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The Mossberg 500 Shotgun

Mossberg 500 Shotgun

In addition to 2011 being the 100th anniversary of the Colt 1911, and the 25th anniversary of the Glock 17, another firearm has a birthday to celebrate.

The Mossberg 500 has been around for 50 years now, and has distinguished itself among connoisseurs of firearms. Now, as then, Mossberg continues to uphold its promise of offering “More Gun for the Money.”

O.F. Mossberg & Sons International was founded in 1919, making it the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in the United States. Mossberg holds over 100 patents and is considered to be one of the most innovative firearms manufacturers in U.S. history. Mossberg is also the first ISO 9001 certified long gun manufacturer.ISO certification requires meeting a high standard of manufacturing specifications, including quality grades of materials used in production and meeting exceptional customer service criteria.

The Mossberg company introduced its 500 series of shotguns in 1961.The 500 was an instant hit, and continues to be one of the most popular shotguns in the U.S. Today, Mossberg is the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world.

Mossbergs have a well-deserved reputation as high quality firearms at a reasonable price. Mossberg was one of the first manufacturers to make custom features a standard part of its firearms.

The 500 series of Mossberg shotguns is a family of firearms that feature a hammer-less, pump action design. Although there are several models of 500, they all share the same basic design, differing in barrel style and length as well as accessories.

Mossberg has been the choice of American military and law enforcement since 1979, due to its performance and reliability. The 500 series guns were designed for tough conditions, whether wetlands or the battlefield, and in addition to being dependable, they are easy to field strip, clean and maintain.

Model 500s have interchangeable barrels, and these can be swapped out without the use of tools, simply by loosening a screw located at the end of the magazine tube. People opt for different barrel lengths for different purposes—shorter for home defense, longer for bird hunting, for example.

Very little has changed in the basic 500 design over the years, though in 1970, Mossberg changed the action bar from single to dual, making the pump less likely to bind when jacking shells into the chamber.

People who prefer Mossberg say the location of the safety at the top of the receiver, as well as the smooth pump action, make the Mossberg superior to similar firearms.

Model 500 Options

Model 500s are designed to chamber five 2.75-inch or four 3-inch 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. The Model 500 is available in a variety of barrel and receiver finishes, including one intended for frequent exposure to highly corrosive marine conditions.

Model 500s are available in several formats.

Model 505

Model 505s and Bantam models feature shorter stocks and barrels for young or smaller-stature shooters. The magazine tube holds only four cartridges and the gun is available in 20 gauge or .410.

Model 535

The Model 535 has a lengthened receiver that can fire 2.75, 3, or3.5-inch shells. It has a non-over-bored barrel, allowing the use of slugs. The 535 barrels are available in smooth-bore or rifled, with a variety of barrel lengths and different sights.

Model 590A1

Mossberg Model 590A1s are military and law enforcement models. They have heavier barrels, metal trigger guards, and metal safeties. These models are available in 14, 18.5, or 20-inch barrels.

Various models of 500 are classified as field, special purpose, or home security models, and each has a different barrel, sight, or magazine capacity designed for its intended purpose.

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 rifled muzzle-loader.

Model Numbers

Model numbers on the Mossberg indicate its caliber. “A” is 12 gauge, “B” is 16, “C” is 20, and “E” is .410

Mossberg 500 Uses

Mossberg claims its 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.”

Both the Army and Navy use Mossberg Model 590A1s for their performance and reliability.

Today Mossberg manufactures dozens of models of rifle and shotgun, as well as special-purpose weapons. Mossberg remains a favorite of firearms enthusiasts because of its flexibility and affordability, as well as its continuing commitment to producing some of the highest-quality firearms in the business.

Author: Corinne Flowers
Pub. Date: 4/12/11