There is no doubt that pump-action shotguns are a viable self-defense option due to the manual, simplistic and almost fail-safe operation they employ. However, some shooters wind up shying away from the scattergun because of the difficulty in reloading it quickly—something that is even more frustrating during high-stress situations.
Adaptive Tactical, LLC, has devised a solution in the form of a detachable-box magazine kit for the Mossberg Model 500, 590 and Maverick 88 shotguns. In conjunction with Mossberg engineers, Adaptive designed a replacement magazine tube/well that offers a hook-and-rock style engagement that not only works well, it cleanly blends with Mossberg’s factory action. The Sidewinder Venom-SE 10-round box kit reviewed here contains all parts necessary for conversion along with the company’s Ex Performance stock and pistol grip, Wraptor fore-end and detachable 10-round Sidewinder Venom magazine.Installation is very straightforward, although a bit of custom work is required. Removing the factory magazine tube was a bit of a chore, and some hand-fitting was required to install the replacement. Indexing the magazine tube perfectly required a bit of material removal via the supplied emery cloth.The furniture provided within the kit completely changed the gun’s performance and handling. Despite the change of balance and downward-protruding 10-round magazine, range testing proved the system to be a viable option. Only one magazine ships with the kit, but additional magazines are available on the company’s website starting for around $50. Price: $300 (black), $340 (camouflage). Contact: Adaptive Tactical, LLC.; (208) 442-8000; adaptivetactical.com.
Ah, the old fly in the ointment. For the price of the attachment one can buy a perfectly top-of-the-line extended magazine combat shotgun. Now if you own a Mossberg 12 gauge with a standard 5-shot tube and there's some strong emotional attachment to it. Let's say that it's the one your granddaddy gave you with a long barrel that you already realized that was not suitable for troubled times and so you picked up a shorter cylinder bore used barrel at a gun show some years ago when you spotted one for cheap. Not an unusual thing, I've done it myself. But to go an extra $300 to do more than that would make little economic sense. Am I missing something here? For me, I'd put Grandpappy's Mossberg in the safe and take it out once a year to admire it.
Now, if someone gave me one I'd be happy to let my son test it. Not a likely occurrence, however. Still, you have to admire the good old American ingenuity it represents. Another powerful argument if any were needed about the complete futility of arms prohibition laws.