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Old February 7, 2010, 05:51 PM   #1
SigP6Carry
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First shotgun: lots of questions.

I picked up my first shotgun yesterday: a Mossberg 500A (I think it's an A, it's a 12g) for about $120. The only catch? It's got a crack in the stock. So I'm going to get a replacement stock for it (for around $86) and end up spending $206 on a Mossberg 500!

The questions start here: It's got the 28" Accuchoke Barrel with a full choke on it. I can't get the choke off for the life of me. I was under the impression that the chokes on the Accuchoke barrels are swappable. So, is this thing just being stubborn, or am I stuck with the full choke?

The forearm moves. A lot. It cycles smoothly, doesn't hesitate or anything, but... man does that forearm rattle. I've read that it's normal and if it's really bad, tightening up the screw on the front of the forearm will help. Any advice on this from other 500 owners?

Another question is this: how do I get the barrel off? I think it's just being stubborn, but the cap on the magazine tube will not unscrew for me. It's capped at 2 rounds (down from the original 6) and I was hoping to get rid of the cap, as well as tighten the screw on the forearm. But, I can't get the screw off. Anyone have advice with this problem?

And then the final question: for trap and skeet, what choke do I want? I've heard that I should use full, improved, modified and open... so... what's the answer?!

Thanks in advance for the answers, guys.
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Old February 7, 2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
So I'm going to get a replacement stock for it (for around $86) and end up spending $206 on a Mossberg 500!
Then your deal was not terribly great. Walmart sells that gun brand new for $219.

Quote:
It's got the 28" Accuchoke Barrel with a full choke on it. I can't get the choke off for the life of me.
Soak it for a few days in a can of good solvent. Kroll works best but regular kerosine is almost as good.

Quote:
but... man does that forearm rattle.
You are probably hearing the plug inside the magazine. For home defense use, you can remove the plug and put 4 shells in the magazine. For hunting migratory birds (and other game in some states), you have to have it plugged to hold no more than 2 in the magazine.

Quote:
and I was hoping to get rid of the cap, as well as tighten the screw on the forearm. But, I can't get the screw off. Anyone have advice with this problem?
Nope, the cap is what holds everything together. To unscrew the cap, screw it counter clockwise until it comes of. Then the barrel comes off.
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Old February 7, 2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Tomme, from your questions, it sounds like you didn't get an owners manual with your new gun. May I suggest you download one, (http://www.mossbergs.com/manuals/500_835_590_535_en.pdf) and read it before you attempt anything more with your gun.

For your cracked stock, a little epoxy may go a long way.

For Skeet, try an Imp Cyl or Skeet choke. For 16-yard trap try Mod, Full for handicap.
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Old February 7, 2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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First Kroil the parts that will not come loose.
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Old February 7, 2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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If it's a wood stock, you might be able to just squirt some glue in it and clamp the crack closed.
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Old February 7, 2010, 07:52 PM   #6
Doyle
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What I do with a small crack is an old woodworkers trick. See if you can get to the underside of the crack and wedge it open a little (small screwdriver works good). Use acetone and compressed air to clean it out good. Let it dry really well. Then, use CA glue (Superglue). I like the new stuff from Gorilla because it dries flexible. Force it into the crack. Again, a little compressed air to gently push it into the crack will help. Quickly remove the wedge and put a clamp onto the stock to force the crack closed. Let it sit overnight. Use a rag dampend with a little acetone to cleanup any glue that oozes out.
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Old February 8, 2010, 02:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice on the stock repair, the wood is so aged that I was hoping to keep the original wood. The choke and magazine cap (is that the phrase?) were worked off by soaking it in Hoppes #9 and then using a monkey wrench to get 'em to move. Now it's working great!

The rattle isn't the dowel. The rattle is actually the entire forearm assembly moving. The dowel in this one? It's too thick to come out of the magazine tube the conventional way. I think I gotta take it completely apart to get to it! Damn! I even tapped a screw into the dowel and tried to pull it through, but it just wouldn't come.

I believe it's a 1977 model, I found "77" stamped on the barrel, as well as a matching number on the receiver: marking the barrel as the original. I cleaned out every bit and part on it and am excited!

As for the "you didn't get a good deal arguement:" I sourced a stock for $25 plus shipping and you have to be thinking of the Maverick and not the Mossberg at wal-mart, since the Mavericks sell for the same price. That, plus none of the wal-marts around me sell guns anymore.

I picked this thing up for no other reason than to join the Skeet and Trap club at my school, so I have no reason to leave the dowel in. I'd rather have it out and be able to 5+1 the thing.

Soon as I fix the stock, I'll hit the range and let ya'll know how it handles. It's been too long since I did skeet and trap and can't wait to get back to it!

Thanks for the advice, guys, I really appreciate it.

And the link to the manual? I had already found it, but it was a GREAT help.
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Old February 8, 2010, 02:16 AM   #8
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If the mag cap is too tight for you to unscrew with your hands grab a towel and put it over the cap and use some pliers to unscrew it. I had to do that on mine. It's real simple to get that wood dowel out. Turn the gun upside down and shake till it peaks out then pull it out. (After you get the mag cap off that is)
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Old February 8, 2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
you have to be thinking of the Maverick and not the Mossberg at wal-mart, since the Mavericks sell for the same price.
Nope, Maverick is $188 at Walmart.
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Old February 8, 2010, 12:24 PM   #10
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Well, I still have an authentic American Made Mossberg from (I believe) the 70's, for $50 less than a Mexican made facsimile.

Plus, like I've said: THE WALMARTS AROUND ME DON'T SELL GUNS! I live in Illinois.
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Old February 8, 2010, 03:59 PM   #11
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PICTURES!!!




So, that's the crack, repairable?
and he's the forearm wiggle, sorry 'bout it being dark. My camera blows
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...t=MOV01034.flv
this is pumping the forearm. Two dummy rounds fall out because I had to do it one handed, so I stood it up and pumped it against the ground. The action is fine, sounds and works fine. But the forearm moves.
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...t=MOV01035.flv

Also: concerning the mag plug: it is in there. For good. Unless I take the magtube out. The down appears to be about 1-2mm wider than the screwhole. Oh, the pain of a capped magazine!
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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For stocks, check www.havlinsales.com for full sets around $45.00 or so. Make sure you measure your forearm slide to ensure you are getting the right size as there are two possibilities. Look on the "modern shotgun parts" tab at Havlin and there's a good explanation (with visuals) of this.

HTH,
RR
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:06 PM   #13
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PICTURES!!!

Actually, Redneck, I actual found the $25 stock through them. I just need the stock. I don't really need the forearm.

Oh, another question: if I wanted to fire this open bore, I can just take the choke out, right? It won't mess up the threading in the barrel, right?
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Old February 8, 2010, 04:52 PM   #14
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Looks like that stock has had someone already try to repair it.....Hard for me to definitively say. For the price of trying to repair it, a replacement may be easier on the wallet
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Old February 8, 2010, 06:04 PM   #15
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Nope, Maverick is $188 at Walmart.
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Yep I'm not sure what the Mossberg 500 costs here as I haven't looked but the Maverick is $188 here.
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Old February 8, 2010, 06:16 PM   #16
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So, I'm being told that a used, nicer, American made gun with a better barrel wasn't worth paying less for than a new, cheaper gun with SD barrels. Even though I wanted something to do trap and skeet with? I don't understand why I'm being told I should have gotten a gun that I couldn't buy without driving to another state.
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Old February 8, 2010, 06:23 PM   #17
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if I wanted to fire this open bore, I can just take the choke out, right? It won't mess up the threading in the barrel, right?

WRONG! You can get choke tubes all the way out to Spreader or Reverse chokes. No reason to shoot it without a tube in place- it can screw up the threads. You might get away with it a time or two, but those threads are awfully fine, and will clog up with gunk quickly. And they're hard to clean to boot.

Use choke tubes, and use choke tube lube, anti-sieze compound, or the like on the threads too.

The gun is what it is, fix the stock and shoot the thing. No need to spend money on cosmetics, buy a couple extra choke tubes instead. And some more ammo...

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Old February 8, 2010, 07:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
So, I'm being told that a used, nicer, American made gun with a better barrel wasn't worth paying less for than a new, cheaper gun with SD barrels. Even though I wanted something to do trap and skeet with? I don't understand why I'm being told I should have gotten a gun that I couldn't buy without driving to another state.
I do not believe that was th intent or actual expression
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Old February 8, 2010, 07:39 PM   #19
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The only way to read someone telling you that the gun that you wanted could have been bought in a different configuration new from a store you can't buy it from implies that the purchase that I made was rash and unintelligent.

Doing the math, if I bought the Maverick or Mossberg from Walmart, it would have most likely been an 18.5" or 20" model for around 188-200. Then, to use chokes and shoot skeet and trap, I'd have to buy the Accuchoke barrel for another $160. Plus, I'd rather have a wood stock than a synthetic. So, to get what I wanted from Walmart, I would have had to a) either bought a higher end model with the 28" barrel, which is probably much more expensive than the guns they're talking about, or buy the cheap gun plus a barrel for around $360. Plus, since I'm in Illinois, I don't know of any Wal-marts within the state that still sell guns. Ammo, yes. Guns, no. So I would have had to drive to Iowa, Indiana, Missouri or Wisconsin (depending on where the nearest Wal-mart with a gun section would be) to purchase the gun. Thus having to either make two trips or get a hotel room: adding a butt-ton of gas cost to the already much higher cost of the gun.

As it is: I took a nice drive out with the lady, got dinner, bought a gun for $120 and might have to replace the stock for $25, unless I can repair the current stock. At that point: $120.

Nope. I got a good deal. Stop telling me I didn't. I like this gun.

Now, back to the topic of my questions: I've been reading up on chokes. And can anyone here who shoots really tell the difference between Cylinder, Skeet, Improved and Modified while skeet shooting? I'm looking at these differences and I can't imagine they're that big between each and every one. And I'd rather pick up specific chokes than get the entire set.

I'm thinking that Cylinder, Modified and Full will be the only ones I'll need. And I could shoot skeet with Cylinder.

Also, as far as slugs and buck go: how do the chokes effect that? I've been trying to figure all of this out with websites and the likes... but... wow is all that information in a million places. It doesn't help me much.
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Old February 9, 2010, 02:24 AM   #20
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Ok, here's the update: I found that Box o' Truth had all the info I needed on chokes. So, I'm set with that. I'm going to try to repair the stock with epoxy before ordering a new one. And I'm going to hit up the skeet range sometime in the next week or two. I also got the dowel out of my magazine tube, by taking the magazine out off the receiver. It was swollen and gross with oil.

So, I guess almost all of my questions for this thread have been answered. Potentially $120 for a Mossberg M500, maybe around $145. I have to say: quite the deal... quite the deal.

For now, I'm going to fire it with the full choke. I'll get a Cylinder choke, modified, improved, skeet and I've got the full. So, I should be all set with a beautiful sport and hunting shotgun that can double as a (although a rather long one) home defense and SHTF gun.

Thanks for the advice, guys.
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Old February 9, 2010, 04:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomme
Now, back to the topic of my questions: I've been reading up on chokes. And can anyone here who shoots really tell the difference between Cylinder, Skeet, Improved and Modified while skeet shooting?
Most definitely! As a Skeet newbie, you probably won't notice the difference between cylinder, Skeet and improved cylinder chokes. (You won't need to buy a cyl choke if you get a Skeet) But an experienced comp Skeet shooter can tell the difference by the way the targets break. Also, they can tell if their loads are slower or faster than they're used to. Many Skeeters have several versions of Skeet chokes available that differ by only a few thousandths of an inch. My comp Skeet chokes aren't labeled by name, like field chokes, but are marked by their reduction in ten-thousandths of an inch. The shooter will change his chokes for optimum target breaks depending of the conditions of the day. If you're having trouble seeing the targets, or there's some wind you may open your gun to get a little broader pattern. If everything is working perfectly, you may want to tighten up for better breaks. Different ammo may require slight choke adjustments, too. The comp shooter doesn't just want to shoot a 100-straight, he'd prefer a 100 inkballs when conditions allow. There's an old saying among comp shooters: I'd rather have a sloppy 100-straight than 99 ink-balls; but, in their true hearts, everyone is after 100 vaporized targets.

I should mention, all of this choke fine-tuning is usually in the smaller guns, the 28-ga and .410-bore, where a few thousandths makes a huge difference. The 12 and 20-ga guns hit Skeet targets so hard you don't need to mess with your chokes. Some folks complain that good 12-ga Skeet gun has such a huge, and uniform, kill zone that it's hard to tell if a good break was centered or off by 6-inches or a foot. An off-center a good break with a 12-ga would frequently be lost with a .410!
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Old February 9, 2010, 10:44 AM   #22
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Probably ImpCyl (improved cylinder) is as open as you'll want to go with your choke tubes. A touch of choke will help even out birdshot patterns most of the time. Usually it works well with slugs too, and with the better loads of buckshot as well.

http://www.wildfowlmag.com/tips_stra...hotgun_062304/

http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotgun_chokes.htm

http://www.colonialarms.com/pdf-files/page7.pdf (these folks used to be located in my old home town of Selma, AL, and I still use them whenever I need shotgun barrel work done)

And how good a deal you got depends on the used gun market in your area, which seems to vary a good bit pricewise from state to state. Some places do seem to be a good bit less expensive for used guns than others. From the pictures, in this area the price you quoted is pretty much in line with going prices for similar guns. Main thing is, if you're happy with it, it's a good deal. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you- just enjoy it.

As to using the gun for home defense, it'll work fine from a barricaded position. If you don't have to move it around in the house it doesn't much matter how long it is. But there are lots of 18" Mossberg 500 barrels out there, if you want shorter. Just look for an inexpensive used one.

hth,

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Old February 9, 2010, 04:41 PM   #23
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turns out the stock is completely stable. That "crack" is actually just a peice of wood that fell off and was rejoined to it. So. The stock is structurally sound and the screw in the stock was loose. Once I tightened it back up, it was perfect! Bless it.
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Old February 9, 2010, 05:00 PM   #24
hogdogs
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Thomme,
Advice...
If that trigger group seems hard to remove with the 2 pins out... loosen the stock bolt a few turns...
Upon reassembly, a simple flat washer or 2 will prevent this from reoccurring.
Brent
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Old February 9, 2010, 05:34 PM   #25
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Sounds like you have your gun all figured out and ready to go. A good deal on a gun or anything else is one that you are happy with. A 500 will serve you well as any other similar gun all you need now is ammo and time to shoot it. Good luck : Bill
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