A few weeks back, I picked up a Mossberg 590A1, with some uncertain plans for performing some upgrades to the shotgun. Taking a cue from TSLRF's Project 870 (Thanks Ryan!), I thought I would let the T-Blog Tribe follow along as I went through the upgrades--and some trial/error--to the 590A1.
The 590A1 is, of course, an already upgraded version of the popular Mossberg 500. The 590A1 is the heavy-duty, milspec version of the 500, with all metal parts, a thicker barrel and a different magazine tube--the mag tube opens at the end, facilitating cleaning. Parts between the 590A1 and other 500 series shotguns are largely interchangeable; if you've got a 500 or 590 (or Maverick--I'm pretty sure those are patterned after the 500), you'll be able to follow along, too.
The 590A1 is probably needlessly heavy duty for most uses--the thick walled barrel especially--and is noticeably heavier than a standard 500. But, for rough use and dependability, the hard-use components are a good thing--the 590A1 was designed for military use and has served successfully with various branches of the military. For apocalyptic mutant zombie biker slaying, why the heck not go with the toughest thing out there?
Why a shotgun at all? Well, I'm a rifle dude first and foremost, but, let's face it, every arsenal needs a 12 gauge pump. Mine was lacking one, so I figured I might as well fill that hole in style. 12 gauge is super versatile, super common (as in you can still find it in stock!) and devastatingly effective in combat with the right loads. And, it was a weapon system that I was not particularly familiar with, and I was up or gaining some skills on a new platform.
Why choose the 590A1 over another design? To me, the Mossberg 500 series and Remington's 870 are largely interchangeable in terms of quality and ruggedness. I like the location of the Mossberg's controls a bit better, I like the look better, and, they tend to be easier to find in full-on combat configuration. Yes, I wanted a bayonet lug, 'cuz every end of the world shotgun needs to have that capability. So Mossberg it was.
My 590A1 is a 20" model--a bit long, but it also bestows the wielder with a full 8+1 shell capacity. Nine rounds of double aught buck is nothing to sneeze at.
Clearly, this ain't a duck gun. I shot some skeet with it on its first outing, and, well, the short-ish barrel and cylinder bore aren't the best combo for knocking clays out of the sky.
Naa, this is an evil-slaying black shotgun, amigos. And, over the course of this series, we're going to crank up is evil-slaying capabilities a couple notches.
Home defense? Of course. Go-to for ban states? Yep. Last stand against the undead? That too.
Ya, we're going to have a bit of fun with this one. Stay tuned for more.