Mossberg Shockwave

When the Mossberg Shockwave was introduced I personally considered it a novelty item at best and a danger to the shooter at the worst. However, recently I have been hearing more influential gun folks including P&S's own Steve F. and maybe even Jordan hinting to owning and using one. Were my first impressions correct or does this thing have any practical or serious uses outside of the fun factor? Personally I find it hard to see where the Shockwave does anything as good or better than a standard shotgun.


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It can make a nice non-NFA breaching shotty if you are big enough to handle the extra couple of inches of barrel length and your ballistic breacher doesn’t run a full size shotty as a primary.

Aside from that I am a pistol/carbine guy.


Regular Member
Network Support I
Did the research and ran out the edit window.

The "Cruiser" is 31" overall and the Shockwave version is about 26.5".

So as Mike said above, at worst it's possibly a breaching gun that doesn't require NFA paperwork. At best it's as "good" as a pistol-gripped pump and easier to stow in boat/RV/whatever.

An AR with a Law folder is still better IMHO.


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SB Tactical makes stabilizing arm braces for the Shockwave and Tac-14. If you put an SB brace on a Tac-14 DM or the mag-fed Mossberg shockwave, now you have a sub-18" scattergun with no ammo capacity limitations and super fast reloads.

Tac-14 DM.jpg

tac-14 brace.jpg

I know, I know, AR is best, but does this start encroaching upon the realm of usefulness?
This is from Gabe Suarez. Yes, I am well aware he is shilling for products he sells. Anyways, part of the problem with shotgun classes is that they want you to use it like a rifle. It is a piss poor rifle. That being said, they were shooting slugs at 50-100 yards with the rem tac 14 version.

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The best part about these things is the price.
For $300ish dollars, they're fairly expendable. There's something to be said about that.

Would've liked to have had one on the farm back in the day to have on the ATV for dispatching small varmints encountered while doing chores. A .22lr pistol was fine but was a bit too "sporting" for a running ground squirrel at 15y and something now like a 10/22 backpack is handy only in its disassembled configuration.


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What shortcomings are still present that need fixing before it can be an acceptable option? Can you elaborate?
All of the usual shortcomings we talk about when comparing pump shotguns to carbines, combined with an unproven feeding device and a poor substitute for a stock considering the recoil.

It's not about fixing the shottie's shortcomings and trying to turn it into an AR; it's about choosing the right tool for the job.
Since I teach shotgun, it is inevitable that I get questions about the gun. I bought a Mossberg shockwave to keep handy as a demonstrator to basically do a live show version of what Karl and Ian did in the In-Range video.

That being said, I've been giving it the fairest shake that I can and it's turned out to exceed my admittedly very low expectations. One of the best things you can do to make the Shockwave style gun useful is to mount a Crimson Trace green laser unit to it. The Mossberg comes ready for a rail mount on top and I've got a decent rail screwed on there with the CT module mounted far enough back that I can reach it easily with my right thumb. The stock bead on the gun is useless anyway (on my specimen any bead visible leads to shooting ridiculously high...I suspect it is like that on most of them) so I'm not really giving up anything in terms of sighting.

With the laser mounted on the rail I have a quick, useful sight that allows me to keep the gun at about chest level, which makes it much easier to run the gun rapidly and accurately. Push/pull is much more effective from this position and it doesn't load as much of the felt recoil into your hands as getting the gun up to eye level.

Manipulations with the gun are more awkward because you don't have the stock to assist in support for things like emergency reloads or topping up the tube. Not a problem for those of us with good grip strength, but it would be a huge issue for most people I see in classes. Getting people to properly grip a Glock 19 is tough, much less a chopped down 12 gauge.

I'm toying with the idea of sending mine off to Vang Comp to have them affix Remington rifle style sights to the barrel and putting XS sights for the Remington on it, which I suspect would aid dramatically in the effective use of the gun at eye level should you want to go that route.

Of course, you can "brace" the gun and create a sort of ghetto copy of the SBS as long as you understand that the "brace" will never be as good as a true stock. But it will be more useful than it is in the factory configuration so it's still worth consideration as an upgrade. "Bracing" would be another great application for the rifle-style sights on the barrel, or for buying the Tac-14 and putting the 14" rifle-sighted barrel Suarez sells on it. (As much as I hate to do business with Suarez)

I can't speak for the other names on the list in the original post, but based on what I've discovered to this point I'd say that if you have a high degree of proficiency with a shotgun and you intelligently modify the weapon you can accomplish a hell of a lot with the thing...more than most people would think possible just by looking at it. Like the original Witness Protection gun, it's an expert's weapon. When set up intelligently it can be used very effectively by someone who knows what they are doing, and it gives them the option to have a 12 gauge handy when they otherwise would not. An example would be in a hotel room...I can have a 12 gauge with a light and a laser that fits in my suitcase and nobody is the wiser. (Again...pretty much what the original WP shotgun was intended for) I can use it better than most people can use a properly stocked 12 gauge, but that's a tad like being the skinniest girl at fat camp.

It's absolutely no match for a shotgun with a proper stock on it. Anyone who can use a Shockwave style shotgun can use a properly stocked gun better in any objective measure...but if they can't have a stocked shotgun then the Shockwave style weapon gives them most of what they would get from the properly stocked shotgun in a package they have ready access to.

The problem, at least as I see it, is that these things are being bought as someone's first shotgun. As in they have no real shotgun experience and then they buy one of these things because they want a home defense shotgun...and that is a recipe for disaster. They are heavy, awkward to handle, and they recoil like a motherfucker if you don't know what you are doing. The number of people who are not already proficient with a shotgun that will be willing to invest the time and effort learning to become proficient with the thing is going to be infinitesimally small.

It absolutely doesn't do anything better than a properly stocked shotgun except go places where you can't have a properly stocked shotgun. That is its sole practical virtue, IMO.
This is from Gabe Suarez. Yes, I am well aware he is shilling for products he sells. Anyways, part of the problem with shotgun classes is that they want you to use it like a rifle. It is a piss poor rifle. That being said, they were shooting slugs at 50-100 yards with the rem tac 14 version.

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The whole "use it like a rifle" viewpoint has some issues, IMO. It's mainly one of context.

I was recently at an armorer's course taught by somebody in a unit that dug up every shotgun they could find in a sporty place in Africa because they found that 1897 Winchesters with buckshot did a splendid job of discouraging masses of hostiles from attacking vehicle convoys. Apparently a few rounds of buckshot with a good spread on it was effective at peeling masses of humanity off of HumVees.

That's cool...but that's not a context that really applies to civilian (to include LE) use of the shotgun. Citizens and police officers can't really hit 3 or 4 people at a time with the shotgun unless it is a truly end-of-the-civilized-world situation. Even in a short term disruption of social order zapping multiple people in a crowd with buckshot is something that's likely going to be frowned on by the authorities when order is inevitably restored. Authorities who might be quite eager to go after good guys who defended themselves as a peace offering to the elements of society that probably started the rioting in the first place...

In general, on the civilian side we want 100% of the projectiles we fire located inside the anatomy of the dude we intended to shoot at the distances we are likely to shoot him at. Unfortunately a lot of shotguns simply won't deliver that performance outside of 7 yards with most buckshot loads. Federal Flight Control gives you that level of performance, but with a tighter pattern than some people want out of a shotgun.

I don't teach people to use the shotgun like a rifle...but I do teach them to be fast and precise. I teach that because they don't seem to have much problem going too fast and putting a payload sort of half-on target when I put them under a little stress. Or missing the target entirely with a load of birdshot at 10 yards because they got a bad mount and didn't bother referencing the sight/bead/whatever at all before firing the shot. I can reign them in a little bit and through use of the timer and some man-on-man competition get them making very accurate shots at speed and on the move. Assuming that their accuracy will decline a bit when it's the real thing and that most loads pattern into one big hole at room ranges, I think this approach serves them well.

Boy Scout

Regular Member
I fondled one when they first started hitting shelves, and was “meh”. I have a 14” Wilson 870 for work and love the shotgun, but it was just different. I’ve been seeing the reviews and range sessions and have been getting more impressed.

I’ve always wanted a youth 20ga for a house gun, may have to get one of these for one now.
One option I find pretty helpful with my Shockwave is the aforementioned laser and Aquila Minishells. This really cuts down on recoil and adds capacity only drawback is that you have to purchase an adaptor. I think this platform shines as a cheap truck gun as its perfect in and around vehicles.


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I modified a Magpul Forend, stuck an older M300V on an Arisaka mount, and and Aridus QDC on it to make a breaching gun that works well. For loading dropping Quads or doubles sucks because it’s a Mossberg.

To load it I go ejection port up, firing hand actually on the action directly under (since the gun is inverted) the ejection port, and jam rounds while cradling the gun. For an emergency reload or extra shot I keep my firing hand on the birdshead grip and strip one from the QDC or from my cargo pocket/bag of shells.

I am training on it as a breacher though.

For using a stabilizing brace I would get a triangular shaped one or a solidly built one. The skeletonized ones probably wouldn’t handle full on 12ga rounds well.
Breaching is the only practical scenario I can imagine it being used for. Other than that, this sums up the practicality rather well:
I totally agree with the video and my experience with students using POG only shotguns in classes bears it out. But when you put a "pistol brace" on a Shockwave or a Tac14 it effectively turns it into a SBS and changes them into a useful weapon.

Edit to add, the Tac 14 comes with the magpul forend which in combination with the very sharp corners on the Remington receiver will bring blood if you accidentally let your hand hang over the rear of the forend. I learned this the hard way.