Mossberg 20 Gauge Self Defense Shotguns

Richard Johnson
by Richard Johnson
Mossberg 500

Mossberg is expanding their line of 20 gauge self defense shotguns this year with two new model 500 Cruiser/Persuader models. Both of the new models have extended magazines (total of eight 2 3/4″ shells) and a 20″ matte blue barrel. Both of the new pump guns have ghost ring sights.

The model #54300 has a Bantam stock, which is a traditional fixed stock, but is slightly shorter than the normal fixed stock. It offers a 13″ length of pull (LOP), which is shorter than the 14″ – 14.5″ LOP seen on other Mossberg shotguns.

The model #54301 uses an M4-style adjustable stock with a pistol grip. This allows the user to adjust LOP from 10.75″ – 14.5″. Other than stocks, the two shotguns are the same.

Mossberg 500

The 20 gauge shotgun is a viable self defense tool, especially when loaded with #3 buckshot or slugs. The loads are very effective, but with less recoil than a 12 gauge. Although Mossberg already makes 20 gauge model 500 shotguns for self defense, these two new guns bring them more in line with the offerings available for 12 gauge.

Richard Johnson
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

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  • 20 Gauge Wiz 20 Gauge Wiz on Apr 15, 2013

    Mossberg had these two new models on their website a month ago, now they are both "not found". Hard to buy a gun the manufacturer says doesn't exist.....

  • Peter Pocket Peter Pocket on Aug 08, 2014

    Pul-l-lease, stop with the garbage talk .Slap a small tac rail with a light and/or laser on it, and you'll never have to aim a pistol shotgun from the shoulder ever again.The shot will hit whatever the light hits once you get the two of them zeroed in.

    20 gauges are WAY LIGHTER and WAY MORE MANUEVERABLE than a 12 gauge. the lengths are exactly the same, so Manny, I don't get your "It's longer than it should be."

    If length is a big issue, then get a SERBU SUPER SHORTY. Of course, you'll only have 3 rounds in a 12-gauge concealed carry shotgun, but what the heck. It's fun.

    It's not just a recoil thing. The real problem with a 20 is shell variety. There is none. Not like 12-gauge where you can get any size buck from #00 to #28.

    Speaking of which, why do people run stupid YouTube videos comparing #00 to birdshot? If you want to get yourself killed, well, then using birdshot would be the way to go. It's like they are totally ignorant of the wide range pellets available to them, in addition to rubber pellets and a 1 1/2" rifled slug.

    Then again, let's not forget about that thing called overpenetration. #00 has nine .32 caliber slugs that will penetrate wallboard if they miss the mark.

    Now I shot one of those rifled slugs at a concrete wall from 15 yards away and left a basketball-sized hole in the wall, so a low recoil load will also prevent hitting your neighbor.

    to Plus, #1 buck is 30% more lethal than #00 buck IN ANY GAUGE but nobody sells them.