first published on October 1, 2019 by Josh
Unless you live under a rock, you have definitely heard about the Mossberg 500 Tactical by now.
This renowned pump-action shotgun from O.F. Mossberg & Sons certainly needs no introduction. Especially not when organizations like the Marine Corps continue to use it for missions around the world.
That said, is this the right tactical shotgun for you?
When it comes to pump-action shotguns for home defense and tactical operations, your options are limitless. Just about everyone in the business of making shotguns has a tactical version of their firearm that performs well. So why should you choose the Mossberg 500 Tactical instead of one of the other brand names?
The answer to that question is simple.
For almost sixty years, the M500 has been continuously improving and evolving. Improvements to this firearm not only come from consumer feedback, but also feedback received from the people who trust their lives to this weapon system daily. This weapon is battle-proven, and with over 10 million units sold, people certainly rely on it both at home and abroad.
Bonus points added for being made in America, and being the only shotgun that meets mil-spec requirements.
You can find some more reasons on why you should trust Mossberg shotguns here.
There are thirteen different models of theMossberg 500 Tactical. Seven of the thirteen models come stock, ready to load 5+1 into the magazine, with the other six all being 7+1 in capacity. Depending on which model you choose, the weapon may or may not come stock with an adjustable stock and pistol grip, but there are tons of after-market options there as well. Only five of the stock model M500 Tactical come with a sight other than the bead front-sight.
It’s worth noting, that regardless of which model of the 500 Tactical you get, after-market options are available for just about everything. This shotgun has been compared to the Mr. Potato-head of tactical shotguns by some people, and those people were all correct in that assessment. If there is any cosmetic feature of this weapon system that you do not like, there is probably an upgrade or alternative piece of furniture available.
Regardless, the Mossberg 500 Tactical has everything you could possibly need. Of the thirteen different models that exist, there really is a mission-ready shotgun for every scenario. If the shotgun isn’t exactly what you want, you can probably get it there for under $200. Here’s a video of BigDaddyHoffman 1911 doing just that.
Aside from being a tactical Mr. Potato-head, the Mossberg 500 Tactical has a variety of other features. Like all pump action Mossberg shotguns, it comes stock with dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and an anti-jam elevator. The safety selector is ambidextrous, and mounted on the top of the shotgun. Some people don’t like this, but after a bit of work with the weapon system you get pretty used to it.
Stock, most tactical variants of the Mossberg 500 also come with a tri-railed forend. This allows the user to attach a variety of different accessories to the weapon system. Several versions also come with adjusting stocks and pistol grips, which give the shooter better control of the weapon.
Here are the basic specifications of the 500 Tactical – 8 Shot straight from Mossberg.
|Barrel Type||Heat Shield|
|Barrel Finish||Matte Blued|
|Stock Finish||Synthetic (Black)|
Out on the range is where this weapon system truly shines. Personally, I have been shooting the Mossberg 500 Tactical since around 2008 when I was first qualified in the conduct of less-lethal weapons and munitions. Since then, I have fired the Mossberg 500 and 590, as well as the Benelli xm1014 auto-loader all in military applications and in a variety of environments. Never have I personally experienced any serious issues with the weapon system that were not the fault of poor maintenance, or an inexperienced shooter.
One of the first things you’ll notice with your Mossberg 500 is the ease of use. It really is one of the simplest platforms in existence, and nobody should ever have issues firing it. The action on this weapon runs smooth as silk in most circumstances. Keeping a tight group with the weapon usually depends more on your ammunition and the individual shooter’s experience than on the weapon itself.
We’ve run a variety of different loads from buckshot to beanbag rounds through this platform, and no one ammo-type in particular has had any serious re-occurring issues. In eleven years of firing the Mossberg 500 platform on the regular, I can count the number of malfunctions I have personally experienced on one hand. Simple maintenance makes a world difference, and if you are experiencing a lot of issues with your weapon you should consider sending it into Mossberg to have it looked at.
Here’s a video of IraqVeteran8888 testing out a new optic on his Mossberg 500 Tactical.
This is an absolute no-brainer in my opinion. The Mossberg 500 is one of the premiere tactical shotguns on the market, and it has been for 60 years. At an average cost of around $550, you really can’t get more shotgun for your money anywhere else. Tack onto this the adaptability and dependability of a truly military grade shotgun, and you have yourself a solid purchase for both home defense, and tactical shooting purposes.
These shotguns also make amazing project guns for people who truly like to customize their weapons. In fact, there’s an entire series on Full30 by the Hobbygunsmith where he takes an old Mossberg 500 from a bag of spare parts to a fully functioning weapon system in just four videos. It’s well worth your time.
As always though, that’s just our opinion on the Mossberg 500. If you’re a Mossberg shooter, or just a fan of shotguns in general, let’s hear you sound off down in the comments below with your thoughts and experiences with the weapon system. We’d love to hear from you all!