Mossberg Shockwave All Tricked Out

I didn’t know my fourth anniversary present would be blue steel, but by golly, my lovely bride came through for me over the Labor Day weekend. She hit a home run (grand slam?) with her first firearm present for me in a Marinecote version of Mossberg’s hot-selling, innovative Shockwave shotgun.

Officially, the ATF classifies the Shockwave as a “firearm”, not a shotgun. But let’s be candid here: if it walks, talks and goes BOOM like a shotgun, and uses shotgun shells, it’s a shotgun. This one has a 14-inch barrel with a raptor grip. Even better, it’s legal in Illinois and most other states. Better still, you don’t need $200 tax stamps or navigate hurdles in order to buy it.

Taking it out to the range, my buddy John Naese and I both quickly discovered how it brings a big grin to your face as you make it sing.

Virtually all of my social shotguns sport sidesaddle shell carriers. While the Shockwave has a 5+1 capacity, carrying six more on the receiver adds peace of mind (the TacStar Sidesaddle is $40-ish at your local gun store). The only downside to the carrier is that you’ll bump your hip with it if you crowd your side while firing the gun.

Two of our Chicago GSL members warned against holding the Shockwave out in front to aim it conventionally. “You’ll eat it every time,” they cautioned. Valuing our good looks, we followed their advice. Both Mr. Naese and I shared a tendency to fire high and left from the hip.

Realizing early on that I needed a better aiming system than SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess), I ordered a Crimson Trace CMR-206 green laser (about $125 Amazon, or a made-in-China knockoff for $42). To mount it, GG&G makes a combination rail and sling attachment adapter ($30 GG&G). The laser works wonderfully and I have it sighted 1.5 inch low and left of point of impact.

Rather than stipling the grip for better control, I slid a bicycle tire inner tube over the grip, which helps with both control and soaks up more of the mild recoil.

Yes, Mossberg’s engineers worked some serious magic designing the raptor grip. Shooting it from the hip, the gun’s recoil isn’t the least bit objectionable. A .45 Auto pistol has more snap when fired.

Aguila minishells felt extra-mild, but ejecting them proved highly problematic. I ran some of the original minishells purchased roughly fifteen years ago and they consistently created problems after virtually every shot.

Yes, the OpSol Mini-clip ($15 at Amazon – pictured below, in the loading port) makes cycling the short shells reliable, but when it takes two hands and a few four-letter words to open the action after firing, what’s the point? My advice: skip the shorties. Conventional shells cycled smoothly and flawlessly.

So, with a barrel 4 inches shorter than anything available to mere mortals until now, how does it pattern? In short, far tighter than I expected.

The old rule of thumb about riot gun shot spread says expect patterns to spread at roughly 1 inch per yard.

This Mossberg, using Remington Law Enforcement Reduced Recoil buckshot (8 pellets), patterned at half that. At self defense distances between five and six yards, the gun consistently delivered sub 3-inch groups, thanks mainly to one or two fliers. One group measured 2 inches.

So, if you think that 4 inches less barrel means a shot spread similar to a blunderbuss, think again. This isn’t a spray and pray gun. You will need to aim this boomstick if you want hits. Hence the laser.

While this isn’t a formal review, at first blush, this Mossberg will provide you with lots of grins. At the same time, it should also serve faithfully as a relatively compact, controllable and highly effective home-defense tool.

Tell your significant other to have Santa put one under the Christmas tree for you.

If you can wait that long.

39 Responses to Anniversary Present: Tricking Out My Mossberg Shockwave

  1. Cabella’s sells Herter’s Mini-Buckshot (2 1/4″, 00 buck, 6 pellet) shells, which don’t need any special adapters and cycle reliably in my Mossbergs. Low recoil, 1250fps, 3/4 oz lead. WHat’s not to like?

    • Thanks for the info. I’m not on the shockwave bandwagon, but have a 18″ with birdshead, and the low recoil loads are the way to go. I’ll hunt for the Herter’s.

  2. You know, every time I see these I am reminded of those old door-breaching shotguns. What were they called, the Masterkey?

    • “Knock, knock!!!”
      (sigh…) Y’know, I really didn’t WANT to want one of these… but all this excitement about them is a bit contagious.

      • Agreed. You know it will serve absolutely no purpose other than to put a smile on your face but sometimes you just have to buy yourself a toy and not worry about stocking up for the apocalypse.

        This is one of those toys you don’t tell your buddies about until you all go to the range and after you have finished tweeting it with a laser or flashlight and other goodies like one of those still muzzlebrakes

        • It’s never wrong to buy yourself a new range toy.

          I see this as a single purpose gun, outside of the toy bit. It might be close to perfect as a house gun.

      • Exactly the same thing I’m thinking brother. I said when they first came out I said oh those are pretty cool pretty neat but I really don’t need one I’ve got a 590 A1 SPX and I’ve got a 930 breacher and I was just like I just kind of a toy and tell my buddy shows up at my house with the Marine coated one like the Marine coating that Mossberg uses on their 590 series shotguns and he’s like look what my wife bought me for our anniversary which is very funny because it’s like the same story this fella riding the blog had happened to him. He just became a father for the second time and this was like a special deal she got him for their anniversary Slash new baby father gift. And I didn’t want one until I shot his and now I’m like I think I’m going to buy one LOL.

  3. Hmm, this might be the best use case for a laser I have seen yet. I always found lasers on handguns distracting, but it makes perfect sense when it becomes your sole aim method because you are firing from the hip.

  4. Mossberg and Remington had nothing to do with developing the Raptor Grip. That credit goes to Shockwave Technologies, who also created the Raptor Lug so you could create your own non-shotgun:

    https://shockwavetechnologies.com/site/product/raptor-grip-for-mossberg-500/

    https://shockwavetechnologies.com/site/product/raptor-lug-for-mossberg-500/

    Read the fine print carefully. Chopping down an 18″ barrel and building your own requires that the “firearm” have left the factory with a pistol grip, called a pistol-grip-only (PGO). Additionally, that legal jargon applies to federal law but may not fit your individual state laws. For example, TX just recently confirmed to federal law concerning the definition of an SBS, a nicety considering that Mossberg produces the Mav88 in Eagle Pass, TX.

    I built one and enjoy the clean look of the Raptor Lug, but if I were to do it again I’d just buy a factory Shockwave model.

  5. I’ve shot mine from the “conventional” position and had nary a snack. I’ve also not had feeding problems with the Aguila minis. I did discover that even the 7 1/2 shot minis blow through 2 pieces of sheet rock at 7 yards, so that has altered my thoughts on adding this to my home defense plan. 8~(

  6. If you have a home defense shotgun and haven’t practiced shooting from the hip, you should. You’ll be surprised how accurately you can hit a 10-yard target using that technique, and as John says, it makes the recoil very easy to deal with.

    Shooting from the hip, ringing steel with full-power 00 Buckshot will put a smile on your face every time! I think I’ll stock up on 00 Buck this week and use it for some ballistic therapy this weekend.

    • It takes practice. I’ve only had one session my Shockwave, so far, and I couldn’t hit shit from the hip at 10 yards. I tend to aim way high. I was just having fun. I’ll get more serious about it next time.

      • Same problem here – a full length shotgun gives you the weight that let’s you project an imaginary super long barrel that can be used for point-shooting effectively, but these light-weight short shotguns just don’t work that way. I was having to aim extremely low to hit anything, as well.

      • Why are you shooting from your hip? That is not the correct way to shoot a gun like this as far as I know. That’s the hollywood way so of course you can’t hit anything.

        Stand in a boxers stance. Bring it up to your chest right above about your abdominal area. Tilt the shotgun slightly, top to your left. Use the grip end tightly against your forearm and do a bit of a push pull technique with your hands. Level gun parallel to the floor. Shoot…..

        That’s the way I learned to shoot a shotgun unless you have a pistol grip. Or you are shooting from your shoulder and aiming.

  7. Did you have to bend the 500 light mount? GGG told me to wait until the Shockwave version came out as the 500 version (linked) wouldn’t fit.

  8. The heck with all that. All a Shockwave needs is a scabbard. Bare-bones, as is. And you can’t slip it in and out a scabbard with all kinds of shit hanging off of it.

    • Agreed. You know it will serve absolutely no purpose other than to put a smile on your face but sometimes you just have to buy yourself a toy and not worry about stocking up for the apocalypse.

      This is one of those toys you don’t tell your buddies about until you all go to the range and after you have finished tweeting it with a laser or flashlight and other goodies like one of those still muzzlebrakes

      • I disagree – at 10-15 yards, the bone-stock Shockwave is a nightmare to try to hit things with. The lack of length means you don’t get the long broom-handle weighty feel of a nice 30″ bbl shotgun and it is extremely tough the sight down the tube or hip fire. It truly benefits from a cheap laser.

        The first time I took it out shooting, I was shooting on a waist-up silhouette target and had to essentially point shoot at what would have been the silhouette’s sneakers to get shoulder hits with 00 buck.

        One cheap de-focused green laser later (not mentioning the brand… but there aren’t many de-focused laser options out there), I’m putting softball sized holes exactly where I want them at 10-15 yds which makes for a nice bed-side gun (in a scabbard, of course).

  9. Got mine last week. Am thinking about a scabbard for my easy chair and/or a single point sling.

    I just had to have one while I could. Have a shell holder for it but am having a hard time with the cost of a good laser. Probably remain a bare bones “howdy” gun.

    Mini shells seem to be sold out most places so for now it is standard length shells.

    • Alright… I said I wasn’t gonna mention the laser I bought, but the UTG Aiming Bull on a standard top rail is perfect for this gun. CR123 batteries rather than coin cells, rear-facing switch positioned near the safety, and a de-focused green dot that covers about 4-6 inches at 10-15 yds. Got mine on sale for $75 and considering the only other de-focusing laser I know of is the Steiner OTAL-A at $1000, I’m pretty happy with the setup.

      • The LaserLyte Center Mass projects 9 laser dots (1 center ringed by 8). The dots spread out faster than the defocusing lasers and are supposed to approximate the shotgun pattern.

    • you are going to be waiting for a long time.

      The fact that it is a pump action, and therefore requires a two hand grip to operate, is what makes it a stamp-free firearm, instead of something more regulated. I think this delineation was confirmed when the KelTec KSG and the Black Aces Firearm came into being

  10. It’s amazing how this has all of a sudden become a thing when only a few months ago you would get panned for having a pistol grip shotty because they’re completely impractical or some nonsense… Which they’re not. Put a laser on it and the they’re exceptional CQC devices. I’m not knocking it, but i’m just wondering where all those people crawled off to.

    • To answer: I’d wager they weren’t knocking the concept as much as they were offended with the additional taxes/paperwork/rectal exams required to own one before.

  11. I’ve owned a pistol gripped 18” barrel 870 in one form or another for decades, throw a laser/light on them and you’re good to go.

  12. Funny that Mossberg coated just the aluminum receiver. Save your money on lasers and learn to shoot the gun. Just because someone else tells you not to shoot a gun a certain way doesn’t make it gospel, in this case. The bead sight works perfectly well in a semi traditional stance. You just don’t hold it right next to your face. I don’t think this is just a fun gun either, but it sure fits the bill. I use it for a boat/woods gun and it works great for the purpose.

  13. You aren’t going to “eat the gun” by throwing it up in front of you.
    I find myself shooting high, like a lot of people, with the shockwave.
    The easy fix would be to install a higher front bead, finding one does not seem easy.

    I’d like to install a laser or laser/flashlight combo, but clamping one on a rail atop the receiver
    seems like the least problematic solution, except that with the extra height on the top of the receiver,
    one would tend to shoot even higher than otherwise when not using the laser.

    I think eventually the marketplace will present a solution. I’ll just wait for the
    inevitable landslide of shockwave accessories which will hit the market in a few months.

    For now, a scabbard, some grip tape, and a shell carrier will suffice.

  14. Just a question, would the mini shells cycle if you dint fire them? Or only after you fired them?

    I;ve just got a couple of boxes of Aguilas mini shells and the Opsol mini clip, and although i havnt tried firing them yet both my 500 and 590 cycle and eject the rounds no problems. Looking forward to testing them but i have some trail maintenance to do before then.

    Seems odd the problem you had. Cycling but not ejecting while normal sized shells worked. Makes me wonder what the issue really was….

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