The FN TPS, which stands for Tactical Police Shotgun, is a 12-gauge pump action shotgun designed for law enforcement. I first saw the FN Herstal TPS in a Shotgun News magazine. It stood out to me then as it stands out even today to those unfamiliar with it. It looks like what would happen if an AR15 and an 870 Shotgun had a baby. From a quick first look, the FN shotgun has distinguishable AR fixed sights, an AR-style pistol grip, and an AR-style collapsible stock. Read on for more of our FNH TPS review.
My First Shotty
I did more research and decided to get the FN Tactical Police Shotgun as soon as I turned 18. I found one at a local shop, and it became my first firearm purchase, the first of many that would later follow. FNH based the Police Shotgun on the Winchester Model 1300 Shotgun. It has an 18″ ported barrel with a tight choke and a 7-plus magazine tube if you’re running 2 3/4″ shells. It has fixed M16A2 front and rear sights. The front has elevation adjustments, and the rear has both elevation and windage adjustments.
On top of the receiver and in front of the rear sight is a Picatinny rail section for optics. The safety lies in front of the trigger guard, and the pump-action release is towards the rear of the trigger guard on the left side. The awful A2 pistol grip is easily replaceable. This is also the case for the hard plastic adjustable stock. It is of civilian diameter and a bit thicker than mil-spec. It is definitely an aggressive-looking shotgun.
Certain features of the FN TPS make it easy to customize since it shares them with the AR platform. On the other hand, it isn’t as easy to find parts and accessories as with the 870. Having the stock go straight back and having a pistol grip makes it easy to control and feels similar to running the AR. The exception is that the feeding and loading is like a pump-action shotgun.
Where to Find a FNH TPS For Sale
Upgrading the FNH TPS
I added a few essential accessories right away. Every weapon system intended for defensive purposes must have a dedicated light whenever possible. You really need one on a long gun and especially on a pump-action shotgun, as both of your hands will be preoccupied with manipulating the platform while in use.
Luckily for me, Surefire had a compatible fore-end weapon light. At the time, it came with an old-school incandescent bulb with a whopping, yet standard, 60 Lumens. I have since updated the light head with a more current and powerful LED head. The switching has a constant on/off button on the left side and a momentary tape switch on the right. It is an easy light to manipulate. When compared to the original fore-end, it is much looser. However, the benefits of identifying your target in the dark outweigh that flaw.
The next essential upgrade was the side saddle. I just grabbed one off the shelf from a local gun store that fit, and it works fine. Shotguns are known to have limited magazine capacity. 7+1 isn’t bad, but you need more onboard and the side saddle adds six.
As I said before, I dislike the A2 grip and the stock that came with it. I replaced both with Magpul. The MIAD grip fit the bill, and the CTR is a vast improvement over the hard plastic one from the factory. The factory version made shooting slugs a terrible experience for anyone’s shoulder pocket.
The A2 iron sights work great; however, a red dot is even better. The problem is that the irons aren’t quite tall enough for a 1/3 co-witness. I started with a 512 EoTech, and I could barely see the irons through it, then I took it off because the battery life was always poor for home defense.
I have tried many optics over the years, and recently the perfect one that fit my needs arrived: the Primary Arms ACSS Micro Prism or Cyclops Gen2. It is a 1x sight that has an etched reticle and illuminates if needed. It also has excellent eye relief. No matter what, you will have a reticle, even if your battery is dead. Also, the ACSS reticle is calibrated for 25 yards with the tip of the chevron. It has holds, and the outer circle is the 00 buckshot pattern for 25 yards.
Don’t forget about the sling! A Magpul Sling mount fits between the barrel and the magazine tube. I use the Sly Tactical TR-1 Sling, which works very well for AR15s as it does with the TPS. I also use a Grayfighter 1 SRC-2 to keep the sling neatly stowed and ready to deploy when needed.
My experience with the FN shotgun over the years has been positive overall. There were a few issues along the way, most notably the front iron sight being loose from both roll pins breaking. I also learned not to use Wolf ammunition; I ran out of ammo while at the range, and that’s all they had. I didn’t think anything of it since it is a pump-action shotgun, not a semi-automatic. However, one box of that stuff was enough to dirty everything up and made the FN shotgun not feed effectively at the subsequent range session. Another annoying thing about taking it to ranges run by Fudds is that the FN Shotgun lives up to its name in the Tactical department; some ranges will not allow for any shotguns with barrels shorter than 20″ and definitely no pistol grips. In other words, no fun.
Unfortunately, FN stopped manufacturing the Tactical Police Shotgun a few years after I got mine. Repeating Arms bought out the remaining parts and assembled them. The TPS is rare to come by today. They are still around on gun broker; however, they’re as expensive as they were when I got mine. You can easily get an 870 today and get it upgraded for much less. I’ll keep mine since it is my sole shotgun, and for nostalgia’s sake since it was the first firearm I owned. It is still a nice and reliable 12-gauge shotgun that is effective at close range and further out with slugs.
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