Previous Post
Next Post

Mossberg has taken a page from Stoeger’s ‘Double Defense’ playbook with their ‘Thunder Ranch’ edition of the HS2 over-under shotgun. Whatever influence Clint Smith actually had on this design is unknown, but whoever designed it had a great idea when they ditched the automatic safety that plagues most double-barrels . . .

That’s right: when you close the barrels the gun is instantly ready to fire, without any fumbling with the safety button. You can select which barrel fires first, but it won’t make a difference since both tubes are cylinder-bored for speedy pattern dispersion.

It’s got extractors (not ejectors), two muzzle-mounted side rails for lights and lasers (or bayonets, Joe), a fiber-optic front sight and a Picatinny rail scope mount that serves double duty as a rear sight notch.

MSRP: $549.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. $550 for a shotgun that holds two rounds when I can get one with the same features that holds 6 for only $25 more… pass

    • Overunder/side-by-side shotguns cost more because of the two barrels and two trigger assemblies. I think two rounds is probably good enough in a typical home defense scenario but not for defending your store in a civil unrest situation. Mossberg probably had this weapon under development long before the current gun control craze but this will give them a marketing advantage in the states where semiautos and pump action guns are on the way out.

      • Unless three armed criminals break into your house. However, other than that tiny possibility I have to say good point. There is a customer for every product.

      • What do you think the third guy is going to do when you blow away his two partners? How many times does Robert have to post DGUs where the second or third guy bugs out when his budy gets shot before people understand that short of a full blown home invasion scenario the BGs don’t act like Rambo.

  2. Besides looking cool, what is the point of this gun? It does nothing a pump doesn’t do literally 3 times better as a home defense gun, and it doesn’t appear to be any good for trap or hunting either.

    It may be about the best a citizen of New York can get pretty soon.I guess there is that, sadly.

    • It does have two advantages over a pump, the action is shorter (thus the whole gun is shorter) and it will fire two rounds a lot faster then a pump but after that you better reload fast. I’ll still stick with my semi for the home/hunting.

    • I bought this gun as a brush gun. Recently a friend lost a deer in heavy thorny brush. Scoped rifles were no good. A short barreled shotgun would have worked great in this situation. No one had one and our rifles kept getting hung up.

  3. I don’t see a market for it unless some state decides to ban magazine tubes on all shotguns. Otherwise this may be one of the worst ideas for home defense I have ever seen.

    • Mossberg might know something we dont. The problem with what NY did is it will be a race to the bottom. MA, MD, CA, NJ, etc will all try to see who can be toughest on guns. I would hazard a guess one of those pink states ends up with a double barrel only law or something similar.

      This is a fight like we have never had before and we need to get it to the SCOTUS and shut this down ASAP.

    • Back in the seventies Beretta marketed a 20″ bbl O/U shotgun that didn’t sell well. Reason in my opinion: side by sides break open faster & with a shorter throw. That bottom barrel requires more travel.

    • The one huge win in a SxS or O/U shotgun is their reliability. When you absolutely need to shoot something, a double-barreled shotgun will get it done more reliably than just about anything else.

      This is because the lockwork is duplicated for each barrel. Break a firing pin? You have a second. Sear/Hammer screwed up? You have another. And so on.

      Sure, you have only two shots.

      But for all you shotgun noobs, here’s a clue I’ll rent you: There’s a reason why the big-money shotgun game (I mean trap) guys and gals overwhelmingly shoot double-barrel guns. It’s reliability. When there might be hundreds or thousands of dollars riding on a shot, there’s very few of these competitors that use a pump.

      There’s a second reason in the ability to have two chokes of different patterns, but that’s an aside.

      For the home defense situation, there’s a lot to be said for a double barrel gun with two triggers. If you positively, absolutely need something DRT, pulling both triggers at the same time with two loads of buckshot will give a result you can’t get with anything else.

    • It easy for the wife to load and check and see if it’s loaded. It weighs around 6 pounds, it breaks down to back pack and carry while camping. You can load 2 different types of ammo and switch with a flip of a switch. A slug and buck shot, buckshot and #8 for snakes and two legged varmints, what ever combo you may want. You could shoot a deer or a rabbit without ejecting a round and reloading. I can attach my eotech on top or a laser on one side and a flashlight on the other. 2 big shots and I still have my Glock .45 on my side. A nice trunk gun, camper gun, I can carry broken down on my motorcycle in a small backpack when off-roading. Both triggers are mechanicly operated so if one does not go bang the other will. Anymore questions about its use.

  4. If it came with a selection of chokes, it’d be a fun hunting shotty. I like the speed and handling of a 20 inch O/U, I like the ability to swap shells (Slugs to buck shot to bird shot) quickly and quietly in the field, I like not having to search for my hulls in the grass. However,.. with no chokes I guess I’m still saving for a Stoeger Outback…

  5. Why does it seem like all the “Combat” double barrels have extractors?

    I’d think that ejectors would be the prefered system, faster reloading and less fumbling to get the spent shells out of the chambers.

    • +1. I do like this one a lot more than the Stoeger tho. It is much more refined with reasonable rails and manageable foregrip.

      • Ejectors toss your empties out of the gun and over your shoulder. Extractors just lift the rim a little bit so you can pull them out with your fingers.

        Manufacturers say that ejectors are too expensive for lower-priced guns, but H&R put one in my very first gun (a 12-ga. single shot) which only cost $50. I await a satisfactory explanation of that…

        • 50 bucks! i found more than 1 at yard sales when I was a kid for 20 bucks. Once we had moved to town and I discovered paper routes there was no holding me back. I picked up a nickle plated top break smith and wesson .38 for 35 bucks at another yard sale. had to hide that one cause the old man wouldn’t allow a pistol in his house.

      • Ejectors just push the spent shells up so that you can pluck them out of the chambers.

        Ejectors kick them out.

        When you add ejectors to an O/U or SxS shotgun, you’re adding a large amount of complexity. There’s a whole ‘nother set of springs, sears and triggers in the forearm that are set off by a set of rods from the locks in the action that will fire the ejector for only the shell that’s had a hammer fall on it.

  6. It’s in the same category as the Mossberg 464 SPX for me: it’s stupid, but it’s awesome. That makes it stupid awesome, I suppose.

    I agree that ejectors would have been much better, but let’s face it: if you thought it was going to take more than two shots, you’d be using a pump or semi-auto.

    I’ll probably get one once they’ve banned all the other decent guns in MD.

  7. This was posted last night actually, but then taken down. I think this gun is completely pointless for people that live in free states.

  8. I like the idea of the Stoeger. But when I held one I hated it. Too heavy and it felt cheap. The wood looked crappy and unfinished. I like this idea. But for that price it should eject the rounds.

    • ? Really, I am a retired Swat medic and I like a double for the simplistic operation. Don’t insult people about their training when you know nothing about them.

  9. I am frankly amazed and angered by the number of defeatist comments here along the lines of “well, after they take all my other guns I can at least use one of these”. If you really believe that, then just turn in your guns now and get it over with. I mean, who needs a gun for self defense anyway, we have the police to protect us, right?

    As to the Mossberg shotgun, I agree with The Guy 09, it’s over priced for what you get. I see ad’s all the time in here in gun hater Crazyfornia for factory new 6-7 shot pump action shotguns like the Remington 870 priced at under $400.

    Couch Rambo’s who say 2 shots are enough probably have no real world experience with a DGU and should be ignored. Just as a hypothetical, what if you accidentally load the thing with bird shot, happen to miss your target, only wound the miscreant or get return fire? That two shot capacity won’t seem like much in those cases. The Mossberg doesn’t even have auto ejectors. Good luck fumbling in the dark for a reload with your terrified wife and daughter screaming in your ear. When your life is on the line more firepower is better than less fire power, just ask the cops who won’t get there in time to save you.

  10. I am actually interested in getting one of these, but around the web I’ve seen that the standard HS12 has a pendulum mechanism which prevents the gun firing when pointing down – does this have the same mechanism, or is the internet lying to me in the first place? Something simple and nimble like this would work out well for me, but since I’ll be using it to shoot nasties on my hilly land the chance of needing to take a shot while pointing down is quite high.

  11. I have had 2 barreled guns before. I like them but I like 2 triggers on them also. Small nit to pick, i know, but we all have our likes and dislikes.

  12. When we see the “Thunder Ranch” brand on anything, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Clint Smith had any hand in the design. It actually means “way overpriced.”

    • As fun as these doubles are (and yes, they are) I wouldn’t consider them anyone’s first or even second choice for defense. Pumps are so much more practical in slmost every way, and so much cheaper.

  13. I see a niche market for this gun. People who are not gun people, who only want to learn the basics of the gun they buy for an emergency moment. It’s short, its simple and even a rank beginner can figure the controls out.

    For those people this will likely be the only gun they buy and will only use it enough to know how to feed it. 2 quick shots of 12 bore are much better than harsh language.

    After all, can’t everbody be HSLD. Some folks just want the security of a reliable boomstick when the grid goes down.

    • Exactly.

      Too many gun people think that everything has to be HSLD. But there’s a whole lot of people out there who are new gun owners or potential gun owners who don’t want their lives to revolve around gun technology, or the merits of .45 vs. 9mm, or (insert pointless gun dogma argument here).

      They just want something that works if someone invades their home and threatens their safety.

      The recommendations of the HSLD and wanna-be’s confound, confuse and frustrate the “I just want a simple gun” folk out there in the market. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of these people out there. For every one of the tat’ed-up operators or wanna-be’s out there, there’s at least a half-dozen elderly women living alone who quietly want something that “just works.” They’re not going to be seen on a range in 5.11 gear. They’re not going to be seen on a range at all. They’re not going to tell anyone they own a gun. Their children, upon settling their estates, will likely be shocked that “Mom had a gun?! Holy crap! She never told us!”

      For ladies in this demographic (and others) I recommend a nice, easy to operate revolver for them. Revolvers are the original “point and click” interface. No slide to rack. No worries about short-stroking or limp-writing. They just work.

      Likewise, if these same ladies asked about a shotgun, this type of double gun might be a recommendation.

      • I know a white haired lady that has a colt police positive in her bedroom dresser. It belonged to her late husband and was the only gun that family ever owned. Once a year I swap out the loads in it for fresh and make sure rust hasn’t started on it. Neither her or her husband were gun people. He served in WW2 and when they got married he brought the gun home from the store for her cause he worked late hours. I doubt it has had a full box of shells fired thru it.

        I have a standing offer to her to give her fair market value on the gun when the time comes that she feels no more need for it.

  14. I have one. Its a great shottie. In a home defence situation my fn45 with blinding light does the job, but the shotgun is always ready. It and its stogger brother the double defence. The wife loves these things

  15. I use this double for coyotes and have had excellent results up to about 40yds using a #2 shot . I also do some trapping in the winter and it fits my pack fine and is not a chore to hump through the snow. I have a automatic 12 and for winter use or for that matter home defense I would use the Maverick. You think a BG is going to stick around with a 12 gauge blasting away ? The noise alone will have him/her leave a brown trail .

  16. After huntin with a single. Shot i went to a pump and a few autos. I shot a stoeger and bought the mossy o/u. So far so good

  17. Just bought the THUNDER RANCH bad ass little gun !!! Easy to reload,devestating power,and wouldn’t wanna be on wrong side of those 2 barrels..sorry all you haters..but this is a great gun !!!!!

  18. Don’t forget about the survival gun folk out there. rather than having a single shot of 1 style insert the ability to have a 12 gauge in the bottom and almost any other in the top with a scope mount makes for a very attractive option.

  19. The O/U is the answer for some people who intend it for home defense, and are not ‘gun people’. One must pattern the gun for the intended distances, select ammo for defense use, and train well to quickly reload the O/U. Home defense guns are usually not intended to fend off the entire ‘Screaming Skulls motorcycle gang’…just two or three intruders.
    The best parts of this O/U gun for the home defense role are the rails for a tactical light and the butt cuff allowing for a quick ‘grab and go’ if the need arises. One doesn’t have to get the TR version for this, but it s well configured for defense.
    Reloading quickly and having on board ammo supply is crucial with this type of defensive gun.
    Large capacity pump shotguns are good for home defense too, but only if one trains in their use(loading, unloading, not short-stroking the gun in an emergency), has onboard ammo supply, and a tactical light on the gun.

  20. There are plenty of markets outside the US where pumps are banned…Australia for one. These weapons are viable alternatives for markets such as these. Sure id prefer a pump but at the end of day id rather two rounds of 00 buck heading down range in quick succession than none at all.

  21. This gun is perfect for my 70 year old girl friend. I have a ton of guns (rifles, pistols (semi-autos and revolvers), shotguns, black powder, CF & RF) and a shooting range on my property. I reclaim all my lead for recasting. I do a ton of reloading. My 70 year old girl friend has shot all of my guns. Together, we put tens of thousands of rounds down range every year. She prefers the Ruger LCR (which she’s very proficient with) and this shotgun. Both have an extremely easy manual of arms (simple to operate), which she really, really likes. Ya just load m’ and shoot. No safeties, or hammers. Nothing to fumble with. Just pull the trigger and they goes – BANG – every time. Sure, I prefer my pump shotguns for home defense (and my Ruger GP100 over my autos for home defense), but this single trigger, double barrel shotgun definitely fills a niche. Reliability, reliability, reliability.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here