Mossberg 500 Shotgun Review

Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Shotgun


The Mossberg 500 12-guage shotgun is perhaps one of the most widely known shotguns around. Sales for this shotgun have surpassed 10,000,000 and that number is growing all the time. This is a very budget-friendly firearm, generally at about $300 most everywhere you can find them for the pump action version, and is very easy to shoot. There are a variety of different versions you can own, but we’ll be talking specifically about the Mossberg 500 12-guage pump-action version.


The Mossberg 500 features a pump-action with twin action bars, dual extractors, an anti-jam elevator to ensure a smooth operation, and an ambidextrous top-mounted safety so both left and right-handed shooters can enjoy this gun equally well. The Field-All Purpose Matte Black Synthetic (pictured above) has a matte-black synthetic stock and forend (with a rubber recoil pad for comfort), twin bead sights, and a 28” vent-rib ported barrel with a matte blued finish. This gun also includes Accu-Set choke tubes (improved cylinder, modified and full), and a five-round magazine capacity with an additional round in the chamber of 2-3/4″ shells making the total capacity 6 shells.

Before Operating: The magazine tube comes with a wooden “plug” inside that only allows 2 shells in the magazine factory from the store. You will need to remove the barrel from the gun, shake the gun in a downward position to expose the wooden plug at the end of the magazine tube, then pull it out with your hands. Removing this plug will allow the magazine tube to allow 5 shells instead of 2. Keep the plug, however! Some locations that you shoot may require no more than 2 in the magazine, and some may even required you have the plug in it. My own personal use, however, has proven to need the plug removed for optimum enjoyment.

Stock: I have found the rubber recoil pad on the buttstock to be very comfortable during shooting. I have been out with friends who are left with bruises on their shoulder area after shooting 25-75 clay pigeons with this shotgun, but I personally have shot up to 225 rounds out of this shotgun in one outing and have left the range with zero bruises and no pain. I personally enjoy butting the stock up to my shoulder tight before pulling the trigger, which in turn probably reduces the impact on my shoulder. Additionally, by removing a couple of screws in the rubber recoil pad, and one additional screw inside the stock, you can easily change the stock to a pistol grip version instead for a more “tactical” look and feel. Some prefer the pistol grip version for a home defense situation, but I personally prefer the standard stock that the shotgun comes with.

Twin Bead Sights: The twin bead sights are easy to get familiar with and to quickly acquire your target. When clay pigeon shooting, line up the back bead with the bead at the end of the barrel right on the clay pigeon (in most cases) and you’ll easily hit the target.

Barrel: The ported barrel (small holes in the barrel at the end of the shotgun) helps to reduce recoil, although I have found that a 12-gauge shotgun does deliver a nice punch when you pull the trigger. Smaller, lighter individuals may feel like a 20-gauge is more suitable to them, but in my case I prefer a little more power that a 12-gauge brings with it.

Additionally, changing the stock 28″ barrel with a shorter, 18.5 inch barrel, is easily done but unscrewing knob attached to the end of the magazine tube, and then literally just pulling the barrel out, away from the rest of the gun. A new barrel is easily installed in the reverse order.

Shell Carrier: The nicely-sized shell carrier easily accepts the shells for quick reloading of the magazine tube. The large, open design could easily accommodate a shooter wearing gloves so-as to not disrupt the shooter when reloading.

Ammunition: I have used primarily the Federal Ammunition 12-Gauge 3 DRAM, 100ct (found at Walmart) for around $22 per box. For the clay pigeon shooting that I enjoy, this has worked well, and has been very cost effective. Easy to come-by, and Walmart usually has it in stock, and it’s less expensive that other stores offer it for. It makes the cost per shell less than $0.25 cents.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this shotgun is well worth the investment. It has proven to be reliable, can easily take several hundred round in one outing without any failures, and is fairly easy to field strip and clean after shooting. I have enjoyed owning this firearm, and will continue to own it for the rest of my life. I hope that you have found this review to be helpful when considering purchasing a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun for yourself.

Note from the author: Hi! My name is Matt Johnson, and I write reviews for firearms and firearm related products that I have personally used and have become familiar with. While I understand that some individuals may disagree with some of my thoughts/feedback, I welcome you to leave comments and I will make adjustments as I see fit based on concerns and comments from my readers. I do hope, however, that everyone can keep commenting respectful and understand that my reviews are solely my opinion, and in no way do I consider myself to be the “end-all” when it comes to firearms. Continue your research here, and on other websites to gather as much information as possible before making your purchase. I am not endorsed by any companies or products, so my opinion is completely of my own volition. Thanks for reading!

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