Range Report: Mossberg 590 Shockwave Laser Saddle

The Mossberg 590 Shockwave has been a rather interesting sales phenomenon for dealers around the country: a shorter shotgun-based firearm in a size format that doesn't require NFA paperwork. Here's a closer look.

Range Report: Mossberg 590 Shockwave Laser Saddle

Mossberg 590 Shockwave Laser Saddle

The Mossberg 590 Shockwave has been a rather interesting sales phenomenon for dealers around the country with a shorter shotgun-based firearm in a size format without NFA paperwork. Though the shorter barrel length would typically require NFA paperwork, the Shockwave is a unique “firearm” classification because the overall length exceeds 26-inches and does not have a stock. For non-SOT dealers, there is nothing unusual about ordering or selling the Mossberg 590 Shockwave since it is sold via a standard Form 4473 sale.

With the obviously stout 12-gauge recoil and no shoulder stock, accurate shots can take some practice. Mossberg and Crimson Trace have made this short little firearm a lot faster on target by offering the 590 Shockwave Laser Saddle model with an MSRP of $595.

Mossberg 590 Shockwave Lasersaddle

Mossberg used its top selling 12-gauge 590 Shockwave as the base and included the Crimson Trace LS-250 Lasersaddle, which should save customers around $40 over purchasing each separately. The 5+1 capacity firearm features the same 12-gauge, 3-inch chamber with a 14.375-inch heavy-walled matte blued cylinder bore barrel, the patented Shockwave Raptor grip and corn-cob forend with a familiar hand strap. The format has proved itself to be fun, compact and fast handling. According to both companies, the Crimson Lasersaddle sight was specifically designed to not interfere with the front bead sight functionality or most aftermarket ammo side-saddles.

Linda Powell, Mossberg’s director of media, noted, “The Shockwave platform has been a significant sales success. As we listened to customer and dealer feedback, many were asking for a Mossberg 590 Shockwave model with the Crimson Trace LS-250 Lasersaddle included. 

“The #50638 offers dealers and customers two products they are already buying together in a factory-assembled option that is ready to shoot out of the box. For defensive purposes, firearms such as the Mossberg 590 Shockwave with a laser sight makes so much sense to get on target fast with accuracy that does not degrade when shooting the firearms with less typical shooting holds.”

In late 2018, Crimson Trace introduced the LS-250 Lasersaddle. Crimson Trace has done extremely well partnering with industry manufacturers over the years to deliver integrated and packaged firearm and laser sighting models. The LS-250 attaches securely to the receiver via one captured anti-rotate trigger pin and four top rail mount screws. 

One great little feature is that they included an integrated mini-Allen wrench storage recess on the LS-250. No more looking for the right wrench when changing batteries or adjusting zero. The master switch really is just for storage and transport and offers no battery savings to the user other than to prevent accidental activation. The LS-250 delivers three hours of battery life with two provided CR2032 batteries.

The Crimson Trace LS-250 Lasersaddle integrates perfectly with any of the Mossberg 12-gauge 500, 590 or 590 Shockwave formats. One of the major goals with Crimson Trace's laser sights is to deliver an organic operation that is natural to use for the shooter. The LS-250 attaches seamlessly to the receiver while providing multiple ambidextrous laser activation pad points for instant targeting with a powerful 5mW red laser.

When working with the Shockwave and other Mossberg 500 and 590 models, Crimson Trace designers realized many shooters grip the gun differently. Regardless of finger or thumb operation the laser can be activated quickly and assuredly. As with all Crimson Trace laser sights, the LS-250 is user-adjustable for windage and elevation.

Shooting Impressions

Mossberg specifically recommends against raising the Shockwave to shoot at eye level. One can only imagine this factory recommendation is a concern over potential recoil-initiated facial damage. There is a lot of recoil going on with a lightweight form factor like the Mossberg 590 Shockwave, and a well-trained grip is required when shooting heavy, full-power 3-inch 12-gauge loads. 

As an owner of a Shockwave Raptor-gripped 18-inch-barreled Mossberg with Lasersight and .410 Bore 590 Shockwave, I have developed a love of the format and its shortcomings. The size and weight are a wonderful format, however accuracy and recoil mitigation are the biggest challenges. Mossberg’s addition of the Lasersaddle model addresses one of those issues and the other can be addressed with lower recoil defensive buckshot or slug rounds. Of note, rubber buckshot rounds are particularly fun and low recoil to shoot out of the Shockwave.

With the exception of the .410 model, which is a delight to shoot all day long even when held at eye level, the 12-gauge models really are very close range chest and waist level point-and-shoot guns. After owning laser equipped defense shotguns, the laser delivers the confidence most customers would need to feel comfortable using the Shockwave as a defensive tool. The 590 Shockwave can be shot accurately and effectively at eye level but the recoil encourages shooters to drop from eye height to chest- and waist-height holds, and accuracy suffers greatly without a laser sight. 

Many consider the Mossberg 590 Shockwave a fun novelty gun, but with the addition of a Crimson Lasersaddle laser sight, the practicality and utility jumps exponentially — with reliably accurate shots with chest and waist shooting holds delivering 25 yard slug shots on paper torso target shots in my shooting. In all indoor conditions, the red laser is clearly visible and is also visible in most shorter range full-sun applications. Though, as expected, the laser washes out in very bright sun and at longer distances. 

A Dealer’s Perspective

According to the Midwest Mossberg dealer who handled my FFL transfer of the sample gun, Mel MCClure of The X-Ring, “The addition of the Crimson Trace Lasersaddle makes sense to enhance the accuracy of such a small, lightweight gun in something that a customer can pull from a box and start shooting without working through a research, sales and assembly process.  The majority of Shockwave sales are certainly around the novelty, which I think customers are getting excited about, but there can be some great utility around the platform as well. The addition of the Crimson Trace sight really enhances the perceived utility of the Mossberg Shockwave format and legitimizes it a bit as a realistic defense tool. It makes a non-shoulderable shotgun accurate to shoot.

“The Shockwaves have been good selling items for dealers in our area simply because the excitement around any new item on the market always drives sales. Customers want to be the first one to have the new firearm and right now the Mossberg Shockwaves are really interesting new guns that every gun owner does not have. 

“For the old shotgun shooter who has been hunting upland game with a Mossberg his entire life and just wants something smaller but still familiar for home defense, the Shockwave 590 line is perfect and the laser adds a margin of extra confidence. In the middle of the night all those years of shotgun hunting will come second nature in high stress situations. There are still a lot of shotgun customers who are non-handgun people and the Shockwave is a great format to sell to those customers. The light recoiling .410 has been very hot selling, but all the models have a lot of practicality to sell to as a defensive gun or new type of trail, ATV or snowmobile gun, especially with the addition of the laser sight.” 


Gauge: 12
Barrel length:  14.375 inches
Overall length: 26.37 inches
Weight: 5 pounds 4 ounces
Stock: Raptor grip, Corn-cob forend with strap
Sights: Crimson Trace LS-250 Lasersaddle
Action: Pump
Finish: Matte blue
Capacity: 5+1
Price:   $595


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