The Mossberg 590 shotgun is part of a series of Mossberg’s produced by O.F. Mossberg & Sons beginning in 1960.  All the shotguns within the 500 series basically utilize the same receiver and action but vary in a number of other areas such as bore size and magazine capacity.


The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has an incredible collection of Firearms and Ordnance in the museum.  The gallery houses a wide range of history dating back to the Revolutionary War and awes visitors as they realize the history and the power encased within.


Basic Features of the Mossberg 590

  • Originally – Single action bar
  • Since 1970 – Dual action bar
  • Single locking lug (large) secures the breech
  • Magazine tube positioned below the barrel/screws into receiver
  • Slide Release (left rear of trigger guard)
  • Safety (upper rear of receiver)
  • Interchangeable Barrel


On the Model 590, the magazines are intended to be opened at the muzzle end.  The actual barrel fits around the magazine tube and is held into place by a nut at the end.  This facilitates easier cleaning and parts replacement.  The safety and trigger guard on the Mossberg 590 is plastic and the barrel is standard.  The trigger and safety guard on the 590A1 Model is constructed using aluminum and the barrel is heavier to withstand the extreme, harsh conditions endured by the military (its intended user).  All barrels are easily removed and can be replaced by a variety of different barrels, which makes this shotgun ideal of a number of different purposes.


Specifications (Mossberg 500)

  • In Service:  1961 to present day
  • Designer:  Oscar Mossberg
  • Produced:  1960 to present day
  • Weight:  5.5 to 7.5 pounds
  • Overall Length:  Varies depending on the model
  • Barrel Length:  14 – 30 inches
  • Caliber(s):  12 and 20 gauge (or) .410 bore
  • Action:  Pump-action
  • Effective Range:  130 feet
  • Maximum Range:  165 feet/shot and 990 feet/slug


Categories and Models

The 500 series is often classified into two broader categories – field and special purpose.  The field models are set up and used for sporting and hunting and the Special purpose models are geared towards self-defense, police and/or military use and include the Law Enforcement models and the Home Security models.  Other models in the 500 series include the Bantam and Super Bantam, the Model 505, 510 and 590.  A number of variants have since been produced offering a wide variety of applications.


The Mossberg Model 590, as part of this series of rugged shotguns, though built to endure harsh, dirty environments is still relatively easy to clean and maintain.   They are used by a number of nations throughout the world including Bermuda, Iceland and Netherlands.  Currently the US Navy and US Army are known to use the Mossberg Model 590 A1 Shotgun.