At the end of last year, American Rifleman editors and contributors got together and discussed the guns, ammunition, optics and gear that emerged from the marketplace throughout 2019. From these conversations emerge the Golden Bullseye award winners for 2020, and such has it gone since the first Golden Bullseye awards decades ago. For more details on the criteria considered in selecting a Golden-Bullseye award winner, check our list below. The winner of our 2020 Golden Bullseye Award for Tactical Gun of the Year goes to the Remington Tac-13.
One of the product categories that consumers can't miss in recent years is the concept of the non-NFA, shotshell-firing firearm. It sounds complicated, but the idea is fairly simple. It's a firearm based on one of today's popular shotgun receivers, such as the Remington 870, Mossberg 590 or the Remington V3. However, instead of attaching a buttstock, the gun receives a birdshead-style grip that precludes any firing from the shoulder. Since the gun isn't fired from the shoulder and measures more than 26 inches long, it's classified as a non-NFA firearm.
Mossberg was one of the first to wade into these uncharted waters with its Shockwave, a pump-action design based on the company's popular 590 shotgun receiver. Remington followed soon after with its Tac-14, but consumers clamored for a semi-automatic variant. That finally came with the Remington Tac-13, which is based on the company's proven V3 action. The Versa Max gas system used in the gun keeps recoil manageable, a nice feature for a compact firearm chambered in 12-ga. Here's what American Rifleman staffers had to say in the magazine's review of the Tac-13:
We tested the Tac-13 with a variety of 12-ga. loads, ranging from practice-grade, low-brass birdshot to premium, high-brass buckshot loads. It fed, fired and ejected all of the test ammunition without any malfunctions. Formal pattern testing was conducted at 15 yds. using Hornady’s 2¾", 12-ga. Varmint Express No. 4 Buckshot load, containing 24 lead pellets with a listed velocity of 1350 f.p.s. This load produced patterns that averaged 6.5" in size from the 13" cylinder-bore barrel at that range.
The Remington V3 Tac-13 semi-automatic’s price tag is about double that of the pump-action PGOs on the market. However, this gun’s quality, reliability, self-loading mechanism—and the option to operate it one-handed in an emergency—may well justify the added expense for those who are in the market for a platform like this one. It’s certainly among the most well-made models currently available in the PGO firearm class, and a more manageable option than some thanks to the recoil-softening Versa Max gas system.
To qualify for consideration for a Golden Bullseye Award, a product must have been:
Recently introduced and available to consumers prior to the selection of the Golden Bullseye Awards;
Used/tested by a staff member or regular contributor to the magazine and/or affiliated media;
Reliable in the field, meeting or exceeding the evaluator’s expectations;
Innovative in design and function;
Readily perceived as a value to the purchaser; and
Styled in a manner befitting the shooting and hunting industry and, perhaps more importantly, its enthusiasts.
“Selected by a six-member committee consisting of editors, graphic designers and veteran NRA Publications staff, [these products] epitomize what NRA members seek in their shooting and hunting equipment—outstanding performance, innovation and value," said Doug Hamlin, executive director of NRA Publications. "Congratulations to those who have created the industry’s best new products.”