Throwback Thursday—Is the Mossberg Maverick 88 Shotgun a Good Value?

By CTD Blogger published on in Reviews

The Mossberg 500 series is one of the most popular pump-action shotguns of all time. The Maverick’s popularity is largely based on its extraordinary value compared to other offerings in the market segment.

Black Mossberg Maverick 88, focus on the stock, on a white-and-gray background, barrel pointed to the leftThe Maverick 88 series is made in Eagle Pass, Maverick County in the great state of Texas. It was developed and manufactured to compete with imported, low-priced slide-action shotguns in the late ’80s.

This particular example, an 88 Security Model, was purchased for use as a new gun owner’s home defense weapon back in the mid ’90s. It has fired many rounds over its 15-year lifespan and has served as the owner’s bird gun, primary defense gun and even as a competition shotgun on occasion. A simple buttstock cuff and light with clamp are the only modifications.

There is nothing fancy about a 12 gauge slide-action shotgun set up for defensive purposes. The Maverick 88 is no different.Blue Mossberg Maverick 88 on a white-to-gray background

With a 6-shot capacity and barrel availability, the only practical difference in this model from its big brother, the Mossberg 500A, is the Maverick’s crossbolt safety.

The sight is a gold bead and the stock and forearm are black synthetic. You’ll find the crossbolt safety and action lock lever intuitive and easy to manipulate. Loading the magazine or through the ejection port is equally easy and instinctive. The 18.5-inch barrel patterns as you would expect from a cylinder bore.


Black Mossberg Maverick 88 on a white-to-gray background


Maverick 88 – Pros

Black Mossberg Maverick 88 focused on the barrel on a medium gray-to-light gray background

  • Inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Crossbolt safety

Maverick 88 – Cons

  • Forend is not easily replaceable
  • Fixed capacity

Blue Mossberg Maverick 88 The Maverick forearm incorporates twin action bars. You can easily see the Maverick 88’s captive barrel bolt shared with the Mossberg 500. This bolt makes interchangeable barrels a snap, although it limits the magazine capacity to factory levels. The bolt features dual extractors while the trigger guard assembly is polymer.

The Maverick 88 Security is a terrific value to anyone looking for a first shotgun or an inexpensive defensive arm. The Maverick 88 Field is an equally exceptional value for those looking for a bird or slug gun.

Maverick 88 Security
Action Pump action
Barrel Length 18.5 inches
Caliber 12 gauge
Sights Brass bead front
Stock or Grip Black synthetic
Capacity 6

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Ever fired a Mossberg Maverick 88? How did it compare to your expectations? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

This article originally published on October 6, 2009.

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Comments (34)

  • Gene


    I just bought a Maverick 88 today with an 8+1 capacity sleeve, and my LGS had plenty of them, so I don’t know what is up with the capacity being fixed.

    I have not shot it yet, but it looks and feels great. I prefer a straight forward, no frills, combat style gun, and this one seems perfect for personal/home defense. Exactly what I was looking for, and at $269, I could not pass it up.


  • Patrick


    Bought my home defense 18.5″ barrel brand new a couple months ago. Already put a lot of shells through it. It’s a great gun for the price. Mine is a 6+1, I haven’t seen any 7+1 88’s. My roommate bought the 88 with the longer barrel, and it actually holds only 4+1. Mag tube is shorter on his. They’re both 88 12ga, though. Anyways, great gun for the price.


  • Texsputin


    Do you mean 7+1? Or do you mean eight shells plus one in the chamber?


  • Pete


    8-shot 88’s are as plentiful as the 500’s and 590’s, so i don’t know where the idea they were limited to only six shots came from.


  • gwnys


    I meant that it had ‘rifle’ sites.

    Somewhere in my history I picked up the term ‘field sites’ instead of rifle sites. I’m not sure where or when as I’ve been around and have had a lot of influences. But I thought that referring to the rifle sites as field sites might be bothering some as it does me.(doesn’t stop me from inadvertently calling them that though), so I thought clarification was in order.

    But a maverick will do for you just fine! No worries.


  • gw


    I had a maverick shotgun in the early 1990’s and I loved it. It came with a deer barrel and a long barrel, don’t remember the lengths or if the deer barrel was rifled. The safety was a bit noisey when you’re trying to be stealthy but I usually just kept my gloved hand over it while actuating to muffle the click. I got many a meal with it, and I hunted a lot back then. Field sites on the slug barrel got me heart shots on deer many times. Never used the long barrel much. I use a Mossberg 500 now. Would be happy with either one!


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