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Mossberg Gold Reserve Black Label Shotgun Review

shotgun review Dec 14, 2023
Mossberg Gold Reserve Black Label Shotgun Review


Today we're looking at an over/under recently sent to us by Mossberg: The Gold Reserve Black Label in 12 gauge. The Gold Reserve is one of Mossberg's nicer offerings in the break action department. We've recently been spending a lot of time with Mossbergs over/unders and are excited to see how this Gold Reserve differs from their more affordable Silver Reserve. Before we dive into our thoughts, it's important to note what the manufacturer claims about their gun so we can get a better sense of what to look for during a review. Here's what Mossberg says:

"Beautifully styled and appointed with top-shelf materials and finishing, our Gold Reserve shotguns will impress from upland fields to wetland marshes, or while dominating at 5-Stand. The lineup features performance-enhancing options traditionally associated with high-end break-actions."

With that said, let's dive into this gun and see if that statement holds true.

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

Mossberg Gold Reserve Black Label 20ga O/U

  • Specs

    • 20-gauge (available in 12 as well)
    • MSRP: $1,135, but check out the prices we found at Reeds (at time of publishing)

    •  3-inch chamber
    • The length of pull is 14" - this gun does not come with spacers - you'll need an aftermarket pad to extend the LOP. 
    • Drop at comb is 1 1/2"
    • Drop at heel is 2 1/4"
    • It appears that this gun has a little cast-off (stock angle for right-handed shooters)
    • This shotgun comes with 5 extended chokes (upgrade to Carlson's Chokes)
    • 30" barrel 
    • 6lbs 4oz
    • This Mossberg has a mechanical trigger
    • The average pull weight of this trigger was 6lbs 10oz
  • Ergonomics

    • The first thing we noticed is that the pistol grip is very slender and easy to grip
    • This gun sports a darker standard-grade wood with decent checkering
    • Hence the name, the receiver has a black finish with gold accents on the bottom. It is also scroll-engraved
    • The top lever has some nicer detail to it compared to the rest of the furniture
    • At this price point, you're not paying for the luxuries that come with higher-end over-under shotguns. This is a good build for the money so far.
    • There seems to be a slight palm swell.
    • The Schnabel forend also has a nice slender feel to it. There is some generic checkering on either side of the grip.
    • The overall slender form of this 20 gauge feels really good in the hands. 
    • This shotgun has your standard top tang safety with barrel selectors.
    • The rib is flat and vented with a single brass bead on the front.
    • The buttpad is seemingly useless as it has no depth or give to it. If we keep this gun, we will install a FalconStrike.
    • This shotgun has shell ejectors.
    • The top lever and break action seem to work very smoothly.
  • Recoil and Reliability

    • With this gun being a 20 gauge, we're not anticipating much recoil
    • We were impressed at how straight back the recoil came. Recoil management was great for how light the gun is, and how bad the recoil pad is. A FalconStrike would be a great upgrade.
    • the 7/8oz target loads shot and ejected just fine with minimal recoil
    • As you'd expect, the prairie storm hunting loads provided more recoil. But, it still came right back into the shoulder and didn't jump up into our faces
    • We came to enjoy shooting this gun - It seemed to shoot very true to where we were looking. However, it was too short for us
    • There's not much that we can speak to when it comes to the reliability of an over-under. If you can speak to the reliability of this Gold Reserve please let us know how it's held up on the  TFL COMMUNITY!    
  • Breakdown/Quality of Build

    • Breakdown - just as one would expect
    • Quality - No major concerns
    • All the tolerances seemed to fit tightly
  • Speed Shooting

    • This Gold Reserve was fun to shoot. We found that it was a bit short for Steve, but it still mounted nicely
    • Once we got warmed up and started attacking the clays a bit faster, we noticed that transitioning to the second clay was super easy - recoil wasn't getting in the way
    • Even with this gun being too short, we were able to maneuver it well due to minimal 20 gauge recoil, and minimal overall gun weight
    • The fastest overall time on two hand-thrown clays was a .91 - This is quite impressive for a gun that was quite short for us. Very happy with this performance
    • It pointed very intuitively and shot  smoothly
  • Hunting

  • We took the Mossberg Gold Reserve Black Lable out on a pheasant hunt in North Dakota and it did not disappoint.
  • Easy to carry with lighter weight, slender grip and forend, and decent balance.
  • The Gold Reserve swung nice and natural. The first shot through this shotgun was a clean kill.
  • Make no mistake, the Gold Reserve is a value shotgun, but for the money, we'd take to the field any day.

In conclusion, this Mossberg Gold Reserve Black Label surprised us. With having shot the Silver Reserve in last week's review, we thought we had a pretty good idea of what to expect from a Mossberg Over Under. However, this Gold Reserve totally outperformed what we had expected. The only gripe we could find with this gun was that it was too short for us. But that's hardly an issue when you can throw some spacers or a FalconStrike on there. This shotgun is built well, looks nice, points nice, and feels good in the hands. Recoil is minimal even though the butt pad it nearly worthless. We would certainly recommend this gun for hunting and it also wouldn't be a bad pick for all-around sporting purposes!

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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