This is my review of the Mossberg 500, a pump action shotgun known for its low price but high quality:
The Mossberg 500 is a pump action shotgun available in 12 gauge, 20, gauge, and .410. Factory barrels are available from 14″ to 28″ in length (although a US resident wishing to own a shotgun with a barrel under 18″ would need to take the necessary legal steps first). Various models of the Mossberg 500 are available, for purposes including home defense, trap shooting, duck hunting, and deer hunting. As would be expected, barrels for the Mossberg 500 are interchangeable, allowing a single gun and multiple barrels to fill an owner’s needs across different shooting disciplines. The safety is located on the rear of the receiver, instead of the usual trigger guard location, which is a nice feature for left handed shooters. Other variants of this shotgun include the Mossberg 505 (a youth model), Mossberg 535 (chambered for 3.5″ super magnum shells), and the Mossberg 590/Mossberg 500A1 (differences in the magazine design).
Mossberg shotguns tend to be some of the most inexpensive ones available, although quality does not suffer. The Mossberg 500 feels solid, and in my experience is no less reliable than my Remington 870 XCS Marine Magnum. It has dual action bars, which are supposed to prevent the pump action from jamming and are also standard on other high quality pump action guns. Parkerized metal components are also available for corrosion resistance. One feature that I do not like is the aluminum receiver, as I prefer steel. This is because aluminum has a finite fatigue life, while steel’s is infinite. That said, I have no real fears that the receiver will fail, and object more in principle to the use of aluminum.
No news is good news here, as I can do little but report that I’ve never had the Mossberg 500 jam or otherwise fail. This is the level of reliability that I expect from a firearm (especially a pump action shotgun), and I was not disappointed.
The Mossberg 500 generally comes with the receiver drilled and tapped to allow for the installation of the sighting device of one’s choice. Magazine extensions, replacement stocks, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, aftermarket barrels, side saddles and a variety of other accessories are available. Those that enjoy customizing their guns will enjoy the Mossberg 500.
The Mossberg 500 is a high quality pump action shotgun that is available at a decidedly affordable price. I would prefer that the receiver were made of steel instead of aluminum, but I must admit that this not really a big deal. I also wish that the safety was located in the trigger guard, instead of on the back of the receiver, but to each their own. Those looking for a low priced, high quality shotgun should consider the Mossberg 500 series, although I continue to prefer the Remington 870 XCS Marine Magnum when it comes to pump action shotguns.