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Maverick 88 vs Mossberg 500 - Review
created: 2/20/2024 11:33 AM in GEAR

Mossberg Maverick 88 Review | How Does it Compare To The Mossberg 500?

The Mossberg Maverick 88 stands out as a highly recognized and affordable pump-action shotgun, with an MSRP of around $262, making it a popular choice for those seeking a reliable home defense firearm.

Despite the ongoing debate over using a shotgun for home defense, pump-action shotguns' iconic sound, functionality, and dependability remain unmatched in real-life scenarios.

With its budget-friendly price and positive reviews, even in a market flooded with cheap options, the Maverick 88 offers remarkable value, but the question remains: is it truly worth it?

Specs and Features

The most popular Maverick 88 model is the Security followed by the Cruiser. For this article, we’re focusing on the Maverick 88 Security.


  • Gauge - 12 Gauge
  • Action - pump action
  • Finish - Blued
  • Capacity - 7+1
  • Barrel Length - 20 inches
  • Choke - Cylinder Bore
  • Chamber - 3 inches
  • Sights - bead sight
  • Weight - 6.5 pounds
  • MSRP - $262.00


Why You Should Consider Buying the Maverick 88

Let me tell you why the Maverick 88 should be your go-to shotgun, especially if you're looking for a reliable home defense option that won't empty your wallet. At its core, the Maverick 88 shares much with the Mossberg 500—think of it as a sibling with a different trigger assembly, assembled in another location.

If I were in the market for a trustworthy shotgun, I wouldn't think twice about picking up a Maverick 88. Its standout feature? You can swap out most of its parts with those from the Mossberg 500. 

Want an instant upgrade? Just replace the barrel with one from a Mossberg 500 or switch up the stock for better recoil management. The only parts you're stuck with are the trigger assembly and the cross-bolt safety.

Finding another shotgun that offers this level of reliability, durability, and ease of maintenance for around $200? Good luck with that. It's a steal. 

Reliability Is Key

Here's the simple truth: the Maverick 88 is as reliable as they come. Think of pump-action shotguns as the shotguns' answer to revolvers—pull the trigger, and it fires without fail. Barring the rare mishap, this shotgun will not let you down.

Maintenance Made Easy 

One of the beauties of a pump-action shotgun like the Maverick 88 is its low maintenance. Since it's a pump-action, you'll find that cleaning is a breeze. The barrel is pretty much the only place where residue builds up.

Just run a bore snake through the barrel a couple of times after shooting, and you're all set. The Maverick 88 doesn't ask for much: clean the barrel, and keep on pumping. It's that straightforward.

Maverick 88 vs Mossberg 500

When comparing the Maverick 88 to the Mossberg 500, several key factors come into play.

The Maverick 88 stands out for its affordability, making it a highly accessible choice for many buyers. It's known for its durability and reliability, even in challenging conditions, and is compatible with many Mossberg 500 parts.

This compatibility extends to barrels, tubes, stocks, and certain internal components like the extractor, providing users with a degree of flexibility for customization and repairs. Its straightforward design ensures simplicity and ease of use, making it ideal for beginners or those who appreciate a no-frills approach to firearms.

The Maverick 88's versatility is another strong point, proving effective for home defense, hunting, and recreational shooting. It has also shown good performance in endurance tests, such as the 500-round torture test, highlighting its ability to withstand heavy use. 

A $200 Shotgun SHOCKER: The Mossberg Maverick 88 Test

However, the Maverick 88 does have its drawbacks.

It is limited to a steel blue finish, offering less variety compared to the Mossberg 500's finish options. The placement of its cross-bolt safety on the trigger guard may not appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer the Mossberg 500's top tang safety.

Additionally, it's worth noting that the pump furniture on the Maverick 88 is pinned, making it non-removable unless you take it to a gunsmith.

While its simpler construction is a benefit to some, others may view it as a disadvantage, missing the advanced features available in more expensive shotguns. The standard stock may not be suitable for all users, and although it's interchangeable, changing it adds extra cost. Additionally, some may perceive it as a "budget" shotgun, potentially questioning its quality, despite its strong performance reviews. 

In summary, the Mossberg Maverick 88 offers a compelling mix of affordability, reliability, and versatility, albeit with some limitations in customization and advanced features.

Used Mossberg Maverick 88 For Sale

Exploring the secondary market for a Mossberg Maverick 88 can unlock even greater value.

Platforms like ARMSLIST offer a treasure trove of opportunities to find this reliable shotgun at prices that further underscore its reputation for affordability.

These pre-owned options often come with the added benefit of real-world testing and validation by previous owners, ensuring you're investing in a shotgun proven to stand up to the rigors of use. 

Purchasing a used Maverick 88 allows you to enjoy the legendary reliability and robustness of the Mossberg lineage, often with the bonus of aftermarket upgrades or customizations at no extra cost.

Whether you're a first-time buyer or looking to add to your collection, the secondary market presents an excellent opportunity to own a piece of Mossberg's military-grade engineering without the full price tag. 

RELATED - How to Build an AR-15 for Home Defense

Take Action Now 

Don't miss out on the chance to find an exceptional deal on a Mossberg Maverick 88.

Visit ARMSLIST today to browse a wide selection of used Maverick 88 shotguns. 

Whether you're seeking a reliable home defense shotgun or a simple shotgun for hunting and property management, ARMSLIST connects you with a community of sellers offering this iconic shotgun at unbeatable prices.

Start your search on ARMSLIST now and step closer to owning a Mossberg Maverick 88 that combines affordability with the assurance of quality and performance.

created: 2/20/2024 11:33 AM in GEAR

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