View Full Version : Mossberg Newbie Questions

August 31, 2005, 07:04 PM
I have limited experience with shotguns, mostly from a few hunting trips 30 years ago.

My local Big 5 Sporting goods store has new Mossberg 12 ga. for just over $200. I believe the model is called the "Defender" or "Guardian" or something like that. I do not know the barrel length, but given that is is sold in a major California sporting goods store, I'm sure it is what ever the specs are for this type of shotgun...visually is is much shorter than the typical hunting shotguns like the Remington 870s that are stored nearby. I assume that that is because this gun is intended for security work, which is why I want it...home security. (I know there are many other options for home security and have read a few of the debates on this board)

It is has a black metal finish and a black synthetic stock. Are any of you familiar with this gun? Is it as good as I will get for $200?

The young man behind the counter did not seem to know much other than to tell me there is a 2 week waiting period after purchase and that I have to pay an additional $25 for some type of fee required by the government??/store??

Can I assume this has a security style choke...what is that called, a "cylinder" choke?

Anything to be wary of in this model?

Is it legal to change the stock to a pistol style grip? The shoulder style butt seems a bit superfluous for the intended purposes.

Lastly, would I be better off going to a gun store an buying a different or more standard used shotgun and modifying it? I have the tools and skills to do so. Is there a minimum legal length allowed in CA?

I intend to hire a trainer from a local club to teach me how to use this tool. I understand the qualified trainers are moonlighting tested law officers and ex-military personnel. Again, any suggestions?


August 31, 2005, 07:56 PM
I think that's the 20" barrel 8 shot model 500. I think it's called the Persuader. It's got a cylinder bore. The only caveat with this model is the lack of interchangable barrels.

They also have a 18.5"/28" combo 6 shot model usually for the same price. A little bit shorter overall length (with the 18.5" barrel attached), more choice of interchangable barrels, but smaller magazine capacity.

Either way, for the price (for any price, really), you'd be hard pressed to get a more reliable new gun.

For pump action shotguns, pistol grips are perfectly legal in CA. As are folding stocks, detachable magazines,etc. Barrel has to be at least 18.5" and overall length has to be over 26" i think. I'm not sure if CA allows NFA shotguns at all, such as sub 18" barrels. The Persuader might even come with a pistol grip kit.

There's a 10 day waiting period, and the $25 is called a Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) fee. CA also requires a lock of some type, but Mossbergs come with one.

All CA related info can be found here:

You can buy a different shotgun at another store, but you'd be hard pressed to find a more standard shotgun. Just about any aftermarket goody that's on the market is available for the Mossberg 500.

Find out what the trainer thinks about pistol grips before buying one. While they have thier uses, they may not be the wisest choice, being difficult to aim with any accuracy.

August 31, 2005, 08:15 PM
Thanks Shecky, that's really helpful info. Sounds like this is a good purchase for me.

The AG's website is intersting. I just went and browsed it.....just suppose I have a hypothetical acquaintance who moved to California years ago with handguns that have basically been in storage for these many years. And suppose this acquaintance had no idea that she was to register handguns when she came to the state and now that she knows, she wants to be in compliance and wants to keep the guns. Can she throw herself on the mercy of the AG's office, fill out paperwork in order to come into compliance? How does she comply with the law with our a bunch of hassle? I doubt these guns have seen the light of day in 25 years, but it is a significant collection that belonged to her late father who lived with her for the entire time she has been in California and she can find no evidence of any paperwork to support that he ever registered them. He was a meticulous record keeper especially at the time they moved to CA. She even has most of the original reciepts he had saved from his original purchases. All hypothetically of course......

Also, what is an "NFA" shotgun?

September 1, 2005, 07:03 AM
NFA shotguns have barrels less than 18in and rifles with barrels less than 16in. These from what I understand are considered AOW firearms or Any Other Weapon and require a $5.00 tax stamp from what I heard.

September 1, 2005, 10:55 AM
"NFA shotguns have barrels less than 18in and rifles with barrels less than 16in. These from what I understand are considered AOW firearms or Any Other Weapon and require a $5.00 tax stamp from what I heard."

Wow, the gun world has a lot of acronyms sprinkled through it! :confused:

I gather that an NFA shotgun is somehow classified as other than a shot gun?

So what does "NFA" stand for?

What is the significance of an "Any Other Weapon" classification for a tool like this? WillBrayjr says you would have to pay a $5 tax stamp for it....so you can do what...own it legally? Who do you pay the $5 to, the feds?

So just for the sake of clarification, could you theoretically (not practically) cut a shotgun down to pistol size and register it as that kind of gun?

Always curious...

September 1, 2005, 04:12 PM
I'm not sure what an "NFA shotgun" is, but here (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/faq.php?faq=acronyms_category#faq_firearms_acronyms) is a list of jargon for you.

September 1, 2005, 04:17 PM
Depends on if your state allows NFA items, Indiana does. AOWs are short barreled rifles and shotguns and other firearms like the 22lr pengun, I call them ClassII. ClassIII is anything select fire. If your state allows NFA firearms you simply pick out what you want, pay for the item and a 3 month background check is conducted with the ATF, A $5.00 tax stamp is required for ClassII and a $200.00 tax stamp is required for ClassIII.

You cannot manfacture any NFA items.

September 1, 2005, 05:44 PM
There are 2 versions of the mossberg persuader:

The 6-shot model, has an 18.5in. barrel that goes just about 1.5 inches past the magazine tube.

There is also the 8-shot model with a 20in. barrel and has a magazine tube that extends all the way to the end of the barrel.

I LOVE my 6-shot persuader, and it comes with a pistol grip. However, once I held a shotgun with a pistol grip, I realized how akward they are.

For HD, a full stock would be best IMHO.

September 1, 2005, 06:26 PM
NFA refere to the National Firearms Act of 1934. This dubious piece of legislation created the beginnings of the BATF(E) and set taxes on certain types of weapons and devices. Failure to pay the taxes (Very high in depression dollars) was used as an excuse to arrest and prosecute gun owners and some rather infamous criminals. The $200 tax for a machine gun and $5 tax on a AOW doesn't seem like much in these days of $3/gallon gas.

Pietro Beretta
September 1, 2005, 09:07 PM
6 shot would be better for chopping off the barrel an inch above the magazine tube, and attaching a pistol grip.... but I live in california and couldnt evin apply to do such a thing. :p

I bought the Mossberg 500 combo model with 18.5 inch barrel and 26 inch VR barrel From Big 5. (with Plastic stock)

Cost me $270.00 total with tax and dros fee's.

Just to let you know with the plastic stock, the felt recoil almost doubles compared to my brothers heaver savage with wood Stock. (The steel on his savage seems heaver too) Shooting 3inch 00Buck Magnum rounds was not fun out of my Mossberg.

September 1, 2005, 10:23 PM
Pietro said, "I bought the Mossberg 500 combo model with 18.5 inch barrel and 26 inch VR barrel From Big 5. (with Plastic stock)"

This sounds like the deal I am looking at with Big 5 right now. The Persuader is priced at just a bit above $200. I will have to check to see if it comes with both the 18.5 and 26 inch barrels.

You also said, "6 shot would be better for chopping off the barrel an inch above the magazine tube, and attaching a pistol grip.... but I live in california and couldnt evin apply to do such a thing."

What prohibits me from cutting off the barrel to whatever length I want...aside from common sense? I live in California as well.

September 2, 2005, 06:11 AM
Fear of being slammed by a Federal felony. It's not illegal to have short barrels, it's illegal to have them installed on the firearm. You can do whatever you wan't but don't talk about it and keep your nose clean and you shouldn't have any problems. Life is all about choice plus money talks and BS walks. I'm not suggesting you break the law.

September 2, 2005, 12:13 PM
Makes sense. Sounds like the 14.5" is sufficient to make it effective as a personal defense tool.

September 2, 2005, 02:38 PM
the barrel can't be less than 18" and the overall length of the shotgun has to be 26"

September 2, 2005, 03:11 PM
you are walking into a maze here.

FIRST Federal Law states that a shot gun barrel can not be less than 18 inches and the overall length can not be less than 26 inches. I do not know what additional laws you must contend with in California.

Second. I would offer to you the suggestion that the Remington 870 Express is a better gun for nearly the same money. we used to see a number of Mossbergs come in to the shop with the action bars to forearm collar shearing off the spotwelds. because of that we never felt that we could recommend the mossie as a HD gun.

Third. before you spend a load of money on private swat training. Go get some basic intruction in trap or skeet shooting first. learn how to shoot the rest will fill itself in. plus with trap or skeet, you will be shooting a lot of 1 1/8 ounce loads that are a lot more fun to shoot than 000 buck. If you can shoot skeet you can defend your house. And if you need to defend your house, you will never even feel the gun shooting no matter what load you put in it.

As to your second hypothetical question. does this hypothetical girl have any relatives in another state? would she be able to get them to write her a gift cert?

basiscally a bill of sale saying she got them as a gift? But before you do that I would make sure that the guns she has are going to be grandfathered in california and that admitting to them does not bring her to a forced confiscation. I do not know about california Law but i know that some guns are legal now and some are not . I would do all the checking you can from a clearly detached third party so as not to shake the bees nest loose and get people snifffing around asking why are you asking these questions.