I’ve been an 870 fan for a long time. Preferring them over the Mossbergs, even though I’ve used 590’s as my Patrol Shotgun for some time… 870’s just seemed more rugged and smoother. Mossbergs have never been known for being smooth operators. But they do slick up nicely with a little work and use.
Today I put a lot of use into one. With the intent of purposefully abusing it, and my shoulder, to see which would break first.
I fired at least a hundred shells, all high brass, mixed of Buck, Slug, and various birdshots most of that being #5 and #6 hunting loads. I grabbed the shells blind and loaded them in no order. Just a random mix, with no purpose, other than to find any failure in the gun.
What I found instead was an even greater respect of the Mossberg design, and the design of the Magpul stock. After so much abuse, my shoulder and my shotgun remain just fine. The recoil absorption of the stock is amazing. It made the session quite tolerable. I really do like the Mossberg’s shell lifting mechanism over that of the Remington. Much easier to load and unload. This is a clear advantage over the 870 mechanism. And with the Magpul stock, a clear advantage in the position of the safety as well.
For some reason I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the best pump action shotgun. Well, here’s the deal… There is no best pump action shotgun. There’s no ideal pump action shotgun. It doesn’t exist. There is no such thing. Even my beloved 870 is not the ideal shotgun. It’s not perfect. My top Pump Action Picks are as follows:
1. Remington 870.
2. Mossberg 500/590.
3. Benelli Super Nova.
And that’s it. Those 3. In that order. And really, the Benelli if you want the option for 3.5″ shells. Which is nice, but unnecessary. But I do like the stocks and the sights. But not much else.
My ideal pump action shotgun, which doesn’t exist, would be a hybrid of the 870 and the 500/590.
I like the Steel Receiver and the Bolt of the 870. But I like the Shell Lifter and Safety on the 500. If I could have an 870 fitted with a Mossberg Safety and a Mossberg Shell Lifter – and use the Magpul shotgun stock – That would be just about damn near as ideal as it could get. Let’s add good Rifle Sights to it, and interchangeable choke tubes. That would do it, pretty much.
The Magpul stock on a Mossberg is probably the ideal set up. Or at least the most ideal set up I’ve handled. It’s very ergonomic and feels great… keeping the felt recoil under control and keeping the safety right there where you need it.
Mossberg’s model 500 shotgun is a very simple little beast. The one I picked up was rather lacking in that it was a Pistol Grip Only shotgun. I was going to do something else with it, but decided to sandbag that and go a different round. So I needed a stock for it. After some consideration I decided to give the Magpul stock a shot, and I am really glad I did. I almost always throw on a Butler Creek folding stock, but wanting “different” this time really paid off.
The location of the safety switch on the Mossy shotguns is on top and at the rear of the receiver. Which makes it’s position perfect for this stock. It’s awesome if shot from either shoulder. If you have a Mossberg – this is the stock you need.
The grip angle looks exaggerated, but actually feels very comfortable, and the length of pull is adjustable by adding or removing the spacers. It comes with no spacers in, making it too short for me. So adding 2 puts it just right. For me. You might be different.
First thing, you’ll notice that the rifle is sporting a different butt-stock. Thanks to Matt for sending it. The new stock still had some wiggle to it like most all M4 stocks do, but it’s not rattling as it fits much better than the original ATI. It’s bit lighter, and a lot less bulky. It feels much better. I’m keeping the rubber pad, which is the bulkiest bit now… not for recoil, but to anchor it in the shoulder while you run the lever. Recoil is a shove, since the gun weights nothing. But it’s nothing too sharp or uncomfortable. It may be a tad bit much for smaller children, but I have seen reduced recoil load for .30-30 – I believe from Federal, which would allow this gun to be quite manageable. For anyone else, it’s really no problem. Now, I did learn that the location I have that little Streamlight TLR-1 mounted at… That’s just got to go. Because that will impact your support hand in less than comfortable ways. Here are a few shot groups.
Yes, they are hitting a bit low because I still need to adjust them. I’ll do that once I pick up some Loctite and get out a tiny little screwdriver. Then I get set it and it will stay. But you can see the groups are not bad at all for a short, light lever-action carbine. That nice little Cloverleaf makes me very happy. These Mossberg 464’s are shooters right out of the box.
Now, they are no Winchester 94’s to be sure. The action still needs to work in and the loading gate and feed mechanisms need to wear in a bit… but the gun really did run great. I had no problems with it at all. I really couldn’t be happier with this little thumper.
Update: Here’s what it looks like now. I can’t wait to get this out and hunt with it. All I’m going to add to this gun is a sling. A simple black nylon GI sling.
I have already put a box of rounds through it, and I’m quiet happy with it. Functionally it was flawless, which was a huge step up from the last Lever Action I bought, the Marlin 1895, which immediately had to go back to the factory for 6 weeks.
The accuracy was very good. I have to say that I really like the way this thing shoots. It was shooting very accurately off hand. But I need to get to a range that actually has a Bench so I can really see what this thing will do.
As you can see, I didn’t get the version with the flash-hider. Because I thought about it and admitted to myself that I will never be doing anything with that threaded end anyway because if I want to go quiet, well, I’ll be using a very different weapon for that sort of work. This is going to strictly be for hunting. So I saved 50 bucks on got the shorter option. I like the shortness of it. It feels extremely short. And light. WOW, this rifle is light. Seriously… it’s like 1/2 the weight of a Marlin 336. I threw a tac-light on it just because, well, I can. Other than a sling, that’s going to be the extent of add-ons. I’m not decking this thing out. In fact, I may remove the rails all together. I’ve not decided yet. The stock has GOT to GO! I really can’t tell you how much I hate this ATI stock. It detracts from the entire rifle. I thought I had a Magpul CTR stock here at the house, but I think I remember that I had given it away back in Jacksonville to a guy in my church. So I will be needing a replacement stock as soon as possible. I don’t care if it’s a standard M4 stock or even a TAPCO… anything is a step up from this ATI. Stocks should not rattle and wobble. Ever.
Along with the rifle, I grabbed a box of Remington HOG HAMMER ammo, as well as my favorite Federal Blue Box stuff for further plinking work. I was going to get some Hornady LEVERevolutions for it… but I’m well familiar with how they perform, and wanted to try something new.
This gun will be used to harvest some delicious Venison this fall. And with the Carolinas not having a limit on White Tail… I think I’m going to be harvesting a lot. At least that’s the goal. The hope. One buys a rifle like this not for the collector value, but for the hope of adventures that one can have with it.
I think I’m going to paint it. Just need to decide on how I’m going to go about it.
I know I’ve talked about the Mossberg 464 SPX before. I know I’ve said that I wanted it. Passing fad sort of want… But lately I’ve been thinking about it a lot more. Can’t get it out of my mind. Stupid sort of thing… like a pop-song that’s stuck in your head.
Gah… If I’m still jonesing for it this hard later this week, I’m going to have to do something about it. Something drastic and terrible. Like just buying one.
Pre-SHOT Show so not a lot of the newest. Mostly it’s Pre-Shot clearing of older products. But there was some new things:
This is SIG’s new BRAVO 4 optic. Much larger field of view than the Leupold HAMR, with brightness and clarity that rivaled ELCAN. SIG has a whole new line up of Optics and looking through them all… It competes square up against the Leupold HAMR and ACOG. It’s a fixed 4 power. HUGE field of view, wider than the ACOG, wider than the HAMR. 4 inches of eye relief – they said – felt more like 3.5 to me… but massive field of view and clarity I’ve only seen in an ELCAN. It’s MAP is about 1299. This is a staggering good optic. When I asked how they did this – SIG snatched a lot of guys from Leupold. They have a Prismatic as well, called the Bravo 3. And other AR type optics and hunting optics… Binos and such… SIG is doing them right too. These are good. I want one.
This is the CZ EVO… It’s very smooth, very cool, and I think I like it more than the SIG MPX. Especially since the mags are half the price of SIG’s. There is an adapter for a SIG arm brace – which means it’s a perfect vehicle for an SBR.
Leupold wasn’t just thinking outside the box here. They threw the box away. What you are seeing is a small 6 power optic with an objective lens on the side, and the occular lens were your back up iron sight would be. It’s lower than the mini red dot… so you can use the red dot for fast work and tuck in for a more precisely aimed shot. It’s weird and I’d really have to get used to it – but I like the concept. Optical quality was not that great though – which defeats the purpose. But hey – it’s just a concept. I like where it’s going.
We’ve seen the pictures. They don’t do the Curve justice. It’s a lot stupider than it looked. I like they are trying something new. But they just need to try a better idea.
New handguard on the Mossberg 464 SPX. Thinner, lighter… I love it. I’ll have to order one soon. Seriously. I’m going to have to.
The newest Ruger GP100 Match Champion… Now with an adjustable rear sight. It feels better in the hand than the photos suggest. For a Double Action Revolver – I think Ruger found perfection. I WILL have one.
I can admit it when I’m wrong. I can change my opinion when new information comes to light. And I can change my opinion when something I once thought a disgusting abomination proves to be actually useful. Well, in this case, that Something is the Mossberg 464 SPX. When I first saw it in photos I thought it was a joke. When I first saw it in person at SHOT Show, I was horrified.
But over time, the Mossy 464 series has grown on me. And the SPX version has even become less offensive to my Lever Sensibilities. Now I’m at the point that not only to I actually like them… But I actually really WANT ONE.
Here’s what I like about the 464 SPX from O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. 1. It has good sights and not Buckhorns… No one likes Buckhorns, not even guys who know how to use them. And these work in lower light conditions. 2. The stock adjusts to fit different sized shooters, or the same shooter through all four seasons.
3. The muzzle end is threaded. This means you can take off the flash hider and put on a muzzle brake, or a suppressor… Or a thread protector and have nothing on it. You have options.
4. It’s a Mossberg… so while it’s not a Japanese made Winchester, or a questionably made Marlin, or Brazilian or Italian made whatever… It’s a solid, hardworking US Made rifle that’s going to get the job done.
5. The safety is actually in a logical place for a Lever Action.
6. These things actually shoot very well.
Ugly? Indeed… But it works. And that makes it rather attractive to me. I think if I had one I’d get the gun Cerakoted for improved corrosion resistance, put a sling on it and cover the rails… Maybe change the stock to a lighter unit. But that’s less important. I’d put a Battlecomp on it first chance I got. And then I’d call it good.
Updated: Okay, you guys know I am not one to leave well enough alone. I’ve been looking at the 464 series of rifles and there seems to be some holes in the line that could be filled.
The 16″ barreled SPX loses a round of capacity and a chunk of velocity from the standard 464 rifle with the 20″ barrel. I think it would be nice to offer a 20″ SPX and let it take advantage of that extra oomph and extra round. That’s one thing. The other thing, is the they have a nice weather proof marine finish… but with a not so weather proof wood stock. How about a Marine Finished SPX? And how about a Marine Finished 464 with a regular furniture, but in a sturdy synthetic? I know I’d like that. I’d also like a Trapper version of the 464. Traditional, but in 16″. Okay, we’ve got this ball rolling… Where is a .45-70 gun? That’s right… I’m looking for a Guide Gun Alternative here. The 464PH, Professional Hunter, make it like the Marlin’s SBL… top rail, big loop… Do the same config in .30-30 as well. And while we’re talking calibers… Let’s look at a .44 Mag version of the SPX and Trapper.
This was one of those “What the hell, I’ll try it” sort of things. With a big “I’m glad I did” sort of results. I was in the market for a new stock, but not exactly for a pistol grip… so I’d likely have passed this up until our friend Ryan Horst at Tannerman’s Trading Company offered this to me.
This is a synthetic product that is reminiscent of the results of the old school mod of chopping down a standard wood stock. It’s got that look and feel, but with a better finish. Compared to some other pistol grip, or Breacher grips out there, this has a better look and feel. Better in that it looks more traditional. It is both solid and comfortable and during recoil, it feels more comfortable than most standard pistol grips out there.
Mounted on a standard factory Remington 870 HD model, it helps make for a nice compact Home Defense weapon. It begs to be used on an SBS or AOW shotgun. The Raptor Grip is not for everyone. The purpose is more specifically CQB in tighter areas, or for where you need to transport a potent weapon in as compact a package as possible. This isn’t for any Duck Commanders out there.
You can see it removes a lot of length from the weapon, while keeping a legal OAL. Any shorter here and I’d have to be doing some ATF Paperwork.
Your Lever Action SPX. Stop it.
Your huge Breacher muzzle devices. Stop it.
All of your Bolt Action Rifles. Just stop it.
Your Road Blocker and Chainsaws… STOP!
You have become the BUDK Catalog of the Firearms Industry. I now CRINGE every time one of your boxes shows up… I’m afraid to open it and look in for fear of what fresh new hell you decided to unleash.
I can’t take anything that says Mossberg on it seriously anymore. Your 930 and 590 series guns are awesome, but even then. It’s like telling a young person that I loved the STARSHIP TROOPERS book because the Movie is so fucking retarded. A lot of newer shooters don’t know what a 590 is, and instead smirk at the Mossberg name. “Hey, the 590 is a great gun!” I come off sounding like a Nutter. This is what you have done to yourselves, Mossberg.
This is why there is no more EXTREME SHOCK ammo… No matter their ammo was actually great, their company Image had become such a joke, they couldn’t be taken seriously anymore and they had to shut down and completely restructure to regain some traction.
This is what you need to do, Mossberg.
You are trying to market to the same guys that want COUNTER SNIPER OPTICS, Big Low Pressure Petroleum Fireball Explosions, and “STACKED AND PACKED” Calendars. You want Video Game Players. Your Target Audience is CALL OF DUTY. STOP THAT!
Have some Self Respect, Mossberg! If I go to SHOT and see something like a CHAINSAW LEVER – I’m going to fucking slap the shit out of you.