First Mossberg!

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DaveC
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First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:34 pm

Fellow 870 aficionados, I just put a 20-gauge Mossberg "shockwave" firearm on layaway!
So "I drank the kool-aid...?!" :? I've long been interested in archaic Prohibition and Depression-era "whipit" 20-ga. shotguns: Rem Mod. 17, Mod 31, and post-WWII the St. Louis Metropolitan PDs Ithaca 37s. For that matter, I had long been fascinated by the hoary old double Ithaca Auto and Burglar. :geek:

I saw that Remington came out with the Tac-14 in 20-ga, and so my initial sense was to go that route. I am far, far more familiar with the placement of the 870s controls and disassembly procedures. The 870 is what I've run in defensive shotgun classes, and its what I've used in sports shooting with shotguns and my only--and highly unsuccessful!--dove hunt in South Texas. But after examining the two, I think the fact that the broom-handle "raptor grip" is the only grip that this non-NFA "thing" can use makes the tang safety placement of the Mossberg a better choice. Disassembly, and even unloading the Mossberg is a bit, well... odd to a Remington 870 guy, but I'll just have to deal with it. :?:

I'll offer some firing observations of it after I receive it for those who might be interested, or even contemplating a purchase of their own. So I'll have a liquor store hold-up gangster and pre-Miranda rights salty-if-brutal-detective special. :oops: :roll: Maybe I'll get the aluminum receiver scored, engraved with "Born to lose" on the side...? :lol: :P

In any case, it should be interesting. ;)
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

DaveC
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:16 pm

Devo: "I say whipit..." Whipit or Whippet?

1922: Ithaca Auto and Burglar: SxS double 20-gauge (mostly) boxlock, hammerless.
10.1"/25.6cm barrels, OALength: 16.5"/42cm, weight 4.75lbs/2.1kg.
Model B guns: 12.2"/31cm barrels, OALength: 18.6"/47.2cm, somewhat heavier.

1969: Sarasqueta/Holland Firearms, Inc. Houston, TX Auto-Burglar Gun
3" magnum chambers, 17" OAL/ 4.5lbs/2kg loaded weight. IC choked barrels.

Remington Model 17 Special Police:
20-gauge, 5-shot, slide-action repeater
15.1"/38.4cm long barrel
OAL 25.2"/64cm [An inch too short for non-NFA status!]
4.5lbs/2kg unloaded. Ancestor of Ithaca 37.

1933: Remington Model 31 Special Police "RX"
20-ga. 14.5"/36.8cm barrel
revolver type pistol grip
Ancestor of O.F. Mossberg 500.

1969: Ithaca 37 "Featherlight" St. Louis special weapon system [ancestor of the 80's-era "Stakeout"]
20-ga. Sgt. Wm. Contreaux modified to have 15"/38.1cm barrel, Reinhart-Fajen pistol grip, OAL 25.2"/ 64cm [too short for non-NFA status!]
4.5lbs. unloaded weight. 4+1 capacity.

Remington Model 11/Browning Auto-5 as whipit gun: Bonnie Parker of the criminal Bonnie and Clyde duo, also a 20-gauge.
Various Remington 11s, mostly in 12-ga. became the more-affordable-than-the-Tommy-gun, more prevalant gangland gun during Prohibition and the Depression era among criminals, gangsters, and LE agencies of the period.

Arguably, the Al Crouch/ Hi-Standard Model 10A/ 10B bullpup is another variant of the breed, albeit in 12 gauge.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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Synchronizor
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by Synchronizor » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:55 pm

I have a friend who recently got his first shotgun. I recommended an 870 of course, but he ended up buying a Mossberg 590A1, and we hit the range so I could show him how to use it. That was my first time with a 590 rather than a 500, and I actually came away pretty impressed with the gun. I still prefer the 870's design; the Mossberg didn't load as cleanly and its slide didn't unlock as well or efficiently as the 870. It's also pretty much a single-purpose fighting shotgun, whereas the 870 is an extremely versatile do-all design. But with that said, the 590 seemed to be really well-made, and everything was solid and functioned flawlessly. It's definitely a big improvement on the rattle-box 500s I've played with in the past.

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Banshee
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by Banshee » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:49 am

One thing i do like on the 590 is the bolt release location. It is easier to use than the one on the 870.
The devil danced as he went down, in the hail of arrows comin' Out on the wild Montana ground, Custer died a-runnin'.

DaveC
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:52 pm

Yeah, I hear ya. Non-870s just seem "unnatural" to me, and I do like the all-steel receiver, the placement of the controls, and as you note, the versatility.

Recall that my "HD" was basically built from an 870 Express gifted to me so I could get into hunting by my then girlfriend, now spouse several decades ago. I've only ever used the 870 in defensive classes I've taken.

Since this is really just a sort of narrow fighting gun niche, I had to give a lot of thought to it being essentially "frozen" as is, since no different grip or anything like that can be installed without serious legal problems... :!:

I do find it interesting that O.F. Mossberg and sons basically built an ueber-cheap Remington 31! I've seen 500s have issues, that is for sure. Even the tang mounted safety simply coming off! :o

It'll be interesting to see how it goes with the odd-for-Rem-870-fans control placement goes, and I do have a whole bunch of really old 20 gauge ammo to practice with it.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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Synchronizor
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by Synchronizor » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:45 am

Banshee wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:49 am
One thing i do like on the 590 is the bolt release location. It is easier to use than the one on the 870.
I'm actually not a big fan of that. Yes, it's easy to reach, but it still takes an action to do so, and there's more of a risk of hitting it accidentally while doing other things and taking the gun out of battery. And while it's conveniently-placed for semi-grip stocks, the trade-off is that it gets weird to work with a pistol grip.

I very much prefer to have the slide release a little out of the way, and the safety right at hand, as with the 870 or the Ithaca 37 (I think the Ithaca's control placement is pretty much perfect), rather than the other way around as with the Mossberg 500s or the Winchester 1200/1300. Though I do think the Mossberg's slide release is better-designed for that location than the tiny nub you get on the Winchester 1200.

These are pretty minor things though, it really comes down to preference and - above all - practice & familiarity. The above are more my personal reasons for preferring the 870/37 layout than an argument for how that setup is objectively superior.

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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:52 pm

Well, I took delivery of this here blunderbuss... I like it!
Unfortunately, my first outing did not happen because the range I took it to would not allow it on the pistol range. Damper :(

I must say, however, that I really have a healthy dislike of how to disassemble and reassemble the piece. :!: :?
Good grief! Compared to the ease with which an 870 comes apart and goes back together, it is really a big difference.

Small wonder the instructions pretty much call for swabbing out the bore "when done shooting" or after about 200 rounds. The barrel comes off just like the 870 does: put the bolt at the half-way mark of the ejection port, remove the magazine end cap, remove the barrel... Simple!

But then the real fun begins... NOT! :cry: :roll: "ah-ha! Only one pin to remove to the Remington's two!" then the trigger housing unit can be pulled out. Then the cartridge stops fairly fall out of the receiver... So simple! Only they continue to do so during reassembly. Then the bolt is pushed this way and that until the slide mechanism that locks the bolt to the barrel extension is just so. Then it gets lifted out. Then, and only then, the bolt can be slid out the front of the receiver where the barrel goes. Finally, squeeze the shell lifter/elevator together and pry that out of the receiver. Reassembly is the reverse... Only not so much. What a beast to put back together. :x
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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John A.
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by John A. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:54 pm

Before I ever bought a Mossberg, I used an old Stevens model 79. The controls on it were identical to the Mossberg.

It was an easy transition over to the 500 when I first bought one.

I always felt the 870 safety and slide release were oddly located.

Still do actually. The Mossberg is at your fingertips. No fumbling, no guessing, even with your eyes closed in a dark closet.

And as far as the slide release tab, I've hunted a lot with an old 500 and in a lot of rough terrain, and I can honestly say that I've never accidentally activated the slide release and caused any type of failure or opening the slide by accident or anything. On a traditional stock, it's right where it needs to be.

For a pistol grip gun though, is awkward as heck.
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DaveC
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:46 am

Thanks!

Interesting observations to consider.

I actually got to take it out and fire it at a range session... So now I'm writing this post with two black eyes, a broken nose, and chipped front teeth, having sold it back to the shop... :lol:

Nah! I'm just messing with y'all! :D ;)

I patterned it at 5, 7, and ten yards with Winchester 2-3/4" No. 3 buckshot. This is 20 pellets.
Attempting to "aim" with the front bead, and without the benefit of a stock with its additional points of contact was a bit unnerving, even with my charming wife standing by to administer first aid! :? :roll:
I tried to hold it at eye level using the odd and counter-intuitive stance of pulling the firearm solidly towards the shoulder with the firing hand, even though there is no stock, and pulling away from me hard with the support hand clenched tight around the forend. Perhaps needless to add, this often resulted in an "aimed" shot going high to the right! :oops:

Still, I did pattern it, and I'll try to post images off each range setting tomorrow. And contra my joke above, I did not get punched in the nose by the so-called "raptor grip" neither did I get walloped across the face by the receiver. Still,without the stock will require much practice.

Then, having patterned it, I tried to hold it at chest level, with my firing hand positioned far forward, with my wrist locked and forearm straight along the grip, with my elbow back, and with the "firearm" canted over to the left a bit. My support hand gripped the forend tight, and with my tricep and arm down to the elbow firmly against my rib cage. From this position, I tried to practice "point shooting." I know people who do a lot of work with their hands, and they can pretty much hit any thing they look at without using sights. I spend most of my working life sitting, and looking at screens like this one... Or squinting at other things. :(

At first, the tendency was to hit to the left. I went through a box of ancient, decrepit 20-ga. bird shot I've got, so old it predates mandatory yellow hulls for 20 ga. ammo... :o I had some squibs, and I threw out some ammo that looked, well, bad. Still, it was good practice. By the end of the box, I just tried to hold so that each round went through the same hole in the target, one after the other. Having accomplished that, I tried my hand at "double taps" from the chest-level. I shot low with one shot, and centered but a bit off to the left again with the secondary, follow up shot. So much more practice is required. Still, I'm glad to offer the initial "range report" and I'll show the pictures here shortly, although trying to "aim" stock-less at 10 yards resulted in a high pattern, with only 15 of the 20 pellets on paper. Pics to follow. I'll need many more practice rounds with it, but it is an interesting, if very close range shotgun-type firearm. For now, I'll stick with my 870 in 12ga. with a stock, but soon I can see a "niche" for this "whipit" gun.

By the way, the gun ran flawlessly, but boy does the exterior finish on the aluminum receiver suck! It's already as scratched up and marred as my 870 Express that I've owned since '91 or '92 without any use...! :? :?:
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

DaveC
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Re: First Mossberg!

Post by DaveC » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:47 pm

https://photos.app.goo.gl/U2kt2H3vCVeiMOa92

I hope this works!

So the first "aimed" shot at 5 yards/ 15ft. got pulled over a bit to the right. Still, it looks like a 4-1/4" spread, and much is centered in the 6-in. black bull.

The second "aimed" shot of Winchester 2-3/4" No. 3 unplated buckshot at 7 yards/ 21 feet was about 6-inches, but a bit high and to the right, again, due to no stock and concerns about getting walloped.

Third "aimed shot at 10 yards or 30 feet revealed something like a 10-1/2-inch spread of shot, with five of the 20 pellets going off the paper since the shot was about three inches high, being pulled up a bit.

Finally, using an across-the-upper-body hold and relying on "point shooting" at 5 yards without aiming, there are two "double tap" shots. The first about 4-1/2 inches hit close to the center line, but was low, about three or four inches. The follow up shot was a bit to the left, with about half the pellets landing n the black. There was some vertical strining of the second shot, about 6-inches. I'm not sure if that is because the target was still flexing and wobbling a bit from the first shot, or perhaps I drew the groups incorrectly from counting the pellets and differentiating them from the impact of the wads. But basically 4-1/2 inches, and then an inch per yard just like any other cylinder bored shotgun until about 10 yards, when things start to open up more.
Alle Kunst ist umsonst, wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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