and takes Benelli/Mobil choke tubes). For aiming, there’s a short rail atop the receiver with an adjustable peep sight mounted, paired with a fiber-optic front sight. If you want, you could replace that rear peep with an optic, but most buyers are probably purchasing this for a cleaner vintage look.

Two important factoids to note: First, the listed weight for this shotgun (6 lb, 10 oz) is the exact same as the 12 gauge version of the TX3 A1. That probably means the Turkish factory probably slapped a 20-gauge barrel on a 12-gauge frame, instead of scaling the whole thing down. If you wanted some weight to soak up the recoil, not a big deal.

No word from Tokarev USA as to whether the bayonet mount from the 12-gauge version will fit on this gun. But if it doesn't, we bet some of y'all will figure out how to adapt it. (Tokarev USA)

Second, note that the listed capacity is 4+1 3-inch shells, but we understand you can fit five 2.75-inch shells into the tube mag. However, while the original 12-gauge TX3 could famously fit a mag extension which also served as a bayonet mount, no such accessories are listed for the 20-gauge.

The listed MSRP for the Tokarev TX3 20HD A1 is $329.99 for the blued gun and $339.99 for the nickeled gun. For the sake of reference, a certain made-in-America competitor with similar spec and “A1” in the name currently carries an MSRP for well over twice that price. And it’s not available in 20 gauge, either.

Does that make the Tok a good buy? If you put a few thousand shells through one and report back to us, we’ll know! See more deets at Tokarev USA’s website here.

Zac K
Zac K

Professional hoser with fudd-ish leanings.

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