By Dave Workman
When Mossberg introduced the Model 590 Shockwave pump-action firearm in 12-gauge, it got plenty of attention from people interested in a compact, user-friendly defensive tool for home or business.
I got to fire one and it’s an interesting piece of work. Quick, easy to load (I’ve got a Mossberg 500 pump gun so it was no challenge) and surprisingly easy to handle, it will put a quick stop to anything unpleasant in your immediate proximity.
Now Mossberg has introduced this pump gun in 20-gauge and my mind began racing. While it is obviously designed for close defensive work with less recoil, it occurred to me it might also come in handy as a trail gun in bear country, or where a coyote might become a pest. And, this may drive the designers nuts, I’ll just bet you could ground-shoot a dumb blue grouse or rabbit in a pinch, despite its cylinder bore. Depending upon the shot size, you’ll get a pretty wide spread at close quarters.
Thanks to its size and weight, the Shockwave can easily fit into a typical backpack and not take up too much room for other essentials.
But before we get too far out in the weeds, let’s check out the particulars. The Shockwave has a 14.37-inch heavy wall barrel, a reasonably comfortable Raptor bird’s head pistol grip from Shockwave Technologies (hence the model name) and cob-style tactical forend featuring a tough nylon band that guarantees your hand won’t slip. It’s got a typical bead front sight, dual slide bars, anti-jam elevator, QD sling swivel studs front and rear and top tang safety.
It’s essentially a scaled-down version of the original 12-gauge model. It hits the scale at 4.95 pounds empty and like the larger sibling, it does not fall under the purview of the National Firearms Act, according to Mossberg, so there’s no special tax stamp or additional paperwork requirement. However, the purchaser must be 21 years old.
According to Mossberg, the 20-gauge version has a 3-inch chamber, and it has a capacity of 6 rounds. It wears a matte blue finish on the metal parts, the receiver is built from anodized aluminum and it is drilled and tapped for mounting an optic or other accessories.
The grip handle is textured and made from a glass-filled polymer impervious to changing weather conditions. The grip measures 5.25 inches.
Just to underscore how this firearm has caught public and industry attention, the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) honored Mossberg a few weeks ago at the annual Expo in San Antonio with the Innovator of the Year award for the Model 590 Shockwave. At the same time, Mossberg earned the NASGW-Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Caliber Award for the Best New Overall Product.
Not bad for a gun introduced in January and expanded this fall with the 20-gauge model
Image and specifications courtesy mossberg.com
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives has confirmed the 590 Shockwave as a “firearm” per the Gun Control Act (GCA), but not a Class 3/NFA firearm. Click here to read a copy of the letter from the BATFE regarding federal classification of the Shockwave, dated 3/2/2017. NOTE: This letter only speaks to its FEDERAL status. There could be local/state laws that prohibit the sale of this gun in your state. Consult your State Police for clarification. Just as with any other pistol grip firearm, the buyer must be 21 years of age, and be a resident of the state where s/he is purchasing it.