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Firebird Tac-12 Vs. T&N 1919

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I understand that Tooth and Nail puts a lot of work into their 3gun ready 1919, but how does the Tac-12 measure up? The price difference is not a lot but the Tac-12 is a full billet upper/lower and I fell better about that than plastic... But the Tooth and nail gun runs from what I have read. I'm gunna buy a new open class shotgun but I want one that runs. Help?

It is hard for me to stomach that a POS $600 shotgun takes another $1500 to get race ready, I get it... Just don't like it.

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I had an early 1919 from Firebird. Not only did the gun not run, the customer service was unacceptable. At that time, they were nearly impossible to get on the phone. Like, call for days and days and leave messages and never get a response from phone or email. One time after calling for days, Nancy actually told me to call back later because she couldn't find a pen to write anything down. I would stay as far away from them as possible.

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Dayum

I don't have a T&N 1919, but I have a T&N 2011 build, and their customer service was excellent throughout. Josh was proactive in keeping me updated, making sure any little changes I wanted were included and correct, including sending me pictures to ask questions and get approvals. Turnaround time was very reasonable.

There was a little extractor tuning needed initially, but since then, the gun has run crazy reliably with no issues and shoots very accurately. The only stoppage I can think of in the last 3k rounds at least was bad/dead primer from ammo I was using. Got over 5k rounds through it in about 5 months.

I would definitely do business with them again.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

Edited by AustinWolv

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RE; latech15's last sentence...

I would take it easy on Jim and Nanci. yes, they are friends of mine. Yes, they are a 2 person shop, and have lives out of shooting and manufacturing (to include an ailing father that they take care of) and they are VOLUNTEER Deputies with the local sheriff. I agree there is really no excuse for not being available at least by email thou.

I have one of the 1st MKAs to roll off Jim's table and it is 100%, AFTER I replaced the poly lower with a FB aluminum lower. I have no reservations recommending their TAC-12 system, it is even better than the MKA. Jim's answers to the original 5 round mags for higher capacity were the only game in town for a long time, and his mag tuning techniques (that are still on his youtube page) were really helpful when the instructions given there were followed. He really was the pioneer with the MKA and stuck with it thru thick and thin.

Tooth and Nail also makes an awsome system, they also have it "down-pat" so to speak, but its based around the MKA. nothing wrong with that thou... Matt and Josh have figured out a lot of stuff about the MKA and its mags, and are very helpful in person and on the phone or by email.

either way you won't go wrong! Yes, a race ready shotgun is up to and above $2k, whether you build the MKA up or go with the TAC-12. just some food for thought.

jj

Edited by RiggerJJ

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I had an early 1919 from Firebird. Not only did the gun not run, the customer service was unacceptable. At that time, they were nearly impossible to get on the phone. Like, call for days and days and leave messages and never get a response from phone or email. One time after calling for days, Nancy actually told me to call back later because she couldn't find a pen to write anything down. I would stay as far away from them as possible.

My same experience with Firebird. Tried a long time to contact them to order a rifle from them, phone calls and emails went unanswered. Finally gave up and went with something else.

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I am going to have to call firebird just to see if they answer the phone.

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Purchased a Tac-12 from Firebird last year. Really love it. Nanci & Jim were extremely helpful and patient with my questions. It shoots better than I. (Need to get back to the range for more practice.)

Ranger6

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RE; latech15's last sentence...

I would take it easy on Jim and Nanci. yes, they are friends of mine. Yes, they are a 2 person shop, and have lives out of shooting and manufacturing (to include an ailing father that they take care of) and they are VOLUNTEER Deputies with the local sheriff. I agree there is really no excuse for not being available at least by email thou.

I have one of the 1st MKAs to roll off Jim's table and it is 100%, AFTER I replaced the poly lower with a FB aluminum lower. I have no reservations recommending their TAC-12 system, it is even better than the MKA. Jim's answers to the original 5 round mags for higher capacity were the only game in town for a long time, and his mag tuning techniques (that are still on his youtube page) were really helpful when the instructions given there were followed. He really was the pioneer with the MKA and stuck with it thru thick and thin.

Tooth and Nail also makes an awsome system, they also have it "down-pat" so to speak, but its based around the MKA. nothing wrong with that thou... Matt and Josh have figured out a lot of stuff about the MKA and its mags, and are very helpful in person and on the phone or by email.

either way you won't go wrong! Yes, a race ready shotgun is up to and above $2k, whether you build the MKA up or go with the TAC-12. just some food for thought.

jj

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Sorry, apparently something changed and I don't know how to quote a post anymore.

in response to Rigger's post -

I can see where you would give them some slack as they are friends of yours. I understand that they have lives outside of their business. That is something that I would not take away from anybody. I can honestly tell you that when I got Jim on the phone, he had a real desire to help. He offered many possible solutions, all of which I deemed overboard for what I was willing to put up with. (keeping my shells in an ice chest filled with ice between stages etc). I was turned off by the unprofessional way they they conducted themselves and the unreliable manner in which the run performed. I am sure that they have worked out a lot of those details with a few more years in dealing with the platform and with the introduction of their own uppers and lowers. They are, no doubt, better than they were at it when I had my dealings with them. However, the "call back because i can't find a pencil/pen" comment, forever cemented them on the wrong list for me personally. If there were a better open shotgun solution, I would suggest it, but I don't know of a good mag fed shotgun option. "running" tends to have a different meaning for those mag fed shotgun guys than it does for everybody else. If they didn't have to disassemble it and the only hangups were cleared with one pogo stick and a few tap rack bang's they tend to think of it as a successful stage. I do not think that way. If I had to pick one now, dissident arms would be the one that I would pick. I know those guys and I have seen their guns run more than not. They are both solid dudes and I know they they would answer the phone and have a pencil handy when they did it.

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If he told you to put your shells in a cooler, I suspect you wanted to use ammo that he recommended not to use. (fiocchi maybe?) He always said to use AA or Fed gold, expensive stuff...

Running means running to me, no taps, no pogo sticks, running...shooting an entire shotgun match (actually several matches) without one hiccup running...

Try 30 rounds in 7.62 seconds at a single target. Yep, includes a mag change. That's running... See it on my YouTube page...

Thing is he built some awesome guns, but the limiting factor and biggest problem was the poly lowers. They were very inconsistent especially around the mag well, measurements varied greatly. He tried fixing the feed lips and that helped a bit, but when Jim brought out the billet lower everything changed with the entire platform. Now fast forward to the TAC 12, and everything that was wrong with the MKA lower AND upper was fixed, an even better platform.

If you see a poly lower gun choking, there is a reason, even the latest generation. The billet lowers fix most of the problems, some are lucky (like me) some may have that 1% of problems. Couple that with finiky mags, and you get what you get. Its a race gun, it and it's components have to be tuned occasionally.

Imho it's the best thing going, unless you can load sticks like JM can with a traditional tube shotgun.

:)

jj

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I am into expensive pistols the shoot high dollar powder, and rifles that shoot high dollar match ammo.... Since most shotgun stages are hosers I would like to be able to shoot cheap shells... The entire reason I have not bought a mag fed shotgun is because my Beretta eats anything you put in it... It's like the glock of shotguns. Do I have to load it on the clock, sometimes. Does it malfunction? Hell no, never! And that is hard to give up.

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And no matter how much work tooth and nail OR firebird put into a 1919 gun at the end of the day you have a plastic POS $600 gun that has been tuned into a race gun. Once that race gun malfunctions it only a $600 POS you have 2+k in.

No disrespect to either tooth and nail or firebird... I am disrespecting the 1919 in general as a foreign made plastic piece of shit(POS) gun. Is what it is.

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That's what I have been trying to say, the TAC 12 is not a foreign pos. Its made in USA. totally different than a 1919. It even breaks down like an AR15, where the 1919 does not.

:)

jj

Edited by RiggerJJ

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And no matter how much work tooth and nail OR firebird put into a 1919 gun at the end of the day you have a plastic POS $600 gun that has been tuned into a race gun. Once that race gun malfunctions it only a $600 POS you have 2+k in.

No disrespect to either tooth and nail or firebird... I am disrespecting the 1919 in general as a foreign made plastic piece of shit(POS) gun. Is what it is.

I'm pretty sure that you are dead on correct with the MKA 1919 as imported from Turkey.......but like JJ said, Firebird is NOT a 1919 and I believe that Tooth and Nail is also using all aluminum receivers as well.

That said......i believe also that both companies offer upgrades for the 1919 MKA as well.

I have the later.....with parts from both companies.....seems to run well so far, and I'm at the $1000 mark so far.

Tim

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So I called firebird... No awnser and the mailbox is full. Sounds like more of the same from up above.

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I have been in communication with tooth and nail... The fact that they are there and know what the hell is going on goes a good long way with me. They also offer 1 year warranty on their work... I have almost talked myself into buying one of their guns.

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Shotgun shells were not not meant to be feed from a box magazine. It takes a good quality shell/hull to take that kind of abuse. There is a learning curve to running and maintaining a box fed shotgun.

I have a Tac-12 and wish I got to use it more. Had a RO almost got mad at me telling me to get my shotgun for the second time. Realized he was talking to me and held magazine out, he was good then.

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Nope, Rigger - that was with AA's.

Your post does honestly make me interested in trying the tac 12, but then I read the one about them not answering the phone and having a full mailbox and it beings back the old feelings. It is a shame. The open shotgun market is ready for a reliable option.

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I have one of the very first FB guns, as well as a later Tac 12. Both run 100% with 10 round mags and 99.7-99.8% with 15 rounders.

My biggest concern about the Tac12A1 is that there's no brake option. Sure, you can put a muzzle one on later, but if I'm getting a $2k race gun, I want it to be a race gun when I get it. A minor concern is that some parts (barrel and bolts?) are not made in the US and still sourced from Turkey, and so far I've been extremely underwhelmed of the quality of anything Ive seen out of there.

If they could make it 100% US made and offer it with a mid-barrel brake, I'd likely replace one of my old ones.

And as to the price... guys building race guns out of Saigas take a $500 shotgun and turn it into a $3000 one, so not really any different there. Unfortunately building a race gun out of the current mag fed options is going to be expensive no matter which route you take.

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I have been in communication with tooth and nail... The fact that they are there and know what the hell is going on goes a good long way with me. They also offer 1 year warranty on their work... I have almost talked myself into buying one of their guns.

Good to know..

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I have an early Firebird that still has the plastic lower. Jim & Nancy went above & beyond to help me so that it runs 100% :cheers:

I still have a couple of complaints. One is that it is a PITA to disassemble/clean. The other is that it is the absolute most in-accurate shotgun I've ever shot, with slugs, and I'm pretty sure that I've tried just about everything available. :goof:

If my health gets better, I've been thinking of getting a "back-up" gun, which, just might turn in to my primary shotgun. When a freind & I worked the Benelli shotgun match, at Rockcastle, a few years ago, I saw EVERY kind of shotgun, including pumps, choke over the 350-400 rounds, but, mine didn't! :bow:

Has anyone had any experiance with the Fostech Orgin 12 shotgun? Watching the videos, they seem to have less recoil, and muzzle jump than my Firebird that has a brake, and 2 recoil reducers in it. I think they are very pricey, but, game guns always are. I don't know if I trust a rotary magazine after all of the problems they had with them in Saigas, but, as was previously stated, shotgun shell hulls weren't designed to be put in to a 15, or, 23 round magazine, where they can get out of round, or, the dreaded rimlock.

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Just saw this thread but I want to add my 2 cents. I recently gave up my T&N MKA (with the SAS aluminum lower) for a FB TAC12A1. Backstory - I was having trouble with magazines so I called Jim at Firebird to figure out how to tune the mags correctly (watched his YouTube videos but I was still unsure). Since he lives only about an hour and a half from me I asked if I could just bring the mags out to him and have him show me how to do it. He agreed and while there I was able to play around with a TAC12A1.

I want to be clear - I'm not putting down T&N. They do good work but they are starting with a Turkish plastic gun. I can tell you first hand there is no comparison between the MKA and the TAC12A1. The TAC12A1 really isn't a MKA. It is a completely different firearm that simply shares a bolt and barrel with the MKA. For example, the push pin take down of the TAC12A1 - just like an AR. The standard MKA takedown requires you remove the stock and carefully disassemble to avoid breaking the feed ramp. This alone was enough to make me want to change but the differences don't stop there. The engineering that Firebird has put into their gun is astounding. Firebird was the ground breaker on the MKA platform and knows inside and out all the good and bad. Everything they learned was rolled into the TAC12A1. It really is a shame that they don't highlight more of it as this is just in a league of its own on engineering and precision manufacturing. Firebird doesn't do themselves justice with their marketing (basically none).

My T&N gun worked and shot well but really had trouble with magazines. Everything had to be just right. So far the TAC12 is way more forgiving. I suspect this is because of slightly different geometry in the FB lower. Moreover, I had trouble with silly little things like the mag release on the T&N gun. The design they use is two pieces with a threaded rod that connects the two. On my gun the rod seemed to be too short creating a situation that made the mag catch unreliable. I am certain that T&N would have taken the gun back and fixed the issues had I contacted them but honestly once I held the TAC12 I had decided to make the switch. Everything on the TAC12 is engineered with nothing left for chance.

The one thing I did keep from my T&N gun was the mid barrel comp. Their comp (looks to be a JP design?) seems to work really well. I also really like the color's that T&N does - it really sets the gun apart. I plan to cerakote my TAC-12 after MG Nats to get the color back.

If I had it to do again I would go straight to the TAC-12A1.

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I had a converted saiga I did myself with about $800-1000 in upgrades and it ran, ran, ran... Only problems I had were with smashed hulls in my mags on hot summer stages. Had to make sure to load up right before the stage.

After a few years I wanted to try a tac-12 and did not like it at all. Recoiled much harder and had feed issues.

No I just purchased an Origin 12 and it shoots much softer back like my saiga.

"The Outdoor Office" or "Origin 12" Facebook page has a 100 rd test filmed straight through with ten mags. They have really ran it through the ringer.

Now for competition it is HEAVY. You'd want to see about changing out the forearm at least. 10 rd mags and drums are readily available now.

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Just a bit of heads up on my experiences with the folks at Firebird Precision. I have been shooting their shotguns for almost 4 years now starting with the 3rd or 4th one they ever produced. I currently have 2 of their TAC12 A1 versions (the wife shoots one too) and really can’t say enough good things about this product. Firebird guns are USA made and use very few parts from the original Akdal shotgun. I am a GM in USPSA and compete almost completely in 3 gun now. Shooting at that level I can’t afford any kind of malfunction or problem with any of my guns. Jim’s guns flat run and a lot of his success comes from listening to the shooters that are running his guns. He adapts and adjusts with the information he receives from us. The biggest issue is not with the gun itself but rather the magazines and they have always been the weak link. When the 10 round factory mags came out it was a huge step in the right direction with the fewest problems. The feed lips do need tuning and must be watched all the time. As with any gun, especially open class race guns, you need to be paid attention to them. Hopefully a huge RO doesn't step on one at a match and bend them. FYI, the winner of the Superstition Mystery Mountain 3Gun match ran a Firebird to victory this year and was 3rd at the USPSA Multigun Nationals. Great job Nick! You can’t do that with a gun that does not run.



Nobody’s perfect all the time and life’s challenges don’t always allow us the time to do everything we want when we want, so judging a person or business for not answering a phone call is pure nonsense. My experience has been quite the opposite - Jim and Nancy have been the easiest people to call, always providing information and advice on any issue I have ever had. They are always very professional and eager to help me in any way. For example, I called them 2 days before the Nationals, needing a part for our guns. There was no way to get me the part before the match so Nancy traveled to Albuquerque (a 4 hour round trip) and hand delivered the part to an competitor that was coming to the match who graciously met up with me to get me the part. That is above and beyond what most business do to make their customers happy.


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