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Old March 25, 2011, 09:25 PM   #1
Sarge
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The Maverick 88 'Short Block'

While picking up my Charter Arms Undercover, I asked my dealer to keep his eye peeled for a used Mossberg 500. He ducked in the back and produced the back half of a Maverick 88, which came in without a barrel. He got into it right and shortly thereafter, so did I.

I originally intended to slap an 18 ½“ barrel on it, but after pricing around I discovered I could buy a 20” bead sighted barrel and 7-shot mag tube direct from Mossberg, for very little more money. The deal was done and while waiting for delivery, I gave the OEM tube a few shots of PB Blaster. When the parts arrived three weeks later, changing out mags tubes was accomplished without grief. The OEM shell follower was simply re-used for the conversion. I was relieved to discover that follower was made of metal instead of plastic.

The finished product appears below; it is essentially an 8-shot Maverick with the 'field' style forend.



The first outing proved the gun reliable, feeding and ejecting field loads as fast as it could be cycled from the hip. Deliberate shooting produced some really good results with 2 ¾” Super-X slugs and 00 Buck; so good, in fact, I thought they were a fluke. Today, it proved otherwise, keeping all nine pellets of 00 in the chest of a B27 at a measured 25 yards- and all but two of those in the 7 ring. I can't tell you how many police shotguns I've fired over the years and most of them won't do this. My 870 Special Purpose, with the improved cylinder tube installed, still wouldn't pattern 00 buck this well. I was also elated to discover that the bead-sighted barrel was regulated perfectly for Super-X slugs.



And just to make sure THAT wasn't a fluke, I fired another Super-X slug from 50 yards. That shot is highlighted in red.



These are splendid results from a 'price point' shotgun.

Comparisons are inevitable and fortunately, I've had a number of Mossberg 500's and 590's through my hands. My first thought is that Mossberg's barrels have gotten better. I bought a half-dozen 590-A1's for a little Sheriff's Dept., 20 years ago, and spent an afternoon zeroing them at 50 yards with 2 3/4" Super X slugs. None of them shot a bit better than this shotgun- and none of them would pattern this well with buckshot.

I think the actions on Mossberg's pumps have gotten better. This 88 don't rattle much and I'm convinced it has a shorter stroke--cycles faster--than the 870's I've become so accustomed to.

At six pounds, the 88 is light for an 8-shot 12 Gauge shotgun. This is a two edged sword. It makes the Maverick handle much better than a $225.00 shotgun should. When fired with high-brass shells, you can tell when it goes off.

Finally- Mossberg is flat stocking them better these days. Those damn 590's all had a sharp mould line down the top of the stock and in 15 minutes I looked like I'd been boxing with Sugar Ray Leonard. The stock on this Maverick 88 is smooth and when mounted, the bead appears precisely centered on the sighting plane for an instant hit on anything unfortunate enough to be behind it. The forend falls under the leading hand and feels good to it. These are superbly thought-out, practical shotguns.

There are a couple of things about the 88 that run contrary to my tastes. While they've become common, I do not like plastic trigger housings. I had durability concerns about these, somewhat allayed by the fact that problems with them seem to be rare. The recoil pad could be better, but this is an easy fix. The safety on the Maverick is small, slick and just might be easy to miss under stress. I expect that sooner or later, an enterprising individual will offer a 'big button' replacement. There are lots of these guns in circulation and a market almost certainly exists.
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Last edited by Sarge; March 25, 2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old March 25, 2011, 10:51 PM   #2
MrDontPlay
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Sounds like a good deal. I just got an 88 with the long barrel with the vented top rib. I'm going to swap mine out for an 18.5" barrel with some fiber optic sights I think. I haven't got a chance to shoot mine yet.
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Old March 26, 2011, 12:33 AM   #3
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I've always found Mossberg products, and particularly the Maverick 88, very good guns for the money.
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Old March 26, 2011, 02:17 AM   #4
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I absolutely love my Maverick 88, But I started having issues with it failing to fire about 75% of the time. I sent the trigger group back to mossberg. I hope the new group they will send me fixes the problem.

Have you tried shooting skeet with yours?
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Old March 27, 2011, 06:04 AM   #5
LilHog
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Sarge, can you tell me where you got the "field" style forend at? This is exacrtly what I need to complete my project. I have a slide tube and nut waiting for a longer style forend. I'm having reach problems with the stock corn cob style unit.

That's one beautiful maverick you have there!
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Old March 27, 2011, 07:23 AM   #6
Sarge
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No skeet yet, Ac1d0v3r1d3; only had it screwed together for about 4 days now. Let us know how your service issue works out.

Lilhog, that forend came on the gun. You are welcome to send the pic (or a link to my post) to Mossberg, to see if they are still available.
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Old March 27, 2011, 09:55 AM   #7
hogdogs
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lilhog, try Havlin Sales for stocks...

http://havlinsales.com/default.htm

Brent
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Old April 2, 2011, 03:02 PM   #8
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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Quote:
No skeet yet, Ac1d0v3r1d3; only had it screwed together for about 4 days now. Let us know how your service issue works out.
I got my new trigger group back today. Pretty fast turn around if you ask me. I was expecting it to take 6 to 8 weeks. And I got it in about 10 days from when I shipped.
I'm probably not going to have a chance to shoot it for another week. I'll post back when I find out if the new trigger group solves the Fail To Fire problem.
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Old April 3, 2011, 01:27 PM   #9
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I bought one of those persuaders with the pistol grip, heat sheild and 20" barrel/extended magazine. I already had a Cute little 500 with an 18" barrel and full stock. Looking at them side by side something look very wrong. A few minutes with the screwdriver and



Trench Gun and Cruiser Plus. Must have been some factory mix up.
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:51 PM   #10
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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Quote:
No skeet yet, Ac1d0v3r1d3; only had it screwed together for about 4 days now. Let us know how your service issue works out.
I got my new trigger group back today. Pretty fast turn around if you ask me. I was expecting it to take 6 to 8 weeks. And I got it in about 10 days from when I shipped.
I'm probably not going to have a chance to shoot it for another week. I'll post back when I find out if the new trigger group solves the Fail To Fire problem.
Problem solved. My 88 shoots again.
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