New Shotgun Day - Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde!

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I like it. I like it a lot. Very beautiful.

Are these still US made?
Have no way of verifying this info anymore, but someone told me that all variations of Mossberg 500/590 are assembled in USA, with a mix of US/Turkey parts. While Mossberg Maverick 88 is assembled in USA with a mix of US/Mexico parts.

No idea on their semi-auto shotgun offerings.
 

john_pifer

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Where did you get it?
We were leaving that day to head to the Memphis area to visit my mom, and it just so happened that a shop here, Guns and Ammo, had one of the 590A1 Retrograde models in stock with $869 on the sticker. Not a great price, but less than the $1000 and up that they’re going for on GunBroker. So I drove over with cash and offered $860, which was what the one from KY Gun Co. would have cost with tax. No dice - “what’s on the tag is what it is”. I said “let’s write it up”.
 

john_pifer

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Here’s my question that I emailed to Mossberg, and their response:

Where is the 590A1 made?

Are all components of the 590A1 made in USA, or are the parts made elsewhere and assembled in the USA?

What about the Retrograde series?

Thanks, John Pifer

Mossberg‘s response:

Hi John,

Thank you for your e-mail. Mossberg firearms are manufactured in the USA, unless stated as International - the International firearms are imported from Turkey or Brazil. Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Customer Service Team
O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc
 
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Ws6

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If you saw my recent thread about the Mossberg Mariner Marinecote you knew I was looking at shotguns.

Well, seeing that Mariner on sale spurred me into doing some research into what else was available, and by the time I got ready to buy, Sportsman’s Warehouse was all sold out.

But after doing some research, I found that what I really wanted was a 590A1 anyway (the ones that Sportsman’s Warehouse had on sale were the standard 590).

If you’re not familiar, the 590A1 differs from the standard Mossberg 590 in that it has a heavy-walled barrel, metal trigger guard and safety, Parkerized finish instead of matte blueing, and some people claim that the action of the trigger is better.

One article I read even claimed that the heavier barrel actually results in a tighter pattern, due to different barrel harmonics, despite the fact that it’s a cylinder bore shotgun (no choke). And that may even be the reason behind the heavy barrel, as part of the MIL-S-3443G spec that this gun was made for defines how tight the pattern has to be at a certain distance from the muzzle (see below).

Oh, and it has a bayonet lug. And yes, I’ll definitely be getting a bayonet for it! (How could you not, right?!)

But, the biggest thing is that the “A1” version of the Mossberg 590 is supposedly the only shotgun to have officially passed the so-called MIL-S-3443G specification, created to define the characteristics desired in a military fighting shotgun.

I found the “cliffnotes” version posted on another forum. Theres more to it than this; I found the complete downloadable specs, but it’s 33 pages. You can find it easily if interested.

Here’s the abbreviated spec:

TARGETING AND ACCURACY (PATTERN):

At a range of 40 yards (+/- one foot) aim shall be taken at the center of a pattern sheet not less than 40 nor more than 60 inches square. The shot pattern shall be such that not less than 33 1/3 per cent of the shot pellets shall be within or cut the edge of a 30-inch diameter circle for accuracy (pattern), drawn entirely on the pattern sheet so as to enclose the most shot. Five patterns shall be fired from each gun and the average must be as specified. The guns shall be hand held during firing, or mounted in a fixture that simulates hand firing. Ammunition shall be as specified in 3.17.3.

ENDURANCE TEST (LOT ACCEPTANCE)

Shotguns shall be capable of withstanding the firing of 3,000 rounds with no unserviceable or broken parts and no more than three (3) malfunctions using standard commercial 12-gauge, 2 3/4 inch, 00 buckshot (9 pellets), maximum load shells. Type I shotguns shall include M7 bayonet and scabbard as specified in 3.3.1.a.

ROUGH HANDLING

After completion of the performance test, three weapons shall be chosen and subjected to the rough handling test. Each weapon will have the safety "on", a primed cartridge case in the chamber, and a fully loaded magazine. One weapon shall be conditioned at -20 degrees F, one at ambient, and one at +120 degrees F for a minimum of four hours prior to the test. The weapons shall be dropped a minimum of four feet (lowest point on the weapon to the drop surface) in each of the following five modes:

Butt end down

right side down

left side down

top side down

45 degree angle with verticle plane- butt end down

The drop surface shall be 85 + 5 Durometer (Shore A) rubber mat, one inch thick, backed by concrete. At the test conclusion the weapon must be safe and serviceable and the primed shell shall not have fired.


INTERCHANGEABILITY TEST:

Shotguns shall be tested for interchangeability of repair parts (see 3.18) by disassembling the shotguns and placing parts of each kind in the same container. The ten shotguns shall then be reassembled using repair parts taken at random from each container and subjected to the functioning test of 4.6.3 and the headspace test of 4.6.2.

HEAT SHIELD EFFECTIVENESS

Type I shotguns shall be tested for heat shield effectiveness (see 3.3.3.e). The shotgun and its ammunition shall be conditioned at 78 degrees +/- 8 degrees F for a minimum of four hours. Then 25 rounds of standard, commercial, 12 gauge, 2 3/4 inch, 00 buckshot (9 pellets) maximun load shells shall be fired in not more than 3 minutes (rate of fire is to be approximately 1 shot every 5 seconds). Immediately after completion of the firing, the temperature of representative ares of the heat shield shall be measured. No measurement shall exceed initial temperature plus 40 degrees F. Areas to be measured and measuring equipment used shall be approved by the Government representative. At the discretion of the contractor, this test may be performed in conjunction with the endurance test (4.6.5).


And, always having been a big admirer of firearms made of traditional wood and steel, when I saw the “Retrograde” model of the 590A1, which comes with walnut stock and “corncob” walnut forend grip, I decided that was the one I wanted.



I really like the Mariner version of the A1, also, and I like the “riot gun” look of the shorter barrel. But what made my decision in favor of the Retrograde was the fact that the Mariner Marinecote version of the 590 only comes with the 18.5” barrel instead of the 20” barrel, and mag capacity is only 6 instead of the 8 of the 20” barrel models.

I started looking around, and apparently the A1 Retrograde is one of the most highly desirable shotguns in the world.

A few days ago, I went to the websites of several online gun shops who had the Retrograde listed. Nobody had one, but they all offered to take your phone no or email, and they’d let you know when they got one.

Tuesday morning, KY Gun Co. got a shipment, and texted me around 11:00 that morning. But, because I work nights, I didn’t get the text until about 11:45, and all the ones they received had already been spoken for. Not a surprise - they had them listed for $779 - a good price that would seem to be well below what they’ve been going for.

We were leaving that day to head to the Memphis area to visit my mom, and it just so happened that a shop here, Guns and Ammo, had one of the 590A1 Retrograde models in stock with $869 on the sticker. Not a great price, but less than the $1000 and up that they’re going for on GunBroker. So I drove over with cash and offered $860, which was what the one from KY Gun Co. would have cost with tax. No dice - “what’s on the tag is what it is”. I said “let’s write it up”.

(BTW these used to go for substantially less during the Trump era - around $700 before tax is what I’ve read.)

Oh well. I’ve gotten a few smoking deals in the past. This wasn’t an exceptional deal, but not a horrible deal, either.

It was strange, as I drove back to my mom’s house, to think that one of my kids will own this one day! Getting old, LOL. Never used to have thoughts like that on the way home from the LGS!

Picked up a couple boxes of Federal Flite Control 2-3/4” 00 buckshot. Never know when you might need 9 rounds of 12GA, right?

Can’t wait to shoot it.
This is possible, but it's in the realm of theory. Barrel to barrel and ammunition lot to lot variance will be greater than harmonics. I suggest LE133 00 and LE132 00 buckshot if you want the tightest possible patterns. At 40 yards it will be about the size of a volleyball with maybe a few strays from that. The barrel is spec'ed to dang heavy because it was meant for ship use, and there are a lot of steel doorways in a ship, and the odds of denting a thin-wall barrel are high with aggressive movement.

Careful of the bayonette. My roommate's 590A1 would shoot it loose in a couple of rounds.

It was also the only one submitted for testing.

Be careful of keeping a round in the chamber. The drop safety testing of this emphasizes that shotguns are NOT considered drop safe (4 ft fall onto a thick rubber mat).

The 590A1 is a good gun, I found the barrel did wear on me after a while!
 

Ws6

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I’m curious what makes you say that the Benelli M2 or Beretta 1301 models are “far better tactical shotguns”, beyond the obvious point that they’re semi-automatic.

Are they more accurate? More reliable? More durable?

To use a cliche that someone else here used recently, books have been written on the subject of pump vs semi-automatic shotguns for defensive use.

Im certainly no expert on shotguns - just trying to learn.
The QA/QC on the Italians is much better. The barrels are chrome lined and easier to keep clean/foul less. "Accuracy" comes from pairing the weapon with the shells it likes, and is a moot point to argue with smoothbore gauges. The semi-auto is less likely to malfunction than the pump, because operator error with a pump. People short-stroke them under stress. I've even seen Jerry Miculek SS a pump before, and if buddy can do it, you can I can, too! As far as durability, the M2 will go around 50-100K rounds or so before you need to really start looking at things other than springs, the 1301 around 10K or so before the trigger pack needs some love (trigger bars) and the mag tube gets notable wear from the cycling of the long-stroke piston and associated parts on the OD at around 15-20K.

Here he is (Skip to 2:35). He's not scared. He's not in a gunfight. He's not new to the cameras. He's just out having fun...and he flubbed it hard. I promise you all those neckbeards at the gunstore who say "Ah grew up with uh pump gun and ah can run one!" aren't better than Jerry, and here he is just failing so hard. It really drives the point home in favor of quality autoloaders, IMO.

My personal preference is the Benelli M4. Aberdeen put 4 million rounds through that platform in testing, and the guns were required to fire over 25K rounds before any parts breakage or need for replacement occurred. I have personally spoken with people who have fired several times this many rounds through them, with no parts breakages. In fact, Battlefield Las Vegas has one on the line, and has had, for many times this, and here is what was said about it by them:
I know I've promised to a shotgun thread but I will say this. We get a MAXIMUM of 5-6 weeks out of a Mossberg or Remington pump-action before it's down. Sometimes we will only get two weeks out of them before they are hard-broke. I can't say one is better than the other BUT... we've had a Benelli M4 on the line since DAY ONE and it has yet suffer from parts breaking. Granted, it only gets about 1/5 of the use but it's closing in on FOUR years and not one problem.-8/29/2016

As for the Benelli, that is the longest working shotgun in our inventory. It has been on the line since day one and after inspecting the records, it actually did suffer one parts breakage. The part that broke was the rear sight and not related to any shooting or over-use (staff member dropped it). It may not be used quite as often as the pump-action shotguns but it goes on the line daily and there are plenty of people who want to shoot it thanks to all the video games that it's featured in. We've used 00-buck, "light recoil" buck, birdshot and frangible buckshot and it eats anything that we give it and never fails to cycle. The Marine RSO's all have prior experience with Benelli M4 and really love it and the fact that it continues to work and work always leads them to boast about how well the Marine's choose their weapons.-1/22/2017

I'm on my flight heading home and tried to come with a fair and conservative round count for the Benelli. It would be fair to say that using the lowest daily round count and then estimating down (instead of rounding up), I believe it's fair to say that the Benelli M4 has seen at least 40,000 through it since it started out here on the range.--2/19/2017

Hi *MYNAMEREDACTED*, one part FINALLY broke after the 5 year mark. The part that broke was the piston I believe. I will verify for you tomorrow to be sure.-3/26/2018
-Ron, VP
Look at the dates on our messages to each other about this...that gun has some ROUNDS on it!

It is the most stringent testing of any shotgun I am aware of that any military has ever conducted. Also, I can get them with 14" barrels and stocks that collapse to 12" LOP, so huge win, there.
 
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Ws6

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There is nothing "wrong" with the reliability of pump shotguns. Semi auto's, (even the precious $2K+ Benelli M4's), have had, and continue to have, their fair share of operational issues in regards to reliability. Especially with lighter loads.






I've owned 10 or so Benelli M4's throughout the years. None had any function issues with anything but very light low-recoil stuff. I typically put a tube of Remington STS 1145fps 1-1/8oz loads through them first thing as a litmust test. They always digest it fine and lock back on empty. I have also never had one break in any sort of manner.
 

ZeeOSix

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Here he is (Skip to 2:35). He's not scared. He's not in a gunfight. He's not new to the cameras. He's just out having fun...and he flubbed it hard. I promise you all those neckbeards at the gunstore who say "Ah grew up with uh pump gun and ah can run one!" aren't better than Jerry, and here he is just failing so hard. It really drives the point home in favor of quality autoloaders, IMO.
He just short stroked it, and he was trying to shoot fast obviously. Short stroking doesn't cause a failure or jamb, just stroke it again.
 
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He just short stroked it, and he was trying to shoot fast obviously. Short stroking doesn't cause a failure or jamb, just stroke it again.

Correct. Short stroking a pump happens because of operator error. Nothing more. It has nothing to do with the inherent reliability of the weapon itself. That's like saying a double action revolver is better. Because in a stressful situation, you might forget to pull the hammer back on a single action. That's an excuse..... Not a stoppage.

Properly handled and operated by someone with experience, along with an understanding of how the weapon operates, a pump is less likely to cause problems than an semi. Especially when exposed to drastic climates and temperatures.

While the gas systems on many of the newer semi's have certainly improved, and many of the newer inertia systems are simpler, they ALL still exhibit problems that pumps don't..... Especially with lower velocity rounds.
 

Ws6

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He just short stroked it, and he was trying to shoot fast obviously. Short stroking doesn't cause a failure or jamb, just stroke it again.
Costs time. Adds stress (why did I not get a bang? Do I have another issue, or just SS?) All stuff soaking up processing power that would better be served focusing on the threat, or utilizing cover/moving/etc.
 

Ws6

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Correct. Short stroking a pump happens because of operator error. Nothing more. It has nothing to do with the inherent reliability of the weapon itself. That's like saying a double action revolver is better. Because in a stressful situation, you might forget to pull the hammer back on a single action. That's an excuse..... Not a stoppage.

Properly handled and operated by someone with experience, along with an understanding of how the weapon operates, a pump is less likely to cause problems than an semi. Especially when exposed to drastic climates and temperatures.

While the gas systems on many of the newer semi's have certainly improved, and many of the newer inertia systems are simpler, they ALL still exhibit problems that pumps don't..... Especially with lower velocity rounds.
When you remove the human component of error from a system, by eliminating required action to function, it allows the person to focus on other things. This is why even the very best pump gunners are faster with a semi auto, or rather why semi auto pro level shooters are faster than pump. Better is just better, and we have reached the reliabiltiy point that the semi auto is less likely to fail than the human, who runs the pump. Even at very high levels of proficiency (Jerry Miculek, as shown.).
 
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When you remove the human component of error from a system, by eliminating required action to function, it allows the person to focus on other things.

That's a classroom, chalkboard fallacy. You're trading simplicity of a pump for the mechanical complexity of a semi. Run a pump properly and there won't be problems. End of story. That is what the focus should be on in the first place with ANY weapon.

Pump guns are operated by simple energy supplied by the operator. A 10 year old girl has enough. They're not dependant on springs, and enough gas from the ammunition in order to run properly. Simple is always better. Semi's have issues. Always have, always will.

I listed several. And most of those were off a Benelli forum about a single model.... The infamous M-4. Even their fanboys admit problems with them. Especially with lower powered loads.

That should NOT be happening on a parts bin built, mass produced, $2K semi auto shotgun. Ammunition choices do not affect the operation of pumps. They do ALL semi's.
 

Ws6

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That's a classroom, chalkboard fallacy. You're trading simplicity of a pump for the mechanical complexity of a semi. Run a pump properly and there won't be problems. End of story. That is what the focus should be on in the first place with ANY weapon.

Pump guns are operated by simple energy supplied by the operator. A 10 year old girl has enough. They're not dependant on springs, and enough gas from the ammunition in order to run properly. Simple is always better. Semi's have issues. Always have, always will.

I listed several. And most of those were off a Benelli forum about a single model.... The infamous M-4. Even their fanboys admit problems with them. Especially with lower powered loads.

That should NOT be happening on a parts bin built, mass produced, $2K semi auto shotgun. Ammunition choices do not affect the operation of pumps. They do ALL semi's.
The pump gun is the way for less lethal munitions, for sure, but in the real world, a good semi is going to end up failing to put lead on target for mechanical reasons less often than a good pump gun will, for organic reasons. There is a reason that the USMC wanted a semi auto for a combat shotgun, and has stuck by it for 2 decades since.

Yes, all guns can have qc issues. Benelli and Beretta has less. I literally couldnt find a 590a1 that didnt have issues last time I looked at the store, which admittedly, has been years. Everything from missing mag cap detent plungers to rusty chambers straight from mossberg (pittedz not just dried cosmo). But thats error. Not design flaw. Design flaw are those absurely fine threads for the mag tube cap and the propensity of the mag tube to bell out a hair, making seating the cap an art form.

My point is, yes, if you dig enough you can find an m4 with issues. Apparently few enough have issues that the usmc still issues them happily. same as they do 590a1.
 
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