Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
(Warren Wilson for TTAG)
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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.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

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.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
Courtesy Crimson Trace


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.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

Sighting In

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.

Mechanical Offset 

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.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
(Warren Wilson for TTAG)


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.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle
Three rounds of Federal Vital Shok buckshot with Flitecontrol wads at 15 yards (Warren Wilson for TTAG)

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.


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  1. Putting a stock on it would be less expensive, more effective and just plain make more sense. Unless you’re in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

    • Unless you don’t particularly want to use an NFA item or a smoke pole the length of your leg for home defense

      • I should have said stock with legal barrel length. Of course, anyone with a brain bigger than BB shot knows a shotgun is for upland bird, waterfowl and turkey. Long gun? Rifle.

        • Shotguns are good for home defense if you literally have nothing else besides an old Civil War muzzleloader you have hanging on your wall as decoration.

          My personal hierarchy goes like this from worst to best.

          12ga pump gun
          Lever gun in big boy caliber (.357 and up)
          12ga tube fed semi-auto
          12ga magazine fed semi auto
          Compact pistol in big boy caliber (12+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Full size pistol in big boy caliber (17+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Suppressed full size pistol in big boy caliber (17+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Magazine fed battle rifle (10+ rounds of .308 or .30-06)
          Magazine fed semi-auto rifle in big boy caliber (20+ rounds of 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)
          Magazine fed SBR in big boy caliber (30+ rounds of 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)
          Suppressed Magazine fed SBR in big boy caliber (30+ rounds of suppressed 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)

    • Can’t do Dat Putting a stock on it would make it against some law, don’t make sense to me either. I had a 870Rem I cut the barrel back to about flush with the magazine tube nut. Put a pistol grip on it with a Tommy gun front grip. .. Nope. Took the pistol grip off and Tommy gun front, and put the stock back on it. What a snake killing sob that was

      • People talk about the $200 stamp like its a prohibition.

        If you think that a short barreled shotgun with a stock is the best tool for you, then step up to the plate and pay the $200.

  2. I couldn’t do worth a damn trying to aim a pistul grip shotgum, them sights would make the difference for sure, downside is the receiver needs tapped if not from the factory. ..Since moving in these low rents I’m pretty spooked about having to shooot somebody. These walls are thin, people all around. I’m looking hard at a Shockwave in .410,,,,$$$$ poor, might be awhile, does anyone want to buy a Coleman mini bike? All it needs is a ,,,,,,, , ,,. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,.,,

  3. CT really should have defocused the laser on this… I have a cheap-o rail mounted green laser on top that is defocused into a 4 inch dot at about 10 yds and it’s absolutely amazing for a shotgun like this.

    Just like a focused laser, it’s garbage in daylight.

      • Wicked Lasers has a lens for their Arctic series that makes the beam into a square pattern of like 16 dots. Works very well.

        Changing the color of this laser to a visible blue beam would probably also help with the ability to pick it up visually at distance too.

        • LaserLyte makes the Center Mass in red or green. It has a center dot inside a ring of 8 dots. It’s supposed to approximate the spread of the shotgun as distance gets larger .

        • LaserLyte MADE one. I bought one. Didn’t hold up and they sent me 2 replacements until I got one that seemed to work. Sat in my safe for 2 years before I took it out and it won’t turn on. Warranty is expired and since it is discontinued, they won’t even look at it for me.

        • I have the green Lasersaddle mounted on a Shockwave. It serves its purpose as a sight, day or night. The green laser is visible even in the bright Arizona sun. The green Lasersaddle requires 4 CR2016 batteries, supposedly offering up to three hours of ON-time.

          Lithium batteries are claimed to have ten-year shelf life. The Lasersaddle unfortunately drains the batteries. I can install a set of Energizer batteries and briefly turn them ON only once a week to check their status and they will be totally drained within about four weeks.

          Crimson Trace replaced the first Lasersaddle under warranty right away when I filed a claim and explained the problem. Now, when I have filed a warranty claim on the replacement sight, they have not responded beyond an “autoreply” message automatically establishing a claim number. After that, crickets, and no response to my queries.

          I currently am searching for E-mail addresses for Tobiassen, Danielson, and Wollander, the company’s listed top three executives. If I can reach any one or all three of them, maybe I can get a response… or, maybe not.

  4. I want to know what ammo you are using that is approaching lightspeed such that the laws of relativity come into effect. I think Newtonian gravity can explain drop well enough at shotgun velocities. 😉

    • Laser light has a very high ‘aspect ratio’, but it’s not infinite. Earth’s gravity very *slightly* bends the beamline down, the same way projectiles in flight drop.

      (Google “Einstein’s Cross” for an example of the phenomena…)

      • If you need to place a pellet that accurately, then a shotgun is the wrong tool for the job. I mean, I don’t have any calipers calibrated in angstroms.

  5. My model 500 with the 18.5″ barrel and standard stock is short enough for inside a house. See no reason to go to a stubby grip and lose all the natural pointing ability of a shoulder stock.

    If a laser sight was made at a high power level, visible in fullest sunlight, well then I’d be interested. But those are too “dangerous” for an outfit like CrimsonTrace to take a risk on.

  6. The FN PS-90 that my wife keeps for a housecleaning gun is far more accurate at close, middle and longer range.

  7. I have a maverick m88 with a pistol grip stock, and a full stock Mossberg m500, I have noticed the maverick is only about an inch longer than the shockwave and yet it has an 18 inch barrel. I can live with that inch.

    • The Shockwave, in order to be legal, needs to be 26″ long, so it’s gonna be in the same range lengthwise as an 18.5″ pistol grip shotgun.
      However, if you try both the pistol grip and the bird’s head grip, I think you’ll find the latter will be more comfortable than the pistol grip. IMO. YMMV. (I certainly did.)

  8. Quit your bitchin’ about price. it’s $139.43 on optics planet. if you can’t afford that you can’t afford a gun and ammo. Buy a $5 plastic flashlight at Wally World and duct tape it to your slingshot, Bucky.

      • LOL….

        “You don’t need to see his identification…..”

        “These are not the droids you’re looking for…..”

        “You will take me to see Jabba the Hut…..”

  9. Don’t even buy the gun. Next thing to useless. Defense? Handguns. Offense/defense? Rifle. Shotgun? Bird hunting.

    • The Shockwave is awesome I’m plenty accurate with mine and have one in all three calibers, compliments my other Mossys. Great fun to shoot. Selling like hot cakes. Highly recommended.

    • Just because YOU don’t like something doesn’t mean that it can’t be both pleasing and effective for folks who aren’t you. It’s essentially the same length as a Louisville Slugger; except it’s a shotgun. Plus, there are reliable options for making the capacity 10 rounds of buckshot and this laser makes it a breeze to shoot accurately. Not at all useless, in fact: the reason it’s selling like hotcakes is because it is quite useful for home defense. Most people are not dependent upon your opinion for what works for them. You should try and remember that before you pontificate. Embrace change, it’s the only way to growth.

      • Agree, it’s really one of the more popular and interesting innovations in firearms to come along in a while. All about that Raptor handle. My wife even shoots the 20 and .410, she’s nailed it. When i have people over to shoot, that’s what they all end up gravitating to. Shockwave ain’t going anywhere!

  10. I don’t post this enough.
    I bought my Crimson Trace laser grips for my Kimber Gold Match in 1999. They are still on that pistol.
    I screwed up the grips once – in the middle of then and now – being overly curious. Crimson trace fixed the sight for free. The diode is still bright.

    I don’t count on the laser, but having it available keeps it on my firearm. That’s 20 years.

    And, Crimson Trace rocks.

  11. If youre using buckshot do you really need a laser sighting system?
    Actually if youre using a short barrelled shotgun with any ammo is precision aiming needed?

    • As you will see from the included (above) photo, shotguns don’t do what you seem to think they do. They keep a relatively tight pattern at HD ranges, which I consider to be ~10 yards and less. (If your home has a firing lane of more than 30′, it’s a lot larger than mine.)
      Even without Flightcontrol ammo, at 10 yds I consistently get between 5-7″ spread. If I use “low recoil” loads, I can deduct about an inch. That’s with either 18.5″ or 20″ bbl. The extra 1.5″ means nothing in my patterning.
      I don’t have a 12ga Shockwave, but from what I’ve seen in reviews, the patterning is about the same, with maybe an inch larger patterns at 10 yards, depending on the review, which leads me to believe that the Shockwave pattern is close enough for government work for HD uses to the standard 18.5″ or 20″ bbls.

      • Big Bill, you are exactly right about shotgun patterning, and that the Shockwave patterns about the same as an 18.5″ open bore shotgun. I have experience with 18.5″ open bore and improved cylinder pump and semiauto shotguns, both in LE and civilian training. I have several defensive shotguns, including a Shockwave. The 18.5″ shotguns are fine for home defense, but I got the Shockwave for in-vehicle use when I travel the back roads of America. It sits in an open soft case next to my right leg and is thereby readily at hand in the event I encounter the need for self defense on a lonely road.

        I already have ruined my hearing many years ago when the military and federal LE agencies had no thought of hearing protection, as neither did I for many years thereafter. So, if I need to shoot from the vehicle I will do so without much concern for the future state of my hearing. I already have experienced that many years ago with a .357 magnum… brutal!

        At any rate, at my age I really am not capable of firing the Shockwave at eye level with any effectiveness, so am forced to fire it from a braced hip if I am standing. Without considerable and more or less regular practice, when I think I am hip aiming at the chest of an opponent at about 21 feet, I actually am firing at above and to the left of the target’s head. If I hip aim at the target’s right hip, about in line with the groin, I will hit the chest. I thought that the Shockwave would be much more effective with the Lasersaddle. And, it is, when the batteries are holding charge.

        The ON switches are difficult to find under duress and even more difficult to exactly locate to activate. I solved that issue by choosing the switch which is most naturally found by my finger and then applying a 1/8″ dot of 5 minute epoxy on top of the button. Now, my finger easily locates the exact position and the increase in elevation allows for easy activation.

        So, I like the Shockwave for its niche purpose and have found it effective on the range in a training situation and have found the green Lasersaddle to work quite well for sighting while shooting from the hip, but the only problem now is the Lasersaddle is effectively worthless because the two I have had both drain the batteries when it is sitting idle. I reckon I will have to junk the Lasersaddle and spend more range time working on effective hip shooting.

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