Is This the Maverick Everyone Is Talking About? Maverick 88 Pump Shotgun Review

shotgun review Jul 14, 2022


The new Top Gun Movie "Maverick" recently came out. A lot of viewers have also been asking for super cheap pumps: So in honor of the circumstances at hand, we are looking at the dirt-cheap Maverick 88 shotgun by Mossberg 

Maverick 88 by Mossberg

This may be the cheapest shotgun I've ever shot with an MSRP of $253 - I got mine for EVEN LESS than that at Reeds Sports

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  • 12 gauge (Pump Action)
  • 3" chamber
  • 28" Barrel 
  • 7lbs  
  • Length of Pull 14 1/4" 
  • Drop at Comb (N/A)
  • Drop at Heel (N/A)
  • Comes with 1 choke (extra full)


  • 8lbs 0.9oz (Average pull weight)
  • Not great...That's all I got
  • This trigger was chunky AND heavy and I cannot wait to speed shoot this thing..


  • The first thing I noticed was that the slide was pretty far forward for my arm size.
  • Not to mention the slide itself was pretty shaky and slippery
  • This gun was front-end heavy as most pump actions are - this Maverick was pretty excessive though
  • The safety on this gun almost looked like it should be on a toy gun (lol) very small and cheap
  • The slide release was actually conveniently located  
  • The recoil pad didn't feel all that bad! Very generic 
  • Brass mid-bead and ivory bead on the front 
  • Overall this is a very average build - cheap polymer all around with absolutely nothing fancy
  • I noticed the loading port edges are very sharp 
  • These are just my observations - we're obviously not going to be getting all the smooth-edged bells and whistles with a gun this cheap

Breakdown/Quality of Build

  • The breakdown of this pump was so much harder than I would have expected for such a cheap basic pump gun
  • I also noticed that the trigger pins came out very easy - like scary easy
  • Once I got all the moving parts taken out, you can just see that a lot of shooting with this gun is going to wear down those parts in no time
  • There were a lot of moving parts as well - as far as quality I'd like to think that it could be a simpler design. It's what you'd expect though
  • With the barrel off, the rest of the gun felt very light



  • Recoil is one unfortunate downside of pump shotguns. Let alone cheap pumps. These target loads got me in the face for sure!
  • Part of this felt recoil may be because the gun is too short for me - gun fit is important!
  • The slide was tough to run - even at slower speeds back to back shots just wouldn't cycle consistently
  • Even though I was getting kicked with recoil, I was surprised - the weight, the material, a pump-action, the added recoil makes sense
  • Recoil is sometimes relative to gun fit so you may experience recoil different than me - OR you could invest in a recoil reduction pad like a Falcon Strike
  • I haven't had this gun long enough to truly test its "Reliability" It shot fine for this review - If you have this gun, let me know how it's holding up!


  • I was able to accomplish shooting 3 hand thrown clays in 1.61 seconds

In summary, I think the new Top Gun movie was great. However, after shooting this gun, I'm not sure Maverick and Top Gun belong in the same sentence. This is a pretty bottom-of-the-barrel. If you're looking for a cheap option and don't mind tanking through the pain and possible hick-ups of this Maverick, then go for it. If you are a parent looking for the cheap option to get your child a gun, DONT go for it. As far as ultra-affordable guns though, this wouldn't be my first option. This is just my opinion! Do as you wish partner :)

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife 

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