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Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps Product Review - Long and with Pictures

This is a discussion on Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps Product Review - Long and with Pictures within the Shotgun Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; 3/31/2009: Updated info in red. Ok, bear with me, this is my first product review on a forum. This is a review of the Knoxx/Blackhawk ...

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Old 03-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #1
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Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps Product Review - Long and with Pictures

3/31/2009: Updated info in red.

Ok, bear with me, this is my first product review on a forum.

This is a review of the Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps Recoil Reducing Stock for the Remington 870 Shotgun.

My 870 is about 5 years old and hasn't see much action. It sits by the bed for home defense and rarely gets shot. I felt bad for it and decided that if I dressed it up, I would hopefully take it out to the range more. So, I ordered the Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps stock from MidwayUSA, along with a Knoxx forend. When my order arrived, I was a little confused. The Knoxx forend I ordered was in Blackhawk packaging (which is fine, they are now the same company) and when removed, saw that it was actually a Hogue forend. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the SpecOps stock comes packaged with a matching forend too. I believe this is something new Blackhawk added. The stock is still branded as knoxx and the forend features markings from both knoxx and blackhawk. So now I have two forends to choose from. For this review, I stuck with the one that was packaged with the stock.

Before:



Initial Impression
First, the surprise of getting a forend with the stock was awesome, although if I had known, I would not have ordered a new forend with it, because now I have two. Second, it was packaged well, with an owner's manual and an ball-head installation wrench. Upon visual inspection the parts look very well made. I am a bit confused by some threaded holes on the forend, but I figure this is for a future product that will either be a tac-rail and/or a pistol grip attachment. This also looks like a convenient place to mount a pressure switch for a light. I have an email into blackhawk for confirmation, if I receive an explanation, I will add it here. The stock looks military inspired and the forend looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, it is big, bulky and futuristic looking. They obviously put thought into appearance. I won't say it is a match made in heaven, but the stock and forend do look good together, if that is a concern for you.

Stock (installed):


Forend (installed):


Installation
The 870 is easy to work on, the most difficult part of the install is getting the old parts off. No special tools are needed, other then the provided ball-head wrench. The manual is accurate, if you follow it, you will not have any issues... until you get to the forend. No instructions for that. The stock went on easy and fits like an OEM piece. The hardest part is getting the recoil bad off the old stock in order to uninstall it. I am very impressed. The forend install process is the same as any other forend for these guns. This was where I started noticing odd things about it. Primarily, it did not seat over the action bars like it should and stopped about 3/8" short. I had to dremel it out until it would slip on all the way. This was not excess material left over from production and I am comfortable saying it is a design flaw. Due to the age of my 870 (around 5 years), it may be that newer models will not have this problem. This fix was not a big deal for me, but for someone without the proper tools, it could be an issue. Again, this may be different for newer 870s.

Performance
The Length of Pull adjustment of the stock is neither smooth, nor easy, and takes quite a bit of effort to adjust. Hopefully it will loosen up with time. The sling swivel on the stock does not swivel, although I am not sure it is supposed to, and there are at least 3 sling mounting options. The forend is shaped well, and fits my hand fine. It is not round and is wide at the palm and narrows going up towards the barrel. It is quite easy to rack. I do not know how much thought they put into the design of the forend though because of one glaring negative characteristic. It is quite long and extends over the receiver about 1.5 inches, making the use of a side saddle style shell holder not possible. If one were so inclined, it could be cut though. It does have a cutout on the bottom so that when it is all the way back, you can still load shells into the tube magazine.

In regards to the recoil reducing capabilities, I think the manufacturer's claims are either grossly over-exaggerated, or my stock is malfunctioning. My first time at the range with the new stock, my hopes and expectations were very high but I left disappointed. I could not tell a perceptible difference in felt recoil. I did notice after my shooting session that I had no tenderness in my shoulder whatsoever, and I normally do with the same amount of shooting... also, it had been quite some time since I had fired it last, so I had very little frame of reference for comparison. Next week I am going shooting with a friend who has a stock 870 and I can compare the recoil side-by-side, and will further report then.

Trigger area, notice that there is no room for an oversized safety:


Forend while back, no room for sidesaddle:


Forend while back, allows access for magazine reloading (also notice how wide it is):


Overall

Pros: Well made, stock and forend packaged together, looks great, functions great so far (range report forthcoming), compared to other products, this is reasonably priced, sight picture is vastly improved and faster due to the adjustable length of pull, the biggest pro will be if the recoil reducing qualities are as good as advertised

Cons: Hard to acquire, forend had to be modified for proper fitment (may not be necessary on all applications), sling swivel doesn't swivel (don't know if it is supposed to), LOP is hard to adjust, forend does not allow for use of sideshell carrier without major modification, not recommended for use with oversized safety

I rate this product a 7 out of 10. If the recoil reducing characteristics work as advertised (more on this next week), then I will bump it to an 8. The cons here are significant enough in my book to consider other products, as they may be worth the extra money.

Update:
Since this review, I have switched out the Blackhawk Forend that came with the Knoxx stock to a Hogue overmolded forend. I installed a Mesa Tactical Side saddle, which is not compatible with the Blackhawk forend. For the time it was on there, the Blackhawk forend was great though! I will either keep it for future use, or give it away, either to a friend or for Karma. I also added a Hogue Handall to the Knoxx Pistol Grip.


After:


Note:
This is the only forum I am member of, if you think this review/info would be helpful to others, please feel free to repost it with my permission. If you have questions or would like to see a specific picture of this product, feel free to post it here or PM me.

If you liked this review or thought it was helpful..... rep me.

Thanks,
fusion
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Last edited by fusion; 03-31-2009 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Update with Preliminary Range Report
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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Good review. I'm waiting on my 870 Express Tactical(which could apparently be months), and I plan on putting the Knoxx stock on it. Thanks for the info. Oh, and rep on the way.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by scjbash View Post
Good review. I'm waiting on my 870 Express Tactical(which could apparently be months), and I plan on putting the Knoxx stock on it. Thanks for the info. Oh, and rep on the way.
Thanks! I briefly considered getting the new 870 Tactical with the XS sights on it, but when my local store got 3 of them, the priced them at $680?! For that money, even with selling mine, I could outfit my current one just the way I want it, so I am. Up next: mesa tactical side shell holder, tac rail on top, sights, mesa tactical magazine/barrel clamp with sling mount/tac rail and tac light with pressure switch.

Edit: On second thought, I think you can get an 870 with the knoxx stock already on it, keep your eye open for those too...
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Last edited by fusion; 03-19-2009 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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I actually just checked Impact Guns for the hell of it, and they had some in stock. They didn't two days ago, and they are hard to find, so I guess I got lucky. Just placed my order 5 minutes ago. $449 + $20 shipping.

It's the one with the XS ghost rings, but no Knoxx. I don't have the cash for the Knoxx right now. I'm waiting on my AR from LMT, so I have to save up for goodies for it too.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by scjbash View Post
Just placed my order 5 minutes ago. $449 + $20 shipping.

It's the one with the XS ghost rings, but no Knoxx. I don't have the cash for the Knoxx right now. I'm waiting on my AR from LMT, so I have to save up for goodies for it too.


Nice find on the 870, I saw one on GunTrader for 500 (s/h included) and almost went for it....but figured even with selling mine for say, 350, I am out 225, which I could buy sights and knoxx stock for mine now
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:54 AM   #6
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Putting my student loans to good use.

Definitely post a range report. I'm interested to hear how much recoil difference you notice.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:12 AM   #7
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Putting my student loans to good use.

Definitely post a range report. I'm interested to hear how much recoil difference you notice.
I was hoping to get there this weekend, but probably won't make it. Soon though.... will report with new post in this thread as well as update original review when I do...
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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Great writeup.

I have a Knoxx stock on my 500 SP shotgun, and I now won't own a shotgun without one.

They make a superb addition and really help you control a shotgun for rapid follow up shots.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:42 AM   #9
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After looking at your photos, I'm glad the Knoxx Spec-Ops stock I got for my Mossberg 500 Persuader did not come with a fore end. I've got a Side Saddle installed and I wouldn't want to give it up, and the stock fore end works fine. I got my stock through Midway, which has a good price on them, though I think it has gone up slightly since I got mine for $109.

I hope you will be as impressed at the range as I was -- 69 rounds of various 2 3/4" loads from extra light skeet to magnum buckshot and tactical slugs went downrange in my test session and the stock made shooting 12g fun again. The lightest loads were like shooting a .22 and the magnum loads were like shooting a 20g at worst. I never thought my shoulder would put up with that many 12g rounds in one session.

The PowerPack accessory for the stock is a good addition. It provides a holder for 5 rounds and both a high and low cheek pad. The high pad works great to give me a good sight picture with the red dot optic I mounted. My stock's adjustment was a bit stiff at first, but seemed to be smoother after a few adjustments.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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Nice review. I have one on a Mav88 and love it.
Just wish I could find a PowerPak for it
Everyone seems to be sold out and rarely do you see a used one for sale.
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