Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mossberg 500A Shotgun - Full Stock vs. Pistol Grip




Traditional shotgun stock designs have evolved for a very simple reason. They work and work well and are probably the best configuration for the majority of shotgun users. Most people are unaware that a conventional shotgun stock already has a pistol grip. This is the curved section of the stock between the shotgun’s receiver and the cheek of the stock. The alternate full stock type is usually referred to as a “straight” grip stock. It is most often associated with double barrel shotguns or “Winchester type” lever action rifles.

The majority of people when talking about a “pistol grip” are referring to the protruding pistol grip by itself. An example of the “pistol grip” installed on a Mossberg 550A is shown in the picture (this is sometimes known as a “cruiser grip” and generally includes a cycling strap). Pistol grips can also be had that include a stock behind it.


While a pistol grip looks really “cool”, they are not a very effective configuration for the average shotgun user. The major advantage of a pistol grip is that the shotgun will take up less space and be easier to maneuver within a confined space, such as a vehicle. The normal shoulder firing position when changed to a “shoot from the hip” style when using a pistol grip will also be far less accurate in almost all circumstances. You will also need a significant amount of arm strength when using a pistol grip only configuration. Most shotguns, especially 12 gauge models, have a lot of recoil and your arm and wrist are going to be absorbing the majority of this recoil.


If you decide you like the feel of a pistol grip and want to take advantage of the benefits of one, get a full stock with a pistol grip as an alternative to the standard stock configuration. It would also probably be a good idea to try and find one that has a recoil reducing mechanism that has been built into the stock.


Staying above the water line!


Riverwalker


24 comments:

matthiasj said...

Good advice RW. Nice 12g BTW.

matthiasj
Kentucky Preppers Network

riverwalker said...

To: matthiasj

The few rounds that I ran through my Mossberg were enough to convince me that the "pistol grip" style only is not the way for me to go. Less control, poorer ability to aim, and a slower recovery for a possible second shot were enough reasons for me to stick with the full factory stock for the time being. There are several different styles that incorporate a pistol grip as an integral part of the stock that I'm looking at right now for a possible conversion at a later date. Thanks.

RW

Anonymous said...

Well said. Only pistol gripped shotgun I have is a 20 gauge Mossberg Camper. I shot a 12 gauge pistol grip - once. That was enough for me.

The pistol grip with full stock is good as well - grip helps absorb some recoil. But hard to find a case that them, espcially the longer models. Too bad they don't allow the magazine length 14" tube - the Uzi MG style case fits those really well.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 1:20

The pistol grips that are incorporated into a full stock (non-folding, folding or collapsible) are a much better option. I'm looking for one that can be snugged to my shoulder and allow for a better capability for reload if necessary. Thanks.

RW

Anonymous said...

Its me again, Anon. Have read some favorable reviews of the Knoxx recoil reduction stock for your consideration (if you haven't seen it already). A bit space age, but recoil reduction in 12 gauge shotguns is a welcome feature.

For your review, linked from BoTach website so you might find it less expensively somewhere else.

http://tinyurl.com/mvjbwf

About a month ago, I picked up a stock much like this one at a pawnshop. I was interested in a shotgun light, and the owner sort of made it a package deal. A little 'Buck Rogers' for my taste, but it does seem to be a pretty decent rig.

http://tinyurl.com/mwe5oy

Hope this helps - you have a great day.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:14

Have been looking at the Spec Ops stocks but still looking for something that doesn't remind me of something a "SWAT" team would be using. Thanks for the links.

RW

Bitmap said...

Having a folding stock with a pistol grip can make it more compact and handy in a vehicle, but the rule should be:

The stock is extended when your feet hit the ground.

One thing about the Mossberg is that the safety is more difficult to reach with a PG stock than a crossbolt safety like the M870. I love the Mossberg and prefer the tang mounted safety with a standard stock but not with the PG.

riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

Good advice as always! I noticed that the safety isn't as easy to access with the pistol grip. The PG looks cool in the movies but doesn't really work all that well in "real" life. Thanks Bitmap!

RW

Anonymous said...

I ran my 500 12 ga. in a 3 gun tactical awhile back using a high grade folder. The 34 pellet #4 buck Federal beat the snot out of me until I changed back to factory stock. Felt better the next day.
FYI mine will run 13 short Aguila slugs and shoots like a rifle ~30 to 50 yards. Then there is "specialty" ammo, but that is a very expensive way to go (but why not give the very best).

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:22

Been considering the Aguila shorts as a means of incresing the number of rounds but have never shot any. Were there any feed problems due to length? How hard are the short shells to load, since there is less to grip? Just curious.

RW

Anonymous said...

To Riverwalker:
The aguila short shells loaded and fed well though I must confess that I am too cheap to run all 13 slugs through at one sitting so there may be a kink somewhere. If and when the shorts are available again, I will run a full load through. The Slug accuracy in my smoothbore is amazing to me.Also when shooting a full load of hot 2 3/4 through, DO NOT roll gun over and cradle to reload without a bbl guard or thick leather gauntlet. I sure got some laughs from the crowd on that stunt!

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:30

Thanks for the info. I think if you need to reload after using the shorts your problem should be solved before it gets to that point. I use a good pair of leather gloves when shooting... those barrels will get VERY warm! Thanks for your insight. It is greatly appreciated!

RW

theotherryan said...

I also have a pistol grip for my Mossberg 500A. I find they make it harder to accurately engage targets and your time between shots goes way up. I put it on when traveling and I want the shotgun to be able to fit into my duffel bag.

One of the few legitimate reasons for a pistol grip is not being able to take recoil on your shoulder(if it has been hurt real bad or something). My Dad has a bad right shoulder from an accident in a lumber mill but is very right eye dominant. His muscular strength is just fine so shooting a pistol grip pump will work fine.

riverwalker said...

To: theotherryan

Excellent point about using a pistol grip when traveling for ease of carry (aka, "cruiser") and would probably work well for backpacking or hiking.

Sorry to hear about your Dad's shoulder injury. Glad he has the arm strength to handle a pistol grip. This is a very valid reason for using a pistol grip. Thanks for bringing up the usefulness of a pistol grip because of a shoulder injury.

Thanks.

RW

Anonymous said...

at one time i had an ithaca dsps that came with a traditional wood stock and a plastic grip that matched the profile of the pistol grip of the trad stock with no butt.

almost like a flintlock pistol.

the recoil wasn't nearly as ugly as with the grip you show in your picture.

i've seen a similar grip on somebody's 12 or 14 inch shortie 870.

Anonymous said...

This needs some clarifications.

The curved portion integral to the stock for gripping is not called a pistol grip.

What is a "pistol grip" is a grip similar to a pistol separate from the stock. That is ones seen on shotguns such as Benelli M1, or rifles such as AR-15.

When "pistol grip" on a shotgun is mentioned, it does not mean people automatically think a shotgun without a shoulder stock.

A shotgun with a pistol grip, and a stock, and a shotgun with out a stock is totally different tools. Later is not suitable for most users concerned for home defense or hunting because that's not what it's for. It's a specialized tool for use such as door breaching. It's compact to be carried, because that's not the user's primary weapon. Accuracy and stability of a stock is not needed because the user sticks the muzzle close to a door hinge to breach it.

Now, a pistol grip shotgun with a stock is just as suitable, if not more, than a straight stock ones. Major advantage of a pistol grip is that it is ergonomic for many who does not like to crank the wrist downward for a radically leaned forward integral grip on a straight stock grip. Disadvantage is that some hunter types don't like the protrusion because it's uncomfortable when slung.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 4;40

Your clarification on this point and your insight on this subject is appreciated. Thanks.

RW

theotherryan said...

I generally agree with your thoughts. Even for bigger or stronger (the two usually rhyme) people for whom recoil isn't an issue the pistol grip shotgun is generally inaccurate past spitting distance. I shoot them roughly at chest level with the firing hand fairly close to but not the chest. Very easy to shoot but the line of site isn't such to allow the careful aiming of pistols or the inherent accuracy and point ability of traditional long guns.

I have one lying around for my 500a. I use it for long car trips (in and out in a bag to the motel, etc) or if I need it to be shorter to stash it someplace.

riverwalker said...

To: theotherryan

For use in a confined area or close quarters were distances of less than 20 feet are concerned or for concealment or storage purposes the pistol grip works great. The recoil is not really a big factor for me but can be for others.

For serious shooting were aim IS more important I prefer the full stock.Thanks.

RW

Mike said...

OK, different strokes!!! I am 5' 11', I weigh 235 lbs, I flat bench 405 lbs. In other words, I'm stronger than the 120 pound women who has to shoot in self defense. I go to the desert, and regulary put about 200 to 300 rounds through my Moss. 500-20 in. barrel. Absolutely no discomfort! I am also quite efficient/proficient w/ it up to 20-30 yds. so, try not to paint the P.G. with a broad brush. Anyone breaking into my home, will meet the rapture.

Thanks,

Lumberjack # 55

Anonymous said...

Please don't paint the P.G. and it's reliability w/ a broad brush. I'm 6'0" 235 lbs and I flat bench 405 lbs. I shoot my moss. 500 20 in. 12 guage with ease and accuracy. I wouldn't neccessarily recommend it for a small woman, althouth I have known womenwho have shot my gun with some success.

Thanks,

Lumberjack # 55

riverwalker said...

To: Lumberjack

Sorry about the misunderstanding and I really wasn't trying to belittle the PG...which I have no real problems with but the wife who is of a smaller stature is uncomfortable with. She is a lot more comfortable with the full stock and this was part of the deciding factor for me because she may need to use it also.

Thanks Lumberjack for helping to clarify that point!

RW

katysewell12 said...

This was a really good article and I learned a little bit more about my mossberg 500 pistol grip . Thank you for all of the helpful information.

Jess Toons said...

Hey there! Thanks for sharing this article, it has been a very interesting read. I've honestly never dealt much with mossberg 500 pistol grip. My dad is really big into this stuff. I'm excited to see if I can get anything for him!

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