Racknload: Plastic Fantastic
To Magpul or not to Magpul; that is the question? RACKNLOAD gives an iconic shotgun a bit of a makeover!
So a few months ago I grabbed an absolute bargain from a local gun shop and paid £75 for a Section 1 Mossberg 500 9+1. Yep, the old and much-loved Mozzy Slugster complete with adjustable, Poly Choke that those old guys (like the Editor) shot Practical Shotgun with back in the 1980s; BARGAIN! I just could not resist and as I was purchasing it I was already thinking ‘project gun’ and decided it needed to lose its original beat up wooden furniture. But what was I going to replace it with? Well, that was obvious to me; the Magpul SGA stock and forend to be precise!
So why Magpul? Well, I love the look of the SGA butt for a start! It instantly turns a shotgun into a tactical beast! Especially in Magpul’s ‘Flat Dark Earth’ (FDE) colour! I knew it would just transform the look of the old Mozzy in this colour and it has certainly done that! Plus, Magpul really do produce some top quality products.
Who and why?
So let’s go it to some details, they will fit the Mossberg 500 and 590 models and are available in black or FDE and are fully ambidextrous, so let’s hear a ‘YAY!’ from the lefties out there! The furniture is made from a tough polymer that really does feel solid and not hollow. The rubber recoil pad feels really nice and is soft to the touch, certainly better than some I’ve seen, which can be too hard! The material gives good shoulder adhesion, aided by moulded-in cross slots and it really soaks up the kick too! Either side of the butt are sling mounting points, which is handy.
The pistol grip feels great in the hand and is very comfortable, though shows a more raked angle than the original Mossberg design, which gives more control. The front strap is cross slotted for added hold and the side’s textured too; looking closely, you see these are in fact tiny Magpul logos, very cool! Most practical is the fact that the butt comes with a series of spacers, so you can adjust the length of pull (LOP) to suit your dimensions. To adjust; loosen the screw in the side of the stock and the rubber recoil pad will slide out on its two protruding rods, you then just have to slide on the required amount of spacers for your LOP. I have fairly long arms, so all four went on.
Wood off plastic on
Also included is an Allen-headed bolt (Allen key included) to fit it to the receiver. The Magpul bolt (also supplied) is quite short, certainly when compared to the original and longer Mossberg version. The reason is simple, when you take off the original wooden butt, you have to unscrew the recoil pad and get a long screw driver down the centre to unscrew the 6” bolt to get it off. With the SGA, there is a small opening at the top of the pistol grip, where the new bolt goes, and a cover to go over it once fitted. All that is left in the box is the polymer adapter, which fits on to the shotgun before the butt is bolted on; it literally just pushes on, very easy! To be honest, the whole installation process is very simple, even I managed it and I am no gunsmith! The instructions are clear and easy to follow; it really is just a ten minute job to fit it.
Moving on to the Magpul M-LOK forend, which offers the same build quality and material as the butt. It really feels comfortable, even before you have fitted it! The ridges on it not only look good but are there to aid grip and they seem quite effective, so I don’t foresee any issues with it. It’s a lot shorter than Mossberg’s wooden original and shows short flanges front and rear, which obviously act as hand stops, so adding a bit more security, which is no bad thing. Now if like me, you are wondering how the heck you take off the original forend, it is very easy as Magpul have thought of everything!
Included is a castle nut wrench for taking the old forend off and obviously fitting the new one, so let’s get started! Remove the barrel and then simply slide the castle nut wrench over the magazine tube of your shotgun and unscrew the nut that holds the steel pump-slide complete with action rods on. Once it’s undone, the nut will slide off when you pull off the forend over the mag tube.
Then it’s just a case of sliding on the Magpul replacement, making sure that the logo is facing towards the muzzle. Then, depending on the Mossberg model that you have, either a 500 or 590, simply select the correct adapter out of the box (two are supplied to suit). It’s a large polymer ring that slides over the magazine tube into the front of the forend. Replace the castle nut; tighten it down and its job done! Well, after fitting the barrel back on and a simple function test just to make sure it’s all working! Your shotgun is now transformed into a beast! I decided to finish it off with a heat shield, which is a simple and cheap add on.
So, for around the £150 mark, you can transform the look and feel of your Mossberg 500/590 in ten minutes! Please note these items are sold separately and not as a kit. Magpul make the same thing for the Remington 870 and offer both high and low, clip-on combs too.
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates