View Full Version : Comments on Mossberg 500 for a newbie

Michael Carlin
December 17, 1998, 09:16 PM
Help me, I've fallen and can't reach my shotgun!

A while back I bought a Mossberg 500A,
28" Accu choke 12 gauge 2&3/4" and 3".
Picked up synthetic stock kit for it, and now seek advice from you combat shotgunners.

What barrel (factory) would you put on the gun for its home defense, and combat match duties?

An 18.5" slug barrel with rifle sights looks very appealing at $88.00, or should I go with a 24" barrel equipped with the same sights for the same price?

Would the adverse effect on patterns of a rifled barrel be acceptable, and is the rifling of true value with slugs? What barrel length? Why?

In all the years I have been shooting this is my biggest lack of experience, I actually have more rounds through a cap and ball revolver than a shotgun!


yours in marksmanship


Rob Pincus
December 17, 1998, 09:31 PM
Hey Micheal,

I don't believe in Slug barrels except for limite hunting use. I've shot dear at over 60 yards with an 870 express short smooth barrel with nothing more than the bead. Certainly at home defense distances you aren't going to see any benefit from a rifled barrel.

Similarly, you are not going to lose anything (and probably stand to gain) with a shorter barrel for home defense.

BTW- do a search here on home defense or shotgun to see what some of us have said in the past about your load choice.


December 17, 1998, 10:04 PM
I suggest you go with an 18 or 20" cylinder bore barrel. If you want sights, check the Brownell's catalog. They have several to choose from.
I like the Mossbergs. I sometimes refer to my 590 as the "House Howitser".

December 17, 1998, 11:41 PM
You might want to go to Gunsite's webpage http://www.gunsite.com/ and read the February 1997 newsletter article by Bill Jeans on the "Twenty-first Century Shotgun." It is an excellent article on fighting shotgun modifications. Another good site to get ideas is Hans Vang's homepage. He does excellent modifications on shotguns. His site is http://www.vangcomp.com/

Bruce Stanton

[This message has been edited by bruels (edited 12-17-98).]

December 18, 1998, 06:36 PM
You can get 18.25 inch barrels from "The Sportsmans Guide" 1-800-888-3006.
they are $59.97. they also have side saddle shell carriers and Mag Extentions.


December 18, 1998, 10:03 PM
Michael, first, the Mossberg -- durable, reliable, and the tang mounted safety is the easiest to use. In 16 years I sold a lot of Mossbergs, and other than the plastic safety breaking, I fixed 1. Winchesters were very break prone, with Remington 870s just behind Mossberg.
Barrel, IMHO rifling in the barrel is not necessary for shots inside 75yds.
If you are going to use a shotgun inside the house -- barrel length is important. 18" with rifle sights or ghost ring will cover all of the bases.
Special barrels -- Vang is the best -- mine will Keep all 9 00 buck in 6" at 25 yds. Federal H132.
Last, if used for a house gun, have a set of Wolf Ears hanging on the gun. Unless you have extensive training and then only as a last resort, should you try to clear your house yourself. Wear a vest if you are going to attempt to clear a house. George

December 19, 1998, 10:51 AM
If I recall correctly I own 5 of them. I've had to replace one safety, it also had a bad trigger group so I picked it up very inexpensively. Got another (plastic) trigger group from Gun Parts. Picked up one that needed a new disconnector. Replaced disconnector. Thinking about modifying bad disconnector shotgun to fire shotgun ala Win 97 & 12 style.

Michael Carlin
December 20, 1998, 12:10 PM
Thank you very much for your input, I appreciate it.

I am going to drive over to the nearest 'big shop' this afternoon to do a little shopping, perhaps the shorter cylinder barrel will come home with me! ;-)

Maybe, if the income refund is as big as I hope, I might even have Vang work on it!

Ni elligemit carborundum esse!

yours in marksmanship


December 21, 1998, 07:57 PM

I've got one Mossy 500A with a heat shielded 20" bbl and black synthetic stocks, simple bead up front, improved cylinder choke with a 3" chamber.

It is rugged, solid, smooth enough for my own needs, and sports a simple yet efficient manual of arms.

True, I'd love to get my hands on a set of tac-sighted bbls, plus Tac-Saddle, so on and so forth... ;)

Who knows? Santa's knocking on the door!...

Good luck on your new purchase!

Si vis pacem Para Bellum -- Audaces Fortuna Juvat

Michael Carlin
December 21, 1998, 10:59 PM
I am hyped!

Picked up a 18.5" cylinder bore barrelby Mossberg for less than $60.00 out the door!

Put it on the shotgun this afternoon, and it is one HANDY piece now! I can hardly believe the difference in the feel of the shotgun.

Elsewhere I posted some ammunition concerns but on Thurday I have the day off and will definitely shoot this thing for a bit.

This is a new territory for me, never having been much involved with shotguns! I am like a kid with a new toy.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


Michael Carlin
December 23, 1998, 06:42 PM
Shot two rounds of skeet this afternoon, the third and fourth rounds of my life. Short cycled the 500 once, that is my fault. The safety seems to want to partially apply itself. Missed several shots due to the saftey being partially on. (I think I made couple doubles, maybe not) at least I did break a few birds, with a cylinder bore barrel and 8s and 9s.

A very good time was had by all, we had Brunswick stew cooked over an open fire, and shot skeet from noon till 15:30. Here in Virginia this is the first cold snap and I was fortunate no to have to go into DC to work today. Tomorrow will be a mess!

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


December 24, 1998, 09:50 AM
Does the synthetic stock have a prominent pistol grip? It could be that your hand is riding up and partially engaging the safety.
Also if anyone has ever had the safety apart perhaps it was not put back together correctly, there are a couple of small springs, a detent plate and detent ball if I recall. The ball can be a pain to reinstall.

Michael Carlin
December 24, 1998, 11:03 AM

No, not a prominent pistol grip like an M16, just a "sporter stock" type grip.

Could be I am engaging it, but I made a special effort to avoid it and it occurred several times. The problem occurs mostly on the second bird in doubles, it appears to apply (partially, enough to prevent firing) when the action is worked vigorously.

I do not know if anyone else has diassembled the mechanism (it is used, though not much). I have not had it apart, but I suppose I should strip it and ensure that it is correctly assembled and the detent and spring are in place.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


December 24, 1998, 08:09 PM
I had the same problem with my Mossberg 500 home defense gun. Being sort of a tinkerer, I disassembled the safety switch to "see what was inside." A couple of weeks after I had done this I found the safety would engage when I racked the action. At first, I thought the bolt was coming back to bump the safety into partial engagement, but some experimentation proved this wasn't happening.
My current theory is that as the slide is pulled all the way back, the whole gun jerks backwards, including the safety switch. But since I'm compensating for this backward movement by holding on to the gun (and not holding on to the safety), the inertia of the safety switch carries it back to a partially "on" position.
This is what I THINK is happening with MY gun, and if so, it indicates that something may be loose in the safety switch assembly. I'm pretty sure I put all the parts back together, and in the right way, so I'm not sure what the root cause is.
Since I couldn't fix the problem, and this is the gun I rely on to defend my home, I removed the safety switch altogether and put the parts in ziploc bag. I don't want that pesky switch to engage at a critical moment!!
If you find the reason your safety is engaging, or if anyone else knows, please post it here!
P.S.-What's Latin for "Beware of what you tinker with"?

[This message has been edited by boing (edited 12-24-98).]

December 25, 1998, 09:07 AM
When you put the safety back together did you seat the spring under the detent ball properly so that it wouldn't spring out before seating the ball? The spring is what puts tension on the detent when sliding the safety.

December 25, 1998, 01:44 PM
Yes, the spring, ball, and detent plate were all there. And you're right, it IS a pain to keep the ball in place!