Mossberg 500 is series of pump action shotguns that share the same basic receiver and action but vary in barrel length magazine capacity and bore size. Manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Mossberg shotguns provide value for money and as a result are the best selling shotguns in the world, with their production numbers second only to Remington 870. The 500 series comprises of the following models; 500, 505, 510, 535, and 590. Produced to military specifications and renowned for their durability and dependability, these shotguns are versatile because of their interchangeable barrels which allow the owner to switch the gun’s use depending on the particular task being undertaken.
First introduced to market in 1961, Mossberg 500 pump action variants are based on the same basic design and share a number of features such as dual action bars and single locking lugs which are used to keep the breech in place. Other features include the magazine tube, which is placed underneath the barrel and secured to the receiver by screws. Although the shotguns’ sights vary from model to model, most of the guns come with a drilled and tapped receiver to facilitate the installation of a scope base or a sight to the rear. The shotgun’s original scope is mounted on the barrel which means the scope is situated over he receiver but remains on the barrel when the barrel is removed.
The Mossberg 500 series is designed for use in harsh conditions where it can easily get dirty such as hunting and recreational use, beneficially, the shotgun is made in such a way that it is easy to clean and maintain.
All the guns in the 500 series feature interchangeable barrels, although this depends on the magazine capacity of the particular gun. A five-shot barrel will not fit into a gun with a seven shot tube for example. The barrel is removed by simply loosening a screw at the end of the magazine tube.
The 500 series comes in a variety of designs, with the main difference being the magazine configuration. A basic model will come fitted with a six-shot magazine tube that holds five 2.7 inch shells. The shotgun is also available with an extended magazine tube that holds seven rounds.
The normal finishes of the guns in this series feature an anodized aluminium alloy receiver as well as a polished barrel. Other models feature a matte black painted receiver and a blued barrel, other models come with barrels designed to look parkerized, such as the 590 series. In addition, Mossberg also offer models with camouflage designs. Stocks on the guns are usually made of wood or composite, with the composite finish usually matching the rest of the gun. There is also a special edition model that comes with a highly corrosion resistant silver Marinecoat finish called the Mariner; this model features the black composite stocks.
Model 500 Variations
The Mossberg 500 series features a number of variants that cater for a wide range of uses, although the ability to easily change the barrel means the owner can use one shotgun for a variety of applications by swopping different types of barrels. The two main categories that this series falls under are special purpose models and field models.
Special Purpose Models
These models are manufactured for use within the army, law enforcement and defence industries and will come with specific designations such as tactical, mariner among others. Special purpose models come fitted with shorter barrels and may have extra specialty parts such as fiber optic sights or adjustable stocks for extra rounds.
Available with a variety of barrel lengths and finishes, field models are the basic sporting models for use in waterfowl hunting, game, or turkey hunting and the like. Most of the field model guns are smoothbore models that have choke tubes and vent barrels that can easily be changed, or slug models with rifled or smooth cylinder bore barrels as well as scope and sight bases.
Other model variants include the law enforcement models, which will normally have heavier barrels as well as metal safeties and trigger guards, and the home security model, which is only available in .410 and is specifically manufactured for defence use.
The Mossberg 500 series is designed to be a multi-purpose shotgun, and there are a lot of different accessory stocks and barrels sold by Mossberg to enable owners to achieve a number of different configurations depending on the intended use. This shotgun series is also the only one that has passed the rigorous torture test by the U.S military to enable it to be used by the military.