Per the BATFE, it is not a sawed-off shotgun. It is a “firearm”.
It does not require any special National Firearms Act forms or taxes to own or possess.
It is, simply stated, 12 Gauge BAD ASS!
Based on the Mossberg 590.
14″ barrel, 26.5″ total length, but does not require NFA paperwork.
Capacity — five 2¾” shells, or four 3″ shells.
Retail price in the USA: $380-$420
Do not change out the pistol grip to any other style grip or a stock or the firearm becomes a short barrel shotgun. It is a felony to possess without a BATFE tax stamp and paperwork.
For safety, keep your support hand within the forend strap.
Be careful how you hold it when you shoot so that the you don’t get socked in the face by the rear grip.
The weapon will take a lot of practice to master.
Start out practicing with low-brass birdshot before trying full-power buckshot. You may want to experiment with “reduced recoil” or “low recoil” ammunition to see if it is less punishing and more controllable to shoot.
Where To Order:
I’ve finally got one! Now What Can I Do With It?
I recently acquired a new Mossberg non-NFA 14 inch barrel “Shockwave”. With the 14 inch cylinder bore barrel and “Raptor” grip I was curious as to how difficult and punishing it would be to handle the little beast, and how well it would pattern with different types of shotgun ammunition at different distances. I bought a big roll of craft paper to use as targets and headed to the range to find out.
I wanted to test perceived recoil (no scientific instrumentation for measurement… just how it felt to me) and pattern spread with a wide variety of 12 gauge shotgun loads. I didn’t make any special purchases, and the ammunition that I chose for the test was from what I already had in inventory. For the test I used:
- Remington, low-brass, 2¾”, #8 birdshot.
- Federal “Power-Shok”, 2¾”, #4 buckshot, with 27 pellets, advertised at 1325 FPS.
- Remington “Managed Recoil”, 2¾”, 00 buckshot, with 8 pellets, advertised at 1200 FPS.
- Remington “Express”, 2¾”, 00 buckshot, with 9 pellets, advertised at 1325 FPS.
I only tested 2¾” shells. I was scared to try any 3″ shells (and I didn’t have any in inventory). While the gun is rated for 3″ Magnum shotshells, I can only imagine the abuse that it would deliver to the shooter. If you are brave enough, try it for yourself and report back to us about your experience.
Also, I only tested one round of each type of shot at each distance. It would have been much more scientific to test a large number of each type and compute an average spread, but I didn’t care to get that picky. My goal was to simply see what I could generally expect. One round of each was scientific enough for me.
I originally set out to only test the different shotshell loads at 7 and 15 yards. I knew that anything closer than 5 yards would probably present one big hole in the paper (especially with the birdshot), and with the 14″ cylinder bore barrel, any distance past 15 yards would see the pellets quickly bleed off energy and the pattern spread out larger than the width of a two-legged predator that you might find yourself defending against. Not to give away the end of the story, but surprisingly the Shockwave patterned well enough that I eventually pushed the target back to 25 yards. Pictured further down the page are the results at 7, 15, and 25 yards with the ammunition described earlier.
There are lots of internet videos and articles about the dangers of looking down the sights of a pistol-grip style shotgun when shooting. It is very easy to sock yourself in the nose or teeth if you aren’t physically prepared to handle the extreme recoil that heavier shotshells loads produce (as demonstrated below in the photos from GunsAmerica’s Pistol Grip Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them). You will need to be very cautious if you fire any type of stockless shotgun. Read more on the subject on Savannah Arsenal’s Shotgun Pistol Grips.
Most pistol grip shotgun manufactures, including Mossberg, recommend that you only fire a stockless shotgun from the hip, or from chest height with your shooting hand pulled back up to your armpit. These techniques, however, make it almost impossible to shoot the shotgun with any degree of accuracy, especially past bad breath distance.
I’m a big ole boy with a good bit of shotgun experience (and a good dental plan from my employer) and so I tested the loads while firmly holding the Shockwave out in front of me in hopes that I could use the bead sight and achieve some level of accuracy (as demonstrated by Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch in the photo below). This shooting technique worked for me and I was able to get effective groups on target, but I will not accept any responsibility for any injuries that might occur to you. I recommend that you start with low-brass birdshot, and then work your way up to more powerful shotshells.
I will warn you that if you think it might be funny to let your wife and / or girlfriend shoot the Shockwave or any pistol-grip shotgun with this method using a full-power shotshell load, she will not be pretty anymore after it bashes her in the face or teeth. You will have an ugly and pissed off ex-wife and / or ex-girlfriend. You have been warned.
7 Yards Shot Patterns:
7 Yards — Remington, 2¾”, #8 Birdshot:
This is a photo of the very first shot that I made with the Shockwave. The first thing that I noticed is what a pussycat the shotgun is with low-brass, #8 birdshot and the Raptor grip… easy to shoot. The second thing that I noticed is how high the shotgun shoots over your point of aim, even at 7 yards (6-8″ above the point-of-aim). On this particular target the dot was the “rough” aiming point. Remember to aim low with this shotgun. The third thing that I noticed is how large the shot group is — almost 13″. The large hole in the target is, of course, from the shotshell’s wadding. This gun and ammunition combination would make a devastating “snake charmer”.
7 Yards — Federal Power-Shok, 2¾”, #4 Buckshot (27 pellets):
At 7 yards the Shockwave put all of the #4 buckshot’s pellets in a decent 7″ spread. Recoil is what you would expect from 2¾” high-brass buckshot. As with the birdshot, the center of the shotgroup’s impact was approximately 8″ above point-of-aim (not defined by a dot on the target).
7 Yards — Remington Managed Recoil, 2¾”, 00 Buckshot (8 pellets):
Remington’s “Managed Recoil” has a noticeably reduction in perceived recoil and put all of the pellets within an approximate 7″ group — a pretty tight group for a 14″ cylinder bore barrel. As with all of the ammunition, the shot group impacted approximately 8″ higher than aimed (I had to aim about 8″ low to achieve the the impact in the vicinity of the black aiming dot on the target). The left of center impact was probably shooter error. The large hole was from the wadding.
7 Yards — Remington Express, 2¾”, 00 Buckshot (9 pellets):
This was the result of Remington’s full power 00 buckshot. Again, I had to aim 8-9″ low to get my group within the vicinity of the target’s aiming dot. Hopefully the left of center groupings will correct themselves with more practice. The full power buckshot had the most perceived recoil of any of the ammunition tested. Work your way up to this ammo before you try shooting the gun with it out in front of your face until you have had some practice with weaker birdshot.
15 Yards Shot Patterns:
15 Yards — Remington, 2¾”, #8 Birdshot:
At 15 yards the #8 birdshot was a Claymore mine. The entire width of the 24″ wide target paper was peppered. I wouldn’t count on very deep penetration of your threat at 15 yards with birdshot, but you will certainly achieve thorough target saturation. As you can see from the photo below, a face full of birdshot at 15 yards will almost certainly result in blindness. I had to aim near the bottom edge of the paper to get this pattern.
15 Yards — Federal Power-Shok, 2¾”, #4 Buckshot (27 pellets):
At 15 yards all of the #4 buckshots pellets remained within a 15″ diameter circle (sticking to the rule of 1″ spread per yard with a cylinder bore barrel). The center of the group impacted approximately 10-12″ above point-of-impact.
15 Yards — Remington Managed Recoil, 2¾”, 00 Buckshot (8 pellets):
At 15 yards the “Managed Recoil” round put all of the eight 00 buckshot within an impressive 9″ diameter group. Again, the center of the shot group was approximately 10-12″ above my point-of-aim.
15 Yards — Remington Express, 2¾”, 00 Buckshot (9 pellets):
At 15 yards all of the nine 00 buckshot pellets remained within a 13″ diameter circle with the center of the shot pattern approximately 10-12″ above my point-of-aim.
25 Yards Shot Patterns:
Originally I had not planned on patterning the Shockwave past 15 yards, but the shot patterns at 7 and 15 yards were tight enough that I thought I’d put a few rounds on paper at 25 yards. Again I was impressed. The following target is initially confusing, but I marked the holes from the different types of ammunition with different markings, so you should still be able to get a good idea of pellet spread.
First you will notice all of the tiny holes completely covering the paper from the #8 birdshot. I’m sure that there isn’t any energy left at 25 yards with the fine birdshot, however it is amazing at the amount of area saturation. A few rounds would definitely turn back wild dogs invading your campsite, or a group intent on looting your store (I am not suggesting that course of action, but rather suggesting that it might be effective).
Most, if not all (I didn’t bother to count the holes), of the 27 #4 buckshot pellets covered the 24 x 24″ paper. The holes are all marked with “#4”. This looks like the best ammunition to get thorough target saturation of buckshot at 25 yards. The smaller #4 pellets may not quite have the energy of the larger 00 buckshot pellets, but you will get more hits on target. Of course more pellets equals a greater chance of stray pellets hitting unintended targets in the background, but in a rural area you won’t have to be as concerned about it as in an urban area.
All 8 of the Remington “Managed Recoil” 00 buckshot impacted the paper. Less pellets meant greater dispersion, and obviously a greater chance of not putting all of the pellets on a man-size target and hitting an unintended target. The Managed Recoil hits were marked with “00 MR”.
All 9 of the Remington Express 00 buckshot hit the paper at 25 yards, but like with the Managed Recoil offering, greater dispersion increases the chance of missing the intended target and hitting an unintended target.
The aiming point for all of the shots was along the bottom edge of the paper. Regardless of what kind of ammunition that you choose, plan on aiming at the hips or belt line of an upright human target so that all of your pellets impact in the upper abdomen and chest.
Shockwave Shot Patterns — Discoveries and Conclusion:
The Raptor “bird’s head” grip makes it easier to aim and control recoil that I had originally expected. Still, exercise extreme caution so that you don’t hit yourself in the face with the back of the grip.
With all of the ammunition tested the Shockwave shot much tighter groups than I expected.
The Shockwave shot high with all of the ammunition and all three distances tested. I have decided that aiming at the belt-line or waist-line of an upright human threat, or at the feet of a four legged threat, is going to be the best way for me to employ the Shockwave in a defensive roll.
The recoil of Federal’s “Power Shok” #4 buckshot was sharper than Remington’s Managed Recoil 00 buckshot, but for target saturation out to 25 yards, of the loads tested I think that the 27 pellets from the #4 will be the best to use with this gun. Federal offers a 2¾” #4 buckshot round in their “Personal Defense” line that advertises 34 pellets at a reduced velocity of 1100 FPS (compared to the advertised 1325 FPS of the “Power Shok” — more #4 pellets but less recoil!! I am eager to acquire a bunch of that ammo and test it out on the range. I’ll post the results ASAP!
Most of my shot patterns impacted slightly left of my aiming point. I simply did not shoot the gun enough to decide whether it is a characteristic of the gun, or a deficiency of the shooter (probably the latter). I will make an amendment to this page just as soon as I get more experience and figure it out for sure. Hopefully with more practice and familiarization with the Shockwave I’ll be able to get my patterns right where I want them. Watch for future updates.
Final Recommendation: Be careful, use #4 buckshot, aim at the belt-line, and practice a lot.
- Savannah Arsenal’s Mossberg Shockwave — Don’t Call It A Shotgun
- Savannah Arsenal’s Tactical Shotgun Essentials
- Savannah Arsenal’s Mossberg 500/590 Shotgun
- Savannah Arsenal’s Remington 870 Shotgun
- Savannah Arsenal’s Other Tactical Shotguns