Mossberg 500 barrels are incredibly popular with Mossberg enthusiasts who need to replace a barrel or are taking the plunge on a high-end custom build. If this sounds like you, then you might feel a little overwhelmed by the possible options on the market these days.
It helps to look for key barrel performance factors like velocity and accuracy. Of course, overall build quality is also critical in ensuring that the Mossberg 500 barrel gives you a robust return on your investment.
Fortunately, we’ve rolled up our sleeves to take a closer look at some of the best Mossberg 500 Barrels, to help you weed down your options.
Best Overall: Mossberg – Barrel, 20″, Blue, 8-shot
As a 12-gauge, 20-inch barrel it has the characteristics to handle hunting big game, yet it’s also short and nimble enough to also be used as a security or home defense shotgun barrel.
Best For A Home Security Shotgun: Mossberg 12 Gauge 18.5” Plain Bead Sight Security Barrel
At only 18.5 inches long this is a very maneuverable barrel that’s meant to pair with Mossberg’s very popular Maverick 12-gauge, 6-shot, shotgun. The plain bead further helps with overall accuracy. Not to mention the classic visual appeal of a matte black finish on the shotgun barrel.
Best For Long-Range Accuracy: Mossberg 20 Gauge 24” Adjustable Rifle Sight Slug Barrel
This 24-inch, 20-gauge Mossberg 500 barrel is designed for long-range accuracy when firing slugs. It includes adjustable rifle sites that further help with accuracy as well as giving it a great rifle-like look. It can also double nicely for shooting competition enthusiasts. Though it is a little long and ungainly to pull double duty as a security shotgun barrel.
There are a few different factors you want to keep in mind while looking for the best Mossberg 500 barrel for your build or upgrade. This includes things like material build quality, and length as well as matching the barrel to the type of build or upgrade you are working on.
Material Build Quality
Material build quality is an important factor for any gun barrel, and it’s especially important in a shotgun barrel that most likely will see frequent use. This means prioritizing high-quality steel that can handle a lot of rounds in the field or at the range.
Just keep in mind that even the highest quality barrel will still need meticulous care and cleaning. So, if you are going to make the major investment in a Mossberg 500 barrel, you want to invest in the tools and make the time to properly maintain it.
Determining The Barrel Length
The length of the barrel is also another key factor to consider in any custom build or upgrade. A longer barrel will give you superior accuracy as well as velocity. If you are going to be target shooting, then a 20-to 24-inch barrel is usually sufficient. When you start looking at a home defense shotgun then shorter barrel length for better maneuverability in tight quarters becomes more of a priority. So, make sure that the gun’s purpose is factored appropriately into the equation when considering barrel length, the longer the barrel, the more accurate your shot will be. If you have a more tactical use case in mind, go for a shorter barrel an have a look at our article on tactical conversion kits for the Mossberg 500.
Matching The Mossberg 500 Barrel To The Purpose
The three most common reasons why people upgrade or use a Mossberg 500 in a custom build are for hunting, competition shooting, or home defense. Many competitive shooters prioritize a longer barrel for superior accuracy and velocity. While a home defense shotgun is typically shorter and perhaps lighter.
How you plan to use the shotgun most often will influence sight preference. For a home defense shotgun build, sights are likely going to be low or non-priority. Though adjustable Mossberg 500 sights might be a high priority for a 24-inch or longer barrel for competitive shooting or hunting game at long range.
Want to add a heat shield to match your barrel? We got you covered with our Mossberg 500 heat shield guide.
The Best Mossberg 500 Barrel Reviews For 2020
During the review process, we tried to keep an eye out for Mossberg 500 barrels that could fit two or more purposes such as home defense and hunting or hunting and competitive shooting. This is often preferable to a single-purpose build or upgrade that might limit the shotgun’s overall usefulness. Along the way we tried to keep an eye out for barrels that shined through stronger in one category over another.
Mossberg – Barrel, 26″, Vent Rib, Blue
The Mossberg – Barrel, 26″, Vent Rib, Blue is a value-priced 20-gauge barrel for individuals who are looking to build out a shotgun for hunting and competitive shooting. It’s a great entry-level option if you are working with a tight budget. It’s a popular first alternative to a lot of stock barrels.
It weighs 2.84 pounds, which makes it nicely maneuverable for a 26-inch long barrel. It also has a classic blue finish for that iconic 20-gauge shotgun look that a lot of people appreciate.
At 26-inches long, you are going to get a lot of velocity and accuracy out of this Mossberg barrel. It only weighs in at 2.84 pounds and has a vent rib as well as a satin blued finish. This Mossberg 500 barrel was designed as an “Accu-Choke Barrel” that’s been modified as a full choke tube. It comes threaded for chokes and will fire 2.75 to 3-inch shells.
- Designed for hunting birds as well as competitive shooting
- Can also be used for buckshot deer hunting
- The barrel will fit almost all Mossberg shotgun compatibly
- A great price tag for the build quality
- Visually appealing blued finish
- Not a good option for a home defense shotgun
- May not be compatible with other manufacturer brands
- A 20-gauge barrel is not ideal for big game hunting
Mossberg – Barrel, 20″, Blue, 8-shot
This 20-inch, 12-gauge, 8-Shot Mossberg 500 barrel has a low profile with a blued finished for classic visual appeal. It has a reputation for being highly accurate, yet only weighs in at 2.6-pounds, which makes it a good option for bird hunting while also being able to pull double duty as a home defense shotgun.
The low-profile barrel makes this a great option for bird hunting. Especially if you are flushing birds out of the brush, hunting from a blind or still hunting. t can handle slugs and mini-slugs, which means you can use it for hunting medium and potentially large-size game.
This is a “Drop-In” barrel which makes for easy installation. It’s best to pair it with an 8-shot 12-gauge shotgun. Mossberg strongly recommends that you pair it with one of their 8-shot 12-gauge shotguns. If you already own one and you are looking to upgrade from the stock barrel, you might want to put this barrel near the top of your list.
- Low profile barrel for bird hunting and self-defense
- 8-shot barrel
- Handles both slugs and mini slugs
- Drop-in barrel for easy installation
- It works best with a Mossberg 8-shot shotgun
Mossberg 12 Gauge 18.5” Plain Bead Sight Security Barrel
This 12-gauge, 18.5-inch Mossberg barrel was designed primarily for home defense. Its meant to be paired with Mossberg’s Maverick 6-shot 12-gauge. The plain beaded sight and overall light weight make this barrel easy to maneuver.
The barrel has a cylinder bore choke. This maximizes the spread, which is the sort of thing a lot of people prize in a home defense shotgun. The blued finish also gives it a classic look that a lot of people like.
- Plain bead sight
- Ideal for security, but can also hunt birds
- Lightweight and maneuverable
- Cylinder bore for maximum spread
- Ideally meant to work with a Mossberg shotgun
- Not compatible with all alternative brands
Mossberg 20 Gauge 24” Adjustable Rifle Sight Slug Barrel
This is a 24-inch long, 20-gauge Mossberg shotgun barrel with adjustable rifle sights. It was engineered for maximum accuracy and performance for competitive shooters and big game hunters who hunt in “Shot Gun Only” regions. It has a blued finish and is meant to be paired with the Maverick 88 6-shot.
The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking this is a rifle barrel. It does have a rifled bore, and an adjustable sight, which will improve overall accuracy. Especially when taking a shot at long range. The comfortable price tag is also nice if you have a limited budget but still want to upgrade from a standard barrel.
This barrel is probably too ungainly to double as a home security shotgun. It really is meant for competitive shooting or hunting.
- It comes with a very friendly price tag
- Adjustable sights for superior accuracy
- Designed for competitive shooting and game hunting
- Too long and ungainly for home defense
Mossberg Slugster 20-gauge barrel with 3-9X32 Scope
This is a nice little 20-gauge barrel and scope combo for the price. The 24-inch barrel is rifled which means it was designed for hunting or perhaps someone who wants to dip their toe into the world of competitive shooting. It has a 3-inch chamber which means it can fire 2 3/4-inch and 3-inch shells.
The laser bore sighted 3-9×32 mm scope that comes with the purchase is a nice touch. It has a usable effective range of up to 900 yards which is more than you need for a 20-gauge shotgun.
- 20-gauge rifled barrel
- 3-9×32 mm scope included in the purchase
- Designed to work with all Mossberg 500 shotguns
- Not meant as a home defense shotgun
Mossberg 500 Extra Stand-Off Barrel 18.5” 12-gauge
The Mossberg 500 Stand-Off is one of their more popular 12-gauge barrels for a home defense shotgun. It’s meant to be paired with the 12 Gauge Maverick 88 6-shot. Though it’s not directly compatible with the 500 Cruiser or 500 Chainsaw.
This 18.5-inch Breacher barrel has a bead sight, and a blued finish. Its cylinder bore for maximum spread, which is what you want to see in a home defense 12-gauge shotgun. Though you could also use it for hunting birds like grouse and quail.
- Friendly price for a popular barrel
- Cylinder bore for maximum spread
- Beaded sight
- Not directly compatible with all shotguns
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install A Mossberg 500 Barrel?
If you don’t have a lot of experience gunsmithing or you don’t have a lot of quality tools at your disposal, then you should seriously think about taking build to a professional. Though if you have the skills and the tools its not overall hard to complete the install yourself. Just make sure that the barrel is directly compatible with the intended shotgun. You might want to also prioritize a “Drop-in” Barrel.
Can I Install a Mossberg 500 barrel onto a non-Mossberg shotgun?
There are some Mossberg 500 barrels that an accomplished gunsmith can indeed install into an alternative brand. Most of the time Mossberg strongly recommends pairing their barrels with their shotguns.
Can You Pair Mossberg 500 Barrel With A 500A?
This is technically possible, but you need to make sure to match the gauge and the capacity of the magazine. Mossberg does their best to make compatible receivers throughout their lineup. Though this isn’t always the case. Just make sure that the magazine tube fits perfectly.
Will A Mossberg 500 Barrel Fit Compatible On A 590?
Essentially, a 590 and a Mossberg 500 are just variations on the same shotgun. Though they aren’t necessarily perfectly compatible. The thicker barrel of the 590, and the way it is engineered to meet the receiver mean it’s not directly compatible. Some experienced professional gunsmiths might be able to make the necessary modifications to make still make a 590 fit with a Mossberg 500 barrel, but Mossberg doesn’t recommend it.
Is Cylinder Bore Good For A Home Defense Mossberg 500?
With a cylinder bore barrel you will get maximum spread, which for most people makes it a priority for a home defense shotgun. Though this does tend to specialize the shotgun, making it a less than ideal choice for hunting anything other than grouse, quail or other birds that you typically shoot at relatively short range.
Is 12-gauge or 20-gauge Better For Deer Hunting?
When it comes to hunting deer, a 12-gauge shotgun will perform better and has superior muzzle velocity. A rifled barrel will also help improve accuracy, though you’ll want to keep the chokes installed.
Mossberg 500 barrels are incredibly popular, to the point that even high-end vendors will temporarily have them out of stock. Try to give yourself enough time in advance to accommodate a potential backorder on the barrel of your choice.
When it comes to picking the best Mossberg 500 barrel for your build it helps to start by thinking about how you are most likely going to use the shotgun. If you are going to be using it for big game hunting, long-distance shooting, or competitive shooting, then you might want to prioritize a longer barrel and one with a rifled barrel. Mossberg even offers some barrels with optics in a combination package.
A shorter Mossberg 500 barrel might be called for if you are planning a build for a self-defense shotgun. This usually calls for a barrel length of 18.5 inches. Though many individuals prefer a multi-purpose shotgun that is nimble enough for home defense but can still handle itself in the field for fall bird hunting.
Featured image by u/Thermonuclear_Nut