Fitting a Mossberg 500

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Jul 22, 2003
New England

Hopefully Steve/Lee/Dave are out there.

I got a kid at my club I've been trying to help out that got a good deal on a like new Mossberg 500. He bought a factory barrel w/GR kit so he's in good shape for sights and barrel that will shoot the loads for his intended purpose (3-gun style competition and general HD proficiency practice).

He's got short arms like me, but unlike me he has some recoil sensitivity. He's tried my short stock Hogue on a similar shotty but he gets a good shot in the nose every so often. The longer stocks are tough for him because of short reach. What he needs is roughly a 13" LOP and I'm wondering if there is a slip on recoil pad which might go over the 12" LOP Hogue and work okay for him to get the right LOP and maybe a little more cushion in the shoulder?

Other ideas are welcome. However, criteria = 13" LOP fixed with generous recoil absorption for a recoil sensitive shooter. He's set up with Synth' furniture now and probably would want to stick with that.

Thanks in advance,

I have no input except to say I would very much like to hear the results of this discussion as well. I have a 590 w/Speedfeed which is too long for my relatively short arms, and a similar recoil aversion.

I did have another guy who was able to use the full length Hogue which seemed to be about 1/2" shorter than the factory stock and he did okay with that. I don't think that is going to work with this kid. Your mileage may very.

Recoil aversion is tough and very much an individual thing. I'm very lucky, I'm a freak of nature. The only shotty that gives me any grief at all is my Beretta 1201FP which slaps my face pretty hard (basically a poor man's Benelli with virtually identical action). Beyond that, I'm fine all the way up to "super magnum" slugs without difficulty from my Benelli Nova or stable of Mossbergs.

Safe shooting,


Maybe have a look at the specs for Mossberg's "Bantam" series stocks. Those do have a bit shorter LOP, so maybe that and a good name-brand recoil pad. {Limb Saver, Kick-Eeze, etc}
re: Bantams

I haven't found a Bantam to go with his 500 yet. As I recall, I thought these were specific to the 410 vs. the 12GA.

I'll check out the pads you referenced.


I'd give them a call and ask about buying just a Bantam Stock. They have a 13" LOP. You might also ask about the Bantam fore-end they're a little longer to help those with shorter arms get a better grip. You can see the difference in the attached two pictures. (first pic is standard stock and foreend, second is bantam stock and foreend.) They are gauge specfic, Mossberg makes Bantams in 12, 20 and .410 so you'll have to get the one for the gauge you're using. You can easily replace the pad with one foghornl recommended.

To order parts and accessories from the service department:

Telephone: (800) 363-3555
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CST

E-mail: [email protected]


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I sent an e-mail to Mossberg and I replied looking for clarification on the part #. Hopefully they have something that can help the kid get the right fit and I'll keep researching the recoil pads. So far the Limb Saver pre-fit looks the best.

Thanks again,

...he gets a good shot in the nose every so often...

What is it that whacks him in the schnozz? My guess is that he's misplacing his thumb, wrapping it around the stock. Have him make it a habit to put his shooting hand thumb over on the first knuckle (the 'fist' knuckle) of his trigger finger and see if that fixes the problem for him. Sometimes a tactile marker- like a dot of skateboard tape on the trigger finger knuckle- makes 'grooving' the new thumb position easier.

I'm 6'3" and wear a 37" sleeve, and can still comfortably shoot the house guns here- which are set up to fit my 5'4" wife, with a 12.5" LOP. I just have to remember where to put my thumb.

There's no substitute for a properly fitted stock, and a premium recoil pad is a big help too. But good fit and form are essential. All that said, a stock that's a bit too short shouldn't be that big a problem.

One other thing- I'd check to see which is his dominant eye, if you haven't done that already.

Good rule of thumb is for two fingers space between thumb and schnozz. Adding a little spacer between stock and pad may get enough extra distance to stop the thump.

Also, adding a thicker pad may do the trick. KickEez's Magnum pad is probably the most effective cushion out there. It's 1 3/8" thick. A thinner pad may be needed here, there's lots to pick from.

Thanks, and an update

I was off on a business trip...just getting caught up.

Ran into the kid at the Range about a week ago. He went with the Hogue full length. He has to take more of an aggressive "boxer's stance", but he did notice a marked reduction in felt recoil. Hopefully this will inspire him to get out there and put some rounds down-range.

No disagreement on technique being able to overcome less than ideal fit. I have raptor arms but have been able to teach myself to use longer stocks...similarly, I often use the "youth stocks" even though another 1" would fit just a little better.

I've finding with some of the kids, and even more experienced shooters just getting into shotty...there is an intimidation factor that makes it give them good advice, demonstrate, but in the end...they need to make it go bang and corrective recommendations notwithstanding, they still manage to sometimes have unpleasant experiences.

Some continuity of interaction would probably help too. I'm finding it harder and harder to schedule regular time now that the Holidays are approaching.

Thanks for the good advice gents, sorry I wasn't around earlier.

Keep Safe,

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