What Can A Self-Professed ‘Shotgun Nerd’ Tell You About A ‘Retro Riot Gun?’

Image courtesy Tokarev USA.

We all have our own personal interests. Some people like guitars. Other people like cars. Still other people (including you and me, since you’re reading this) like guns.

Some people’s interest in a subject, though, goes deeper than just a general interest in the subject. Maybe that means that you really like pistols or have an interest in hunting rifles.

One guy, though, likes shotguns so much that he calls himself a “shotgun nerd,” and anyone who is willing to call themselves that may have something to say about the subject of shotguns. And that’s certainly the case, at least when it comes to Tokarev USA’s TX3 12HD, “aka the Retro Riot Gun.” Travis Pike (aka the “shotgun nerd”) writes,

Retro riot gun refers to the throwback design. The trench gun we all know and love, the Winchester 1897, famously mounted a bayonet, a heat shield, and wood furniture. That’s the inspiration Tokarev USA drew on for the TX3 12HD shotgun.

These pump-action shotguns come with walnut furniture that looks surprisingly nice. A heat shield is bolted across the barrel, and a bayonet was an option at Range Day. However, I’m not sure if the bayonets used at range day have made it to the states just yet.

It’s not all Retro. The TX3 12HD features a Picatinny rail to mount an optic, a modern rear ghost ring peep sight, and a high visibility green fiber optic front sight. Unlike the M1897, we have a set of dual-action bars and a modern action.

The TX3 12HD has a 3-inch chamber and a five-round magazine tube. Unlike a lot of imported shotguns, Tokarex USA has magazines extensions available, and Tokarev USA sent me one with the gun. The stock mag cap has a sling point, and so does the extension. The gun comes plugged to two rounds for all your bird hunting needs.

Pike continues:

Let’s talk reliability since that’s often the issue with poorly made firearms. I’m happy to say I only had one malfunction through several hundred rounds of ammo put through the TX3 12HD. One of those cheap rounds of Rio buckshot failed to move completely out of the tube onto the shell lifter. I’ve seen this issue with this ammo before in my Mossberg 590, so it wasn’t a total surprise. I fired a few dozen of that exact load and only had that malfunction occur once.

Everything else sailed through the gun. This includes some very cheap Greek buckshot, super cheap Sellier and Bellot buck, Federal FliteControl, Federal No.4, Federal Reduced Recoil Slugs, and a ton of low brass Walmart special birdshot. Nothing else gave me malfunctions.

And here is Pike’s overall conclusion:

The Tokarev USA TX3 12HD is a rock-solid little shotgun at a killer price. I should note that the optics rail came loose after all my shooting. I removed the screw and noticed it lacked thread locker. A quick application of a little Loctite remedied that quickly[.]

Guns like the Mossberg Maverick 88 might be at the same price point, but won’t have the same features as the TX2 12HD. These Retro Riot Guns are an affordable kind of cool and a ton of fun. It’s my choice for the sleeper hit of SHOT Show 2022. Now I just need a bayonet for it.

It’s clear that Pike enjoyed the TX3 12HD and, in spite of it’s budget price point (MSRP is $279.00), I get the impression that he is going to be spending some more time with this firearm.

So, if you’re in the market for a retro riot gun, or just a budget-friendly 12-gauge shotgun, the Tokarev USA TX3 12HD may be one to consider.

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