By Blaise Uriarte
The Mossberg 500 has gained a phenomenal reputation among sportsman and law enforcement as a rugged, reliable and inexpensive pump action shotgun. This is an example of the Persuader model with a 20 inch barrel, heat shield, fixed cylinder bore choke, a bead style front sight and an ATI adjustable stock. This weapon holds seven rounds in the tubular magazine and one in the chamber. Mechanically this is very similar to the military Mossberg 590 or 590A1. The 590 has a different magazine design, and features a bayonet lug which this model lacks.
The Mossberg 500 is available in about 5 different chamberings, but this one is the 12 gauge with a 3 inch chamber. The 12 gauge is the most widely available chambering of this weapon, and gives you the greatest variety of commercially loaded ammunition to choose from. This firearm was tested with a variety of ammunition both in 12 gauge 3inch magnum and standard 2 ¾ loads.
The Range Test
My personal preference is for the Winchester Mil Spec 9 pellet 00 buck rounds. I found the patterns to be pretty large at 15 yards
As you can see at 15 yards you cover the entirety of a silhouette. The Large holes are from two varieties of slug loads that were tested. We tried both 3 inch Winchester slugs and Winchester PDX1 “buck and ball” loads. With both loads I had no issue hitting where I was aiming.
This is a group of six slugs. You can see the effect of the Winchester PDX1 loads. The slug followed by 3 pellets of 00 buck shot is a formidable load. Recoil is not terrible with the 2 ¾ inch PDX1; however 3 inch magnum slugs can be harsh. With either load the weapon put the seven tenths of an inch diameter piece of lead right where I wanted it, save for one outlier.
I found the action to be very slick on this gun. This allows for very rapid follow up shots, and there were zero malfunctions which explains why this is one of the most popular guns in the country.
This is a relatively light, inexpensive, rugged and reliable platform. There is a wide variety of aftermarket parts and accessories for this weapon; making it easy and cheap to buy one of these and “trick it out”. Any 12 gauge gives you plentiful stocks of ammunition and a good variety as well. This having a three inch chamber increases the different types of rounds you can use, which is another plus.
The detractions of this weapon are the same general detractions of using a shotgun. Ammunition is heavy and bulky and the weapon is very loud. Both the action and the rounds are sure to attract attention from passing undead. The spread on this gun is another issue. I would prefer to have tighter patterns at 15 yards, so you have more force concentrated on your target. A gun with a tighter choke would give better patterns, and thus be more effective against the undead.
In all honesty no zombie preparedness kit is complete without a shotgun. When you are backed into a corner in faced with the undead there is no better tool to have than a good shotgun with plenty of ammo. The spread of this type of weapon makes it more likely for you to hit your target in adverse conditions, and the power of a 12 gauge just plain dominates close quarters battle. Additionally, your reach can be extended by utilizing slugs.
This weapon surely exceeds the minimum requirements of accuracy and reliability. In the fight against the undead I would definitely say that the bayonet lug available on the 590 models would be beneficial. I would also prefer ghost ring sights, but those are available as aftermarket parts.
Overall this is a good weapon for the undead. The large stocks of these throughout the nation insure parts availability. It will not fail and you can hit your target. Do not hesitate to add a Mossberg 500 to your arsenal against the undead, but you must train with it and become proficient with its use, just as with all firearms. As always stay vigilant and be prepared.