Mossberg Shockwave: TTAG Readers’ Choice Best New Shotgun of 2017

I’m tempted to call shenanigans on this one. The Mossberg 590 shotgun has been on the market for years. It’s a good reliable safe choice for those who want a scattergun. This year, Mossberg decided to flip the bird to the ATF and release a shortened version of the firearm that (like the Franklin Armory XO-26) escapes the normal definitions of a “shotgun” without running afoul of the National Firearms Act. Nevertheless despite the fact that this is just a 590 that went on a diet, the readers have spoken. The Mossberg Shockwave is the 2017 TTAG Reader’s Choice for Best New Shotgun of 2017.


  1. avatar Madcapp says:

    That’s been all over gun sites like this so much in the last few weeks, I have to wonder how much money Mossberg is spreading around to push a product with no real value.

    1. avatar Lcsw says:

      You are kidding right?

      1. avatar Madcapp says:

        Not even remotely. A 5 shot firearm that you have to manually cycle between every shot is completely useless for anything other than a range toy. F/k a shotgun, you want to defend yourself?…A duty sized 9MM is a much smarter choice in ANY imaginable scenario. You’d probably suffer permanent hearing loss firing a shotgun inside a house too, Bill Geissele finally admitted defeat and got hearing aids as a result of 6 shots he fired from a .357 magnum without hearing protection when he was a 12…

        1. avatar Hank says:

          Maddcapp, According to you a duty sized 9mm is the most appropriate weapon for any situation ever that could possibly occur… OTHER than open carry. 😱

        2. avatar Madcapp says:

          I’m already seeing them all over Armslist, telling me that widespread buyers remorse set in real fast on the Shockwave. That’s all the justification I need.

        3. avatar Sam in Ohio says:

          Yep, all those 870s sitting in the racks of police cruisers must be horrible choices what with their 5 shot tubular magazines and manually operated actions.

          That said, I suspect owning a Shockwave loses a lot of charm after 5 shots.

        4. avatar Lcsw says:

          Mini shells and you got a nice home defense shotgun. Also firing nearly any gun indoors bigger than 380 has a high chance of permanent hearing damage. Even the 380 can mess hearing up.

        5. avatar Scott says:

          According to my quick search, a 12 gauge is 156db and a 9mm is 159.8db

        6. avatar Arc says:

          I’ve been in and out of shoot houses in the USMC. The cheapest ear plugs money can buy are the governments idea of hearing protection and even though they are issued out like candy, you are still getting damage. There will be at least half a dozen ranges where you inevitably lose them anyway. They fall out, get lost in bags, someone steals them, etc.

          I can attest to hearing loss from indoor shooting. Shooting a .308 out of the bedroom window is also ill-advised.

          The only thing hearing safe inside a house is probably a .22lr or smaller

      2. avatar ozzallos says:

        No, he’s not kidding. This product is a gimmick compared to a real pistol grip shotty. The only thing that grip anglebis good for is hip firing, which a standard cruiser grip will do just as well AND still allow you to sight down the barrel normally.

        Handled both. Not impressed by the shock in the least.

  2. avatar GRUMPY says:

    I shot about 50 shells with one a few weeks ago. Various loads. Fun for the range, but I’m not running out to get my own.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      What if I told you there is a Sig brace available for them that allows you to fire them from the shoulder?

      1. avatar GRUMPY says:

        At that point there is no real advantage over the Mossberg 500 that I already own.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Honestly most of my votes were just to support TTAG. I really don’t “get” the Shockwave either…

  4. avatar S says:

    I bet most voters never shot it. Otherwise, they would have picked something else.

    1. avatar TP says:

      The 20ga model is much more fun.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        I disagree. Get the 12 gauge and stick with reduced recoil loads or mini shells. Holds 8 is the tube.

    2. avatar DaveR says:

      “I bet most voters never shot it. Otherwise, they would have picked something else.”

      Whaaaaat? Internet people having opinions on a thing that they have no knowledge of??? Unbelievable!!!!

  5. avatar TP says:

    Awesome little shotthing.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      “Shotthing”, I love it.

  6. avatar GS650G says:

    Probably ok with birdshot but a mag load would be uncontrollable.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Not uncontrollable but no fun. I had to try it.

      1. avatar GRUMPY says:

        Me too. That was……..uncomfortable.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Mentioning “fun” made me think of Skeet murder. Maybe with mini shells, but I dunno if mini skeet loads are a player. Still, I suspect skeet shooting would be a blast with that thing.

    2. avatar Patrick Kydland says:

      I shoot 3″ Magnum hollow point slugs with no problem and I’m 48 yrs old with Arthritis. You guys (girls) need to grow a pair. The Shockwave is beyond your intellect.

  7. avatar WRH says:

    Giving the finger to the system is always worth a little cash.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      BINGO……exactly why I bought the Remington TAC-14.

      And the bonus, the anti’s won’t like them.

      1. avatar Mike says:

        Agree, that is why I bought my Mossberg shockwave, It is not a need, or want gun. Its because you can.

        How can it win the Shotgun award when it is not a Shotgun but a “firearm”

  8. avatar BLAMMO says:

    But it’s not a “shotgun”.

    Okay, I voted for it and I own one. Lots of fun to shoot, especially with mini and reduced recoil shells, and a helluva HD weapon.

  9. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    I think that its got some interesting uses when loaded with low recoil shells and fitted with a laser sight. Position the laser dot on the target, make a big boom happen. and repeat as necessary. What’s not to like? You can play out your Mad Max fantasies, defend or knock over 7-11s as you may see fit, and own a completely legal firearm that makes lots of anti gun heads explode. This one is on my list.

  10. avatar AFGus says:

    I’ll just stick with my Keltec KSG. More controllable with full 12 gauge loads, and holds more ammo.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      I like the KSG, but I want a shockwave too. I “made” one of these in high school out of a $90 Winchester 1200 I got at a pawn shop. Mine had a 18.5” barrel, and I had to duct tape the stock on because I cut through the bolt when I cut down the stock. 😡 But it was a lot of fun, easy to shoot from the hip, and the angle of the grip doesn’t break your wrist like a pistol grip does. I want one. It would make a great HD or “Ferguson” truck gun.

      To all those that “don’t get it”. So what? Welcome to America. 😉

  11. avatar TruthTellers says:

    Without the Sig Brace, this is overrated as hell, but with the Sig Brace, it may be the best Shotgun of 2017.

    Best overall gun of 2017 is the Ruger PC carbine.

    1. avatar mark s. says:

      I second your opinion on the return of an improved Ruger P carbine , and now with the Glock magazine capability , yes , hands down on a $500.00 Ruger 9mm carbine with a fairly good trigger .
      My second choice will be the Rock Island Armory X 22 ( 22 WMR ) pistol .

    2. avatar ozzallos says:

      Yes, that carbine that weighs as much as an AR. Points for breakdown and glock mags, but hardly gun of the year material.

  12. avatar Ogre says:

    I got a 12-ga Shockwave for home defense ($379 at a gun show), but I can see its value as a car gun (or a trail gun), too. Used with low-recoil shells or the short Aguila shells, it isn’t all that uncomfortable to shoot and packs one helluva punch. If one wants to use short Aguila slugs or buckshot shells, an adapter ($16 on Amazon) is necessary so they will cycle through the action. I think the Shockwave is a worthwhile addition to any battery. In 12 or 20 gauge.

  13. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    Meh. I have a Winchester 1897 circa 1941 and an LC Smith Field Grade. That’s all the shotgun I’ll ever need.

  14. avatar Rimfire says:

    The Taurus Judge, 2017 style.

    1. avatar Ed says:

      The Judge is actually a very stupid design…a .410 slug exits with the same velocity as a .380 round and buckshot out of one is a joke.
      The Shockwave, on the other hand is a handier version of a 590 suitable for an ATV, snowmobile, horse, behind a pickup truck seat or across a set of Motorcycle handlebars…for starters…
      If you don’t personally like it, thats cool…but a gimmicky turd revolver this AIN’T.

  15. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    All shotguns should have a stock, period. This thing is a toy and a political statement. Toys and political statements are fine, but they’re not serious weapons.

    1. avatar Shooter mcgavin says:

      Agreed…and where’s the love for the mossberg 500 persuader…7 plus 1 of 12 GA goodness…18.5 inch barrel and a stock…brilliant!!!

    2. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Sorry…12 gauge anything is pretty freakin serious.

      May not be my go-to defense weapon, nut i wouldnt feel unarmed if thats all i had.

  16. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Well obviously before the ill-convinced 68 GCA…And all the previous “anti-gangster/roaring 20’s ” early 20th century gun control horseshit…I do remember a friend of the family that had one of those similar 20’s -30″s short-barreled shotguns designed for home and apartment defense called the “Home Burglar Defense shotgun.” Because it was from a time before the Government declared itself an “Authoritarian based Police-State…” When the US Constitutional-Bill of Rights still ment something…And community policing didn’t mean getting pulled for a minor traffic stop by heavy-armed paramilitarized police commandos, or STASI with no regard for life ,liberty ,freedom, and the Pursuit of Happiness…Or the US Constitutional-Bill of Rights….Government still feared the wrath of the people, and people were still being represented in the halls of a free government. …Now you have this…Low information voters and “Marching Morons” *politically* afraid of products like this…Or preventing fellow Americans from exercising their 2nd amendment rights to be able to have the choice to purchase one…Like in states like my own that make it very difficult to impossible for a US citizen to purchase/own/posess/ carry, etc…Anything !!!

    1. avatar Steve S. says:

      While I have never heard of any firearm marketed as “Home Burglar Defense shotgun.”, shotguns with barrels less than 18″ or less than 26″ overall length have always been legal. While the GCA of 1968 had no effect on this, the NFA of 1934 did place a $200.00 tax on them and some states have prohibited them.

      1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        It wasn’t a pump action though….Here u go…
        Forgotten arms….

        1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

          Here’s some more info from Pinterest….

          What others are saying
          cool and unusual NFA firearms
          Ithaca auto burglar. The Autoburglar was sold as a home defense weapon in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The whipped-configuration weapon (so called because it was designed for people to “whip it out”) was originally manufactured in 20 gauge, but a number were made in 12 gauge (this is the version in the card). This weapon became illegal in 1934, when a specific law regulated the minimal accepted length for shotguns.

        2. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

          Why is my “clean” information comment flagged for moderation!? Have the Liberals,The DNC, or CNN…Taken over TTAGs ?!

        3. avatar Steve S. says:

          Ah, it was the “Auto & Burglar Gun” to which you refer (not “Home Burglar Defense shotgun.”). Under current ATF interpretation, that would be permitted as a “firearm” provided it never had a shoulder stock (was not made from a firearm that left the factory configured as a shotgun).

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Pretty sure the tax on an SBS is $5, not $200.

        1. avatar J. Simmons says:

          The Ithica Auto Burgler ( or for a more modern take on the idea, the Serbu Super Shorty), is NOT classified as a Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS henceforth), but rather as a Any Other Weapon (AOW henceforth). While a SBS (any firearm, fired from the shoulder, that is designed to shoot multiple pellets or slugs, having a barrel of less than 18″ and an overall length of less than 26″) requires a $200 NFA tax stamp just like a Short Barreled Rifle, Machine Gun, or Destructive Device an AOW ( any weapon that is designed in such as to not fall into recognized categories; smooth bore pistols, firearms designed to not be readily recognizable {cane guns, cell phone guns, pen guns, lipstick guns.} only requires a $5 NFA tax stamp.

  17. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Having owned and shot a pistol gripped short barreled shotgun my opinion on them is not user friendly in the real world. Better off with a shoulder stock. The short barrel has a place in close quarters.They look wicked though.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Pistol grip is not the same as the bird’s head grip. This shotthing has _vastly_ superior ergonomics compared to the classic street sweeper style pistol grip.

      1. avatar Steve S. says:

        My Street Sweeper has a folding butt stock.

  18. avatar Nakel says:

    I bought one for my wife for Christmas; she loves it! We fight over who gets to shoot it. She weighs 125# and has no trouble controlling it or shooting it accurately from the waist at home defense range. I put a Streamlight TLR4 laser & flashlight on it… 8 + 1 mini shells with 11 pellets of buckshot at about 1300 fps. (four #1 + seven #4.) I can hit 3 targets with it faster than I can with my P245. No need for a double tap LOL. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a serious home defense weapon is wrong. Just saying… If something goes bump in the night I’ll grab the shockwave over my .45.

  19. avatar Steve S. says:

    After reviewing this multiple videos including this one: , I came to the obvious conclusion that this is nothing more than a cool looking $320.00 range toy.

    For self-defense shotgun use, I will stick with my old pre-1968 (no serial number) Mossberg 500 with its 18″ barrel and my own 00 buck 3″ magnum loads (12 pellets).

    I would never risk my life with reduced power bird-shot loads or under-powered mini shells. Anything less than tall brass hulls is for target shooting where there is no danger the target can harm or kill you or your family. Study the ballistic tests and you will agree.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Steve, my understanding of the Aguila mini shells is they have the same muzzle velocity as a full length shell, with a reduced shot load, hence reduced recoil and noise. I have not seen any testing, though.

  20. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    I almost forgot about Active Self-Protection videos from YouTubes firearm/ self-defense community…Warning: Parental discretion is advised !!! So everyone says a short-barelled shotgun is ineffective…Ehhh…Well ask this guy about that….

    1. avatar Steve S. says:

      I do not think anyone thinks a short-barreled shotgun is ineffective. In the video you reference, the shooter has a shotgun with a long barrel and pistol grip. The problem with the Mossberg Shockwave is its limited capacity and inability to be shouldered. A great shoot from the hip Hollywood gun it is.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        @Steve S . They take the butt stocks of shotguns, then put buttstocks on pistols and it’s all better. Ironic ain’t it

  21. avatar kap says:

    actually #4 buck shot is more effective than #00, I wonder if all the short shotgun carrying Nam boys would agree with most of thoughts expressed here! I think not! how about real world experience instead of hyperbole spewing forth from the want a bees

    1. avatar Steve S. says:

      In fact, tests have shown that at moderate distances even #4 Buckshot lacks the necessary penetration to reach the vital organs.

      Only 0 Buck, 00 Buck, and 000 Buck penetrate enough to reach the vital organs especially when having to penetrate heavy clothing, sheet metal, drywall, plywood, and auto glass in ballistic gelatin tests.

      One such report can be found at which was preformed from an unknown (but presumably short) distance and does not take into consideration the effects clothing, weather, range, temperature, cover, or body structure.

      #4 buckshot is the absolute minimum pellet size acceptable for general tactical applications, and then only at close range. Unless you think you will have time to switch out to to larger shot ammo during a gunfight, better start loaded with adequate ammo to handle the largest variety of situations, especially heavy clothing and barrier if having to shoot through cover.

      1. avatar Patrick Kydland says:

        I disagree. Look into Federal Tactical LE 00Buckshot 8 pellet with flitecontrol wad 1124fps This is the round all law enforcement use in every shotgun as far as I’m aware and if not, they should be. It’s proven to put all 8 pellets within a 25 yrd distance at a 10 inch spread max and low enough velocity for reduced recoil and pellets stay in the body, not blow through and continue on. My Shockwave with those rounds have proven it to me that both the ammunition and firearm are top notch. A 12 gauge at close range will kill anything but birdshot will just piss off a drugged up intruder and #4Buckshot isn’t enough to stop something serious but the Federal Tactical rounds give a complete package.

    2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      actually #4 buck shot is more effective than #00

      Can you actually point to any empirical evidence of that?

      Box of Truth disagrees:

  22. avatar Frank creek says:

    Owning a Mossberg shockwave,I can tell you first-hand, most if not all the nay Sayers here have never run the range with one ever. Neither my wife, mother in law, or sister in law, have any trouble handling the shockwave. Even when loaded with 2 3/4 OO the birds head grip really alters the way recoil enters the body. So you guys saying they are hard to handle, stop letting your wives carry the milk in from the car after a trip to the store, you need the work out.

    1. avatar H says:

      I am still laughing!

    2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      They’re probably the same ones who think .38 +P in a Ruger LCR is “punishing.”

      But still, I want a stock on my shotgun. I just do. 🙂

    3. avatar Patrick Kydland says:

      Nice comment lol I agree 100% The raptor grip and technique in shooting the shockwave make it as effective and easy to shoot as a stock imo.

  23. avatar Dcj says:

    Finding the mini shells is a bit worse than finding .22s a few years ago.

  24. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    What the Shockwave is best for is your Max Max roleplay.

  25. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    If it were available in my state…(Like the 2nd Amendment…) At $300., I’d purchase one! If I had a choice…Like waiting for restoration of 2Nd Amendment rights in Massachusetts….

  26. avatar Patrick Kydland says:

    I own one and if you know how to handle weapons at all, this firearm is a kick ass beast. There are a few ways to shoot it. The best is the “push out” method and the firearm is very acurate for a 14″ barrel with the right ammo/load. I shoot 3 inch magnum HP slugs all the time. It’s not useless by any means. It’s perfect for being a truck gun,in a backpack out hiking/camping,bug out weapon. As far as self defense goes, it’s the biggest hand cannon you can get. Using it for home defense is questionable for the normal person. Everyone talks about damage to ears if used in home defense. Seriously? Any weapon fired in self defense inside of a home is going to damage your ears….what’s more important here is eliminating the treat immediately before the treat eliminates you. Dead….or alive and deaf,your choice. Yes, the Shockwave would be beyond loud if fired inside of a home but main damage to a person’s hearing would be the same as any of your home defense weapons. Mine is my S&W .357 686 4″ barrel. I live in Montana and we are an open carry state and makes my Shockwave very useful for me besides a great range toy. It’s the funnest weapon I’ve ever shot.

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