There I was, minding my own business, wandering through Big Box Outdoor Store looking at camping equipment. When suddenly I felt a tug, a pull, a call if you will, to the firearms department across the way.
I spied in front of me a new rack. Well technically it was a “used” rack. But the presence of this rack was new. I had not seen such a pre-owned rack in said Big Box store previously. Deciding to peruse this rack just for giggles, I found what it was that had been beckoning to me like a siren from across the store.
It was a compact Mossberg 500 20 gauge. Yes, I already own a “youth model” 20 gauge 500 from a pawnshop, but this was listed a a “500c”. Maybe it’s actually the same thing – I think they are both the Bantam – but that didn’t matter to me, because I’d been looking for another short LOP 20 gauge pump for a number of months without success. After my newfound revelation about the comfort of 20 gauge over 12 gauge last summer and fall, I decided that I needed a spare in case one of the offspring decided to join me on the clays field or on a hunt.
New Mossy 500 20 gauges always seemed to be out of stock wherever I looked last year. And when I found one in a pawnshop inventory on-line, it was purchased out from under me before I could get there. I had given up my quest and decided to be content with what I already had. Apparently the universe had other plans.
This gun was in excellent shape. There were a few minor cosmetic dings to the stock, but mechanically it seemed to be fine. It cycled smoothly and I couldn’t see any rust. I purchased it on the spot. Talk about an impulse buy. Admittedly I paid more at the Big Box Store than I would have at a pawnshop. But a shotgun in the hand is worth two in the bush – or something. Before I left the store I also bought a Hiviz fiber optic magnetic front sight in case I wanted to use it for more precision work. Plus, my aging eyesight can sometimes use some help when leading a bird on a cloudy day.
I think I surprised the gun counter clerk – because an unaccompanied female with a decidedly gray ponytail asked to handle a shotgun in the rack, shouldered and cycled it several times, visually inspected the action etc. and then announced on the spot, “I’ll take it”.
In contrast, while I was waiting for my paperwork to go through there was a young couple looking at handguns for the wife, but the husband did all the talking. She spoke to her husband, but her husband was the one interacting with the clerk. She and the clerk had no direct interaction. That was a whole other world to me. There are more and more of us women out here in the firearms world every day, but an aging female making an independent purchase is still apparently a bit of an anomaly – at least at this store.
I know that writing about a used firearm doesn’t advance the profits of the company – especially on a marketing website. But what I AM doing is extolling a longstanding product line. That can say something as well, can’t it? Mossberg first produced the 500 line in 1961. A product line that has persisted for more than 60 years and is listed as the “most produced shotgun of all time” cannot be a slouch.
As a result of its success, replacement parts for the Mossberg 500 abound. Purchasing parts still benefits the company, and I did indeed get online when I got home in order to purchase additional choke tubes, as this one only came with a modified. But the gun is in such good condition that additional parts were as yet unnecessary. I’ll decide later if I want extra doo-dads like a side saddle or something, but I am exceedingly pleased with this new acquisition and I’m going to take it clays shooting this weekend.
From the length of pull on this model, to the smoothness of the pump action, to the tang-mounted ambidextrous safety, to its affordability, to the model longevity and ease of parts acquisition, the Mossberg 500 is far and away my absolute favorite shotgun line, and I’m happy to have brought another one home to my gun safe family.
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