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 (45)

  • Chris


    Got mine a few months ago in 12 gauge, shot about 40 slugs, modded it with a pistol grip and collapsible stock combo, and I absolutely love this thing. This is a great shotgun to own if you never owned a gun before, and also want a cheap gun for under $300 without sacrificing quality. And it’s made by Mossberg and it’s a Mossie 500 w/ less features, so how can you go wrong?


  • Rod


    Got mine last month for $195.00 + tax – [Mossberg] Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot Shotgun, it’s an 8-Shot, though, 7 in the tube/1 in the chamber. Put 75 through it in the range, it’s pretty much an all round shotgun that worked well, shot well and wasn’t disappointed about any aspects about it. Will be mine forever.


  • Texsputin


    Don’t see why not – it is a pretty much ‘all around’ shotgun. It has the dual bar action so it is going to be smooth and reliable, it’s not particularly light, nor is it particularly heavy.

    You used to be able to get a combo (I haven’t checked in years) in the 88 that had 2 barrels included: one an 18.5 in barrel for home defense, etc.; and a, eh, I think 28″, for field use. I think it has been mentioned earlier in this comments section.

    Maverick 88 Security – 18.5 inch, non-vent rib barrel
    Maverick 88 Field – 28 inch vent-rib barrel
    Fact is, just check this site, it lists all the different barrel lengths and options:

    Personally, as I get a little more long in tooth, I have come to prefer the 20 ga for most applications: roughly 3/4 the payload with have the recoil. Follow up shots much quicker, more accurate, even if equipped with the Spec-ops felt recoil stocks. I’ll qualify that, however, anticipating your question by saying ‘NO, I don’t mean Grizzly bears!’


  • William Button


    Thanks for your well thought out answer. Something to think about. Nice to hear the Maverick 88 is not trash. Always wanted to shoot “skeet”. Wonder if the 88 would be suitable?


    • Mike


      I shot a 23/25 on the trap line with my Mav 88 a couple of weeks ago using 2 3/4 #8 Remington shells. My wife then went over to the skeet houses with it and did quite well. When we got home and cleaned the Maverick up, the light went back on the barrel and it went back to being a home defense gun. I love my 88 and I got it from a local pawn shop for $100, so certainly not trash.


    • Al Cloutier


      I just got one. The Deer Slayer. It’s for home defense and I think I’m going to like it. (I do now) The safety is stiff. How can I smooth it up? Just keep working it breaking it in?


    • Bill


      The 88 is very suitable for shooting skeet.I actually shoot skeet with the 18.5 barrel and do well with #6 shot….Good day and happy shooting.


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