Mossberg Model 500 — 10 Million Strong and Growing

Mossberg 500 Lisa Methany and Turkey

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.”

This expression really does ring true for many of us—myself included. For me it was a Mossberg 500 pump-action 20 gauge shotgun named Wilhelmina, which translates into “will-it-mean-I-fill-my-tag or not.” She received her name during my inaugural pheasant hunt to South Dakota. After numerous attempts to hit a flushed bird, I quickly realized the problem was my lack of skill shooting wild birds on the fly; thus Wilhelmina was born. The name stuck, and to this day every time I take her out hunting I find myself asking that same question. Although she has a few scuffs and scratches and her age is starting to show, she is still my reliable, trusty friend in the field. I would like to think she is happy over my improved shooting abilities.

Who hasn’t owned a Mossberg 500? With over 10 million produced I suppose there are still a few people, but no to worry — Mossberg isn’t finished with the 500 yet!
Perhaps the reason so many of us have Mossberg memories is the fact Mossberg is really good at putting out quality firearms at affordable prices. Case in point, this year Mossberg is celebrating a historic marker in the company’s long career in producing its most notable gun, the 500 pump-action. It seems only fitting the 10,000,000th model 500, pump-action shotgun to be produced will be proudly displayed at the National Rifle Association Firearm Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mossberg Brownie
This classic piece of firearm history (Mossberg Brownie) features four barrels and has a street price of around $500.
Collectors everywhere will most likely have their eyes fixed on 10 more ’500 pump-action guns in the “10 Millionth” guns series. These elite guns will carry distinctive serial numbers, and will be given out within the firearm industry.

The Story

It all began when Swedish emigrant Oscar F. Mossberg arrived in Massachusetts and began tinkering with some of his firearm designs. In 1919, the O.F. Mossberg & Sons firearm company was born. Now, it is the oldest family-owned firearm manufacturer in the United States.

Oscar first found success with his uniquely designed four-shot pistol called the Brownie. He then ventured into the land of long guns to manufacture a hammerless .22 rifle. However, it was World War II that proved to be a pivotal time for this company. Mossberg quickly grew to become a major provider of firearms to our troops with such models as the .22 caliber bolt-action rifles as well as the improved Model 42 M and Model 44US.

Mossberg 500 Lisa Methany and Turkey
The author and “Wilhelmina” with a Missouri gobbler.
Today, the company calls New Haven, Connecticut home and has over 100 designs and patents, which include rifles and shotguns that meet high military requirements. However, it is perhaps the classic affordable models used by shooting sports enthusiasts around the world that keep Mossberg a leader in the firearms industry.

In just a few short years, the Mossberg Firearm Company will be celebrating 100 years as one of this country’s top firearm manufactures. Wilhelmina and I plan to return to the fields of South Dakota to celebrate and to prove she has indeed taught me a few things over the years.

For more information on Mossberg visit them online at If you are interested in learning more about the National Mossberg Collector’s Club or would like to order a copy of Victor Havlin’s “More Gun for the Money” collector book check out

Do you have a favorite Mossberg memory? Tell us about it in the comment section

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. My own 2-in-1 of 10,000,000 Mossberg 500 is a valued and versatile shotgun. It’s a 20 gauge, and I use it for deer shooting every fall. I hunt in two locales: one is my home county, Tompkins, in NYS’s Finger Lakes, and here rifles are not allowed for hunting deer. I grew up bird shooting with doubles, so in a hurry I can–and have–easily forget to release a safety located in a pump’s trigger guard. But the Mossberg safety is on the tang, like a double’s, so it’s equally good for lefties and for double gun habitués like me. Hunting near home, I use my 500 with the rifled barrel. It’s accurate with sabot slugs, and our family loves the venison it puts on the table.

    I also hunt with a friend in coastal ME, and where we go it’s shotgun only and smoothbore only–no rifled bores allowed. The excellent design of the 500 makes it so easy to switch barrels that that I simply bought a new, smoothbore slug barrel and switch them when I go to Maine. That replacement barrel comes with front and rear sights, so I didn’t even have to buy anything extra. My 2 in 1 of 10,000,000 has never let me down, and I have complete confidence in its reliability. Now if I could just find a good Maine buck . . .

  2. I have owned and shot Mossbergs since I was a kid in grade school. My first was a .22. It was originally bought because it was ‘cheaper’ then competitors prices. it didn’t take long to understand the cost was not the only reason people were buying the Mossberg. I later decided to try a shotgun. I now have 3 shotguns, all 500. One sets beside my bed and is loaded for results as needed.
    I was born and raised in S.D. and begin shooting a .410 single shot pheasant hunting. it shot more like a rifle and i soon learned the efficiency of ‘lead and pull’. May I ask where you and Willi hunt in S.D.?
    In the late 90? a acquaintance of mine moved from Browning to Mossberg become part of the shotgun team. I think his name was John. he assisted me in getting my Browning fixed properly. I had hoped you might be able to say Hi to him.
    Thank you

  3. Why the Mossburg 500, because it is a damn fine shotgun pure and simple.
    It has always been inexpensive but not cheap which ehen it came to facing the harsh elements of salty seas rainy threee day duck hunts or the snow anf freezing deer hunts.

    an inecpensive way to ontroduce youths or even adults imto birf humting or kusy busting. Informal vlays and pop cans
    Have seen some 500’s been on gillnetters or the favorite 410 ffor halibut, the12 ‘s are to impress newby flatllanders, beenjust sitting there sheltered mostly but 5 years from date fierrd before or not slamaround in em and they go bang.
    STILL GINEN MY DRUTHETD I will take any old winchester 97’s or modle 12 early and ad.a combat gun a 97 has 1 feature some of you Nam boys may remember.

  4. A year ago I contributed to the total number sold with my purchase of a Tactical Mossberg 500 for home defense.

    This all black tactical package came with a tri-rail forend with full-length bottom rail, and 2 removable side rails. It also has a 7-Position Collapsible buttstock with a 5-round side saddle.

    I then upgraded by adding a vertical grip to the forward rail under the pump. I also mounted a dual laser/flashlight combo with a pressure switch to the right side rail.

    I topped it off by adding a UTG Tactical Rail Mount on the rear and mounted an Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical “CQB” Red-Green 4 Reticle Red Dot Open Reflex Sight to the tactical rail as the primary sighting solution.

    This is now one awesome tactical home defense platform which can be used in multi-purpose roles. The wife and kids are trained regularly at the range.

  5. I own two Mossberg 500’s, a fairly new 12 gauge and an older .410. Both run flawlessly (except on Russian ammo)and will stay in my “arsenal” for a long time.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.