Eliminating the Mossberg Rattle

Eliminating the Mossberg Rattle

When it comes to quality-made shotguns at affordable prices, it’s pretty hard to beat a Mossberg.  Models such as the 88, 500 and 590 have a large and dedicated fan base, and it’s not difficult to imagine why.  But as respected as these scatter-guns are, they’re not without their detractors.  Without a doubt, the number one gripe you’ll hear about them is the much-maligned ‘Mossberg Rattle.’  For the uninitiated, this is the clicking noise often heard when handling the fore-grip on Mossy pump guns.  According to the manufacturer, this comes from the extra spacing in the design, which guarantees operation in even the dirtiest guns being used in the foulest weather.  Although entirely cosmetic (or should I say acoustic?), there’s no denying it can be an unattractive quality.  The good news is it’s extremely simple to reduce if you’re so-inclined.

Disassembly

For this demonstration we’ll be using my model 500.

Begin by loosening the take-down screw and removing the barrel.

Next, using a brass punch and mallet, gently tap the trigger housing pin out, and remove the housing.

At this point the cartridge stop and interceptor assembly shown in the video above have likely already fallen loose, and can be removed as well.

Now locate and remove the bolt slide.

Finally, slide the fore-grip free of the magazine tube.

What’s that rattle?

If you inspect the inside of the fore-grip, you’ll note a series of channels moulded into the plastic.  As you’ll see in the video above, the fore-grip basically ‘skates’ on top of the mag tube.  As the internal diameter of the fore-grip is larger than the outside diameter of the mag tube, the fore-grip proceeds to wiggle side to side, as well as front to back, resulting in the rattle.

Modification

In order to address this, we need to tighten up the fit of fore-grip.  There’s several ways to do this, however the method I’ve used for years consists of applying some adhesive fabric to the inside.  Success or failure of this modification really comes down to prep work and patience.

Begin by using some dish detergent and water to thoroughly clean and de-grease the inside surface of the fore-grip.  This is probably the most important step in the entire process when it comes to ensuring this modification works.  It’s especially important if you’ve oiled the gun recently.

With the surface area now completely clean and dry, locate some velcro tape.  I’m sure other brands will work, however this is what I normally use, so it’s what I recommend.  Selecting the fabric piece, cut two small sections.  The dimensions are going to vary depending on your firearm and fore-grip, but I usually start with 1/4″ long pieces to start.

Peel the backing off the adhesive side of the fabric tape, and place the first piece horizontally across the outermost band at the far end of the fore-grip.  Press it firmly into place, maintaining pressure for about 30 seconds or so to ensure it makes complete contact.

Next, apply the second piece to the rear-most band in the same manner.

Now it’s time to apply some dry lubricant.  This helps reduce friction between the magazine tube and fore-grip, ensuring the velcro stays firmly in place.  I like to use BPI’s Mica Wad Slick, but any dry lube will work.  It doesn’t take much, just enough to keep the action moving smoothly, and avoid over-stressing the velcro tape.

Re-assembly

Now it’s time to reassemble the shotgun.  Slide the fore-grip back onto the magazine tube.  You should feel a noticeable increase in tension, however it should still move freely.  If it seems over-tight, you can further reduce the thickness of the fabric by using scissors, or even an electric razor to trim the fibers.

Next, drop the bolt slide back into place, and reinstall the cartridge stop and interceptor.

From here reinstall the trigger housing and insert the housing pin.

Finally, it’s just a simple matter of reinstalling the barrel and threading the take-down nut firmly into place.

Summary

As you test the firearms action, you should notice a dramatic improvement in fit.  While there’ll still be some moderate side-to-side play due to the action bar design, the front-to-back movement should be completely gone, marking a major reduction in rattle.  With the fix confirmed, put the gun away for a week or so to allow the glue to cure completely.

After trying several methods, I eventually settled on this one and have since applied it to all but one of my Mossberg shotguns.  They continue to look and feel great, and operate every bit as smoothly as before, even after years of heavy abuse.  Best of all, I was able to do it for a fraction of the cost of a third party fore-grip, and without making any permanent changes to the gun.

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