October 24, 2011

Mossberg 500 Persuader/Cruiser 3-inch 20 Gauge 6-Shot

For home defense, the focus is usually on 12-gauge shotguns, but Gun Tests magazine recently tested a 20 gauge that for many—if not all—folks would be a better choice because of its lighter weight and reduced recoil: The Mossberg 500 Persuader/Cruiser 3-Inch 20 Gauge 6-shot No. 50452, $388.

The gun was a matte-black synthetic-stock pump with 3-inch chambers, with an 18.5-inch barrel and 5.1-pound weight.

Not to spoil the surprise, the magazine liked this 20 gauge a lot, and said it would buy it. In particular, for those shooters who already own a Persuader 12 gauge for hunting or other uses, they’d recommend staying with your "house" brand and buy the 20 gauge you’re already familiar with. The reason many shooters should prefer 20s for home defense over a bigger 12 gauge is that they’re noticeably lighter than the 12s. In the September 2005 issue, GT tested the Remington Model 870 Express Synthetic 12 Gauge Magnum No. 25077, $345, which weighed 7.25 pounds, and the Mossberg Persuader Model 590A1 12 Gauge Magnum No. 51411, $443, which weighed 6.9 pounds. The 20 they tested this time weighs nearly 2 pounds less, than its counterpart 12, which make it a better choice for women or teenagers who might want to shoot them, but it doesn’t give up much in terms of hall-clearing power or capacity.

To function-test the pump gun, they took a trip to the tactical range and fed them a diet of common 20-gauge loads. The test rounds were Remington’s ShurShot Heavy Dove 20 Ga. R20HD-S 2.75-in. 2.5 Dr. Eq. 1 oz. No. 8s; Sellier & Bellot 20 Ga. Field Load 2.75-in. 2.75 Dr. Eq. 1 oz. No. 8s, and Remington Premier STS Steel Light Target Load 20 Ga. STS20LS7 2.75-in. 2.5 Dr. Eq. 7/8 oz. No. 7s. At the firing line, the gun functioned properly, and they recorded no failures to fire or stoppages of any sort, though they had some trouble loading the Mossberg, which are detailed below. In terms of materials, the Mossberg had an aluminum-alloy receiver that really cut its weight. It had an alloy trigger guard, and the safety button for the Mossberg’s was plastic.

Gun Tests July 2008


The Mossberg holds five rounds, supplies a secondary pistol-grip buttstock and is ambidextrous.

The gun had only the most rudimentary sights, which is fine for how they will probably be used, with shotshells. At close quarters, the shotgun would be an effective self-defense choice. Firing at 10 yards, we shot coffee-saucer-size patterns.

After the bang-bang section was complete, they moved on to other areas of function. Here’s what they found out:

In their commercial form, the Persuaders are virtual duplicates of the Mossberg Military 500 and 590 models. Persuader shotguns are available in both 18.5-inch and 20-inch barrel lengths, traditional blued or non-glare matte finishes, and some come with Ghost Ring sights. Available in .410 bore, 20- and 12-gauge models, Mossberg Special Purpose shotguns feature an anti-jam elevator, dual extractors, black synthetic stocks, and drilled and tapped receivers (20 and 12 gauge only) for scope base and optics installation. The Persuader/Cruiser models come with standard stocks, but also include a Cruiser-style pistol grip kit, which we didn’t use in our testing.

Gun Tests July 2008


The Persuader/Cruiser models come with standard stocks, but also include a cruiser-style pistol grip kit. The Persuader had a ventilated recoil pad, which helped reduce recoil.

The Mossberg Persuader 20 gauge in this test had a fixed Cylinder choke blued-steel barrel, single front-bead sight, and 5+1 capacity. As noted above, in the September 2005 issue Gun Tests tested the Mossberg Persuader Model 590A1 12 Gauge Magnum No. 51411, and they’ve also checked out a similar 5+1 12-gauge 500A Persuader No. 50411 in the January 2001 issue. The major differences between the 20 and the 12s are the heavy barrel and matte-black Parkerized finish on the No. 51411 tested in 2005.

The 20-gauge 6-shot No. 50452 measured 38 inches in overall length. The receiver was aluminum. The stock and forearm were black pebbled polymer, and the buttstock had an LOP of 14 inches, a drop at comb of 1.7 inches, and a drop at heel of 2.5 inches. There was no cast. The gun had no rib, and the front sight was a simple gold bead. A plus was Mossberg’s 10-year warranty.

Operating the Mossberg, they could work both the safety and the slide release without changing the shooting-hand grip and without having to dismount the shotgun. To rack the slide, they pulled the trigger finger off the trigger and depressed the action-lock lever with the middle knuckle of the right hand. Lefties had it even easier; they could pull the trigger finger off the trigger and release the button without having to shift the hand on the grip. The Mossberg tang safety was likewise ambidextrous, positive, and easy to get to.

Gun Tests July 2008


The receiver was aluminum, which helped keep weight down. Gun Tests could work both the safety (arrow) and the slide release (below, on the other side of the gun) without changing the shooting-hand grip and without having to dismount the gun.

The stock is composite plastic. The Mossberg came with a pistol grip, which gave it flexibility. With the pistol grip on, the Mossberg measured only 29 inches in length and weighed less than 5 pounds.

The magazine thought the pebbled finish on the pistol grip and forend didn’t provide as good a grip surface as some others. When they tried to shoot the Mossberg fast, their sweaty hands would either slide off the forend or loosen on the buttstock grip. The Mossberg, however, had a noticeably better buttpad in their view. Its ventilated design was much softer, and the edges were already rounded. The Mossberg’s front sight was rudimentary, but effective, and they could see the gold bead on the Persuader easily. Also, the Mossberg’s receiver was drilled and tapped for optics.

Elsewhere, though they judged the large opening in the receiver to allow for easy loading and unloading, sometimes the nose of a shell caught on the feeder bar, causing a jam. And while they were handling the gun dry, they noticed that the forearm felt loose, and pressure on the forearm caused the action to stick. But while they were shooting live rounds fast, neither was a problem.

 

Comments (34)

Well, C Gunner, if you can't find the appropriate side saddle mount, another option might be to wear the nylon/elastic carrier on your wrist, sort of like a bracelet. Granted, that it might not be the most convenient method of carrying extra loads, but I have tried this method, and it does provide for some pretty quick reloading of the shotgun.

Posted by: canovack | January 20, 2012 11:07 AM    Report this comment

Thanks, canovack, but I have the pistol grip model without the stock. Side saddle is the only option for me.

Posted by: C Gunner | January 19, 2012 8:51 PM    Report this comment

I have noticed the same thing C Gunner. Those side saddles and similar devices all seem to be made for 12 gauge only. Come to think of it, I haven't even seen any 20 gauge devices at the gun shows. A possible alternative might be the nylon/elastic device that slides over the butt stock of the shot gun. While the majority of my shotguns are 12 gauge, I do own a couple of 20s, and I have found that the elastic/nylon devices perform quite well with 20 gauge shells. You can find them at Academy Sports and Outdoors stores.

Posted by: canovack | January 19, 2012 12:17 PM    Report this comment

I have a Mossberg 20 Gauge pistol grip, and can't find a side saddle shell holder for it. Lots of them for 12, but not 20. I see where some folks have them, any ideas where I might find one?

Posted by: C Gunner | January 18, 2012 10:22 PM    Report this comment

I have a Mossberg 20 Gauge pistol grip, and can't find a side saddle shell holder for it. Lots of them for 12, but not 20. I see where some folks have them, any ideas where I might find one?

Posted by: C Gunner | January 18, 2012 9:34 PM    Report this comment

I agree with bear1& canovack on the forum. But for the benefit of Oldravenfixer (who has a point), I recently bought a Mossberg 500 20 GA. It's not a Persuader, but is identical action, magazine feed, etc. I have put over 100 rounds through it on both the trap range & 5-stand sporting clays, and it's functioned without a jam. My scores have improved as well.

Posted by: blue88 | November 11, 2011 7:40 PM    Report this comment

'Good explanation bear1. Oldravenfixer, for those of us who have been in this forum for several years, it sometimes does go off topic, basically because we have become friends and freely exchange information with each other. It is the sort of thing that encourages a camaraderie among we Second Amendment adherents.

Posted by: canovack | November 6, 2011 6:42 PM    Report this comment

Well oldravenfixer, you might call it both. We take some of the new and compare it to the old and what we have experience in and then see if we might buy one and then let others know what we think. By doing both we get the good and bad of both the new and old.Also we get to pick each others brains, that way the younger people and even some of old farts learn somthing from others, that way we are prepared for what ever comes our way and what is best for us and our family and loved ones.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | November 6, 2011 5:02 PM    Report this comment

What happened to the Q&A about this Mossberg 20ga. shotgun? Is this a chat forum?

Posted by: oldravenfixer | November 6, 2011 1:12 PM    Report this comment

Thanks Canovack, that's just the sort of information I was looking for. My experience with a Mossberg 500 was with a sporting model, which after a couple rounds of skeet started to feel loose in the joints. It was about 15 years ago, but if I recall correctly the mag end cap was unscrewing. I guess the military has resolved this issue, but I wasn't too impressed. However the gun functioned perfectly otherwise. Thanks again!

Posted by: Tubatoad | November 6, 2011 12:42 PM    Report this comment

Congratulations, bear 1. That's the same model of Savage M 24 that I have. I think you'll like it just fine. Now, as for Tubatoad, I had, until recently, an Ithaca M-37 pump in 12 gauge. It had a Deerslayer barrel with rifle sights and a vent rib field barrel. All in all, it was a great gun. While some have experienced problems with feeding, supposedly due to the action having only a single action bar, I never had the problem. As you may wonder, the reason I disposed of it had nothing to do with not liking it. Having as many firearms as I do, the M-37 simply became excess to my collection because I had moved into collecting pieces of a more tactical nature than sporting pieces.

Posted by: canovack | November 4, 2011 11:22 AM    Report this comment

Does anyone have experience with the Ithaca, in either 20 or 12 gauge? I'm especially concerned with the reliability issues.
Pete

Posted by: Tubatoad | November 3, 2011 10:58 PM    Report this comment

Hey Canovack got an update for ya'll. Good news, at least I think so, I finally found me a good used, infacted exelent shape savage over and under .22 on top and 20 gauge on bottom, only $450. only had one very small nick in the stock, so small I almost didn't notice it.

God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the Un and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | November 3, 2011 10:50 PM    Report this comment

I can relate to comment by BHO - gun shipped back for repairs. My experience appears on another post for a handgun. Fail to feed, followed by fail to chamber (action locked open!). Reputable gun maker, etc. It does make you skeptical. I wonder if they're outsourcing parts/assemblies, then putting them together to say Made in USA?

Posted by: blue88 | November 3, 2011 9:28 PM    Report this comment

I purchased a Mossberg 590A1 12ga Compact model 2 years ago. Right out of the box we could not load more than 2 rounds in the mag, 3rd round would just go in 1/2 way. And, no, there was no plug. Had 2 gunsmith friends check it out and they just could not find the cause. Spring was right length, mag bore smooth and spring cap fine. Then mag cap would not screw back on the mag tube, it was as if the mag tube itself had expanded. Not wanting to tamper with it and void my warranty I sent it back with a note asking to please explain the reason for the problems. I got it back with no explanation just with some gibberish on a parts list that appeared to me as if they had maybe swapped mag tube. I put the gun through various tests and now appears to work fine. However, this was for a gun touted for it's reliability and one that I would be carrying daily in my car's trunk, I am retired LEO. I also had to send back a Charter Arms .44 spc Bulldog after 12 rounds through it that I purchased at the same time. Both guns make a big deal about being made in the USA. Well no more USA guns for me, not until this country gets it's quality control issues in hand. The least these companies could do is pay the shipping for returned items. It cost me something like $160 for both guns right out of the box,it would have cost them pocket change. And, yes, I know, all guns, foreign and domestic have issues.

Posted by: BHO | October 31, 2011 8:31 PM    Report this comment

Thanks Canovack and Pappy, I guess I would go for one with a 20 on the bottom, but I seem to have the same problem, the very few that I have seen, they wanted way way to much for the shape they are in. In fact one guy had one that the stock was cracked and beat all to Hello, most of the blueing was gone and it looked like the bottom barrel more than likly bent, and he want $500.00 for it. Il tell you I couldn't help but laugh in his face and I laffed so hard I almost peed My pants, sur was glad the restroom was only 10 ft. away.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of thr UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | October 28, 2011 10:57 PM    Report this comment

Oh yeah, by-the-way, since 9x19mm is such a common caliber, and because it is a military caliber, I have a good quantity of that too.

Posted by: canovack | October 28, 2011 7:27 PM    Report this comment

Yeah, bear1, I keep seeing Savage M24s in .22/.410 at gun shows. They are commanding some hefty prices, but if you shop around you can get a pretty decent one for $300. I have a .22/20ga that I bought for my father-in-law several years ago. When he died, I got it back. As for standard calibers, my active rifles,for which I keep large amounts of ammo, are either .308/7.62x51 or .223/5.56x45. I also have a few 7.62x39. Any of my other rifles are essentially wall hangers or safe queens that don't get shot much. That said, however, I have at least one box of ammo for every one of them. As I noted above, 12 gauge is my standard shotgun load, so I keep lots of 12 gauge on hand. I have a couple of 20s and .410s too. Handguns get to be a real problem. I have .45 ACPs, .45 Colts, .40 S&Ws, .357 Sigs, .357 Mags, .38 Spls, .380s, .32 ACPs, and .25 ACPs. While I don't use much of the small caliber stuff, I do try to keep a pretty good float of the heavier stuff on hand. Of course I have lots and lots of .22LR for all of .22 rifles, pistols, and revolvers I have. I have a passing interest in .327 Fed, but I figure if I owned one, I'd have to purchase a bunch of ammo for it, so I'm staying away from it, for now. Storage is getting to be a problem, and I surely hope that my home never catches fire.

Posted by: canovack | October 28, 2011 7:24 PM    Report this comment

Bear,Mod 24 Savage is the 22/410.Also comes in other calibers.RC

Posted by: Pappy49 | October 28, 2011 2:51 PM    Report this comment

That's Pretty much what I have been doing all along Col. as it turns out becauce of cost. with me it kinda went like this I bought a long barrel 357 mag for back up hunting so to not having to buy different ammo for duty type carry and conceal typcarry I just bought a 4in and 2in barreled peace and it just kind kept going. So now I have several rifles and handguns that uses the same ammo so ammo stock up is pretty easy. The one thing I am still looking for an can't seem to find is one of the guns I used as a kid growing up and that is an over an under, .22 on top and 410 on the bottom rifle.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the Us.

Posted by: bear1 | October 28, 2011 1:40 PM    Report this comment

Gotta agree with the logic of low cost and American made. I tend to favor 12 gauge in most of my shotguns. I have owned 20s, 16s, and I still have a couple of .410s, but my current trend is toward avoidance of profusion of multiple calibers and gauges. I figure that if I keep the number of different bore diameters to a minimum, I can more easily and effectively stockpile large quantities of ammo without having a huge variety as well.

Posted by: canovack | October 28, 2011 11:18 AM    Report this comment

This is a no nonsense shotgun that functions well ,for a low cost, reasonable craftsmanship ,refinement capable ,and did I say affordable !!! Affordable means ," NO REASON NOT TO OWN" Oh yes AMERICAN MADE Did I say affordable and American in the same sentence?

Posted by: Fdmccarty | October 28, 2011 2:43 AM    Report this comment

I have both 12 & 20.Carried the old 12 cruser for 20 some yrs & fired thousands of rounds out of her without any problems.As with any firearm,Pratice-Pratice-Pratice & become profeshent{spellling}with them & you will overcome any Ideo-sink-re -ces they might have.Love the 20.Holds tighter patterens at range&more pellets.If your not a great shot go with the 12.If you can hit your point of aim,Go with the 20.Thank You bear for your ending comment,Totally Agree,Amen.RC

Posted by: Pappy49 | October 27, 2011 9:58 PM    Report this comment

Thanks david b good to be back had some problems with emails and the post office not getting my check to gunreports on time, I guess the mail person went on one person strike or something.
God Bless America and our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | October 27, 2011 8:49 PM    Report this comment

I just bought my 1st Mossberg Model 500 20 Ga. It's the full length 26" bbl w/ wood stock, not the Persuader. I'm glad to hear the testers in the article had the same (perceived) problems:

"... they noticed that the forearm felt loose, and pressure on the forearm caused the action to stick."

The forearm was so loose I had a gunsmith check it out before I shot it. It works fine. I also have the sticking action forearm, but found a slick work-around: Apply light backward pressure to the slide before depressing the release & it works every time w/o binding.

Posted by: blue88 | October 27, 2011 6:27 PM    Report this comment

bear1 !! Nice to see you back here with us. We missed you.

Posted by: david b | October 27, 2011 4:12 PM    Report this comment

I have had a Mossberg 500 Cruiser/Persuader chambered in 12 gauge that I purchased used in 1986. It's been tricked out with pistol grip stocks at the butt and forend, along with a side saddle mount for six rounds, a ventilated handguard, and a Beamshot laser. It spends most of its' time riding in the trunk of one of my cars, but each time I have pulled it out and given it a work out, it has come through in great style. Mossberg may not be the name that everybody wants to see on their firearms, but they surely do deliver when it counts.

Posted by: canovack | October 27, 2011 3:52 PM    Report this comment

I have had and still own several Mossbergs both in 20 and 12 gauge, right now I have two Mossberg 500, in 12 gauges, one long barreled for hunting and on with a shorter barrel that is Tact out, with longer tub to hold more shells and a shell holding sling, this one is loaded with both buck shot and slugs for taking care of real bussiness. As for jamming I have never had one jam that couldn't be fix with either brake in time or very miner work done.I might get one of these for the other half for when I am not home, but she likes my 12 gauges for home defence now, the side buy side double barrel coach gun if they are in the house and the tactical other wise, so it is kinda up in the air for now.
Brian66 I think that they had a 38 in simiauto just a few issues back click on hand guns.
God Bless America and Our Troops Passed Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | October 27, 2011 3:50 PM    Report this comment

The Mossberg 500 20 gauge is indeed a fine shotgun for domestic use. Mine is equipped with side saddle for slugs, a butt stock shell holder for #3 Buck, and a top-mounted laser. The gun is light in handling and in recoil. Besides, .615 caliber is nothing to sneeze at.

Posted by: Taurian | October 27, 2011 3:25 PM    Report this comment

Brian66 - try clicking on the "Handgun Reports" link at the top of the page. If there were any reviews of .38 Super semi's, they'd be there.

Posted by: david b | October 27, 2011 1:33 PM    Report this comment

I'm new here so please go easy. I'm interested in purchasing a 38 super, simi-auto

Posted by: Brian66 | October 27, 2011 12:34 PM    Report this comment

I love my Mossberg 500, and I'd buy another of the newer 'tactical' Mossbergs in a heartbeat, except that I'm currently saving for something else. But I've given my current 500 some rough treatment and it has never let me down.

Posted by: david b | October 27, 2011 12:17 PM    Report this comment

What kind of 'pressure on the forearm caused the action to stick'? '..sometimes the nose of a shell caught on the feeder bar, causing a jam' - how so? In a defensive role for this shotgun, these points are critical to operation! Please explain. Thanks.

Posted by: oldravenfixer | October 27, 2011 12:07 PM    Report this comment

Did it jam on loading the magazine or while shooting?

Posted by: tjhawk | October 27, 2011 10:49 AM    Report this comment

Add your comments ...

New to Gun Tests? Register for Free!

Already Registered? Log In