How to Clean: Mossberg 500

A Mossberg 500 is a pump-action shotgun that is manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons. This particular shotgun is extremely popular amongst enthusiasts of all levels, which is why it’s crucial to know the basics of Mossberg 500 maintenance. 

How Often Should I Clean My Gun?

While some Mossberg 500 owners prefer to clean their shotgun after each trip to the range or after each hunting trip, those who have a Mossberg 500 for home security or simply as a part of their collection say they only complete a full, detailed cleaning once every few years. 

We suggest that all guns be given a full clean after many rounds have been shot or if the firearm has been in storage for a while to remove any moisture. For a more detailed answer, you’ll want to consult your gun’s owner manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. 

What Goes Into a Pre-Clean Check for a Mossberg 500?

Before you begin cleaning your Mossberg 500, you need to conduct a pre-clean check to ensure your safety. 

The first step in your pre-clean check is to both visually and physically check the shotgun for any remaining rounds. Check your cartridge carrier to ensure no more rounds remain in your shotgun. If there are any remaining rounds left in the carrier, safely unload your Mossberg 500 before you start to disassemble it. 

How to Disassemble a Mossberg 500

Once you’ve completely unloaded the firearm, you can start to disassemble it. The disassembly process is rather straightforward and ensures that you can give your Mossberg 500 a truly deep cleaning to keep it not only functioning properly but also preserve its value over time. 

To disassemble a Mossberg 500, follow these simple steps:

  • Begin the disassembly process by removing the barrel nut and the barrel from the receiver. 
  • Once the barrel is removed, you can remove the pin from the receiver. This allows you to remove the trigger assembly.
  • Once the trigger assembly is removed, you can pull the primary and secondary shell stops, followed by the bolt carrier and action bar.
  • Remove the bolt assembly.
  • Finally, you can remove the cartridge carrier.

Once your firearm is completely disassembled, you can proceed to the necessary steps on how to clean a Mossberg 500 shotgun. 

What You’ll Need to Clean a Mossberg 500

To get the most from your cleaning, you’ll want to make sure you have all the right materials in hand to complete the process. Here’s what you’ll need:

While you can find each of these items on their own at most shops, we highly suggest the Hoppe’s 9 Deluxe Gun Cleaning Kit. This kit comes with everything you need to clean your Mossberg 500 and the other firearms in your collection. Even better, it’s all stored in an attractive, durable container – keeping everything you need in one place. 

10 Steps to Cleaning and Properly Maintaining Your Mossberg 500

Once you’ve collected the necessary cleaning materials and have fully disassembled your Mossberg 500, it’s time to start the cleaning process, which we’ve broken down into 10 simple steps.

1. Start with Your Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner

Begin the cleaning process by attaching a bronze brush head to your cleaning rod. Once your rod is ready, apply some Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner to the brush head. 

2. Run Brush Through the Barrel from Breech to Muzzle 

Once you’ve applied the gun bore cleaner to the brush head, run the brush through the barrel, starting at the breech and pushing it through the muzzle. This will allow the formula to penetrate quickly and deeply to clean fouling and loosen up any abrasive dirt. 

3. Run a Clean Patch Through the Barrel 

After you’ve run the brush through the barrel, you’ll want to remove the brush head and repeat this process using a fresh cleaning patch. Start by attaching a Hoppe’s Gun Cleaning Patch to the end of your rod and apply some gun bore cleaner to it. Then, you’ll use the rod to push the pad through the barrel, breech to muzzle. 

Do not run it back through the tube! Only make a single pass with each cleaning patch. 

Once you’ve pushed the saturated cleaning patch through your barrel, you’ll repeat the process, except with a clean, dry patch. Repeat this process with a new dry patch until your patches come out clean – again, only making a single pass with each patch.

4. Apply Hoppe’s Lubricating Gun Oil Within the Barrel

Once your patches come out of the barrel clean, it’s time to repeat the process with the Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil

You’ll simply add a new patch to your rod and saturate it with the lubricating gun oil and pass it through the barrel.

5. Use the Hoppe’s Lubricating Oil to Clean the Exterior of the Barrel

Now that your Mossberg 500’s barrel is clean inside, you’ll go ahead and discard your used patches. Then, with a clean one, apply some more lubricating oil and wipe the exterior of the barrel clean. 

6. Use the Hoppe’s Lubricating Gun Oil to Wipe Down All the Individual Components 

Now that your Mossberg 500’s barrel is clean, it’s time to attend to the rest of the firearm’s components. Simply take a clean patch, apply a single drop to each of your components, and wipe them down thoroughly. 

7. Reassemble Your Mossberg 500

With all your components clean and lubricated, it’s time to reassemble your firearm. Simply follow the disassembly instructions in reverse to ensure everything is put back in its proper place. 

8. Wipe the Firearm Down with a Silicone Cleaning Cloth

After your Mossberg 500 is clean and reassembled, your final cleaning step includes wiping the entire thing down with a silicone cleaning cloth. These cloths are pretreated with a silicone lubricant to help remove any leftover debris and give your firearm an extra bit of shine and an added layer of protection.

9. Complete a Function Test on the Mossberg 500 After Reassembly 

It’s important to note that once you’ve finished cleaning and reassembling the firearm, you need to complete a function test to ensure that the pump and triggers work. If you notice any sticking, then you’ll need to go back in and see what may be causing it. 

10. Properly Store the Firearm after cleaning

Once everything is complete and checks out, you can go ahead and store your Mossberg 500 until next time. As a responsible enthusiast, you’ll likely have a gun locker or safe. If you do, then make sure you lock your firearm up properly.

Choose Hoppe’s for All Your Firearm Maintenance Needs

Here at Hoppe’s, we pride ourselves in providing enthusiasts with only the best the industry has to offer. With various cleaning kits available, we make it easy to get your hands on everything you need to get the job done right.