Learn How to Unload a Mossberg 500 | Your Safest Guide

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If you’re trying to figure out how to unload Mossberg 500, you’re probably handling this firearm for the first time. Well, that’s okay. Even if it’s your first time and you’re hesitant and unsure of what to do, sit back and relax.

By the time you’ve read this post, you’ll have a clear idea about how to unload a Mossberg 500. Let’s get started!

Why trust Scope & Stuff’s guide to unloading a Mossberg 500?

When you search for the right method to unload a shotgun, a few guides and lots of discussion forums will pop up in your results. If you’ve got time and interest, we encourage you to explore those too. It’ll help you get an idea of the diversity of responses out there and understand why Scope & Stuff’s guide is all-embracing and trustworthy.

If you haven’t got the time, that’s okay, too, because we’ve got a quick recap of it all over here on this page too.

The first and most important rule when learning to unload:

Do not trust every source because this is a very sensitive and risky act.

Verify the authenticity of the method explained and only then proceed to implement it.

Our guide comes from seasoned users of the Mossberg 500 and the owner’s manual that comes with the Gun. The manufacturing company has provided a detailed guide to unload on pages 10-11 of the owner’s manual, which you can browse here.

However, it lacks the details that a beginner shotgun user like yourself may need. And so, we’ve compiled this guide to communicate those details to you.

Prepare to Unload

Before you unload, you’ve to ensure that the shotgun is safe to handle. Ensure two things:

  • It’s pointing in a safe direction.
  • The safety is on.

When we say point it in a safe direction, we mean to point the muzzle away from yourself. Apart from yourself, ensure that it’s not pointing in any living creature’s direction. Human and animal alike.

Safety of the Mossberg 500 refers to the lever or the trigger-like button located at the top rear end of the receiver. When you push it forward, it exhibits a red dot. And when the red dot is visible to you, it means that the safety is off. So, push it backward such that the red dot gets covered. However, even with the safety that appears to be on, monitor the direction and handling of the shotgun.

How to unload a Mossberg 500?

Now that you’re well aware of the basics, it’s time to learn how to unload Mossberg 500 safely.

Part 1: Unloading the Chambered Rounds

Ensure the Gun doesn’t Cycle the Action

Once the safety is on, you won’t be able to cycle the action. If you’re a newbie, know that the term cycles an action or cycle the Gun refers to the cycle of steps of operations that enable the Gun to shoot. It’s the series of operations where a gun fires once and prepares to fire next.

Depress the Action Release& Eject Cartridges

On the left side of the trigger, there’s an action release located. Press it and slide back the forestock. Upon doing this, you should be able to eject empty casings. You can also remove it by hand. If the ammunition doesn’t eject on its own, cycle cartridges through the chamber to eject them out.

Part 2: Unloading the Magazine Tube

Comparatively, unloading a magazine tube is easy. First, rotate and place the firearm such that the cartridge stop is in your view.

The cartridge stop sits on the inner left portion of the receiver. It prevents double-feeding of the cartridge during one cycle.

When you press the cartridge stop, it will push a cartridge from the magazine tube into the loading port. And hence, it makes the removal of cartridges much easier. Repeat this process until the entire magazine tube is clear.


Where is the slide release on Mossberg 500?

The slide release is the alternate name for the active release of the shotgun. Its function is to lock the cycle of the Gun for safety purposes. It is located at the left side receiver, right behind or below the trigger.

How many shells can a Mossberg 500 hold?

Mossberg 500 has different models. You can read more detail about various Mossberg models in this post here. However, the most basic Mossberg model carries about five 70 mm shells. It is known as a six-shot model. There’s an eight-shot model too, which holds seven shots.

What is the effective range of a Mossberg 500?

Generally, the Mossberg 500 has an effective range of about 40 meters. Experts claim that the maximum range is about 50 meters. And the range for slugs is about 70-80 meters.

What causes the slide to lock back?

When the slide stop is not engaged or is in use, it locks automatically.

Does the red dot mean safety on or off?

Technically, the red dot on any firearm or shotgun symbolizes that the firearm is ready to shoot. Ideally, the red dot should not be visible to the naked eye if you want to keep the safety on.

Final Words

By now, we hope you’re clear about how to unload Mossberg 500. Just follow the steps above closely and carefully. In case a new question arises as you execute the process, please feel free to drop us a message.

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Hi, my name is Daniel and I'm an avid shooter who loves everything from shotguns to handguns (both bolt action rifle hunting rifles). My goal when writing new articles has been to make them fun but informative so that people can learn something while being entertained by reading what they are looking at - not unlike myself!

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