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Mossberg 12-Gauge 590 Shockwave

Mossberg Shockwave Product Tests

Now this is fun! I've been shooting the new Mossberg Shockwave every time I can for the last 3 weeks and frankly, I don't remember the last time I had so much fun with a new gun. In the event that you're not familiar with this new gun, this will tell you more about it:

This 12GA offers legendary Mossberg pump-action reliability in a compact 14” barreled package.

The Shockwave Raptor bird’s head pistol grip is uniquely shaped to minimize felt recoil. Includes all the features that have made Mossberg pump-actions the choice for millions worldwide: ambidextrous safety, dual extractors, positive steel-to-steel lockup, twin action bars, and a smooth operating anti-jam elevator.

Classification of the 590 Shockwave

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives has confirmed the 590 Shockwave as a “firearm” per the Gun Control Act (GCA), but not a Class 3/NFA firearm.  Click here to read a copy of the letter from the BATFE regarding federal classification of the Shockwave, dated 3/2/2017).    NOTE: This letter only speaks to its FEDERAL status. There could be local/state laws that prohibit the sale of this gun in your state. Consult your State Police for clarification.  Just as with any other pistol grip firearm, the buyer must be 21 years of age, and be a resident of the state where s/he is purchasing it.

Those are the facts but putting the Shockwave in your hands is really what it's all about. It just feels good in the hands, points naturally from the hip and can cycle all 2.75" and 3" shells. As I learned, it can also reliably cycle some shorter shells as well.

I called my friend Jay Menefee at Polywad, Inc, and asked him to send me a box of his Vintager shotshells. These 2.5" shells have 7/8 oz. of shot and are primarily designed for use in guns with shorter chambers. I also had a few of his 2" Vintagers and DoubleWides and I wanted to try all of them to see if they'd reliably feed through the Shockwave.

I had a few boxes of Hevi-Duty shells from Hevi-Shot. These 2.75" shells have 30 pellets of #4 frangible buckshot. (They are also available with 9 pellets of 00 buckshot.) I've shot these shells many times and published a "Product Test" article on them previously. They are low recoil and really allow you to get back on target quickly. As a home defense load they are very hard to beat.

I was able to load 6 of the 2" Vintagers in the magazine and with one in the chamber, it became a "7 shooter" very quickly. I was also able to cycle all shells into the chamber as quickly as I could work the slide. The same was true with the 2.5" shells. They were very pleasant to shoot.

Next, I loaded 5 of the Hevi-Duty shells in the magazine and 1 in the chamber, fired and cycled each as quickly as possible with no failures. What you begin to notice is just how well designed this gun really is. Due to the design of the Raptor pistol grip and the fact that you hold this gun at hip level, there's no recoil transmitted to the body. The Shockwave simply moves back and as you cycle the action, it's ready for another shot.

Since the Shockwave is drilled and tapped, I just had to see how a laser sight would work on it. The Truglo Micro-Tac was my choice due to its very light weight, compact size and reliability. Once the base was installed, installation of the Micro-Tac took literally seconds. A range evaluation found that the Shockwave shot "straight down the middle" with the sight as it did prior to its installation. The Micro-Tac sight adds another desirable feature to the Shockwave without adding bulk and that red dot on the target can really send a message.

One important feature of the Shockwave is the strap on the forend. It keeps your support hand away from the muzzle and aids in very quick cycling of the action. It fit my hand perfectly. For a shooter with smaller hands, it may need some adjustment however.

The Shockwave is a real eye catcher. Every time I took it to the range there were always shooters who'd want to see it but some were a bit reluctant to shoot it, until I showed them the real lack of felt recoil and the ability to put and keep it on target. One shot and they were convinced!

This is just a great gun. It's fun to shoot and that helps promote familiarity and confidence in both the Shockwave and the ability to shoot it well. That is really important when you are working with a gun designed primarily for home defense.

I know that I have stressed the "fun" aspect of shooting the Shockwave in this "Product Test"  article and it is fun but it's also a very powerful personal and home defense gun. The very sight of it by any would-be perpetrator should be enough to discourage him.

Being able to fire 6 full power 12 gauge shells, in a controlled manner with such a compact gun, that's fun to shoot, what's not to like?

To learn more about the Shockwave and other Mossberg products, please visit








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