Mossberg 500 Cruiser JIC Pump-Action Shotgun

By CTD Suzanne published on in Firearms

Maybe you are new to the gun world, pining for a new gun, preparing for the apocalypse, or need something for home protection. Perhaps you checked all the above. Would you be surprised to hear that one gun will do all of that? One gun does truly rule most—the 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. Even if you haven’t jumped on the shotgun bandwagon yet, let the Mossberg 500 convince you.

If you buy only one gun, buy a Mossberg 500.

If you buy only one gun, buy a Mossberg 500.

If you were to only purchase one gun, especially for a survival or an emergency situation, the Mossberg 500 is not only a top contender, but quite possibly favorable over the AR-15. It might just be the smarter choice. Shotguns are less likely to malfunction, they are easy to use and give the beginner hunter a better chance at taking game.

There are not many other guns as versatile as a pump-action shotgun. Not only are pump-action shotguns easy to use—with each manual pump another shell loads, while the spent one ejects—the action is simple. Therefore, there is less chance for your gun to malfunction (jam) when you need it most. It cycles without fail. It might just be the ultimate SHTF weapon and Mossberg makes it even more convenient with its series of Just In Case (JIC) survival-packaged pump-action shottys.

Mossberg has been producing the model 500 shotgun for 50 years and is currently celebrating over 10 million units produced. Remaining affordable throughout the years, the Mossberg 500 is a top-notch shotgun that is reliable and shoots like a beast. In fact, it is one of the most popular home defense shotguns in America.

On top of that, the Mossberg 500 meets the U.S. Army’s MIL-SPEC 3443D test.

There are four different models in the JIC series of pump-action shotguns—the Cruiser, II Takedown, Mariner and Sandstorm. All have these basic features:

  • Gauge: 12
  • Barrel: 18.5”
  • Chamber: 2.75” or 3” shells
  • Capacity: 7 rounds (with 2.75” shells)
  • Sights: Bead
  • Safety: Ambidextrous tang
  • Stock: Synthetic pistol grip
  • Length: 28.75”
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds

Made in the USA, all Mossberg Model 500 pump-action shotguns have Quiet Carry™ dual-action bars.

The differences lie in the shotguns’ finish and with what is included in the packaging. The Mariner has a marinecote finish, appropriate for saltwater environments and includes an orange floating tube, multi-tool and knife. Covered with a desert camo finish, the Sandstorm does not come with a survival kit. The JIC II is a special takedown version of the 500 and includes a takedown tool and a soft shoulder-strapped black case.

JIC Cruiser

The Cruiser comes with an 18.5-inch barrel with a cylinder bore that will fit 2.75-inch or 3-inch shells. A wide range of shotgun shells are available to meet a wide variety of tasks. With just one gun, you can choose birdshot, a slug for deer, buckshot for home defense or even less-lethal ammo. The close-up effectiveness of the 500 for home defense is not arguable; however, anything over 100 yards is questionable with the 18.5-inch factory barrel on the 500 JIC Cruiser. However, with a quick 20-second change to a rifled barrel, this shotgun can kill a deer at over 100 yards. Unlike semi-automatic long guns, the Mossberg 500 will shoot any type of ammo you load into it, be it high-end clay shells or cheap Winchester white box.

The Cruiser has a black synthetic pistol grip stock and a matte blued metal finish. The drilled and tapped receiver allows you to add any sight you choose. Further, Mossberg 500 shotguns are much like a black rifle—so popular and modular there are plenty of aftermarket accessories which to choose from. The availability of different stocks, grips, rails, optics, slings and ammo carriers is almost dizzying.

Included with the Cruiser shotgun is a waterproof OD green tube. The tube will hold not only the shotgun and included survival kit, but extra ammo and an MRE or two will also fit. The tube is watertight up to 40 feet and it also floats.

Mossberg throws in a basic survival kit, made by Coghlan’s. The kit includes matches, first aid supplies, rations, fishing kit, razor, duct tape, fire starter, compass, rope, wire, signal mirror, and safety pins.

Specifications and Features

  • Gauge: 12
  • Barrel Length: 18.5″
  • Overall Length: 28.75″
  • Action: Pump
  • Stock: Synthetic pistol grip style
  • Forend: Synthetic
  • Receiver: Mil-Spec 3443 G standards
  • Chamber: 3″
  • Magazine Capacity: 7 (2.75″ rounds)
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds unloaded
  • Sights: Bead front sight
  • Finish: black
  • Safety: Ambidextrous tang

Like it? Want it? Buy it!

If you buy only one gun, buy a Mossberg 500. If you are simply just adding to your collection, no one will question your choice. Perfect for a variety of tasks, the Mossberg 500 is perfect for preppers, campers, hunters, newbies and aficionados alike.

Features JIC Cruiser JIC Mariner JIC Sandstorm JIC II Takedown
Stock Synthetic
pistol grip
pistol grip
pistol grip
pistol grip
Finish Black Marinecote Desert camo Black
Case OD green
Desert camo
Soft black
carrying case
Included Survival kit in a tin Multi-tool and knife N/A N/A


Do you already own a Mossberg 500? Tells us what configuration it is and what you have added on to it in the comment section.


Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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