I wanted a relatively cheap shotgun to use for shooting slugs and also doing some skeet, so I purchased a Big 5 model Mossberg 500 on sale for around $300. This one came with an 18.5″ barrel and a 28″ barrel, but is one of the cheaper options that has a hollow plastic buttstock and one-piece fore end. This makes shooting it a little uncomfortable and it has a very hollow, cheap feel to it. I upgraded to a Magpul SGA and made some small modifications for comfort.
The first upgrade I chose to make was putting a new buttstock on. I have always liked Magpul’s products, even if they make you look a little like a tactical wannabe, so I went with the Magpul SGA stock. It has an adjustable length of pull and cheek rest, and several sling attaching points; for all the times I need a sling (very few it turns out). installation was quick: remove a screw, remove the old stock, install the new stock, tighten another screw.
Padding for Delicate Cheeks
I adjusted the spacers to get the correct length for my size and took it to the range. After shooting 50 rounds of target loads, it felt like my cheekbone was pretty well bruised. Something about the angle of the cheek rest just doesn’t feel comfortable for me on this buttstock. I was definitely surprised since my other shotgun doesn’t feel this way at all and the original cheap buttstock felt fine. After searching around I found a similar complaint that pointed to a company called Convergent Design Solutions that sells neoprene cheek pads for delicate shooters like myself. I spent the $12.49 and when it arrived I gave it a little trimming to get the right shape, cleaned the plastic with rubbing alcohol, and stuck it on.
The next trip to the range was much more comfortable. The added bonus is that my cheekweld feels much tighter and that made the gun more comfortable to aim and shoot.
Someday I might like to make the buttpad even more cushy. Of course, you can’t just use any ol’ buttpad without paying another $10 for a Magpul OEM Buttpad Adapter. Brilliant and annoying. Maybe I’ll go this route in the future when my shoulder starts to get as sore as my cheek did.