Mossberg M500A2 Military Enhancement Kit for Marine Breachers

Marine Corps Systems Command announced the fielding of a Military Enhancement Kit (MEK) to various units that require breaching as an essential capability. This includes everything from Military Police, to Force Reconnaissance Marines that need to breach houses. The kit is an addition to current Mossberg M500A2 slide action shotguns that are currently in use mainly by MP, Recon, and special response units across the Marine Corps. Although the M1014 is supposed to replace the Mossberg or at least compliment it, the reality is that there aren’t enough M1014s to go around so units have to contend with the Mossberg. The irony of this kit is that the M1014 was designed to have a telescoping stock for this exact purpose, but the cost of the shotgun has been so prohibitive that units still aren’t receiving it.

Essentially the MEK is a cost effective way that Systems Command can get units to have shotguns that better fit their operational requirements in way of being shorter and more compact for breaching and forced entry. One of the advantages is that units already with M500A2s can complete the modifications in-house as opposed to sending their shotguns back to Quantico for the additions to be made.

The MEK also yields significant savings for the Marine Corps—another advantage.

“By using the MEK with currently-fielded M500A2 shotguns, the Marine Corps only had to buy the kits,” said Maj. Paul Gillikin, Special Purpose Weapons team lead in MCSC’s Infantry Weapons Systems. “Also, modifying the shotgun in local armories will save time and shipping costs, and units will retain their shotguns on-hand, as opposed to sending them in to a depot for maintenance.”

As part of IWS’s evaluation process, Gillikin and his team turned the kit over to Marines at the Methods of Entry School, located aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. MOES instructors teach breaching methodology to Marines assigned to Reconnaissance and Force Reconnaissance units, Security Forces Regiment Recapture Tactics teams, Military Police Special Reaction teams, Explosive Ordnance Disposal units and Marine Special Operations Command units. Marines who undergo training at MOES will be the primary users of the kit.

“We reached out early to MOES, and the feedback we received from experts like Gunnery Sgt. Flor and Master Sgt. Bryan Maass was key to helping us get the MEK to Marines,” said Gillikin. “They were able to articulate a capability and requirement, and assist us in test design and execution. Infantry Weapons Systems-South logistics personnel took it the rest of the way by completing the cataloging process, which will allow units to sustain the kit through normal supply requisitioning.”

The MEK is currently being fielded to select units across the Marine Corps, and is one of the many capabilities offered to Marines by MCSC’s Infantry Weapons Systems. IWS strives to ensure that Marines are equipped and ready for their next challenge, whether that means introducing new weapons systems or, in the case of the MEK, enhancing current ones.

The MEK kit consists of three different buttstocks that individual members can change out in regards to the changing mission requirements, a full-length traditional buttstock, a telescoping buttstock, and a pistol grip.

Current Mossberg M500A2-

Current M1014-

It appears that the breaching compensator is a Mossberg Thunder Ranch variant that appears to have been discontinued from the current product line up. Note that the photograph misidentifies the shotgun below as an M1014, when in fact it is a standard M500A2.

The forend appears to be an Ergo picatinny rail forend, available on Brownells for $86.

At this time I can’t identify the telescoping stock manufacturer because there are a myriad of such models out there on the market, but the closest I can find is Mesa Tactical’s early LEO model-


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • GD Ajax

    USMC has money for new (already outdated) planes, but not enough for a decent shotgun or sniper rifle to fight Wahhabist funded terrorists.

  • iksnilol

    Hey, they discovered hacksaws and drills?

    Because that’s the easy way to convert shotties to breaching config.

    • guy

      Yeah good luck doing that on a weapon that’s going back to the arms room. I see a long day of ‘corrective training’ ahead for ya 😉

      • iksnilol

        Just saying, instead of wasting money and time on replacing barrels and stocks. Just chop off barrel (down to mag tube) and chop off stock. Drill a couple of ports in the barrel so that you can press the muzzle against things. And presto, breaching shotgun on the cheap. Now where’s my multi million dollar contract?

  • Anonymoose

    It’s a Mossberg 500 Flex stock system.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Wow, the USMC is having THAT much trouble getting our guys the simplest, most basic a-s form of weaponry short of a bayonet?

    • Brett

      And we don’t even want the bayonet.

    • RealitiCzech

      DoD contracting is a catastrophe.

      It would take 10 years to select a new bayonet.

      • Ron

        An outgrowth of the Marine Martial Arts initiatives to improve the Marine Corps under General Jones was the identification that the standard issue M7 bayonet and Kabars should be replaced (at the time MEU BLTs as part of their MEU gear set would get M9 bayonets, but Marine Corps wide the M7 was standard for rifle bearers and Kabars for all pistols bearers). So in 2001 the Marine Corps started a new program to replace the all fighting blades that resulted in the 2003 fielding of the OKC3S bayonet that replaced the M7, M9 and Ka-bar knife in all armories in the Marine Corps. By 2005 the force was fully fielded with the new bayonet/fighting knife.

  • SP mclaughlin

    I’m sure the Army will have some hand-me-down M26 MASSes to get rid of soon enough…

    • 1LT Homer

      The M26 was by far the least pleasant shotgun experience I’ve had thus far. This so called ‘Military Enhancement Kit’ seems like an answer to a question nobody asked. Any run-of-the-mill short barreled 500/870 with a standoff device should be more than up to the task of breaching. Crye Six-12 seems like a solid choice too.

  • Captain Obvious

    Confused. What’s the difference between the M590A1 which I thought was the standard military shotgun, the M500A2 and the M1014?

    • rennsport4.4TV8

      The M1014 is a Benelli M4 semi-auto shotgun and the other two are Mossberg 500 variants.

    • John

      About a couple grand.

    • snmp

      MEK M500A2 is Regular Mossberg M500 Flex with the Barrel and mag tube of 590/590A

  • JoshCalle

    Isn’t that just the mossberg FLEX?

  • Felix

    Why hasn’t anybody made a mp5 style stock so pgo Mossbergs could stay compact?

  • RealitiCzech

    Opening photo: AR with no sights at all. Is someone trying to use that for breaching, too?

    • Zack

      I went back and looked. Its hard to see, but thats a rubber duck.

  • Pumpkin King XXIII

    I thought the marines were using benelli m4s.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Thats the M1014 that was mentioned in the article.

      • Pumpkin King XXIII


  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Seems like it would be somewhat tiring hauling around that thing if it’s only intended for breaching. How often is it needed anyway?

    • LGonDISQUS

      Eh, one guy per ?squad/group? Better than tne guys carrying LAW or other “heavy” member equipment.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        I guess


    Turn it into a bullpup, cut the barrel near-flush and save ¿6-10″?

  • jon spencer

    For home use, just put the muzzle device on Mossburg’s Shockwave.
    If you silver soldered the breaching device on the barrel, would that count in the barrel length?
    Wonder if those short Aguila shot shells would pop a lock?