“This is my boomstick!” You probably already know the movie and some of you poor souls are now continuing the dialogue. Regardless, that moment etched a short barrel shotgun into our ballistic subconscious and we all wanted one. The challenge of course is the fact that short barrel shotguns fall under the National Firearm Act and are therefore difficult to get. Let’s add into that, those states that are simply Soviet Union wannabes and the restrictions get worse.  The Nighthawk Tomahawk looks like an impeccable solution to that problem. But let’s start at the beginning.

The Nighthawk Tomahawk

The 40 pounds of NFA paperwork, a stupid long wait period and local laws have kept us from our boomstick for years. And at once a light on the horizon broke and the answer to our problem arrived. The solution is the advent of what has been categorized as a “pistol grip firearm.”

While not truly a new idea, several companies have used this category to develop a weapon that looks and feels like a shotgun, but technically isn’t. Got all of that? Yeah, welcome to the federal government. Regardless of the white paper tap dance, we now have a boomstick at our disposal without the NFA hassle.

Nighthawk Treatment

While several companies have rushed a product to market, my absolute favorite has just hit the streets from the weapon masters at Nighthawk Custom. Its offering is officially the Tomahawk Pistol Grip Firearm. I got my hands on it at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Gateway, Colo. — probably the most unique gathering of gun writers and firearms manufacturers I’ve ever been to.

Being the serious professionals they are, Nighthawk Custom even requested and received a letter from the ATF classifying this weapon as a “firearm,” but not a short barrel shotgun. Therefore, it is not an NFA/Class III weapon.

As you can imagine, Nighthawk took its version of the PGF very seriously and built a gun worthy of its name. Built from the Remington 870, it has an overall length of only 26 inches. It also is capable of holding 5+1 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells. Nighthawk’s attention to detail is serious and the company even custom cut the mag tube to aesthetically fit the gun. Everything about the Tomahawk has Nighthawk written on it.

One of my favorite points is the inclusion of the Vang Comp back bore and barrel porting system. This helps minimize recoil and makes this firearm as easy to shoot as it is to maneuver. I have had Vang Comp work on one of my personal shotguns. It is a fantastic addition to a gun.

The attention to detail continues as you notice the inclusion of a four-round side saddle, big button tactical safety and bead front sight. Run the action a few times and you can feel that they have been hand honed to perfection. Wrap all of this up in a black Cerakote rust resistant finish and a Hogue overmolded pistol grip and forend and you have an epic blaster.

Immediate Wish List

I have had the pleasure of shooting the other two “pistol grip firearms” currently on the market, so I was anxious to see just what Nighthawk could do to improve the experience.

I loaded the Tomahawk to the brim and pointed in on a steel target at 15 yards. It had a real pistol grip on it, which was my first indication that this was going to be a better experience. It gave me much more confidence to raise the gun higher as opposed to just blasting from the hip.

After just six rounds on target I was sold. The mix of the Vang Comp barrel work with the superior action and pistol grip turned what is, in most cases, a novelty gun into a fighter. I quickly loaded again and went to work on an unsuspecting range car at 25 yards. The recoil was nothing and I quickly realized that Nighthawk had turned this “new” gun into a serious fighter.

I am constantly asking myself just what applications a new weapon would have so the Nighthawk Tomahawk got the same treatment. The answer to that question was extensive, but I kept coming back to home defense and vehicle applications. This gun is easy to run and even with a little training can be effectively used by people of any stature. Its small nimble nature not only makes it easy to store, but quick to deploy and fight with.

I thoroughly enjoyed running the Tomahawk and believe that it is first in class in this category. Nighthawk Custom has come through yet again. If there was a mic drop on the “pistol grip firearm” arena, this is it.

For more information on the Nighthawk Tomahawk Pistol Grip Firearm, please visit

Nighthawk Tomahawk Specs

  • Overall Length: 26.1″
  • Barrel Length: 16″
  • Hogue Overmolded Pistol Grip and Forend
  • Vang Comp Barrel Porting and Backbore
  • 4 Round Side Saddle
  • Front Bead Sight
  • Big Button Tactical Safety
  • Hand Honed Action and Rails
  • 1-Shot Machined, Solid Billet Extension Tube to Match Barrel Length
  • Black Cerakote Rust Resistant Finish
  • MSRP: $1,395

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