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Mossberg Sub-Gauge Shotgun Review: The SA20 & SA410

shotgun review Nov 02, 2023
Mossberg Sub-Gauge Shotgun Review: The SA20 & SA410

Hello and welcome to the TFL blog! Today, we're doing something a bit different. After putting a poll out on the TFL Instagram, the viewers voted that we should combine our Mossberg sub-gauges into one review video. So without further adieu, you're getting the inside scoop on two guns for the price of one! The SA20 compact, and the SA410 turkey gun. Lets get into it! 

If you have experience with these Mossberg Shotguns please let us know on the TFL COMMUNITY!   

Mossberg SA20 & the SA410



  • 20 gauge (compact model)
  • Gas operated
  • $720 - a very affordable semi-auto option
  • 5lbs 15.7oz
  • 12 1/2" LOP - Definitely too short for us
  • This trigger has a bit more pre-travel than the .410 - 7lbs 4oz average pull weight


  • .410 gauge (for turkey)
  • Gas operated
  • $902
  • This turkey gun doesn't have a pistol grip 
  • Comes with cheap pop-up removable sites
  • 5lbs 15.6oz
  • 14 1/4" LOP
  • Pretty good feeling trigger so far - 7lbs 12oz average pull weight



  • Black composite stock with grip checkering
  •  The grip is naturally very narrow on this compact shotgun
  • Forend is vented for gas exhaust
  • Recoil pad is a hard rubber with little give
  • Cross-bolt safety behind the trigger
  • The small circular bolt release is hard to push - definitely too hard for the intended user of this gun (small framed/youth)
  • Loading port is slightly milled out (but still small)
  • Love the minimalist brass bead on the front
  • Flat vented rib
  • This gun is not drilled and tapped
  • This 20 gauge comes with 5 chokes


  • This shotgun is dipped and finished in a nice earth-toned camo for turkey (bottom land)
  • The buttpad is more modern on the .410
  • The grip checkering pattern is the same as the SA20
  • The .410 also has a much nicer bolt handle - the bolt release is the same though
  • This gun is drilled and tapped unlike the 20 gauge
  • We really appreciate the extra room that Mossberg milled out around the loading port to make loading those tiny .410 shells easier
  • This shotgun has swivel studs unlike the 20 gauge
  • We so far much prefer the feel of this .410 in the hands (it also fits us better)
  • This gun only comes with one extra full choke

Recoil & Reliability


  • It's pretty safe to say that these sub-gauges aren't going to give us much recoil to fuss about
  • However, we did notice that loading this 20 gauge was quite difficult with our adult thumbs
  • Reliability-wise, shooting from the hip was difficult for this little gun. Shooting over the head would not cycle at all
  • This trigger has a bit more pre-travel than the .410 - 7lbs 4oz average pull weight


  • After just a couple of shots with this .410 we knew that we'd enjoy shooting it much more than the 20 gauge
  • Recoil was non existent on this shotgun
  • We did have a little cycle issue right away but when it did break in, it was really flinging those little .410 shells out - gas system was working great
  • Both of these guns are middle of the road when it comes to reliability 
  • 5lbs 15.6oz
  • 14 1/4" LOP
  • Pretty good feeling trigger so far - 7lbs 12oz average pull weight

Breakdown/Quality of Build

  • Because these are both gas-driven Mossberg sub-gauges, the build quality and internals are going to be basically identical so we chose to break apart the .410 (Simply because we like it more)
  • Breakdown was much like any other gas shotgun. The first quirk we experienced was trying to line up the bolt exactly where it needed to be to remove the bolt handle
  • The bolt and bolt slide breaks apart into several pieces when removed from the receiver
  • Once we took off the gas components, we noticed that it was shooting quite dirty after not that many shots in. We're curious to see if this hurts reliability down the road
  • Love the single pin trigger group design


 Field Shooting The SA20 & The SA410

  • Because of the unique nature of this review, we decided to skip speed shooting. We did not have the proper chokes for the .410, and the SA20 is meant for small shooters. So instead, we shot around with our Promatic throwers and had Steves 11-year-old son come out to give us his insight on these sub-gauges
  • We first shot the SA20. Yes, it was certainly short for us but after a couple of rounds, we think it is a great little shooter
  • But then we shot the SA410 and confirmed this is definitely our favorite of the 2. The size, weight, and recoil just make it enjoyable to shoot for everyone. If you were to pair this with Federals TSS turkey load, you could very easily get on target and be lethal within 30-40 yards. We would not hesitate to shoot a turkey at 30 yards with this gun if we had Federal TSS... No 3 1/2" magnum loads necessary to take down a turkey! 
  • We then had Steve's son take a couple of shots. He was able to get on target and shoot very well with the 20 gauge. When we handed him the .410 (without having told him the gauges prior) he shot it, and lit up laughing at how minimal the SA410 recoil was. He also shot this gun very well saying "I could get used to this" and "The recoil is so very light"
  • He shot the 20 gauge more naturally because of the better-fitting short stock, but was able to manage the full-sized .410 just as well because of how light it was to hold and handle

In conclusion, our biggest realization was that covering 2 shotguns in one video was more challenging than we expected. We felt as if we couldn't really deep dive into the smaller details of these guns, and truly put them to the test. If this was reflected throughout this blog, we apologize. We'll try better next time! But from what we can tell from the little time we've spent with these guns is that the Mossberg SA410 is absolutely our favorite from their sub-gauge lineup (so far) We already sort of have a thing for .410's and Mossberg did a great job with this one. For the money, both a good options. However, we think that the SA20 has more competition out there in the affordable 20 gauge compact market. One competitor that comes to mind is the Winchester SX4 compact. Let us know if you'd like to see a showdown! But until then, this SA410 could certainly end up being our go-to sub gauge.  

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

Stay Target Focused,



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