By Andy Walgamott, on April 30th, 2013
(O.F. MOSSBERG & SONS PRESS RELEASE)
Since the first model came off the line on August, 21, 1961, the Mossberg 500 Pump-Action shotgun has received accolades from sportsmen and women, law enforcement and military personnel alike for its reliability, versatility and affordability; and notably for its distinctive ambidextrous top-mounted safety. Now this true American classic has reached an astonishing milestone of 10,000,000 produced; and in an unprecedented 52 years making the 500 Pump-Action the fastest-selling shotgun in history!
Lead design engineer, Carl Benson, and his team at O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. began work on a slide-action shotgun to replace the unique design of the 200 Series which had been in production since 1955. Though the Model 200 had set a new standard for innovation, Benson knew that Mossberg needed a more traditional-looking pump shotgun to compete with the “big three” at the time. The result was the 500 Shooting System, a 12-gauge pump-action base gun with interchangeable barrels. Features of those early Model 500 shotguns included the top-of-the-receiver safety; disconnecting trigger; damascened bolts; single slide-bar; solid steel-to-steel lock-up of the bolt to the barrel; and anodized aluminum receiver for lighter weight and better balance. This original design remained virtually unchanged for 30-plus years. Sixteen and 20-gauge versions were added to the 500 line-up in 1963 and the .410 bore became available in 1965. Over the years, numerous configurations designed for Law Enforcement, Military and Conservation groups were introduced as well as special purpose configurations. Youth models made their first appearance in 1983. In total, over 10 million Model 500 pump-action shotguns have been produced.
To commemorate this historic benchmark, Mossberg will donate the heavily-embellished 10 Millionth 500 with serial #U500000 to the NRA National Firearms Museum in recognition of the National Rifle Association’s unwavering defense of the Second Amendment. Mossberg has also produced ten additional “10 Millionth” commemorative shotguns with the unique serialization of U500001 through U500010 for the fundraising efforts of deserving industry partners. Serial #U500004 was given to NRA-ILA for their auction at the upcoming 2013 NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Houston, Texas.
These milestone-commemorative Mossberg 500 shotguns feature a matte-silver finished receiver with gold inlay; traditionally-styled, high-gloss Fancy Walnut stock and forend with fine checkering on the pistol grip and wrapping around the underside of the forend; and classic red recoil pad with white Pachmayrline spacer. Distinctive jeweled bolt and elevator; gold trigger; 28-inch ported, vent rib barrel; and complementing high polished blue metal finish on exposed metalwork complete these classic pump-actions.
When the first model 500 came off the line in 1961, no one realized that a true American classic had been born. Now 52 years later, with the support of sportsmen and women, law enforcement and military around the world, the Mossberg 500 pump-action continues to be “the only 12 gauge pump with the feature that every shooter wants” – an ambidextrous top-mounted safety.
Celebrate this benchmark with us by sharing your 500 pump-action memories on the official Mossberg Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MossbergOfficial.