October 16, 2012

Mossberg .410 Cruiser No. 50455-3

We recently began retesting a gun from March 2001, the Mossberg 410 Cruiser No. 50455. We bought one at GunAuction.com for $250, with an eye toward using it for home defense and possibly car defense. For some people, this easy-to-handle pump-action .410 shotgun with pistol grip might be a versatile self-defense alternative to a light rifle or handgun. Also, the Cruiser is compact enough to fit inside the door pocket of some larger pickup trucks.

It weighed 5 pounds and measures just 29.5 inches in overall length. Chambered for 3-inch shells, the barrel was 18.5 inches long, and the tubular magazine holds six shots. It has a Cylinder bore choke and polymer pistol grip and forend. MSRP is $434. We’re impressed with the Cruiser because it compares favorably to other guns used in self-defense situations, plus it costs a lot less than most handguns or rifles.

We recently tested it with Winchester Super-X HS High Brass Game Load X414 (2.5 inch, .5 ounce No. 4s, 1245 fps muzzle velocity), Remington ShurShot R410LR6s (2.5 inch, .5 ounce No. 6s, 1250 fps muzzle velocity), and Federal Premium Personal Defense Handgun PD412JGE 4 loads (2.5 inch, 7/16 ounce No. 4s, 1200 fps muzzle velocity). We also tried Remington Ultimate Home Defense 3-inch 000 Buck 413B000HD and Federal Premium Personal Defense 3-inch 000 Buck PD413JGE000. How did the .410 Cruiser shoot? We patterned all the loads at 10 yards, but we were mainly checking functionality, and came across a problem. We had consistent failures to eject and feed with the 3-inch shells, but of the two, the Federal was much worse. We could barely get that round to cycle. It seemed like the gun was dropping the fired hulls back into the action when we moved the forend rapidly.

Courtesy, Gun Tests

Courtesy, Gun Tests

The Mossberg Cruiser is a powerful but compact self-defense gun when loaded with slugs or buckshot.

At 10 yards, the birdshot rounds produced more intense patterns than the buckshot rounds, but as Bob Campbell notes in the nearby ammo comparison piece, for self-defense, buckshot and slugs are the way to go. Patterns out to 10 yards with the buckshot were tight and would be very effective in the hallway of a house or apartment.

The Mossberg 410 Cruiser weighed 5 pounds and measured just 29.5 inches in overall length. Chambered for 3-inch shells, the barrel was 18.5 inches long, and the tubular magazine held six shots. Because of the .410’s low recoil, the handy Cruiser can be shot at eye level, chest level, or one-handed with the pistol grip.

Mossberg’s design includes a top-mounted safety and grooved top strap, which helped accuracy with slugs. We could pick out the top of the bead at 6 o’clock on a target and use the grooves atop the receiver to fine-tune alignment. The Cruiser’s smooth 5.5-pound trigger broke cleanly and always when we expected it.

Our Team Said: If you want a packable, powerful self-defense gun that nearly everyone in the family can handle, we think the .410 Mossberg Cruiser is a bargain. One staffer got a .410 Cruiser for his wife and has it loaded with 2.5-inch 000 shells. It delivers three .36-caliber pellets at 1200 fps, yet recoil is relatively mild. Another friend of the magazine bought a .410 cruiser for his 79-year-old mother. Just check to make sure the ammo you’re depending on cycles smoothly in the Cruiser, and we think you’ll see the gun is light enough, easy enough, and simple enough to operate for nearly anyone.