Hushpower Sound Moderated Mossberg 500
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- Last updated: 14/12/2016
I saw it on the shelf at the West London Shooting Ground and could not resist taking it off the rack and out on the ground for a bit of sport. First impressions were that it appeared very well made considering that it carries an RRP of only £540. Don’t expect frills of any sort, but Mossberg 500s have always offered a lot of gun for the money and my favourites in their pump range are the .410 and 20 which are both built on dedicated actions.
Hushpower, based at the Saddlery & Gunroom, Westerham in Kent, offer their well engineered sound -moderated Mossberg conversion in all the bore sizes that they import; .410, 20 and 12. You can buy a dedicated sound moderated gun with fixed moderator or you can buy these guns as kits with an extra ribbed and ported conventional barrel. Price for this package is £650 for the .410 as tested with extra, full choke, regular barrel and £690 for the 20 and 12. It represents terrific value by modern standards in all cases. There are also FAC variants on offer with increased mag capacity.
I’ve used 500s for many years. They are a well proven design with an alloy receiver and double action bars. They are extremely reliable (and hence popular with the police and military as well as civvy users) and they handle well, even though the US stocks tend to be a bit short and low in the comb. One especially interesting feature of the 500 design is its side-by-side style sliding safety placed conventionally to the rear of the action (most repeaters have a bar type safety to the rear of the trigger guard). So, you won’t have to retrain yourself much to use one if you are not familiar with repeaters.
The Stealth Approach
Hushpower offer quite a wide range of sound-moderated weapons these days. As well as the Mossberg’s they offer a Baikal single barrel in .410, 20 and 12 bore with wooden or synthetic stocks. The silenced .410s begin at only £225 for a gun with a conventional 9” moderator, for £315 you can get the same break-action single with a more efficient near barrel length moderator. Hushpower also offer the 9” .410 moderator as used on the Baikal mentioned separately for £55. And, they market ‘Full-Bore’ silencers for centre-fire rifles from .22 to .242. If you happen to have a .243 they invite you to ring them! These rifle moderators have a 1/2” UNF thread, weigh 12 ounces and cost £98.50 including VAT.
The latest product from Hushpower is a silenced over and under based on a folding Investarm 20 bore. Laporte made a silenced OU in 12 bore some years back based on a Fabarm. It was excellent save for a moderated barrel the size of a drain pipe. The Hushpower being a 20 is handier (as is the .410 pump, the reduced bore cuts the weight and size down considerably). With the moderator, the new gun weighs just over 7lbs. The overall length is 50” and the barrel with the moderator fitted measures 33” - no more than some modern sporters. The choking is ¾ and full. This is tight, but, interestingly, it works better with subsonic loads and allows for a smaller - more efficient - exit hole.
Hushpower note of the gun: “Fantastic noise reduction, and more user friendly than the single barrels [including repeaters] due to the fact that the moderator is closer to the natural line of sight where the rib would normally be.” I have not tried it yet, but it’s clearly a well developed, package and has a bottom line of £760 which does not sound unreasonable.
Before moving on to shooting impressions of the test gun, a little more techy and historical stuff on the Mossberg may be in order. The 500 was introduced circa 1960. It was quite a simple design with a single lug locking the breech. Originally the gun had a single action bar (like the famous Winchester Model 12 – the daddy of all pump guns), but this was improved in the 1970s when an extra bar was added. Double action bar repeaters reduce torque effects and feel smoother. They are less likely to bind than single bar guns.
The 500’s alloy action is classic of its type. Good, simple, strong and capable of being proofed for 3” loads. It has become the centre of all sorts of guns. The 500 is sold in a bewildering array of sporting, military and police models in the States. There is a conversion kit to turn the 12 bore version into a .50 cal muzzle loader, and, there is even a 500 based line-throwing gun. In the States, the 500 is seen in 12, 16, 20 and .410 bores, moreover, with 5 and 8 shot extended magazines options in the 12 bore (Hushpower offer FAC versions of the Mossberg as well).
Meantime, the .410 pump remains my favourite even though this Hushpower one does have to adapt to having the moderator in one’s line of sight and interfering with the view to the target down the rib. One does adapt though, and, it is so sweet to use and remarkably efficient.
When I took the gun out at West London, we ended up on a driven partridge stand, and after a few misses, and a bit of barracking from my companions, I got the hang of the little Mossberg and began whacking the clay birds in fine style. I didn’t need ear protection with standard 2 ½” loads (though the test gun is proofed for 3”/76mm shells too), and the action was butter smooth, functioning without any malfunction whatsoever.
I really did think it was great little gun, my only criticism is that the moderator is fixed to the barrel. Nevertheless, it was so good that I bought one. What more can I say?
Meanwhile, if you want something for pest control in a garden, use near populated areas, or even to use as an instructional/starter tool for kids, it’s ideal and offers real value for money. Don’t forget though that it is a firearm, and although quiet, all normal safety and legal rules apply.
£540 (as tested) or £650 with both moderated and standard un-moderated barrel