Review: Mossberg Model 500 50th Anniversary Twelve Gauge

The just-released Mossberg Model 500 50th Anniversary Edition is, in most ways, just a slightly upscale version of the popular Model 500 slide-action shotgun. The basic specifications are as follows:

Mossberg 500-50th Anniversary
MSRP: $430.70
Mossberg Part #50123
6 Shot Capacity
12 Gauge, 3" chamber
28" VR Ported Twin Bead Barrel
Accu-Set Choke Set
47-1/2" OAL, 13-7/8" LOP
Checkered Stock High Gloss Walnut
7-1/2 lbs. (7-1/4 lbs. as tested)

Over 9.5 million units later (and closing in on 10 million), this 12 gauge pump offering is built to be used, not as a safe Queen from my point of view. A nod is given to the 1961 Mossberg 500 with the red recoil pad; the jeweled bolt and carrier is nice upscale touch, and the walnut has a glossy finish, but is not heavily figured. It is a functional, utilitarian slide action weighing seven and a quarter pounds with an approximately six and a quarter trigger out of the box.

It is also an exceedingly good value, with a full boat retail of only $430, it is a do-anything type of gun that is still easier on the eye than many similarly priced offerings. You have a polished blue barrel on this Model 500 as opposed to the essentially unfinished, matte fodder populating so many shotguns today, a gold trigger, a center bead, and a ported barrel. Also, Mossberg provides three screw chokes as opposed to some others that shaft you by including only one. Mossberg 500 receivers are drilled and tapped in 12 and 20 gauge for optical sight mounting, and this model is no exception to that. Mossberg also provides a ten year limited warranty which is far more generous than most.

For just a few dollars more, the Model 500 50th Anniversary nets you a better-looking example of what has long been the best value in a quite functional, eminently usable, American-made repeating shotgun. It is hard not to appreciate all of this and I do.

Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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