Product Review: Mossberg 500 Tactical Build (The Predator)

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Product Reviews, Shooting, Vendor Reviews
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The recent ammo situation hit shotgun slugs almost as hard as rifle and pistol ammo.  Indoor ranges typically only allow slugs to be fired and at a buck (or more) per trigger pull, I’ve fired my tactical shotgun sparingly over the last six months.  I do hope to take it outdoors to Fusion Tactical Range over the fall and shoot a much wider variety of ammo.

In the mean time, I thought it might be useful to provide a range report on the build.  The Predator is a custom Mossberg 500 build from Shotgun Blasters.  At the time of its creation, it was not one of the stock builds offered by Shotgun Blasters.  I sat down with Pat Harrington in his shop and discussed my specific requirements (which were pump action, high capacity, very intimidating yet functional).  After going back and forth, we came up with a build that fit my specs and budget.

The 20″ barrel is paired with an 8-shot tube, a Black Aces rail, 2×230 LM side-mounted lights, laser front sight, UTG red/green dot optic, tactical foreend w/vertical grip, two shell carriers, and an ATI adjustable stock with recoil absorbing handgrip.

Here are some pics.

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I think my wife really gets it.  I brought the shotgun home and her very first reaction was a dropped jaw.  After a couple seconds of gawking, she said, “Wow, you won’t even have to fire that.”  Yes, that’s the whole idea, especially with the cost of ammo these days 🙂

Intimidating, but just short of complete mall ninja.  Here are some observations from actual use:

Weight – One word, heavy.  With the shell carriers and tube fully loaded, it’s near 12lb.  Not for 3-gun, even heavy metal.  I work out a lot, so I personally don’t mind it and the weight is very helpful with managing recoil.

Stock – The adjustable length of pull is great.  I was a bit hesitant to have a pistol grip on a shotgun, but it proved to be a bonus in managing recoil, especially with the gel backing on the grip.

Forend – The tactical forend works well.  The vertical foregrip is convenient for maneuvering.  I like a more traditional rifle-style hold for shooting with the optic.  There is a strap to hold the hand in place, so I don’t worry about it moving during rapid loading of new shells.

Lights – Nice feature of the vertical foregrip is that a simple thumb motion controls the light on either side.

Laser – This impressed me as a bit mall ninja at first, but it does help in lower-light conditions or a ‘shoot from the hip’ style. The laser sight is co-witnessed with the optic, so I tend to use it more as a front sight.  I currently have the laser zeroed to 25 yards.  Best I can do indoors at this time.

Optic – Simple red/green dot with variable brightness.  Works fine.  Currently zeroed to match the laser, but this will change once I have a chance to start working outdoors with the shotgun.

Here is the result from firing three rifled slugs from 25 yards (indoors) using the green dot in an unsupported hold.

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These were aimed and shot very carefully and very slowly.  I still have a bit of side-to-side wobble in my hold.  Just have to work on it.

Sling – I don’t use it for anything other than carry.  It’s too cumbersome to shoot with in the demonstrated two-point configuration and reaching the shells is even more cumbersome in actual practice.  I actually take it off and place it around my shoulders as a bandolier unless I’m actually carrying the shotgun.  Nice way to have  24 extra shells handy.

Speaking of extra shells, here is a cool belt carrier that I’ve seen at the Ft. Worth gun show.

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Up to 30 shells clip into slots instead of slip inside loops in the traditional nylon carrier.  A simple pull extracts the shell and I’ve found removing them to be quicker than the nylon carrier.  The setup above is broken into three groups – ten triple deckers, ten 3″ magnum slugs, and ten 2 3/4 00 buck.

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I hope to provide more updates in the future, including reports on 00 and 000 buck spreads with the long barrel and the performance of some of the Firequest loads such as the triple decker.  Thanks for spending some time at Texas Gun Show Review.

Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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