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The Mossberg 500 is a 12-gauge, 20-gauge or .410 bore pump-action shotgun designed by O.F. Mossberg & Sons in 1960. The 500 series comprises widely varying models of hammerless repeaters, all of which share the same basic receiver and action, but differ in bore size, barrel length, choke options, magazine capacity, stock and forearm materials. Introduced in 1960, all model 500s are based on the same basic concept designed by Carl Benson. Originally using a single action bar that was known to bind and even break, this was changed to dual action bars in 1970, following the expiration of Remington's patent on the double action bar design.

Intended for use in harsh and dirty conditions, such as waterfowl hunting or combat, the Model 500 series is designed to be easy to clean and maintain. All Model 500s feature interchangeable barrels, which may be removed without the use of tools, by loosening a screw on the end of the magazine tube, allowing the barrel to be removed. Dual action bars connect the fore-end to the bolt, and generous clearances between the steel action bars and their receiver channels reduce wear on the aluminum receiver while allowing the shotgun to function with the presence of dirt or debris.[1]

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