Mossberg Shockwave – A Little Gun with a Big Punch

Explore the Mossberg Shockwave, a compact firearm that delivers significant impact. Dive into its features, performance, and why it stands out in the world of tactical weapons. Discover how this little gun packs a big punch!

Old Company - New Innovation

     For over 100 years Mossberg has been a household name in the American firearms community, and their shotguns have a reputation as well-priced, well built, and solid designs used by civilians and law enforcement alike.  While Mossberg has built their reputation on their traditional shotgun designs like the Mossberg 500 and 590, when they introduced the Mossberg Shockwave, it proved that the company had some very interesting ideas about how to keep their market share of the home defense firearm industry.

     Before anything else, it’s important to define what exactly the Shockwave is, and is not.  Technically it is NOT a shotgun.  Even though it fires 12 gauge shotgun shells and is based on the Mossberg 590 action, because the receiver has never had a rifle stock attached to it, and the entire firearm length is over 26” it is considered neither a shotgun, nor a handgun.  Instead, it falls into a sort of grey area of “pistol grip firearms” or “other weapons.”  This allows you to buy one of these just like you would any other firearm, without having to deal with all the NFA (National Firearms Act) paperwork and waiting times associated with most short-barreled shotguns.  Obviously, you should never attach a rifle stock to this gun without proper ATF approval, otherwise you will be breaking the law.

     The Shockwave operates on the same principle as the Mossberg 590 shotgun.  It features the 590’s well known pump action with twin action bars and dual extractors, allowing for very positive extraction and feeding.  The Shockwave safety is the same safety Mossberg uses on many of their pump shotguns, a lever positioned on the upper rear of the receiver.  Given the Shockwave’s bird head grip, the safety position is actually very convenient for most shooters, and lends itself to rapid manipulation.

More Than a Six Shooter?

     The Shockwave’s capacity is 5 rounds held in an under barrel tubular magazine, with one round in the chamber, for a total of 6 rounds.  That’s
a pretty potent package for such a small firearm, and because of a feature with the design of the Shockwave’s shell lifter, that capacity can be even higher!  

      Mossberg shotguns use a uniquely designed shell lifter (that’s the piece that lifts the shell from the tubular magazine to the chamber), and because of this design a Shockwave owner can buy a simple drop in piece called a “mini shell adaptor” that allows use of 1.75” “mini” shotgun shells.  With mini shells and this adaptor, the capacity of the Shockwave is effectively doubled, and the recoil is massively tamed.  

What Does It All Mean?

      The Shockwave shines as a home defense or truck gun, but it does have its limitations.  Even though the receiver is drilled and tapped for easy mounting of a red dot, aiming is difficult since this is a fairly heavy gun with a heavy recoil.  The Shockwave comes standard with a hand strap around the fore-end, which helps the shooter keep control of the gun, but for the novice or unprepared shooter, the Shockwave’s recoil can be daunting.

There’s no denying that the Shockwave is a really innovative and interesting idea for a compact home defense shotgun.  It lets the regular shooter legally own a short barreled shotgun without dealing with NFA paperwork and wait times, and it is perfect for use in confined spaces.  Conversely, it can’t fill the role of a traditional stocked shotgun.  Either way, it is a well-made, reliable, and just plain cool gun that fills its niche very well. 

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