Mossberg 500 and 590A1 Compact Cruiser AOWs


It seems that the traditional firearms companies are venturing farther and farther into NFA weapons, and Mossberg is the latest company to jump into the fray with a pair of 12 gauge AOWs called Compact Cruiser AOWs.

Mossberg just announced that the company is now offering two pump action AOWs – one based on the 500 action and the other on the 590A1 action. AOW stands for Any Other Weapon, and it is a classification of NFA weapon. Although an AOW requires the additional paperwork and tax stamp from the BATFE, it is only $5 instead of the $200 associated with SBRs, SBSs and hearing protection sound suppressors.


The 500 Compact Cruiser AOW has a 3″ chamber and holds 2+1 shells. It has a 7.5″ barrel and an overall length of 17″. Up front, the AOW has folding vertical grip with a strap. I suppose the strap is to help keep your hand and gun mated together during recoil. This AOW uses the T3 pistol grip from ATI. In theory, the T3 grip is designed to absorb recoil, though I imagine the 4.9 pound gun will still be quite exhilarating with some 00-buck. It has a Parkerized finish. The MSRP is $910.

The 590A1 Compact Cruiser AOW is a bit larger with a 10.25″ barrel. As with the 590A1 shotguns, this AOW has heavy walls for increased durability. With the longer barrel, the OAL increases to 19.5″ and the weight is a bit more at 5.3 pounds. The extra length also allows for an additional round in the magazine for a total of 3+1. This model carries a suggested retail price of $980.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Red McCloud

    This is gonna kill Serbu. It’s about the same price as a Super Shorty, but Mossberg is a massive manufacturer who can pump out dozens a day, and Serbu really has no other products at this time (unless you count guns they haven’t put into production like their .50 cal and the RN50). Instead of sending in a Remmy or a Mossberg to get converted, you can just head up to your local gun shop instead of sending in your gun and waiting months to get it converted, get the paperwork, submit it, wait some time, pay five bucks, and scoot off with your new Not-A-SBS.

    Where were you when Serbu was kill?

    • Bill

      The price is kind of steep for a Mossberg – I’d hope that they’d bring it more in line with the rest of the 500/590 line instead of encroaching on Serbu prices. Some people might figure for a couple hundred more bucks go for the Serbu, but at normalish Mossberg prices these would sell like donut holes.

      • Sasquatch

        Yea I would pay around 600 for a Mossberg 500 aow. Though I can see the 590a1 being tad bit more.

        • Milo

          Keep in mind MSRP is a lot different than what a gun sells for. I’ll bet this one sells for a lot less than 900 bucks.

          • Sasquatch

            Not really on shiny new products. Got to give them about a month our two for the hype to fire down.

          • HSR47


            Serbus tend to sell for ~$900 and up. This has an MSRP of 900, which means it likely has a fair amount of margin in in.

            That said, dealers do tend to run higher markups on Title II firearms, and not all MSRPs account for that.

      • Jeff Smith

        This. That price is nearly triple the street price of a Mossberg. I get that it should cost more, but I can’t understand why it’s so much more.

        • iksnilol

          Well, it makes much sense if you consider the following:

          the 5 dollar tax stamp is only for transferring the AOW, it’s still 200 dollar tax stamp to manufacture it.

          • Elvis

            No it’s not. An SOT doesn’t pay when they make it.

          • PK

            There’s no cost per line item on the 5320.2 “form 2” used by manufacturers of NFA items. For Mossberg as a manufacturer, there’s an 11% FET on each shotgun made, but no NFA tax per NFA item.

          • Scott Connors

            I take it that you are referring to the cost to the end user if they converted an existing shotgun to a SBS using a Form 1. Even if the base firearm were a pistol-gripped firearm that had never had a shoulder stock attached, I believe that you are correct that it would require a $200 tax stamp on a Form 1.

          • Paul Epstein

            Right, end user cost for manufacturing either SBS, or AOW as this is, would be $200. But as with most things, actual manufacturers can do so cheaper per unit as they pay one fee to the ATF regardless of how many they make. So it’s strange that they’d charge more than the combined cost of the base gun and the tax stamp when labor for an AOW like this is so minimal.

          • Tom Currie

            The MSRP is excessive if you look at just the difference between the MSRP and the cost to produce, but the cost to produce a product has very little to do with the selling price. Consider the price of any semi-custom 1911 by that same standard and you can see what real price gouging looks like.

            The Market Price of a product (ANY product) is whatever customers are willing to pay. The wholesale price of these will be significantly below the MSRP for the handful of dealers willing to actually stock one. THAT is the only way the Mossberg will be able to get anyone to have them in stock. A significant part of the MSRP is due to the time that the gun will be sitting on a shelf waiting for the paperwork.

            The incremental cost to produce these may be only slightly higher than the incremental cost to produce a normal 500 or 590, but Mossberg’s total cost to produce and market these is considerably higher than for a regular 500 or 590 (NFA weapons are a P.I.T.A. for everyone in the supply chain), and most of that cost is not really a per-gun cost but a product line cost that will have to be amortized — and the amortization will be spread across a MUCH smaller total number of guns. Sales of the 500AOW will probably never reach 1% of regular 500 sales.

          • supergun

            It is called, supply and demand, but in this case, it is “Make it and someone Wants it”

          • iksnilol

            Same applies to an AOW I believe, the transfer fee is 5 dollars whilst manufacturing is the good old 200 dollar stamp.

          • supergun

            Try this: The Mossberg Shorty (Raptor) – 14 inch barrel with pistol grip. Overall length is 26 inches. No stamp or paperwork legal.

      • SerArthurDayne

        NOT THAT THEY’RE NOT WORTH IT, But as I already have a bunch of shotguns (I collect them kinda), I consider the $450-$700+ for a regular (and fully-kitted/handsomely-appointed) M590A1s to be a lot of hard-earned money. They want $900 for 1/3 of the shotgun? LOL. Kthxbai.

      • Cymond

        Heck, it’s actually more expensive than a Mossberg 500 Cruiser converted by Safety Harbor.

        I was expecting a killer price, not this. Can you imagine if they offered these for $500?

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I’d buy a Serbu considering prices are similar unless my dealer decided to stock these and I could handle it before waiting months to bring home.

    • SGT Fish

      Not likely. mark really doesn’t make his money on the super shorty anymore. He does in fact produce other guns and is about to make a decent amount when the su15 starts shipping. Safety harbor already stole his idea years ago and took a big share of the market by selling an inferior copy.

      • SGT Fish

        After the BFG50A started shipping, he hasn’t been into the super shorties as much. The dudes smart, he likely saw this coming

  • Bub

    I know an AOW is only a $5 transfer fee, but is one still subjected to the 6-12 month waiting period?

    • PK

      Yes, all categories of NFA items have a long processing time. It’s not a waiting period, by law, but only in reality due to a backlog.

  • Swarf

    Does anyone have personal experience with Aguila’s mini buckshot rounds through a Mossberg pump? Do they blend run well?

    If they work, this seems like a good candidate to use them.

    • Cal S.

      So I’ve heard, and yes they would be a killer combo. It would easily make this a 5+1.

    • Bill

      They run well, but they are what they are: mini. If I need to shotgun something, they get the whole load.

      3-round guns have a weird niche. they are probably the best configuration for breaching, but if you screw up one round you need to reload. I think they may have a role in less-lethal and impact munitions deployment .

  • Cal S.

    Eww. For the price, capacity, and weight I’d rather convert one into a ‘firearm’ with that grip thingy.

  • Scott Connors

    Since one of the main uses for such an AOW is as a breaching device, Mossberg really ought to offer this with a setback muzzle device, for use with frangible ammunition.

  • John

    I’m not impressed.

    I should be, but I’m not. A semi-auto SBS would make much more sense and be actually worth the money. This, though? Forget aiming. That short of a barrel with that recoil will destroy your hands. And it’s only five rounds. And they’re not even full shotgun rounds? That folding grip is also not the greatest. I can easily see it breaking at a critical moment. Better to use an angled stationary grip with a bump stop so you don’t blast your own hand.

    Tactical “meh” all around. Just meh.

    • Grump

      You can aim them like a pistol if need be, although typically these kinds of shotguns are used for lockbusting and blowing up pumpkins. Recoil isn’t nearly as bad as you’d think, I’d say a heavily loaded magnum revolver is a lot more uncomfortable to shoot.

    • HSR47

      Three rounds. They’re also not that bad to shoot; I put at least one 3″ magnum shell through one, and it didn’t seem that bad. It was nowhere near as bad as running the same type of shells through an 870 Police Magnum riot gun because your arms are able to act as shock absorbers: Your arms can move back several inches, which allows you to soak up a lot of the recoil with your muscles.

      Having shot an AOW of this type, I can definitively state that the VFG was entirely solid. The only recommendation I’d make is not to crowd the top of the VFG: If you get too high, you can pinch your finger between the slide and the barrel guide ring. This can cause minor injuries, which are best avoided.

  • RICH

    The 590A1 is a great ‘in house’ shotgun or ‘in vehicle’ piece. I managed to pick a 14″ barrel 590A1 up a while back for around $350 and the $5 fee for the tax stamp was a blessing as compared to paying the $200 as I have in the past ! It’s a great little shotgun that you can legally own for an additional $5 and a few months wait.

    • Jason

      Same here – wondering how these are now going for $900 + MSRP?

      • RICH

        I think the Obummer administration has done more to increase the amount of firearms sold over the last 7&1/2 years than all of the advertising by the dealers combined….. including pushing the prices up ! !

  • I had to interrupt my laughter at the ongoing popularity of PGO Mossbergs to laugh even harder that they bothered to put a sight on it.

    Still looks cool, though– I look forward to seeing them in movies and video games for the next decade or so.