Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Mossberg 500 is a shotgun manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. Rather than a single model, the 500 is really a series of widely varying hammerless, pump action, repeaters, all of which share the same basic receiver and action, but differ in bore size, barrel length, choke options, and stock and forearm materials. In fact, the model has been offered in so many configurations it is difficult to accurately catalog them all. Three major categories exist.
- The first model 500s were field grade pieces designed for hunting. This model, with slight variations, has been manufactured since 1962. It has been offered in 12, 16, 20, and .410 gauges. The receiver is chambered for 3 inch shells. A five shot tubular magazine is underneath the barrel. Barrel lengths offered have been 30, 28, and 26 inches in full, modified, improved cylinder, and selective chokes. A 24 inch cylinder bore with rifle sights has also been manufactured for deer hunting with slugs. "Bantam" models designed for youths and small adults are also offered, with shorter barrel lengths and stocks. Weight: 5 3/4 to 8 pounds.
- Mossberg has also offered the model 500 in a law enforcement/military model. This model is marketed under the moniker "Persuader". These weapons come in 12 or 20 gauge, have an 18 1/2 or 20 inch plain barrel, and differ largely from the field grade guns in that they have a 6 or 8 shot magazine (depending on barrel length). Most models have a black parkerized finish, but a bright nickel finish is also offered. In the past, these models have been manufactured with wooden stocks, but in later years composite stocks are used. Sling swivels are standard. Some military models have a bayonet lug. A "Cruiser" model is offered with a pistol grip in place of the shoulder stock.
- The third major model 500 group is the mariner shotgun. Like the law enforcement models, these come with 18 1/2 or 20 inch barrels and 6 or 8 shot magazines, respectively. They weigh about 7 1/4 pounds. These models have a high-strength synthetic buttstock and forearm and are treated with special coatings to protect them from saltwater corrosion.
The Mossberg 500 has always been marketed as a multi-purpose firearm. A myriad of OEM and after market accessories have been manufactured for the gun over the years. With various barrel and buttstock options the same model 500 can be a field gun, home defence weapon, trap and skeet gun, or muzzleloader.
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