Monday, September 7, 2009


This past weekend, I went to a local gun show with some friends. My daughters had spent the night at a friend’s house, and my wife was getting her hair done, so I had the afternoon to myself. I was hoping to stock up on some ammo, so I had saved up some money for that purpose. I was also looking for any deals that would help take some guns off my wish list.

We walked around for a bit, looking at what was on display. We noticed a Mossberg 500A on a table that looked like it had lived a long life. With a 12 gauge on my wife’s wish list, it got my attention. Because of its well used condition, it looked like I might get a good deal. It was a 12 gauge, with a synthetic, pistol grip stock and synthetic forearm, as well as a metal heat shield. I asked the vendor about the gun. He said that the shotgun did not feed cartridges from the magazine. He thought the cartridge stop needed to be replaced, but that he just did not have the time to do so. This seemed a bit fishy to me, since replacing the cartridge stop is not rocket science.

I worked the action several times, looked the gun over, and decided I might be interested. We talked and agreed on $150. I knew it had some issues, so I was aware I was taking a gamble.

I took the gun home, and started taking it apart. I wanted to strip the gun down as much as possible to take inventory of its condition. The barrel and magazine easily came off. The bore was in great condition. The trigger housing assembly was another matter. For some reason, it was stuck. Moreover, the trigger itself was stuck all the way back, and would not reset. I moved the safety back and forth, but it was gritty, and hard to move. Hmmm…so that explains the whole “did not have time” issue. Well, I did know I was taking a gamble.

I turned my attention to the rear end of the gun. The pistol grip stock was easy to remove, although it appeared to me that the threaded rod might have been a bit too short. I began unscrewing the threaded rod from the receiver. As I unscrewed it, the trigger assembly fell loose.

Not much interested in the threaded rod anymore, I picked up the trigger assembly and tested it, carefully guarding the hammer. Everything seemed to work well. I looked inside the receiver. I’m not sure when the gun had last been cleaned, but judging from the way it looked in there, it had been a long time. I put everything back together, and loaded the magazine with four snap caps. I worked the trigger and pump action, reloaded, repeated, etc… Now all that was missing was the lather, rinse, repeat. But, by this time, it was time to go to bed so I wouldn’t sleep through the church service the next day.

After church, I cleaned all the parts and lubricated them. I put them all back in (and had none left over!). I function-tested the shotgun to make sure I had put all the parts in the right place. Everything worked. The safety was now smooth and had a positive click when going from SAFE to FIRE. The action worked smoothly, loading and ejecting the snap caps without a hiccup.

Looks like whoever installed the stock over-tightened the threaded rod, jamming the trigger assembly and safety in the receiver, and preventing the parts from doing what they were supposed to.

Now, the only step remaining is to take this gun to the range and let it do what it was meant to do.


Did it MY way said...

Ya gotta love a good deal. Nice find.

See Ya

Me said...

Very nice. It's always good to score a deal because some idiot amateur gunsmith dorks up a perfectly serviceable firearm.