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Double Barrel Shotguns

Mossberg Silver Reserve II O/U Review

by Joel Hutchcroft   |  April 2nd, 2013 3

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My oldest recollections of Mossberg are centered around my dad’s old Model 183 D-B .410 bolt-action shotgun. It had a pistol-grip buttstock, and part of the trigger guard extended down the grip to give it something sort of like finger grooves. It also had an internal three-round magazine and a screw-on (not screw-in) Full choke. When I was a kid, before I had my own gun, he would let me take it hunting, and I always thought it was kind of funny looking. But I sure liked the way it worked on the Bobwhite quail, rabbits, and squirrels that ran amok on my grandparents’ farm and in the surrounding timber. I like the looks of Mossberg’s new Silver Reserve II over-under shotgun a whole lot more, and it’s just as good of a performer as that old Model 183—undoubtedly even better.

Features
The Silver Reserve II is a boxlock over-under (there is also a Silver Reserve II side-by-side shotgun, but we’re not covering that one here). The over-under has a single trigger, a tang-mounted safety/barrel selector, a fine-line-checkered black walnut forearm, and a black walnut buttstock with rubber recoil pad. It’s made in Turkey, and it’s being offered in 12, 20, 28 gauges, and .410 Bore. Available barrel lengths include 32, 30, 28, and 26 inches. Receiver finish is polished silver with scroll engraving; barrels are blued and come with ventilated ribs and front bead sights. Chambers and bores are chrome plated. All versions come with a set of five screw-in choke tubes.

Shooting Times got a hold of a 12-gauge Sporting configuration gun for this report, but there’s also a Field model. The main differences between the Sporting and the Field configurations are the ribs (widths and heights) and the choke tube constrictions. The 12, 20, and 28-gauge Field guns come with flush choke tubes in Cylinder (C), Improved Cylinder (I-C), Modified (M), Improved-Modified (I-M), and Full (F). The .410 Field has fixed M and F chokes. There are also two-gauge Field Combo versions in 12/20 gauge and 20/28 gauge with 26-inch barrels. Suggested retail prices range from $693 to $1,042.

The Sporting O/U is available in 12 gauge and features 28-, 30-, or 32-inch trap-style ported barrels with vent rib and dual bead sights (fiber-optic front bead). The extended choke tubes have silver finishes and knurled grips in Skeet, I-C, M, I-M, and F. There’s an optional adjustable-comb buttstock. Suggested retail prices range from $851 to $1,145.

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The Sporting versions of the new Silver Reserve II O/U come with ported 28-, 30-, or 32-inch barrels and a set of five extended choke tubes in Skeet, I-C, M, I-M and F. An adjustable-comb buttstock is optional. Field guns and two-barrel combo sets are also available.

Performance
Our in-house professional photographer, Mike Anschuetz (shown in the accompanying photo), is a budding wingshooter. He has some real potential there, too, because he beat all the InterMedia Outdoors editors and contributors in an informal shotgun match at a recent editorial roundtable. The prize was a Mossberg shotgun, and Anschuetz picked the 12-gauge Silver Reserve II Sporting version with 28-inch barrels and raised-comb buttstock. It’s the one shown in our photographs.

I pulled him in on this report because he’s been hitting the skeet range way more often than I have these days, and I wanted to get his thoughts on how the new O/U performs. He says he shot as good with it the first time out as he does with his regular gun—a semi-automatic Browning. He thinks the Silver Reserve II is easy to get comfortable with, and he especially likes the selector lever. The gun just has a good heavy feel, and he likes the extended chokes. The barrel ports seem to help manage recoil.

His only complaints are with the trigger and the metal finish. He calls it “price-point” finish and wishes that it was more polished. He says the trigger is too heavy for his tastes, but all in all, he likes the gun and thinks it’s more of an intermediate-level gun rather than an entry-level one.

I like the Silver Reserve II as is. It has many features that my personal favorite O/U has, including a single trigger, vent rib with dual bead sights, and walnut stock. I’ve come to know—through far too many missed shots on upland birds—that I shoot a lightweight 28-gauge gun way better than a 12 or even a 20. So even though I like this 12-gauge Sporting version, I’ll hold off buying a Silver Reserve II until I can get my hands on a small-gauge gun. Maybe I’ll go for the .410 version in honor of that old bolt-action Mossberg I used when I was a kid.

  • Don

    I purchased a Mossberg Silver Reserve II Sporting 28′ about 3 weeks ago. Things started out great. I would shoot about 4 to 5 boxes every sunday until the 3rd week when things started to happen. First I had problems with the lower ejector, it stopped working so I used the upper until I greased it. That fixed it until it would not allow me to close the gun. Seems the shell would pass the elector causing this to happen then I had problems using the selector switch, it would jam and not allow me to select or put the gun in safe mode. then it started to miss fire and thats when I took it back to the Dealer. This was verified by them and it was shipped out to Mossberg. They told me it would take about 1 month to get it back. So I called the company and spoke to customer service they told me this gun was created in Turkey for the Mossberg Company so I was out of luck until it comes back they didn’t even try to do anything for me they said it was up to the dealer if they wanted to exchange it for a new one. So I learned a very big lesson. When it come to anything in this world you get what you pay for. I was told by another dealer even tho the gun is a sporting class it would never hold up to the amount of shooting I was doing because of the parts used to create the shotgun. ( not my words ) So I took this lesson and selected a new Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 Sporting 12G 32″ I will use the Mossberg for other who want to come with me and shot but for me I’ll stick with the Beretta.

    • Sxsmak

      Don: thanks for sharing. I was tempted to get one. And you are right you get what you pay for. I have several beretta shotguns and you can not go wrong with beretta.

      Best wishes and happy and safe shooting

      • Don

        Just a followup, It took Mossberg over 5 months to repair my SR2. I used it once when I got it back. The gun is a great gun but I can never trust it

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