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Upgrading the military shotgun – Part 1 – Pointless Rambling

Part 2 HERE.
Part 3 HERE.


Alright, I was going to wait until the project was complete and post a short and sweet, concise, article about it. But now the last part I ordered is indefinitely delayed, I’m going to drag this out.

Later on I am going to talk about equipment, military usage of the shotgun, and various possibly interesting things, but that won’t be in this post. This post is just me rambling.

I don’t like shotguns. I don’t like them so much that I only own five of them. If anyone ever needed any evidence that I don’t like shotguns, that should be damning enough in it self.

When I found out that there were some contract over runs of the Mossberg model we used while I was in, I picked up one. Hey, if I was going to have a shotgun, I want it to be something somewhat special.

Mossberg M500M MILS

Some would say that every red bloodied American should own a shotgun, and those people would be wrong. But if you are a gun nut, you probably want to have at least a pump shotgun around, and the 500M MILS fit that niche for me. Something I could pull out once or twice a year, shoot, and remember why I don’t like shotguns.

For example, recently I have been doing 50 yard shooting with buckshot. I would be left wondering where the hell all the pellets are going. Shooting at an 8 inch bullseye, I would be left with only a few two pellets strikes in the black after firing multiple shots down range.

Now, kinda off topic, like a bulimic, I binge and purge my collection. I’ll spend a while buying up stuff I think I will like, then at some point, realize I have a guns, optics, and accessories I don’t like or don’t use, so I sell off that stuff. I sell it off to get money to spend on other stuff I won’t like or use. You will hear more about that soon.

The M500M is a keeper as it fits a niche my other guns don’t. That is, being a pump action shotgun. It is also a keeper as it has sentimental value of the very rare times I used a shotgun in the Corps.

Back in 2017ish the USMC announced that they were upgrading their pump shotguns into the “M500A2 MEK”

I’ll go into detail about the kits and the parts later.

I saw this, and was kinda tempted to reproduce the kit for my Mossberg. But rational thought prevailed and I didn’t.

I kept telling my self that I would be spending a good bit of money on a gun I rarely use, to change it into a configuration that I would shoot even less. It would be silly of be to waste my money doing this.

For about 3 years I told my self that. But then I had a thought. A worrisome idea that repeated like an earworm. What if I was becoming one of those old fogies spouting off non-sense like, “my wood and blued steel”? What if I was bypassing a major upgrade because I was comfortable with my old and obsolete clunker? *Gasp* What if I was acting like a M14 fan?

Of course not, but now I had an excuse to waste my money on this ‘upgrade’.

The parts of the Military Enhancement Kit were mostly easily available. Any conversion would be reversible if I didn’t like it or wanted to return to the stock configuration. And most of all, I had just sold some gun stuff I didn’t like and was ready to blow some money on something else I wouldn’t like.

I figured the heart of this conversion is the barrel, so I started looking for a barrel. I’ll talk about the barrel in part 2.

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