Gun Review: Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Over/Under Shotgun

Think of those classic old photos you’ve seen of hunters in a South Dakota upland field in search of pheasant. They usually were carrying a break action shotgun, box-lock over/under or side-by-side. Those iconic scenes made other hunters want their own double gun, either for pheasant, ducks, sporting clays or skeet.

The problem was, the biggest cost in producing a shotgun is in the barrel(s) and a decent over/under or side-by-side field gun cost more than a lot of hunters wanted or were willing to spend. That situation led to a lot of gun makers sourcing much more affordable shotguns from overseas, usually Turkey. Enter O.F. Mossberg & Sons’ introduction of their Turkish-made Mossberg International Silver Reserve series back in 2013.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

The line has been improved and expanded since it was first rolled out to include both field and sporting models in all four popular gauges and barrel lengths from 26 to 32 inches. They also offer a Bantam model for kids or smaller-frame shooters. All but one come with five-choke sets and Mossy even offers a couple of two-barrel packages; a 12/20 option and a 20/28 pair. Mine is the Silver Reserve II Field model with 28-inch tubes and extractors.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

The Silver Reserve II is chambered for three-inch shells and the slim aluminum box-lock receiver is engraved with scrolling for a classic look.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

Mossberg has jeweled the monoblock and equips all of its field guns with extractors (the sport models have ejectors). For me, that’s a  plus as I don’t have to chase my empties. Your mileage may vary.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

There’s a combination barrel selector and safety switch on the tang, which is common on most over/under shotguns.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

Happily, the safety isn’t automatic. Some makers design a safety that engages every time the shotgun is broken open. In my experience, that results in a lot of missed birds. I’d rather be responsible for engaging and disengaging my own safety.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

The Silver Reserve II has a checkered back walnut stock and fore end. The checkering isn’t aggressive, but provides the shooter with a solid enough grip on the gun. There’s a slim rubber butt pad that doesn’t snag when mounting the shotgun.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

The wood-to-metal joins are clean and reasonably even, probably better than you’d expect in a budget priced over/under like this.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

The Silver Reserve II’s chambers and barrels are chrome-lined.

I took the Silver Reserve II out and put a variety of loads through it. The 7.5 pound gun mounts easily, swings smoothly, tracks naturally and busts clays whenever I do my job of putting the bead on the (clay) bird. In short the Silver Reserve II Field model gives the average shooter an outstanding value in a full-featured shotgun that will do a variety of jobs and look good doing it.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Shotgun Review

Specifications: Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field

Gauge: 12
Chamber: 3 inches
Barrel finish: Blued steel
Stock Finish: Satin black walnut
Barrel Type: Vent Rib
Barrel Length: 28 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Overall length: 45 inches
LOP: 14 inches
Chokes: Field set of five
MSRP: $773 (widely available for under $600)

Ratings (Out of five stars)

Style: * * * * *
This is an affordable over/under that features attractive scroll work on its silver receiver with nicely blued barrels. The black walnut stock looks good and the overall effect is stylish. The Silver Reserve II looks like it costs more than it does.

Ergonomics: * * * *
The checkering isn’t deep, but it works. The Silver Reserve II’s 14-inch length of pull might be a tad short for some larger shooters, but you can always shim the rubber but pad to add some length. At 7.5 pounds, the shotgun has enough heft to absorb some recoil while being light enough to carry in the field all day.

Build Quality: * * * *
Very good, especially for the price point. The finish on the walnut stock is smooth with a nice sheen. Bluing is even and un-blemished. The wood-to-metal joins aren’t sloppy or uneven.

Reliability and Accuracy: * * * * *
An over/under is kinda like a bolt action rifle. While it’s possible for something to go wrong, it rarely does. The Silver Reserve II reliably powdered everything I pointed it at. And with minimal cleaning and maintenance, I expect it to keep doing that.

Overall: * * * *
The Silver Reserve II field gun is a pleasure to shoot. After shooting semi-autos for years, I’d forgotten how much I like an over/under. The classic silver scrolled receiver looks good in contrast to those blued barrels and puts a reliable, attractive over/under within reach of just about any shooter.

comments

  1. avatar billy-bob says:

    But only one star for amount of Creedmoor.

  2. avatar FedUp says:

    How does an auto safety result in missed birds?
    Is it common to wait to load the shotgun until the dog goes on point?

    1. Try one. You close the gun and the if the safety is auto-on, it’s easy to raise and pull while forgetting to flip off the safety every single time.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Yes, if you’re standing in place, load and shoot (like trap shooting), you can have missed clays from an auto safety, but I thought the author was talking about hunting. If he was talking about experiencing many missed clays, then that makes more sense.

        When hunting, I get to the field where birds are suspected to be, load and safe the shotgun, and send the dogs out. Doesn’t really matter if I put the safety on or the gun does it for me, but I’d still prefer the gun not try to do my thinking for me.

        1. avatar Mark H says:

          Think dove hunting, when they are coming in fast. Many times they come in clusters. Very easy to miss a bird when trying to quickly reload after dropping one or two.

      2. avatar RA-15 says:

        Right you are Dan , been there , done that.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I had a savage 330 with auto safety and I had it disabled. I don’t see the need for a safety button on a gun you carry open until ready to shoot.
      I used mine for trap and a few times missed clays because the safety was on

  3. avatar Ironhead says:

    No creedmoor option?

    1. avatar Kat Ainsworth says:

      Funny thing about shotguns and Creedmoor…

  4. avatar Rob says:

    I had one of these mossberg OUs a few years back. It was the cheap model with black poly furniture. A firing pin broke. It took mossberg 4 months to get a replacement from Turkey. My interactions with mossberg were not great. Hopefully the supply issue is resolved and their cs team found some pms meds.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      There are no meds for menopause. Short of a headstone.

  5. avatar SurfGW says:

    Definitely looks nice and is affordable but these and the Ruger 9mm rifles are impossible to find in California because they get snapped up quickly. Wish I could see one in a store.

    1. avatar RA-15 says:

      I just picked up my pc9 takedown from my guy at S&S gunshop , in Auburn N.Y. for $519.00 link to website sandsgunsales.com they are good people , I went to a gun sale this past week in Cortland N.Y. they were selling for $725.00 I believe msrp is around $600.00 don’t get ripped off. BTW I love it. Great rifle fits in original 10/22 takedown bag my 50 yr anniversary came in. It also has a drop in glock mag block for those with glock handguns.

  6. avatar 33Charlemagne says:

    Is there a steel insert in that aluminum receiver? I wouldn’t like to think of an aluminum to steel lock up!

  7. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Wow that’s purdy

    1. avatar RocketScientist says:

      No man, if that was a Purdey you’d have to add a handful of zeros before the decimal to that price tag. 🙂

  8. avatar jwm says:

    7.5 pounds. This is a small, but real, problem. My mossberg 500 weighs in at 7 pounds. Weight is a factor in day long hunts over rough ground. Especially if you are past 60. There are times I hunt with my Single shots because I know the terrain and the distances and my single pipes are easier to carry.

    Mossberg called it right using aluminum for their smooth bores.

    1. avatar SKP5885 says:

      Seriously? If I am concerned about an extra 1/2 lbs on a hunt, my trick is to drink an extra cup of coffee in the morning and take a larger shit before I go out. I am a big guy so YMMV.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Great price on a good looking O/U.
    Bonus, that’s a good looking dog.

  10. avatar dragos111 says:

    I had a very good experience with Mossberg a few years back. My son’s youth model 20 ga. shotgun lost a spring under the safety switch (loose screw). I sent it back to Mossberg as the local gunsmith was not able to get the spring any time soon.

    I got the shotgun back in two weeks. Not only did they replace the spring, but they replaced the stock as well. (I had cut it down for my son when he was only 9. They put on a brand new stock!) They did all the work and charged $0 for it.

    Now that is customer service!

  11. avatar JasonM says:

    Does this come from the same company that builds the CZ OUs? I know those come from Turkey.

    1. avatar Mark H says:

      Mossbergs are made my Kyhan, CZ’s by Huglu.

  12. avatar Mark H says:

    I have one of these in 20 that I use for dove and quail. Great field gun. Love the extractors instead of ejectors. One of the reasons I use a break action is so I do NOT have to chase my hulls all over the place.

    One issue with them is they have a “gravity safety” (pendulum) so it won’t fire if the barrels are depressed more than around 40 degrees. Not the sort of thing you want when hunting in an area with active rattle snakes.

    I ended up taking it apart and supergluing the pendulum in the rear position.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      In many extractor guns, you can easily disable the ejectors by pulling the trip rods out of the action. Tape them together and toss them into the stock screw bore before you put the recoil pad back on for safekeeping.

  13. avatar Greg says:

    I heard the triggers on these are super sloppy, can anybody attest to that?

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