For years, I have wanted to get a home security shotgun. At the moment I own several hunting shotguns but due to the low shot capacity (3 because I keep the plugs in) and longer barrels (28" minimum), I have never felt they were the right guns to use for home security. Some of the criteria I wanted to meet with a home defense shotgun was high capacity, short barrel, pistol grip capable, and inexpensive. My first thought of a gun to fit these criteria was a Mossberg Model 500 Cruiser so I headed off to the gun store to check it out. While there, I noticed the Mossberg Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot Shotgun for $200. The similar Model 500 Cruisers started at $320. Other than price, the big difference between the two was that I would need to purchase an aftermarket pistol grip for the Maverick. After looking over the Maverick and comparing it to the Model 500, I decided on the Maverick because it will probably spend more time in the back of a closet than out impressing friends. There are other significant differences between the Maverick and the Model 500 and I will point them out later in the review. My new Maverick shotgun is shown below. FYI, all the photos were taken after going on a Shoot-A-Rama with the guys from work so it is not in a true "out of the box" condition. Also, you can click on any photo and it will bring up a higher resolution photo.
In general, the information shown below in italics was taken from the Mossberg Maverick 88™ Security web page.
Mossberg Maverick 88™ 8-Shot Security Model Features
- Barrels are equipped with 12 gauge 3" chambers and handle factory 2¾" and 3" loads
- 8 Shot capacity with 2¾" shells (7 in magazine tube, 1 in chamber)
- 20" Cylinder Bore fixed choke and a non-ported barrel
- Barrels are capable of firing lead, steel or other non-toxic loads
- Barrels are compatible with Mossberg® 500® model barrels within gauge and capacity
- Brass front sight bead
- Blued metal finish
- A rugged black synthetic stock and forearm
- Dual extractors and twin action slide bars for positive, non-binding extraction and ejection
- Cross-bolt safety in front of the trigger for speed and convenience
- Cable lock included
- One-Year Limited Warranty
The next three photos give you an overall look at the Maverick shotgun. Further in this review, I will have closeup photos showing all of the detailed features.
The buttstock is a hollow synthetic molding that provides a 14" length of pull for the gun. The buttpad is made from a soft rubber and will clearly provide some cushioning when firing the gun.
The receiver has a good finish and is very simple with minimal engraved details. You should notice that the top is not drilled and tapped for mounting optics. This is one of the key differences between the Maverick and the Model 500. You can also see the cross-bolt safety which is another big difference from the Model 500.
The Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot comes with a 20" barrel and the magazine tube extends the full length of the barrel.
The front sight is a brass bead and the barrel is held in place by the take down screw.
The end of the take down screw has a hole that is drilled and tapped to allow the installation of a sling swivel.
The barrel is stamped on both sides. One side is stamped with the chamber gauge, shell size and barrel information. The other side is stamped with Mossberg's warning statement.
The forearm measured just under 8" in length. The action slide bars appear to be riveted or integrally molded directly to the forearm. This is what makes the Model 500 forearms incompatible with the Maverick.
The trigger housing assembly is a synthetic molded part.
You can see that the cross-bolt safety is a molded part also. Ergonomically, I like the location of this safety as compared to the Model 500 tang safety. The operation of the safety is extremely stiff and it makes a loud click as you go from fire to safe or safe to fire.
The action lock lever is located on the left side of the trigger housing and functions great. With my middle finger behind the trigger guard, I can apply a small amount of up pressure to the action lock lever and it disengages the lock easily.
The Maverick 88 weighed in at 5.96 pounds empty and 6.86 pounds with 8 rounds of #4 buck shot.
The overall length of the gun measured 40.5".
I keep my Maverick loaded with 7 shells of #4 BuckShot in the magazine tube and the chamber empty. Since I don't keep this in a gun safe, I keep the chamber empty, on safety, and make sure that it requires you to press the action lock lever to cycle the first round into the chamber (hammer already cocked).
When I took the Maverick out to the range, I shot about two boxes of shells (mainly bird shot) and some 00 buckshot. The gun functioned flawlessly. The second time I went to the range, I checked the spread at 7 yards with #4 buckshot. I was aiming at the center of the page below and believe all 27 pellets can be found within a 6" spread.
The Mossberg Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot most closely compares to the Mossberg Model 500 Persuader 8-Shot shown below.
Mosssberg Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot
Mossberg Model 500 Persuader 8-Shot (shown for reference)
I have read many posts trying to identify the differences between the Maverick 88 and the Model 500. From what I have found from these posts and the owner's manuals, the differences between the Maverick 88 and the Model 500 are as follows.
- Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): Maverick $233, Model 500 $406
- Location of the Safety: Maverick has a cross-bolt safety on the trigger guard and the Model 500 has a top tang safety.
- Trigger Groups: Not interchangeable
- Swivel Studs: Maverick has an integrally molded sling mount on the buttstock and no forward swivel stud. The Model 500 comes with swivel studs on both the buttstock and the take down screw.
- Upper Receiver: Maverick is not drilled and tapped for a scope mount, Model 500 comes drilled and tapped.
- Stock Forearm: The forearm on the Maverick has the action bars riveted or integrally molded to the synthetic forearm. Replacement Model 500 forearms will not fit on the Maverick.
- Manufacture & Assembly: Based on everything I have read on the Internet, the Maverick has some parts that are fabricated in Mexico and assembly takes place in Texas. All Model 500 parts are fabricated in the USA.
- Warranty: Maverick One (1) Year Limited Warranty, Model 500 Ten (10) Year Limited Warranty
The Mossberg Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot Shotgun is a great value for those wanting to have an inexpensive home defense gun. I was a little disappointed with the feel (not location) of the cross-bolt safety. It requires much more pressure to switch from safe to fire and back. This was the only feature I thought that could use some improvement. If your biggest need is to have a shotgun sitting in the back of a closet for that peace of mind in the event trouble comes your way, you should look closely at the Mossberg Maverick 88 Security 8-Shot Shotgun. Since I saved money on the gun, my next venture will be to get a pistol grip stock and magazine tube picitanny rail adapter (every defense gun should be able to have a light).
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