Gun Review: Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde Shotgun

The Retrograde series from Mossberg proves that you may mix fashionable tactical perform with old-school attraction. As the reigning king of tactical pump-action shotguns, the 590A1 couldn’t be disregarded within the rain. In truth, for some cause I can not fathom, the 590A1 Retrograde has turn into absurdly costly throughout on-line bidding sale sites.

I do know what you’re pondering: all gun costs are up with President BidenHarris in workplace, the COVID craziness, and our summer of love. However, the 590A1 Retrograde has been promoting excessive since earlier than the craziness set in. It’s a finely made gun with a wonderful legacy, however some are promoting for nearly twice the MSRP.

I assume it’s secure to say the gun has a moderately giant fan base. And I can see why. The walnut furnishings, the warmth protect, and the Parkerized end make it a moderately distinct-looking and engaging shotgun. 

The 590A1 Retrograde makes an amazing first impression (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Add within the 590A1 accouterments just like the 8-round tube, ghost ring sights, bayonet lug, and confirmed design, and also you do get a shotgun that features as fearsome because it appears to be like. Mossberg’s 590A1 famously serves because the pump-action shotgun of alternative for the United States navy in varied configurations. It has served with distinction greater than the M1014, which tended to be much much less frequent than the 590A1. 

Going Retro 

Retrograde goes past the wood furnishings we see on the gun. That mentioned, the wood furnishings warrants its own recognition. It’s darkish stained walnut that’s moderately engaging. Our pump is textured ribbed-style for a straightforward grip. The inventory is kind of conventional, with a textured portion what place your hand rests. At the tip is an old-school built-in brown recoil pad. 

This traditional design nonetheless works extraordinarily effectively (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Beyond the wood furnishings, the barrel and warmth protect are parkerized for an old-school end. A bayonet lug plus a warmth protect and wood furnishings give the 590A1 Retrograde trench gun vibes. Like any good 590A1, the barrel is thick and heavy-walled, and the set off group is all steel. 

Notice the good checkering on the wood inventory (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The sights are surprisingly fashionable with a rear adjustable ghost ring and a excessive visibility entrance blade. It’s the identical sight setup you’d see on the 590A1 SPX. Mossberg may’ve settled on the bead sight, however I respect the ghost ring setup relating to correct shooting. 

Shouldering the 590A1 Retrograde 

A 13.87-inch LOP isn’t for everybody, although it’s significantly better than the 14.5-inch LOP I run throughout a bit too usually. While a 13.87-inch size feels completely sized for me, since that’s the case then I think about it’s lengthy for many shooters. The ribbed pump and textured rear grip make it simple to make the most of a push-pull recoil mitigation approach. Weight smart the 590A1 Retrograde doesn’t convey much heft at 7 kilos. 

The LOP is excellent for me, so seemingly too lengthy for everybody else (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Plenty of weight is pushed to the entrance of the 590A1 Retrograde when the weapon is totally loaded. Eight rounds of buckshot and a heavy-walled barrel push the burden ahead and make it off stability. If I have been swinging the gun at clay pigeons, perhaps this might matter, however I don’t see a giant cope with it in a fight shotgun. In truth, the weight-forward benefit helps struggle muzzle rise. 

Old faculty appears to be like, fashionable efficiency (Travis Pike for TTAG)

After blasting by just a few cycles of the ASP Shotgun Casino drill, I did see how the heavy-walled barrel and warmth protect work effectively. Shotguns and buckshot warmth up a barrel good and quick, however the gun is moderately immune to it. This is nice for conditions what place you would possibly have to seize the receiver’s entrance to govern the gun. 

590A1 Retrograde Go Thump Thump 

Recoil is what you’ll be able to count on from a 12 gauge shotgun. Good approach goes a good distance in mitigating it, and with out it, you’ll get a thump or two. Like all Mossberg pumps, the motion is slightly tough, and the pump is slightly sloppy, however neither impacts perform. The gritty motion will clean out in just a few thousand rounds. 

I usually hate expansive stamps on my weapons, however this one will get a move (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Ghost ring sights enable for wonderful shot placement, particularly if you’ll be utilizing fashionable buckshot hundreds like Flitecontrol. These supply essentially the most vary of any buckshot I’ve dealt with, and a superb set of sights takes full benefit of that vary. The rear ghost ring sight is sweet and vast, and the entrance excessive visibility orange sight is straightforward to see and direct.

An adjustable ghost rings makes slugs and fashionable buckshot extra exact (Travis Pike for TTAG)

One neat factor in regards to the 590A1 Retrograde, and about 590A1s usually, is the distinctive barrel harmonics that provide you with a moderately tight patterning gun. Basically, the declare and impact is that the 590A1 patterns tighter because of the distinctive barrel profile and design. In observe, low-cost 00 buckshot with no good wad creates a sample 6 to 7.5 inches vast at 15 yards. 

Bright orange entrance sight may be very simple to see and discover (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Pump Action Reliability

The Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde provides you the dependable efficiency you’d count on from a pump-action shotgun. It hundreds, shoots, and ejects virtually solely with out situation. The solely scenario I bumped into was with S&B buckshot. On event, the pump would stick, requiring me to make use of each hands with the gun braced in opposition to the bottom to free the shell. 

The Retrograde takes traditional appears to be like and mixes it with fashionable tactical prowess (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Some of the hulls from the S&B buckshot appeared to have expanded. I replicated this downside in a Mossberg 500 and a KelTec Ks7. I’d chalk it as much as the spherical inflicting points greater than the gun. Other than the few occasions that occurred, I had zero points. Obviously, as a pump gun, I can use the lightest hundreds with out issues. 

Even mini buckshot with an Opsol adapter and the two.5-inch shells all feed with out situation from the gun. 

The 590A1 Retrograde is a mixture of a reliable combating shotgun with traditional wood and metal attraction. It is priced at a premium, even while you examine MSRPs between normal 590A1s and the Retrograde. It’s actually a fascinating combination of old-school cool and fashionable functionality. Not one thing we regularly see on the earth of Picatinny rails and black polymer furnishings. 

Heat Shield turns into fairly useful throughout excessive spherical counts (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Specifications: Mossberg 590A1 Retrograde

Caliber: 12 gauge
Chamber: three inches
Capacity: 8 + 1
Length: 41 inches
Barrel Length: 20 inches
Weight: 7 kilos
MSRP: $987 (about $870 when in inventory at Brownells)

Ratings (out of 5 stars):

Accuracy * * * * *
Ghost ring sights and a tight-patterning cylinder bore ship wonderful accuracy at quite a lot of distances. Load it with slugs and the ghost rings turn into all of the handier. Federal Flitecontrol and these sights make precisely-placed buckshot all too simple. 

Reliability * * * * *
Pump-action shotguns are arduous to make unreliable. I’m certain somebody has, however Mossberg is just not one in every of them them. The 590A1 delivers wonderful efficiency with excessive brass, low brass, and varied size shells. 

Ergonomics * * * *
Mossberg 500 collection shotguns are very effectively designed with an ambidextrous tang security, a skeletonized shell lifter, and the Retrograde collection options wonderful texturing. While the LOP matches me high-quality, it is likely to be a hair lengthy for smaller shooters. 

Overall * * * * *
Although it’s priced at a premium today, the 590A1 Retrograde is chock stuffed with options. This is a really well-designed shotgun. An ordinary 590A1 is cheaper, however nowhere close to as trendy. The 590A1 Retrograde is a implausible firearm that’s well-suited for house protection and a superb time on the vary. And you’ll be able to add an M9 bayonet should you actually wish to get below the Kaiser’s pores and skin. 


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