Throwback Thursday: Interstate Arms Hawk Model 982

By CTD Rob published on in Firearms, Reviews

There are plenty of amazing guns out there. However, have you ever wondered what people are actually buying? It may, or may not, surprise you that not everyone buys a $2,000 fully decked out Knights Armament AR-15. Our most common sellers are usually home defense shotguns, semi automatic .22s, and .380 pistols. I pulled our sales data from the last six months and made an interesting discovery. A relatively obscure shotgun is outselling the rest of the guns we sell by a large margin. The Interstate Arms Hawk Model 982 literally flies off the shelves and we have a hard time keeping them in stock. It is currently our number one selling firearm. This is due in no small part to its very low price tag—but how does it measure up in quality and performance?

Interstate Arms Hawk

The IAC Hawk closely resembles a Remington 870 with a couple of upgrades and a much lower price tag.

The short answer is that it is brilliant. It does a great job of doing exactly what the manufacturer intended it to do, which is to be a rugged home defense gun. This shotgun is simply a Chinese made Remington 870 clone manufactured by Norinco and imported by Interstate Arms.

Actually, copy is a better term than clone. The word clone implies that it is precisely the same in every way. However, not all aftermarket parts are interchangeable with the 870. For instance, an 870 sidesaddle may fit just fine, although a barrel exchange will not work without adapters.

The 982 model comes with ghost ring sights pre-installed. Some ghost ring sights will cost you half the price of this whole setup, so imagine my surprise when I found out they were included. I decided to try to find out where Norinco cut their corners. It is a Chinese reproduction, so it cannot be as good as a real Remington 870 Express, right?

I inspected the receiver half expecting to see aluminum; it was steel, just like the Remington. Norinco machined the extractor and ejector instead of using MIM parts like the Express, which is an improvement. The trigger guard was also metal instead of the plastic stuff Remington stuck on their gun. The action was a little rough at first, although after a few hundred rotations, the gun polished itself down to an action just as smooth as the 870. The gun shouldered well, and when firing, I really could not tell any difference between it and the Remington.

Norinco managed to make a reproduction as good as the original, at a fraction of the cost. While I usually try to buy American, I forced myself to come to this conclusion: If you are on a budget and need something to protect your family, this IA Hawk 982 is really an amazing deal.

If you are not on a budget, this makes a great knock around gun. I would have no qualms about chunking this thing behind the seat of the farm truck or taking it out in the elements for some muddy training. While the shorter barrel is not ideal for bird hunting, the 982 fits snugly in the role of home defense, range toy, or random critter exterminator.

Specifications and Features

  • 12 gauge
  • 18.5-inch barrel
  • 3-inch chamber
  • 5 round capacity
  • Polymer stock
  • Matte black finish
  • Machined, solid steel receiver
  • Adjustable ghost ring sights
  • 38.5 inches in overall length
  • Weighs 7 pounds

What are your thoughts on the IAC Hawk 982? Share in the comments section.

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Comments (147)

  • Trever


    I bought one sometime around ’07/08. Since then, I’ve fired it hundreds of times and put it away dirty more often than not. I treat it like a cheap, red-headed, chi-com step-brother and in return it just. keeps. banging. every. friggin’. time. Not one misfire or miss-feed so far. Tough to beat flawless function at a low price point. Made in China…so F-ing what? This is one product the chi-coms hit out of the park.


  • Floyd


    When and IF I buy a Hawk 982 shotgun, it will be because I want a decent shotgun, as opposed to an opinion of “my country is better than your country”. Besides, the Chinese already OWN most of America anyway. I am from Texas and we are friendly to everyone except for bad guys. For that we let well-made shotguns from China or the US sound the only opinions the bad guys need to hear.


  • Pro2Aguy


    This is as good as an 870 absent the slightest bit of doubt for far less cash which obviously is a key variable for most shooters–some remain suspect of such but I would recommend they do their own homework and then report back…heck get both the 870 and 981/2 if possible, the more the merrier (compare/contrast)…

    Now, IMO the ‘self-righteous” outcries critical of 981/2 owners solely because they are built in “Red China” (yes I recognize Free-China AKA Taiwan) are comical…those very same people mocking Norinco owners are living amongst countless consumer items within their very household ranging from electronics to toys and everything in between…For those that abide by a strict discipline of “Red-Chinese-Abstinence” in totality please disregard and kudos (note I have yet to meet one single American that has successfully avoided such even when making a concerted effort).

    BTW, where does it end…? Do we not but forearms from Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, (Eastern Europe @large) Russia etc…Oh, and don’t check that S&W M&P 22 that was made in Germany…;). And don’t open up this can of worms that inevitably next leads to Ammo…


  • Rick


    Great article. I appreciate your perspective, thanks. We live on a very tight budget, and as such I am very interested in one of these as my first and likely only shotgun for home defense. Any thoughts on reliability? The local gunsmith by me said he had a couple of Chinese shotguns blow up in the face of his gunsmith and he would never sell them, which makes me concerned. But I have not read any similar concerns anywhere else. Also, is it single or dual extractor? Thanks.


  • Zed


    America is based on capitalism, not communism. Therefore, we import things for purchase just like all free 1st world countries. We have the FREEDOM to purchase things from anyone we darn well please. Only Communists want to force people to only buy from state-sponsored companies, so if you hate the idea of free market economies and think people should only buy from certain places then you should stop whining here and just move to a Communist country where your ideals are law. But before you go, have a look at some of the labels around your house, where the things you have bought have been made. I’m willing to bet more than a few will say “MADE IN CHINA”. So if you’re whining about “supporting a communist country” then you need to put a cork in it until you can figure out how to explain your hypocrisy and ignorance to your fellow freedom-loving Americans. We’ll wait for you, so you can catch up on things. :)


  • cutman


    I’ve bought many AMERICAN firearms, etc. BUT I do feel (no,know) that I and the American people have been and are being ripped off and used by the very democracy live and fight for. Based on our current financial and healthcare situations I am ready to purchase firearm and other life products at a price I have been forced to afford. So, I am looking for an affordable, usable 12 shotgun – without my own government allowing me to be screwed by my own patriots. I’m 64 and a Vietnam WAR navy seal vet, so I don’t want to others crying about THEIR service!!!


  • Joe B. Roberts


    This seems to be a great value so it might be good to buy a few, shrink-wrap and bury them to be used when the CCA APC’s start rolling through your neighborhood … It’s a bit late to whine over the fact that they are coming …




    I just bought one of these shotguns . I own two import guns now . This badass 12ga and a mosin m44. All my other guns are made in the USA . When it comes to a home defense shotgun I wasn’t willing to pay double or triple for a mossberg 500 or Remington 870. This IAC is all I needed and a great value . It will see range time but mostly be kept for home defense. Has anybody noticed the famous H&R protector is made in china too ? They are just as popular as this gun but with a USA name . So whoever wants to go spend the $ for a Remington or Mossy to serve the same purpose as this Hawk – more power to you .


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