Bolt action shotguns


Guy de Loimbard
February 24, 2006, 11:28 AM
Bolt action shotguns have always held a certain neatness factor for me. I've seen very few of these for sale. I'd like to get one, but the only ones I've seen have right hand bolts on them. Is it possible to buy a brandy-new left hand bolt action, or would I have to get a right handed one and convert it myself?

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February 24, 2006, 11:44 AM
You know, I've never seen one myself. Might take a little searching...

February 24, 2006, 12:04 PM
My roomate has a 16guage Mossberg Model 190. It's a pretty neat gun with a ported barrel, a choke that you adjust just by twisting, and a 3-round detachable box magazine. It's a right-hand bolt; I don't know of any lefties. I'll post some pics if I can.

February 24, 2006, 01:11 PM
My boss has a Mossberg bolt action 12 that's probably about twice as old as I am. Don't remember the model, but it's a really pretty gun and he's got it in spectacular shape.

I always thought it was pretty neat.

February 24, 2006, 09:05 PM
I have never seen a left hand model, but I do have a Mossberg 20 guage bolt action with a detachable magazine. When I got it the recoil would jar the mag just enough so that the next shell wouldn't load when the bolt was cycled. After many years, I finally got the local smith to fix it. He also bent the barrel so that it would shoot to point of aim with slugs. It has a very pretty stock on in and the safety is on the tang, so that helps a lefty in that sense. By the way, I am a lefty too!

February 25, 2006, 01:12 AM
The bolt action shotgun was long regarded as a cheap knock-around or farmer's gun, and they were built that way.

Today, with people playing the accuracy game with long range slug guns, the bolt action shotgun has come into it's own.
Manufacturers are building bolt action shotguns to a higher standard specifically for slug use, and the bolt gun is gaining some popularity among people looking to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out.

I don't think anyone makes a left-hand action model, but if there's enough of a demand, they will.

What's old is new again.

February 25, 2006, 01:51 PM
Wouldn't the slug guns have rifled barrels. I guess if you wanted to use it for pellets rather than slugs you could switch the barrels but then I can't imagine that being to easy with a bolt action gun, say as easy as it would be to swap a barrel on a pumb or auto loader.
Saw an old Mossberg bolt action at the last gun show I went to. It was a 20 ga. with the choke screwed on the outside and detachable magazine. Just like the one I used when I was a teenage. But that got stolen from my parents house a long time ago. Neat little gun or so I thought back then. We also had a bolt actions Sears in 12 ga. Course, it was stolen too at the same time as the Mossberg. Both were right handed.
Mossberg made a bolt action goose gun with a 36" barrel up until 6 or 8 years ago.

February 25, 2006, 03:23 PM
I've got one!

Mossberg 195K-A


She's a blast to shoot too! I have no idea how old she is, but I cleaned her up when I got her (used to be a big rusty junk pile. Didn't wanna kill any value, so I didn't refinish or anything). Surprisingly the bore was perfect and like a mirror. She doesn't see too much action, but it's a nice thing to have, and will probably be handed down one day. (Might be a while for that, I'm not even a legal adult yet :neener: )

February 25, 2006, 03:49 PM
I gotta chime in here too. Mine's a Mossberg 185 D-B 20 guage. No serial number so It's before '68 Has a plastic trigger guard and butt plate. I have a set of three chokes for it.

February 25, 2006, 03:54 PM
Forgot to add-- mine is a 12 guage. The choke is adjustable, and built into the barrel. I think they're called Polychokes.

February 25, 2006, 04:05 PM
didn't marlin have some beastly 10ga anti-goose cannon?

Pistol Toter
February 26, 2006, 01:08 PM
If my memory severs me correctly the Marlin 10 ga was the model 55 Super Goose. They also made a 12ga same model number but was called the Goose Gun. I had as my first gun, given to me by my parents for Christmas when I was 14 years old, the Model 55 Upland Game model also a 12ga. which was a little shorter barrel with the adjustable Poly Choke and was compensated or had a muzzle brake which are four slits cut on either side of the barrel at the muzzle. It has a very nice walnut stock with sling button a recoil pad and the trigger was thinly gold plated. No serial number. It is a very fine shotgun the choke works amazing well. I hunted with it for many years and doesn't have a scratch. It has taken samll game but he truck load and is a deadly crow gun. I have given it to a son who says it will always be his as it was the first gun he ever fired and was my first gun. Don't under estimate a bolt action shotgun just because they aren't glamerios doesn't mean they aren't a fine piece. Regards P.T.

I had another thought some years ago I inherited from an uncle a Mossberg .410 I think its a model 183?? . It has a Modified Cylinder screw on choke tube the magazine has to be loaded from the top through the open bolt. I refinished the stock years agoand is a fiarly good looking old gun, no fancy but OK. It also for a .410 is fine little gun does a good job for what it is. I have been for some time now looking for the full choke tube and the spanner wrench for it. I understand that it came new with the Modified Cylinder the Full Choke and the wrench.

February 26, 2006, 02:54 PM
I have a JC Higgins 16-gauge bolt action (JC Higgins was a brand marketed by Sears Roebuck, the gun was made in the 40s). It's always been very reliable and very accurate, to the tune of 3 inch groups with winchester super-x rifled slugs at 50 yards. My only complaint about it is that the safety is backwards... as in "front for safe, back for fire."

I've found some evidence that the gun was recalled, though I haven't determined if the recall is for 12-gauge or 12- and 16-gauge. Even though, it wouldn't matter. The reimbursement for the recall is a $50 gift certificate....I'll keep a broken gun with sentimental value for that much.

Guy de Loimbard
February 26, 2006, 04:11 PM
They do exist! I definitely have to get me one!

Since I'm a mechanical engineering major, I guess I'll just have to design my own if I want it left hand. I think I'll go all out. Who wants a (left handed) double barreled bolt action 10 ga. that uses detachable magazines?

Now I only need a machine shop to make it with.

February 27, 2006, 03:17 AM
Only if you put on it a hydraulic recoiling barrel, like an artillery piece. =)

Being a Sophomore Mech E myself, someday I wish to make one... in 8 bore!


February 27, 2006, 01:30 PM
It was my grandpas & then my dad's second shotgun.

12ga, 30" bbl, full choke. My dad said it felt like using artillery after starting off with his Savage/Stevens .410 single shot.

February 27, 2006, 01:32 PM
I have a Mossy 20ga Bolt with a polychoke and detachable mag. Heavy but solid gun. Pretty cool.

May 10, 2009, 08:33 AM
I just got a Mossberg 195k for my father, but I don't know anything about them. Can they handle modern loads? What shouldn't he put through her? I believe it only holds 2 3/4" shells... Anything else we should know about her?

Bud Tugly
May 10, 2009, 10:56 AM
I've got a Mossberg 20 gauge model 85-A bolt action that my dad bought in the mid-1930's. I've fired modern shells through it, including slugs, with no problems.

It was my dad's first and only shotgun and he could work that bolt to get off 2nd and 3rd shots amazingly fast.

May 10, 2009, 12:01 PM
I have 5 bolt action shotguns, all are right hand and 410. My favorite is a bolt action single shot.

May 10, 2009, 05:24 PM
I have a couple of bolt action shotguns. One is a Mossberg 185D in 20 ga with a screw on choke that appears to be modified. I wish I could find more of the choke barrels in different constrictions. I have had this gun for over 20 years and have never shot it.

I also have a Stevens 59A in .410. This has a tube under the barrel like a big 22 rifle. I bought it years ago at a gunshow for $50 because some idiot sawed off the buttstock and made it a pistol grip. I can hit pretty good with it using slugs out to 20 yards and shooting from the hip. I wish I could find a stock for it. Numerich used to have them but not anymore.

I have never seen one of the inexpensive farm guns with a left hand bolt. Good luck finding one.

May 10, 2009, 05:28 PM

I wouldn't be concerned about "killing any value". These aren't expensive guns, and will never be. I've seen used examples go for $70. Do whatever you think will make the firearm work better for you. :) Here's ( what I did with mine.

If I had to do it over again, I'd buy a much newer bolt action, and all I'd have to do would be add the scope mount. It'd be cheaper, too! :rolleyes:


May 11, 2009, 07:07 PM
I just got one from a buddy of mine. I have had a new found interest in these guns and have put out PMs on a few on a another forum, but they were gone, gone, gone! My buddy just got one in a trade. It is a Glenfield (Marlin). It has a 2 rd detachable mag and a 28 in. Full choke barrel. He called me and asked if I wanted it and I said yes of course. I then ask how much. He replies "nothing"! He GAVE it to me!!!! It looks unused or used very little. The wood has some blems, but the bluing is unreal! I have heard my whole life the "farmer" bit about these guns, but they have always intrigued me. I wish it had the PolyChoke, but it is super with me just the way it is!

May 12, 2009, 05:50 PM
Tar-Hunt makes high end bolt action slug guns....for an extra $110 you can get a left handed bolt. Better have a healthy checkbook, they run about $2500+.

May 13, 2009, 12:35 AM
A shop in Minneapolis has old used bolt-action 12 gauges for less than a hundred bucks a piece. They seem kinda cool.

The first "real" gun I ever fired was a bolt action single shot .410 my dad has. He got it as a gift when he was about 14 or 15 years old (this would have been in the late 60's), and it was an old used gun then. He thinks it might be a Stevens, but there are no markings anywhere on it. It kicks like a mule, much more so than a run-of-the-mill Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 12 gauge.

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