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Kind of Surprised at this...


I have researched, and finally ordered a heat shield. Ordered one of the Masen polymer heat shields, as it got good reviews, mostly, and it will serve a very good purpose for me. One of my favorite features of the Mossbergs, in contrast to my past of 870'dom, is the open feed chamber. You can flip it right upside down, use gravity to just drop the shell in, and push forward. I really love that, and another of several ergonomics and ease of use features that has made Mossberg the permanent shotgun brand for me. :)

What surprised me, is in my research and reading of many forums (many of my google searches led me to threads here) and reviews as to the effectiveness of heat shields, is how many people regard the shotgun heat shield as a novelty, or tacticool, looks only item.. I never cared for the look of a heat shield on a shotgun.

Many of these people said, that you'll never get a shotgun barrel hot enough to scorch or burn your hand.. Well. I run my shotgun when I'm out, and I run it quick and pretty hard. I have almost grabbed the barrel once or twice, and even the low walnut forend sometimes lets thumb and fingers get kinda close. Forget flipping it over onto your off forearm while dropping shells in to reload if it's hot.

All I know (we all know this) is that, my AR-15's all have some sort of forend, handguard, heat shield, etc, that don't let you get near exposed barrel near the receivers. I feel shotguns should be the same, even though they inherently aren't by design.

Thoughts? Reasons why this has become known as a novelty, or dumb idea? I get the added weight, but polymer heat shields are great, and near weightless. ARs run polymer heat shields like there's nothing else for them; very few AR handguards are metal anymore, unless you go rail systems.



Chris, for decades I've ran 500's and then shockwaves since they came out. Have never used a heat shield but do use mechanic's gloves when shooting. I've always practiced tactical "top off" reloading so I never roll the gun 180 degrees. If the gun ever gets empty I use an "over the top reach" to drop in a new shell and then immediately go back to tactical top offs. While the barrel does get hot I never directly grab the barrel however with these type gloves it shouldn't be an issue.

My one concern with adding a shield would be changing the balance point of the gun.



Forgot to mention that factor. I pretty much don't shoot with gloves ever, as I feel even with good gloves you lose some fine dexterity. Self defense scenarios are not included there, as fine motor and dexterity are probably gone anyway.

As for weight, the poly shields weigh almost nothing, maybe a couple ounces. I will weigh mine when it arrives for information purposes.

Tactical top offs. Off to find videos of this technique and see what it is. I reload two different ways. Toss a shell in ejector and rack forward, either roll the gun, or float by the forend and load muzzle up.


Well, it got in this morning. 1.85 ounces, which is superbly light. Now, time will tell if it shifts or holds up relatively well. I'll keep this updated. Many people said in reviews that it was quite durable and not too bad; also said to just buy longer 4-40 screws, which I did since one of the 4 screws wasn't threaded :D and don't over tighten them.

Love the look... Surprisingly. :D 20200125_134013.jpg 20200125_132918.jpg 20200125_134017.jpg


Chris, shield looks good and hopefully fits your desired outcome.

See you have a shell holder installed. Here's how I set mine up. The first shell most forward is inserted from the top (brass up). If your gun runs dry then using your left hand grab the shell and do an "over the top" insert into the open chamber. I do rotate the gun counterclockwise maybe 10 to 15 degrees so the shell doesn't fall out while cycling the action.

The other shells in the holder are inserted from the bottom (brass down). This allows you to use your left hand to grab a shell and do a thumb insertion into the magazibe without rotating the gun. Typically try to "top off" the magazine after firing 2 to 3 rounds or when ever the tactical situation allows.

Two major advantages of this method.

First, your right hand grip never moves away from the correct firing position so you're immediately back into action.

Secondly, during tactical reloading simple tuck the butt stock slightly under your arm. This slightly raises the muzzle allowing you to maintain the front sight head on your target. So you never lose contact with the intended target or threat. Worst case you can fire the weapon using one hand.

Can't see any downside to it...or any reason for you to justify it to the rest of us. Accessorize the shotgun anyway you like.

Since you have a side saddle you might want to practice over the top reloads (quickly place one in the chamber) then any of the many tactical reloads for the magazine tube. I generally just roll the shotgun over 180° (buttstock under armpit) and reload using weak-hand twins, you never touch the barrel this way. Be careful of the edges on the receiver though. Unless you have broken the edges lightly with a file/sandpaper they can be pretty sharp (from the factory). Dummy shells are inexpensive and can help you safely practice reloads.

Dummy shells.jpg


Couldn't more than glance earlier. Definitely not worried about justifying it. I really like it, and learned years ago, that many of the gun crowd are not gonna be nice if you don't spend as much as they do or buy what they buy.

I was just interested in sparking a conversation on these topics.

Generally, I run brass up, just to insure against fall outs. I get running one of them down to pop it into the port and rack forward. I've just developed my own ways over the years to do reloads from this point, and was experimenting with flipping the gun belly up and drop reloading. It's neat, and you can't do that on the 870s I was used to.

Definitely like the 500. I see why Mossberg has also had such a loyal following over the years. I used to always think anyone who didn't like the heavy, all steel 870 just didn't know any better. Ignorance is cured with experience, in this case.


When i carry my Mossberg 590 in the hand, i usually brab it here ( see pic )
A heatshield was a must have for me



Exactly. I always grab it there when we're out shooting, etc. I don't always run that sling, and it's probably still going to get modified into a side mounted sling.


.270 WIN
I wish i could find something similar to this for Hatsan shotguns.... I have a Hatsan MPA 10 shot semi that I use in our club practical shotgun comps, and I have accidentally touched the barrel a few times while reloading... One of the Hatsan guns does come with a heatshield, but I haven't beeen able to find just the heatshield available anywhere.. :-(


Find out if it is dimensionally similar to the 500, via Google searches. If it is, this would indeed work.

Also, just read up on those Hatsuns a week ago; nice Guns for a very nice price.

John A.

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.
Staff member
Global Moderator
I have a couple of those masen heat shields and I can honestly say that I've never been burned while using one.


In full disclosure and fairness though, I have never been burned by any of my shotguns, despite how many rounds that I put through them. And with a semiauto, I can put a lot of shells out in pretty short order. And I have not been burned with one of them either.

I mainly think the attraction to heat shields were they were used on old military and police riot guns. During WW1 though when they were being used in the trenches, odds are pretty high that black powder was still being used in a lot of them and made the barrels a lot harder to hold onto and that just carried down over the years.

I say if you like it, who cares what anyone else thinks. It's your gun. Make it into what you're happy with. A lot of people would grimace if they saw this old Winchester red letter too.

Don't care.