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 (26)

  • Mactex

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    You’re right – that’s exactly what I thought. We had been discussing safeties and I thought you had mis-‘spoken’ and referred to it incorrectly. That was why I was so incredulous about the inability to reach the ‘safety’. My bad.

    Reply

  • Texsputint

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    I’m confused – you can reach the trigger with you trigger finger, but you CAN’T reach the safety that is maybe 1/2-3/4 inch directly in front of it? You mean the grip is too thick for you to reach the safety, is that what the problem is?

    Reply

    • Dreadnought61

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      I’m assuming you’re responding to my previous comment?? I was speaking about the BOLT RELEASE not the safety. The safety is just above, and in front of the trigger and is easily reachable. The bolt release is BEHIND the trigger guard and is blocked by pistol grip style stocks. If the action is racked forward, there are two ways to unlock the action to load the next round. 1) Pull the trigger – not always the best choice. 2) Press the release button – always harmless, The ATI stock has a notch molded in it just to clear the release button but it still blocks easy access to it.

      Reply

  • Texsputin

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    Seriously? If you can’t remember which way a crossbolt safety goes, you aren’t spending nearly enough time with your weapon. Regardless, if you have to stop and think about which way the ‘bullets go’ before you move the safety, you don’t need to be carrying a firearm. You’d be in a real quandary with a Glock or any of the plethora of weapons which have no manual safeties. Good luck!

    Reply

    • Damian Wayne

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      um lol, the crossbolt safety is a saftety goes behind the trigger instead of on top of the receiver like the 500 model ,it’s like a remington saftey , easy to use , right next to trigger finger so fast to put on or off safe ,and has served remington for near 75 yrs lol so i have to go with my man texasputins observation , you need to spend way more time getting to know and how to use to your self t on modern shotguns especially, or you will get hurt at some point .Get familar with any firearm man or leave them to the people are. Just common sense man .

      Reply

    • Mike

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      Tex and Damian, I have to agree with Miles and both of you are making assumptions about him that may not be true. I am a deputy sheriff and I carry a Glock 22 on duty and a model 27 off. I also carry a Mossberg 590A1 as well as in M-16 in my patrol car. We qualify with them regularly and I am very familiar with all of these firearms and many others. The Mossberg, despite the popularity of 870s, etc., with crossbolt safeties is the superior shotgun and I believe that Miles’ very point was that with the Mossberg, the position of the safety is intuitive. Fine motor skills deteriorate quickly under stress and trying to remember which way the safety goes (i.e. crossbolt) could be a difference maker. With the Mossberg, you do not have to train with it to become familiar and that is a distinct advantage since MOST people who buy shotguns for home defense simply do NOT train with them. An ugly and unfortunate fact, but a fact just the same.

      Reply

    • Texsputin

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      Mike, you seem to being saying that the cross bolt safety is the superior method (“The Mossberg, despite the popularity of 870s, etc., with crossbolt safeties is the superior shotgun…”). Is that what you meant? If not, then we just have to agree to disagree – that is why they have horse races, after all, is it not? To me, only having to move the trigger finger – and nothing else – allows the shooter to engage much more rapidly and securely, whereas the top mounted style requires you to release your grip, push the safety forward, and reestablish your grip. [I am speaking of using a weapon with a pistol grip, to put this in context, for those who have not read all posts.]

      Reply

    • Mike

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      Tex, there should have been a comma after the phrase, “with crossbolt safeties”. If it had been there I think it would have been clear, or at least clearer, that I thought the Model 500 safety is the better choice. I know that others disagree and that is okay just as everyone does not prefer chocolate over vanilla ice cream. And I see your point about a model with a pistol grip. I do have a Model 500 with a pistol grip for my personal vehicle and I do not have a problem operating the safety but my hands may be a little larger.

      Reply

  • Miles

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    I’ll stay with the Mossberg 500 due to the safety because I do not view the crossbolt safety as a positive feature, as noted above. On the 500 the safety slides forward (where the pellets go) when you want to shoot and to the rear to engage the safety. Very easy to remember. On a crossbolt safety, is it on to the left or to the right? Hard to forget when under stress which costs time and, possibly, a lot more. Pay the extra for the Model 500.

    Reply

  • TEXSPUTIN

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    I have purchased 9 Mossberg shotguns in the last 25 years – 5 were 88’s – 3 for gifts and the other two are my trunk guns. I also own a 500 12GA, 500C 20 GA and a 590 Mariner 12GA. Mossberg doesn’t make any bad guns, but for the money, IMO, you cannot beat the 88. In 25 years you may see where the difference in price went, but up till then (and probably still) the 88 will get the job done. Spend the money on ammo to practice or get a Knox stock. Also consider that the cross bolt safety lends itself much more readily to a pistol grip than does the top safety if you intend to add after market stock w/ pistol grip.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    I own a 88, and a Remington 1187 autoloader. The maverick has a 4 inch longer barrel, and does just as good a job as knocking birds out of the sky as my 1187.

    Reply

  • Robert R

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    I bought an 88 a few years ago after an exhaustive online search for reviews. I could not find one person who gave it a negative review, which totally shocked me. After owning mine, I understand why. It’s accurate, goes bang every time I pull the trigger (except when I forget the safety), and has an attractive price point.

    Reply

  • Robert A

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    I love the Mavericks. I was able to purchase a slug model with sights and rifled barrel for less than the price of a rifled barrel for my 870.It shoots 3 inch groups at 100 yards with iron sights at the range and so far has taken 5 bucks and 3 does in the field. I can’t ask for more than that! The only modifications I have made to it is an ATI 6 position collapsible stock.

    Reply

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