Manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Mossberg 500 is a series of pump-action shotguns, very much treasured for their reliability and value. The fact that more than 10,000,000 of them have been manufactured in the last 50 years makes the Mossberg 500 one of the most respected shotguns out there. It has been nicknamed ‘Mossy’ and some say it’s so popular that every shooter owns, has owned or will own one at some point in their lives.
The shotgun has been designed with a dual action bar. This particular feature was introduced in 1970, after the original single-action bar was reported to bind and break, making the gun unsafe and easily broken. It also has a single large locking lug, used to secure the breech. You can find the magazine tube located directly below the barrel, screwed into the receiver. On the left rear of the trigger bar you have the slide release and the safety, often called the “tang safety” is on the upper rear of the receiver.
Given the fact that it was originally designed to be used in very harsh conditions, such as combat or hunting ducks or geese, so hunting near a water, one of its main design traits is easy cleaning and maintaining.
Mossberg 500 Variants
As far as variants go, the name “Mossberg 500” does not mean a single type of shotguns, but rather covers an entire range of guns, meant for 3 inch magnum shells. However, if we were to speak about the standard model, this one holds five 2.75 inch or four 3 inch shells in the magazine and another spare one in the chamber. It also comes in 12 and 20 gauge and .410 bore. Interestingly enough, at one point during its history, a 16 gauge was introduced, but was quickly discontinued. Here are the variants:
- Field models – basic sporting models available for purchase in a wide variety of finishes and lengths. They can be customized for hunting waterfowl, upland game, turkeys or for shooting slugs with the special slug barrel.
- Special purpose models – they are designed for self-defense and for military and police use. For example, the 590 and the eight-shot Model 500 are sold solely as special purpose shotguns. They all have short barrels, which are completely interchangeable with ones of the same length in the 500 branch. They also come with special designations, such as SPC, Mossberg 500 Tactical Persuader or Mossberg 500 Mariner.
- Law enforcement models – although they might sound the same as the special purpose models, they are different, in the sense that the former have heavier duty barrels, trigger guards, safeties and they will be a lot more resistant to hard use. These particular models are the 590A1s. They are sold in 12 gauge, with 18.5-inch and 28-inch barrels, Mossberg 500 pistol grip and sling. The Law Enforcement shotguns were also sold as a combo, with the same features.
- Home security models – this is the HS410 and it’s only available in .410. Also, as its named states, it has been specifically designed for defense usage. It is known to be the least powerful common shotgun, but users have reported it to be an amazing weapon nonetheless. It has been marketed towards beginners, who only want a weapon that’s simple and easy to use but effective at the same time. Also, an important mention is the fact that it’s sold with a training video about safety and usage.
Apart from these variants, there are also some riot gun versions of the pistol grip 500, such as Mossberg 500 Persuader, Mossberg 500 Cruiser, Road Blocker and Mariner. They all come with an 18.5 inch and 20 inch barrel. It depends on the magazine capacity.
One could also purchase the 500 Flex, which is basically your standard Mossberg 500 paired with the FLEX TLS tool-less locking system. Thusly, the shotgun turns into a very adaptable weapon, which allows the users to switch between different shooting applications in almost not time at all and with their bare hands.
Another big hit with Mossberg fans was the 500 Chainsaw, also called “The Zombie Killer”. What differentiates it from all the other shotguns is the fact that is has a chainsaw top grip which allows the user much more muzzle control. It’s aimed for serious shooting and a plus is that you can easily remove the grip and transform it into a standard fore-end.
Mossberg also markets a wide array of tactical accessories, like stocks and barrels, which allow the user to make many combinations. In the past, they even offered a bullpup configured 500. If one buys the appropriate Mossberg 500 accessories, he or she can transform their favorite weapon into a field gun, a slug gun, a defensive weapon either for civilians, the police or military forces or even into a trap or skeet gun.
The Mossberg 500 vs. Remington 870 Debate
There has always been a debate centered around the Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500. People always seem to wonder if they should buy one or the other. Looking a bit into that debate, both guns are inexpensive, they have both seen action in the field, in battle and with the police. One difference would be the fact that the 870 is what’s called a “youth model”, given the fact that it has been most people’s first shotgun, used during hunting. Of course, there are pros and cons to both. People say the 870 is a subpar gun these days, with its makers no longer caring for quality, since it’s become such a household name. On the other hand, Mossberg 500 is a working device that is good for anything from squirrels to coyotes, but it’s very ugly to look at. The 870 is said to be too big, while the 500 won’t jam no matter what.
One thing that I can tell you for sure regarding this debate is that, should you have any doubts about which one to choose, the best thing is to try them both out, rather than focusing on opinions expressed online. People are normally biased when it comes to their guns, have emotional attachments towards them and that might be misleading in the Mossberg 500 vs Remington 870 problem.
Mossberg 500 is on sale for the price of under $500, which is one of the main reasons why it’s such a beloved weapon.
Mossberg 500 Finish
Regarding finishes, the Mossberg 500 has an anodized aluminum alloy receiver, with polished and blued barrels. There are also camouflage painted models, in different patterns, while stocks can be made either of wood or composite. There’s a Mariner model available as well, with a silver finish, highly resistant to corrosion and paired with black composite stocks, which is called the Marinecote finish.