Gear, Parts and Accessories

Adaptive Tactical ExPerformance — Performance for Your Combat Shotgun

Demonstrating a proper cheekweld when shooting a shotgun

For most of my life, I have used shotguns just as issued and straight from the factory. I have been reluctant to change the stock profile significantly. I value reliability above all else and consider the shotgun a reactive and defensive firearm. I have handled modern shotguns that have given me pause. I find the pistol grip configuration encourages better shot placement at longer ranges—particularly with slug loads.

Bob Campbell shooting a shotgun with the spent hull in the air
The author found the Adaptive Tactical EX Performance forend and buttstock combination an excellent addition to the combat shotgun.

I elected to order one of the best choices in modern stock and forend options in order to upgrade a Remington 870 Police Magnum shotgun. This riot gun features rifle sights and has been a stalwart companion for nearly 30 years. I am not apt to change often, and a new firearm or tool must proof itself. I am completely convinced of the utility of the EX Performance stock and forend. I am convinced this addition has been an improvement in handling and hit probability.

The Remington 870 Police Magnum shotgun has faithfully stuck by my side for many years in a number of tight situations and served as the test bed for any number of munitions. I have to admit, it has received rough treatment. It should have been cleaned more often, detail stripped, and inspected and lubricated more often. However, a recent check up declared the shotgun in good condition. At that time, I added the EX Performance gear. The EX Performance forend is a high-impact polymer stock featuring a two-inch long Picatinny rail hidden under a removable nose cap. With the cover removed, the rail is well suited to fitting lights or lasers.

The forend is a bit longer than the original Remington wooden furniture and offers excellent abrasion and adhesion. The stock design is good, and the length and width of the stock are ideal for all hand sizes in maintaining control of the shotgun.

Man holding a Remington 870 shotgun with Adaptive Tactical stock and forend
Shooters well over six feet tall found the Adaptive Tactical forend and stock excellent additions to the shotgun.

Shotguns kick, and the EX Performance stock helps us keep control of the beast. The stock’s superior handling and speed alone are worth the price, but I like the addition of the Picatinny rail. The forend also gives a trained shooter advantages in handling.

The EX Performance stock basically converts the shotgun to AR-15-like handling. There is an easily operated, rapid-adjust lever. This lever locks solidly and will not dislodge in recoil. The length of pull adjustment available is good and perhaps length of pull adjustment is even more important for shotgunners than rifle shooters.

The recoil pad is both non-slip and vented. A recoil pad is an important consideration with a shotgun, and it must be done correctly. I like the AR-type rear stock in the form of the EX Performance M4-style stock offered by Adaptive Tactical. While I still deploy conventional stocks, I am tending to keep the Remington 870 fitted with the Adaptive Tactical stock and forend ready in the truck. If you need a good modern stock that makes the shotgun well suited for tactical use, works great with slug loads, and mimics the fit and feel of the AR-15 stock, the Adaptive Tactical stock works well.

Demonstrating a proper cheekweld when shooting a shotgun
For the best accuracy get a good cheekweld and aim carefully.

As of this writing, the Adaptive Tactical forend and rear stock have been mounted on the shotgun for over a year. I appreciate the ruggedness and human engineering of this set up. I began testing the set up with a variety of what was on hand including birdshot—my staple for training in fast moving drills and preliminary evaluations.

Firing was a joy and the stock set-up proved fast in action and gave a positive feel. After firing a good mix of Federal field loads in both No. 7 ½ and No. 9 loads, and a mix of what was left in the range bag, I moved to buckshot. I have found Federal Personal Defense 00 buckshot load is controllable and delivers an excellent pattern to 20 yards or more. I was able to keep the pattern centered and deliver center hits to the target on demand. The EX Performance stock is well worth its price.

Are you looking to breathe new life into an old shotgun? Perhaps a good, modern stock that makes the shotgun well suited for tactical use, works great with slug loads, and mimics the fit and feel of the AR-15 stock, is what you are looking for. What are your favorite shotgun upgrades? Share your answers in the comment section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (7)

  1. great post! the one disadvantage to the shot gun is also it’s advantage. the spread of the pattern. in a urban environment that can be dangerous. we are responsible for every projectile we send down range…

  2. This preticular artical seems to focus on the Tactical shotgun’s and there abilities.
    I thought I’d add this after reading the last several comments since my first response to this blog by Bob C.
    There are a number of excellent tactical shotguns, Mossberg 500 and 590. The Reminton 870, The Bernillie and Winchester to name a few. Having had the oppertunity to field several of these fine shotguns in verious places around this ball of dirt. I have these observations.
    They ALL work well and will fo the job intended.
    Their ability to function in almost any enviroment, anytime, all the time, is documented fact.
    New, better, more efficient and powerful munitions become available in a greater spectrum each year further increasing their uses in tactical situations.
    They are no longer just short range, CQB, platforms although that remains their most effective envelope. They also may serve well within the 125 meter close range envelope with the proper munitions.
    Pump actions are still the Tactical Shotgun’s, foundation platform although newer auto actions designed for tactical use have made inroads and have found a home amoung some of the urban warfare operators.

    There is an option of fairly new appearance in the field that has proven to expand the tactical envelope it finds itself in by the simple reduction of its size and leanth. This is the Bullpup.
    The Bullpup shotgun maintains 16 to 18 inch barrel leanth, normal pump actions and magazine capacity of a minimum 6 shells with an additional in the chamber. All of this in a package that is 9 to as much as 11 inches shorter than the standard 870 or 500 Tactical platforms. This makes for a weapons platform that may be, and often is shorter or at least no longer than a standard M4 carbine.
    This leant, in a shotgun platform, extends the operational envelope, placement, use and tactics of the shotgun.
    The two extended operational senerios that come immedetly to mind for this shorter but operationally unchanged platform are:

    The Defensive use from within a vehicle.
    The placement of the platform within the breaching stack.

    The leanth allows for the same freedom of use within a vehicle as an M4. This is a plus and an advantage that is not inherent with a standard tactical shotgun as it is to long got maneuver easly within this envelope.
    Within the Breaching Stack the shotgun has been primarily relagated to either the Two or Three position or as Tail End Charlie. Leanth of the standard platform and actual breaching requirments determin these traditional position placements. With the shotgun in the Bullpup configuration, short and no longer than an M4 carbine, it may be placed anywhere within the Breaching Stack and take on more aggressive tactical threat response without being a risk to other team members while being able to engage aggressive targets from placement anywhere within the Stack.
    From a home defense or prepper set of requirments, a short but fully functional shotgun in a Bullpup platform can only encourage a positive preformance and response by the end user.
    There are detacated production Bullpup platforms being made. The Kal-Tec is one that comes to mind. But they are expensive and rather hard to find.
    There is an alternative. A good one at that.
    If you are the owner of a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 you can get a very serviceable and rugged aftermarket Bullpup stock from BullPups Unlimited a USA company. Worth a look if your serious about using a shotgun as a part of your EDC, home defense. If your a LEO or Military personal the advantages are apparent.
    Are there disadvantages? I’m sure there are, I just haven’t found one yet that.
    As to the AR style for many of the standard and Bullpup configurations. I am of the camp and opinion that it serves more positive effects and sound design reasoning to be in this configuration than any other, primarily because it is so well known and understood by so many. They arn’t “pretty” they are not ment to be. They are functional and that is its own beauty.

    Anyway, just a few more thoughts for this mix and conversation ….

    A quick addition … Check out a company named DDuplex for some of the better speciality shotgun munitions on the market today.

    I wish we had the ability to load pictures to this site. It’s always been one of this sites negative points.

  3. As a collector of many different types of firearms, I have several handguns, rifles, and shotguns. In the shotgun department, I am intrigued by the plethora of different kinds of shotguns available to today’s shooters. From the old side-by-sides, over/unders, single shots, pumps, and semiautos, I an never disappointed when I pick up something that strikes my interest. While I do appreciate the fine craftsmanship and grace of the classic pieces, my most ardent interest lies in the tactical models and styles. “Black shotguns” are, to me, as interesting as “black rifles”, and I often find myself restocking certain pieces and adding a variety of gadgets to them in the interest of bringing out their greatest potential as defensive weapons. I have yet to give in to the urge to acquire a shotgun built on the AR format, since I have heard that they can be somewhat troublesome in operational reliability. That said, however, it would probably be a lot of fun shooting one and doing whatever is necessary to improve it’s functioning.

  4. Why does everything have to be like an AR15? Don’t get me wrong, I love AR’s. I have 3 AR15’s and one AR10 and love all of them, however, I don’t want every gun I own to have some of the same features. Who would? For example, how about the tactical lever actions that came out a few years ago? They took a late 1800’s gun design and tried to make it as AR like as possible. So that being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a standard shotgun and switching stocks and whatever is only a point of personal preference and doesn’t necessarily make the gun better in any way, which is how the author makes it sound. It may make it better for some and worse for others because it is more of a personal preference item like I mentioned before. I have a Benelli Super Nova tactical with a standard shotgun gun and I love that gun. The gun has a recoil reducing stock which actually does make it “better” for all and not just for personal preference. It also has a cantilever fore end that makes it nice because you have more options of where you want to place your hand. So no AR15 stock needed. And to be honest, the AR15 collapsible stock isn’t really that great of a design anyway and really not that great as a cheek rest either. There are definitely better and all around nicer options out there.

    1. EVERYTHING CERTAINLY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AR and the check weld is horrible, in fact i think they are ugly, but there is beauty in function. i have grown to love the AR. there is a reason to have guns that function the same. in the heat of battle, you do not want any differences if you can help it in the way they function. unfortunately i do depending on whether i grab an AK or an AR. my preference for the shot gun is the saiga 12. why do i think it is the best? quick mag reloads. hell i love all types and kinds of shotguns rifles and pistols. just call me a gun nut. i do not know, there is just some kind of a release when i go out and shoot. hunting is even better but it has been a long time since i did that.

  5. Hey Bob,
    Good read as always. I have always enjoyed your work!
    I was wondering if you perhaps looked at some of the other possibilities for the 870 that are out there? The Bullpup Unllimited stock system comes to mind. I’ve now been using mine for several years with great success and satisfaction. Many of the same aspects like an AR grip, an safe/fire selector but in a really small package.

  6. i love shot guns and my first was a double side by side, i think stevens. lost it and got a Beretta over and under. my favorite sport was duck huinting until steel shot came and i could not afford it any more. from there i got a mossberg 500, which i have 3 now and a winchester model 12 i think riot gun. i love all of them but my favorite now is the saiga 12. to me it is a pure joy to shoot. if i had the money i would get the shot gun that is the ar design i love my ar’s also. there is not a bad shot gun just some you like better. only have 00 buck now but if i save my pennies i will get some slugs in the future. love shot guns. some time in the future i will work on one or 2 of my 500’s make them a little more tactical. if i had problems i think i would want my 40 sw, an ar 15 or 10 maybe both and my saiga 12. at least i would go down with a smile on my face…. of course plenty of full mags for everything..

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