I have used and also owned a few 10-22s over the years and realise they will always be a gun that splits opinion because of what was at first, a quite rare blowback semi-automatic capability with the usual ammo related caveats. Here I get my hands on a Ruger Rifle in 10-22.
Huge congratulations to Chris Dalton who has been named 'Professional Stalker of the Year' at the British Shooting Awards ceremony 2022.
I have been a fan of pump actions all my life. There is something rugged about a pump, and that certainly applies to the Mossberg. The Mossberg 500 is an American favourite that has been in production for over 50 years – that’s more than 10 million shotguns and counting. It is a popular gun across US law enforcement, military, home defence and with the hunting community. I was keen to see how well the Mossberg would perform in my day-to-day life of wildfowling, clay shooting and pest control. The Hushpower modified version of the Mossberg is popular throughout the UK for a range of vermin shooters, but you don’t often see many standard guns in operation. I wanted to test it to see if we were underusing this gem of a gun. Out of the box I was super-excited when the call came from my local gunsmith that the Mossberg had landed. Gun collected, I assembled it and got an initial feel for its handling and features. Being a major pump fan, I have grown accustomed to the many different layouts of safety catches and bolt releases. The Mossberg has a different take on the safety-catch placement compared with most other pumps and semi-autos. The safety is top-mounted, located at the rear of the action above the grip, similar to an over-and-under and side-by-side. This is a fantastic feature and is the best placement for a safety. The location means that it is operated by the thumb and does make the gun far more ambidextrous than most pumps. An overall inspection of the dismantled gun showed a rather simple mechanism with very little to go wrong. The overall simplicity makes general maintenance a breeze. Although pumps like the Mossberg are designed to withstand hard usage, I would always recommend taking care of your gear to the best of your ability to increase its longevity and reliability in the field. There are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to dismantle and reassemble for anyone new to pump actions. The other key difference in design is the lack of a plate for the magazine loading port, but I found the magazine is easy to load without this. After the initial play at home, it was straight to the clay ground to see how “It one of the nicest pumps to shoot for speed and ease of use” The bolt release catch is located at the rear of the trigger guard, similar to my old Winchester pump-action, and can easily be operated with the middle finger.
If you're heading to this year's Stalking Show on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th April at Staffordshire County Showground, look out for the Viking Arms team!