The Shockwave 590 was the stand out shotgun of 2017, even though technically it’s not a shotgun. It’s a firearm, but it revolutionized the firearms industry. The Shockwave 590 has evolved, and different designs have appeared over time. This includes 410 and 20-gauge models and now a magazine fed model. That’s right, and a magazine fed pump action shotgun that technically isn’t a shotgun. This new model is known as the 590M with the M standing for Magazine, of course.
Enter the Magazine
The Shockwave 590M is the predictable evolution of both the Mossberg Shockwave and the 590M series introduced at SHOT Show 2018. The new M series of Mossbergs include three total models including the Shockwave variant. The 590M series utilizes double stack magazines but the same pump action you come to love with the 590 series of shotguns. These double stack magazines come in a variety of capacities. This includes 5, 10, 15 and 20 round magazines.
The Shockwave 590M comes with one 10 round magazine, and the included magazines are very common. They seem to be easy to find but are honestly a little pricey. The 20 rounder is going for over 100 bucks, so that’s rough. The magazines are very robust and very well made. A company called Adaptive Tactical makes them. This company was famous for producing a magazine conversion system for Mossberg 500 shotguns, so it’s not a surprise to see them here and now.
One of my chief complaints about the gun is a non-issue, and it’s the fact the magazine has a very stiff spring. The first eight rounds are okay, but the last two require some finger force. I imagine the 20 rounder is a solid workout for those seeking to improve their grip strength.
The Art of the PGO Shotgun
It’s not a shotgun, I know, but it’s a lot easier to say shotgun than 12-gauge, pump action firearm. So, I’ll be technically wrong for the sake of brevity. A pistol grip only shotgun is a challenge to hold, and Mossberg even says you should only fire this gun from the hip. To be firing from the hip seems unsafe and somewhat hard to aim. That being said, I would never tell you not to follow your firearm’s manual.
Now if you had the balls to aim this type of gun, you need the technique to make it work. Plenty of young men have died with courage and no technique. The Mossberg Shockwave 590M can be a punisher if you aren’t ready for it. If you want the challenge of taming it, it’s possible to ride the Shockwave.
The first step is getting a good solid hold on it. Hold the gun up with the distance between the pistol grip and shoulder roughly the same as if there was a stock there. Raise the gun up until you can see the bead sight and aim with it. Now you are cooking with fire.
The next step is all about tension. You have to put a lot of tension on this gun. That strap on the pump is there for a reason, so use it. You want to push forward with the non-firing hand, holding the pump tightly. The rear hand should be pulling the grip backward. You should be stretching the gun.
This tension will control the recoil. Maximize the tension and start with birdshot or Mini shells. Start with lower recoil ammo and work your way into heavier buckshots. You have to create the tension, fire, relax and pump the gun, then generate tension before you fire again. It takes practice, but it does make it possible to aim and shoot the gun, as well as control it with heavier loads.
On the Range
Now that you know how to fire the gun, let’s talk about if it’s even worth buying. The Mossberg Shockwave 590M is a bit of a ridiculous gun, but it’s a fun gun to fire and to shoot. The magazine gives you double the capacity of the stock Shockwave with the potential for quadruple the capacity.
Double the capacity, double the fun I always say.
Of course, the gun has some fierce recoil, at least with buckshot it does. It’s a brutal gun with standard buckshot but to me its plenty comfortable with reduced recoil buckshot and birdshot. The recoil, concussion and muzzle rise are all part of the fun. Why else would you ever want to shoot a gun like this?
The Mossberg 500 series are pump shotguns, and they don’t get more reliable than a Mossberg pump shotgun. However, when you toss a magazine in the mix, things get a bit more complicated. This could have been a real weak point in the design.
Luckily, Mossberg got it right. The magazine system works. 12-gauge magazines are notoriously picky and making it a double stack mag seemed like it was asking for trouble. However, Adaptive Tactical and Mossberg found a way to make it work. They were smart in limiting the magazine to 2.75-inch shells. This keeps things simple and ensures the rounds are stacked on top of each other appropriately.
I tried cheapo Wally World birdshot, Fioochi reduced recoil buck, Federal LE reduced recoil and some cheap Suprema buckshot, and it all fed perfectly fine in the gun. Every round went bang when it needed to.
There are a few rough edges to the gun. The pump, for example, is nowhere near as smooth as a standard Mossberg. Mossberg pumps are always a little rough, but this pump needs a solid and strong shove to get it running. The tension I think comes from the bolt sitting on top of the magazine. This creates upward tension that presses the bolt upward and makes the pump a little tough.
The trigger is also a bit stiff. Much more so than most Mossbergs. I’m not sure why, or how, or even if the design affects this. Other than that, the gun runs smooth.
The magazine release is ambidextrous, just like the safety. The gun is quite ergonomic, and the magazine slides in and out with very little effort. It rocks in just slightly, almost AK like. It’s a smooth effort and swapping mags is pretty damn easy.
The addition of a magazine system makes it very easy to turn the little Shockwave into a high volume weapon. In general, shotguns aren’t high volume guns. It never hurts to shake things up a bit, and that is exactly what the Mossberg Shockwave 590M does. It shakes things up.