Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Mossberg 500 Mariner Shotgun

Today I purchased a new Mossberg Model 500 Mariner shotgun. Main use for this will be as a home or camp defense gun. First, some background as to how I chose this piece.

After several years without firing a shotgun, last year I picked up a Stoeger Uplander 20 gauge double. Intended usage was sporting and home defense. After shooting it I liked it but decided I wanted a gun that ejected empty cases if I was going to rely on it for defense. Yes, I could learn to work with extractors but I want to eliminate ejection as one more factor to worry about if I have to use the gun to defend my home and family. One less thing to worry about.

Since I like double guns I looked around for a coach gun with ejectors. No dice. Since the target market for coach guns is CAS, and that requires extractors, all the new coach guns come with extractors. Phooey.

That left me looking at autos and pumps. I didn't want an auto. A pump will function with pretty much any ammo. There are reliable autos but I have more confidence in the reliability of a pump. YMMV.

Currently, there are two major pump guns on the market, the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500/590. For me the Mossberg has one feature which makes it more desireable: the top mounted tang safety. I am left handed and the Remington's cross-bolt safety (unless I found a southpaw 870) works backwards. Yes, I can learn to work with one but why complicate matters, if a suitable alternative exists?

The Dick's Sporting Goods near me had a couple of suitable choices. The first that I looked at was a 20 gauge Mossberg 500 Super Bantam All Purpose Field. This is a blued gun with a 22" barrel, recoil pad, and removable stock spacer. I really liked the idea of the short length of pull. The Super Bantam fit me pretty well but it was [I]light[/I]. Only 5-1/4 pounds according to Mossberg's web page. That would make a great gun for carrying but recoil with it is going to be [B]stiff[/B], even in 20 gauge.

Next up was a Mossberg 500 Mariner in 12 gauge with an 18.5" cylinder bore barrel with a bead. The metal has Mossberg's MarineCoat finish, which looks like electroless nickel (not sure if it's that or something more high speed). I like the idea of a finish which reduces the amount of maintenance I need to perform. It's not pretty like bluing but this is a tool. Also, the flat silver finish probably makes the gun look a bit bigger and scarier, which is a bonus if I ever need to unlimber it for defense. (I regard this as a [I]bonus[/I], not as something to be relied on.) Like the Super Bantam it came with black plastic furniture, though it lacks the removable spacer to adjust LOP. It does have a recoil pad. Weight is 7 pounds. It fit me pretty well, the price seemed reasonable at $369, so I decided to buy it.

Along with the gun I bought a 100 round value pack of Remington #8 target loads, just to get familiar with the gun. I'm going to pick up some reduced recoil buckshot and slugs for serious work. Aside from ammo, the only accessories this gun will get are a shell holder for the butt stock (already on though not shown in the pic below), a sling in QD swivels, for outside use, and a Mossberg Loc-Box so I can safely store it in my bedroom. I also picked up a 12 gauge Hoppe's BoreSnake.

Depending on how well I can shoot slugs in it, the Mariner might even see duty for deer hunting.

After getting it home I field stripped the Mossberg and lightly oiled it with Ballistol, and removed the plug so I can fill the 5 round mag. I BoreSnaked the barrel which showed signs of being proof fired and not cleaned thereafter.

My next step is to BA/UU/R.

Obligatory new gun pics here.


Anonymous said...

Check out the Knoxx Stocks for your Mossberg - it does a lot to reduce felt recoil.

Timbo said...

Nice looking gun!

On a personal level, I was glad to see that it actually had a stock. I had it in my mind that you had purchased a pistol-grip type shotgun, which I regard as near useless.

Dave Markowitz said...


I have no use for a PGO shotgun. I'm not using it as a breacher and I want to hit what I'm shooting at.