A few weeks ago, a friend purchased a cruiser model shotgun with pistol grip stock. It looked cool and was easily stashed behind the rear seat of the Ford. The Mossberg 500 shotgun is smooth, powerful, and easily maneuvered in the home. The problem came at the firing range. A pistol grip gives new meaning to the term wrist-snapping recoil. You are quickly introduced to flinch.
Firing 20 full-power buckshot loads in the 12 gauge Mossberg didn’t help matters, and the following morning was spent soaking the wrist in Epsom salts. The pistol grip shotgun is OK for entry team use, in crowded areas, and ideal for keeping handy in fishing trawlers to take out flipping, gnashing sharks brought in with the more mundane catches.
As an all-around, personal defense shotgun, I think there are better choices. Sometimes the pistol grip shotgun just isn’t the right fit—especially for those with less experience. The full-length shotgun is often the answer. However, an even better choice is the Magpul SGA stock.
The Magpul SGA stock has been fitted to the Mossberg 500 in question and my personal Mossberg 500 as well. The greatest single advantage of the stock—and there are many advantages to the SGA—is the geometry. The grip angle is ideal for rapid handling. I was a bit skeptical at first but after firing the SGA equipped Mossberg; I am very pleased.
I left the stock in its shortest configuration for easy storage and rapid deployment. In this short, fast-handling configuration, the Mossberg 12 gauge pump is fast and sure in handling, and the stock somehow turns recoil away from the shooter efficiently. The geometry of the stock also lowers the bore axis.
The stock has a unique turn that keeps the wrist properly slanted for excellent control. This stock is a great addition to the Mossberg 500. I am a fan of the Mossberg 500 and its tough action and dual extractors. The Mossberg 500 passed stringent military competition standards and knocked out a number of rather tough competitors.
The stock isn’t difficult to install. It is more rigid than the AR-15-type stock, and it is affordable as high quality gear goes. An advantage to the end user is that the stock is easily changed.
The stock comes with four spacers that allow modification to the length of pull. I have on hand a youth model Mossberg 500 as well as a standard stock version. The shorter SGA stock configuration is in between the two and works great for my use. Sure, some say we should be able to shoot anything on the rack, but that is just what military firearms are, rack grade and reliable.
The Mossberg 500 is definitely rack-grade reliable, but a personal shotgun should fit the user. With the Magpul SGA, you do not even have to remove the butt pad to change the length of pull. Incidentally, the stock offers right or left hand sling attachment. You can install a sling mount kit from Magpul and use QD push button type swivels. That is a lot of versatility, and the sling is important.
The hard polymer material is the same that Magpul uses in all of its rifle parts. This means durability under harsh conditions. Magpul calls the full range of adjustment user-configurable.
The length of pull may be tailored to the shooter in increments of ½ inch all of the way from 12½ to 14½ inches. The butt pad is designed to help control recoil and works well. The gripping area is suitably roughened for good adhesion. There are optional cheek risers for those wishing to use red dot scopes or other optical sighting equipment. While I am presently using the Mossberg with a single bead front sight, it is interesting to know that the stock may be customized for red dot use with slugs or other munitions. Changing the comb height is simple enough with these risers.
On the firing range, I used several buckshot loads from Federal Cartridge Company. The personal defense buckshot load is sensibly lighter than a full power load and offers an excellent tight pattern at close range. Loading the Mossberg’s 7-round magazine, I found a reliable load with controllable recoil. I also fired a quantity of TruBall slugs. This is a hard hitting load for use against felons behind cover or large animals. Control remained excellent. The SGA stock is good kit and gets a good recommendation.
Have you ever upgraded your shotgun with an aftermarket stock? Was it a Magpul SGA? Share your experience in the comment section.