Friday, September 19, 2008

Riverwalker's Gear - Mossberg 500A Shotgun

Basic specifications for the Mossberg 500A shotgun are as follows:

Style #50411

Gauge: 12 gauge (denoted by the A designation)

Chamber: 3 in.

Chokes: fixed cylinder

Barrel length: 18 1/2 inch

Twin action bars

Sight: Bead sight (brass)

Accessories: Pistol grip is included

Action: hammerless, pump-action repeater

Effective range: 40 to 60 meters

Feed system: Internal tube magazine

Stock: Synthetic stock and forearm with sling swivel studs

Weight 3.3 kg empty - 4.3 kg loaded

Shell capacity: 6 (2 ¾ inch shells) 5 (3 inch shells)

Ambidextrous, thumb-operated safety (sometimes referred to as a tang safety)

I recently acquired a Mossberg 500A shotgun for Father’s Day and have used it enough so that I feel confident in doing a short review of this shotgun. I have the standard home defense model with the 18.5 inch barrel. The magazine tube is located below the barrel and holds five 2 3/4" shells plus one in the chamber (6 shot) or four 3" shells in the magazine and one in the chamber (5 shot). I like the versatility in being able to use either the 2 3/4 inch shells or the 3 inch shells. My particular model came with a bead sight (brass) and I hope to upgrade to a night sight in the near future. It has the dual action bar design and a single large locking lug to secure the breech.

My particular model also came with the receiver drilled and tapped for the installation of a rear sight or a scope base. This is a nice feature but I have no plans at present to put a scope on it or mount a rear sight. It also has a slide release located at the left rear of the trigger guard and is easy to access.

Another great feature is the safety which is located on rear upper portion of the receiver and is ambidextrous, allowing for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. It, like all 500 models, also has an interchangeable barrel. I don’t have any extra barrels for it at the moment but I am considering this as a possible future option.

I found this shotgun very easy to clean and this will make the maintenance a lot easier and less time consuming. I also purchased a sock for it to help keep it clean but allow quick access if I need to use it in a home security situation.

I tested it with # 7 1/2 target shells (2 3/4 inch) and found it did the job I was expecting it to do. At a distance of 25 feet it was consistently on target and I managed to put a hole in a piece of 3/4 inch plywood that you could throw a basketball through. My son who was with me and tried it out said that if I ever had to use it defensively in my home that I would probably be doing some extensive renovations to repair the damage!

I consider this shotgun excellent for home defense (the original intent of my purchase) and I am very satisfied with the features of this shotgun. It was reasonably priced at $259 and well worth the investment.

You can get additional information about this model and the different options and accessories available at:

Always practice gun safety at all times! Remember, safety is no accident!

BTW, the wife also shot it and remarked that it was just what she needed but I told her she had to wait until I could get her one of her own and that this one was mine!

*edit* Riverwalker’s Gear: Mossberg 500A Shotgun - Update...

Staying above the water line!



Staying Alive said...

Hey, RW, you can't have too many shotguns around in case of STHF. Get the little lady a nice Mossberg. She just wants to have fun!


riverwalker said...

To: Michael

She will wind up getting a different barrel and turning it into a hunting gun when she goes on her quail hunts with her lady friends, Then I'll be stuck with my old single shot 12 gauge. That's why I'm doing a bunch of fence repair right now - so I can have a .30/.30 for her so she will not be taking mine all the time.


Anonymous said...

This is very timely as I am on the market for a new 12 gauge.

Making the comparisons of the myriad to choose from is a timely process and often the information is not laid out so conveniently. Thank you for this post.

riverwalker said...

To: survival topics

This is a great shotgun for home defense with a barrel that is only 18 1/2 inches. The versatility of being able to get different barrels for it creates other options for its use. You can even get a .50 caliber muzzle-loader if you're into the black powder thing!


gott_cha said...

Its a great scatter-gun....Ive got a ATI top folder on mine.....Love it!!

Thinking of doing the same with the Win. 1300 and maybe adding ghost rings too.

Anonymous said...

The Mossberg is a excellent shotgun at any price. It will do anything that a SG should be able to do but DO NOT think it's effective range is out to 75m (80 yards)

The effective range will depend on the type of ammo and your target(s).

Here are realistic guidelines, especially to newbies:
- Hunting deer with slugs is effective at a maximum of 50-100m with a scope or rifle sights but expect terrific recoil.

- Geese/ducks/turkeys: up to 50m with magnum loads. Better at 20-30m. Magnums will give a mighty recoil.

- Self-defense: 10-20m ONLY! using 00 buckshot or similar loads, again with significant recoil.

- Small game can use lighter loads with less recoil.

- Clays/trap/skeet use lighter loads with less recoil.

The SGs are perfect in the proper environment but the recoil and blast can be daunting to the uninitiated. Practice, practice, practice!


riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

I cal it my "evil" black shotgun.


To: streakr

I'm going to have to make sure I only use oo buck for defensive purposes or I'll be needing new walls in the house!


Anonymous said...

I have the same gun only it has a pistol grip. it came in a sealed pipe like container and can be buried or put underwater up to several feet.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Sounds like a great model - I don't know what variation it is. If you got it used , maybe some sort of military model?


Anonymous said...

I have one of these. she is only fed 000 buck. perfect for keeping 2 legged varmints at bay.

Anonymous said...

Your's is in 12 gauge but what do you think about one in 20 gauge?

riverwalker said...

To: amonymous 2:34

20 gauge should work just fine. Depending onyour particular model, the 24 or 26 inch barrel may make maneuvering inside a little more difficult versus the 18.5 inch barrel on my model. The lower recoil could be a plus for persons of smaller stature to handle.Thanks.


Fuse said...

I have a pistol grip 500a with 8-shell capacity(2 3/4 shells w/one in the chamber. I added the great surefire 623LF tactical flashlight. This youtube video is great for learning disassembly. Overall this is a great self-defense shotgun.


Anonymous said...

Just got a Mossy 500A with two barrels (18.5" & ribbed 24"). It was an impulse buy. I wanted to change out the stock handguard for a tactical handguard, but it seems that the "500A" is not as adaptable as the "500." The "A" model has a different assembly that doesn't allow the handguard to be separated from the action slide assembly. Many of the replacement handguards note that they do not work on a "500A." I'm also not sure that it is possible to extend the magazine capacity on the 18.5" barrel (other than removing the limiting plug). :)


Ryan said...

I bought a Mossberg 500A in 2002 for $169.99 brand new. It is the 20" barreled one with the full tube. Twas a lot of gun for the money then and it still is (in real terms and relative to other guns) today.

riverwalker said...

To: theotherryan

If you ever need to get your money back, I know someone who will gladly reimburse you for the purchase price.


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