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

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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.

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