Author Topic: Tips on shortening shotgun stock for a female - and question on Mossberg 500C  (Read 5083 times)

Offline Serellan

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So, a female couple that I am friends with want to get a firearm for self defense due to rising crime in their urban neighborhood.  Neither has shot much (just in their youth).  I plan on getting them a 20 g, I found a good deal on a local Mossberg 500C, but it currently has a pistol grip on it.  I plan to re-stock the gun in wood (going with Jack's advice for a "plain jane hunting gun for SD").  Or, maybe as a lark I might do up a pink finish. ;)

I had planned to just put a youth stock set on it, but I can't seem to find a good deal on youth stock sets, which cost upwards of $65.  I don't really want to spend this when I can buy a used wood stock set off of ebay for >$10 and cut it down myself.

Question is, is it just a matter of cutting down the length of the stock to better fit a woman (one is 5,"7, the other 5"5)?  And how much should I take off (what should the final length be?)  I was thinking of getting a limbsaver-type recoil pad for the gun, then cutting it down farther and using the pad to extend it back out.

Also, this is assuming that a regular 500 stock set will fit a 500C?  Is that correct?

I was also thinking of loading it with single-aught "0" buck.  Any thoughts?
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Offline joeinwv

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You can cut down a Mossberg stock to make your own 'youth' version. I went with the Hogue overmold on mine, which is nice and has a nice recoil pad.

The only tricky bit with Mossie stocks is the forend on older ones is different than the newer - in some cases you may need a spacer. A search on shotgunworld.com should get you a definite on that.

Cutting down an old stock is not too tricky, I would look at getting a 'grind to fit' butt pad, so you can make up the length of pull and finish the rear nicely. You will need a bolt to hold the butt to the stock as well, which will be shorter than stock bolt due to cut down length. IIRC, the youth stock is 11" LOP.

Offline ZenGunFighter

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I just did this on my 870. I took an inch off.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=87.msg170619#msg170619

take the pad off. put tape on the stock to prevent splintering. I used a table saw and the miter gauge to get a nice straight cut.
once you make the cut, the recoil pad will be too big. You can leave it but it looks bad. I used a belt sander to bring it to the new dimensions of the cut down butt.

I'd go for about 12" of pull (distance from back of the recoil pad to the front of the trigger.
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Offline MilSpecIA

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When I bought my Mossberg 500 I had the same pistol grip. Although great for carry in small areas such as an apartments or vehicles, I started to find that when using it for reflex practice I was sacrificing accuracy. Shooting scatter rounds wasn't a concern, but if you shoot a slug without having the stock, as in a conventional rifle, you run the risk of a miss because you loose stability. My solution was to get an ATI M4 stock for the 500. Its collapsable allowing for adjustment between users but also allows you to have the stock for stability.  In reality, when using defense shotguns for home use you won't need to engage targets beyond 25 feet (talking about hallways and bedrooms) and unless you've received CQB training you shouldn't be roaming around the house pieing corners and clearing rooms. In truth, all you usually need to do is action the pump and the sound it sends out will be a clear enough signal to whoever is in the house (trust me I know - wife got spooked one night when I came out of the field at 1am and was roaming around in the house with the lights off).

Now with a home with larger space I keep the Mossberg in the master bedroom by my nightstand. The sling allows for 10 stored rounds while the shotgun stores 4+1. Depending on your use 00 is the best for scatter offering great penetration, but you may have accidental deflection off other objects in the house. Personally I alternate; 00 - slug - 00 - slug. I also have AP rounds for locks or "whatever". Jack is right, shottys offer the best functionality.

Offline Roswell

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I did something similar when I was younger. I had a single shot 20 ga new england arms (still have it actually). Being a break action single shot it kicked like a mule. It already had a youth stock, part of why it kicked so hard. I gut a gunsmith to cut it down and add a limbsaver. Didn't bother reataching the buttplate since the recoil pad was going to always stay on it.  As near as I can tell the guy just ran it through a table saw, sanded it and attached the limbsaver. He gave me the piece he cut off if I ever do want to attch the buttplate.  I doubt I will, but if I did I would sand it with a belt sander like Zen said. I have seen it done before and it looked good.

btw, if she is anything like, my wife she will love the pink, but I know others like SisWolf who might shoot you if you did that. LOL
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Offline JerseyVince

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How about taking the Ladies to the local gun shop or Cabelas and test fitting a similar model. Bring a tape measure and get a measurement. Then a little range time to get used to it

Offline wolffire99

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How about taking the Ladies to the local gun shop or Cabelas and test fitting a similar model. Bring a tape measure and get a measurement. Then a little range time to get used to it

x2

Offline flippydidit

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In addition to the Limbsaver recoil pad, you may also consider a recoil reducing device (Graco and CSP are good options).

http://www.brownells.com/shooting-accessories/recoil-parts/recoil-reducers/index.htm?avs|Price_1=30xzzx00+TO+79xzzx99

The recoil reducer is epoxied into the stock as close to being inline with the bore as possible.

When sanding your recoil pad, rub the pad with lemon juice to keep it from cracking.
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Offline iccustoms

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Ta-Da!  A simple and professional How-To...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54l76JER3dY   (there is also one on finishing the recoil pad)

Having said that, I trust the women are looking for a weapon to use for hunting birds and small game as well, hence the shotgun?  If the lean is more towards self defense, you might find some useful information here...

http://brinkoffreedom.net/tactical-and-firearms/selecting-a-weapon-for-home-defense/

Good luck on your project and good on you for bringing people into the fold of firearms, empowering them to take responsibility for their/each others safety.
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Offline Mortblanc

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A few things to consider;

It is a 20 ga.  You do not need to put more into the cut down than the gun is worth.  Trim the stock and stick a cheap recoil pad on it. 

These are grown women and I taught both my 10 year olds how to shoot on a 20 ga when they weighed 80 pounds.  They do not need an inch of foam rubber protecting their delicate shoulders.

The 500 C stands for cruiser, the model with pistol grip and buttstock.  No difference in the frames so the stocks are the same.

Unless things have changed dramatically you will not find buckshot larger than #3.  That is the largest size that will stack in rows of three in the 20ga shell.  Anything bigger reduces the pellet capacity.  #3 at .28 caliber is plenty big enough.  I have killed good sized game at 40 yards using that load.

For HD with beginning shooters I like to pull a trick I learned long ago using luminous tape.  Run a strip of 1/2" glow in the dark tape down the top of the barrel for about a foot.  The tape will give a reference point to the position of the muzzle and when you raise the gun to shoot if you can see the tape strip you are shooting high,  as soon as the tape strip disappears into a soft glow you are on target.  That works great with most beginners. 

Offline iccustoms

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Haha, somehow this thread got to the top when Flippydidit posted, but the original poster put this up in May of 2010 it looks like. :)  I imagine he has figured out the stock issue by now, and the ladies have probably outgrew the 20 gauge.  Maybe we can get a follow up from the original poster...
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Offline never_retreat

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It would be helpful if you could measure the end user. Small womens often need a shorter stock, but if you have long arms you might not.

Offline milito227

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I just did this to my 870. Mossberg 500 will be the same if it has a wood stock.

Mark the desired length with a pencil. Take of recoil pad. Cut with the a miter saw or old school miter box. Put pad back on. Done. K.I.S.

Remember you can always take more off but you can't put it back. Also while the but pad is off you can put extra ammo or a cleaning kit inside the stock.

Offline Mortblanc

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Haha, somehow this thread got to the top when Flippydidit posted, but the original poster put this up in May of 2010 it looks like. :)  I imagine he has figured out the stock issue by now, and the ladies have probably outgrew the 20 gauge.  Maybe we can get a follow up from the original poster...


Nope, he's still asking the exact same question on other forums on a daily basis.  He just changes his name so he won't know he is messing with us.

Don't believe me?  Just check! 

He goes to every forum and asks advice on cutting down a stock for a kid/lady friend, what caliber is best, what exact barrel length is legal and what shot size he should purchase for them.

Just do a search, you'll see I am correct.