Open Source Shotgun Project Day

I picked up a Mossberg 20Ga model 500 Turkey gun last week. We needed a good all-around homestead gun here (I love my flintlock dearly but it has its limits) at the small hold and I found a sale. For $349.00 I took home a new camo (oooh ahhh) dipped, 22″ barreled scattergun with fiber optic sights . I also picked up sa Mossberg modified choke tube to replace the ultra tight turkey tube the gun came with, in order to be able to use slugs.


FOr us a homestead gun needs to accomplish tasks such as predator eradication, food procurement, home defense, and fun. The Mossberg will handle all the above, enabling us to hunt fowl, deer and coyote while having enough power and capacity to defend hearth and home.


I immediately set about to make the necessary modifications to the Mossberg, that allow it to work even better for our needs. First was a quiet sling, its difficult to drag a deer with a shotgun in your hands, so having a sling is essential. I found an old M1 or M14 sling of cotton canvas stashed in the barn and with some parachute cord and ingenuity it works perfectly.

It’s important to realize that 1/3 to 1/2 of a 24 hour day is spent in darkness or near darkness, the times that predators and pests (animal and human) prefer to do their dirty work. Now your average prepper would buy a set of night vision goggles (about the cost of a nice used ford 8N tractor with implements) and carry on. I decided that I’d rather have a tractor…and food instead.

So I set a maximum budget of $100 to set this gun up for night/low light use and jumped on line to buy a flashlight mount. THe good news is there are dozens of light mounts for the Mossberg 500 twelve Gage, but only one (that gets poor reviews) for twenty gauge!

Time for some Open Source/Techniculture shotgun hacking skills! I started by looking over the options to mount a rail to the pump itself, but with the constant slamming back and forth it just did not seem durable enough over time. Next I dropped in a local shop just to look for a section of mounting rail. I found a 5 slot Magpul rail for ten bucks, and an ATI brand offset light holder for another $14.

Back at the ranch I started looking for options to mount the rail near the front of the gun. It turns out the magpul rail sits nicely in the gap between the barrel and magazine tube, so the initial thought was to simply zip tie it on there, then something clicked and I figured out a better way. This required another stop a few days later to the store for a second Magpul rail. A trip to the misc nut and bolt drawer of the tool chest and five minutes later I had a stable dual rail system on the Mossberg.

The last step was ordering an Olite 800 Lumen (last years closeout) flashlight and mounting on the rail with the ATI mount. With a little position experimentation I can work the light with my thumb and it is very sturdy.

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Total Cost $89 (this is less than many of the “Tactical” style mounts)

Sneaky night predators beware!

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