First Look: Mossberg 50th Anniversary Model 500 Pump Shotgun

By Randy Wakeman

50th Anniversary Mossberg Model 500
Photo by Randy Wakeman.

The just released (September 2011) Mossberg Model 500 50th Anniversary Edition is, in most ways, an upgraded version of the popular Model 500 slide-action shotgun with a 50th Anniversary logo roll stamped into the receiver. The basic specifications are as follows:

            Model: Mossberg 500 50th Anniversary

            Action: Pump with twin action bars

            Part number: 50123

            Shell capacity: 6

            Gauge: 12, 3" chamber

            Barrel: 28" VR, Ported with Twin Beads

            Chokes: Accu-Set

            Length: 47-1/2"

            Length of pull: 13-7/8"

            Stock: Checkered walnut with high gloss finish

            Weight: 7-1/4 lbs. as tested

            2011 MSRP: $430.70

Over six million units later, the Mossberg Model 500 12 gauge pump is built to be used. A nod is given to the 1961 Mossberg 500 with a red recoil pad. The jeweled bolt and carrier is nice upscale touch and the coarsely checkered, field grade walnut stock and pump handle wear a glossy finish. It is a functional slide action weighing seven and a quarter pounds, The heavy trigger pull measured approximately six and a quarter pounds out of the box.

The 50th Anniversary Model 500 is a good value, with a full boat retail of only $430. This is a "do anything" type of shotgun that is easier on the eye than many similarly priced offerings. You have a polished blue barrel on this Model 500, as opposed to the essentially unfinished, matte finish inflicted on so many shotguns today, a gold trigger, center bead and a ported barrel. Also, Mossberg provides three screw-in chokes, as opposed to some other manufacturers that include only one. Mossberg 500 receivers are drilled and tapped in 12 and 20 gauge for optical sight mounting and this 50th Anniversary version is no exception. Mossberg also provides a ten year limited warranty, which is far more generous than most manufacturers.

For just a few extra dollars, the Model 500 50th Anniversary nets you a better looking example of what has long been the best value in a functional, eminently usable, American-made repeating shotgun. It is hard not to appreciate this shotgun.

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Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.