Magpul offers an excellent stock and forend for one of the most versatile tools in any firearms collection. Yes, that would be the 12 gauge pump action shotgun. Thanks to a variety of barrel lengths and magazine tube capacities, they can handle plenty of tasks. A 28″ barrel works well for an afternoon of busting clay pigeons, or an early morning bird hunt. Switch from light game loads to 00 or slugs, and you’re set for deer. Swap that barrel for an 18″ model and you’ve got a formidable defensive weapon. You can even defend your home with the long barrel, or break some clays with the short barrel, I’m not going to judge you.
My personal favorite is the 20″ barrel coupled with an extended-length magazine tube below it. That allows for 8+1 capacity. No, I’m not a hunter. But I do like breaking clays. And that happens to be a great all-around barrel length which doesn’t compromise performance. What I don’t like is getting a bruise from an afternoon of shooting. Nor do I like a shotgun that doesn’t fit me. With that in mind, I set up two of the most popular shotgun models with some Magpul furniture. Up front was their M-LOK forend and out back was the SGA stock.
Magpul MOE M-LOK forend for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 590/590A1 shotguns
This forend is a direct replacement for the factory piece. For $29.95, it’s a drop-in installation that even comes with the necessary wrench for the forend nut. It’s an extended length unit with hand stops at each end. Three rows of M-LOK slots are on each side at about 10 and 2 o’clock. There are additional slots on the bottom. Magpul designed it to hug the barrel pretty close, so it’s got a narrow profile. And they kept the rear overhang minimal, so it doesn’t interfere with your sidesaddle. Note that it also has molded in ribs, for your shooting pleasure.
As expected, color options are limited, but useful. There is black, Stealth Gray, and (less-lethal?) orange. And of course, Flat Dark Earth, also known as FDE or Tactical Peanut Butter. Our 870 model is wearing the Stealth Gray, while the 590 is sporting the
TPB FDE. I’ve noticed some online dealers charge more for certain colors. Don’t buy into that foolishness – it pays to shop around, although you should support your local gun shop. In my case, none of them stocked these. Note that while the stock listed below is available for the Mossberg 500, there’s no love for the 500 when it comes to forends.
Magpul SGA Stock for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590/590A1 shotguns
Magpul offers a lot of features in their SGA Stock. Their spacer system lets you fine tune the length of pull from 12.5″ to 14.5″, and they include extra spacers. Multiple cheek risers are available from low to high, for irons, reflex sights, or scopes. Changing either is a pretty simple process too. And their big fat recoil pad is shoulder-friendly. For maximum versatility, there are slots for a sling on either side. Right or wrong-handed, Magpul doesn’t judge either. Optional sling mounting points include plugs covering holes for QD cups, or a sling mount that fits at the stock and receiver interface. That little rectangular piece at the stock/receiver interface comes out so you can slip a clip-style sling mount in there. Just bring a little more money for those.
For the fashion-forward firearms enthusiast, the same color options are available. And as mentioned, the stock is available for the Mossberg 500. That’s a little bonus, even though there’s no matching forend. Of course, if you just step up to the 590, or 590A1, you’ll not only enhance your options, but you’ll likely have a shotgun that will outlive you. That’s not to say the 870 isn’t a good shotgun. It just depends on when yours was made. I haven’t had a bad one yet. But some of them will apparently rust in the time it takes to say “bankruptcy”. No word on current production, but Remington will need to work on trust with former customers.
Installation of the Magpul MOE M-LOK forend
As Magpul provides the only required tool, this is a simple process. Make sure the magazine tube and chamber are empty. Check again, just in case. It wouldn’t hurt to put on some eye pro, since the magazine spring is under tension. On the 590, we removed the cap on the magazine tube. For the 870, it was a matter of removing the magazine extension. Pull the spring out and set it aside. Remove barrel. Use Magpul wrench to remove forend nut. Install the MOE M-LOK Forend with Magpul logo towards the front of your shotgun. Reinstall nut. Carefully replace spring, compressing if necessary, and then reinstall extension or the cap of the tube. Check for slide function, and make sure your follower still moves, and that you didn’t jack up the spring. It’s that easy.
Installation of the Magpul SGA Stock
After going through the same process to make sure it’s empty, you can remove the butt stock. Chances are you have a plastic stock with two screws buried in the butt pad. Jam a phillips screwdriver in there, and back them all the way out. Remove the butt pad and then remove the stock bolt. This generally requires a big slotted screwdriver bit. Once that long bolt is removed, the Magpul unit can be bolted in place. This took what seemed like about a hundred quarter turns with the included allen key. Maybe a little less. Snug it down, and put the handy cover over it. Done. If any parts fell out during this process, you messed up. It really is easy.
Magpul loves you, but they love your money more. You just spent $140 on new furniture for your shotgun, so why not drop another $60 or so on a sling? No worries. Now to attach it. On the stock you can choose a Type 1 QD sling mount for $14.95. Or their SGA Receiver Sling Mount if you want to clip your sling on rather than use QD swivels. Up front, they have a $34.95 Forward Sling Mount. Can’t decide between the clip style or a QD swivel? No problem, it actually has both options, one on each side. Yeah, it’s easy to spend another $100 plus on the sling and mounts. Although for the 590, I used an M-LOK mount I found in my parts bin for the forend. Savings!
I wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of writing about them if I didn’t like this furniture. Since I already had the forend on my Shockwave, I knew what to expect. It fits my hand well, has sufficient texture for traction, and just works as it should. The stock seems to have a comfortable grip angle, and the included cheek riser is at the right height for my iron sights. Oddly, I didn’t use the same amount of spacers on each one to get a comfortable length of pull.
It’s too cold to put a few boxes through each shotgun, but I’ve actually used the Magpul stock and forend on a friend’s gun, which is why I got my own. So I know that this is a comfortable setup. And I won’t pretend it’s ideal for sporting clays, nor do I know if it’s a good setup for hunting. But if your shotgun is a defense weapon that gets used for fun (which is the best use), this is a great option. And yeah, the butt pad doesn’t “reduce” recoil, because physics. But it does reduce felt recoil, which is what matters. It also has enough texture for traction on your shoulder. Magpul knows what they’re doing. Check them out at Magpul.com.
The fine print
Way down here is where I usually remind everyone that someone provided a product for review. But that’s not the case here. All products presented in this article were personally purchased at full retail. And as you look at these two, you may be wondering which one I would choose in an emergency, to actually defend my home and family. And that choice is easy: my vintage Winchester 1300 Defender, of course.