Mossberg 590 Shockwave Review: 3 CRUCIAL Factors

Mossberg 590 ShockwaveMy relationship with shotguns started at a very early age! My grandpa always took ’em duck hunting with him. Granted, I never touched the gun, but the beastly power still amazed me. However, looking at the recent market, I couldn’t find a reliable yet affordable option. I didn’t give shotguns much though and only started reading deeper once I bought one for home defense. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered the Mossberg 590 Shockwave!

Packed with a powerful punch, this 12 gauge shotgun proves to be reliable and sturdy. The heavy walled barrel, as well as the various other features, have made it a favorite among millions of users and hunters. Not only hunting, but I was in awe that the Mossberg was mostly used for self-defense purposes.

So, in case you’re looking to know how it performs in real life, follow my detailed Mossberg Shockwave review 590 below.

How to Choose A Shotgun

For hunters and pest controllers worldwide, the shotgun remains the firearm of choice. Not only is it fast and accurate, but it leaves behind multiple wounds. What’s the best is that you don’t have to worry about accuracy as it fires multiple pellets at a single target. You can bet at least one of them will land.

Who Should Buy It?

Generally, the shotgun is best for hunting small to large game. This mostly includes game birds and other pests such as foxes, raccoons, etc. On the other hand, those who want to get familiar with the feel of a gun can practice their shots with a shotgun. This is due to the sturdy build as well as accuracy.

What to Consider While Buying a Shotgun

When buying your first shotgun, there’s a number of factors you need to consider. These are:


Action refers to how the shell is shot and how it enters the magazine. There are basically three types of actions:

  1. Semi-automatic: In this type, the shell loads from the magazine each time you pull the trigger. They are more costly than pump actions; however, they reduce recoil to a greater extent.
  2. Pump Action. In this type, you need to manually chamber the next round into the magazine. This might end up compromising on the speed. However, they are more affordable and reliable. Furthermore, they are easier to clean and dismantle.
  3. These are the two barreled shotguns. Generally, I have found that their prices are all over the place, with some being as cheap as dirt and some costing more than your house. Moreover, they are very safe to use because you can’t fire them in an open state.


The gauge refers to the caliber or the diameter of the barrel. There are a wide variety of shotgun gauges available in the market. The more popular amongst these include 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 gauges and the .410 caliber.

Generally, the bigger the gauge, the more massive the recoil is. Also, the higher gauges lead to heavier gun design. So, choose one according to the purpose of use.

Barrel Length

The general rule of thumb is that the barrel length can help you get more accurate shots. I personally believe this to be a myth. If you’re good at targeting, then the barrel length might make no difference to you.

Usually, I recommend going for 2-28 inches barrel. On the other hand, longer barrels do tend to have lesser recoil and result in a smoother swing.


I consider the stock to be an essential part of the selection process. I suggest you feel the trigger and put the stock up on your shoulder to see how it sits. If it doesn’t mount correctly, it might greatly and negatively affect the performance of the gun.

Presenting the Mossberg 590 Shockwave

Being one of the most reliable shotgun manufacturers, they have successfully created an array of products that are affordable and remarkable. So, when they released the 590 Shockwave, the hype around the product was well deserved.

Basically, the 590 is a non-NFA firearm and requires no additional taxes. Most states don’t even consider it as a shotgun. This is because these states define a shotgun as something you put your shoulder into to fire. Since the 590 does not have stock to put your shoulder into, it is not classified as a shotgun by most states.

However, it still shoots shots and pellets, which makes it a shotgun for the layman. It is best defined as a 12 gauge 26.5-inch long firearm. However, there are other versions that are available in the 20 gauge or .410 bore gauge. The firearm is quite reliable and powerful. The name shockwave is due to the grip of the weapon, which is called the Shockwave Raptor grip.

Furthermore, the Mossberg features a pump-action and a cylinder bore choke. Also included is a bead sight that helps you line your gun with the target accurately. Moreover, the gun is specifically shaped to minimize recoil. Other features include dual extractors, steel-to-steel lockup as well as an anti-jam elevator.

What’s more, is that you can use it with both hands. In addition to this, the 590 Shockwave is available in ten different styles, however, I’ll only discuss the original Shockwave.


  • Can be used with both hands
  • Uses a superior grip to ensure better ergonomics
  • Minimal recoil, all of which is pushed upward and not backward
  • Features a bead sight and is tapped for a scope so you can add any accessory
  • Reliable feed and power ejection of shells
  • The lightweight trigger doesn’t involve a lot of force


  • No rear swing swivel included
  • Does not include a stock
  • Reloading the gun is difficult


Check out our reviews of Browning BPS and our top semi-automatic shotgun picks.

Features and Benefits

The 590 Shockwave is loaded with a bunch of different features, each of which imparts something unique to the firearm. These include:

Non-NFA design Build

The Mossberg features an impressive design and a durable build. The gun passes all kinds of regulations set by the GCA, ensuring that it is a non-NFA weapon. If you look at it, you’ll find that most short barreled guns are closely regulated; however, this gun remains unregulated due to its innovative design.

Solid Grip

Also included is a bird’s head pistol grip that allows you to get the perfect grip on the weapon. It is made out of polymer and ensures minimal recoil. Furthermore, the redesigned forend allows you to use it in close quarters accurately.

The Raptor grip tends to be much more comfortable than the stock one. The best part is that it doesn’t shoot into your wrist and shoulder. The recoil is more upwards than backward and thus, does not affect the grip too much.

Furthermore, the strapped forend on the Shockwave helps give you more control and keeps your hand away from the muzzle.

Reliable Performance

In terms of performance, the Shockwave is quite reliable and fun. It serves as a hunting weapon as well as for self-defense and tactical use. The 14-inch barrel easily qualifies for NFA. Furthermore, it handles quite smoothly and features long range accuracy.

Also included is an anti-jam elevator as well as dual extractors along with other features such as positive steel-to-steel lockup and twin action bars. All these help ensure a smoother operation and help enhance the performance.

Ambidextrous Safety

Another notable feature of the Shockwave is the ambidextrous safety button that is situated on the top rear part of the receiver. You can easily move it to your desired position manually. This button ensures that you never accidentally shoot the gun.

Action Release Control

Another important feature is the action release lever which allows you to inspect the chamber or unload the gun. You can easily do this without pressing the trigger. Moreover, it helps in cleaning and maintaining the gun.

Large Ammunition Capacity

You can easily fit about 6 2.75 inch shotshells into the magazine and the chamber. In case you’re using larger rounds such as 3-inch shotshells, you might only be able to fit 5 rounds. In fact, if you’re using the .410 bore version, then you can use the 2.5-inch shotshells as well. Regardless, when using the best shotgun ammo this piece yields excellent results.

Manual Pump Action

Due to the pump action design, the shotgun can easily cycle rounds quickly. Not only that but the pump action reduces fouling. This leads to lesser maintenance and a lesser need to clean up. Furthermore, the Mossberg can easily cycle through lighter loads, that your semi-automatic gun may not be able to.

Furthermore, the pump action can easily be reconfigured. You can add your own mix of accessories to customize your Mossberg.

Cylinder Bore Choke

The Mossberg uses a cylinder bore choke which further adds to the non-fouling and anti-jamming features. It ensures that there are no constrictions. Furthermore, it helps distribute the pellets in a 30-inch circle at a distance of 40 yards. This is quite sufficient for close range combat and self-defense use.

Bead Sight

The bead sight is perfect for target acquisition. It can help you get your 590 Shockwave in line with the target. This grants you better accuracy. I do agree that the sight could be a little better; however, the one that it comes with isn’t too bad either.


  1. Compact. Due to the absence of the stock and shorter barrel design, it is much more compact. The pistol grip further adds to the maneuverability of the gun.
  2. Super Firepower. When compared with a standard pistol, this shotgun offers a more powerful punch. This makes it best to use in self-defense scenarios, especially at short range.
  3. Non-NFA. A huge advantage of the Mossberg is that since it has a longer barrel and does not feature a stock, it is not considered a shotgun legally. Thus, you can use it without needing NFA or other compliance certificates. Furthermore, there won’t be any taxes imposed on this beauty either.
  4. Ambidextrous Safety Switch. Mossberg seems to care about all of its buyers, not just the right-handed ones. Thus, the Shockwave features an ambidextrous safety switch that anyone can use. You won’t have to hassle with getting to the other side of the gun.
  5. Easy to Grip. Moreover, the pistol Raptor grip is not only comfortable to grip but it is practical as well.
  6. Upward Recoil. While the compact size of the gun tries its best to minimize recoil, it might still be felt. However, the good news is that the recoil is more upwards than backward. This saves your shoulders and wrists from facing any backlash.
  7. Highly Customizable. The Mossberg already comes tapped for a scope. However, due to the highly customizable nature of pump-action shotguns, you can easily add other accessories as well.
  8. Reliable Feed. Another huge pro is that the gun has a reliable feed. You’ll find very few misfires and jams.


  1. Pistol Grip. Pistol grip might not be as stable as a standard This can lead to inaccuracy and hand strain.
  2. Lower Range. The Shockwave has a design that might be able to achieve 100 yards of range. However, it merely reaches 50 yards. Thus, it is only suited for close range engagements.
  3. Difficult to Reload. It might be harder to reload the gun as you need to hold the hand in one gun. It weighs about 5 pounds, which can be heavy to hold with a single hand.

General User Impressions

Most buyers seem to love that the Mossberg has found a way around the senseless gun laws. However, some users noted that in their state the law was a little different. Therefore, they found it harder to acquire it. Those that did get it seemed to love it.

Users noted that the compact and lightweight pistol is easy to use and is perfect for self-defense. On the other hand, some users also took it for hunting small to medium game. Left-handed folks added that the ambidextrous safety feature was quite welcome. It showed that the company truly cares about all its users.

Some users did miss the stable platform the stock provided. However, they did note that the Mossberg included a lesser recoil and did not hurt their shoulders. In addition, some experts chimed in that you should place it as far away from yourself as possible. This ensures that you do not hurt yourself from the upward recoil.

Here’s another Mossberg piece you might be interested in.

My Opinion

I personally enjoyed using the raptor grip since it was a first for me. I did miss the stock, but after breaking in the shotgun, I feel like I broke in the grip as well. It became easier to use and maneuver. Furthermore, I found that the trigger was quite light and easy to press.

There is a reduction in recoil; however, it is not too much. I feel like if you’re a beginner, you should stay away from this shotgun. In addition, I did not like the strap with the forend as it dug into my hand after every shot. For something like hunting, it is safer to go with the longer option such as the Mossberg 930, as it makes less pressure on the hand over longer periods.

The gun is powerful, to say the least. Furthermore, I found it to be reliable and sturdy. The 6-round capacity is excellent for use in self-defense. Lastly, the affordable price is yet another plus point.

Product FAQs

Q: What are the product dimensions and weight?
A: The weight of the gun is 5.25 lbs. Furthermore, the barrel length is about 14.375 inches while the overall gun length is 26.37 inches.

Q: Why does the action come back when I shoot my pump?

A: This is common with pump-action shotguns, especially if you do not hold the forend firmly or if the shotgun is fired from the rest. In this case, you should exercise safe handling and follow all necessary protocols to reduce any wear or back action.

Q: Can I add other accessories to it?
A: Yes, you can add as many accessories as you like. The pump action design makes it easier to add them. Furthermore, the Mossberg already comes tapped for a scope.

Q: Is it safe to use in all states?
A: No. Each state has different gun laws. I recommend you read through them to find out where this 590 Shockwave lands.


Final Thoughts

All in all, the Shockwave 590 is perfect for all kinds of applications, including small game hunting and self-defense. It might be unconventional, yet it still is reliable and powerful. Certainly not for beginners, it can pack a punch which might be hard to handle for newbs.

In addition, I hope that my Mossberg shockwave review has helped you make up your mind. The Mossberg is great if you’re looking to find a way around the shotgun laws. Also, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Lastly, it’s versatile as well so you can choose from various models that only differ slightly from one another.

Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure! The Mossberg Shockwave 590 will serve you well.

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