O.F. Mossberg & Sons is a gunmaker known for producing shotguns with an excellent value-to-price ratio. The company’s Mossberg 500 is especially respected in that regard, and my colleague Steve Balestrieri included it in his article on the best shotguns for home protection.
Then there is a company that, under license from Mossberg, makes a low-priced scattergun that provides even more bang for your buckshot. Say hello to the Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.
Mossberg Maverick 88 History & Specifications
The gun’s maker, Maverick Arms of Eagle Pass, Texas, started off in 1988. As far as I can ascertain, it was around 2013 that Mossberg, which itself was founded in 1919, purchased Maverick Arms and made it a corporate affiliate, thus enabling Maverick to expand its facilities.
The Maverick is roughly a 90% copy of the Mossberg 500, with the two key differing parts being the trigger group and the forearm assembly. Another key difference is the manufacturing process, as William Taylor explains in an article for The Gun Zone:
“The 88’s assembly is carried out in Texas, but parts of the gun are made outside of the USA – predominantly in Mexico. This drives costs down, especially in comparison to the 500. And, it ultimately benefits you, the consumer.”
From there, Williams points out a few more cosmetic differences.
“While the Mossberg 500 series utilizes a top tang safety, the Maverick 88 shotguns feature a trigger guard-mounted cross-bolt safety. Also, the 88 does not come with a pre-drilled and tapped receiver for scope mounts, but the 500’s do. Nor does the 88 have any swivel mounts like the 500.
“Lastly, the finishing on the 88 is a high-quality steel bluing, which is a little more basic than the 500’s factory-blued nickel or Parkerized finishes.”
Focusing specifically on the Maverick 88 – Security edition, we have a gun with a barrel length of 20 inches, an overall length of 41 inches, a chamber size of 3 inches, and a weight of 6.5 pounds.
A Shooting Buddy’s Impressions
My friend ‘Lisa’ down in freedom-loving Florida has owned a fixed stock Maverick 88 – Security for a year and recently used it during a daylong training course at The Powder Room Shooting Range in Panama City Beach, Florida.
The course was taught by retired Panama City Beach Police Department Officer and current Bay County (FL) school resource officer Clayton Jordan. Lisa spoke highly of the course, and of Jordan. The course of fire consisted of 25 rounds of birdshot, three rounds of double-aught buckshot, and two slugs, all from the Winchester Super-X lead shot brand. As for the gun itself, here’s her take:
“This is a nice lightweight option for a shotgun with very manageable recoil. I spent a few hours on the range with her and was not sore after. Even when short-stroking or rapid firing, the action is smooth with no jamming. I have the version with a full-length tube, so it holds 7+1 when fully loaded. The only addition that I wish it came with would be sling mounting, as there is a spot for that on the stock but no hardware included.”
Want Your Own?
Current MSRP is $262. According to True Gun Value, “A MAVERICK 88 SECURITY shotgun is currently worth an average price of $274.43 new. The 12-month average price is $271.11 new.” Omaha Outdoors currently lists ten of them at a price range of $229.81 to $269.99 (the latter comes with a folding stock). Meanwhile, Palmetto State Armory is currently running a Memorial Day Sale, charging $269.99 for a folding stock 88-Security and $251.99 for the fixed stock gun.
Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.