trying to build the smoothest Mossberg 500 possible


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AcceptableUserName
May 21, 2010, 10:33 PM
I've made it no secret that I'm a Mossberg guy, but I will concede the Remington is a much smoother gun. I got a new 500 and I've been racking the snot out of it. It hasn't had a round through it yet and there's wear on the mag tube and action bars already. It's smoothened up considerably, but still has a ways to go to even match an Express...


just how smoothe can these get? I know I can't wear the gun out by doing this (I intend to do it a LOT, in addition to shooting it), but theoretically I could weaken the extractor, correct? It's a minor issue...I intend to replace the extractor, follower, trig assembly and safety tab with higher quality pieces when I feel it's "broken in" anyway...basically, share your experiences on well-worn, smoothe as ice shotguns, especially older Mossberg 500s. Embrace the wear marks!

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Al Thompson
May 22, 2010, 04:35 PM
You may want to strip the Mossberg and lightly polish any wear marks on the forend bars. I've also found that good lube (Tetra or Slip2000) really makes a difference. :)

Buddy of mine has (500) one that is as slick as any of my 870s. He's had it for about 8 years and has fired a bunch of ammo through it. As Dave says, BA/UU/R..... :D

Y-man
May 22, 2010, 04:54 PM
Guys, pardon the newbie nature of this question, but what does "BA/UU/R" mean?

Dave, you there?

Youngster
May 22, 2010, 05:00 PM
Swap it for an 870 Wingmaster or P, that way you'll only have Ithaca 37 owners to envy when it comes to smoothness. ;)

I kid, sorta, anyway what about some polishing on the action bars at least to speed up the process?

As well as cycling like crazy I hand polished the stuff out of my 870's action bars and then ran it for awhile with graphite powder for a fine hone, it was pretty effective.

I'd skip the graphite part on an aluminum receivered gun though as graphite corrodes aluminum, or bare aluminum at least.

AcceptableUserName
May 22, 2010, 05:06 PM
here's a question...when it comes time to have the gun refinished, will it affect how the action feels? what kind of finish is recommend to retain the action's smoothe characteristics?

TeamPrecisionIT
May 22, 2010, 05:06 PM
Shoot about 10,000 rounds out of it and it should be nice and smooth. If you want to get it there sooner, find burrs in the sliding parts and lightly file/polish them out.

Damian

Youngster
May 22, 2010, 06:01 PM
here's a question...when it comes time to have the gun refinished, will it affect how the action feels? what kind of finish is recommend to retain the action's smoothe characteristics?

Basically anything but bare Parkerizing and some of the thicker spray-on finishes will at least maintain the previous level of smoothness, if not make for a noticable improvement.

When the time comes I'm probably going to go with some kind of nitrocarburizing {Melonite etc} as my choice of refinish but that's a long ways off. Nitrocarburizing yields a finish that's roughly as hard and slick as hard chrome but that's usually a lot more rust resistant.

Dave McCracken
May 22, 2010, 06:25 PM
Yman.....

Buy Ammo, Use Up, Repeat.

For the OP, as Al said. Plus, use a crockstick or a hard Arkansas machinist's stone to remove any flashing left on the bars from the stamping process and lightly bevel the corners.

Six
May 22, 2010, 08:13 PM
I'm an 870 guy...

But after I had shot, filed, polished, and racked it still didn't feel as smooth as I'd like. So I took some time very carefully adjusting the action bars (left/right/up/down/cant) to perfectly line up without dragging against any part of the receiver.

Now, I can rack it literally with one finger.

It made a huge difference, and even after some shooting, they've stayed where they need to be.

mnrivrat
May 23, 2010, 01:16 AM
One thing that is sometimes overlooked when tuning a 500 for smoothness is the ejector. Often they are applying too much pressure onto the side of the bolt. It is not hard to adjust the ejector to ease this pressure - you simply bend it a little straighter.

AcceptableUserName
May 23, 2010, 01:58 AM
Interesting. I've never considered that before.

dak0ta
May 23, 2010, 02:26 AM
Actually, I have a brand new M500 field model, and it was much more clunkier than my 870 express. but after cleaning it and shucking it it was loosening up. I shot 2 rounds of trap today, and I noticed it become a little more smoother.

btw, the gun was reliable and worked flawlessly through my first 50 shots fired today :) happy with it.

AcceptableUserName
May 23, 2010, 02:31 AM
dakota, thats what I'm working with. Mine was purchased on Monday. It was typical Mossberg clunk (I say this being a Mossberg guy) like you describe, but right now it is SMOOTHE by Mossberg standards and I still haven't even shot it. During any free time this week I've applied 3-in-1 to the action bars and bolt slide, racked a few hundred times, wiped the debris and residue off, racked it a few hundred more dry, and repeated. I'm converting it to a house gun, but I plan to rack and shoot it to high heaven and see just where I can take the Mossberg platform as far as smoothness of action goes. I've heard some of you guys say they've seen High Standard flitekings be so smooth they literally fall open the slides released and their standing bore up, wonder if that can be done with a 500?

bushmaster1313
May 23, 2010, 02:38 AM
Trade it for a Remngton 31 TC.

I used mine for trap till I sold it.
When I had the gun pointed down waiting my turn the action would close by itself if I didn't hold it open.

This was a safety issue and one of the reasons I sold it.

dak0ta
May 23, 2010, 03:36 AM
This guy's M500 is real smooth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfxAAjo5EJ0

AcceptableUserName
May 23, 2010, 01:48 PM
I really want to go shooting today after watching that video. But yeah, it is pretty smoothe.

JNewell
May 23, 2010, 03:43 PM
here's a question...when it comes time to have the gun refinished, will it affect how the action feels? what kind of finish is recommend to retain the action's smoothe characteristics?

I hesitate a bit to make a suggestion that I haven't personally tried, but I've been told that NP3 from Robar is about as slick as things get. It isn't cheap, but it will probably make you happy in just about every way after you've made the decision to write the check. :D

dak0ta
May 23, 2010, 04:44 PM
Read up on the Mossberg 2010 catalog, they have a feature on customizing M500's, and they interview some professionals and they let you in on some of the things they use to make the gun smooth and accurate.

the rifleer
May 23, 2010, 07:00 PM
just shoot the snot out of it. mine was a little rough at first, but after about 1000 rounds its super smooth. Its alot smoother than the 2 or 3 remingtons i have shot. and i mean a lot smoother.

evan price
May 24, 2010, 02:58 AM
I've got an old M500AB that's been shot a whole lot, and after I stoned every part of it and smoothed the rails and gave everything a good light coat of silicone grease- if I hold it muzzle up, and touch the slide release, it will go all the way back and eject the shell without touching the fore-end.

Still not as nice as my Winchester 1200, but it's 99% there.

zhyla
May 24, 2010, 12:22 PM
Ya know, AUN, if you stopped buying new guns the old ones would get nice and smooth eventually. :)

AcceptableUserName
May 24, 2010, 12:32 PM
true! This one will probably stick around. First factory new gun I've bought in quite some time. There's an attachment there you don't get with buying used. When I got it it was typical Mossberg slop, but it's getting pretty silky, and I haven't even put any lead through it yet.

huntsman
May 24, 2010, 12:34 PM
use a crockstick or a hard Arkansas machinist's stone to remove any flashing left on the bars from the stamping process and lightly bevel the corners.

stamped parts and needs deburring, kinda says it all.. :(

Dave McCracken
May 24, 2010, 01:01 PM
Six brought up something.....

Use a straightedge to make the bars straight and parallel.

Finish by running a few cases through it. When the round count hits 5 digits, it WILL be smooth....l

Six
May 24, 2010, 01:38 PM
What I did:
I inserted the tips of the action bars into the receiver and adjusted them up/down until they lined up perfectly.
I then used some digital calipers and placed the forend upside down on a flat surface and measured the distance of each action bar from the surface along their entire length. Then adjusted them to match the tips.
I repeated the process for left/right by measuring the distance between the action bars along their entire length as well.

Put the forend on, push left/right/up/down/twist/yaw/tilt and see if any direction makes it smoother, adjust accordingly. Repeat as necessary.

AcceptableUserName
May 24, 2010, 01:54 PM
helpful and interesting guys thanks. I had some action tube cant issues in 2 or 3 870s and one 500. The 870 SEEMS more prone to it for some reason, what that is I don't know. Maybe it was just my experience.

One good test is to rack your action open and see if it'll drop closed on it's own weight if you hold it by the forend up and down. Most of my new Mossbergs won't even do that. I never tried that with my 870's. That's kind of like the first milestone with the 500, getting them to do that.

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