Maverick 88 Home Defense Shotgun Review

*Updated 8/19/2022* Maverick Arms is a gun manufacturing company in Eagle Pass, Texas. Maverick produces shotguns under Mossberg & Son’s name at an affordable price of $230.00. Maverick Arms is a younger company (1988) that specializes in shotguns.

Even though they’re now owned by Mossberg, they operate independently to create shotgun barrels, chokes, stocks, and conversion kits.

With the financial backing of Mossberg, Maverick Arms has been able to develop quality shotguns at a lower price point than the Mossberg 500 and 590. Enter the Maverick 88.

Mossberg Maverick 88 Security

$265.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing

Maverick 88

The Maverick 88 is simply a more affordable version of the Mossberg 500.  The Maverick 88 is great for an introductory shotgun, a home-defense shotgun, or a truck gun. It’s durable, dependable, and shoots true every time.

It has the same features as the Mossberg shotguns with dual extractors, twin action bars, positive steel-to-steel lockup, and even the anti-jam elevator.

These features give the Maverick similar capabilities to the Mossberg 500 with a price reduction of around $400.00. With a 6-shell capacity (depending on the ammo) and 28" barrel, you can easily use the Maverick for waterfowl hunting.

Maverick describes the 88 models as the working man’s shotgun because it can handle being bumped, scraped, dropped, and beaten up through everyday wear and tear.

Maverick 88 Specs

Gauge12
Capacity5+1
Chamber3"
Barrel TypeVent Rib
Barrel Length28"
Sight/BaseBead
ChokeModified Tube
LOP TypeFixed
LOP14.5"
Barrel FinishBlued
Stock FinishSynthetic (Black)
Weight7 lbs
Length47.75"
MSRP$231.00

Where Can I Buy The Maverick 88 All Purpose?

Depending on where you live and how you want to buy your gun will depend on where you should go. For example, if you live in a rural area that is a hundred miles from the main department stores, check your local gun shops.

Mossberg also sells all of its guns through 3rd party sellers, such as guns.com.

Mossberg Maverick 88 All Purpose

$242.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing


Maverick 88 Security Top-Folding Shotgun

The Maverick 88 with the ATI folding stock is meant to serve as a dual-purpose security shotgun for close quarters and normal shotgun ranges (40 yards). With the stock folded up, you can fire from the pistol grip and cut the overall length by more than 12".

The purpose of the stock folded up is to give the shooter the ability to move quickly through rooms without sacrificing the time to pull the shotgun to your shoulder. This makes it an excellent shotgun for home self-defense or a truck gun to protect yourself in a hurry. With the stock folded down, it gives you an entirely new platform to shoot from with the added stability of your shoulder as a point of contact.

Maverick 88 Security Specs

Gauge12
Capacity5+1
Chamber3"
Barrel Length18.5"
Sight/BaseBead
ChokeCylinder Bore
LOP TypeFixed
LOP14.5"
Barrel FinishBlued
Stock FinishATI Shotforce Top Folding- Black
Weight6 lbs
Length39.5"
MSRP$259.00

Where Can I Buy Mossberg 88 Security?

Mossberg Maverick 88 Security

$282.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing


Mossberg 88 Bantam Shotgun

The Mossberg Bantam/Youth 20ga shotgun is the perfect shotgun for a brand new shooter. With a 6-shell capacity and a 22" barrel, it will provide everything you need for a smaller shooter who is still developing.

The Length of Pull is shortened by more than 2" to accommodate the shorter arms of a child and the weight is more than a pound less than the standard model 88 for adults.

One concern for many shooters is the kick that the Maverick has in the 12ga, but the recoil is reduced in the 20ga youth model. The last thing Maverick would want is for the shotgun to recoil out of the hands of the shooter.

The double-beaded sights on this shotgun provide a better line of sight for shooters with very little experience holding a shotgun. Coming in at less than $250.00 makes this shotgun a steal for those trying to get your children into hunting waterfowl or want your children familiar with guns.

Mossberg 88 Bantam Specs

Gauge20
Capacity5+1
Chamber3"
Barrel TypeVent Rib
Barrel Length22"
Sight/BaseBead
ChokeModified Tube
LOP TypeFixed
LOP12"
Barrel FinishBlued
Stock FinishSynthetic (Black)
Weight5.25
Length39.75"
MSRP$231.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Maverick 88 Bantam?

Mossberg 88 Bantam

$344.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing


Mossberg Maverick Thunder Ranch HS 12 Over/under

The Maverick Thunder Ranch HS 12 Over/under is the higher-end model of the Maverick 88. The biggest difference is the Picatinny Rails that cover both the left, right, and top of the shotgun. The barrel houses the Picatinny Rail on both the left and right for quick and easy installation of lights and/or lasers.

The Thunder Ranch provides a rail that allows for an optic, scope, or aftermarket night sights for quicker aiming. If you don’t want to add any sights, the Thunder Ranch comes with a fiber optic front sight and a wide-open rear slot sight.

Instead of worrying about a shell holder, the Thunder Ranch already has one on the synthetic stock. If all the features aren’t enough. the Thunder Ranch was developed with Clint Smith. Mr. Smith is a former U.S. Marine, SWAT team member, and Director of the Thunder Ranch training facility in Lakeview, Oregon. You can get all your weapons training with the backdrop of some of the best scenery Oregon has to offer.

Mossberg Maverick Thunder Ranch Specs

Gauge12
Capacity2
Chamber3"
Barrel TypeVent Rib
Barrel Length18.5
Sight/BaseRear Slot
ChokeCylinder Bore
LOP TypeFixed
LOP14.25"
Barrel FinishMatte
Stock FinishSynthetic (Black)
Weight6.25"
Length36.5"
MSRP$478.00

 

Where Can I Buy The Maverick Thunder Ranch Shotgun?

Mossberg Maverick Thunder Ranch

$444.23
at Sportman’s Guide
Prices accurate at time of writing


Maverick 88 Cruiser

The Maverick 88 Cruiser is meant to be a great home-defense or truck gun for those Texans who leave a shotgun in the truck. The impressive feature of the Cruiser 12 gauge pump-action shotgun is the capacity of 6 rounds before a reload. Mossberg added the pistol grip for the Cruiser model to give the owner better ergonomics and comfort when aiming the shotgun.

Even though the Cruiser is considered a budget home-defense shotgun, you can easily upgrade the shotgun to make it much more effective, and customizable.

For example, if you’d like to add the chainsaw-style grip to your Cruiser, you’re able to do so for an affordable price if you buy from Amazon.

Maverick 88 Cruiser Specs

Gauge12
Capacity5+1
Chamber3"
Barrel TypeVent Rib
Barrel Length18.5
Sight/BaseRear Slot
ChokeCylinder Bore
LOP TypeFixed
LOP14.25"
Barrel FinishBlued
Stock FinishSynthetic Pistol Grip (Black)
Weight5.75"
Length28.12"
MSRP$245.99

Where Can I Buy the Maverick 88 Cruiser?

Mossberg Maverick 88 Cruiser

$291.99
at GUNS.COM
Prices accurate at time of writing

Maverick 88 Upgrades

The best feature of the Maverick 88 is the ability to customize the shotgun with more expensive parts, such as the Mossberg 500 Flex system.

The Mossberg Flex Stock would be the change I make to the Maverick 88 Cruiser because it provides more stability and accuracy at range with a longer stock. The Flex stock has a better pistol grip (IMO) and offers a range in your length of pull (LOP) from 11"–14.25", instead of a fixed LOP. You’d be surprised with how much changing to the Mossberg Flex Stock will increase your accuracy and overall effectiveness.

Another option if you just don’t like the pistol grip of the Cruiser, would be to change the grip without adding the adjustable stock. The Mossberg Flex Shotgun Synthetic Pistol grip is better than the stock Mossberg 88 synthetic grip and can be a big change for less than $30.00.

Finally, if you decide to change the pistol grip with the Flex buttstock combo, I recommend spending another $25.99 and buying the Mossberg Flex Recoil Pad for added comfort and recoil reduction.

The whole point of showing you these accessories is to show you that you can find ways to upgrade your Mossberg with specific attachments that will make the biggest difference in user experience.

Maverick 88 vs Mossberg 500

The most noticeable difference between the shotguns is the safety mechanism is located in front of the trigger assembly for a cross-bolt safety on the Maverick 88. The Mossberg 500 series all have their shotguns with ambidextrous safety located on top of the receiver for a quick and easy transition.

The Maverick 88 uses the same Accu-choke system that is found in all Mossberg shotguns, which helps with the uniformity of the pellets. Since Maverick Arms is located in Eagle Pass, TX (near the Mexican border), they’re able to produce some of their parts in Mexico to keep the cost down.

The Maverick 88 only comes in black, which also keeps the cost down versus the many different models of the Mossberg 500 series.

Why Should I buy the Maverick 88?

The Maverick 88 is essentially the same shotgun with a different trigger assembly and made in a different location than most Mossberg’s. I would buy this shotgun in a heartbeat if I wanted a dependable shotgun for home defense that isn’t going to break the bank. The best attribute of the Maverick is it’s almost entirely interchangeable with the Mossberg 500.

You can easily change out the barrel and put on a Mossberg 500 barrel for an instant upgrade or change the stock to provide a better recoil pad. The only thing you cant change out is the trigger assembly and the cross-bolt safety mechanism.

Either way, you won’t be able to find a shotgun for $200 anywhere in the world that matches the reliability, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Reliability

What’s to say, It’s a pump-action shotgun.  Pump-action shotguns are the revolvers of the shotgun world.  You pull the trigger and it goes boom…every damn time. Setting aside the chance of a freak failure, this boom stick will run.

Ease of Maintenance

Due to the nature of how a pump-action shotgun works, you won’t have to worry about disassembly that often.

A pump action shotgun only has one area that any carbon or other residue is going to get and that’s the barrel.

Pull a bore snake through it two or three times after you’re done shooting for the day and you’re good to go.  There isn’t much to the Mossberg Maverick 88.  Snake the barrel and keep pumping.

Is The Maverick 88 Good For Home Defense?

The Mossberg 500 is famous for its use as a home defense shotgun, but the Maverick 88 brings that same utility to the table in a more affordable package.

For a lightweight home defense shotgun, the Maverick 88 is incredibly accurate and well-balanced. The fixed cylinder choke allows for tight shot patterns at close range. You’ll be hard-pressed to find the accuracy of this shotgun in a comparable pump-action shotgun.

Having renowned reliability in the pump-action niche, the Maverick 88 features dual-action bars to guarantee reliable cycling without any binding and an anti-jam shell elevator. It promises a smooth, consistent shot every time; something you NEED when protecting your home and family.

The Maverick 88 pump is ribbed for your pleasure giving you a positive grip in all situations. The dual extractors keep everything nice and efficient. And the simple brass bead front sight is simple and easy to see. We prefer a bead site for a home defense shotgun for the mere fact of simplicity under stress.

Conclusion

A Mossberg Maverick 88 shotgun is going to give you great dependability, durability, and accuracy at an affordable price. You’ll have the same quality features as the Mossberg 500 with the twin action bars, steel-to-steel lockup, dual extractors, and the anti-jam elevator.

MOSSBERG MAVERICK 88 SECURITY

$265.99
at Guns.com
Prices accurate at time of writing

The barrels are easily interchangeable if you want to replace a barrel or if you want a Mossberg 500 barrel. The Maverick 88 is great for newer shooters who want to get into hunting waterfowl or buying their first home defense shotgun. As many Texans will confirm, the Maverick 88 makes for a great truck gun due to its durability and price point.


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Table of Contents

  • Maverick 88
  • Maverick 88 Specs
  • Where Can I Buy The Maverick 88 All Purpose?
  • Maverick 88 Security Top-Folding Shotgun
  • Maverick 88 Security Specs
  • Where Can I Buy Mossberg 88 Security?
  • Mossberg 88 Bantam Shotgun
  • Mossberg 88 Bantam Specs
  • Where Can I Buy The Maverick 88 Bantam?
  • Mossberg Maverick Thunder Ranch HS 12 Over/under
  • Mossberg Maverick Thunder Ranch Specs
  • Where Can I Buy The Maverick Thunder Ranch Shotgun?
  • Maverick 88 Cruiser
  • Maverick 88 Cruiser Specs
  • Where Can I Buy the Maverick 88 Cruiser?
  • Maverick 88 Upgrades
  • Maverick 88 vs Mossberg 500
  • Why Should I buy the Maverick 88?
  • Reliability
  • Ease of Maintenance
  • Is The Maverick 88 Good For Home Defense?
  • Conclusion

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