Mossberg Shockwave

Mossberg Shockwave

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  • Design Features
  • Build Quality
  • Recoil
  • Fun Factor
3.7/5Overall Score
  • Caliber: 12 Gauge
  • Overall Length: 30.75"
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Action: Pump
  • Compact
  • Ammo Selection
  • Recoil
  • Weight

Recently I completed my review of the Remington Tac-14, and I knew just as soon as I finished that review, I had to get my hands on the Mossberg Shockwave.

First, I knew I had to do a review but more importantly, I had to do a comparison of the Shockwave and the Tac 13. This is the full review of the ever-popular Mossberg Shockwave.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″

History of the Mossberg Shockwave

The Mossberg Shockwave base platform is the Mossberg 500, a classic shotgun platform dating back to 1961. More specifically it is based on the Mossberg 590 shotgun.

However, it wasn’t until 2019 that the Mossberg Shockwave was released with its bird’s head grip and short barrel, and it quickly became an instant success for Mossberg.

Legalities of the Mossberg Shockwave

We don’t like repeating the same thing repeatedly, but the Mossberg Shockwave, like the Remington Tac-14, is not considered a short-barrel shotgun (SBS).

Here’s why:

Since the gun was never built with a stock it is not considered a shotgun, thus it cannot be a short barrel shotgun (SBS).

Shotguns, by legal definition, are designed to be fired from the shoulder, and without a stock, this gun cannot be fired from the shoulder thus barrel lengths do not apply.

Since pistols don’t have a barrel length required under federal law and are not fired from the shoulder the barrel length becomes irrelevant.

However, the overall length of the shotgun needs to remain longer than 26″ or it will fall into the any other weapon or “AOW” category of weapons.

Like SBR’s and SBS’s, AOW’s fall into the purview of the National Firearms Act, better known as the NFA. You can read way more about the NFA, SBR’s, and tax stamps in our Ulitmate Guide to Short Barrel Rifles.

Remington Tac-14 Legalities

State Laws

State laws are ever-changing and dramatically different from state to state. I would make sure your state allows this firearm before purchase.

If your state allows the Shockwave it is a great home defense shotgun option.


The features on the Mossberg Shockwave are probably what will drive you to buy this gun.

If you’re reading this review, you’re probably looking to purchase it, doing a little research, and finding out is this the gun for you.

Is it worth your money?

So I’ll dive into each of the features individually and try to give you a better understanding of the gun before you make your purchase.

I will say this is a standard Shockwave, and it is not anything special. It is just a black synthetic version that is the baseline model.

Mossberg has several different versions, but you will have to decide if those additional features are worth the cost.

I may address those models at another time, but for the purposes of this particular view, this is the standard Mossberg Shockwave based on the 590 platforms.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″

Grip and Ergonomics

The grip and ergonomics of the Mossberg Shockwave are two-part because you can’t have one without the other.

Now you can hold this by the bird’s head grip and outstretch it and shoot it. Is it going to be pleasant? Probably not

You’re going to have all of your shells in the tube so it’s going to be a little front-heavy.

This Mossberg shorty is already not extremely lightweight.

Overall, I just don’t think you will shoot it that way. If you do, great, leave a comment, and we can talk about it.

So it’s two-part. You have your bird’s head grip, which you’re going to grab with your dominant hand that you’ll use to pull the trigger, and then you have your other hand, which for me is my left hand, that’s going to grab the stock that you’re going to use to do the pumping of the action.

Holding this gun feels pretty good. Most of the weight’s going to fall on the pump.

So, my left hand will hold most of the weight in this case. The rear of the gun is going to be extremely light.

There is no texture on the bird’s head grip. There’s nothing to give you any grip, so that part is not great, but it’s not a deal breaker either.

Now the actual pump action on this does have a rigid grip. It makes it easy to use the pump action.

One notable thing about the Mossberg grip is they have a piece of webbing that has Mossberg on it that you can stick your hand through.

It doesn’t do much for me. I find myself using it to grab it to pick up the gun. As far as shooting it, it’s far too loose to give you any extra grip on the gun.

You can sling your hand in it and use it to hold it that way.

So overall, both of these grips are okay. There’s nothing wrong with them, but we’re going to dive a little bit more into this pump action in a minute.

The ergonomics overall are pretty good. One thing to note about a gun like the Shockwave is it’s going to be an odd feeling at first.

You’re going to want to try to shoulder it. It’s just natural. If you shot shotguns your whole life, you want to shoulder a shotgun.

Keep in mind; that this thing will still have the recoil and the muzzle rise of a shotgun, a 12 gauge shotgun at that.

So don’t get your face too close when you’re shooting, and honestly, it’s a shotgun. It’s a scattergun.

So you almost might want to shoot it from not necessarily the hip because you want to know where you’re aiming, but you don’t want it near your face.

I’m not saying it will kick and hit you in the face if you do, but I tend to keep this more of a belly area shooting experience. It’s a lot of fun there. I think that’s what it was created for.

So, all in all, the ergonomics are good. As long as you expect that this is not a true shoulder shotgun, you’ll be fine.

Pump Action

This is a pump action shotgun to its core and if you aren’t familiar with the concept of a pump action you have to “pump” the action to cycle a new shell into the gun.

mossberg shockwave pump

I covered the action a little bit in the initial grip and ergonomic section. But now I want to talk a little bit more about the function of the action itself.

As I mentioned, it is a polymer grip and Mossberg makes one that’s wood stock, but by and large, you’ll get this black polymer grip.

Two rods come out of the action that go into the receiver that are used to cycle the shotgun.

Let me talk a little more about these rods as they are essentianl to the function of the shotgun.

When it comes to the rails sliding, they slide fantastic. I did put a couple dabs of oil on it to help with a little bit of the grittiness.

I wiped the entire gun down when I first got it, and then I put a couple dabs of oil in the action and on the slides to make sure it was clean and lubricated.

The action slid okay from the factory, but just something I wanted to do. I did want to clean it up a little bit, make the pictures a little better for this article. So the pump itself is good. It works great. It slides great, and I have no issues with it.

mossberg shockwave guide rod

I’m not crazy about the exposed rods, but they have to be there for the gun to function. There’s no way to really get around it unless you make the whole action part of it and hide the rods.

It’s the aesthetics that I’m not crazy about. The function of the shockwave works well.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″


The Mossberg Shockwave trigger is what you would expect a shotgun trigger to be.

It’s not exceptional. It’s not bad. It is somewhat of a long pull and that is likely because of the bird’s head grip the trigger feels pretty far up, but you can move your grip to change the length of pull.

shockwave trigger

There’s definitely a clear wall, and there’s no defined break, which is not a big deal for what this gun is. I don’t think that’s an issue whatsoever. It’s clean. It’s fine. It works.

The trigger is no frills. It’s a slick trigger. There’s no milling. There’s no texturing for it. Doesn’t affect anything negatively at all. But it’s worth pointing out that this is just a standard metal trigger.


The safety is the same as pretty much any Mossberg 500.

It’s on the top of the receiver which is different than what you’d expect from most guns, with the safety down by the trigger or trigger well.

The safety is a sliding-style safety. It’s either on safe or off. You push up to be off safe. There’s a clear red dot that lets you know you’re ready to shoot and just a blank area when it’s on safe.

Mossberg Shockwave Safety

The safety switch itself is like a little pyramid slider. There are some serrations cut in it that create levels, and it does work well

You can easily maneuver it with your finger near or on the trigger. So you can put it on safe when you’re done shooting, and take it off if you’re getting ready to shoot all in one fail swoop.

So overall, safety works well, but nothing great, nothing bad to say. It’s a safety.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″


Carrying the Mossberg Shockwave, you can either hold it by the grip, the bird’s head grip or the pump action, or it’s got two swing swivel areas to which you can attach using a standard QD type sling.

It uses the Uncle Mike style of the attachment system. It’s very easy to use if you want to attach a sling, very easy to do.

There’s one on the cap to take the barrel off and take the gun down, and then there’s one on the bottom of the bird’s head grip.

You would probably want to find a very specific sling for this. You’re not going to want a standard shotgun sling because you don’t have a standard shotgun length here.

So keep that in mind when searching for a sling for your Mossberg Shockwave.

Mossberg Shockwave Accessories

There are a number of different Shockwave accessories, and you can customize them almost to your heart’s desire!

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″


There aren’t many complete grip changes, but many grip tapes and rubberized slips go over the existing bird’s head grip.

While I don’t see much point in changing the grip, you can add an SB Tactical brace adaptor if you want to go that route.

Be careful not to add a stock, as that would change the classification of this firearm to an NFA weapon.


streamlight tac14

One of the most popular forend accessories is probably the Streamlight TL-Racker. This forend has a built-in 1000 lumen flashlight that is perfect for low-light applications.

This allows you to replace the forend with a comfortable grip and gain a light mount.

Light Mounts

If you don’t want the flashlight built into your forend, you have plenty of options!

cdm gear light mount

One of the most popular flashlight attachment options is the CDM Gear Light Mount with 3 Rails.

This attachment attaches to the magazine tube and provides a standard 1913 Picatinny rail attachment for any flashlight you desire.

Sling Attachments

The Shockwave has built-in sling attachments, but you can add something like the Black Aces Tactical Picatinny Quad Rail or a single sling attachment.

Ammo Holders

The side saddle is not new; you can see them on almost any tactical shotgun in any movie.

monstrum side saddle

But they are an extremely practical way to carry extra rounds for your shotgun. Not having one is almost silly, and many of them come with a top Picatinny rail that will let you ad a red dot sight or optic of your choice.

If you’re looking for an ammo holder for your Mossberg Shockwave, I recommend the Monstrum Side Saddle.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″

Shooting the Mossberg Shockwave

The Shockwave is a fun gun in its own right, but it has drawbacks.

Shooting the Shockwave can be a bit of a shellshock if you aren’t used to it or have never shot it.

Since it’s only a bird’s head grip, the recoil comes straight back through the grip. However, the recoil is not overbearing, even shooting buckshot.

The one major con of the Shockwave has to be aiming is incredibly hard. The sights aren’t great (If you want to call them sights) and it’s difficult to aim because you don’t typically bring the Shockwave all the way up to aim.

Mossberg Shockwave Review Conclusion

I like the Shockwave as a fun truck gun or farm gun. It would be great for blasting water moccasins or other small pests.

I don’t think I’d like it as a home defense gun because it’s difficult to aim. But I think it is a great ”get off me” gun.

It’s also an insane amount of fun on the range shooting targets and just having a blast with a round that doesn’t break the bank.

I don’t think there is anything that would keep me from purchasing the Shockwave as long as I knew what it is and what it isn’t.


Some of the most frequently asked questions and answerrs about the Mossberg Shockwave.

Is a Mossberg Shockwave legal?

Yes, you can refer to our section on the Shockwaves legalities. But the short answer is federally yes and some states have made guns like the Shockwave illegal.

How many rounds does a Shockwave hold?

The Mossberg Shockwave holds 5 rounds in the magazine tube and 1 round in the chamber.

The maximum capacity is 6 rounds.

What is the effective range of a Mossberg Shockwave?

This will largely depend on the round used in your Shockwave. If you are shooting birdshot your range will not be far. If you are using buckshot you can easily gave 15 yards or better. Slugs will get you the most range of any of the available shotgun loads.

Which is better Remington TAC 14 or Mossberg Shockwave?

We will cover this more in-depth but both are quality guns but the Remington Tac 14 edges out the Shockwave in polish and aesthetics.

mossberg shockwave 1

Mossberg Shockwave

Caliber: 12GA
Capacity: 5+1 or 7+1
Length: 30.75″
Chamber Size: 3″
If you liked our review we would appreciate a share!
Michael Savage
Michael Savage

Michael is the President of Lynx Defense and an avid gun owner and outdoors man. He's passionate about helping find the best bang for your buck and helping others learn about firearms and the industry as a whole.

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  1. The Shockwave comes with pre-drilled holes which allow you to attach a Picatinny rail. Amazon has several lasers for the Shockwave (rail and screws included). Green is the color if you want to see it in sunlight. As for recoil, with a laser dialed in, shoot from the hip. No problem. Green dot…sure shot. I love my .410 and 20 gauge models.

  2. I have put nine aftermarket add-ons to my Mossberg shock wave and the first and most important is the laser, Otherwise it is like shooting a 26 inch pistol, a bit awkward

  3. I have 2 , the tan model off of GBer and a basic black model on Thanksgiving sale . Tan SG has a 6 shell saddle and rail with a laser light comb. The basic black has a 4 shell saddle with rail . 1 good shockwave case . One rides with me to my.cabin with hand gun . One at the ready in my home . Very quick, sure handling shot from the hip. Accurate shooting comes pretty fast . My saddles are Mesa Tactical, Lazor , Veridian “Green” Happy with both

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