The Mossberg Persuader Model 590A1 No. 51411 , $443, uses an 18.5-inch fixed Cylinder choke barrel, single front bead sight, non-glare matte finish, and 5+1 capacity. We tested the 5+1 500A Persuader, No. 50411, in the January 2001 issue. The major differences between the two guns are the heavy barrel and matte-black Parkerized finish on the 51411 and the presence of a pistol grip as part of the 50411 package. Also, the 590A1 has a metal trigger guard and safety button. The 590A1 is also more pricey, $443 compared to $357 MSRP for the 500-series gun. The gun we tested measured 38.5 inches in overall length. The receiver was aluminum. It had an LOP of 13.9 inches, a drop at comb of 1.5 inches, and a drop at heel of 2.5 inches. There was no cast in the buttstock.
One impressive aspect of operating the Mossberg was that we 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, we 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.
The steel Mossberg trigger also broke at 9 pounds, but it had a cleaner feeling as it moved from its full-cock to discharged position.
The pistol grip on the Mossberg stock is about a half-inch shorter than the Winchester and about an inch shorter than the Remington. Also, the molded-in checkering provided a better grip surface on the Winchester and Remington guns, we thought. The Mossberg had a longer ribbed composite forend, 8 inches, and when closed, 4 inches of slide were exposed. It was possible to grasp the slide instead of the forend.
The Mossberg buttstock included molded-in studs for rear sling swivels, and was threaded to accept a stud in its cap, but the screw-in stud itself (part no. 36) wasnt included with the gun, that we could find.
The Mossberg enabled us to shoot 25-yard three-shot groups around 4.5 inches with the Federal Premium rifled slug. The Mossberg also printed the tightest patterns, though at close quarters all three shotguns would be effective self-defense choices. Firing at 10 yards with the Federal Premium Wing-Shok loads (3-inch magnums filled with No. 2s), we shot 9.6-inch-wide patterns with the Persuader, followed by 10-inch spreads by the Winchester and 11.5-inch Express patterns. But we cant necessarily say which pattern is best.
On the Mossberg, 5 shells went in smoothly, but the sixth lodged in the magazine mouth, preventing the elevator from moving. We had to screw off the magazine cap, remove the barrel, and jiggle the action to free the shell.
The front sight on the Mossberg is a standard bead, but the top strap is flattened and grooved. Also, unlike the other guns, the Mossberg is already drilled and tapped for an alternative sighting system, such as a Ghost Ring.
This gun had the best-situated controls, a receiver prepped for better sights, and it showed the best accuracy with slugs. We also liked its metal parts and heavy barrel.