Mossberg Compact Cruisers: Coming to the Range

Mossberg Compact Cruisers: Coming to the Range
The Compact Cruiser 500 AOW shotgun.mfg photo

Mossberg unveiled a pair of shorty shotguns this week they're calling “Compact Cruisers,” which are pretty much sub-compact versions of the venerable Mossberg 500 and 590A1 shotguns.

These are most certainly NFA firearms, classified by the BATFE as Any Other Weapon (AOW) because of their overall length and barrel length, and require a $5 federal tax stamp for transfer along with the appropriate NFA paperwork LINK.

Both guns are 12-gauge, 3-inch scatterguns with all the standard features found on the full-size 500 and 590A1, which have sold in the many-millions.

Built on Mossberg’s 500 action, the company says the Cruisers have passed the rigorous testing required to meet or exceed U.S. Armed Services MilSpec 3443 requirements. Mossberg says it is the only shotgun manufacturer to pass these endurance, accuracy, and quality tests.

An extended action release makes any Mossberg shotgun with a pistol-grip stock both easier and safer to operate.
Mossberg 500 Fix: A Better Shotgun for $45

From a company press release: “The 590A1/500 AOWs are designed for smooth, reliable operation and feature non-binding twin action bars; positive steel-to-steel lock-up; an anti-jam elevator; and dual extractors. Their lightweight, anodized aluminum receivers provide for added durability and for ease of operation, by right or left-handed shooters. The Compact Cruiser AOWs have Mossberg’s universally-recognized, ambidextrous top-mounted safety.”

So basically it’s everything people have loved for years about the 500 platform, just cut down to a briefcase-sized package.

Shotguns have long been the go-to choice for an all-around firearm and as a home-defense gun, but they’ve always had the drawback of being difficult to maneuver in close quarters because of their length. These shortened versions of the already compact Mossberg Cruiser shotguns are a great way to pack a lot of firepower into a small, rugged, reliable package that is simple to operate and shoot. It can also be secured and even hidden at home in places where normally the only option is a handgun.

Neither gun holds very much ammo in the tube, but with modern self-defense shotgun rounds, three or four shots can be quite a bit of force.

Mossberg Compact Cruisers: Coming to the Range
The Mossberg Compact Cruiser 590A1 model has a heavier barrel than the 500. Both feature folding vertical foregrips.web photo

Since they’re so short, that means a pistol grip is necessary, as well as a unique foregrip. It folds and provides enough clearance to operate the slide on the short magazine tube, and it also folds out to become a vertical foregrip. Both guns come with the ATI T3 pistol grip, made of reinforced polymer and designed to absorb some recoil from the little shotty. The trigger guard and safety button are both metal instead of polymer and the aluminum receivers Parkerized finishes.

The 590A1 Compact Cruiser AOW has a 10.25-inch heavy-walled, cylinder bore barrel with a simple front bead sight and a 3+1 capacity. The 500 Compact Cruiser AOW has a 7.5-inch cylinder bore barrel with a front bead sight and a 2+1 capacity, due to the reduced length.

Mossberg Compact Cruiser Specifications

5901A1 AOW

Gauge: 12 gauge

Chamber: 3 inches

Capacity: 3+1

Barrel: 10.25 inches, heavy walled

Sights: Bead

Chokes: Cylinder Bore

Overall Length: 19.5 inches

Forend/grip: Folding vertical foregrip with strap, ATI T3 Pistol Grip

Weight: 5.3 lbs.

MSRP: $980

500 AOW

Gauge: 12 gauge

Chamber: 3 inches

Capacity: 2+1

Barrel: 7.5 inches

Sights: Bead

Chokes: Cylinder Bore

Overall Length: 17 inches

Forend/grip: Folding vertical foregrip with strap, ATI T3 Pistol Grip

Weight: 4.9 lbs.

MSRP: $910