by Thomas The Tinker
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest
A product review .. including the bonus features of… Care and feeding… Practical preppers logistical support… Practical preppers employment… and this preppers minor custom fit modifications of the sucker in the photo above. In fact this is a ‘review’ of the 20 gauge shotgun in general .. that my ‘favorite’ is the one above is …. Secondary. Submitted for your consideration and .. entertainment by … Thomas The Tinker
The Mossberg 500 – 20 gauge Mod. #54300(B) Shotgun.
First.. This is once again.. simply my opinion based on my empirical experience with this piece of ‘Iron’.. not another paltry attempt to sway .. your .. point of view or get ya ta buy one of these… (well.. yahh.. you could do worse owning one) I do like my toys and finding ways to make them work.. perform .. to my ‘potential’. Second …. I’m not a gunsmith. Third …. I have in my past earned my living with these ‘toys’. This is not to say .. that what I say .. is the last word on what works. It is simply mine.. my own.. my precious.. (opinion .. and shotguns).
As Base MP Co. Training NCO, I had access to a number of ‘Government’ models… (nearly all in an advanced state of worn out) and all the full brass cased buck shot I cared to take to the training range or pig hunting with the locals. I still own a pre-war Ithica-37 surplus cruiser beasty. The thing .. the one thing .. I learned about the old worn out Iron the Corps let me play with is that I could do nearly everything with them close in .. as I could with the issue M16.
Back on point .. and let me piss off a few folks. I feel safe, yepper I do, in saying that most of us that haunt this site do not have the skills to employ the state of the art firearms we own… to their full design potential. My late Father in Law willed a Winchester Mod. 70 Camp Perry National Match “heavy bull gun” rifle with a Unertl J 2” 20X scope that is a mechanical piece of Freaking ART .. frankly I ain’t got the stones to play with or take it out of the oak box. That beast won him a medal or three at Camp Perry. They scored 1000 yard Vs with a probe & glass and a Vernier. I have his last winning target .. the scoring glass .. and his Glove too. No… hell no… I don’t have the skills to use it to do what it ‘Can’ do, but this an example of design potential vs. skills in the extreme and I have ‘Di-gressed’ way off.
What I’m saying is all of us have our failings… mine… I’m not a 19 year old grunt… and I too cannot use a lot of what I own to it’s design potential… but I sure as heck will push the gear to MY limits. I know one’s “limits” and “potential” get closer together when you push yourself.
With the exception of 100 yard+ slug shooting, I believe nearly anyone that can ‘handle’ a shot gun can employ it to dang near the ‘guns’ design potential. Practice till your knee deep in hulls .. and I betcha nailing center mass with a slug at 3… hundred… feet .. is a do-er too… ev .. ery time.
As I have posted here before … I have grown to favor a lighter gauge pump gun. I favor a 20 gauge over the 12 gauge favorite. I have also grown to favor a 9mm over the 40 cal .. or the revered 45 acp for the same reasons… Control-ability. My ‘conversion to the “Lite Side” came from training with the ‘20’ for years and years. I found that the terminal results of delivering a 20 gauge load are no more worth arguing than getting me nickers in a knot about which drops a target ‘better’… a 9mm or the vaunted 45ACP. Hitting a perp… dog… deer or hog with this number of pellets or that slug at ‘house hold’ ranges ain’t worth the ….. nit-picking
Below are two of my everyday run around “Irons”. My #6 Iron is a standard Mossberg 500 ‘20’ with a few add ons. The one below is the subject of this article my just overhauled Mossberg 500 Tac-tickle ‘20’ #9 Iron. If you read my last review on the Enforce Tac light, you know I won’t “add on” anything that is not “captured” as in through bolted into or around the firearm.
#1. After market 5 way ‘pic-rail’ block with QD sling swivel. On the top one I have drilled the heat shield (6-48 tpi) and moved the night sight to it. An add on set of ghost ring sights would be easy to attach this way. #2. Mossberg heat shield heated at both ends and formed to 20 gauge barrels. Quenched to return some ‘heat treat’. On the fore end is a 2” section of pic-rail, through bolted to the fore end, for the tac-light I reviewed earlier this month. The ‘rail’ is beveled at both ends… no thumb jam that way. #3. (4) four round shell caddy through bolted to frame.(any more and you would have to ‘shave’ the fore end. #4. 13 1/2 “ pull pistol grip with a limb saver recoil pad. On the bottom one .. my baby .. I’ll have a mag-pull QD inlaid sling swivel socket and a “Blue Force” sling… no shell caddy.. no single point slingy.. No m’as.. No m’anos. As a matter of fact.. I think I’m going to replace the pistol gripper with a standard (no spacer) Mag-pul stock.
Now I own all of these… and the “ATF Form 4 (5320.4) rev. 3/06” with the lil blue eagle stamp … for the one in the middle.
The bottom one in the photo below is a standard Mossberg 590A1 12ga. 9+1 41” long and it comes in at 7.25 lbs. unloaded. The second is a standard Mossberg 590SBS/NFAR 12ga. 6+1.. It is.. shorter and comes in at ( )lbs. unloaded.. it will be 2” shorter when I take out the Mag-Pul stock spacers. The skinny one at the top is my Baby… The Mossy 500 #9 Iron 8+1 20ga. 39” long and coming in at 6lbs. unloaded. Take note of size if you will. Think doors, windows, cars, stairways and hallways and humping it around over you neck… or holding it up! I use em all. All in all, I favor the one on the top.
I favor a pump gun over every auto available, including the ones I’ve owned and the one I still own, for well self-demonstrated reasons. The average .. (doesn’t train.. doesn’t practice much.. doesn’t practice at all..) auto shotgun owner cannot rely on their skills to ‘run’ any of the auto guns under ‘field’ stress or heavy use in training … as to combat or even simulated combat… No. (YEowZaaa did I say I’d PO some folks or did I not!!! And if you’re an old ‘Grunt’ who’s run one…. You ain’t average)
I was young once with an under developed forebrain just like we all suffered with .. until our late 20s … some longer. Set your ego aside and try a few days of simply running one under the simple stress of training with it .. or the ‘fun’ of running one under the stress of a ‘Three gun’ event. You Tube that. I favor a pump over any auto Why? Cause, IMHO, any man made tool .. that is designed to operate independently of a humans brain .. and muscle memory .. and human will .. shall… is… gonna… fail to function… “Automatically”. I favor keeping the ‘thought’ process short.. simple. Having to process the step sheet for a semi-automated devise.. takes time. Even if you know it by heart.
Am I “Harping” here… compounding complexity is neither sexy or safe .. TacTiCool yes.
Pump gun: Pull trigger…. Click .. your empty .. or .. you short stroked it and left a spent shell in the tube. Stroke it again as hard as you should have the first time and pull .. boom .. all good .. click .. not so. You are still empty or lack short term memory regarding the short stroke you performed a second ago. Training mitigates these lil failings .. operator errors. Combat loading drills!! .. Beat it, Stroke it, like a TOOL cause it is one. When you bust it buy another one. If you own one of such quality and fine finish that you’d not want to drop in the mud or gravel….. you own a distraction …. Not … a TOOL. A Mossberg 500 12 or 20 is running NEW for $188.oo at the Central Ave. Wal-Mart … right … Now. Monday March 22, 2016, 1:48 p.m. Remys….. Alil more!
Auto gun: Pull trigger.. click .. your empty. Or ‘It’ failed to feed, ramp-jammed, loaded two behind the gate cause ya brushed the lil button on the port side. Or It failed to eject a low base spent shell. Or it fouled in the port and now you have one behind the gate cause you are using Wal-Mart low base birdshot and it won’t cycle and don’t have the ‘GAS’ to fully cycle it. Or you have a shell caddy with 6 to 8 rounds hanging on the side along with may haps a clamp on tac-light …. Err .. other tac-ti- cool stuff and your auto’s inertia recoil system won’t “Inert” and fully cycle. Or ya didn’t push the reload far enough up the tube to keep it from popping right-back-out-behind the gate. If you are an auto fan and ya haven’t made all of these booboos…. Ya autta ‘create em & practice em and the requisite Oh S—T clearance drill…. While, of course, practicing your moves to cover thang. Cynical fella am I not!
Spoiler Alert: I own an auto… only ONE now. They are fun to shoot .. in any event that mandates a score card, timer… or rules… ergo a game . Ok… so now ya got most a my reasons for running a pump gun.
Ok, Care and Feeding: Care! Clean the thing when you are in the mood. Pull the fore end stock now and again and scrape the crud off of the shell tube then lub it with what you’ve learned works best. This does help the slide… slide. Me…. My opinion again …. Every time you strip down a good fire arm to a basket of parts you shorten the rated life span of same. Ya can’t turn it in and get a new one issued… can ya? Own one that will operate under duress.. and dirty (Gawd how I wish Glock would market a shotgun). If you are into the prepper gun smith thing and wanna stock parts.. goody! I keep my spares in the form of spare complete weapons.
‘Feed’ it what .. you .. have proven it will ‘Eat’. Pumps will eat anything, including those cute lil ‘minis’, so “feeding” is more along the line of knowing what manufacturer and what ‘load’ your Iron likes to eat. Take 100 quality or crappy Irons (shotguns) and you will have perhaps half a hundred different patterns with the same shot… or more, probably more. This goes for slugs as well. At household ranges this may not matter to nearly .. everyone. Me, it matters.
At the ranges (in yards) I train to, 20 gauge #3 buckshot gives ‘me’… Opinion Alert .. the pattern I can work with and the punch. My BIL 1 favors ‘Turkey loads’ my DD favors plane ol birdshot. (BIL & SIL both run a 20 Mossy, DD runs a 20gauge 870) My idea of ‘lite shot’ is HiVel plated lead BB. Slugs… I spent the time and ca$h to find one that performs to my skill set in all of my Irons.. 20 gauge Berneke K.O.Slugs. 12 gauge as well….. yeah…. remember I still own and love my 12s (did I spelk burneke write?)
Here is where da ‘Guns & Ammo’ crowd dumps all the online & factory stats about this and that load…. Or how many dozen they fired off to support their stats… Do Your Own Homework fellow ‘Packers’. It is expensive.. but is so much more fun learning your baby’s favorite foods.
Applications: Each to our own. I will be ‘confident’ taking my above pictured 20 gauge pump along for sentry duty etc. House work. Yard work. Crowds. I am ‘confident’ running my above or below pictured 20 gauge with slugs to 125 yards.. further is a ‘Hail Mary’ for me for now, how… ever.. I am bound and determined to learn center mass shots on an IDPS profile at 150 yards this season. Yepper.. I am.. (I was gonna say 200 yards… I had ta beat on my ego there.)
I’m 6’3”. Getting through a door or window or out of a vehicle with a full length M590A1 beast … is beastly.. but fun to watch. Its why I went to the hassle and time to get a Mossy 590 SBS 12 ga. Its why I’m going to do it again to retro-fit the ‘20’ 8+1 to a shorter package. Now Remember my fellow Packers …. I said I love my toys and pushing myself to get the skill and potential numbers tighter.
IMHO…. The 20 gauge shot waffen will fit any of us, children, elders, gringos and gringettes, big ol hairy guys and the new “PEW Professionals”. I watch yearly as the number of trainees fielding 20s has climbed from, my BIL the first, 1 in 30 .. to I’ll bet 1 in 5 this July. Even my favorite SMsSgt-Armorer, range manager and Instructor fields what he has built for himself .. A Remington 870, ghost ringed, ported, throated, restocked and coated … 20 gauge. 4 of the 6 of us doing ‘Shotgun’ this year will be running 20s.
Ok.. ya’ve figured I like my ‘20s’. Ya’ve figured out my bias. Ya’ve patiently read this far.. ThanKYou.
I look forward to the discussion. If any of you care to join in the fun at “Gun Camp” it’ll have to be next season as this season….. filled out over a month ago. www.TDIOhio.com The pictures on the site are over a decade old… I’ll try to get some fresh ones this July. Ok… chime in… no flaming… no trolling.. be of good spirit and have fun kicking this around the coffee pot.. and do remember.. as to spekl chech and grammar and scholarly “Prose” … As evident! I don’t do those.
Xoxo from the East side of the Pecos Thomas T. Tinker
Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…
- First place winner will receive – A gift certificate for $150 off of rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
- Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason Farms.com and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
- Third place winner will receive – International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.