Test report: Mossberg 590S Shockwave | An official journal of the NRA


Mossberg’s aptly named 590 Shockwave caused more than just a stir for the shooting market’s seismograph when it was launched in 2017. Non-NFA firearms had already released their own factory-made versions, but the Shockwave struck just the right balance of features and brand awareness to boost sales and inspire several similarly sized models from other manufacturers.

The first 590 Shockwave 12-ga. was launched in 2017.

Reducing the barrel and magazine barrel length of a 12 ga. These include reduced ammunition capacity and more sophisticated felt recoil management. This is especially true for those willing to brave the rage of firing 3-inch cartridges from this platform.

Mossberg soon responded to the felt recoil by offering 590 Shockwave models with a chamber for 20-ga. Shotgun shells and slim cartridges with .410 caliber. In working with these models, I’ve found that they are definitely more maneuverable than the 12-ga. Version with degraded performance. But defense class 20-ga. and .410 bore loads are less different and sometimes more difficult to find, making these models less flexible than their 12-ga. Compatriot. Like the 12-ga. Version, these two models accept grenades up to 3 “in length which means that the on-board number of shots is the same as the 12-ga. Version.

The 590 Shockwave had a .410 bore.

In 2018, Mossberg introduced a removable magazine-fed version of the Shockwave as part of the 590M range. This version of the Shockwave accepts sturdy double-stack magazines that hold 5, 10, 15, or 20 rounds. The system is reliable and those who like it like it a lot. But the magazines are a bit heavy, quite bulky, and relatively expensive with prices between $ 80 and $ 113. These box-shaped magazines are limited to only 2¾ “shells and violate the Shockwave’s slim, slender profile.

The 590M 12-ga. equipped with a 10-round removable box magazine.

That brings us back to yet another ammunition option for the 12-ga. Models, the 1¾ “long mini 12-ga. Grenades. They can be reliably fired and ejected from pump actions with 2¾” or 3 “chambers and their reduced overall length allows additional cartridges to fit into the magazine. The tubular magazine of the Shockwave can take 4 + 1 round 3 “bowls, 5 + 1 round 2¾” bowls or 8 + 1 round 1¾ “bowls. They have slightly lighter payloads and lower speed powder loads, which results in noticeably less recoil from the felt.

The new 590S tactical shotgun with a 20-inch barrel (above) and the 590S Shockwave.

The range test of the original 590 Shockwave included the Mini Shell Buckshot Load from Aguila Ammunition, which was handier than larger cartridges and delivered solid sample results at close range. But the grenades do not feed reliably during standard pumping actions, as shortened hulls tend to rattle around in the elevator opening of the grenade. This means that when the action is cycled, they will not always be properly aligned with the chamber, which can cause the shell to jam as it moves into the chamber.

OPSol Texas offers a solution to this feeding problem for Mossberg 500 and 590 series models called Mini-Clip. It is a wedge-shaped rubber block that is pressed into the rear of the elevator connector as a buffer. I’ve tested it and it works fine, but only with mini-shells. The wedge must be removed from the receiver in order to fire 2¾ “or 3” grenades. It’s workable, but not particularly convenient, for changing the shell length in a snap. In 2017, however, mini-shells weren’t a mainstream option. At the time, there were only a few cargoes available so it was not so urgent to resolve the feeding problems.

A 1 ¾ ”12-ga. Mini bowl (left) next to a 2 ¾ “bowl (middle) and a 3” bowl.

But the status of mini 12-ga. Shotgun shells have changed significantly in 2019. One of the leading cartridge manufacturers in the United States, Federal Premium Ammunition, launched its Shorty line of 1¾ “long 12-ga. Bullets, including bird meal, buckshot and slug charges. That same year, the Sporting Das Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has officially standardized the mini-grenade. This opened the door for both ammunition and weapon manufacturers to include this cartridge in their catalog. Things for mini-grenades were just kicking up in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic A host of new shooting sport products were put on hold as manufacturers struggled with store closings, labor shortages, and record demand.

Despite these delays, Mossberg has just launched the new 590S series, including a Shockwave configuration. The ‘S’ stands for ‘Short’, which means that the mechanics have been redesigned to accommodate 1¾ “long mini shells along with 2¾” and 3 “shells. If you look at the 12-ga. Side of the Shockwave See 590 and 590S models – on the side, the external controls and functions are identical until you take a closer look at the elevator connector. There is a built-in shock-absorbing rubber buffer on the rear of the connector that does not need to be removed or adjusted. The elevator shell is elongated and has a modified shell guide. Internal changes include a revised trigger group and a bolt slide with a revised cam surface.

The 590S Shockwave ran reliably throughout the testing process.

These modifications to the 590S Shockwave not only allow the use of three different cartridge lengths, they can be loaded into the magazine in any order or combination. There’s no fuss, no clutter, and no accessories to customize. Just push in the shells you want and get to work. There is no change to the external controls of the weapon.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit the Gunsite Academy with other media representatives to test a few new Mossberg models. We ran ammo boxes through the 590S in its various configurations. It went like a champion at Gunsite and the action redesign continued to work reliably with the two guns that were used for additional testing after the event.

The Adaptive Tactical 6-round gun carrier.

In search of a ready-to-use off the peg product that would go well with this weapon and the three lengths of bullet it can fire, I looked through a variety of resilient and polymeric grenade carriers. I opted for the polymer carrier from Adaptive Tactical (AT-06000-M) mounted on the receiver, which holds up to 6 rounds of ammunition. The 1 “tall ammo rings fully engage the polymer hulls of the mini grenades without disrupting the slim, compact profile of the Shockwave receiver. The bolt assembly supplied with the Adaptive Tactical Carrier is compatible with the Crimson Trace LS-250G laser saddle sighting system the green laser model shown here.

The Crimson Trace LS-250G Laser Saddle Sight is mounted on the right side of the receiver to leave the left side open for a cartridge carrier.

With its 14-inch barrel, fixed cylinder bore choke and short handle, the 12-ga. 590S Shockwave definitely intended for close combat. Caldwell Orange Peel 8 inch targets placed on large white butcher papers were placed at a distance of 7 meters. The changes in the pattern size and the felt recoil are hard to miss on this particular platform.

Hornady’s 2 ¾ ”Varmint Express 24 Pellet # 4 Shot Load (# 86243) was the hottest round of the test. At a stated speed of 1350 fps, the recoil can best be described as punitive. But it also produced the tightest pattern of 1.75 “.

Federal Premiums 2 ¾ “Maximum 9-Pellet 00 Buckshot (P154 00), loaded at 1325-fps., Printed a 5.25” pattern at that distance. There were a handful in the recoil too. A reduced recoil load, like Federal’s Power -Shok 00 Buckshot, which downloads at 1140 fps, would be better suited.

Aguila’s 1 ¾ ”Mini Shell Buckshot round has a mixed 1-oz. Payload consisting of four No. 1 lead shot pellets and seven No. 4 pellet shot at a specified speed of 1200 fps. It resulted in a 4.5 inch pattern of felt recoil that is comparable to a 20 ga sport birdshot load, so it is moderate compared to the other loads tested.

My first review of the first 590 Shockwave concluded that it was both a nifty range toy for 12-ga. Enthusiasts and a potent self-defense option for those looking for one of the most compact pump gun configurations on the market. The new 590S version offers the same advantages and is also the most flexible 12 ga version. Version of this platform still. It reliably switches mini grenades to reduce the perceived recoil and significantly increase the ammunition capacity. All of this without having to forego the performance potential of 2 “and 3” trays if you want to use them.

If the 14 “barrel 590S Shockwave configuration doesn’t quite meet your expectations, Mossberg is currently offering three other versions .5 “model. Barrel and brass bead sight (51603) or a 20” barrel version with ghost ring sight (59602).


Shotgun manufacturer: OF Mossberg & Sons

Model: 590S shock wave (51601)

Action: pump action

Caliber: 12-ga. 3 ”, 2 ¾” and 1 ¾ ”trays

Capacity: 3 “bowls = 4 + 1, 2 ¾” bowls = 5 + 1, 1 ¾ “bowls 8 + 1

Barrel: 14 “thick-walled smooth bore, matt blue steel

Sight: brass bead front

Choke: Fixed cylinder bore (0.729 “)

Magazine: tubular, blued steel with removable end cap

Receiver: Hard anodized aluminum, drilled and tapped for scope mounts

Trigger Guard: Black Polymer

Trigger: Smooth steel bow

Trigger pull: 6 lbs. 15 ounces.

Forend: Shockwave Technologies Raptor Strap Kit, ribbed black polymer

Handle: Shockwave Technologies Raptor Bird’s Head, smooth black polymer

Sling swivel mounts: Yes

Overall Length: 26.32 “

Weight: 5 pounds. 5 ounces. Unloading

Accessories: lock, instruction manual

MSRP: $ 605

Laser Sight: Crimson Trace LS-250G Laser Saddle, Green (SKU: 01-7820) $ 250

Shell Carrier: Adaptive Tactical 6-Round Receiver Mounted, Black (AT-06000-M) $ 35

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