Mossberg has been making the basic Model 500
shotgun for over fifty years now. The
500 has proven itself to be an excellent shotgun, for both
sporting and fighting purposes. The 500 design has broadened
over the years into other versions, including the 535 and 835
sporting guns, and the 590 fighting shotgun. In business since
1892, Mossberg has always been known for providing good guns for
the working man, and the number of Model 500 series shotguns
produced exceeds ten million.
While Mossberg has always served the
sportsman with reliable, affordable firearms, here, we are
looking at Mossberg's shotguns that are built for fighting. For
that purpose, Mossberg offers a variety of choices, and all of
them are good, but there are differences. The Model 88 is their
entry level imported shotgun. It uses a triggerguard safety, so
unless one just has to have the lowest-priced shotgun, I
recommend moving up to at least the Model 500. While utilizing
the same basic, proven design, there are differences between the
Models 500, 590, and 590A1 shotguns. Each of them loads easily,
with the shell lifter completely out of the way while loading.
They have smooth pump actions, utilizing twin action bars. They
have durable aluminum receivers, with the bolt locking into the
steel barrel extension, and each will function with
2 3/4 or 3 inch shotshells.
The Model 590A1 is Mossberg's heavy-duty fighting
shotgun. It is pretty much the shotgun that is in use by our
military, and is a beefed-up Model 590. The 590/590A1 pump guns
have a different magazine tube/barrel system than does the 500,
allowing for the addition of a magazine extension, if desired,
and also allows for easier cleaning on the inside of the
magazine tube. On the 500, 590, and 590A1 series shotguns, the
safety is exactly where it should be; atop the receiver. To me,
this is much superior to a safety on the trigger guard, and
works equally well for both right-handed and left-handed
shooters. On the 500 and 590 shotguns, the safety button is
plastic. On the 590A1, the safety button is of the same design,
but it is made of metal. The trigger guard on the 500 and 590
shotguns are also made of plastic, but is aluminum on the 590A1.
Instead of blued steel and anodized aluminum, the 590A1 has a
Parkerized (phosphate) finish, for better corrosion protection.
Finally, the barrel of the 590A1 is a heavier, thicker-walled
tube, built heavier for greater durability. The 590A1 is one of
the best fighting shotguns ever built.
Like the other Mossberg fighting shotguns,
the 590A1 is offered with a choice of stock designs, with the
one shown here wearing a Magpul stock, forend, and accessories.
The Model 51773 shown here wears a twenty-inch, heavy-walled,
cylinder bore (no choke) barrel. The magazine holds eight 2 3/4 inch shells or seven 3
inch shells. The buttstock is Magpul's adjustable unit, which
has removable spacers to adjust for length-of-pull (LOP). The
LOP is adjustable from approximately 12.25 inches to 14.25
inches. I like mine set at about 13.25 inches on a fighting
shotgun, so I removed two of the spacers. I might even remove
one more. The recoil pad is a soft synthetic rubber, and it
works really well to take the pain out of shooting maximum
loads. The forend is a well-textured synthetic unit, with front
and rear hand stops. It is very comfortable to use, and can be
fitted with accessory rails, if desired. The magazine tube is
fitted with a bayonet lug, should you choose to fit a bayonet to
your shotgun. The standard issue US M9 bayonet fits perfectly
and attaches quickly. Just in front of the bayonet lug is a
sling attachment that supports the barrel and mag tube. At the
rear of the receiver is another sling attachment point that can
be switched from one side to the other, as desired. On both
sides of the buttstock are additional sling attachment points.
The Magpul buttstock also comes with two cheek-pieces of
differing heights. I installed the taller one, as it places my
eye higher, and better-suits the way in which I aim the shotgun.
The sights shown pictured on this shotgun in
the are not the correct sights for the current Magpul 590A1.
This is an early-production shotgun, and the sights have been
upgraded on the current-production model. The sights shown
attached to this particular shotgun are standard on the Magpul
590. The sights now installed on this 51773 Model Magpul 590A1
are better. They include a rear Picatinny rail, and XS Sights
Ghost Ring Sight System, shown in a picture here. The 51773
Magpul 590A1 shotgun has an overall length of
39.625 inches (depending upon spacers used), and weighs
in at seven pounds, fifteen ounces on my scale. It is a
heavy-duty pump action shotgun, built for serious purposes.
I fired the 590A1 shotgun with every type and
brand of 12 gauge ammo available to me, including light target
loads, heavy field loads, buckshot, and magnum slugs. The
Mossberg functioned perfectly and smoothly with everything.
Every shell loaded, fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The
trigger pull is pretty crisp, just about perfect for such a
weapon, releasing with about five and one-quarter pounds of
resistance. The shotgun handles well, and feels like a
heavy-duty shotgun, with enough heft to attenuate recoil, but
not so heavy nor bulky as to hinder handling in tight quarters.
I really like the shape of the pistol grip on the Magpul
buttstock. It allows the weapon to be handled one-handed, if
necessary, yet does not hinder the access to the safety, as
would a full pistol grip.
For some defensive and offensive situations,
the shotgun is superior to both the handgun and the rifle, with
devastating power. In close to moderate range fighting, the
shotgun offers a real power advantage over a handgun. Only in
the tightest of quarters would the length of a shotgun be a
disadvantage, but inside
or outside a home, in a defensive situation, the shotgun rules,
and the Mossberg 590A1 is one of the best ever built for such a
purpose. I highly recommend this Mossberg 590A1 Magpul version.
As of the date of this review, the Mossberg
590A1 Magpul shotgun, Model 51773, has a suggested retail price
of $855 US.
Check out the extensive line of Mossberg
firearms and accessories online at www.mossberg.com.
For the location of a Mossberg dealer near
you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the 590A1 Magpul shotgun online,
click on the GUN GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
order quality shotgun ammunition online, go to www.midsouthshooters.com
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