An interesting three-way confluence of events is prompting me to reconsider a smoothbore defensive tool that fires shotshells.
- Minnesota does not permit the ownership of short barreled shotguns unless it’s an unmodified C&R shotgun (rare).
- Mossberg and Remington are selling “pistol grip only (PGO)” firearms that shoot 12 gauge shotshells. The ATF does not consider these “shotguns.”
- The recent ATF opinion letter on braces potentially reduces legal liability if a braced short barrel firearm or pistol unintentionally touches the shoulder.
The second firearm I ever purchased was a Mossberg 590A, back in the late 90s. It has a 20″ barrel, 9 round magazine, and polymer SpeedFeed stock that carried two spare shells on both sides of the stock. It has a front bead sight, no rear sight, and is cannot take scope rings or a rail on top.
I found it to be unwieldy — especially as I got into braced pistols and NFA registered short barrel rifles.
We’ve also made a conscious effort to prioritize firearms that my wife and I can both easily use. The recoil of a shotgun isn’t the issue — it’s the length and balance of weight on her 5′ 2″ frame that causes issues.
The 590A looked cool, but the more firearms training I received, the further back the Mossberg sat in my safe.
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