I recently reviewed the Mossberg Shockwave and found it to be lots of fun, but less practical than I would have liked. I found the Shockwave a little hard to aim effectively other than at the closest of distances. It seemed like the perfect candidate for the application of some technology. Namely, I figured that what the non-shotgun needed was a laser.
Having had a lot of good experience with Crimson Trace products, I reached out to them. They were kind enough to send me their red laser LS-250 Lasersaddle which fits Mossberg 500, 590 shotguns and the 590 Shockwave.
I was impressed at how rugged, but still lightweight the unit is. It adds no discernible weight to the Shockwave and very little bulk. The LS-250 comes with all the parts and tools necessary for installation and even some cleaning swabs for the laser’s lens surface. The instructions are detailed and well thought-out as is always the case with Crimson Trace products.
The Lasersaddle is mounted to the firearm by the four top receiver screw (the LS-250 will only mount to shotguns that are drilled and tapped) and a housing pin which replaces the trigger pin. If you want to mount a sidesaddle as well, the screw provided with the sidesaddle will secure both accessories simultaneously.
Hopefully, my trial and error experience will save you some time and expletives during your installation.
The Lasersaddle is, of course, adjustable for windage and elevation. The Shockwave is already very popular in the realm of home or self-defense and many owners will likely want to set their Lasersaddle for the median defensive range of their particular home.
That’s probably a good plan. If you want to use your Shockwave outside of very limited distances, consider the following.
There are two basic sighting principles when dealing with mechanical offset: point blank and parallel. Point blank range, contrary to popular belief, is the distance at which a particular firearm’s point of aim and point of impact meet; i.e., where the sights/optics are aligned. The point-blank method used in conjunction with a dual offset means the firearm will be perfectly aligned at a set range and increasingly misaligned as that distance grows.
With a parallel sighting setup, the gun is always misaligned by the same amount (less than an inch in this case) at any distance until the laws of relativity starts becoming a factor downrange.
With a platform like the AR-15, mechanical offset only affects elevation, known as a single offset. It’s relatively easy to train for this offset as the shooter only has one direction for which to compensate.
With many laser sighting systems, the offset affects both windage and elevation, a dual offset. The Lasersaddle/Shockwave combination’s offset is about 0.8” to the right of the center of the bore and about 0.1” above the center of the bore.
Having used a Crimson Trace grip laser quite a bit, I much prefer the parallel sighting method with dual offset systems. Choose whichever method that fits your needs.
The Lasersaddle has a master on/off switch. In the “off” position, the three activation points on the pressure switch along the right side of the unit can’t be inadvertently activated. There isn’t a momentary activation feature.
The laser is switched on or off by depressing one of the activation points on the right side of the gun. Right-handers will likely activate the laser with their trigger finger in one of the two forward activation areas. Lefties will be able to activate the laser by moving the strong thumb off the safety on top of the receiver and onto the rearmost activation area. I predict the right-brainers of the world will heart this item very much.
The Lasersaddle works extremely well indoors no matter the lighting. However laser sights, even high-quality units like this one, are only good for a limited distance in normal daylight.
As one would expect, bright sunlight makes the laser dot harder to pick up, especially at distance. The first priority at the range would be to find out how far the laser could be quickly picked up by these late middle-aged eyes.
The answer is 15-20 yards or so. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t see the dot any farther than that, but that’s the distance I could go from the ready to firing position and pick up the dot at the same time I could press the trigger.
The dot is visible from 30 yards and farther, but it takes the eye a few seconds to find it.
In the Shockwave review, I shot the buckshot version of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement shotgun qualification. The result wasn’t terrible, but not as well as I do with a traditional buttstock-equipped shotgun.
I wanted to try it again with the Lasersaddle/Shockwave combination. I used the pectoral index. The Laser makes quite the difference, as you can see above.
I skipped the two rounds at seven yards and only shot the 15-yard portion which is three rounds. That’s about as good a demonstration as you’ll get as to how much the Lasersaddle enhances the Shockwave’s usefulness as a defensive firearm. All pellets were centered exactly as aimed.
The Lasersaddle comes in red (LS-250) or green (LS-250G) laser models. Green is preferred by many because the eye recognizes it under a greater variety of circumstances than red. The review model is red and worked fine for my uses.
The LS-250 G requires more power as do all green laser sights for science-type reasons. Therefore, it needs four CR2016 batteries rather than the two required by the LS-250 red model to provide three hours of continuous use.
Don’t let the expense of batteries be a concern, though. The Lasersaddle qualifies for Crimson Trace’s Free Batteries for Life program. If you decide to go green, prepare to pay an additional $50. The LS-250G MSRP’s for $219.99 compared to $169.99 for the LS-250.
Specifications: Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
Laser color: Red (green available for $50 more)
Battery type: Four #2016 Lithium Batteries (free for life)
Battery life: 3 hours
Sighting: windage and elevation user adjustable
Dot size: .5″ at 50 feet
MSRP: $169 (found online for $159)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Enhancement Value * * * * *
The Lasersaddle greatly improves the practicality of the Shockwave as a defensive firearm. It’s all but a mandatory enhancement in my view. I have no doubt it will improve the results on standard buttstock shotguns, too.
Reliability * * * * *
Perfect. Crimson Trace has been making solid laser sighting systems for decades. This one is no exception.
Activation * * *
For lefties, the Lasersaddle is nearly perfect. For right handers, it’s about as good as possible.
Aesthetics * * * *
The Lasersaddle doesn’t detract from the kind-a ugly Shockwave. It may even add some eye appeal in a polymer kind of a way.
Overall * * * *
The Lasersaddle is an all-but-mandatory enhancement for the Mossberg Shockwave. It’s tough, lightweight and relatively easy to use. It’s also a great value for what the consumer gets. If you have a Shockwave, the Lasersaddle is highly recommended.