I love shotguns, and anytime I see videos from Rob or Matt Haught, Steve Fisher, or Tom Givens, I sit down, shut up, and listen. On a Primary and Secondary podcast Steve ‘the Yeti’ Fisher dived into shotguns and once stated that the 590A1 patterns tighter on average than most shotguns due to the unique barrel. So I grabbed some buckshot and my 590A1 and went to seek out the truth!
What’s different about it?
Well, the A1 in 590A1 is a military designation and comes from the military’s requirement for a pump-action shotgun. They made a few design requests and one being a bayonet lug and heavy-walled barrel. Fisher theorized the tight patterning design is due to the unique barrel harmonics the 590A1 presents.
The barrel is heavy-walled and super thick. Additionally, it has three points of contact with the rest of the gun due to the bayonet lug, the point where the barrel meets the receiver, and where the magazine cap secures the barrel to the tube.
This creates a robust shotgun that could be used in a close-range fight with a barrel that doesn’t bend easily when equipped with a bayonet or when stuck in a door on a Navy ship.
My Own Experimenting
As mentioned, me and my shotgun went to the range with some real basic buckshot. Besides the 590A1, I brought a Remington 870 for control purposes. With cheap nine pellet buckshot, I fired five rounds with each gun. On average, the 590A1 patterned a lot tighter, roughly 40% and up to 50% tighter. The Remington 870 produces respectable patterns, but the difference is evident.
So now you know the Mossberg 590A1 produces tighter than average groups.