I have a wife who works in the firearms industry. To simply say she knows guns would not only be an understatement, it would be cause to look for cover. On more than one occasion I have given her an article to read and proof. That’s why I was taken off-guard when she offered to buy me one of IAC’s Hawk shotguns. I mean, she has access to most any gun simply by picking up the phone, but it was a Hawk that caught her eye.
The IAC is practically a Remington 870 without the markings. However, she isn’t interested in buying a shotgun for what is not; to sleep next to her it would have to be something very special—myself being an exception of course.
Next to the Mossberg 500, I would say the next most popular shotgun for home defense over the years has to be the Remington 870. The Interstate Arms Hawk Model 981R is close, actually very close to being a direct clone of the Remington 870. Not all of the parts are interchangeable, but many are.
Imported by Interstate Arms and manufactured by Norinco, the IAC Hawk 981R shotgun is Chinese made—which may be a turnoff for many and I understand completely. However, it is also our top seller and flying off the shelves alarmingly fast. I guess the wife has her finger on the pulse of guns people really like. Personally, I don’t care as long as she buys one for me too. Fortunately, for the price, we can afford two with ease.
Breaking Down the Details
The IAC Hawk does a great job of doing exactly what the manufacturer intended, which is to be a rugged, home-defense gun. Because it is patterned after one of America’s favorite 12-gauge pumps, the IAC Hawk 981R features a machined solid-steel receiver, 18.5-inch barrel, 3-inch chamber and bead sight. This traditional pump-action model is fitted with polymer stocks, recoil pad and comes decked in a black matte finish. Distinguishing the Model 981R from her sister, is the picatinny rail topping the receiver for your favorite optic and a bead sight. (I guess I know what to put in her stocking.)
The Model 982 is identical with all the same features including a 5+1 capacity, but has pre-installed ghost ring sights instead of a rail—if you have priced out ghost rings lately that is a great deal and comes in at just under $250.
Even with a close look, it would be hard to knock the construction. The extractor and ejector are machined, which beats the 981′s American counterpart that uses MIM parts. As mentioned, the receiver is made of steel. The trigger guard is also steel not plastic.
Times are tough and everyone’s looking for a deal these days. Often, that means you get what you pay for. The IAC Hawk, however, seems to be an exception and provides plenty of quality at a great price. In fact, although it hurts me to admit, in many ways it features are of better quality at a fraction of the price than some of my favorite guns.
Specifications and Features
- Caliber: 12-gauge
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
- Chamber: 3-inch
- Capacity: 5+1
- Stock: Polymer
- Finish: Matte black finish
- Receiver: Machined, solid steel
- Sights:Picatinny rail ready for your optic of choice
- Length: 38.5 inches in overall length
- Weight: 7 pounds