Mossberg Maverick 88: Mossberg's Budget-Priced Pump Shotgun

posted on September 22, 2021
Mossberg Maverick 88

Mossberg’s name is synonymous with reliability and long-lasting value. Its shotguns chronically outperform their price tag, and the Maverick 88 line is no exception. They are available in a variety of versions, most designed with one pursuit in mind, but maintaining the features that make them capable of performing more than one mission with dexterity.

Maverick 88s are manufactured at the company’s Eagle Pass, Texas, plant, a facility that officially opened its doors in February 1989. By then, the Model 88 was already in the works, though, and enthusiasts got their first glimpse of it in 1988.

The book, “Mossberg, More Gun for the Money”—a historical look at the company by Victor and Cheryl Havlin—provides the best abbreviated description of the Model 88. It’s a “dressed down version of the Model 500,” according to the pair, and that’s high praise if you know anything about the latter shotgun.

Today there are 14 versions of the Maverick 88 available. The pump-action shotgun line includes a 20-ga. youth model, two slug guns, five all purpose models, security versions, a security and field combo as well as a folding stock model reviewed by B. Gil Horman for American Rifleman.

Chamberings include 20 and 12 ga., all capable of chambering 3" shotshells. Barrel lengths run from 18.5" to 28". Metalwork is blued and the majority of stocks are black synthetic , with the exception of the polymer on three in camomoflage and another pair in flat dark earth.

Magazine capacity is either five or seven shot shells, depending on model. Regardless of choice, though, each pump-action shotgun features twin action bars for smooth operation, dual extractors, steel-to-steel lockup and anti-jam follower.

MSRPs are surprisingly affordable, too. The Maverick 88 with ATI Top-Folding stock comes in at only $274. A 22" barreled 20-ga. All Purpose will set you back $245. The Security/Field Combo, which comes with a pair of barrels—18.5" and 22"—is ideal for home defense with the short tube, but perfectly comfortable on opening day with the longer one. The “two guns in one,” so to speak, has a price tag of only $274.


Elbert Searle Protype Pistol 1
Elbert Searle Protype Pistol 1

Elbert Searle's Prototype Savage Squeeze-Cocker Pistol

Elbert Searle isn't one of the most well-known firearm designers, but his Savage Model 1907 and its derivatives were popular guns in their time. Now, a unique prototype pistol of his has been discovered, illustrating what else could have been in Savage's early 20th-century handgun lineup.

Spring Sales, Savings & Sweepstakes Ongoing

Special incentives from Hornady, Smith & Wesson and Beretta have already been come and gone, but they were just the first. Things have accelerated since.

I Have This Old Gun: Terry Carbine

One of the most interesting, and short-lived, breechloading designs of the mid-19th century is the Terry carbine, produced by the firm of Calisher & Terry. Despite its novel mechanism, the carbine didn't survive the transition to the metallic-cartridge era.

Favorite Firearms: A Birthday Gift From Dad

When I was growing up, my father was one of the bigger Smith & Wesson collectors in Northern California. This led him to have an acquaintance with Roy Jinks of S&W.

Make Mine Metal: The Alloy-Frame KelTec P15

When KelTec introduced its P15 at the 2022 SHOT Show, it had two models on display. One is the polymer-frame handgun that the accompanying review focuses on, and the second is nearly identical, except that its frame is rendered in aluminum alloy.

Product Preview: Cold Steel Engage 3.5"

Cold Steel offers its Engage EDC knife with a larger 3.5"-long blade made from durable, wear-resistant S35VN stainless steel.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.