Mossberg 500 tactical cruiser "breacher"


justin 561
April 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
Hi, I'm going to pick up a Mossberg 500 tactical cruiser "breacher" at my local gun show on the 25 of may.

I plan to use it for home defense, it is a 12ga, 6 shot pistol grip, 18.5in barrel. They have it at my local gun shop for 350$, but I'm positive I can haggle with the gun show people and get it for cheaper. I plan on moding it, no gun smithing, just a extended clip, a forward grip and a ar type stock. Before I purchase this weapon, I wanted to ask a few questions.

What is the max effective range (dist) with this weapon using a slug and buckshot?
Is the "breacher" actually safe for the shooter without wearing body armor? (shrapnel/wood splinters)
Is a red dot/scoped needed for this weapon at a moderate range using slugs?
What is a decent adjustable stock to buy for this (non side collapsable)
Extended clip (10rd drum) Does it require gunsmitthing?
Is the 350$ price, is this price to high or low?
The forward grip, what is a decent one to buy?
What ammo is ideal for HD?

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April 30, 2008, 08:02 PM
Effective range of buckshot is about 30 yards, depending on the size. Effective range of a normal slug is 75-100 yards. However, this assumes the weapon can be properly aimed. The beast you are talking about has, so far as I am concerned, an effective range of – literally – about as far as you can throw it. It is simply not designed for accuracy beyond knife-fighting range.

That does not mean that it is useless, by any means, but you are not going to get match accuracy from a weapon which can for all practical purposes be fired only from the hip, without aiming. A laser sight might help, if it matters, but inside a home, provided you have practiced with it enough, you should be able to reliably hit a man-sized target every time – which is what counts.

Breaching rounds are specialized ammo and, as far as I am concerned, offer no particular advantage for home defence. Given penetration and such – and considering that you probably have kin on the other side of thin walls, overpenetration is a serious concern. Birdshot will, at the ranges you are talking about, provide the stopping power you want with the least penetration potential. (Yes, I know, frangible rounds are supposed to to fall apart on impact. Consider however that this is against a designed target of solid doors, hinges and locks – not against drywall. Call me unconvinced.)

I would, frankly, suggest you step back a moment and consider what you are attempting to achieve. Presuming you are not attempting to defend a large homestead, why would you want to use slugs in the first place? Even birdshot will put a man down at interior distances, all other things being equal. Moreover, if you want a weapon with stock and sights and such, why buy a specialized item and then spend a lot of time and money modifying it when you can buy something designed and built with sights etc from the beginning for - in the long run - no more money?

April 30, 2008, 08:08 PM
Hold on there. You may want to slow down a touch and check on the legalities with this. It's my understanding that the breacher only has a 16'inch barrel. Which is fine if you have a pistol grip, but adding an AR butt stock makes it an SBR. Without the proper paperwork that's an UH OH with the feds.

Just make sure your staying on the legal side because 3 square a day is nice but kinda cramps the social life. :neener:

April 30, 2008, 08:35 PM
Where are you getting the info on the barrel? From what I can find it's 18.5" including the permanent shnug on the end.

In any case it's not what you need. Get a standard Mossberg new or used and you can outfit it with a standard barrel or slugster barrel if you're shooting slugs. The shoulder stock is your friend, trust me. Even if you're not using magnum slugs it's real nice to have. A folding stock is OK for transport, but the pistol grip is not practical for firing full power loads.

For HD I'd suggest reduced power or deer-level HP slugs or buckshot.

In re. below, birdshot for defense against anything but birds is not too good. Lots of threads and ballistic testing on that point if you search.

Also I'd advise against shooting up old houses unless you own them! Otherwise it's criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and maybe worse. Up here it's not unusual for old sourdoughs to be living in what look like derelect trailers and cabins. They'll kill you.

justin 561
April 30, 2008, 08:38 PM
The barrel for the weapon is 18.5in according to the spec froms O.F. Mossberg & Sons website - ( . If the rule is for a 16in barrel then this shotgun should be fine due to the fact that it has 2.5 extra inches. I'm considering this weapon for defending my home, and to take to the range and have some fun. I'm on a limited budget so I don't have enough to buy a AR 15 type rifle (was looking at .223 Smith and Wesson M&P 15, but out of my price range) I have had alot of problems with people attempting to break into the house while I'm sleeping (live in a not to friendly town). I do live with others and the birdshot is what I'm going to use. The breaching rounds are more of a have fun thing when I first get the weapon, there is alot of homes in the woods around here that no one has lived in for over 15 years, so I want to blow a few doors off the hinges for poop and giggles. :D If you have any suggestions for HD/range/woods fun with a cap of 550$ and lower, they will be greatly appreciated. I don't want a full on shot gun, maybe some kind of rifle or such. Again, I'm new to this and just want to have something I can mod a little and have some fun.

May 1, 2008, 08:52 AM
I would agree with Cosmoline in one area. Rather than spending a lot of money buying something that does not meet your needs and then spending yet more money modifying it, find a used shotgun from a reputable manufacturer that's still in business. Parts and repairs are a lot easier (cheaper) and after-market accessories are more available as and when you get the money. Remington, Mossburg, Winchester, Ithica, H&R – there are lots out there and they all make quality guns. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of them, but they will all do the job. Much of it comes down to personal taste.

May 1, 2008, 12:36 PM
The breaching rounds are more of a have fun thing when I first get the weapon, there is alot of homes in the woods around here that no one has lived in for over 15 years, so I want to blow a few doors off the hinges for poop and giggles.

That is destruction of some else's property.

Go get yourself a used Mossberg or Remington for home defense and a used Ruger 10/22 so you'll have something to mod the heck out of.

May 1, 2008, 02:52 PM
I would say to get a nice Remington 870 slug gun. Inexpensive, easy, and prime for HD. You can mod it if you like, there are a ton of different stocks and mag tube extensions out there. Good Luck.

May 1, 2008, 03:15 PM
If I was serious about it; here's how I'd spend the $550:

1) Pick up a police trade-in for $200. The current CDNN catalog shows police trade-in Wingmasters for $189.

2) Spend $350 on professional, competent instruction. I'm not sure where you're located, but there are a number of high-quality travelling instructors out there. Your questions about effective range, accessories, and ammunition will be addressed in such a class. A search in the 'Strategies & Tactics' forum will turn up many recommendations and reviews.

I would feel far better prepared to defend myself with my budget allocated toward the above than toward an AR-stocked, drum fed breaching shotgun.

there is alot of homes in the woods around here that no one has lived in for over 15 years, so I want to blow a few doors off the hinges for poop and giggles

Again, not sure of your location, but I strongly suspect that you're describing a criminal act. Legal issues surrounding the use of deadly weapons are usually discussed in training classes, as well.

May 1, 2008, 08:55 PM
I have one like you are talking about. I added a Holo Sight and AR-15 type adjustable stock. It would be as fine as any shotgun for home defense. I also shoot clays with it sometimes for fun. Does the holo sight make a huge difference on accuracy and will I ever use the "breacher" muzzlebrake? Maybe, maybe not, but it does look cool;)

It is an 18.5" barrell and is legal.

I paid around $350 for mine at a local gun shop. You may could get it for a tad less, but mine came with a thumbhole stock, which I sold on ebay in order to by the adjustable stock.

May 3, 2008, 05:59 PM
A good friend of mine just ordered one of those babies.

I'm going with an SxS myself.

I'd say go for it.

May 10, 2008, 01:53 AM
I bought a similar version to that many years ago. It didn't have the special impact muzzle it was called the Persuader or Cruiser model back then. It had the 18.5" barrel and was legal under ATF rules for firearms since the barrel was at leat 16" and the overall lenght was (?)23'". If putting a stock of any kind on the end is longer than the pistol grip it would make it much longer than the 23" minimum requirement and would continue to keep it legal.

Similar in the way they make the 14" AR barrel legal by the permanent moutned 2-4" flash suppresor/muzzle break. Since it's integral to the barrel it is measured as part of the barrel. It cannot be removed so it keeps the legnth the appropriate required amount.
That's how it was explained to me years ago when I inquired about the legalities of my shotgun and AR15 rifle when I converted it to a CAR variant.

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