How to Disassemble a Mossberg 500 Series Shotgun




This Instructable will walk you through the steps of disassembling a Mossberg Pump-action shotgun (models 500,505, 535). Disassembling a Mossberg 500 shotgun can be learned and mastered quickly. It only takes a couple of minutes to disassemble, even if it is your first time attempting this task. The only tool required is a punch or something similar (small screwdriver, Allen wrench, or even a pen). With the shotgun disassembled, its parts can be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. This will keep your shotgun in top working condition, even in harsh environments.

These instructions break the shotgun down into 10 parts. Move your cursor over the parts on image of the disassembled shotgun to see the names of the parts.

Note: You should be familiar with the operations of the shotgun (i.e. Loading and unloading) before undertaking this task.

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Step 1: Clear the Shotgun

Danger: Safety is essential when working with any firearm and ensuring the shotgun is unloaded is a necessary step before beginning disassembly.

1. Make sure the safety is on (safety button pushed reward with no red dot showing)

2. Check the magazine tube to ensure it is clear of any shells

3. Open the Action

a. Depress action lock lever

b. Pull rearward on the forearm

4. Check the chamber area to ensure it is clear of any shells

The shotgun is now clear and it is safe to begin disassembly.

Step 2: Remove the Barrel

1. Open the action halfway

2. Unscrew (counter-clockwise) the takedown screw

3. Pull forward on the barrel

Note: The Mossberg 500 comes with interchangeable barrels allowing the operator to switch to a barrel that better suits their intended uses. To change barrels simply remove the barrel that is to be changed and attach the desired barrel.

Danger: Barrels of different models and calibers should not be interchanged. This can cause serious malfunctions in the firearm’s operation endangering the operator and those nearby.

Step 3: Remove the Trigger Group

This is the only step requiring the use of a tool (punch, small screwdriver, Allen wrench, etc...)

1. Push the trigger housing pin completely out of the shotgun

2. Pull down on the rear of the trigger guard

Caution: Do not pull the trigger when the trigger assembly is out of the shotgun because it may damage the part.

Caution: The Trigger housing pin is very small and has a tendency to roll. Put it in a place where you can easily keep track of it so it does not become lost.

Step 4: Remove the Cartridge Stop and the Cartridge Interrupter

The cartridge stop and cartridge interrupter are held in place only by the trigger group. With the trigger group removed, they are free to fall out of place.

Pull the cartridge interrupter and cartridge stop out of the receiver.

Note: The cartridge interrupter and cartridge stop fit only in their intended side so keeping track of which piece came from which side in not necessary.

Step 5: Remove the Bolt Slide

Pull the bolt slide down and out of the bottom of the receiver

Tip: If the forearm has not been moved the bolt slide should be lined up correctly for easy removal.

Tip: If the bolt slide does not come out easily then use the forearm to position the bolt slide directly below the relief cuts in the receiver (about halfway back).

Step 6: Remove the Forearm

Push the forearm forward

Step 7: Remove the Bolt

Use your finger to push the bolt forward and out of the circular hole where the barrel used to be.

Step 8: Remove the Elevator

1. Swing the sliver, forward end of the elevator down and out of the receiver

2. Squeeze the arms together and pull forward out of the bottom of the receiver

Tip: The safety on the receive must be in the safe position to remove the cartridge elevator.

Step 9: Finished/ More Resources

The shotgun is now disassembled and it can be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. This will keep it in top working condition and improve the life of your shotgun.

Owner's Manual

Video instructions

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    15 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Your tutorial worked like a champ, it took all the guess work out. I was able to disassemble in less then 10 minutes give or a take a few. Thanks again.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I found there is no reason to, unless you need to clean in it....

    I have not found an easy way to take one apart.

    perhaps they have made them disassemblable over the last 30 years.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't know why my above comment to Lardycarcass was posted here. I was responding to another comment about the mag tube.


    Reply 2 years ago

    a shotgun is not a weapon, it is a tool with a specific purpose.

    an aluminum bat is more a weapon than a 12ga shotgun


    3 years ago


    With the components on the bench, is there any benefit in polishing the components before re assembly? Would polishing aid to a smoother action?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago


    I have had two of these, and did exactly that.

    I used a fine stone to knock off all the edges, and an extra fine to polish all the sides that make contact with other metal.

    upon reassembly, I had oiled it all up, and when totally assembled, I worked the slide a few thousand times watching a movie.

    after that, I have NEVER had a jam or cartridge hang up. (Wish I could say the same thing about the Remington Wingmasters or 870's)


    2 years ago

    Great instructions. But I have a model 500A and cannot get the trigger group to come out as shown. I have the pin all the way out, the bot is positioned half way in the port as shown but the trigger assemble will not tilt from the front and come out. It seems to be caught on something but I can't see what. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    with the pin out, the trigger group is removed by tilting it up from the rear/butt end.

    there are tabs that hold the front/barrel end in the receiver


    2 years ago

    Your directions for taking it apart works fine but the problem is getting it back together, that part BLOWS


    3 years ago

    Excellent instructions and focus on safety. May I ask how the magazine tube is removed? I don't yet own a 500 but plan to in the near future, and for my purposes (clay shooting) I want to remove the dowel placed in the tube that limits it's capacity to be legal for hunting.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    In some cases you can hunt with the dowel removed. Check your local laws but here in Texas you can hunt quail with the dowel out and have that extra shell, which I usually need for those tricky birds! But for migratory birds, dove, ducks, etc you have to put the dowel back in. So know your laws and be safe out there! Happy hunting!


    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm not sure if you still need this, but the dowel is easily removed when the barrel is off. Point the muzzle end down, and the dowel comes out the threaded hole at the end where the barrel fastens to. Easy.

    Having owned one of these for many years, and knowing how easy it is to do, I must ask; Is there a specific reason you did not remove the magazine?