Gun Review: Mossberg Shockwave 20 Gauge – Compact Powerhouse

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Few firearms have caused as much buzz and rushing to the gun shop as the Mossberg Shockwave. This Non-NFA pump-action weapon has filled a gap in the gun world that many people didn’t know existed. To say that it has been a hit would be like saying steak is just an ok meal. It has been a huge success and shows no signs of slowing down. Every time I hit the range I can count on seeing at least one Shockwave in the hands of a shooter. Move forward in time a bit and we have a loud push for this enjoyable blaster to be put out in 20 gauge. Right on cue, Mossberg steps up and has announced the Shockwave will indeed be available in the much easier shooting 20-gauge configuration!

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The 590 20-gauge Shockwave features a 14″ barrel, “birds head” pistol grip and an overall length of 26.4″ and it doesn’t fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and doesn’t require additional paperwork or the payment of a tax stamp for transfers. The 20-gauge version of the Shockwave required an engineering redesign, as this is Mossberg’s first offering of the 590 in a smaller gauge. In addition to a scaled-down receiver, the 590 Shockwave design includes non-binding twin action bars, positive steel-to-steel lock-up, an anti-jam elevator, dual extractors, and Mossberg’s easy-to-run, ambidextrous top-mounted safety. The lightweight receiver is constructed of anodized aluminum and is drilled and tapped for ease of adding an optic or accessories. The magazine tube features a convenient clean-out cap. This 20 gauge is 2¾ and 3″ capable and features a 14″, heavy-walled barrel with bead sight and matte blue finish. Rear and magazine cap sling swivel studs complete this compact package.

The 20-gauge Shockwave expands the family of the new non-NFA firearms produced by Mossberg. All of the fun of running and SBS without the paperwork!

The “bird’s head” shaped pistol grip from Shockwave Technologies provides this 590 with its distinctive name. The Shockwave Raptor grip features an enhanced textured finish, allowing for maximum control while minimizing felt recoil. The grip is constructed of durable, glass-filled polymer with non-reflective, black finish and overall length of 5.25″. The strapped forend assists in maintaining positive control and keeps your hand away from the business end.

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Lightweight and producing low recoil, the 20-gauge Shockwave is easy and enjoyable to shoot.

I had the opportunity to run the new 20 gauge at a Mossberg event at Gunsite Academy. I had spent quite a bit of time on the original 12-gauge Shockwave so getting to run its little brother was exciting to me. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to run. Going from 12 to 20 made a pretty big difference in recoil. The gun still retained the great feel of the original Shockwave, but it was easier to get back on target and send follow up shots. What I also enjoyed was the ability to not only shoot the new Shockwave from the hip, but up much closer to rifle height as well. The strapped forend made control of this beauty a breeze. I was able to run multiple rounds at pace with the Shockwave and produce solid center mass hits. One unique point about this gun regards reloads. I have spent more than my fair share of time behind shotguns and have a pretty established habit for reloads. The method taught at Gunsite with this unique gun however was backwards to what I had always done. Reloads on this firearm are performed with the strong side hand. While it caused me to pause for a moment, it ended up being very fast and efficient. The bead sight on the gun was sufficient for the shooting we were doing, but I believe this is the area where a mounted laser would really shine. Being a hardcore application guy, I would probably put a light on the gun as well. The small size of the Shockwave makes it a pretty solid choice for a vehicle gun as well as a home defense weapon. It takes a bit of getting used to and training would be in order if you plan on self-defense applications.

The new 20-gauge Shockwave made fast and easy work of the steel targets!

Mossberg has started a trend with the Shockwave as I am now seeing even rifle caliber weapons coming out in this configuration. The new 20-gauge Shockwave will challenge the success of their 12-gauge version! It is an enjoyable gun to shoot and is certain to be a hit going forward!

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  • Type: 590 Non-NFA Pump-Action
  • Gauge/Chamber: 20-gauge. 3″
  • Capacity: 6 shells
  • Barrel/Finish: 14.37″ in Heavy-Walled Matte Blue
  • Sights: Bead
  • Chokes: Cylinder Bore
  • Overall Length: 26.37″
  • Forend/Stock/Finish: Shockwave Raptor Grip/Cob Fore-end with Strap/Black Synthetic
  • Weight: 4.95 lbs.
  • MSRP: $455

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