The Mossberg 500 is among the top three most popular shotguns in North America. Widely used by civilians and the military, this is a versatile and reliable shotgun. But as its popularity rises, so will the number of queries about its components and best combinations.
This discussion will touch on one such important component of the Mossberg 500 - the barrel. Delving deeper into relevant concepts, we’ll also review the best Mossberg 500 barrels according to our opinion.
Comparison of the Best Mossberg 500 Barrels
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Barrel for Your Mossberg 500
Choosing barrels can end up being a hectic task if you’re not aware of some basic considerations about choosing one.
This Section Written By:
Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.
Choosing a barrel with the capability to switch chokes is very essential. That’s because your shotgun will aim at many different targets during its lifetime. Shooting a variety of ammo intended for different purposes. Having a choke ensures that you’ll quickly get prepared for a situation. While also improving the range and accuracy in some cases.
Appropriate Barrel Length
Longer barrels are easier to swing (hence great for duck hunting and clay sports) and also help a bit with accuracy especially when shooting slugs. Shorter barrels are great for snap shooting and also suitable for uses like home defense. Where a short barrel helps with maneuverability and quick acquisition.
However, that doesn’t make long barrels despicable. A long barrel will always have an edge over a short barrel. To be frank, a long barrel can do almost everything a short barrel can. But vice versa is not true.
The most balanced barrel length is 20 to 24 inches for most applications.
Rifled or Smoothbore Barrel
Rifled barrels were designed to shoot slugs for better range and accuracy. A slug works like a bullet, instead of the pattern caused by pellets. Mossberg 500 is available in slug and smoothbore barrel variants.
A smoothbore is generally more versatile and also inexpensive. Plus, when coupled with interchangeable chokes. A smoothbore barrel can deliver a variety of patterns.
Rifled barrels are generally useful for hunting games like deer at short ranges with sabot slugs.
Sight or Not
Having a small bead or blade sight on the end of your barrel helps with target acquisition. Especially when the range in question is beyond 30 yards. Shotguns without sight are somewhat limited in use due to their short range.
Having a sight on your shotgun barrel is fairly essential. Especially if you use it for competitions and hunting. The type of front sight you choose will depend upon your personal preference. From brass beads to blades and fiber optic sights. There are a ton of OEM and aftermarket options out there.
Review of the Best Mossberg 500 Barrels
The following are 15 of the best Mossberg 500 barrels that are currently on the market. While this list is subject to change over the course of time, we believe that these barrels are the ones that stand head above shoulders over the cheap, low-quality models.
Keep in mind that while some of these barrels are affordable, some will likely be out of the question for budget shoppers.
Despite the length of this list, you should carefully examine the information for each product; you very well may discover a Mossberg 500 barrel that will be perfect for your personal needs and preferences. So grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and let’s get right to it:
Mossberg 500 12 Gauge All-Purpose Barrel
Next on the list is the Mossberg 500 12 Gauge All-Purpose Barrel. If you’re looking for a new barrel for your 12 Gauge Mossberg shotgun, you’ll probably want to consider this barrel. The reason why it bears the “all-purpose” name is self-explanatory.
Whether you’re using your shotgun for home defense, hunting, competition, or target practice, this barrel has the ability to handle any application that you use it for. This barrel comes in a blued finish and is measured at 28 inches in length. Expect your Mossberg to be deadly accurate when you switch from your current barrel to this one.
This barrel also has a beaded site that you can use to get a good aim on your shot with pinpoint accuracy. If you hold accuracy to a high standard on your Mossberg (and you should, no matter what the purpose) then this barrel will be a perfect upgrade.
An all-purpose barrel could be ideal for you if you don’t have a specific purpose in mind for your shotgun. Luckily, this is a do-it-all kind of barrel. If you have a 12 gauge Mossberg that is in need of an upgrade, you should consider this 28-inch barrel as a possible option.
While its length may seem like overkill for some purposes, it will still do a great job no matter what and certainly won’t disappoint.
Best for the Money:
Mossberg - Barrel, 26", Vent Rib
Now we turn our attention to a Mossberg 500 barrel that is considered the best for budget shoppers. If you’re reading this and consider yourself in this category, don’t think for a minute that this is another one of those cheap, low-quality barrels.
You’d be surprised how many affordable barrels are actually great in quality. Just be sure to find the best you can afford and never buy a barrel because of the price tag alone. Quality and value should always trump price.
The best barrel for the money is the Mossberg 26-inch barrel, which has a vent rib and is stained with a blued finish. If you’re looking for an alternative to your stock barrel, this might be exactly what you need.
This barrel is an Accu-Choke barrel that is a modified, full choke tube. If you fire shells that are measured from 2 ¾” to 3”, this is the barrel that will be most compatible with those rounds. No matter what the gauge is, your Mossberg 500 will have an immediate upgrade if you choose this 26-inch barrel.
Nothing is more satisfying than the added advantage of having an accurate shot, faster velocity, and a sharper look for your Mossberg. With this barrel, you’re paying for something great at a price that budget shoppers will love.
When we search for the best gun accessories in a lower price range, we always seek out the very best in terms of quality and performance. We weren’t disappointed when we came across this barrel. This barrel is worth every penny and then some.
If you want a dang good package deal (great performance and a sharp look) without having to break the bank, then you should consider something like the Mossberg 26-inch vent ribbed barrel as a possible option.
Best 14” Barrel:
Mossberg 514 Kit: 14" Heavy Wall Barrel
You may be one of a handful of people that are not impressed with the idea of a long barrel Mossberg 500 shotgun. And that's okay, we won't hold any judgment against you. If we did, then we wouldn't have presented you with the best 14-inch barrel on the market for your Mossberg shotgun.
We are proud to present the 514 Kit with a 14-inch heavy wall barrel. Unlike some of the other barrels we've reviewed so far, this is a complete barrel kit that you can use to put together and install on your Mossberg shotgun. If you're building one yourself, a barrel kit may also be something worth looking at.
Included in the kit is a 14-inch heavy wall barrel complete with a bead sight that will allow you to aim at your target and ensure an accurate shot every time. Also included is the magazine tube that holds a maximum of six rounds, the slide action assembly, magazine spring retainer, magazine cap, action nut, and forearm.
This barrel sports a Parkerized finish, which means you’ll have a durable barrel in your hands that will be ready for action as soon as you assemble it. If you’re intended purpose is to own a shorter firearm, then look no further than this Mossberg barrel and kit as the best possible option.
While most of the barrels you’ll come across here are easy to install or “drop-ins”, this barrel is great for someone who enjoys a challenge when assembling things. Aside from that, this is the ideal barrel to have if a long barrel on a Mossberg doesn’t appeal to you.
The added parts for assembly are convenient because you don’t have just the barrel. You have the magazine tube, the slide action, and the whole nine yards. All that considered, you’re getting a heck of a deal at a price that you can swing for.
Best 18.5” Barrel:
Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Security Barrel
At this point, we’re going to switch gears to focus on the “not too long, not too short” Mossberg enthusiast. For a true compromise, we offer the best 18.5-inch barrel we could find, the Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Security Barrel.
As the name indicates, this barrel is more compatible with a 12 gauge, preferably a 12 gauge Mossberg that is intended for tactical or self-defense purposes. Some users have even used this barrel on a non-Mossberg shotgun and it still works just as well.
If you’re looking for a barrel that is a good enough length for any other shotgun you may have, it wouldn’t hurt to get one for that particular kind of shotgun. Just make sure it’s a good fit by doing some in-depth research before making that decision. If you’re unsure whether it’s a good idea or not, then stick with just using it on your Mossberg 500.
This barrel is finished in black and is measured at 18.5 inches. If you're looking for a barrel that will give your Mossberg an intimidating look, you should definitely consider this one. That said, don't think of this as a security barrel based on looks alone. Its beaded front sight allows for accurate shooting and fast maneuvering, and in a situation where your life is on the line, you certainly want to move and move fast.
This barrel can handle just about any round. Birdshot, buckshot, or slug… it won't matter to this security barrel. This should give you the ability to hit your shot on target whenever a threat dares to mess with you or your family.
It doesn't matter what kind of Mossberg you use or what its intended purpose may be; you can use this barrel and turn it into a home defense weapon that is guaranteed to deter any prowlers or home invaders. Plus, its ability to be an effective barrel for hunting purposes is something that seriously impressed us.
Some users have turned their bird guns into a menacing presence that is sure to give you a hand in the right situation. With that in mind, if you're looking for a barrel that won’t fall short in serving you, this Mossberg 500 barrel is ideal for the 12 gauge home defense shotgun.
Best 20 Inch Barrel:
Mossberg 500 Barrel 12 Gauge 20"
Next on the list, we have a 20-inch barrel that is most compatible with a 12 gauge shotgun. This barrel comes with a front bead sight that will give you the ability to aim at your target quickly and deliver a deadly, accurate shot.
If a 20-inch barrel is something that you’d consider to replace your current 12 gauge barrel, you may want to investigate this barrel further. The finish on this barrel is blued, making it dark in color and aesthetically pleasing regardless of how the rest of the gun looks.
This is also a security type barrel, which means that its ideal purpose is home defense. So if you have a Mossberg 500 that is typically a bird gun and you want to turn it into a home security and defense weapon, this barrel might be perfect for you. Not to worry, you’ll still take it hunting with you; the only difference is that your Mossberg will look like it added on a few pounds of muscle.
Like the previous item, this is a pretty good barrel in terms of versatility. Just because it is ideally designed for home defense purposes doesn't mean it will be solely for that. Regardless, this is an excellent barrel to consider if you're upgrading your Mossberg or building one.
Easy to install and very sharp looking with its blued finish, this is a barrel that you’ll be eager to try out once it's shipped to you. Give this a try and we're certain that you won't be disappointed.
Best Slug Barrel:
Mossberg MOS Model 500 Extra Slug Barrel 12 Gauge 24"
If you have an affinity for shooting slugs, then you’re going to need a barrel that can handle shot after shot, no matter how much you use it. This barrel is the type that will endure firing slug rounds without issue.
Measured at 24 inches, it is most compatible with 12 gauge shotguns. This barrel has a Parkerized finish, which will give your 12 gauge shotgun a sharp, pleasing look.
This barrel is tough enough to fire those heavy slug rounds and is excellent for the purposes of both hunting and home defense. That’s where the adjustable sights come in handy.
If you’re looking for a barrel for your Mossberg and you’re not sure if any of the other barrels can handle slugs, this barrel should be your top candidate.
Best Rifled Barrel:
Mossberg 500 Barrel 20 Gauge 24" Adjustable Rifle Sights
Next, we turn our attention to the 20 gauge Mossberg shotguns. At this point, we've covered many barrels that have been compatible mostly with 12 gauge Mossberg shotguns. This barrel comes with adjustable sights, which means you can put them to good use with your preferred settings and hit your targets with exceptional accuracy.
This barrel gives your shotgun that rifle-style look, not to mention a great deal of additional range. It features a blued finish, which is a popular finish for upgraded barrels. If looks matter to you in regard to your shotgun, you'll probably want a barrel that has a dark finish like blue or black.
Another great aspect of this barrel is that its price tag will appeal to shotgun users who are on a budget. So if you own a 20 gauge Mossberg and you want a barrel that will fit your shotgun perfectly without having to suck the life out of your bank account, we strongly recommend this barrel.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best barrels on the market that fits a 20 gauge Mossberg shotgun. The adjustable sights are a game changer, especially considering that most of the barrels we already reviewed include a fixed front sight.
No matter what sights you use, you'll always want your shots to hit accurately. If you have the opportunity to upgrade your Mossberg rifle with a great barrel like this, be sure to give this model serious consideration.
Best Short Barrel:
Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Security Barrel 18.5"
Next, we'll be looking at our top choice of the best short barrel for the Mossberg 500. This barrel is measured at 18.5 inches. Since this is considered a security barrel, it is principally designed for self-defense purposes.
As is typically the case with security barrels, you can also use your Mossberg for other applications. This represents an exceptional upgrade that allows you to turn any Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun into your first line of defense against prowlers and home invaders. Should you ever find yourself in a home defense situation, you'll want a barrel that will both look menacing and help you get the job done.
This barrel features a front bead sight, which will not only allow you a quick, precise aim at your target but will also grant you quick maneuverability. These are key when you're using your shotgun for self-defense.
The main thing to keep in mind with security barrels is that they are tough. They are intimidating and reliable in the situations that matter most. If you’re looking for that kind of barrel for your Mossberg shotgun, then you should definitely consider choosing this one.
Regarding the one negative review saying that it scratches easily, it is important to take this with a grain of salt. On top of that, the better you take care of your barrels (and the rest of your gun), the more likely is that your firearm will last you a long time.
Best Tactical Barrel:
Mossberg 500 Barrel 20 Gauge 24"
Next on the docket is the Mossberg 500 barrel for a 20 gauge shotgun. This barrel is measured at 24 inches and is ideal for tactical situations. If your shotgun is primarily used for self-defense purposes, tactical style accessories are typically the go-to choice due to their rugged, military-style look. That’s not a bad thing to have, especially if you want your gun to look as beastly and intimidating as possible.
This barrel comes with an integrated scope base, which will allow you to easily install a scope or additional sights on your shotgun if you ever feel like adding one on there. Its blued finish also indicates that this barrel was designed for tactical purposes.
Rarely will you see tactical-style gun accessories that are not dark in color like black or dark blue. If you want your 20 gauge Mossberg to function and look like a force to be reckoned with, then you’d be insane to pass up on this superb barrel.
Some people think that "tactical style" products are a gimmick or a marketing trick intended to convince people to buy items just because of their looks. That could not be farther from the truth. Yes, while it will give your shotgun that military style look, this product is designed to be a barrel that is ready for battle.
We're very impressed with this barrel overall; in addition to its looks and performance, its base will allow you to add your optics of choice. If that's what you want in a shotgun barrel, then you'll very satisfied with this one for your Mossberg 500.
Best 12 Gauge Barrel:
Mossberg 500 Barrel 12 Gauge 24"
In this article, we have already reviewed a whole slew of barrels that are compatible with Mossberg 12 gauge shotguns. But which barrel is considered the best in its category? We bestow that honor on the 24-inch Mossberg 500 barrel. This fully rifled barrel sports a blued finish and is measured at 24 inches.
Whether you plan to use it out in the field, at the range, or when your life’s on the line, you’ll want a barrel that is accurate, reliable, and will be able to shoot the slug rounds of your choosing. This barrel comes with adjustable sights, so you’ll be able to set the sights to whichever setting you like for more precise, accurate shooting.
These types of sights are usually a step up from the standard beaded sights that you’ll see on most Mossberg barrels. If you’re looking for a 12 gauge barrel that you can adjust to your liking and rely on for a long period of time, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
While most of the barrels we’ve reviewed have been 12 gauge barrels, this barrel stands above the rest. This is more of your standard, factory replacement barrel that you can get if you want to replace your old one with a new one.
It’s also an ideal length where you can use it for just about any application and get an accurate shot every time you use it. If you’re looking for a good multi-purpose 12 gauge barrel, you should consider adding this Mossberg barrel to your shortlist.
Best 20 Gauge Barrel:
Mossberg 500 20 Gauge 24"
While we haven’t spent much time discussing 20 gauge shotguns throughout this article, we do give them credit for being reliable firearms. If you hold a deep affinity for a 20 gauge shotgun and need a better barrel than what you’ve got now, then the Mossberg 500 20 gauge barrel might be just what the doctor ordered.
24 inches is the ideal length to be accurate firing at targets roughly 50 yards out. Obviously, you won't hit targets at a ridiculously long range like you would with rifles, but a Mossberg 500 shotgun will have the power and ability to hit a target at half the length of a football field.
One of the more impressive features of this barrel is the integrated scope mount, which means that if you want additional optics on your shotgun (as strange as it sounds, some people put scopes on their shotguns), then you'll have a suitable base to mount them on. If you can find a decent scope that fits your shotgun perfectly, you're in business.
At 24 inches long, this barrel is ideal for all kinds of applications. If you’re using a Mossberg shotgun along with a scope, this may be the barrel you’ll want.
Best Breacher Barrel:
Mossberg 500 18.5" 12 gauge Breacher Barrel
Next, we have the best breacher barrel currently on the market for a Mossberg 500. Measured at a length of 18.5 inches, this barrel is designed to fit 12 gauge shotguns. If you're looking for a breacher barrel that you know will be a perfect fit for your Mossberg 500, you should definitely give this one a deeper look.
This barrel comes with a cylinder bore, which means that you won't have a choke restriction. If you take a look at what rounds shotgun owners use with this kind of bore, it will typically be slugs. If you're looking for a barrel that steers away from the traditional bores like full rifle and have some slugs that you're dying to fire off, this might be a barrel worth looking at.
This comes with a bead sight, which will give you accurate, precise targeting, despite the cylinder being a little larger than most barrels. This barrel is actually one of the best for the money, so if you’re a budget shopping kind of Mossberg owner, you’ll probably want to look more closely at this barrel. It may not seem like a barrel you would normally get, but sometimes change can be good.
If you’re using a Mossberg shotgun for tactical purposes, this may be the barrel you’ll want. The fact that it fits with most Mossberg 500 shotguns makes it a good option to consider. The last thing you’d want is to buy a barrel that won’t fit your shotgun.
The cylinder bore is significantly different compared to other barrels since they have an amount of choke compared to a cylinder bore. That said, this is a good barrel that you’ll want if you often fire off slug rounds.
Best Deer Barrel:
Mossberg 500 20 Gauge 24" Blued Rifle Finish
We wrap up this review section with the best Mossberg barrel for deer hunters. This is a 20 gauge barrel measured at 24 inches, perfect for hunters who want to be able to hit their deer with reliable accuracy. When you want to go for the kill shot, accuracy should be a top priority; likewise, accuracy should be a priority when shopping for a Mossberg barrel for your hunting shotgun.
Most importantly, knowing what kind of shots are suitable for a barrel like this is key. For best results, you can’t go wrong with slug shots.
Best of all, this barrel comes with an adjustable sight. This is good to have when you’re out in the field since it will stick out further than your typical beaded sights.
In fact, one of the major cons of beaded sights is that they can sometimes be hard to see. So, you’ll need a sight you can rely on in times when you need it most.
For example, when a deer is within a range where you can knock it down in a shot or two, being able to easily lock onto your target is critical. If you’re tired of blowing your big opportunities because of missed shots, this barrel could be a lifesaver for you.
A good shotgun like a Mossberg is always good when you're out hunting. Whether it's birds or large game like deer, nothing is more reliable and powerful like a Mossberg 500. Having a dependable barrel like this one on your side makes a huge difference.
If you're excited about your next hunting outing and want to make a much-needed upgrade to your Mossberg, start with a barrel like this.
14. Mossberg - Barrel, 20", Blue, 8-shot
First and foremost on our list is the Mossberg 20” 8-shot barrel. This blued finished barrel is measured at 20 inches in length and is the perfect barrel if you hold accuracy to a high standard. Considering that this is an 8-shot, this will be ideally paired with your 8-shot capacity Mossberg 500 shotgun.
If you’re using your Mossberg for hunting or home defense, this barrel might be a viable option. At 20 inches, it’s not as long as other barrels, meaning that it will not stick out as much. You’ll be thankful for the low profile design of this barrel if you just so happen to be hiding in the bushes while waiting for a partridge or waterfowl to show up.
If you're using 8 slug rounds or 13 round mini-slugs, you'll want to consider this barrel; not only will it upgrade the performance of your Mossberg but it will also give it a sleek look that is hard to match. Excellent in performance, sharp in aesthetics… it's the total package in a 20-inch barrel.
This barrel, for the most part, has proven itself worthy of the title "Best Overall". The Mossberg 20-inch barrel is perfect if you want to hit large game targets from as far as 50 yards out. This barrel is long enough to give you a good amount of accuracy at that range.
Likewise, this barrel is also a solid choice if you use a Mossberg for home defense purposes. Either way, the look and overall performance are the two major advantages that stand out with this barrel.
Best 28” Barrel:
Mossberg 500 Barrel 12 Gauge 28"
There are those who want short barrels. There are those who want barrels that are not too long and not too short. Then you have those who want a barrel that is longer than most. If a 28-inch barrel is something that you consider ideal for your Mossberg 500, then look no further.
This barrel comes with an olive drab green finish, so the first thing you might think about is camouflage. Sure, some longer rifle barrels are said to be not as good for hunting purposes. However, because of the finish, it should blend in nicely with the landscape while you're out in the field. So as far as long barrels and hunting go, we can call this one an outlier.
As is custom with Mossberg barrels, this one comes with a front bead sight. Even in a hunting environment, you’ll want your aim and shot accuracy to be dead on every time.
The olive drab green finish of this barrel was a smart move on Mossberg’s part, especially in the context of a shotgun typically used for hunting purposes. Longer barrels tend to be more accurate, and that’s exactly what you’ll get in a barrel like this.
If you’re looking for a barrel that will allow you to hit your target from a respectable distance (i.e. 50+ yards), this very well may be the barrel you’ll want for your Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun.
How to Change a Mossberg Barrel
Changing a Mossberg barrel can be a challenge if you have no idea what you’re doing. With that in mind, we’ve laid out these quick steps that you can follow when swapping out your old Mossberg barrel for a new one:
- First and foremost, make sure that your Mossberg 500 is unloaded. If you have a sling, remove the front part of the sling.
- Next, unscrew the action nut until it is loose enough to remove.
- At this point, you can easily remove the barrel from the frame.
- Take the new barrel and place it in at a 45-degree angle. Slide it in and rotate it if need be to ensure that the sight is perfectly aligned.
- Replace the action nut.
If you’re looking for the ideal Mossberg 500 barrel, make sure it fits your Mossberg shotgun perfectly. Regardless of whether you’re using it for hunting or home defense, you will enjoy the advantages of a new Mossberg barrel once you are able to find one that is a suitable replacement for the old, worn out barrel you may have now.
Be sure to dig a little deeper in your research if one of these barrels stands out as one of your favorites. This means looking through gun forums and possibly customer reviews to double check and make sure your barrel of choice is worth the investment.
People Also Ask
Below are some common questions surrounding this topic.
Since the Mossberg 500 is a very popular and widely owned shotgun. People have a ton of different queries about its customization. Mossberg has a wide range of shotguns and many are similar in function and certain design aspects. So questions and concerns are obvious. Let’s take a look at some of the most common queries about the Mossberg 500. Especially barrels.
Will a Mossberg 500 Barrel Fit a 500A?
Yes. As long as the gauge and mag tube capacity of both the shotguns in question is the same. Many components of the Mossberg shotguns within the same ‘product line’ are interchangeable because of the same receivers. The magazine tube is a very important controlling factor since the barrel lug fits on the tube. Hence, the same models with different capacities will have a barrel disparity.
Are Maverick 88 and Mossberg 500 Barrels Interchangeable?
Yes. The barrels of Mossberg Maverick 88 and Mossberg 500 are fully-interchangeable without any modifications. Given the gauge and magazine capacity of the shotguns is the same. Additionally, most parts between these models are interchangeable except the trigger group. The Maverick 88 is virtually identical to the Mossberg 500.
Can You Put a Mossberg 500 Barrel on a 590?
Mossberg 500 and 590 are variants of the same series of shotguns. But, with a few variations. Barrels from a standard Mossberg 500 won’t work with a 590. The 590 features a thicker barrel compared to the 500. Plus the means of attachment of the barrel to the receiver is different on each of these shotguns. It is still possible - but is very involved and not recommended.
Can a Mossberg 500 Shoot Slugs?
Yes. A Mossberg 500 can shoot slugs. However, it is recommended to use wider chokes (improved cylinder) for better effect and accuracy. Slugs can be shot from a rifled or smoothbore barrel, however, there is some more depth to this discussion. Additionally, always keep the chokes installed while shooting slugs to prevent damage to the barrel threads.