Looking for a truly versatile weapon system that isn’t an AR-15? How about one that is reasonably priced and can be used in the field as a home-defense weapon or as a sport shooter?
Are you in need of a one-gun setup that can go from turkey to deer to home defense to the sporting clays field? Do you want to save a bit of money by customizing a gun on your own without the need for a bunch of tools and time?
The Mossberg FLEX is essentially a multipurpose shotgun setup, designed to change furniture for your individual whims or your changing needs as determined by you. It does so affordably, with excellent results and without a ton of tooling.
It’s a concept released at the 2012 Shot Show,allowing a ton of customization in the recoil pad, length of pull, drop, comb, butt stock configuration and fore end. It uses a tool-lessconfiguration so the changes are easy, fast and cheap. Mossberg calls its system the “TLS” which stands for tool-less locking systems.
You can get patterns (camo and others), rails, or just about anything else you can imagine for the fore end and buttstock, with the recoil pad system making use of the adjustability built into its configuration to help with custom fit scenarios like shooter size, preference, or clothing. It’s built like just about everything else that comes out of the Mossberg factory—not necessarily pretty, but usable, functional, and built tough. It comes in the newest and “coolest” patterns, with the Realtree portfolio and the Mossy Oak portfolio just a couple of the name brands.
Of course you will still get the interchangeability of the Mossberg barrel system for the 590 and 500, ranging from long rifled barrels to short vent-ribbed varieties, home-defense setups, or turkey barrels with chokes built in. You can even get the barrels in camo for specific purposes.
The FLEX idea is built around a crescent-shaped retention clip made to keep things in place. It requires not only the release of the latch, but also a ninety-degree manipulation to free the stock from the receiver, which is mated on a “star like” gear protrusion to ensure multiple locking points. This stub that comes off of the receiver is a male end that fits into the female end on the stock. There are six varieties of stocks, ranging in length of pull from 12.5 inches to 14.25 inches with a multi-positional “M-4” type stock,with an integral pistol grip and a fully adjustable hunting type stock also available. Of course, the pistol grip Mossberg made famous is also available for snapping onto the shotgun chassis. All of the fixed stock variants are available with LOP adjusting recoil pads that are affixed via a multi-location locking button on the back of the buttstock. The pad thicknesses go from .75 inch to 1.5 inch, and they are made of a decent synthetic rubber. The fore-end setup is a bit different and is more like a thin veneer for the underlying skeleton of the action. The shells that you can get are snapped into place on a framework that covers the manual part of the front end. Mossberg makes a variety of front ends, including their novelty chainsaw handle fore end and the standard rail front end, which, for a home-defense gun, can come in handy for mounting lights and other accessories.
The point of the system is modularity on the cheap. The guns that utilize the system are about $65 more expensive than standard models, but the possibilities are virtually endless. For a first-time shooter, such a system makes some amount of sense, as a day in the field turkey hunting can easily be swapped out to provide a good home defense shotgun, and then on the weekend can be seen doing triple duty as a clay shooter. It’s a win-win for end users and for Mossberg. More incidentals are sold from Mossberg,and the consumer doesn’t have to spend as much money to get as much gun as they want. From a shotgun perspective, it’s a bit of variety for not so much extra money.
If you are already a fan of Mossberg or have a need to utilize more than one specific shotgun setup, this might be a good system to look at.
From an off-the grid-perspective—sure, the Mossberg isn’t as pretty as the Remington and isn’t as nicely appointed in standard configuration, but the price point is good, and the toughness, durability, and reliability is excellent.
The speed of changing out the furniture and the quality of the underlying components are excellent on the Mossberg FLEX system. There isn’t any play or sloppiness, no concerns about function, fit, or toughness, and the argument can certainly be made that a one-gun man is much more proficient with their weapon of choice than with a bevy of firearms they rarely get to shoot with any real depth.
The FLEX system fills a need for a certain type of person, many of which exist in the off-the-grid lifestyle, and that is why this gun makes sense for these readers in many cases.