View Full Version : Best Stock for Home Defense Shotgun

April 14, 2009, 09:51 AM
This is renamed and copied from another thread that didn't get much response - my focus on a specific model was too narrow.

I'm buying some parts to convert my Mossy 500 to a home defense weapon. Just bought the 18.5" barrel, and am now considering a replacement stock. I ordered the ATI vertical fold, then thought better of it and canceled. I'm thinking about the Choate Mark 6 thumbhole/pistol stock, but can't tell if it causes probs accessing the gun safety - and not very many people seem to use them (no reviews anywhere, just product descriptions). Can anyone advise?

The first/only response by colostomyclown was to "Get a Hogue overmolded stock. Keep it full. 18.5 with full stock is as short as you really need."

However - isn't the Choate Mark 6 a full-length stock, just open/thumbhole style with a pistol grip? It doesn't flip or fold, and still has the rubber butt pad. My concern was that maybe it would be too far to stretch my thumb with my trigger finger in the guard to reach the safety (very stiff, slide type on receiver tang) with the slightly lower grip on the pistol section.

Other than appearance or weather resistance, why get the Hogue versus keeping the standard stock if I'm not otherwise going to change the ergonomics of grip? I don't care about appearance, the original stock is already marred, and I hadn't planned on replacing the front grip anyway. This is primarily a home defense weapon. I had read that the pistol grip gives you a little faster/better aiming accuracy (like the thumbhole for turkey hunters), and also helps reduce recoil a little.

Hey guys, let me know what you think. Again, looks aren't important, I'm not planning on being wet, and I don't think that a shortened or folding stock is needed. I'm thinking strictly maximum function and enhanced performance here. Recoil reduction would be nice. The Choate MK6 also has the ammo storage in the stock...:D

April 14, 2009, 11:29 AM
I can't help much with that stock but my buddy's has a 500 with a pistol grip and I hate to shoot it because the safety and action release are a pain to reach.

April 14, 2009, 11:32 AM
leave the original stock alone spend the money on practice ammo.

April 14, 2009, 11:35 AM
This is, IMHO, the most versatile HD stock. The full stock with vertical pistol grip or a thumbhole PG stock both reduce my ability to use the gun in any position other than a full shoulder mount. To me, they put my wrist in a bind, thus pain from lots of practice (practice is key...) is a sure thing. To each his own and this just my preference. It is also most natural to me for most accurate head position compared to any folding stock...

chris in va
April 14, 2009, 11:35 AM
Factory stock. I've used a pistol grip, Knoxx CopStock and SpecOps, then returned to the original.

Hogdogs has the setup you want. In reality you don't even need the extended mag, but that's personal preference.

April 14, 2009, 11:44 AM
C-N-Va, That is a stock image off the net... I don't use a sling or extended mag. A sling is a good handle for a BG to get a grip on if battle goes FoF... Not to mention it can snag on a lamp or something and Mrs.hogdogs is gonna be mad enuff at the blood and gore she has to sop up:eek:

April 14, 2009, 12:01 PM
I have a 500 mossberg tactical and love the stock on that its a M4 style collapsable and when I shoot for recreation I extend it but when collapsed it makes the gun a little more manurable in a tight space, thats about as short as I would want. I have tried pistol grip only and that is a joke, if you want to look really cool while missing your target and suffering recoil thats when you want PGO.:p but i do recomend the M4 style

April 14, 2009, 12:36 PM
-1000 to PGOs. got a nice spranged wrist and nasty blister from that i keep the boring old original stock on my 870 and it works fine

Mike U.
April 14, 2009, 01:40 PM
Well, if you want a collapsible stock, the Knoxx Spec Ops does just that.
I have one on my 870 and it works as advertised.
I think you may end up going back to a more traditional stock in the end. Many do.

Run as fast as you can away from PGO options. I had one on my gun for a grand total of one day till I got home from the range, took it off and threw it into the junk drawer. Live and learn...

April 14, 2009, 02:08 PM
Hogdogs - is this the Hogue overmolded stock in your pic? Here's a pic of the Choate Mark 6, but note that the weapon is a remmy 870 and NOT the mossberg 500 (safety position tells all).

April 14, 2009, 02:14 PM
...also, can't mount a mag extension on a 500A unless you change barrels to modify the front mounting ring as well and replace the original mag with one that isn't sealed/threaded. I don't think my new 18.5 will have that, but maybe.

April 14, 2009, 02:22 PM
Safety position and slide release lever are compromised when you go to any stock that has a pistol grip. The slide release can be triggered by your thumb if you have monkey fingers like I do, but it is still less accessible than a standard stock. IMO, the control positions are one of Mossberg's advantages over other models and substituting a pistol grip stock negates this advantage.

I would personally recommend sticking with the factory stock. If you want a nice upgrade, get yourself a limbsaver pad that fits. Beware that Mossberg changed buttstock sizes somewhere along the line though so measure to see which size pad you need.

April 14, 2009, 02:27 PM
Phil, I do not know as that is just an image I grabbed off the net for clarity...
Mine is just a plastic factory stock off the long barrel Maverick above my short gun. No overmold at all on mine.
What I like best about a regular stock is I am not hampered when shooting at any position. The vertical PG stocks and thumbhole style interfere with low positions from low hip to midsection. Watch some Tom Knapp vids and tell me he could hold those upside down over his head... not that we need to do that but versatility is my first priority when it comes to utilizing the most versatile platform... the pump action short barrel shotgun...:D

April 14, 2009, 02:31 PM
A HD shotgun should be the basic 20" barrel 12 ga pump shotgun. IMO a tactical shotgun would not be functional within your residence and the weapons looks will not impress the bad guy. The name of the game is KISS (Keep it simple stupid) or SIR (Simple is right).

April 14, 2009, 03:26 PM
Good advice from everybody, think I'll stick with the factory stock. The mossy advantage of safety placement and keeping it's function un-compromised sounds right, and that was something I wasn't sure of with the modified stock I was looking at.

My safety's so stiff it's very hard to use anyway. It might be in the right place, but what a pain. I've heard that a couple of drops of gun oil and working it for awhile will help - we'll see.

I might look around for the limbsaver pad that Rantingredneck mentioned, too.

April 14, 2009, 03:52 PM
Hey Rantingredneck,

My dad used to have something like this on his old Browning, but it was a slip-on and looked like a big red eraser. Comfy, though.

The Limbsaver sizing has me confused. I have the Mossy 500A, and there appears to be two part numbers on the Limbsaver site - 10200 (All 5 3/16 stocks 500 12 ga., 500A 12 ga., 835, 930 and 935), and 10201 (same thing, just called SPEED MOUNT). Midway has what they call a slip-on as well (and they're all a little cheaper there). Seems like the slip-on is easier, it just doesn't look as good. Maybe the slip-on is the same as the SPEED MOUNT from the Limbsaver cross reference chart? Whaddya think - anybody know?

April 14, 2009, 03:59 PM
The speed mount pads have a little rounded off the pad at the heel and toe. This allows you to mount the shotgun faster.

Measure your shotgun buttstock cross section vertically at where the butt pad is installed to make sure you have the 5 3/16" size.

I didn't and wound up having to take my pad to my belt sander to fit it a little.

If yours doesn't have the 5 3/16" stock then you can go with one of the grind to fit models or remove the stock pad and put a slip on like you were talking about over the bare buttstock. Like you say, won't look as good, but will work.

April 14, 2009, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the details, Rantingredneck. I'll do some measuring and see what's up. My mossy has a factory rubber recoil pad attached, but it doesn't help much. The Limbsaver does seem to be the most advanced recoil pad out there.

Al Thompson
April 14, 2009, 08:06 PM
Phil, the other "trick" to getting good with that Mossberg is to shoots lots of cheap #8 dove loads through it before trying the buckshot and slugs. :)

Once your get comfortable with shooting the light loads, move up to the heavy stuff.


April 14, 2009, 08:30 PM
Keep the original stock.

April 14, 2009, 10:11 PM
OK - I'm keeping the original stock and going to buy a Limbsaver. Rantingredneck was dead on - my mossy vertical butt dimension was supposed to be 5-3/16" according to model, but was actually 4-3/4" by measure!

After lubing and cycling the safety over 400 times using a leather glove, I have blisters on both thumbs. Safety is still tight by my judgement. I'm going to try turning the gun upside down, tying the glove to a board, and using both hands to rock the safety back and forth a thousand cycles or so. Hopefully I won't damage it. Any other ideas as to how to loosen that puppy up?

Lastly, again I really appreciate the advice. I know ya'll don't know me, so just to give you a little background in case you wondered...

I've hunted since I was about 8 years old. Mostly squirrel and deer, using an old Remington 550-1 semi-auto .22, a 20 gauge single, 16 pump, and most recently the Mossberg 500A 12. I've busted maybe a case of skeet with very few misses, but never had the money to just waste a lot of ammo. Only went dove hunting a time or two, and never for duck - no dogs, and the latter's a rich man's sport. I had lots of target practice with the Remy and a Crossman air rifle as a kid. I liked to shoot lizards in the head at 10 ft. with the pellet gun, and could bust 1" round tiles at 75 yards with the Remy. The shotguns were always for hunting - firing birdshot, #1 & #00, and slugs. I also hunted a few years with a Jennings Devastator crossbow in Arkansas, where it was legal. I've never owned a high powered rifle, or a handgun. Didn't need them to be successful at bringing home meat where I lived.

My wife (beautiful, wonderful woman, third time's the charm) won't eat Bambi/game or let me bring it home, and I can't kill a critter just for the sport. You can only eat so many squirrels anyway. My weapons have been idle in a gun safe for almost 9 years. Recently I've determined that a more likely scenario for their use would be for WTSHTF - which seems more likely every day. So, I've been getting my gear ready for survival and defense purposes. I'm trying to get my first economical but solid handgun (Hi-Point C9 9mm), but they're sold out everywhere along with all the ammo. This run on weapons is a crazy thing, so I know I'm not the only one thinking like this. Defending oneself against intruding BG's in your home or on the road is a totally different application for firearms than what I'm used to.

So after all that, what I didn't know how to do was work on and mod my weapons. Never needed to before. My dad finally gave me the Remy, and when I asked said that it hadn't been cleaned since he bought it new in '58 - and it still shot great. I can read and follow instructions and am relatively good with tinkering and tools, so I decided to give complete cleaning a shot. I bought a takedown book, and totally worked it over myself. There was less than 5 parts I didn't disassemble. After doing that and now reading the mossy factory manual, the 500 seems trivial. Well, that book doesn't detail disassembling the safety...:D

April 14, 2009, 10:15 PM
And one other thing - I was always taught that light brass/loads were for sissies. If you're gonna shoot it, kill it - don't screw around.

April 14, 2009, 10:30 PM
And it wont as the safety has a goofy one way screw...
But what you can do to smooth it up is to field strip the 500, I use the liberty vid on youtube to help folks get the hang of it. Once apart you can put some flitz on the inside areas of it's range of motion and work the dog snot out of it... Some of the resistance is in the detent if I remember right... Mine is just now getting smooth and easier and was bought around 89-91... But I admit I didn't operate the safety a whole lot and it did spend 11 years in the police property room.
Also check the piece in the trigger group for smooth operation but DO NOT HIT THE TRIGGER I don't know what will happen but that is what I was warned about as also to make sure both pieces are in safe position for proper reassembly...
For more details just ask...

April 14, 2009, 10:34 PM
Phil, after a few bricks of light loads, get some 15 count slugs and 00 in 2 3/4 and 3 inch... Have a shooting buddy load random mixes of them and light loads and do the same for them... that will really show the "Flinch Factor" and don't forget to short load a few times for each other with the last round being a 3inch load:eek::D When the person lurches squints and flinches like a sissy about to take a shot to the snot locker by the school yard bully, the "loader will laugh their butt off!

April 15, 2009, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the info - I'll check out the video and give it a shot to improve the safety.

I have to admit - I've never been to a public range. I've shot an M16 at Quantico one summer, popped a few rounds at a ROTC range while at UofA Fayetteville, but that's it. I had to ask a buddy at work to tell me how it works. We had a little land when I was a kid, so the backyard was my range. I've only patterned a shotgun once using a large piece of kraft paper. I understand that people spend all kinds of money on ammo at the range, it's just new to me. I guess I can understand the wisdom in using light rounds at the range for a couple of reasons. After all, it doesn't take much load to kill a piece of paper. I suppose that the aiming, patterning, and leveling out the flinch with various loads is more important (and maybe saving a little $$$) - as long as you're just burning rounds anyway.

April 15, 2009, 08:37 AM
5-3/16" according to model, but was actually 4-3/4" by measure!

Not exactly sure when, but somewhere along the way Mossberg went from the shorter butt stock height to 5 3/16". I suspect this modification was to abate felt recoil by spreading it out over a greater surface area on the shoulder, but I haven't read or heard confirmation of that anywhere.

Both of my Mossbergs are older guns with the shorter buttstock heights. I have a limbsaver on one. It was the longer size and I had to grind it to fit. I'm gonna pick up another grind to fit one for my other Mossberg soon (before deer season at least).

April 15, 2009, 09:19 AM
The light loads do save some money but it is more getting a feel for the handling of the gun first before heavy hitting loads give you bad habits like predicting recoil that WILL result in flinch in a newer shooter.

The reason for having someone else load the mag with a mix of rounds is to get you used to shooting what ever is in the pipe with the same confidence and authority. Oh, it is fun as you learn and do flinch but if ya'll intentionally work to avoid it, than when the shot does count you won't "choke" and miss due to flinch only. The reason for short loading the tube with a heavy load is to really point out the flinch... Seeing a grown man jerk, jolt, flinch and squint when the hammer goes CLICK is just fun as heck too:D...

capt. jas.
April 15, 2009, 09:38 AM
The best home defense stock in my opinion is a standard styled stock that has been built up or down to actually fit the primary shooter to the point his eye is the rear sight and the gun puts it's impression downrange where the shooter is looking when mounted into the gun. This must go along with mounting practice to make it so just like any other training, practicing with other non-standard shooting styles as well.

April 15, 2009, 10:58 AM
Hogdogs - thanks for the rationale on varying the loads for practice, I'd never heard of that before and now I understand.

Rantingredneck - I downloaded/printed the master template list from Limbsaver, removed the factory recoil pad and matched the bare butt stock up, came out to their part number 10105/10202 (one is probably the speed mount version), with a dimension of 4.70"x1.6", approx. 4-23/32"x1-5/6". It might save you some grinding.

April 15, 2009, 12:12 PM

There's a few different varieties of Flitz (FLITZ Metal Plastic Fiberglass Paste Polish, International Flitz Metal Polish, or maybe GUN METAL PASTE) - which should I use, and where do you get this stuff other than eBay? Walmart?

Cool video, too.

April 15, 2009, 12:46 PM
Slightly off the posted topic, but here's a great link on the mossy 500 safety.


April 15, 2009, 01:55 PM
I think this is the stuff... I use elbow grease. But the flitz appears to be the finest grit in a polish.

April 15, 2009, 04:04 PM
That's the metal, plastic and fiberglass stuff. I think I've found enough info to be able to disassemble the safety - without tearing down the rest of the gun, and without losing the spring and bearing. Looking at the detent has given me an idea. It appears that the spring is so stiff and presses the bearing so hard against the holes in the detent that it's hard to unseat the bearing and get the safety slide moving.

If I screw up one side or end, it appears that I can flip the detent to the other. I'm going to take my dremel and grind away two VERY small/shallow V-shaped ramps from the edge of the two holes that the bearing settles in for safe and fire positions, facing each other kinda like this (screw mounting hole in center, pretend the outline):

( o>-<o - O - o - o)

This ought to make it a little easier to start the safety slide moving, without decreasing the tension on the spring, making the screw looser, or trying to wear down the detent or channel that the slide sits in. Should be quicker and cheaper, too.

April 15, 2009, 04:31 PM
You will need to field strip it I think as the piece inside may drop... But field strip is easy too... I would want to polish between the receiver and the inner piece as much or more as outer piece... If you get the detent action smoothed let me know how as I have never taken the screw out. Also use loc-tite to reassemble or you may yet lose the parts...

April 15, 2009, 05:07 PM
What I've read is "Make sure the safety is engaged, close the action, and wrap a zip tie around the trigger. You dont have to use a zip tie, but constant firm pressure on the trigger is required", then continue with disassembly/reassembly of the outside safety parts, being careful not to lose the spring or bearing. It looks like either a small screwdriver sharpened at the tip and press firmly into the existing slot or cutting a new tiny 90 degree slot in the head of the @#$! screw will allow you to remove it without too much difficulty.

I think that the trigger pressure is what keeps the lower safety mechanism from dropping into the back of the receiver, and the author stated "Its just a pain to hold the piece that goes on the inside of the receiver while putting the safety in on the top, and its easy to lose that ball bearing while holding the bottom and working on the top". Somebody else tried removing the safety assembly with the action fully rearward to keep it from dropping.

I'll let you know how it goes.

April 15, 2009, 05:12 PM
Gotcha... kinda like air pressure in a cylinder to swap valve springs on a motor I guess... But the field strip and working inside is easy enuff too;) Good luck either way and lemme know how it turns out...

April 15, 2009, 10:18 PM
OMG - it was so easy and anti-climactic that I was almost disappointed! I simply put the safety on, moved the action all the way to the rear, and took out the screw. Didn't sharpen a screwdriver or cut a slot, just used a small tweaker type and didn't even have to press that hard to get the screw started backing out.

At that point I did kneel on the carpet, turn the gun upside down and hold it within 6 inches of the floor, pressed the safety slide against the receiver with one thumb, and used the tweaker to finish removing the screw. No flying parts, the spring didn't even come out. Boy, the metal detent plate is thin. I'll work with the dremel tomorrow. So, total painless removal in less than 1 minute, no field stripping required, safety block still firmly in place.

April 15, 2009, 11:02 PM
I'll work with the dremel tomorrow.

Be careful making the safety too loose: it will sometimes go back on-safe under recoil, usually at the worst possible moment!:eek: My 500 had this issue when I bought it used....

+1 on standard stock, but not in wood. Practicing with buck and slugs, I shot the original wood stock loose to the extent the wood interfacing the receiver was so battered tightening the stock bolt could not fix it. Replaced it with plastic standard stock and haven't had any issues.

Pistol grip stocks also limit rifle-fighting techniques (for when you run out of ammo or distance): can't execute a butt stroke or overhead smash, and you may break your wrist performing the muzzle thump....:D

April 16, 2009, 07:05 AM
Rantingredneck - I downloaded/printed the master template list from Limbsaver, removed the factory recoil pad and matched the bare butt stock up, came out to their part number 10105/10202 (one is probably the speed mount version), with a dimension of 4.70"x1.6", approx. 4-23/32"x1-5/6". It might save you some grinding.


Thanks for this info. Will put it to use soon.


April 16, 2009, 10:10 AM
Sometimes I get lucky. My safety detent modification worked flawlessly. There were opportunities for disaster, but I managed to avoid them. I had one of those real thin stone dremel grinding/cutting disks, but the diameter was too big to get down into the holes in the detent to bevel an edge - it would have ground both sides of the small diameter hole. I had one other stone bit that I just hadn't thrown away yet, a small one that was worn almost down to the bit shaft. Using this one, I carefully beveled just the facing edges of both the SAFE and FIRE position holes. I didn't elongate them or cut all the way through to the backside of the detent, just scooped out a VERY small amount of metal in a cone shape on the side that the bearing presses against, in the direction of the bearing's travel to take down the edge of the hole and make more of a ramp for the bearing. Re-assembled w/no probs, and it works GREAT! Nice and smooth, but still with plenty of resistance and no slop. This entire procedure start to finish couldn't have taken me more than 10 minutes total. I hope that maybe this helps somebody else.

April 16, 2009, 10:18 AM
One other little thing (and I debated on doing this), I took a pair of gas pliers and simply fully compressed the spring and held it for a few seconds, maybe 3-4 times before re-assembly. I also put a drop of gun oil on the detent, and a drop of loctite on the safety screw when I put it back together.

April 16, 2009, 10:49 AM
OK, the LAST little thing. Here's a pic of the detent mod, and note that on the underside of the safety slide (facing the detent plate) there's a couple of small countersunk holes that line up with the holes in the detent, allowing the bearing to seat in both the detent and the plastic slide. Made sure when you re-assemble that the slide holes line up with the business end of the detent that you modify so that the bearing will rest in them - NOT flipped around toward the barrel.

April 16, 2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks for going through this exercise. I have a 500 and 590 and the 590 has a very stiff safety and it looks like I'll have to do this.

You're a pathfinder!