Capacity, effectiveness and compactness are each important factors in defensive long guns. Unfortunately, these terms can conflict. In the law enforcement and military worlds, each factor can mean success or failure, but which one is most important at the time really depends on the situation.

For those maneuvering in buildings or vehicles, compactness rates pretty high. As for capacity, well, quick reloads are always a good thing. Not many people are taking Garands into battle today.

It seems that the best option for close quarters might be a high-capacity, magazine-fed 12 gauge with a short overall length. A short-barreled pump shotgun meets some specifications, but then there is the capacity issue. And for those not in the military, the NFA paperwork involved adds time and expense, turnoffs for many.

Aces High

Florida’s Black Aces Tactical has been working to solve these problems. In 2009, the company began manufacturing a line of shotgun rails, but stopping there just wasn’t in the cards. The Pro Series 5 was up next: Milled, magazine-fed receiver conversions for Mossberg shotguns that retained the reliable Mossberg safety. This eventually led to Black Aces building complete shotguns using as many of its own parts as possible.

Patented Black Aces five- or 10-round stick magazines, or 12 or 20-round ProMag drums, snap into the company’s milled receivers using an AK-style system. It was obvious to the Black Aces crew that the receiver/magazine combination could eliminate the capacity shortcomings for short-barreled shotguns, where shortened barrels meant shortened magazine tubes.

The guys at Black Aces put their thinking caps on and came up with plans to produce the Pro Series 5 DT shotgun—a compact shotgun with excellent capacity. It was a 12-gauge shotshell platform, which certainly provides effectiveness. Still, there was the pesky NFA paperwork and delays, but Black Aces had some ideas about that!

With the DT shotgun idea established and growing in popularity, Black Aces wanted to work with the BATFE to evaluate the future DT to ensure that the final product could be sold, purchased and used without NFA difficulties. The milled receiver—a virgin receiver that never had a stock attached before—was one step. When the guys the guys at Black Aces finished their ministrations incorporating the advice of the BATFE’s Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch, they had the DT’s final specs.

Gun Details

The DT uses an 8.5-inch barrel, an Advanced Technology International (ATI) pistol grip, a fixed or folding buffer tube, a Sig Sauer SB15 stabilizing brace and a Magpul foregrip on a multi-positional action block mounted between the twin action bars.

The buffer tube is attached to the receiver with an ATI Talon fixed or folding stock adapter, which includes the ATI pistol grip.

In addition to the receiver, the barrel, action lock, barrel clamp and extractor are milled, and other small parts are purchased directly from Mossberg. The DT is hand-finished for a tight fit and smooth operation.

The DT is also available with breacher tips. Black Aces’ breacher tips feature a Win Choke thread pattern, and simply screw on and off. This also means that they are suppressor ready.

Finally, for a custom touch, the purchaser can choose from a large number of Cerakote finish options.

No NFA Paperwork

The Black Aces DT has an overall length of 26.5 inches with the tube locked open and weighs about 7 pounds empty. Black Aces also became the proud possessor of a BATFE letter declaring the DT a firearm, not an “any other weapon” (AOW) or short-barreled shotgun (SBS), meaning no NFA paperwork was required.

There were qualifications, though. The shotgun submitted to the FTISB had an overall length of 27.25 inches—definitely exceeding 26 inches, as it must. As explained by the FTISB, “a firearm of this type is properly classified as an AOW if its overall length is less than 26 inches, or if it is actually concealed on the person.” Because the overall length of the DT is a product of the Sig Sauer SB15 brace, the “firearm” classification remains “provided the Sig Sauer SB15 stabilizing brace is used as originally designed and not used as a shoulder stock.”

All of this means Black Aces can legally market the DT to users without involving any NFA paperwork. It also means the end-user is responsible for keeping the NFA fly out of the ointment by not illegally using the Sig Sauer SB15 as a shoulder stock or carrying the DT concealed. That’s pretty simple.

CQB Machines

It appears that although the Black Aces DT is shooting out of its doors, there was one upgrade a large number of customers wanted to see: A rail for sights and accessories. Well, Black Aces Tactical listened and now also sells its Tactical DTR—the DT, but wearing one of Black Aces’ RB7DT quad-rails.

Black Aces Tactical is a quality company that solves problems, listens to its customers and build innovative products. It sounds like these guys are doing everything right!

For more information, visit

Black Aces Tactical DT Specifications


12; 3-inch chamber


8.5 inches

OA Length:

26.5 inches


7 pounds (empty)


ATI Talon








5+1, 10+1



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