Thursday, October 29, 2009

The bullpup 500

O.F. Mossberg has been cranking out shotguns for ninety years. The model 500, first introduced in 1960 is probably the most reliable shotgun ever produced. it is the only shotgun to meet the strident Mil-Spec 3443E standard. Mossberg has offered many variants of this reliable weapon, and tonight's feature is the Bullpup. First offered in 1987, it was designed for police and special security needs. That it was discontinued is a travesty.

Shotguns are excellent weapons for home protection and other various needs. Floyd Reagan, a Minnesota DNR game warden swears there is no animal on the North American continent that cannot be taken with one. Floyd would know. When assigned in Alaska patrolling for poachers, Floyd selected a 12ga as his weapon to carry. On one foot patrol he encountered a Kodiak bear. The bear wanted Floyd for lunch. The charge of shot nearly severed the bears head. I'd just as soon not let them get that close.

Many people today are opting for pistol grip shotguns. They look bad ass. They also shoot like crap! A shoulder stock offers a steady support for your shots. Whether one opts for a solid stock, collapsing stock or folding stock, in my opinion, they are a must. Heavy shot, or slugs play hell on the wrists. The extra length may be a bit of a problem in close quarters, but in my opinion is well worth it.

The 500 Bullpup has the advantage of a full length barrel, plenty of spare rounds, a shoulder stock, and a neat small package. The action is the same as any other 500. The stock contains a transfer bar that fits to the original trigger.

Shotgun performance is also outstanding. A 12ga shotgun slug generates more muzzle energy then a 30-06 150 grain round. Its down range performance is better then a 30-30, and modern rounds remain accurate beyond 150 yards.

Much can be debated regarding buckshot. A 2 3/4 12 ga round holds eight or nine pellets 00 depending on manufacture, and is the equivalent of firing a short bust from a submachine gun. Down range performance drops as the spread of the pellets soon reaches the point where only a few hit the target. I prefer #4 buck. Twenty seven pellets vs only nine increases the probability of multiple hits at extended ranges. Shot size drops from .33 to .24 inches resulting in a pellet that is nearly 1/3 the weight, but with the increase in number results in a somewhat heavier overall load and increased hit potential.

12 ga ammo is plentiful, especially compared to some of the more popular rifle calibers. Shotgun ammo is also easier to reload. even a 10% variation will still shoot within parameters since accuracy is not pinpoint. In a last ditch situation, almost anything can be used for projectiles from gravel to glass.

Mossberg has been my shotgun of choice for thirty years. I know that many of you are fans of Remington, Benelli, or Winchester. Its all a matter of what you like. I have never had a Mossberg fail to fire, and some of mine have been heavily abused. Mossbergs are low cost, high quality, and not a lot of flash. The 500 series has been around for nearly fifty years with only minor changes, and is second to the 870 in total sales.

The Mossberg 500 bullpup truly fits the bill for an all around defense weapon. Its size is about the same as a pistol grip model, it has a full length barrel, and handling is good. Sadly, Mossberg has no announced plans to reintroduce this excellent arm, and no after market manufacturers have any offerings out at the present time. I would like to see after market stocks for the Remington 870, 1100, and some of the other popular guns. I can always hope, can't I?

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