Review: Magpul SGA Stock/Mossberg 500

Butt of the Magpul SGA stock right

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.

Mossberg 500 shotgun right with Magpul SGA stock
The Mossberg 500 and SGA stock proved a good combination.

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.

Grip ribbing on the Magpul SGA stock
Grip ribbing adds excellent adhesion.

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.

Paper target with holes from a shotgun blast
Federal 12 gauge personal defense buckshot gave excellent results.

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.

Butt of the Magpul SGA stock right
Merely loosen the stock nut and add spacers if desired.

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.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
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 (8)

  1. A blind person with a gun is a brilliant idea if the gun is unloaded? Now that’s funny. But a little sad. Guess we all have to get old and lose our sight or hearing or something. Take good care of your dad Dave, you’ll sure miss him when he’s gone.

  2. I have an SGA stock for my Remington 870. I love it, I have a long neck, and don’t like the receiver hitting my face, so the adjustable length of pull is nice. The ergonomics are great, and the recoil is manageable with everything from bird shot to slugs. Only complaint is have is they don’t make a forend for the super magnum, so the stock and forend don’t match, but function is not effected at all.

  3. Just wish they made a flex version. I’d love to try the magpul stock, but it’s not worth the effort to remove the flex socket from the receiver.

  4. Sorry, to clarify: the Choate didn’t shear the steel stock bolt, but the soft plastic distorted itself around it enough under recoil that it tore thru and fell off, leaving the stock bolt in place. I replaced it with the Mossberg pistol grip as I said, but that thing is really hard. Worst recoil I’ve ever felt is shooting 3″ buffered loads with that shotgun with that grip. That you can’t hit with a pistol grip is another negative. I like recoil pads and ghost ring sights… ????????????

  5. Looks like a great solution, and a good compromise between the standard config and the full pistol grip. I learned my lesson on M500 pistol grips years ago, first with a 3rd party plastic aftermarket one (Choate) which literally sheared off the stock screw under recoil, and then later with the well made but brutally hard OEM part; they look cool, but aren’t practical at all. Nearly 20 years ago (my M500 is 27 years old) I switched to a Speedfeed II stock which has inlets in the standard config stock for 4 additional shells, so with a sidesaddle, I have 10 extra rounds on the gun plus the 5+1 in my ATP6.

    This magpul looks very comfortable and fast handling, and the LOP adjustment is great, but my sole test would be if I have to shift my hand / grip to reach the top tang safety, which is the second main reason to dislike a pistol grip on this model. The SF II allows you to use the safety as intended, with the thumb without shifting your grip.

    I’m thinking about getting a 590 as well, so will consider this for that model, but for my old 500 think I’ll stick with the speed feed and the extra rounds it carries. Thanks for an interesting write up.

  6. My dad is nearly blind and has asked to take over my 500 for personal protection for a while. (It’s just me and him and we have a signal to prevent him thinking I’m an intruder… his hearing is still great. Lol) I’m more of a to the shoulder type or under the wing if near arms length (actually my home choice is a 10.5″ AR with a welded suppressor and 62gr Speer Gold Dots, or my Glock 23 with Suppressor)…. He still likes the pistol grip. Granted it’s not extended range time and adrenaline would kill the pain issue… but I’m curious if the angle of that grip is well suited to waist height “pistol grip” shots while also giving the option of shouldering it for increased range/accuracy??? Thoughts???

    1. i think a blind person with a gun is a brilliant idea as long as that gun is unloaded. and in that case grip angle really doesnt matter too much.
      you can buy him whatever he thinks looks (or rather sounds) best

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