Travis Pike for TTAG
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There are only a few things a pistol grip-only shotgun (that’s not really a shotgun) is good for. One is breaching, but let’s face it, how many of us will ever do that?

Another is simply defying the NFA via the 12 gauge “firearm” route. I call it the Shockwave rule. A shotgun requires a stock, so a gun that has never had a stock is not a shotgun, even if it is a 12 gauge pump-action firearm. That means you can have a barrel as short as you want without the need for a tax stamp, as long as the gun is over 26 inches in length.

This requires some compromise and you need the right grip to accommodate a shorter barrel. The Shockwave Raptor grip is one way and the BLACKHAWK Knoxx BreachersGrip Gen III is another.

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The BreachersGrip Gen III is a more traditional pistol grip, at least compared to the Raptor grip. It features a vertical pistol grip and on the back end, we have an extension that accommodates an internal buffer.

Most vertical pistol grips suck on shotguns. They physically hurt the hands, wrist, and forearms. The internal buffer of the BreachersGrip reduces felt rearward recoil and therefore reduces any pain and fatigue. The buffer extension also adds the necessary length to ensure the weapon stays over 26 inches.

Knoxx sold their patents and properties to BLACKHAWK, and Knoxx went on to become Adaptive Tactical. Adaptive Tactical is the company that designed the magazines for the 590M series. I guess things have come full circle as far as this gun is concerned.

Knoxx is also a branded name for AR and 10/22 stuff. Their AR grip is quite nice and sits on my cheap homemade 80 Lower receiver AR-15 pistol.

But why?

The Raptor grip is honestly an excellent option for the Shockwave and TAC-14 series firearms. It’s comfortable, ergonomic, and well made. However, when it comes to the magazine-fed variants of the TAC-14 and Shockwave, the BreachersGrip is a much better choice.

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The angled Raptor bird’s head grip puts almost all of the weight of the weapon in the forward arm. The BreachersGrip allows you to balance the weight better between the front and rear of the weapon.

When it comes to magazine-fed guns like my Shockwave 590M, swapping magazines is much easier with the BreachersGrip than the Raptor grip. Being able to support the weapon with one hand makes reloads much easier.

About that recoil

The BreachersGrip does an absolutely amazing job of reducing felt recoil. I launched ten rounds of Winchester military spec double-aught buckshot downrange and felt almost zero recoil. The Shockwave jumps and bucks a bit, but I felt zero discomfort in my wrist or hands.

I followed it up with five of those awesome Winchester PDX Defender slugs downrange and it was still very comfortable. I’ve put the BreachersGrip through over a year of hard use and it’s still working without issue. I love shooting shotguns and the 590M is a fun gun so it gets lots of use.

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

There was never a moment where the gun felt hard to handle. I can’t find a 2 3/4″ load of buckshot that’s uncomfortable or painful with the BreachersGrip. I have no fear about holding the gun up and aiming it at eye level and have done so with ease. I can direct buckshot into man-sized targets at 15 yards with almost the same precision as a shoulder-fired shotgun.

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

It certainly doesn’t have the same speed, but for a pistol grip, it’s remarkably comfortable. It’s also stable enough to allow you to keep the gun pointed downrange while swapping magazines. The BreachersGrip makes the weapon feel much more balanced when you are utilizing a full ten-round magazine full of 12 gauge.

The BreachersGrip details

Outside of effectively taming the recoil of a 12 gauge firearm, the BreachersGrip is also very comfortable and ergonomically shaped, fitting the hand very well. It’s comfortable to grip firmly and gives you plenty to hold onto. The grip is aggressively textured and won’t slip or slide in your hand. At the end of the buffer extension is a sling point that’s perfect for a single-point sling.

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The rig may be made mostly of polymer, but mine has eaten a ton of buckshot, birdshot, and slugs. I’ve moved the grip between a standard Shockwave and a Shockwave 590M and it works well on both. It also keeps both firearms over the legal length minimum.

BLACKHAWK Knoxx BreachersGrip Gen III

The BLACKHAWK Knoxx BreachersGrip Gen III is an excellent alternative to the standard Raptor grip if you prefer something a bit more traditional in design. It’s especially well suited to the magazine-fed variants of these guns. While most will be perfectly satisfied with the standard Raptor grip, the BreachersGrip adds a new dimension of support for the Shockwave and TAC-14 families.

Specifications: BLACKHAWK Knoxx BreachersGrip Gen III

Available Platforms – Remington 870, Mossberg 500, 590, and Maverick 88
Color – Black Only
Price – $59.99 to $90

Ratings (Out of Five stars) 

Ergonomics * * * *
The BreachersGrip Gen III is an ergonomic design that’s very comfortable in the hand. It’s well made, provides a sure grip, and reduces felt recoil significantly. I took a point off for the mismatch in the Mossberg safety position with a pistol grip configuration.

Durability * * * * *
Hell…that’s what I’ve put this grip through. Hell being tons of buckshot, slugs, and more birdshot than what’s necessary for any good day at the range over more than a year.

Aesthetics * * * * *
A useless category here? Maybe in the long run, but somehow the combination of magazine and pistol grip gives the Shockwave a very distinct and aggressive appearance.

Overall * * * *
The easy-to-install Breachers Grip certainly makes the magazine-fed firearms much easier to handle. The extra extension at the end of the gun gives them the needed length to still be a “firearm” while changing how the gun handles and reducing recoil significantly. It’s much easier to reload a fresh magazine into the gun with a vertical pistol grip.


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  1. Not sure of the name on the M4 style stock I have on my 870, but it has heavy springs in it to take up about 85% felt recoil. And is adjustable for LOP.
    Instructions said to NOT put it on a semi-auto as the gun would not function right.
    2 versions of the stock were made, 1 w/springs, 1 w/o springs.
    The receiver goes into the stock about 3/8 of an inch +/-.
    Got it at Cabela’s several years ago. I think Sportsmen guide also sold it.

    • Probably the earlier versions of the Knoxx stock. The question now is it possible to put a brace on this?

  2. I like the internal buffer concept to reduce felt recoil.

    I wonder how how uncomfortable it would be shooting reduced-recoil loads with a standard pistol grip without that internal buffer?

    Important note: if you intend to use a pistol grip on a Shockwave 12 gauge firearm, make sure there is a knob protruding backwards that adds whatever you need for your overall length length to be at least 26 inches.

  3. This thing, and others like it, are about the dumbest thing I’ve seen since a hot soup sandwich. No thanks.

    • That sounds pretty good. A hot soup sandwich on a nice rye bread. Maybe butter the rye and have a hearty soup like a bean with bacon or maybe a Minestrone.

    • Gadsden Flag,

      In all seriousness I can see where a ShockWave 12 gauge firearm with a recoil reducing pistol grip could be an excellent close-quarters self-defense firearm when loaded with Aguila Minishells containing buckshot or slugs.

      Those Aguila Minishells are by definition reduced recoil loads. And because they are short, you can load a lot of them even in the shorter tube magazine of a ShockWave.

      You have to admit that a load of buckshot or a 12 gauge slug has WAY more “stopping power” than any handgun. And because you use two hands to shoot it, you have more control than you would over a handgun. Finally, if you run out of shells, it actually makes for a passable bludgeon. And yet it is WAY more maneuverable than a standard 12 gauge shotgun with buttstock and 18-inch barrel. (It is about 12 inches shorter.)

      I am seriously considering one of these for human and black bear defense when I am camping in a tent or small pop-up camper. (In that tight environment, it would be next to impossible wield a standard 12 gauge shotgun around.) Although, recognizing that even reduced-recoil shells and a recoil absorbing pistol grip may not be enough to achieve comfort and controllability in 12 gauge, I would probably get the ShockWave in 20 gauge and load it with slugs if Aguila ever gets around to making MiniShells for 20 gauge.

      • There is a semi auto one of these, (SBS/notSBS) type shot guns. I believe a Remington 1187. I’d check out some reviews first since it’s a Remington but I’d imagine it being semi auto would help with the recoil.

  4. Looks AWESOME!!!!…..
    (who cares what the fudds say)…..
    It’s real purpose is SKULL CRUSHING!

  5. A shock absorbing shoulder stock on a 12ga could be a really nice gadget, I’ll give it that much.

    But other than needing to breech doors on a SWAT team I’ve little regard for pistol grip and birdhead grip shotguns, no shoulder stock. Have tried them, had such a grip on one of my Mossberg’s for a few years when I lived and worked in bear country, kept it in the truck. But finally gave up on it, put the original wood back on it.

    These days with the 18.5″ barrel on a Mossberg 500 it is a short and easy to maneuver shotgun. For home protection in a small place, loaded with #4 Buckshot.

    For more, I have my 590A1, with the Speedstock, a shell carrier on the side of the receiver and for some reason I bought the bayonet (it had a bayonet lug right there, what’s a fella’ to do but fill in an empty feature!?). Alternating loads of 00 Buck and slugs.

    All that kinda’ slugs the shoulder, but hey it’s a 12ga so kinda’ goes with the territory.

    • IIRC, this is more or less a cut-down version of their current SpecOps Gen III shoulder stock with a shock absorbing buffer. The old SpecOps supposedly used to slap your cheek pretty good because it slid on an angle, this design keeps it more in-line.

  6. I’ll stick with the birds head. It lets you aim down the bead or a red dot without any risk to the users teeth or nose. I’ve put 00 buck through it without an issue. The recoil reducing is only good with very strong loads, the springs are too stiff to work with low/mid power loads. For minishells it wouldn’t matter at all since you can even fire the shockwave 1 handed with those.

    Why spend money on some hokey accessory when ammo/range time will help practice shooting this thing. If you use the same shooting technique as the U.S. Marshals use with the witness protection, It’s very manageable.

    IMO the grip angle of the birdshead manages recoil nicely.

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