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Mossberg Silver Reserve 12ga O/U Shotgun Review

shotgun review Dec 07, 2023
Mossberg Silver Reserve 12ga O/U Shotgun Review

Today we're looking at an over/under recently sent to us by Mossberg: The Silver Reserve in 12 gauge. The Silver Reserve is one of the most affordable over-under shotguns on the market. As we all know, cheaper isn't always better so we are taking a detailed look at this shotgun to see what it's all about. 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:

"Whether out for a day of wingshooting or busting clays, you can’t go wrong with one of these sure-to-be popular Silver Reserve over-and-unders. Durable, reliable, and affordable, these well-appointed break-action shotguns are loaded with performance-enhancing options and details traditionally reserved for high-end double guns." 

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

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

Mossberg Silver Reserve 12ga O/U

  • Specs

    • 12-gauge (available in 20, 28, and .410)
    • There is also a "Bantam" option available for smaller-framed shooters
    • MSRP: $820, but check out the prices we found at Reeds (at time of publishing)







  • 3-inch chamber
  • The length of pull is 14 3/16" - this gun does not come with spacers - you'll need an aftermarket pad to extend the LOP 
  • Drop at peak is 1 1/2"
  • Drop at heel is 2 1/2"
  • This shotgun comes with 5 flush chokes (upgrade to Carlson's Chokes)
  • 28" barrel 
  • 7lbs 3oz
  • This Mossberg has a mechanical trigger
  • The average pull weight of this trigger was 7lbs 11oz
  • Ergonomics

    • The first thing we noticed is that the weight of this shotgun is on the lighter side - This may create some barrel jump/whip while shooting clays, but for a field 12ga, it is light enough to carry for longer days in the field.
    • The balance of this gun was great.
    • At this price point, you're not paying for the luxuries that come with higher-end over unders. This is a good build for the money so far.
    • There seems to be a slight palm swell.
    • The Schnabel forend has a nice slender feel to it. There is some generic checkering on either side of the grip.
    • The receiver is finished in a satin silver.
    • 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 gun has shell extractors - not ejectors. We tend to appreciate extractors while in the field.
  • Recoil and Reliability

    • Our first shots with 1 1/8 ounce target loads felt great! 
    • 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.
    • It swung and mounted nicely too - We did however notice a little whippiness with how light this gun is.
    • 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. Surprised so far!
    • 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 Silver 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
    • Chrome-lined barrels and chambers
    • All the tolerances seemed to fit tightly


  • Speed Shooting

    • This Silver 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 had some trouble with the whippiness of the barrel. This caused us to often miss the second clay 
    • To counteract the whippiness we had to slow down our approach a little bit. Keep in mind that even though this gun has a little bit of barrel jump. You won't be trying to shoot two birds as fast as Steve is attempting to shoot clays but barrel jump does have an effect on follow-up shots.
    • We found that due to the lack of good gun fit, this gun wasn't pointing and aiming as intuitively as we would have liked
    • The fastest overall time on two hand-thrown clays was a 1.15 - This is not as fast as we would have hoped for with only 2 clays. One attempt scored a .97 but we missed the second clay over the top. This happened pretty consistently

In conclusion, this Mossberg Silver Reserve is a solid gun. It's well built for the price. The majority of our gripes have to do with speed shooting. The weight/balance of the gun caused some missed shots as the muzzle jumped a bit after the first shot. The more important factor of this mishap has to do with gun fit. With the gun too short, it was easy to miss clays over the top. You must take gun fit into account when shotgun shopping. If the gun you want happens to be too short for you, be aware of what you'll have to do to make the gun fit you better. With that said, this would still not be our first choice in regard to sporting clays due to the lack of adjustability and weight. We would however absolutely take this gun out to the field for upland hunting because of its desirable weight and recoil management. At this price, the Mossberg Silver Reserve is a great option for budget field hunters who may do a little of everything. If you shoot multiple times a week we'd recommend a different gun. But at the end of the day, that choice is yours! Overall, this is a good gun.

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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