I’m an unashamed shotgun nerd, and I love all types of shotguns. This includes guns that are technically not shotguns but use shotgun patterns, shotgun ammunition, and the like. You know, those pesky little firearms like the TAC-14 and Shockwave firearms. These guns tend to be tough to aim and tough to shoot, at least compared to a stocked shotgun. Crimson Trace has your back in making that a fair bit easier via the Crimson Trace Laser Saddle.
The Laser Saddle fits onto the receiver of your shotgun or firearm and predictably gives you a laser aiming point. It saddles on, much like an ammunition toting side-saddle. It’s a rather low profile and ergonomic option to make aiming your scattergun quick and easy.
I’ve installed the Remington variant of the side saddle onto my TAC-14. As mentioned, Crimson Trace only produces the Laser Saddle for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 series shotguns and firearms. We also get the option of a green or red laser. This particular model offers the red laser variant. The MSRP is 194.99, but I purchased mine for much less than MSRP.
Inside the Laser Saddle
The Laser Saddle weighs a hair more than 2 ounces, according to my kitchen scale. Crimson Trace doesn’t publish the weight, sadly. The gun adds a hair of bulk to the receiver but not enough to make a major difference. Power comes from two CR2032 batteries, and the Laser Saddle will work for about four hours of continuous use.
The laser is a 5 Mw red dot that’s actually impressively large and very easy to see. The red dot emits from the right side of the Laser Saddle and sits right beside the top of the receiver.
Installation varies between models, and the Remington variant utilizes the trigger group bolts to pin the Laser Saddle into place. Crimson Trace includes two extra-long bolts to make installation quick and easy. It takes no time at all to install the Laser Saddle. It took me a total of five minutes, including getting the batteries in place. The hardest part was finding my punch!
An ambidextrous “on” button sits across the top of the receiver. It sits right where the safety on a Mossberg 500 would sit. This placement ensures it’s ambidextrous and easy to access. It’s a big, tactile button that’s really easy to operate.
There is also a master-off switch that shuts the Laser Saddle down. It’s small, recessed, and it seems impossible to accidentally switch on or off.
To The Range
Making changes to the elevation and windage requires a small, included Allen key that makes it easy to zero the saddle. I zeroed it essentially to the dot and confirmed with a little buckshot live fire. Visible lasers don’t work well on sunny days and at longer ranges. Luckily the TAC-14 isn’t a long-range weapon.
At 15 yards, that big red dot is plenty easy to see on target, even on bright, sunny days. Not bad for a visible laser and perfect for the TAC-14 and its preferred range. Shooting the TAC-14 accurately has never been easier.
Seriously, the addition of the Laser Saddle makes it super easy to aim the weapon accurately. I spent an afternoon giggling away as I used birdshot to turn clay pigeons into dust. I tossed them onto the berm and started blasting away as fast as I could. The big red dot makes it easy to aim the TAC-14 while keeping it tight to the body, which allows me to easily control the recoil.
It’s quite fun to move from target to target blast away. I like the TAC-14 because it’s somewhat tough to shoot. The recoil is rough, the lack of a stock makes it tough to control, and that creates a challenge. That challenge makes it fun, or at least it does to me.
Turning clay pigeons into dust is fun, but what about a more practical application? I’m glad you asked. With some man-sized targets and some 00 buckshot, I used a shot timer to record my snapshots at 10 yards. I can keep my focus on the target, and as soon as the red dot from the Laser Saddle meets the target, I know where my buckshot is going.
This makes it easy to direct accurate buckshot into the torso or head of a target with excellent accuracy. Speed-wise I can make a snapshot from the low ready with the TAC-14 in about half a second. Not bad for a pistol grip only 12 gauge firearm loaded with 1,325 FPS buckshot.
Going from target to target is quite easy. Follow the dot, pull the trigger, and boom, you’ll land lead where you need it. I wouldn’t pick up the TAC-14 for a fight over a stocked 870, but I’d feel more confident it wore the Laser Saddle.
I never lost zero, even when using full-powered buckshot. The Laser Saddle never shook itself loose even after a few hundred rounds and remained tight and in place. That big button is fantastic and provides you with a quick and easy activation for quick on target potential. It’s a tactile button, so you know when you press it.
The Downsides of The Laser Saddle
With the Remington variant, you are utilizing the trigger group pins, and those are often utilized for attaching ammo side saddles, and the Laser Saddle limits your side saddle options. A shotgun card from Esstac or Vang Comp will work, though.
I did have to choose between the Laser Saddle and the Burris SpeedBead. They won’t work together, sadly, and the Laser Saddle sits in the way of the SpeedBead, so keep that in mind. Additionally, the range is totaled out at about 15 yards on bright days. In dimmer environments, the range extends. Don’t expect to get slug range from the Laser Saddle.
The Crimson Trace Laser Saddle grants you a fantastic sighting option for your pistol grip only shotguns or firearms. There where I see this thing really shine. On normal shotguns, I’m sure it’s fine, but it really makes handling a PGO a lot of fun and much easier to aim and direct fire with. It’s worth the cost of admission just for the entertainment value it provides. Check it out and let us know what you think about the Laser Saddle and lasers in general below.