The shotgun is, without question, the most devasting close range weapon out there. It is extremely versatile as a tool for both military and law enforcement.
I am a certified Sig Sauer Academy shotgun instructor as well as an avid waterfowl Hunter. I have used a 12 gauge shotgun to harvest food, hunt Taliban and obliterate beer cans for the better part of 2 decades.
I own and prefer to run the Remington 870 when using a pump, mostly because of the availability for aftermarket parts. In the past four years I have built almost a dozen custom 870’s for fellow soldiers. I’ve used magpul, houge, tac star, Mesa, ATI so pretty much any stock configuration on a shotgun that’s available commercially.
Zahal.org was generous enough to give me one of their FAB Defense recoil absorbing folders as well as a forend to put on a build and try it out.
My first impression out of the package was this is a well built and well designed product made of durable polymer, which I threw around the yard a bit dropped it 10 feet off my deck to a cement patio pad just to make sure.
Two things really stand out about the general design of the stock. First Ergos. This stock has a slight angle that comes down very similar to that of the Benelli M4. My experience with pistol grip 6 position stocks is they tend to come straight off the back of the reciever and follow more of an AR ergonomics than the shotgun. The pistol grip is similar to that of a VZ. I really like the grip angle and the way it feels in my hands.
I’m curious to see how much this coupled with the recoil buffer makes a difference in recoil mangement.
Second, is the design and thought that has gone into this stock. There are 4 well positioned QD sling mounts. The mounts are on both sides making it fully ambidextrous and located just behind the recover above the pistol grips and at the end of the stock. This is ideal when running it folded and in the role of a breaching device. The folder is well done durable and the lock is easy to release.
It does fold to the right so use with a fixed style side saddle maybe limited by this fact.
The storage in this stock is simple and generous. With a covered compartment in bottom of the pistol grip large enough for a small CLP bottle. The rear of the stock folds to reveal a battery compartment for 2 AA or 123 style batteries.
The forend is simple and keeps the original police styling in the forend, which I like. Full pic rail on the bottom, and 5 slot rail on either side. It’s simple, light weight, and practical. The rail is bomber, the insight m3x light I installed fits well with no issues.
For this review I’m installing this on a Remington 870 supermag receiver with a 18.5″ supermag barrel with a modified choke. I have installed an insight m3x long gun light on the forend. I’ll be using federal 7.5″ target loads, federal blue box 2 3/4 9 pellet 00 buck, Winchester super X 3 1/2 inch 18 pellet buck shot and Winchester super X 2 3/4 slugs. This should give me a good understanding of how the recoil absorption works with this shotgun.
Range test complete.
I have used a shotgun a long time and always have been used to using my body, my stance and my grip to support the recoil of a shotgun. This stock has a recoil absorption system in the stock and I’m not sure if it’s the technique I was using but I felt like the felt recoil was increased.
I ran the target loads and all the up to the 3 1/2’s. I shot a lot of 3 1/2 inch shells hunting waterfowl and this is the first time I have shot it and it felt to be unmanageable.
It appears to me that the piston designed to absorb the recoil allows the gun to actually move in the stock and this movement increases the felt recoil impulse.
The forend should be installed on a non supermag reciever, because the bolt is longer the bolt stroke is longer. With this forend it won’t allow the full cycle on a supermag receiver. It works flawlessly on a standard 870 3″ or 2 3/4″ receiver. I like the grip and slide retention, it cycles fast and works and feels as a shotgun forend should.
Over all the stock is very well built and well thought out. The recoil absorption is not what it should be and increases the recoil impulse considerably.
I would be really interested in trying out their folder without this recoil system, as I think that would be a much more practical and tactical stock solution for any shotgun build.