O.F. Mossberg and Sons continues to impress with new and upgraded models of firearms. This year Mossberg released the 590A1 Tactical Ghost Ring Shotgun has an impressive competitor for selection as a police patrol or tactical shotgun. This is one of the models that won a coveted U.S. Military firearms trials to be selected for military use.
Mossberg is no stranger to successful firearms or military service. The U.S. Marines have been issuing Mossberg shotguns for decades, and the new 590A1 adds capacity and modern modularity to a proven platform. This new Mossberg shotgun has significant impact for law enforcement users and we’ll break down features that could make this your new best friend.
Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring
The Mossberg 590A1 series has already experienced a very successful run, and was specifically designed as the “law enforcement model”. Taking the key features of the venerable original Model 500, the 590A1 series adds capacity and modular features to provide police officers the accessories and firepower they need to survive the streets.
The Model 590A1 has nine (9) different models with a variety of configurations. The new Ghost Ring version does not have the highest capacity of the group, having a 7-shot capacity compared to the 9-shot 590A1 options. However, the sacrifice of two rounds of capacity comes with the benefit of a shorter 18.5-inch barrel providing officers more agility in tighter spaces than the longer 20-inch barrel of the 9-shot series.
Stronger barrels, trigger groups, and other materials were included in the 590A1 series, to meet the U.S. Military’s 3443G strict requirements. The Mossberg 590A1 proved itself during the grueling 3,000 round buckshot test, and has been selected for use by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations.
Offering reliable action and feeding, with lightweight and modern materials, Mossberg has steadily climbed its way into the hearts and minds of many users. In fact, just a few years ago the Mossberg 500 series matched the iconic Remington 870 in overall sales at over 10 million, and some say have taken the lead as “America’s shotgun”.
Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring Features
The Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring model is designed with the modern police officer in mind. The key feature is the easily acquired Ghost Ring sights. These sights have been shown to be superior to standard bead sights, or even notch-style sights when attempting to acquire a target under stressful or low light conditions. The large “ghost” ring rear sight provides plenty of view of targets downrange, while the XS Systems orange fiber optic front sight makes target acquisition faster.
For those who don’t like the Ghost Ring configuration, there is a 3-dot “high visibility” option as well. There is a simple front bead option, but I am not a fan of this option for law enforcement use. When life and death is on the line, as well as the legal and financial well-being of the officer and their department, I cannot fathom why a user would opt for the lesser sights.
A lightweight synthetic stock reduces overall weight without compromising strength and durability. This same stock comes with an internal, spring-activated storage system keeping 4-rounds close-by for easy loading. This could be a perfect method for storing rifled or saboted slugs, while the magazine is loaded with traditional buck shot. The proven Mossberg action is smooth and consistent, and the 7-shot magazine provides a significant number of 12-gauge rounds ready for action. The tang safety provides officers both a tactile and visual indicator of the shotgun’s readiness.
The 590A1 barrel is heavier and designed to sustain hard use, while the exterior Parkerized finish provides ease of maintenance and superior corrosion resistance. The fore grip (pump slide) has a small Picatinny rail attachment for light or laser attachments. There is another small Picatinny rail attachment just forward of the Ghost Ring iron sight, should the user desire to add a red-dot (reflexive) sight. Depending on the mount selected, this red-dot could co-witness with the Ghost Ring sights, adding to the versatility of the shotgun.
Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring Specifications
- Barrel Type: Heavy-Walled
- Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
- Gauge: 12
- Capacity: 7+1
- Chamber Size: 3 inch
- Length: 39.5 inches
- Weight: 7.0 pounds (unloaded)
- Sight: Ghost Ring
- Choke: Accu-Choke System – Cylinder Bore Choke installed
- Length of Pull (LOP): 13.875 inches, fixed
- Barrel Finish: Parkerized
- Stock Finish: Synthetic black
- MSRP: $630.00.
Police Patrol Shotguns
Since 9/11 there has been an increasing presence of patrol rifles in the hands of regular patrol officers. The BlueSheepDog Crew are big supporters of this option, as the patrol rifle can provide significant firepower and accuracy at distance needed to stop deadly threats and protect officers and civilians alike. However, Richard has written on the importance of keeping the shotgun in the hands of officers as well.
There is a time and place for the patrol rifle, but there are still plenty of times a shotgun is a superior long gun option. Patrol rifles are great tools for distance shooting. They can bring incredible firepower to some of the most hostile incidents police must face, including active shooter or spree killer situations like San Bernardino, Orlando, Dallas, and now Baton Rouge. However, a shotgun can provide enormous firepower in close-in engagements, particularly when officers must enter structures to engage a deadly threat.
When I started in police work nearly 20 years ago the shotgun was my only long gun option, and I was very glad to have it nearby. There is still a very intimidating factor when an officer exits their patrol car and racks the slide on the “boom stick”. Though a patrol rifle (often in 5.56mm/.223 caliber) can have devastating impact on a deadly threat, the force carried by 00 buck shot cannot be understated.
In close confines the slight spread of the (9) pellets of 00 buck shot gives an officer a much greater leeway on accuracy than a single shot patrol rifle or pistol. The amount of damage and impact on fighting capability those 9 pellets delve out on the deadly threat are absolutely catastrophic. I love my patrol rifle (a Rock River Arms LAR-15), but if I’m going to be in tight a shotgun is my best friend.
The Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring option is an excellent choice for patrol or tactical shotgun. Balancing capacity with mobility, the Ghost Ring sights provide superior targeting in a lightweight and proven platform. I started with a trusty Remington 870, and have since been issued a Benelli M1 Super 90 Entry shotgun, but I would really enjoy carrying a Mossberg 590A1 Ghost Ring as a duty shotgun.
I own a Mossberg 500 shotgun for hunting and have really enjoyed its features. At first, it took some time to get used to the differences between Mossberg and Remington, but I actually appreciate the tang safety over the push-lever system found on the 870. That safety system is very similar to the safety on my Remington 700 sniper rifle, and is interesting that Remington never offered that safety option on their 870 models. The Mossberg tang safety is at the lower portion of my sight picture, providing a quick visual reference is I’m ever in doubt as to the readiness of the shotgun.
Based on my experiences with Mossberg shotguns, and their selection by the U.S. Military, I would have no hesitation to recommend the new 590A1 models for police use in patrol, investigations, or on a tactical team.