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Mossberg 500

Template:Infobox Weapon

Mossberg 500 is a series of pump-action shotguns manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons.[1] The 500 series comprises widely varying models of hammerless repeaters, all of which share the same basic receiver and action, but differ in bore size, barrel length, choke options, magazine capacity, and "furniture" (stock and forearm) materials. Model numbers included in the 500 series are the 500, 505, 510, 535, and 590. The Mossberg is currently the number one selling shotgun and second in total production to the Remington 870.[citation needed]

Basic features

Introduced in 1961, all model 500s are based on the same basic concept designed by Carl Benson. Originally using a single-action bar, that was known to bind and even break, this was changed to dual- action bars in 1970, following the expiration of Remington's patent on the double-action bar design. A single large locking lug is used to secure the breech. The magazine tube is located below the barrel, and is screwed into the receiver. The slide release is located to the left rear of the trigger guard, and the safety is located on the upper rear of the receiver (often called a "tang safety").

Sights vary from model to model, from simple bead sight to a receiver mounted ghost ring or an integrated base for a telescopic sight. Most models come with the receiver drilled and tapped for the installation of a rear sight or a scope base. The factory scope base is attached to the barrel via a cantilever-type mount, which places the scope over the receiver but keeps it with the barrel if the barrel is removed.

Intended for use in harsh and dirty conditions, such as waterfowl hunting or combat, the Model 500 series is designed to be easy to clean and maintain. All Model 500s feature interchangeable barrels (given a particular gun's magazine capacity—a barrel designed for a five-shot tube will not fit a gun with a seven-shot tube), which may be removed without the use of tools, by loosening a screw on the end of the magazine tube, allowing the barrel to be removed.

The bolt locks into a locking lug located on the top of the barrel, ensuring a solid bolt-to-barrel connection and not relying on the receiver for any locking strength. The trigger assembly, which includes the trigger, hammer, sear, and trigger body with guard, can be removed by pushing out one retaining pin and pulling downwards on the guard (if a pistol grip is installed, it usually must be removed first as virtually all such grips obstruct the removal of the trigger body). The elevator can be removed by putting the gun on safety and squeezing the sides together, freeing the pivot pins from the receiver.

The forend can then be moved to the rear, allowing the bolt and bolt carrier to drop out, and then the forend can be removed by moving it forward. The cartridge stop and interrupter will then fall free, leaving just the ejector and the safety in the receiver, held in by screws. The magazine spring and follower may be removed by unscrewing the tube from the receiver (this may be difficult on some new 500s). This level of field stripping is sufficient to allow all components to be cleaned.

Model 500 options

The name "Model 500" covers an entire family of pump shotguns designed to chamber Script error: No such module "convert". "magnum" shells. The standard model holds five Script error: No such module "convert". or four Script error: No such module "convert". shells in the magazine and one in the chamber. The Model 500 is available in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and .410 bore, with the 12 gauge being the most popular and having the most optional features available. A 16 gauge was offered at one time but has been discontinued.


The standard finish for the Model 500 is an anodized aluminum alloy receiver and a polished and blued barrel. Some models come with a matte black painted receiver, and a matte blued barrel. Some 500 models are anodized to look parkerized, with parkerized barrels. This is also true of the 590 series since an aluminum receiver cannot be parkerized.

Mossberg also offers camouflage painted models, in a number of different patterns. Stocks are either wood or composite, with the composite stocks being matte black or camouflage to match the rest of the gun. A special model called the Mariner is available with the Marinecote finish, a silver finish that is highly corrosion resistant. Mariner models use the black composite stocks.

Model 500 vs. Model 590 vs. Model 590A1

File:Shotgun Mossberg 590.jpg
Mossberg 590 with Script error: No such module "convert". barrel

The primary difference between the Model 500 and Model 590 is in magazine tube design. The Model 500 magazines are closed at the muzzle end, and the barrel is held in place by bolting into a threaded hole at the end of the magazine tube. Model 590 magazines are designed to be opened at the muzzle end, and the barrels fit around the magazine tube and are held on by a capnut at the end. The Model 500 magazine facilitates easy barrel changes, as the barrel bolt serves no function other than holding the barrel in place. The Model 590 magazine facilitates easy cleaning and parts replacement, as removing the nut allows removal of the magazine spring and follower.

File:590a1 001.jpg
Parkerized Mossberg 590A1 with M7 Bayonet, upper picatinny rail, and modified standard 590 heat shield

The Model 500 has a plastic trigger guard and safety and a standard barrel. The Model 590A1 has an aluminum trigger guard & safety, a heavier barrel, and a bayonet lug, intended for military use under extreme conditions and rough handling; the metal trigger guard was added in response to the 3443G materials requirements, and the heavy barrel was added at the request of the Navy to prevent barrel deformation if the shotgun caught in the closing of heavy steel ship doors. Some 590A1s have a sling swivel on the back of the bayonet lug, some do not. The 590A1 usually has a swivel mount on the stock even when there is no corresponding mount on the forward end of the weapon. The 590A1 is generally sold through military and law enforcement channels, though in most jurisdictions the Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". models are available and may be legally purchased by any non prohibited persons. 590A1s with 14" barrels are Title II firearms, and may be purchased only by non-prohibited persons in NFA-legal states, after completing BATF transfer forms. [2][3]

The riot gun versions of the pistol grip Model 500 (Persuader, Cruiser, Road Blocker, and Mariner) are available with an Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". barrel depending on magazine capacity. The 590 is only available with a Script error: No such module "convert". barrel and flush-fit magazine tube. The 590A1 is available with a Script error: No such module "convert"., 18.5-inch, or Script error: No such module "convert". barrel. One model sold as Model 590-SP (catalog item 51663) is technically a 590A1, as it uses the heavy barrel and military trigger group, but unlike models designated 590A1 it is sold on the civilian market.

Unlike Model 500 and 590 shotguns (with the exception of ghost-ring sight 590 models), Model 590A1 shotguns cannot be easily fitted with the common factory 500 heat shield, due to the heavier barrel. A heat shield and bayonet lug are required for military 3443G Type I riot shotguns,[2] and some 590A1s are so equipped. The 590A1 heat shield, p/n 16335P, is available for purchase from Mossberg for about the same price as the 500 heat shield.

Bantam and Super Bantam models

File:Mossberg 500 Bantam.png
Mossberg 500 Bantam, with Script error: No such module "convert". barrel. Note shorter stock and forend than standard model at top.

The standard Model 500 uses a Script error: No such module "convert". length of pull (LOP) for the stock, which is suitable for adult shooters of average or greater size. The Bantam models use a Script error: No such module "convert". LOP stock and a forend that sits further back than the standard model. The Super Bantam stock includes two recoil pads and a stock spacer.

By using the short pad, the LOP can be reduced to Script error: No such module "convert".; with the spacer and longer pad, the LOP is Script error: No such module "convert".. A number of different models are offered with Bantam and Super Bantam stocks, or they can be ordered as accessories and fitted to any Model 500.

Model 505

The new model 505 Youth shotgun, introduced in 2005, is similar to the Bantam but scaled down further. The 505 has a Script error: No such module "convert". pull buttstock (compared to a standard model's Script error: No such module "convert"., or a Bantam's Script error: No such module "convert".), a Script error: No such module "convert". barrel, and a four-shot magazine tube. The 505 is available in 20 gauge and .410 bore. Parts are not interchangeable with other model 500 variants.

Model 535

The Model 535, new for 2005, is similar to the Model 500, but with a lengthened receiver that can fire Script error: No such module "convert". shells, in addition to Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". shells. The 535 is a less expensive alternative to the Mossberg 835 Ulti-Mag, but the 535 lacks the 835's overbored barrel. The non-overbored barrel of the 535 does, however, allow the use of slugs, which cannot be used in the overbored barrel of the 835.

Model 535 barrels are not interchangeable with model 500 or model 835 barrels, but 535 barrels are available in smoothbore and rifled in a variety of vent ribbed, barrel lengths and different sights. The 535 is also available in a tactical model with ghost ring sights and a collapsible pistol grip buttstock.

Magazine capacity

The Model 500 comes in a variety of different receiver configurations, whose main difference is the magazine configuration. The basic Model 500 comes with a magazine tube capable of holding five Script error: No such module "convert". shells, which is called a six-shot model (a full magazine plus a round in the chamber). The 500 is also available with an extended magazine tube that holds seven rounds, making an eight-shot model. The 590A1 is available with five- and eight-shot magazines, sold as six- and nine-shot models respectively.

The variants with the extended magazine tubes use different barrels, as the barrel is held in place by attaching at the end of the magazine tube. The shortest barrel length available for the eight- and nine-shot models is Script error: No such module "convert"., which fits flush with the long magazine tube. A ribbed Script error: No such module "convert". modified choke field barrel was also manufactured for the 8-shot model 500. The shortest barrel for Title I six-shot models is Script error: No such module "convert"., while military and law enforcement personnel (as well private persons in NFA states) can also get a Script error: No such module "convert". barrel (the 590 Compact), which is flush with the six-shot model's magazine or the eight.

Model 500 variants

File:Mossberg 500 2 barrels.png
Mossberg 500 with Script error: No such module "convert". cylinder bore barrel installed, and a Script error: No such module "convert". cylinder bore barrel with rifle sights. (Cylinder bore means lacking any choke.)

The Model 500 is available in many variants, for a wide variety of applications. The ease of changing barrels on the Model 500 means that a single shotgun may be equipped by the owner with a number of different barrels, each for a different purpose. As sold, the Model 500 is generally classed into two broad categories: field models and special purpose models.

Field models

Field models are the basic sporting models. They are available with a variety of barrel lengths and finishes, and may be set up for waterfowl hunting, upland game hunting, turkey hunting, or shooting slugs. Most smoothbore models come with interchangeable choke tubes and vent rib barrels, while the slug models come with rifle sights or scope bases, and may have smooth cylinder bore or rifled barrels.

Special purpose models

File:Mossberg M590A1.JPG
Mossberg 590A1 Tactical, 12 Ga, 6-shot, 18.5" barrel, tactical light, and collapsible stock

Special purpose models are intended for self defense, police, or military use. The Model 590 and the eight-shot Model 500s are only sold as special purpose models. Special purpose models have short barrels, either Script error: No such module "convert". for the six-shot models, or Script error: No such module "convert". for the eight- and nine-shot models, but the barrels are fully interchangeable with all models of the same magazine tube length in the 500 family. Most models come with special designations like SPX, Tactical, Mariner, etc.

Special purpose models may be equipped with a variety of specialty parts which may include adjustable stock, "Speedfeed" stock that holds 4 additional rounds of ammunition, pistol grip, ghost ring and fiber optic sights, picatinny rail, forearm band, heatshield, ported barrel, muzzle brake, and even a bayonet lug. All special purpose models come only in black trim with either blued, non-glare matte blue, or parkerized finishes and come with drilled and tapped receivers for scope and optics mounting.

It should be noted that "Special Purpose" models are not the same as "Law Enforcement" models; the latter have heavier duty barrels, safeties, trigger guards, and will stand up to harder use.

Law enforcement models

Model 500 Law enforcement combo with red-dot sight

Mossberg shotguns currently designated "law enforcement models" are 590A1s. 590A1s differ from other 500/590 shotguns, in that they have heavy barrels, metal trigger guards, and metal safeties. 590A1s are available in Script error: No such module "convert"., Script error: No such module "convert"., and Script error: No such module "convert". barrels. The 590A1 is also used by the U.S. and allied armed forces, having been designed to meet the stricter standards outlined by the U.S. Army.

Model 500s were also previously sold as law enforcement combos in 12 gauge with both Script error: No such module "convert". and Script error: No such module "convert". barrels, birch buttstock, pistol grip and sling.

Home security model

The model 500 HS410, or "Home Security" model, is only available in .410, and is specifically designed for defensive use. It comes with a youth-sized stock, a vertical foregrip, and a special muzzle brake and spreader choke (to help produce wider patterns when using buckshot) on an Script error: No such module "convert". bead sight barrel. The .410, while by far the least powerful common shotgun chambering, remains a formidable weapon. A 90-grain slug generates energy close to (and in some manufacturer claims, exceeding) a .357 Magnum when fired from a full length barrel. The HS410 is targeted at the novice user who desires a simple, easy to use, and effective defensive weapon. It is packaged with an introductory video covering use and safety, and some versions have a laser sight mounted in the foregrip.[4]

Accessories and combinations

The Mossberg 500 has always been marketed as a multi-purpose firearm. Mossberg sells a wide variety of accessory stocks and barrels, allowing many configurations to be made (including, in the past, a bullpup configured model 500). Mossberg is also the only company to ever offer a double-action-only model. The model 590DA offers a longer, heavier trigger pull to reduce the chance of an accidental discharge by the operator, and was targeted at the police market.

With the appropriate parts, the same Model 500 can be a field gun, a slug gun, defensive weapon for civilian, police, or military use, trap and skeet gun, or .50 caliber (12.7mm) rifled muzzleloader.

Mossberg has also sold "combination" sets, with a single receiver and more than one barrel. Common examples included a Script error: No such module "convert". field barrel packaged with an Script error: No such module "convert". cylinder bore barrel for defensive use, or a field barrel and a slug barrel, or a slug barrel and a .50 caliber muzzleloading rifle barrel.

A unique item offered by Mossberg for the Model 500 is a line launcher kit. It uses special blank cartridge to propel a shaft with an optional floating head and a light rope attached to it; a canister hung below the barrel to hold the line spool. A test of the Mossberg 500 with line launcher by the BoatUS Foundation showed an average range of over Script error: No such module "convert". with the floating head. Distances of Script error: No such module "convert". are claimed for the non-floating long distance head.[5]

All Mossberg models including the 835, 535, 500, 505 and 590 (except for Special-Purpose and Law Enforcement models) are shipped with a wooden dowel, also called a duck plug, located in the tube magazine. This is to comply with U.S. migratory bird laws. This dowel reduces and regulates the number of shells that can be loaded in the gun. This can be removed by taking off the barrel and pointing the shotgun downward and shaking it back and forth lightly until the dowel falls out. Except for the Maverick 88, all Mossberg models have a pre-drilled receiver for installation of an upper Picatinny rail for mounting various optics such as red dot sights. Some models can be bought with the rail and accessories already installed.

Maverick Arms subsidiary

Mossberg also markets a less expensive shotgun under the Maverick Arms name, the Mossberg Maverick 88, in blued finish with synthetic stocks, and in appearance is virtually identical to the 500 model. Maverick and Mossberg shotguns share many interchangeable parts[6][7] but Maverick shotguns differ in some ways, such as lacking sling swivel studs and having cross-bolt safeties instead of tang safeties, which makes the trigger group non interchangeable with the model 500 shotgun. The one piece forearm can be replaced with OEM or after market parts with the addition of an action slide tube, as the factory forearm has the action bars pinned into place. The Maverick series also does not come drilled and taped for rail mounts like the 500 models. There are two basic models of the 88, the 88 field and the 88 security, with a cartridge capacity of 6 or 8 shots, and they cannot have their magazines easily extended without machining. The factory warranty on Maverick shotguns are limited to one year. Maverick Arms have many parts made in Mexico and are assembled in Eagle Pass, Maverick County, Texas rather than in Mossberg's main facility in Connecticut.

Model numbers

Military use

A U.S. soldier in Ar Ramadi, Iraq in 2004 armed with a Mossberg 500.

Mossberg claims the Model 500 is the only shotgun to pass the U.S. Army's Mil-Spec 3443E test, "a brutal and unforgiving torture test with 3,000 rounds of full power 12 gauge buckshot". (The updated 3443G specification requires a metal trigger guard, so only the Model 590A1 variants, which have a heavier barrel and use metal trigger groups instead of the standard Model 500's plastic trigger groups, will fit the requirements.[2]) The 500M mils have the metal trigger group, and the heavier 20in barrel.

While the Marines officially switched to the semi-automatic M1014 Combat Shotgun in 1999, various branches of the U.S. military are still acquiring pump shotguns. The Navy acquired several thousand Mossberg 590A1 shotguns in 2004,[9] and the U.S. Army placed an order in 2005 for 14,818 units at a price of just over US$316 each[10] (the Benelli M1014 is considerably more expensive).

In 2009, U.S. Special Forces Groups procured Military Enhancement Kits to provide a standardized shotgun configuration based on the Mossberg 500. The kits included a collapsible stock, "shotgun retention system", 1913 receiver rail, forend rail system and breaching barrels. A total of 1301 shotguns were converted with the first unit being equipped in July 2009. The majority of the kits convert the standard issue shotgun to a 14" compact model with a 16" accessory breaching barrel, H92239-09-P-0113.[11]

As of 2012, the U.S. Army is in the process of replacing the M500 with the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System, of which 9,000 are funded and under contract. The new shotgun is designed to be mounted in an underbarrel configuration on an M4 Carbine, similar to the M203 or M320 grenade launchers, or used as a stand-alone weapon.[12]


Mossberg produced a U.S. Military version of the model 500. The model number is 500 MILLS and contains a U.S. prefix to the serial number. This particular model (500 MILLS) contains all metal parts, is parkerized with a 20-inch barrel. The magazine capacity is 6+1.[13]

See also



  1. ^ "O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. - Firearms, Shotguns, Rifles, Accessories, and Precision Machining". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  2. ^ a b c "US Department of Defense specification 3443". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  3. ^ "U.S. military small arms today". American Rifleman: 77. June 2003. 
  4. ^ Scott Farrell (March 1992). "Mossberg's 410 home defender: a well-targeted shotgun". Shooting Industry. 
  5. ^ "Mossberg Line Launcher user manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  6. ^ "SHOTGUN ACCESSORIES - Clips'N'Stuff Firearm Accessories". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  7. ^ "Advanced Technology Shotgun Conversion System". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  8. ^ "Modern Firearms - Mossberg 500 shotgun". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  9. ^ a b "US Naval Surface Warfare Center acquisition contract for 2,200 to 7,500 Mossberg model 590A1 shotguns". 2004-08-31. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  10. ^ "Department of the Army Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Budget Estimates" (PDF). US Army. 2008-02-01. pp. 278–279. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Army, Marine Corps Succeed in Rapidly Fielding Specialized Individual Weapons (UPDATED)". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  13. ^ Canfield, Bruce (December 2008). "Complete Guide to United States Military Combat Shotguns". self. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  14. ^ "KEN_1270". Flickr. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "KEN_4919". Flickr. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Með Glock 17 og MP5". Fréttatíminn. 23. 09. 2011. p. 12-14.
  17. ^ Castelli, Christopher J. (September 2008). "Department of Defense to Equip Lebanon’s Special Forces with Small Arms, Vehicles" (PDF). DISAM Journal (Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management) 30 (3): 123. Retrieved January 18, 2009. 
  18. ^ Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Special Weapons. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  19. ^ - Legermuseum collections page
  20. ^ "Serwis militarny". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 

External links


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