My Home Defense Mossberg 500 which I have affectionately named Project Phoneix is back for another go around here at The Backyard Pioneer (Check out Part 1 and Part 2) . I recently read an excellent article of shotguns on Ed That Matters and was inspired to pull the old girl out of the safe and fix the few remaining issues that have been bothering me with it.
I had installed an old Choate stock on it when I last updated it. The main reason I put the Choate on was to get rid of the pistol grip that was on it. It only took one trip to the range with it to dissuade me from the idea of keeping it on. It looked cool, and I really dug the slick look, but I found it to be hard to control, and more than a tad uncomfortable to shoot. The Choate’s main appealing characteristic was I had it laying around, but it wasn’t my first choice. The Choate had one major failure as far as I’m concerned and that is the fact that it is almost impossible to manipulate the Mossberg’s slide lock while it is on the gun. I find this to be a huge sticking point for me, so it had to go. I ordered a Hogue Stock with a 12-Inch L.O.P and fit it to my gun. A word about the Hogue stock before I go any further is that it ships without a bolt. This is a pain in the butt as you just can’t slap your new stock on and have at it. You need to truck on down to and get a 5/16 bolt that is 5.5″ long and coarse thread. I got it at a specialty hardware store, as I wanted a Grade 8. It only cost a $2 but why Hogue would ship the stock without it is beyond me. The Hogue stock is a MAJOR upgrade over the pistol grip and the Choate stock. It is grippy enough to allow a strong hold on the gun and the 12″ length of pull really shortens the gun up. The gun just feels purposeful and flies to my shoulder.
The Front Site
Since I was in an upgrading kind of mood, I also addressed the old fashioned brass bead sight. The brass bead on the Mossberg 500 is a good sight and one has served me for decades on my hunting shotgun, but for a Home Defense/Preparedness Gun I went with a Meprolight Tru-Dot Night Sight. The Meprolight glows nicely and in low light conditions it really stands out. I think this is a great upgrade for any shotgun that you might need to grab if “something goes bump in the night”. It fit right in where the bead had been, but it needed to have the threads slightly filed down, as they protruded down into the bore a bit. A few minutes with a rat tail file and it was good to go.
I’m very happy with Project Phoneix now! It is short, light, and handy. The Meprolight sight gives it a bit of low light capability on a budget. Now that I’ve added these 2 items I’m into this former hunk of junk for right around $225. I think that this is a good way to build a lot of capability on the cheap.
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