Mossberg 500 / 590 Shotgun


“I’ve got a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4-wheel drive.”

– Hank Williams Jr. –



Mossberg 500 / 590 Essentials

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Mossberg 88 vs. 500 vs. 590:


Mossberg 500 vs. 590 Barrels and Magazine Tube Assemblies:

Mossberg 500 vs. 590

This photo above shows the difference between the barrel and magazine assembly on a Maverick 88 or Mossberg 500 vs. a Mossberg 590.

The shotgun on top is a 500 with a 7+1 magazine tube.  The barrel is removed from the shotgun by unscrewing the cap at the end of the magazine tube, however the magazine tube will still be enclosed by another cap that required a proprietary tool to remove.  This makes servicing or replacing the magazine spring problematic.

The shotgun on the bottom is a Mossberg 590.  It is easy to tell that it is not a Mossberg 590A-1 because the 590A-1 barrel is too thick to accept the heat shroud.  Like the 500, you remove the end cap on the magazine tube to remove the barrel assembly, however the magazine tube will be open for easy cleaning / maintenance of the magazine tube and spring.

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Mossberg Maverick 88:

  • Mossberg’s “entry level” or economy shotgun.
  • Available with 5+1 or 7+1 capacity configurations (5 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber, or 7 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber).
  • Only available with a blued finish.
  • Has a cross-bolt safety located on the trigger guard similar to a Remington 870 shotgun rather than on the tang as the 500 and 590 models have (as seen in the photos above).
  • The forend is pinned to the action bar which means that you can’t replace the forend without replacing the whole assembly.
  • The magazine spring is problematic to remove without a proprietary tool to remove the end cap of the magazine tube.
  • Assembled in USA.  Some parts may be imported.

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Mossberg 500:

  • Mossberg’s mid-range quality shotgun.
  • Available in hunting configurations (24″ or 28″ choked barrels) or defensive configurations (18.5″ barrel with 5+1 capacity, or 20″ barrel with 7+1 capacity).  Mossberg offers a retail package that includes a pistol grip and 18″ barrel for defense, and a wood stock and 28″ barrel so that the shotgun can be used for hunting.
  • Defensive configuration available with blued or Parkerized finish.
  • Hunting configurations available with wood furniture.
  • There are new defensive models available with factory installed sights for use with rifled slugs.
  • The magazine spring is problematic to remove without a proprietary tool to remove the end cap of the magazine tube.

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Mossberg 590 / 590A1:

Mossberg 590:

  • Mossberg’s heavy duty shotgun.
  • Available with 5+1 or 8+1 capacity configurations (5 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber, or 8 rounds in the magazine and 1 in the chamber).
  • Available with blued or Parkerized finish.
  • Available with a conventional bead front sight, or factory installed ghost ring sights for use with rifled slugs.
  • Heat shroud will not fit on barrels equipped with ghost ring sights.
  • Made in the USA.

Mossberg 590A-1:

  • Mossberg’s super heavy duty shotgun.
  • Mil-Spec per the United States military.
  • Heavy barrel.  Barrel can not accept heat shroud.
  • Available in 5+1, 7+1, and 8+1 capacity configurations.
  • Available with a conventional bead front sight, or factory installed ghost ring sights for use with rifled slugs.
  • Made in the USA.

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Mossberg 590 Shockwave:


Mossberg Shockwave Essentials:

  • Per the BATFE, it is not a sawed-off shotgun. It’s 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.
  • 12 or 20 Gauge, or .410 caliber.
  • 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


Mossberg Shockwave Quirks:

  • Do not change out the pistol grip to any other style grip or a stock or the firearm becomes a short barrel shotgun. It then becomes 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:

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Magpul Equipped Mossberg 500 / 590:

Are Magpul’s new SGA shotgun stocks worth the price?

Spoiler Alert! Yes.


Magpul SGA:

I have always run Mossberg 500s and 590s with either the original factory polymer stock, original factory wood stock, or ATI’s fixed pistol-grip stock. All of them worked fine, but they never quite had the ergonomics or bad-ass look that I was looking for. I recently bit the bullet and purchased one of Magpul’s SGA shotgun stocks. I had heard great things about them and thought that I’d give one a try. If it sucked, then I’d return it for a refund and write terrible things about it here.

I won’t lie. It looks like a futuristic canoe paddle, and at $109, a very pricey canoe paddle. It’s down right ugly and looks mean as hell, but I don’t think that looks were necessarily the number one priority of Magpul when they designed the SGA.

So where did the money go? Bolt it on your gun, bring it to your shoulder, and you will see. Wow! It fits perfect. You can adjust the length-of-pull via a set of spacers that are included with the stock. Your hand sticks to the textured grip, and the grip part of the stock is angled perfectly for your hand, wrist, and arm. You get the comfort and control of a pistol-grip stock but still have the ability to easily manipulate the safety on a Mossberg product. If you are going to run any type of optic on your shotgun then there is an easy to attach cheek riser that will put you right where you want to be on the stock for a perfect view through your optic.

Like all Magpul products, this stock is quality gear built for professionals. Unlike the typical Chinese junk found in a Cheaper Than Dirt catalog, it fits the firearm solidly and is built to take abuse.


Magpul SGA Matching Forend:

MAG491-BLK_1Magpul also makes a matching forend for the SGA. I have Surefire dedicated weapons lights mounted on my shotguns and so I haven’t had the opportunity to fire a shotgun with this forend mounted, however a family member has a short-barreled Mossberg 590 and has this forend on board. It has a great fit and feel. It is interesting to note that if you plan on running your shotgun(s) with this forend and a Mossberg vented barrel shroud then you may find yourself having to slightly modify the forend as it will rub the barrel shroud. The forend gives enough to grip and enough barrel coverage that there is little chance that you will burn your booger hooks on the hot barrel. You may be better off to run the shotgun without the barrel shroud. If you image search for photos of this setup you won’t find any photos of the Magpul forend and a barrel shroud.



After mounting the Magpul SGA stock on my Mossberg 590 and shooting punishing full-powered rifled slugs, I no longer find the stock ugly. In fact, it has made my otherwise boring buckshot / rifled-slug launcher into a futuristic looking, fun to shoot, bad-ass. I like it so much that not only and I going to keep it, but I bought another one for another Mossberg 590. They are definitely worth the price.

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Mossberg Disassembly and Maintenance:

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Related Savannah Arsenal Pages:

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