Posts Tagged ‘Mossberg 500’

Mossberg 500 Lisa Methany and Turkey

Mossberg Model 500 — 10 Million Strong and Growing

A Closer Look at Mossberg Firearms

Firearms expert, turned author Victor Havlin’s book for Mossberg gun enthusiasts, titled “More Gun for the Money” takes us through the creation and evolution of the popular Mossberg firearm dynasty. All the while helping us shake the dust off a few memories with the phrase “My first gun was a Mossberg.”

IAC Hawk Model 982

Shotguns: The Best Home Defense Tool Ever Made

I was serving in the Persian Gulf during the L.A. Riots in the early ‘90s. I called home on a MARS station (Military Auxiliary Radio System) to see if everyone was safe and out of danger. My mother answered the phone and said she could see fires burning from three different directions. From 8,000 miles away, I instructed her to get a pump shotgun from the spare room and made sure she knew how to load it.

Mosin Nagant M1891/30

Four Guns Every Shooter Should Own

I know gun owners who have unique pieces. I regularly see rare and beautiful firearms lining gun cabinet walls that would feel more at home at a museum than in a buddy’s gun safe. However, with as much time as I’ve spent collecting firearms, I’ve noticed some common denominators the majority of gun collectors have on hand. While they may not be rare gems, they certainly fill their role as useful tools quite well. A new shooter would do well to purchase one of each.

Supply yourself for the Zombie Apocalypse with Zombie Max buckshot.

Even More for Less. The $2,400 Zombie Preparedness Kit

Optics Planet recently put together a zombie preparation kit. The Z.E.R.O (Zombie Extermination, Research, and Operations) kit can be yours for only $23,999.00! Packed with different items that Optics Planet believes you need to survive, you can purchase it all in one package, or each item individually. There is even a tongue-in-cheek sales video that entices you to buy. Their kit contains around 50 items, including reloading and laboratory equipment, because “if you want a safe world for your children and grandchildren you must find a cure. For this you need the best laboratory equipment.”

Wild Turkey Hunting

What Makes a Turkey Shotgun?

The turkey shotgun is one of the integral parts of turkey hunting. What makes a shotgun a turkey shotgun? Some gun manufacturers would have you believe that you can’t kill a turkey unless you spend top dollar on specialized shotguns with high-end components. While these little details certainly will not hurt, just about any shotgun can kill a turkey, and slight modifications to the firearm will increase your chances drastically.

SRM 1216

SRM 1216 Means High Capacity Defense

Shotguns are one of the most devastating weapons available for civilian and law enforcement use. Endless options on ammunition and up close deadly firepower combine to make a weapon so menacing, the sound alone of a shooter chambering a shell is rumored to chase off bad guys. While I’m not one to give away my position while chambering my weapon in the dark, I still use a shotgun as my home defense weapon of choice because I feel safe behind a 12-gauge. I know that at close range, shotguns are just plain hard to beat.

SRM 1216

SRM 1216

However, the Achilles heel of the shotgun has always been magazine capacity and rate of fire. Pump shotguns offer supreme reliability, but rate of fire is slow, and they offer no increase in capacity. Semi-automatics sometimes score lower in reliability, but higher in rate of fire, still capacity tends to be an issue.

What if there was a shotgun that solved the problems of capacity, rate of fire, and reliability? The SRM Arms Model 1216 Shotgun seems to have done exactly that. They offer a compact 16+1 round semi-automatic shotgun with tons high reliability firepower at your fingertips. Yea, I could get used to that. Assuming your 00 buckshot has 8 pellets, 136 balls of metal would fly out of your shotgun in just a few seconds. If an intruder were to break into my home, meeting them with the SRM 1216 and a wall of lead seems like an appropriate greeting for the unfortunate criminal. Aside from home defense, blasting that much firepower at the range sounds like as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, or in this case, a barrel of clay pigeons.

SRM offers this weapon in three different lengths. The 18, 12, and 9-inch barrels sport 16, 12, and 8 round capacities respectively. The shorter barrels are for police and military use, but the 18-inch barrel is short enough for most applications, and offers the full 16+1 magazine. The gun can fire both lethal and non-lethal beanbag rounds so it is perfect for law enforcement use. What also makes the 1216 unique is the rotating magazine tube. The shooter loads four shells in each tube, and rotates the tube in either direction to engage the next one. When one tube is empty, the bolt holds open until the shooter rotates the next tube in place, at which point the bolt automatically closes, chambering the weapon. This makes the 1216 a much faster option in combat than most shotguns.

Some experts suggest that this could be an answer to Kel-Tec’s pump action KSG. High capacity combat shotguns are becoming far more popular among firearms enthusiasts. The price tag matches that of a high-end AR platform rifle, and there are plenty of people willing to shell out that kind of money for home defense firearms. There definitely seems to be a market for the 1216, and I will enthusiastically join the ranks of the wishful future owners.


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What is the Ultimate SHTF Weapon?


You Loot We Shoot

First, let me start with a disclaimer. I love the AR platform. I carried one in the military and it served me well. It put rounds downrange perfectly every single time. A well-maintained AR is without a doubt the ultimate combat weapon. Its accuracy and durability are legendary and it has proven itself in combat all over the world. Now that you know that I’m not some AR hating heretic, let’s move on to the issue. We had a debate here in the CTD office recently. Let’s take a step into a world where you can only have one gun. Let’s say that western civilization fell and you only had room in your pack for one weapon. What would that gun be? To answer this question, we would have to come up with the most flexible, all-purpose firearm for every possible situation. There are many schools of thought on the subject, but for my money, the pump 12 gauge shotgun is the best all around, one gun to rule them all butt-kicking, hole-punching piece of hardware a person can own. Many people in the office chose the AR-15. While I have absolutely nothing against the AR platform, I still would rather have a shotgun if I could only have one gun. I know it sounds blasphemous, but bear with me here. Let me explain some of the reason why I think that a shotgun is better for this scenario.


Mossberg 500 Special Purpose

Mossberg 500 Special Purpose

In a post apocalyptic society, food is sure to be a scarce commodity. I like to eat. I’m a good size guy and I love steak. I grew up hunting and I’m pretty good at it. Whenever I go out to the family ranch to hunt deer with my rifle, I always throw my shotgun in the truck too, just in case. Being an avid hunter, I’ve learned that often times it is easier to kill small game for food rather than bigger game, such as deer. A dove flying overhead is a much more likely breakfast than a large buck crossing your path. Hitting a flying dove with an AR-15 is just a bit above my skill level. I might be able to score a hit occasionally, but I wouldn’t bet my food supply on it. Have you ever seen what a .223 Remington does to a squirrel? Unless you are good enough to get a head shot every time, then you can bet there won’t be much meat left on the little guy. You might end up with cream of critter instead of a tasty meal. Oh and yes, I occasionally eat squirrel, but only fried. Therefore, in my most humble opinion, a shotgun is a far more versatile hunting weapon than an AR-15, while I agree that you can indeed hunt with an AR, I feel that in a post apocalyptic society, you are far more likely to encounter smaller critters to eat, rather than larger ones.


The shotgun can fire just about any type of ammunition imaginable. About the only thing a shotgun can’t do is engage a target outside of 100 yards. Oh wait, yes it can, all you need is a rifled barrel, which takes a whole 20 seconds to change out, some sabot rounds, and you have yourself an effective firearm that can hit and kill targets well outside of 100 yards. Therefore, that less than common deer that you may run into is no problem for your trusty little shotgun. Inside of 100 yards, no barrel change is necessary, as a slug can bring down most large wild game, including deer with about a three-inch group, depending on your gun. That is good enough.


Shotgun Shells

Shotgun Shell

Okay, here comes the tough part. I’m not sure how common person-to-person combat would be after western civilization falls, but I’m betting it would be more common than it is now. If you are trying to defend a small area such as an abandoned building or home, a shotgun is an excellent weapon. Engaging a target with one round of buckshot from a 12 gauge is like engaging it with several .38 special rounds simultaneously. The U.S. military has used shotguns in combat since the First World War, and with great effect. The German military tried to outlaw shotguns during WWI because they felt they caused undue harm to soldiers. Therefore, the freaking Germans think that a shotgun is too deadly to use in combat. That scores a few points in my book. I must, however, concede to the fact that I would not want to get into a sniper competition with some guy with an AR-type weapon. The AR has greater range and accuracy, and at very long distances, it is clearly a far more effective weapon. Most real combat however, takes place at very close range, where the shotgun really shines.

If our society were to collapse under its own stupidity, what type of weapon would you carry? If hordes of gun-toting assailants came to take your supplies away, would you go with the AR or the shotgun? Comment below and let us know!

Combat Shotguns Galore!

FN Self Loading Police Shotgun

FN Self Loading Police Shotgun

FN Self Loading Police Shotgun

The soft recoil and reliability of a gas operated autoloading action. This shotgun also has the exclusive speed-loading feature made popular by John M. Browning’s famous Auto 5. With the bolt opened, just thumb a round into the magazine and that round is automatically loaded into the chamber. The feature makes mid-combat reloading as quick as possible. This shotgun also features a shorter stock to facilitate shooting while wearing body armor. The ghost type sights with tritium insert allow a better and quicker acquisition of the target. They are mounted on a picatinny rail, allowing the installation of other types of sights should the mission require it. Whether you are carrying it on a military assignment, in the squad car, or simply pulling nightstand duty, the FN Self Loading Police Shotgun is a perfect mix of functionality and reliability.





Legion Saiga 12

Legion Saiga 12

Legion Saiga 12

What if an AK could fire 12 gauge shotgun rounds, oh wait, it can. The Legion Saiga 12 is a Kalashnikov-pattern 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun. Like the Kalashnikov rifle variants, it is a rotating bolt, gas operated gun that feeds from a box magazine. This means you can carry a lot more ammunition with you, in easy to transport and store box magazines. Reloading is a snap as well, since there is no need to feed rounds into a tube individually. Of all the high dollar shoguns out there, this one will put the maximum amount of firepower downrange in the least amount of time. Standard features include a rotating bolt, gas-operated, magazine fed, hammer forged chrome lined barrel. A machined steel bolt, AK side scope rail, external screw chokes, and 5 round capacity polymer magazine is also included. Designers made the iron sights perfect for quick target acquisition, and the smooth bored barrel has a 3-inch chamber, which accepts 2.75-inch and 3-inch ammunition. The safety is large lever-safety on the right side of the receiver, just like a standard AK! If you want a dependable semi-auto combat shotgun, then buy a Saiga and you will see why experts consider the AK action one of the most dependable actions in the world.



Mossberg 500

Mossberg 500

Mossberg 500

Ah, our old friend the Mossberg 500. This old warhorse has been in service since 1961, and shows no signs of slowing down. Perfect for any shotgun application, the 500 has changed little since its early days on the drawing board. Police, military, hunters, home defense enthusiasts, and zombie hunters alike have all carried the 500, and with good reason. What makes this little shotgun so great? Price initially comes to my mind. How else can you get a gun with this much firepower for $250 bucks? Another huge advantage to the 500 is the ability to add all the extras. There are thousands of ways to customize your shotgun. New stocks with adjustable lengths, pistol grips, rail systems, optics, ghost rings, flashlights, slings, you name it, someone has stuck it on a Mossberg. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, the 500 is a pump-action gun, so you can literally fire any type of 12 gauge ammunition you can get your hands on. I have two barrels for my Mossberg. One is an 18.5-inch barrel for home defense; the other is a 26-inch bird barrel I use for hunting. I have always said that if I could only have one gun, it would be a 12 gauge pump shotgun.




Remington 870

Remington 870

Remington 870

Police squad cars all across the country have carried the Remington 870 for decades now. This Express Synthetic model holds 7 rounds of 12-gauge ammo and its twin action bars help ensure that smooth pump action that made the 870 famous. A simple bead sight tops the 18-inch cylinder bore barrel. Remington milled the receiver from solid billet steel, and the finish is a weather resistant coating. The 870 can shoot 3-inch magnum shells as well as 2.75-inch standard shells. The Remington 870 is legendary, and a great shotgun for just about any purpose. In combat, the cross bolt safety is easy to disengage without having to move our hand. Endless arrays of after market parts are available for the 870 as well. Pistol grips, Picatinny rails, red dot sights, ghost rings optics, you name it, you can stick it on an 870. Since it is a 12-gauge shotgun, it is one of the best home defense weapons imaginable. Being hit with 00 buck is like being hit with eight to ten .38 special projectiles simultaneously. This weapon can literally stop an intruder in his tracks, immediately. A shooter can feel comfortable knowing that taking an 870 into combat means the gun will cycle perfectly, every time.



Remington 1100

Remington 1100

Remington 1100

Remington tactical shotguns are rugged, ultra-dependable and continually evolve as they’re called to serve in new, increasingly demanding environments. Remington built these shotguns on a time-tested and extremely reliable legendary standard of quality and a level of flexibility that only comes with experience in the field. The famous Model 1100 Tactical shotgun come with a standard stock and a 22-inch barrel. They’re chambered for 2.75-inch 12 gauge. Reliability is in the forefront when talking about an automatic shotgun. The 1100 has a stellar reputation both on and off the battlefield. Police, military, and private contractors around the globe rely on the 1100 for their combat needs. The speed at which you can fire an 1100 is very impressive. Since it is a semi automatic, the shooter will still be able to operate the weapon with one hand, should a would be sustained in the other. A pump-action shotgun is far more difficult to operate this way, which gives the semi automatic a leg up in the combat competition. The 1100 series from Remington is a perfect shotgun for nearly all applications, both on and off the battlefield.

Minimum Cache: What You Should Have In Your Gun Locker

When I was a kid, I always wanted a cool secret room somewhere in my house where I could open a vault door and have a bunch of guns and ammo absolutely dripping off the walls inside, like I had seen in “Commando” or pretty much any of the James Bond movies. Even as an adult, I look at Travis Haley’s gun room with open jealousy. Few of us can afford the luxury of a well lit room lined with hundreds of rifles, but we all want to have our own little armory. So what would be the best choices, the highest value, for a basic but well stocked gun locker?

Glock 19

A Legend: The 3rd Gen Glock 19

First we are going to need a pistol, and since its our first one it needs to be a jack of all trades. Concealable, comfortable to shoot, accurate, reliable and durable, chambered in a caliber that is affordable yet still offers good stopping power, and of course, it can’t be too expensive. No sweat, right? That’s a pretty tall order, and my choice is the “3rd generation” Glock 19. Now that’s a squat, ugly little gun. Its polymer frame is topped by a square chunk of dull grey slide, its trigger has that weird little integrated safety lever, and lets face it, the Glock is just… ordinary. Ordinariness is actually a benefit though, because accessories for the Glock cost less than any other quality pistol out there. Holsters, magazines, spare parts—all cost less than the Glock’s competitors.

The sheer volume of Glock doodads produced in order to satisfy all the law enforcement agencies, militaries, and civilian shooters that have adopted the platform means that you can get Glock stuff for less, but that doesn’t make the Glock a “cheap” gun. It is frankly the most proven handgun of all (and with that, millions of 1911 fans now hate me). The 3rd gen Glocks work and work and keep working, shooting straight and true, no matter what, every time. I prefer the mid-sized model 19 because it is small enough to be easily concealed yet holds 15 rounds of 9mm ammo, and its practical accuracy in the hands of real shooters is excellent. Who cares how mechanically accurate a firearm is if ordinary shooters can’t accurately and quickly send rounds downrange in the real world? Full metal jacket 9mm is affordable to practice with, yet the round is absolutely deadly when high quality hollowpoint ammunition is used (P.S. I’m a Speer Gold Dot man). The Glock 19 does it all and does it well.

The Remington 870 Defines "Dependable"

The Remington 870 Defines "Dependable"

Since I’m talking about how great it is to have a versatile gun, you know a 12 gauge pump shotgun is going to be on the list. Unlike semi-autos which can be finicky about which loads they like, a pump doesn’t care if you are shooting full power 3 inch magnum slugs or the cheapest #7 birdshot practice rounds you could find. The variety of ammunition you can put through a 12 gauge is staggering. Depending on ammo you can hunt everything from small birds to large deer. You can shoot sporting clays for fun, or repel home invaders with a devastating barrage of lead. To maximize this versatility, I might consider one of the “combination” packages that come with a long barrel for hunting and also include a short barrel for home defense. Both the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 are excellent shotguns for the money, you won’t waste a dime choosing either of them. There are tons of accessories available to customize them and they both offer legendary durability. The value per dollar spent is off the charts.

Now we need a rifle. To teach yourself marksmanship, to hunt small game effectively, and to have a great time for as little money as possible, start with a .22 LR. And is there really any choice here? It just has to be a Ruger 10/22. A lot of the things I said about the Glock 19 apply to the Ruger as well. There are untold thousands of fouled, dirty, gummed up 10/22s out there with shooters rapid firing cheap ammo through their aftermarket 30 round magazines, terrifying soup cans and ripping up Shoot-N-C targets all day long. It doesn’t cost much to get into a 10/22, which is probably why so many folks customize them with the money they have left over. There’s almost no recoil with the 10/22, so even relatively cheap scopes will live on them forever without breaking. No matter how many guns you eventually get, the 10/22 will still be a favorite for pure shooting fun. I sprung a few extra bucks for the factory cold-hammer-forged heavy barreled version. With quality ammo, its accuracy is truly impressive.

Ruger 10/22

Pew! Pew! Pew! The Affordable, Fun Ruger 10/22

Lastly, if your state allows it, it is your duty as an American citizen to own an AR-15 rifle. The AR-15 isn’t perfect by any means, but the versions being built today reflect over fifty years of refinement since Eugene Stoner developed the original. Again, the best word to describe the AR-15 carbine is “versatile.” For any given situation, yes there is a better rifle than the AR-15— for example, if you had to shoot accurately from an extreme distance, you would want a precision bolt action rifle, or if you have a bunch of close range targets you would want a sub machinegun. But real life isn’t a video game where ammo weighs nothing and you can carry 6 weapons and a red crowbar around all the time. The US military needs one standard rifle that can get the job done anywhere in the world, in a variety of tactical situations, and in all weather. The AR-15’s flexibility makes it the continued weapon of choice, especially in carbine form with some 1913 picatinny rails added and a quality red dot optic.

We are living in the golden age of the AR-15 right now. Think about it for a moment: the free citizens of the most powerful nation on earth can buy that nation’s military issue weapon for themselves, and not only that, they have a huge variety of brands and configurations to choose from to suit their personal preference. If you’re on a budget, you can get an AR-15 for as little as $600 or so, but if you can hold off and save for a little while longer, you can get an amazingly good do-it-all rifle for somewhere between eight hundred to a thousand bucks. To buy an AR-15 that is as close as possible to what Uncle Sam’s finest go to war with, go with the Colt 6920. If you feel bad that it doesn’t go full-auto like its brother the Colt M4A1, take one of our boys who just got back from Iraq or Afghanistan to steak dinner, and ask him how often he used full auto on his military issued carbine (hint: the answer is ususally “never”). If you prefer the latest piston-driven operating system technology, the Ruger SR556 is an excellent value as well. I could (maybe should) write a whole blog article about which civilian AR-15s are my favorites, but the bottom line is that CTD has no less than 198 different listings for AR-15 rifle variants actually in stock right now.  Buy one, learn to shoot it, and know deep in your heart that you are truly an American.

Now that you have these guns, you need at least six magazines for each of them, slings for the rifles, a holster for the pistol, a red-dot optic for the AR-15 and a cheap scope for the 10/22, at least a thousand rounds of pistol and rifle ammo, at least 250 rounds of 12 gauge ammo for the shotgun, did I mention that the shotgun needs a sidesaddle… uh oh. I think my credit card just melted! Seriously folks, when it comes to prioritizing where your money goes, buy the firearm, the magazines, and the ammunition first. They are the items under constant political attack, so get them while you can. Slings and red dots and holsters aren’t likely to be restricted in the future, so those acessories can wait just a little while longer.

Colt 6920

The Colt 6920: America's Defender, Everywhere

Popular Firepower Gets Reviewed

Kahr CM9

Kahr Arms CM9

Is a .380 too much of a sissy round for conceal carry? If you think so, then the Kahr CM9 might just be the gun for you. I use a Kahr for concealed carry and I absolutely love it. The CM9 is a full-blown 9mm handgun with a 6+1 magazine capacity. It is almost identical to the far more costly PM9, and the differences are negligible. The Kahr is a striker fired dual action only handgun specifically designed to hide on your person. There is no internal magazine disconnect feature, so the gun will still cycle without a magazine in place. Shooting a Kahr is somewhat similar to shooting a Glock. The trigger pull is very smooth but a bit long, since it is dual action only. I will say that it takes a little practice to be able to tell when the striker is going to fall, since the trigger is so darn smooth. Overall, the Kahr is carry gun perfection. It’s tiny size balanced with the hard hitting 9mm round is a perfect way to give yourself piece of mind when walking the mean streets.





Mossberg 500

Mossberg 500

Ah, our old friend the Mossberg 500. This old warhorse has been in service since 1961, and shows no signs of slowing down. Perfect for any shotgun application, the 500 has changed little since its early days on the drawing board. Police, military, hunters, home defense enthusiasts, and zombie hunters alike have all carried the 500, and with good reason. What makes this little shotgun so great? Price initially comes to my mind. How else can you get a gun with this much firepower for $250 bucks? Another huge advantage to the 500 is the ability to add all the extras. There are thousands of ways to customize your shotgun. New stocks with adjustable lengths, pistol grips, rail systems, optics, ghost rings, flashlights, slings, you name it, someone has stuck it on a Mossberg. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, the 500 is a pump action gun, so you can literally fire any type of 12 gauge ammunition you can get your hands on. I have two barrels for my Mossberg. One is an 18.5-inch barrel for home defense; the other is a 26-inch bird barrel I use for hunting. I have always said that if I could only have one gun, it would be a 12 gauge pump shotgun.


Remington 750

Remington Model 750

Did you say you have a semi automatic .308 for $548 bucks? In the field, patience is a virtue but when it’s time to take action, sometimes you need the speed of a Model 750. Its improved gas system provides faster, smoother cycling. Its balanced low-profile design handles like lightning. Rapid follow-ups are its specialty, but famed Remington one-shot accuracy comes standard. The Model 750 Synthetic features all the new Model 750 improvements, only with a synthetic stock and fore-end. Hogs will be tumbling down in droves when you have this bad boy in your pickup truck. There is a plethora of after market accessories and modifications you can buy for your gun as well. This weapon will put a high volume of the precision .308 cartridge downrange for a lifetime. Go ahead; throw that narrow window wide open with the quickest gun in the woods, the Model 750.




Maverick 88 Security

Maverick 88 Security

The Maverick 88 is an even more affordable version of the famous Mossberg 500. These blued steel beauties are simple and strong. A bead sight tops the 18.5” cylinder bore barrel up front; while in back, a thick recoil pad protects your shoulder. The Maverick holds 6 rounds of 2 3/4” 12-gauge ammo, or one less if you’re using 3” magnum shells. Twin action bars make sure the pump moves smoothly after each shot goes downrange.






Remington 870 Express

Remington Model 870 Express

Police squad cars all across the country have carried the Remington 870 for decades now. This Express Synthetic model holds 7 rounds of 12-gauge ammo and its twin action bars help ensure that smooth pump action that made the 870 famous. A simple bead sight tops the 18” cylinder bore barrel. Remington milled the receiver from solid billet steel, and the finish is a weather resistant coating. The 870 can shoot 3” magnum shells as well as 2 3/4” standard shells. The Remington 870 is legendary, and a great shotgun for just about any purpose.

Optimizing Mossberg Shotguns for Home Defense: The Phoenix Technologies Tactical Stock

A 12-gauge pump shotgun is the most effective home defense gun you can buy per dollar spent, and for me the value leader has always been the Mossberg 500 series. $250 gets you a new in box, Texas-made 5+1 capacity riot gun with a simple bead sight and blued finish. The no-frills Mossberg is easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning, and its parts are robust enough to last for thousands of rounds without breakage. For the price of, say, a Taurus 1911 pistol (itself a good value) you can buy two Mossberg 500s, one for yourself and one for that special person in your life, and still have $100 of ammo money left over. Most folks pick up some birdshot to practice with, 00 buckshot for home defense, and a few one-ounce rifled hollow point slugs just in case.

Go Away

An unmistakable way to signal, “Go away!”

In addition to my base model Mossberg 500, I also have the slightly upgraded Model 590. The 590 holds three more rounds, so its barrel is just a bit longer, 20 inches rather than 18.5 inches long. It also has a blued steel heat shield, which makes it look extra mean, but it really is just a slightly stouter variant of the 500. To optimize the 590 for home defense, I first added a sidesaddle giving me six extra rounds. As powerful as shotguns are, they are capacity limited. It’s their natural disadvantage simply because 12-gauge ammunition is physically so large, and the problem is magnified in a home defense situation. If bad people with evil intent are already in my home by the time I wake up and sense something is wrong, I’m unlikely to have time to strap on a tactical vest stuffed with spare rounds. To minimize this issue I load the shotgun to full capacity and attach more ammo to the shotgun itself. This is why my 590 is stored with a round in the chamber. No, I won’t get to rack the pump loudly in an effort to scare away the bad guys, but oh well. If they are sharp enough to hear the safety click off, they are welcome to run away.

Another issue with using any long gun for home defense is the length itself. If I’m being burglarized, I don’t plan on “slicing the pie” around corners like a SWAT team expertly clearing each room. I’m more likely to stay put in my bedroom with the 590 pointed at my bedroom door, and woe to anyone who suddenly bursts through that door. As we all know, unexpected things happen in real gunfights, and I may find myself forced to move from one room to another. If that happens the long gun must be as short as possible. The factory stock shared by the 500 and 590 is around 13 inches long. To cut down on length of pull and the overall length of the shotgun, I picked up a Phoenix Technologies Tactical Stock and attached it to my 590. Installation took about two minutes once I had the factory stock removed; Phoenix Technologies provides the correct hex wrench to secure it to the back of the 590’s receiver with one big bolt, just like the factory stock. I used the included screws to attach the plastic four-cartridge shell holder to the right side, and I was done.

The Phoenix setup features a pistol grip that slides in behind the 590’s trigger guard, and behind that, an AR-15 type six-position collapsible stock. This simple yet flexible design is inexpensive to make and works well on a variety of platforms. Kalashnikovs, Ruger Mini-14s, even PTR-91 battle rifles are sprouting these stocks now, and while the results may not always look pretty; nobody can say they aren’t functional. I leave the Phoenix completely collapsed, at less than 10.5 inches long. This makes my 20-inch barreled Mossberg 590 effectively shorter than my 18.5-inch barreled model 500, and brings the pump of the gun much closer to my support hand. This small change makes the 590 feel much more comfortable to me than the 500. I could shorten the Phoenix another inch or so by removing its thick soft rubber recoil pad, but lurking underneath is the standard plastic AR-15 “meat tenderizer.” My shoulder hurts just from thinking about shooting full power 00 buckshot rounds with that pressed to my shoulder. The recoil pad stays! On the other hand, when fully extended the Phoenix stretches the length of pull to nearly 14 inches between the butt of the stock and the end of the receiver. You know, in case Chewbacca comes for a visit and wants to hit the shooting range.

With the gun fully loaded, the sidesaddle holding a spare six rounds, and four more attached to the right side of the Phoenix stock, I have 19 rounds available with 590 in my hands. The Phoenix stock holds its spare rounds very tightly, and they aren’t particularly easy to reach, so they would be the last rounds I would load into the gun. The sidesaddle is much easier to access. Keeping the spare shells in the stock facing downwards, I keep my strong hand on the pistol grip, tuck the end of the stock under my armpit, and use my support hand to pluck the shells up and out. It’s a bit awkward, but I haven’t practiced much yet either. Another manipulation to practice is the safety. Using the factory stock the thumb of the strong hand pushes the safety on and off. Adding a pistol grip to the stock complicates things a bit. Since my Mossberg is stored with a live round chambered, I store it with the safety on; I need to be able to manipulate that safety instinctively. I could take my support hand off the pump and use it to swipe the safety back and forth with my strong hand still at the ready. However, what feels more natural is to simply unwrap my strong side thumb from the pistol grip, use it to quickly move the safety as if I had the factory stock attached, and wrap the thumb around the pistol grip again. It takes a fraction of a second and with a bit of practice should become a natural manipulation.

There are some recoil-reducing stock designs that appear similar to the Phoenix stock, but I avoided them due to the increased cost, complexity (little springs inside that can break), and the fact that I don’t want my shotgun literally bouncing around on my shoulder with every shot. I pull the stock firmly into my shoulder and I shoot quickly. I use a consistent cheek weld every time and my support hand works the shotgun’s pump action forcefully after each shot. A springy bouncy cheek weld is not for me. The Phoenix stock is robust and well built, makes the whole shotgun more comfortable, and addresses two of my major concerns about using a shotgun for home defense by adding ammo and reducing the overall length of the gun. It is a worthy addition to an already good setup.

Mossberg1 Mossberg2 Mossberg3
Mossberg4 Mossberg5 Mossberg6

Fighting the Good Fight on Friday

Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle

Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle

Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle

Richard Dyke who used to own Bushmaster has started Windham Weaponry, building AR-15 rifles as close to MIL-SPEC as possible. These no-nonsense AR-15 rifles allow the buyer to customize them any way they feel fit. This sight-ready rifle is affordable, because there is not any jacked-up pricing on expensive sights. Add your own! The Windham Weaponry R16M4FTT SRC Rifle chambered for .223 Remington/5.56 NATO, has a 16-inch chrome-lined barrel, and holds 30 rounds. Windham Weaponry is staffed by old Bushmaster employees; they know what they are doing. It is a name you can trust.

Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 77545

CTD Mike interviewed Richard Dyke from Windham Weaponry, read it here.


Just in Case or for All the Time

Mossberg Model 500 J.I.C.

Mossberg Model 500 J.I.C.

For this price, it is totally acceptable to purchase a second or third, or tenth, shotgun. Mossberg has been kind enough to pack up your ultimate zombie apocalypse survival kit that includes the ever-popular Mossberg 500 pump-action, pistol-grip shotgun. The shotgun is sealed up in a re-sealable clear bag and packed in a waterproof tube, so you can bury it for cache storage if need be. The Mossberg Model 500 JIC also includes a survival kit. The Model 500 12-gauge shotgun features an 18.5-inch close-quarters barrel, a black synthetic stock and pistol grip, and holds six rounds of 2.75-inch shells.

Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 41019


Streamlight PT 1L Professional Tactical Light

Streamlight PT 1L Professional Tactical Light

Streamlight PT 1L Professional Tactical Light

It occurred to me this morning that I need a very bright and compact tactical light. As my routine is, alarm goes off and the dog and I go outside. Barely awake, I shuffled to the back door with dog in-tow and to my surprise, it was opened. Not just unlocked, but open… not wide or anything, but open. So I went back to the bedroom, got my Bodyguard, and searched the house, with no flashlight. I keep a bad guy whacker next to the bed, but in this situation, I would not have been able to handle the flashlight, the gun, and open doors all at the same time. I told the guys this morning about what happened and CTD Ben highly recommended this Streamlight PT 1L professional tactical light. It has a bright 110 lumens and an excellent run time of one hour and 45 minutes on high. It is super compact, too, so I can throw it in my pocket, purse, or keep it with my gun, which is what I plan to do.

Oh. And the door issue. Not to worry. I chalked it up to user-error. I’m pretty sure I failed to lock it properly with my last trip out last night. No Bogeymen inside the morning. Thank God. Lesson learned.

Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-STL88030


New Zombie Targets

New Zombie Targets

New Zombie Targets

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any zombie-related products and the Mossberg 500 JIC reminded me of that fact, so I found these new zombie targets from Champion. These are fun because you actually have to have your shot placement right. Because there are good guys in the targets. This is a multi-pack of three different designs so you won’t get bored. (Like you’d get bored shooting zombies.) You get a total of six targets. The Champion zombie targets feature VisiColor technology that reveals a bright green color when you shoot the zombie in the head, yellow when you hit the zombie’s body, and white when you hit the good guy. They measure 18-inch by 12-inch.
Like it? Want it? Buy it! Item: 2-OUT46050

Suzanne Wiley started shooting at a young age when her older brother bought a Marlin 60 and taught her to shoot. She took to shooting and developed a love for it when she realized she was a natural with a .22 LR rifle at summer camp. Suzanne has been an outdoor adventurer since she can remember-being from the Ozarks, there were bountiful caves, national parks, lakes, and camping spots to explore. From a young age, she has camped, fished, rode horses, went ATV exploring, rappelling, and even dabbled in beginner spelunking.
Suzanne joined the content team with over eight years experience at Starting out as a product description writer, Suzanne has extensive knowledge of the Cheaper Than Dirt! product base and is a good resource for suggestions on which products you need. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Though she prefers plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, Suzanne also loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!