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Old 12-03-2016, 09:05 PM
netmerc netmerc is offline
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So I recently bought a Mossberg HS12 shotgun and I wanted to share my experience with it so far and the reason I went this direction.

I was using an H&R single shot for hunting small game. The model I have is a 162 which has a front blade sight and a rear fold down sight similar to the setup on a 10/22. The barrel is 24" long but is a fixed cylinder bore. I love the length and weight for hiking 10-15 km through the bush. I love the break action for simplicity and the ejector to help speed up reloads. What I don't like is the lack of choke tubes and the cost of getting it machined and buying tubes was more than what I paid for the gun!

I spent a lot of time looking for a replacement for my rabbit/squirrel gun. My wife's Mossberg 500 comes with a cylinder bore 18.5" barrel and a fixed modified choke 28" barrel. I just find the longer barrel is annoying and a pain in the butt in the woods. Keep in mind the overall length of my H&R is much shorter than the Mossberg 500.

I looked all over for a pump with a short barrel with choke tubes. Here in Canada the options are somewhat limited. If I lived in the US I would have picked up a Mossberg 500 and bought the 20" choke tubed barrel at Walmart but the closest I could get here was a Remington 590 turkey gun with a weird stock I didn't like. I considered buying it and replacing the stock with a collapsible one but at this point the cost of building my perfect squirrel gun was spiralling out of control!

Then I stumbled upon the Mossberg HS12. While it's marketed as a home defence gun, what I saw was a near perfect small game/backpack shotgun! While we Canadian's have access to very short barreled shotguns, too short a barrel means a loss in velocity so I wanted at least an 18" barrel. Since we are limited to 3 rounds in our shotguns for hunting here a double barrel isn't that big a problem.

Initially I found a tacticool version with fixed cylinder bore and front rails for $600 CDN at Cabelas.ca but I also found a different version of the HS12 at another store in Toronto not far from me that has front rail and comes with interchangeable choke tubes (IC and M) that are compatible with Beretta/Benelli Mobil Chokes... for only $350!!! I ordered the gun and went to the store to pick it up last week.

First impressions, the length is perfect for what I wanted. In fact it feels a little too short when it comes to muzzle control because it's so easy to swing around. The weight is slightly more than my H&R by less than 1/2 a pound however the balance does seem a little off. While the gun balances just in front of the trigger the balance still feels a little off.

There are a lot of concerns about the safety sear inside the gun that prevents it from firing in a forward position. I did some testing with snap caps and found I have no problem pointing it down the stairs and shooting but when out hunting, being such a short gun, it's really easy to accidentally point it at your foot so it's actually a good added safety feature. That said trigger control is the only safety you should rely on. If you want to defeat the safety sear it is DEAD SIMPLE and there's at least one video on youtube how to do it.

Another concern that someone brought up online was the stiffness of the action. I'd have to agree that it is very stiff. I oiled it and even put some light grease on it. In experimenting with with it I discovered it's the friction between the receiver and the forestock plate that is causing the tightness. I expect it to get better over time however I'm probably going to sand it with fine sandpaper and then re-blue it.

Related to the stiffness concern is that when the action is open the bottom shell is difficult to get in and out unless you apply a slight pressure down on the barrel to open the action the last little bit. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly the shorter barrel doesn't have the weight to do it naturally like the Hunter version does. Secondly there is a spring loaded bar in the bottom of the reciever which is being pushed rearward and keeping the action open that last fraction of an inch. I don't imagine there is much that can be done about this except to hope it goes away over time with use.

Several people have commented that the lack of ejectors is a serious downfall and if I wanted this for HD I might be inclined to agree. That said, I got tired of looking for and picking up shells ejected from my H&R when I forgot to catch them. In a hunting situation it's actually advantageous for me to be able to just pull the shells out and dump them in my pocket. (I don't like to litter and I reload them anyway.)

Now for the fun discovery! When I bought the gun I picked up sling swivels to screw into the stock. Since the butt plate is held on by a screw I decided to try just replacing the screw with the sling swivel and it worked perfectly! By doing this I now can access the hollow butt stock without a tool (I just use the sling to turn the swivel!) This means that I can store a small survival kit and/or some shells in the butt and access them easily!

One other thing about the butt. Being hollow makes it LOUD out in the bush. I kept hitting it on the buttons on my jacket pocket and it was quite noisy. To solve the problem I opened up the butt and stuffed it with a bunch of foam I had. I don't want to permanently fill the butt as I've seen others do since I'm going to put together a survival kit to put inside. That being said, I will try to wrap the kit in a cloth that or something that will help deaden the noise and double as a water strainer etc.

So there you have it! I'm really happy with my HS12 considering what it is and what I want to use it for. If I get a shotgun deer tag next year I'm going to mount my red dot on it and use it as a slug gun as well. One thing I forgot to mention is that takedown is quick and easy and you can easily put it inside a backpack when camping.

One other comment I have for Mossberg. They should consider making a version of the HS12 targeted to people like me who want it for backpacking/hunting. They could make it camo and include a full set of choke tubes as well as sling swivels installed like I did with the hollow butt as a feature.

TL;DR Mossberg HS12 might not be a great home defense gun but it's actually a great backpackable hunting shotgun.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:52 PM
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Just wanted to thank you for the review. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing the HS12 and found your review very informative as I too was looking for the same things as you.

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Old 06-19-2018, 06:55 PM
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Well thought out review. Thanks for sharing.

I agree with you that this gun needs sling swivels. ( Too easy to camo the entire shotgun yourself. )

Instead of a survival kit, they should design a " survival kit" for the gun itself......as in a cleaning kit that fits inside the stock in a way it wont make niose.

Similar to a cleaning kit designed to fit inside an M1/ M14 stock.

That would make for a very interesting hunting shotgun. ( Run a slug in the top bbl, and shot in the other. )
Never used a over/under. Used to have a 20ga double bbl. ( It had 2 triggers so you could decide as to which tube you wanted to set off first.....or both at same time.)

How is it in the felt recoil dept when settin off 3in buck or slugs?

Edit: Here is a link to this shotgun btw. ......

http://www.mossberg.com/product/mave...erunder-75462/


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Old 06-19-2018, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netmerc View Post
So I recently bought a Mossberg HS12 shotgun and I wanted to share my experience with it so far and the reason I went this direction.

I was using an H&R single shot for hunting small game. The model I have is a 162 which has a front blade sight and a rear fold down sight similar to the setup on a 10/22. The barrel is 24" long but is a fixed cylinder bore. I love the length and weight for hiking 10-15 km through the bush. I love the break action for simplicity and the ejector to help speed up reloads. What I don't like is the lack of choke tubes and the cost of getting it machined and buying tubes was more than what I paid for the gun!

I spent a lot of time looking for a replacement for my rabbit/squirrel gun. My wife's Mossberg 500 comes with a cylinder bore 18.5" barrel and a fixed modified choke 28" barrel. I just find the longer barrel is annoying and a pain in the butt in the woods. Keep in mind the overall length of my H&R is much shorter than the Mossberg 500.

I looked all over for a pump with a short barrel with choke tubes. Here in Canada the options are somewhat limited. If I lived in the US I would have picked up a Mossberg 500 and bought the 20" choke tubed barrel at Walmart but the closest I could get here was a Remington 590 turkey gun with a weird stock I didn't like. I considered buying it and replacing the stock with a collapsible one but at this point the cost of building my perfect squirrel gun was spiralling out of control!

Then I stumbled upon the Mossberg HS12. While it's marketed as a home defence gun, what I saw was a near perfect small game/backpack shotgun! While we Canadian's have access to very short barreled shotguns, too short a barrel means a loss in velocity so I wanted at least an 18" barrel. Since we are limited to 3 rounds in our shotguns for hunting here a double barrel isn't that big a problem.

Initially I found a tacticool version with fixed cylinder bore and front rails for $600 CDN at Cabelas.ca but I also found a different version of the HS12 at another store in Toronto not far from me that has front rail and comes with interchangeable choke tubes (IC and M) that are compatible with Beretta/Benelli Mobil Chokes... for only $350!!! I ordered the gun and went to the store to pick it up last week.

First impressions, the length is perfect for what I wanted. In fact it feels a little too short when it comes to muzzle control because it's so easy to swing around. The weight is slightly more than my H&R by less than 1/2 a pound however the balance does seem a little off. While the gun balances just in front of the trigger the balance still feels a little off.

There are a lot of concerns about the safety sear inside the gun that prevents it from firing in a forward position. I did some testing with snap caps and found I have no problem pointing it down the stairs and shooting but when out hunting, being such a short gun, it's really easy to accidentally point it at your foot so it's actually a good added safety feature. That said trigger control is the only safety you should rely on. If you want to defeat the safety sear it is DEAD SIMPLE and there's at least one video on youtube how to do it.

Another concern that someone brought up online was the stiffness of the action. I'd have to agree that it is very stiff. I oiled it and even put some light grease on it. In experimenting with with it I discovered it's the friction between the receiver and the forestock plate that is causing the tightness. I expect it to get better over time however I'm probably going to sand it with fine sandpaper and then re-blue it.

Related to the stiffness concern is that when the action is open the bottom shell is difficult to get in and out unless you apply a slight pressure down on the barrel to open the action the last little bit. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly the shorter barrel doesn't have the weight to do it naturally like the Hunter version does. Secondly there is a spring loaded bar in the bottom of the reciever which is being pushed rearward and keeping the action open that last fraction of an inch. I don't imagine there is much that can be done about this except to hope it goes away over time with use.

Several people have commented that the lack of ejectors is a serious downfall and if I wanted this for HD I might be inclined to agree. That said, I got tired of looking for and picking up shells ejected from my H&R when I forgot to catch them. In a hunting situation it's actually advantageous for me to be able to just pull the shells out and dump them in my pocket. (I don't like to litter and I reload them anyway.)

Now for the fun discovery! When I bought the gun I picked up sling swivels to screw into the stock. Since the butt plate is held on by a screw I decided to try just replacing the screw with the sling swivel and it worked perfectly! By doing this I now can access the hollow butt stock without a tool (I just use the sling to turn the swivel!) This means that I can store a small survival kit and/or some shells in the butt and access them easily!

One other thing about the butt. Being hollow makes it LOUD out in the bush. I kept hitting it on the buttons on my jacket pocket and it was quite noisy. To solve the problem I opened up the butt and stuffed it with a bunch of foam I had. I don't want to permanently fill the butt as I've seen others do since I'm going to put together a survival kit to put inside. That being said, I will try to wrap the kit in a cloth that or something that will help deaden the noise and double as a water strainer etc.

So there you have it! I'm really happy with my HS12 considering what it is and what I want to use it for. If I get a shotgun deer tag next year I'm going to mount my red dot on it and use it as a slug gun as well. One thing I forgot to mention is that takedown is quick and easy and you can easily put it inside a backpack when camping.

One other comment I have for Mossberg. They should consider making a version of the HS12 targeted to people like me who want it for backpacking/hunting. They could make it camo and include a full set of choke tubes as well as sling swivels installed like I did with the hollow butt as a feature.

TL;DR Mossberg HS12 might not be a great home defense gun but it's actually a great backpackable hunting shotgun.

Nice review. Thankyou for taking the time to do that.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragout View Post
Well thought out review. Thanks for sharing.

I agree with you that this gun needs sling swivels. ( Too easy to camo the entire shotgun yourself. )

Instead of a survival kit, they should design a " survival kit" for the gun itself......as in a cleaning kit that fits inside the stock in a way it wont make niose.

Similar to a cleaning kit designed to fit inside an M1/ M14 stock.

That would make for a very interesting hunting shotgun. ( Run a slug in the top bbl, and shot in the other. )
Never used a over/under. Used to have a 20ga double bbl. ( It had 2 triggers so you could decide as to which tube you wanted to set off first.....or both at same time.)

How is it in the felt recoil dept when settin off 3in buck or slugs?

Edit: Here is a link to this shotgun btw. ......

http://www.mossberg.com/product/mave...erunder-75462/


11B
"How is it in the felt recoil dept when settin off 3in buck or slugs?"

It's REALLY significant! It's fine for hunting or HD situation of course but it starts to take its toll at the range. Even 3" turkey load packs a whollop!

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Old 07-05-2018, 09:29 AM
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I've decided to do a follow up review on my HS12 now that I've had it for 2 years. Since buying it I did a quick and dirty paint job on it.

https://imgur.com/ZPy4TT5

> First impressions, the length is perfect for what I wanted.

The length is pretty much perfect. I do have to make sure I don't sweep my own feet but otherwise it'm happy with the overall length. The barrel being at 18.5" does mean there's a really nice fireball, especially when shooting turkey load or 3" buck or slug loads. A lot of people will try and tell you that a shorter barrel creates a wider pattern. This is not strictly true at all, or at least, not decernable in any way.

> the balance does seem a little off.

I've found that carrying it without an optic is quite comfortable as I can grip it around the rail and wrap my fingers around the action in front of the trigger.

> There are a lot of concerns about the safety sear

I removed the safety sear but not for the reasons you might think. The argument that people have made about shooting down the stairs just doesn't ring true since the angle of the stairs isn't steep enough to trip it. The argument about covering a bad guy on the ground is based on doing something REALLY stupid, standing directly over someone with a long gun. Doing that negates the benefit of a firearm being a distance weapon and puts you and everyone around you in danger.

The real reason I removed the safety sear was because it FROZE in the winter and I was unable to pull the trigger on a deer!!! I don't blame the gun per se as the cleaning and maintenance are on me but ultimately it fell forward while I was carrying it and when I went to pull the trigger I couldn't. Once it warmed up I was able to pull the trigger again so I decided that, since I had to take it apart to clean and dry it, I might as well remove it.

> stiffness of the action.

The action has worked itself out over time and it's fine now.

>the bottom shell is difficult to get in and out

This is still an issue but it's a minor one that you can deal with simply by applying slight downward pressure on the barrel to get the bottom shell out.

Over all I'm still very happy with this gun. If I could wish for one thing it would be for an after market buttstock. I'd love to put an AR style collapsible butt stock on it so that I could make it even shorter but mainly because I find holding my shotgun in "ready" position I am used to doesn't work well with a standard rifle stock. A proper pistol grip is more comfortable for me.

As for shooting, it patterns really nice for turkey with turkey chokes and groups well with slugs out to 50 yards. I ended up not putting the red dot on and use the iron sights exclusively. To that I would point out it's NOT a good bird gun. You really have to bury the front sight down into the bottom of the V cut in the rear site. This takes practice and time and works fine for a slow moving turkey or deer frozen in it's tracks but for a field/bird gun you really want to stick with a bead sight IMHO.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:00 PM
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Great follow up review netmerc. I have had mine now for 7 months and like yourself I am very pleased with it overall.

I agree with your assessment on length as being perfect and that there is no discernable pattern issues that I could tell. So far all my shooting has been at the range (practice before application) and have shot everything from birdshot (agree that it wouldn't be a good bird gun because of the sight) on up. 3" 00 Buck and slugs definitely pack a wallop and could only do a few of those at a time. 2 3/4 00 Buck and Slugs packed a punch but is manageable. All Birdshot shot was a "walk in the park."

Based on your review I addressed the hollow buttstock right from the get go. I did not want to make anything permanent so I started off by stuffing shop rags in it to see if that would deaden the noise. It did a good job of it that I have decided to leave it that way until I can test it in the field. However, it also had a couple bonuses. First, it helped to add a little weight that; at least in my opinion; corrected the balance. Second, that extra weight and filling up of empty space helped with the felt recoil. Again my personal opinion, but it felt less each time I had the rags than without.

As for the action and safety sear, the action was super stiff, mine could not be opened at all that I did have to file it down a touch. It is still pretty stiff but going to let that resolve itself through time and use. I did end up removing the safety sear. I did because while testing around my home to see if people's complaints about it were accurate, I came across a situation where it would be an issue. Not on the stairs or covering someone, that was never an issue. LOL! The problem was on the second floor landing overlooking the first floor. A couple of times the safety sear moved into position, so off it went. Most would say this should not be your go to go firearm in a HD situation and I would agree with that somewhat, however, I just didn't want to deal with it if my go to was not available.

I do plan on adding some swivel studs to it. Which ones did you use? Do you ever sling it across your back for hands free situations? If so, does it lay nicely across or would adding then to side be more beneficial for that?

I did add a couple things...A side saddle to the buttstock as I like to have extra ammo on all my guns and the sleeve type holders just wouldn't stay put. Pulled out the chokes and added some ported extended choke tubes that I had laying around.

Lastly, I am going to get it painted but just haven't figured out what I want yet. Again, thanks for your reviews.




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Old 02-03-2019, 01:11 PM
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I'm glad my post was helpful! I figure we all would have similar experiences and can learn from each other.

For sling swivels I just use your standard style. Couldn't tell you which brand. The idea of slinging it across my back isn't something I've tried that I recall. I do like your idea of putting a swivel on the side for this though. Part of my rear swivel replacing the butt plate screw is it makes it easy to get into the compartment at the back BUT if you're not using it like that then a side mount swivel might work well for you!

Regarding recoil, my take on it is that, at a range you're going to eventually be bothered by it on any shotgun with heavy loads but as a hunting shotgun I might carry it for a week and pull the trigger once or twice when deer hunting.

I need to find skeet or cylinder chokes for it to make it a bit better if a rabbit gun. For coyote it patterns nice with my turkey chokes and 00 buck and similarly it patterns well for turkey if course!

I did a bubba paint job with spray paint from Home Depot because it's a working gun but it looks fine. If you do a nice job painting it is love to see the pictures!!!

Cheers!

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Old 02-15-2019, 03:03 PM
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Sorry for the late reply and good point about range vs field shooting. Will definitely keep up the practice with the larger loads.

As for chokes, checkout BlackBoreChokes.com

I have used his competition (currently on the HS12) and tactical chokes and can attest that they do the job well and are very well made. The owner has decided to retire this year so he is trying to move his inventory. I believe all chokes right now are $40 USD.

Will share a photo as soon as I get painted.

Thanks again

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Old 02-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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Sorry for the late reply and good point about range vs field shooting. Will definitely keep up the practice with the larger loads.

As for chokes, checkout BlackBoreChokes.com

I have used his competition (currently on the HS12) and tactical chokes and can attest that they do the job well and are very well made. The owner has decided to retire this year so he is trying to move his inventory. I believe all chokes right now are $40 USD.

Will share a photo as soon as I get painted.

Thanks again

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Thanks but being in Canada means about $30 shipping and $50 border fees on top of anything I buy from the US! :-(

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Old 02-15-2019, 04:20 PM
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Wow! I knew there would be some type of fee but that is outrageous.

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Old 02-15-2019, 04:26 PM
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Wow! I knew there would be some type of fee but that is outrageous.

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Oh..forgot the exchange rate. It's not always better to find a Canadian supplier and sometimes it's almost impossible. It's extremely hard to get most shotgun reloading supplies here. Also I have a buddy who broke the front site on his kaltec sub2k and he can't get the sight because of ITAR unless he is willing to spend about $300 Canadian!

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Old 02-15-2019, 04:47 PM
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Oh..forgot the exchange rate. It's not always better to find a Canadian supplier and sometimes it's almost impossible. It's extremely hard to get most shotgun reloading supplies here. Also I have a buddy who broke the front site on his kaltec sub2k and he can't get the sight because of ITAR unless he is willing to spend about $300 Canadian!

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Interesting, while I am not Canadian, I didnt think sights and chokes were on the prohibited list that required all of the permits, fees, and etc. I thought that just applied to complet, firearms, receivers, and the such.

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Old 02-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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Interesting, while I am not Canadian, I didnt think sights and chokes were on the prohibited list that required all of the permits, fees, and etc. I thought that just applied to complet, firearms, receivers, and the such.

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I doubt chokes are. Sights can be. Also it's an American law. If you crossed the border with a sight into Canada without getting caught by US Border Patrol, the Canadian Border Patrol wouldn't give a crap since there's no import prohibition and it's not a prohibited device!

If you get caught it would be life changing. :-(. Just not worth the risk IMHO. Better to pay a broker to do the ITAR **** legally!

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Old 02-15-2019, 05:03 PM
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I doubt chokes are. Sights can be. Also it's an American law. If you crossed the border with a sight into Canada without getting caught by US Border Patrol, the Canadian Border Patrol wouldn't give a crap since there's no import prohibition and it's not a prohibited device!

If you get caught it would be life changing. :-(. Just not worth the risk IMHO. Better to pay a broker to do the ITAR **** legally!

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Agree that it always needs to be done legally but I will have to double check on ITAR regulations with a licensed broker as I believe Shotgun components and parts do not apply. Well at least they didn't use to. Will let you know what I find out. I will ask about the sight too.

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Old 02-15-2019, 05:10 PM
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Agree that it always needs to be done legally but I will have to double check on ITAR regulations with a licensed broker as I believe Shotgun components and parts do not apply. Well at least they didn't use to. Will let you know what I find out. I will ask about the sight too.

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As far as I know it all depends on if the item has a military application. For example a Bushnell hunting scope is ok but the same scope with a mildot reticle is not (don't quote me on that example...it's something like that)

A regular shotgun choke is probably fine but a breaching choke might not be. I once tried to get copper gas checks for reloading lead 30-30 and was told they are ITAR?!?



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Old 03-04-2019, 06:34 PM
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I was under the impression that this shotgun utilized the Benelli Mobil choke system?

Correct or incorrect?

This might be of interest as well.....

https://www.mossberg.com/maverickhun...a-4d062fc174db

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Old 03-04-2019, 06:35 PM
netmerc netmerc is offline
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Originally Posted by fragout View Post
I was under the impression that this shotgun utilized the Benelli Mobil choke system?



Correct or incorrect?



11B
That is correct. I picked up turkey chokes for it soon after I bought it. Patterns nicely.

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Old 03-04-2019, 06:50 PM
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Jack Swilling Jack Swilling is offline
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I have a pair of Baikal S x S shotguns that have been tuned and the LOP shortened.
For sure, they would deter a problem. I like extractors over ejectors. Watch a SASS shotgun video to see how to work you gun.
I also have two Browning Superposed O/Us and they are rightly held in the highest regard for durability.
I just like shotguns of every type.
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backpack, hs-12, hs12, hunting, mossberg, shotgun, survival



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