Armchair Quarterback: Mossberg.

As regular readers of MadOgre know, I like to Armchair Quarterback a Gun Company every once in awhile. No company will ever be immune to my examination. I’m in the mood to take a closer look at Mossberg.
The reason being, is that I think Mossberg is a great gun company and I really like some of the guns they make. The 590A1 is a gun I used as my Patrol gun a long time ago and it was truly dependable. The 500 platform has been a workhorse pump action shotgun, second only to the iconic Remington 870. In fact, that’s been a big “Ford vs Chevy” debate for many years now when it comes to shotguns.
Now Mossberg has a fantastic semi-auto tactical gun, the 930 SPX which I have been running for awhile now and it’s been serving me flawlessly. In fact, it’s so good that it’s made me reconsider my whole outlook on a semi-auto shotgun. Congratulations, Mossberg… You have done very well.
Now let’s take a look at your new line up. You have some interesting guns.
Your Blackwater Series looks like a good line up. The 590A1 looks like it’s set up “just right”. The XS sights and the rail on the top. A+ on that one. Having used the 590 series guns extensively, let me tell you what it’s all about in one word. “Rugged”.
The Blackwater Cruiser edition is also set up well. The hand strap is a good touch on a short gun like this, and a welcome edition. As is the breaching choke. These upgrades over the standard Cruiser is good step up. This gun is ideal for breaching and dynamic entry, so I can see many of these guns being purchased by law enforcement for just that purpose.
The one I have a problem with is the Blackwater 930SPX. The gun is set up pretty well but for just one serious shortcoming. The position of the safety in relation with the use of a pistol gripped stock. It’s well known that pistol grips don’t work quite so well with a Mossberg. One has to take your hand off the grip to get to the safety. This is less than ideal. A normal straight stock, perhaps with a Speed Feed system to hold four extra shells would have been the better option. Okay, scratch that, there is no perhaps about it. The SPX needs a straight stock of some sort. For a turkey hunting gun, standard field gun, this safety issue isn’t a problem. But for a tactical gun, this becomes a problem. I don’t like it. I’ve sold more than a few replacement stocks for guys that discovered on their own that a pistol grip on a Mossberg is a less than ideal choice.
I have to say that I also like the SPX’s standard rear sights better. They are more adjustable and I find that an advantage when using slugs. I would like a Tritium front sight, an XS big dot would do well. It should also come with a forward placed rail to attach a tactical light. You offer the Tri-Rail verisons of the guns, but not one for the SPX and none on the Blackwater guns. Oversight.

Another change I would like, is to lengthen the barrel and feed tube. Make that thing hold 10 shells, set it up for 3Gun Competition. FNH did the same thing with the SLP shotgun, had a long version. It was quite popular.

The Chainsaw? The concept of the chainsaw works if the weapon under it is a heavy full auto. It does not work very well on a Cruiser. Maybe throw it on an SPX for fun… but on a pump? It smacks of silliness. You can’t even put the thing in a normal gun case. Actually, no, don’t put it on an SPX. Don’t put it on anything.

Let’s get away from these gimicky things… like the Road Blocker muzzle brakes. I don’t care what they do or don’t, they just don’t look cool to anyone that is actually serious about firearms. They look cool to the Video Game crowd, to the guys who watch too much TV. You are not going to see these used by any real tactical team or competition shooter. And really, if anyone came to one of my courses with one of these guns, I couldn’t take them seriously. Maybe if you put your Roadblocker on the Chainsaw… but you’ve already thought of that… haven’t you? Anyways, I’m glad the Roadblocker isn’t in your catalog anymore, but you are still rolling it on a Plinkster. Man, that’s just such a bad idea, I don’t even know what to say.

Your new Turkey Thug is a pretty cool gun. I like it. You should have a Semi-Auto version based on that 930 gun.

I don’t know what to think about the Maverick HS12 gun. Your new tactical over-under. It just seems so very wrong, but I like it. I’m glad you got it out and I’m pleased with your price points on it. In fact, for reasons I can’t explain, I actually want one.

Your 464 Lever Actions, look pretty good. But they are only in .30-30 or .22… First off, the Rimfire needs to have a different designation. I’m not going to talk about the rimfires, just the centerfire guns. .30-30 is good, but why not throw out something a little different? .35 Remington is still popular in some parts of the country. How about a .460 S&W Magnum? Anyways, that’s not important. You have two safeties on these things. Another upper tang safety? Okay, but a safety in the lever mechanism too? A lot of traditionalists run Lever Actions, and they don’t really care for the extra safety. A safety on the lever so that it wont fire unless the lever is closed, that’s fine. And that’s all serious lever shooters want.

Your Plinkster .22’s? They look good, simple, but seem to be a little delicate in the mechanisms. We’ve had some problems with them that could have been avoided. I think the design is sound, just a touch more work needs done to slick it up internally and I think it’s a good rifle. Speaking of rifles, you have the 100ATR rifles and you have the 4X4 rifles. Why two product lines for essentially the same thing? I can’t see how this helps profitability. Merge them. Just call them ATRs. An ATR rifle… that has a good ring to it. A 4X4 rifle? Not such a great name. Merge the lines, call them ATR’s, and you’ve got a better situation.

Okay, now your dealer incentives for the gun counter guys? Are you serious? Your numbers are ridiculous. I sell 15 guns and you give me a jacket? Browning would have given me a T-Bolt and an X-Bolt on 15 guns. To get a nice Blackwater gun, you want me to sell 75 guns? Please. I’m going to get much more from your competition’s incentive program. That’s all I’m going to say about that, because you can do the math. What guns do you think I’m going to show first? But to be honest, Incentives mean little to me. I sell guns I believe in. I don’t need your program to sell an SPX. But come on, holding out 75 guns like your doing me a favor? I think you’ve been playing with your Chainsaw too much.

Anyways, Mossberg, you’ve come a long way and I like the direction your going. Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing you at SHOT again next year.

5 thoughts on “Armchair Quarterback: Mossberg.”

  1. When I see gimmicks like the “Chainsaw” and cobra-head muzzle brakes my first assumption is that these guns are being marketed to Hollywood prop-masters.

  2. When you charge as much as Browning does, it’s no sweat to throw in free guns all the time. When the 500 is only about $230 for the base model, I don’t see there being a ton of room for dealer freebies.

  3. I would love Mossberg to do the combo barrel thing on that O/U – a short set and long “sporting” set with the same gun. They won’t do it, but it would be a cool option for a O/U shooter.

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