How to remove the limiting plug from my Mossberg 500


July 24, 2006, 08:52 PM
Hey everyone,

I'm having a heck of a time removing the dowel rod from my Mossberg 500. It's a 12 gauge combo. In other posts I've seen the solution is very easy - remove the mag cap and take out the rod! My gun is not set up that way. The cap at the end of the mag tube is also a screw that keeps my barrel locked to the stock, if that makes sense. When I unscrew it (to remove/change the barrel), the only thing there is the threads. In other words, I cannot see the dowel rod at all or anything else for that matter. The only solution I can think of is to unscrew the whole mag tube which is damn tough and so far I cannot get the thing off. Does anyone know if that's what I need to do or is there another solution? The manual is no help, nor is the Mossberg website. Thank you for any ideas you might have.


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July 24, 2006, 09:05 PM
If your friend wants to just remove the restiction plug on the 500 he can just remove the barrel and point the rest at the ground and jiggle . The plug is a small piece of wooden dowel that will come out the threaded hole on the forward end of the magazine tube.
If he want to remove the magazine tube , they are screwed into the reciever - right hand threads. Some require a strap wrench or simular to break loose if they are tight


July 24, 2006, 09:06 PM
1. Make sure your weapon is clear and unloaded.
2. Check twice
3. Unscrew the barrel retainer on the end of the magazine.
4. Remove said barrel.
5. Point firearm down and shake vigorously.
6. The wooden dowel should start to come out of the threaded hole that the barrel retainer screws into.

Mossberg's plug is nothing more than a wooden dowel with a rubber o-ring on each end.

^^^I see Hoppy beat me to the draw.

July 24, 2006, 09:26 PM
You guys are awesome! It took about 5 seconds. What an easy solution. Man do I feel like a jackass! Now there will be less time re-loading and more time shooting! Thanks alot.


July 24, 2006, 10:06 PM
Just make sure you don't lose it. If you ever decide to go hunting, some states (and the feds if you're hunting waterfowl) insist that you have "a magazine limiting device." so that you only have a total of three shots.

Check your state's Hunting Regs. ;)

July 25, 2006, 11:00 AM
I definitely will not lose it. I'm from Chicago as well. I'm not too much of a hunter but I shoot skeet often at Silver Springs. Thanks for the tip.

2ND time
July 28, 2006, 08:32 PM
I had a mossberg 500 at one time. I think it will work without the o rings if you do hapen to loose them. Dont remember mine haveing them.

February 4, 2007, 05:35 PM
Uh-oh... I only saw one o-ring. I've already put it back together too. I put 5 shells in the magazine and cycled them through. Everything felt fine. I will have to go and look for the other o-ring. There was an o-ring on the rear end of the wooden rod. So, hopefully the other o-ring fell out during the jiggle session.

Thanks for the info guys. I found this thread using search.

July 28, 2007, 11:19 PM
i bought a mossberg 500a used and it didnt come with a restrictor plug so could i simply make one and put two o-rings on the ends or is it more complicated than that?

July 30, 2007, 12:01 PM
Making a magazine capacity reduction plug for the Mossberg/Maverick is just that simple. A standard unsharpened wooden pencil is just a fraction too short for the 5+1 round Mossbergs & Mavericks. If I pressed real hard, I could get 3 in my Maverick 88 using a pencil as the plug.

So, I bought a plastic 'cut to fit' (Butler Creek ? ? ?) plug for under $5 and cut it at the properly sized notch. [I have long since lost my original dowel-and-o-ring thingy that came with my Maverick.]

I figure that when I {rarely} do go hunting, $5 for the plug is a whole bunch less costly than dealing with the Game-N-Fish Guys.

July 30, 2007, 12:38 PM
The O rings are probably only there to deaden the rattle of wood inside the metal tube.

Carl N. Brown
July 30, 2007, 01:42 PM
Federal law on hunting migratory birds and some state laws
limit magazine capacity to two (plus one in firing chamber).
Do make sure that the plug limits you to two of the shells
that you are carrying afield with you. A 3.5" magnum with a
plug for two 3.5" shells might accept three 2.75" shells:
friend of an acquaintance got a $175.00 fine for hunting
upland game with 2.75" shells in a 3.5" gun: when the game
warden checked the gun, it would accept three shells.
It would not hurt to have two plugs for a 3.5" magazine,
one for two 3.5" shells and one for two 2.75" shells.

Last time I checked, though, there is no magazine limit
for clay pigeons.

the naked prophet
July 30, 2007, 02:10 PM
When I cleaned my grandpa's old Winchester 97, I found a stick in the magazine. I think someone was out hunting, and either got caught or just remembered the capacity restriction, and broke off a dry twig to the correct length and stuck it in there. Just about anything of the correct length will work.

July 31, 2007, 12:45 AM
$.79 for 1/4" dowel rod at the local hardware store. Use coping to cut to appropriate lengths. Rubber O-rings are optional.

August 5, 2007, 06:50 PM
Just a clarification that "migratory birds" are not limited to waterfowl. Doves, crows, etc. are also subject to federal rules.

August 6, 2007, 10:54 PM
thanks so much! i thought i was a retard when i got my new moss500 home and couldnt fit 8 slugs in! thanks for the help for us dummies!

November 20, 2007, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the help, I only just bought my Moss. 500 a couple of weeks ago and discovered my mag limit only when I was about to walk into the woods to go deer hunting and was like ***? Found this site through google, it was the first to come up.

November 20, 2007, 07:05 PM
When using dry twigs, make sure they are ultra-dry. Otherwise they will rust your magazine tube and spring. I have replaced quite a few magazine springs that were rusted through because shooters put green sticks in their guns and forgot about it. Some claimed they saw the game warden heading toward them and did what they had to do. It didn't help the gun any.

January 14, 2008, 09:50 PM
Thanks again guys... don't you just love the internet!!!

Tried unscrewing it... nothing doin' Shook it for 5 seconds... out it came.

January 16, 2008, 12:01 AM
Do you guys know of any place that would sell a plug to use in a mossberg 590?

January 16, 2008, 12:11 AM
David: just get a piece of wooden dowel and cut it to length. Hell, even a straight piece of branch will do. The plug that was in my father's Model 12 was a piece of whittled something or another one of my relatives stuck in after the federal limits started (and probably right after he spotted the game warden). Much cheaper.

But if you have to spend money on it, I've seen them at Wal-Mart, in the section that has the gun cleaning supplies.

January 18, 2008, 12:19 AM
Well, if I can't get something proper, I'll just cut down the rod from a set of mini-blinds instead, I think.

Thanks anyhow.

January 18, 2008, 05:54 PM
Mine was a simple 1/4" x 9" (your length might vary) wooden dowel. 50 cents from Home Depot and couple of O-Rings just to keep it from rattling is all you need.

The Deer Hunter
January 18, 2008, 06:46 PM
You can use a pencil.

January 25, 2009, 08:40 PM
I was pheasant hunting in a corn field in South Dakota when I discovered that I had forgotten to replace the plug in my BPS. Not being from the state, I was not sure if they had a restriction. Right there in the middle of the field, I broke off a segment of a dry corn stalk, put it in the gun, and it was the perfect length to block the magazine down to two rounds. Kind of funny.

Ricky B
January 26, 2009, 02:00 AM
Actually, a regular pencil won't necessarily work in Mossberg 500, at least in my test. Not that it won't fit; it will. It's just too short with 2-3/4" shells. I was able to load 3 shells with a standard, unsharpened pencil.

The length of the magazine tube on the 5-round Mossberg 500 is 14-3/4" from the back of the follower to the top of the tube. The end of the tube is around 5/8" thick. So the internal length of the magazine tube is 14-3/4" - 5/8", or about 14-1/8".

An unfired 2-3/4" shotgun shell is about 2.3" in length (2-3/4" is the unfolded, fired length). Two unfired shells come to 4.6", or, say, 4-5/8" in length.

Subtracting 4-5/8" from 14-1/8" leaves 9-1/2". A hunter would want to be able to push the shell in a bit beyond the shell stop. Thus, a plug no longer than 9-1/4" would needed.

So Megiddo's recommendation is spot on. A 1/4" dowel with a length of 9" should be just fine for any Mossberg 500 with a standard 5-round magazine tube. You can fit a 3/8" dowel in the hole, but getting it out might be trickier.

March 23, 2009, 10:40 PM
Just bought a 500A today and have searched and searched on how to get the limiting rod out of the magazine tube. The problem I'm running into is the wooden dowel is wedged to the side of the spring so it won't come out just by shaking it. Any ideas on how to remove it? Or should I just take it to a gun shop tomorrow so I don't damage the gun or tube?

March 23, 2009, 10:44 PM
I have seen where some people will actually use 2 shells as their "limitiing device"... hehe

Ricky B
March 24, 2009, 01:06 AM
You could probably remove the magazine spring retainer, which would release the spring.

Per the manual:

The magazine spring exerts pressure on the retainer. Use caution when disassembling. [Translation: Make sure the cap doesn't hit you in the eye when you pry it loose because it can fly off. Eye protection is a good idea.]

To disassemble: Pry up at various points around the small hole in the center of the magazine spring retainer. Cup hand over retainer and magazine so as to keep spring and retainer confined. Use caution not to bend or distort the magazine tube end and or threads.

Here's a link to a page that links to a video that might help:

Google "Mossberg 500 shotgun manual" and you will come up with links to manuals.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it, take it into the shop.

But if you are careful in prying out the magazine spring retainer (and don't bend it or bung it up), the worst that I see happening is that you lose the retainer or spring if they fly out and get lost (not going to happen if you do it in an empty area where you can easily find stuff) or that you won't be able to get the spring and magazine spring retainer back into place. The cost of putting them back won't be more than removing them, taking out the dowel, and putting them back. If you can't get the magazine spring retainer out without damaging it, give up and take it into the shop.

September 18, 2009, 08:02 AM
I Know this is an old post, but taking the spring retaining plug out is a simple task and the spring should be removed and cleaned every year or sooner depending on weather, grain fields or dirt.

You would be amazed at how much dirt and seeds build up in the tube after a day of dove or upland bird hunting at field.

(use common sense make sure the gun is unloaded first)

Take the Barrel retaining screw off, then take a small screw driver stick it in the center of the retaining plug and gradually work your way around it to take it out. While you’re at it take your cleaning rod and some oil and clean the tube out and then wipe the spring down.

Also what I did to make my plug was take the entire spring with plug attached to my local hardware store and find a wooden dial that will fit freely in the hole in the plug. Once you find the wood dial that fits, lay the gun down take two shells lay them below the loading tube and then lay you stick in front of them and mark it at the end of the tube.

This is my opinion, but if you do not know how to break down and properly clean every firearm you have, then you have no business owning one.

September 18, 2009, 09:43 AM
If you make your own a bit of wooden dowel is perfect. Be sure to bevel the ends. I left one cut off square once and it manage to snag itself in the spring and turned my 500 into a single shot. Fortunately that's all the turkey I was hunting required.

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