Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring

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Video mossberg 500 410 review

Interest in sub-gauge shotguns has resurged for hunters over the last several years, and the turkey woods are no exception. With companies offering more choke tubes and TSS turkey loads for 20 gauge, .410, and even the 28 gauge, hunters are realizing the value and efficacy of small-bore shotguns.

While the 12 gauge still reigns supreme in the turkey woods, sub-gauges offer surprising pattern densities, range, and reduced recoil — all aspects that make them more than capable gobbler-getters. When it comes to turkey-specific guns, Mossberg leads the charge.

This spring, I had the privilege of testing and hunting with theMossberg 500 Turkey Optic-Ready .410. The light weight, short (24-inch) barrel, and decent range make this shotgun perfect for all-day hunts or for new and youth hunters who could use a lot less recoil. Even if you don’t take advantage of the recessed receiver, this shotgun comes ready to hunt out of the box.

In short: The Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey can give you plenty of range without the weight or punishing recoil of your typical (12 gauge) turkey gun.

Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey: Review

Mossberg 500 Optic Ready .410 Turkey Testing Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

Overview

Out of the box, the Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey comes with a front fiber optic sight, a 24-inch barrel, and Mossy Oak’s popular Green Leaf pattern — hallmarks of the turkey-specific shotgun. However, the Optic-Ready version also includes a recessed receiver that allows you to mount a red dot directly on it. Specifically, the .410 Turkey features the Shield RMSc footprint and accommodates the Holosun HS407k (which I used). It also includes a recoil pad (though unnecessary) and a factory XF choke.

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Testing the Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey

Mossberg 500 Optic Ready .410 Turkey Testing Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

After receiving the shotgun and Holosun HS407k, I dialed in the red dot (which is actually green). I started with a box of Winchester Double X no. 7s. Once I had the point of impact where I wanted, I finetuned the setup with Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS no. 9s. One shot at 25 yards produced a tight, dense pattern — more than enough pellets to drop a turkey in its tracks.

At 40 yards, the pattern spread out significantly but still placed 94 pellets within a 10-inch circle. This is good, out-of-the-box shooting, and I would expect an aftermarket choke (with the right TSS load) to produce even better results.

Mossberg Holosun Green Reflex Dot Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

Afield, this shotgun is surprisingly nimble. It includes swivel studs, but you won’t need a sling on this .410. The Mossberg 500 .410 feels light in the hand, and it’s a joy to tote through the woods. Even on days where I covered several miles, I never missed a sling.

Where the Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey Falls Short

Mossberg 500s are proven, tough actions, and the company is no stranger to pump-action shotguns. That being said, 500s have a bit of play in the forend. This hasn’t affected performance, and this is totally subjective, but I’ve never been a fan of the loose fit.

Mossberg Holosun Green Reflex Dot Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

The fiber optic front post is nothing fancy. I would rather see a white or gold bead, but since it is turkey-specific, the norm trends toward FO. Overall, the price ($650) is decent. You’re not getting a steal, but for a ready-to-hunt turkey gun, it’s fair.

Compared to 12 and even 20 gauge, turkey ammo for a .410 isn’t cheap. Most .410 turkey ammo options are limited to TSS, so you can expect to spend at least $8 per shell (Winchester offers a copper-plated lead shot, but it didn’t pattern well enough for me to consider it with this particular setup).

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By the time you fine-tune your setup and understand how your shotgun patterns at different ranges, you’ll have spent at least $100 in ammo before you’ve even thought about roosting a bird.

Where the Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey Excels

Mossberg 500 Safety Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

I looked forward to hunting with this gun every time I took it out of the case. It’s light in the hand, pleasant to shoot, and it would also make for an exceptional squirrel gun. For the turkey woods, you can also balance it on your knee with one hand. If you do take advantage of the recessed receiver, it’s easy to form a nice cheek weld on the comb even with a red dot, and there’s no denying the proven 500 action.

Final Thoughts

Mossberg 500 Safety Mossberg 500 Optic-Ready .410 Turkey Review: A Sub-Gauge Built for Spring
(Photo/Adam Moore)

While the interest in sub-gauges continues to rise, ammo manufacturers should eventually offer more turkey load options. If you prefer calling them close, the Mossberg 500 .410 Turkey offers a great entry, especially for youth or new hunters itching to turkey hunt.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>