4 Most Common Mossberg 535 Problems & How To Fix

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I’ve spent some quality time with the Mossberg 535, taking it out to the field and putting it through its paces, and during my time with it, I stumbled upon a handful of issues that I think you should know about.

The main problems I encountered include issues with the factory sights, feeding problems, a rather stiff trigger pull, and some unexpected patterning outcomes. 

I’m about to dive into each of these problems in detail and offer some handy solutions to help you get the most out of your Mossberg 535.

Overview of Mossberg 535 Problems & Solutions

Mossberg 535 ProblemsSolutions
Low Factory SightsInstall elevated aftermarket sights.
Feeding IssuesReplace fore-end assembly and cartridge stop.
Stiff Trigger PullSwap out for a metal trigger guard.
Inconsistent PatterningExperiment with different types of chokes.

Top 4 Mossberg 535 Problems & Solutions

1. Problem with the Factory Sights

Ah, the factory sights. While they may look alright at first glance, using them is a different story. During my sessions at the range, I noticed these sights sit super low on the rib. 

Yeah, you heard that right—really low. What does that mean for us? Well, it forced me to get down low on the stock. 

And let me tell you, that isn’t comfortable. My cheekbone didn’t appreciate the experience and took some punishment from the stock every time the shotgun recoiled. It’s not a pleasant feeling, folks.


After getting tired of the bruised cheekbone situation, I opted for aftermarket sights. These elevated sights were basically a game-changer. 

The difference in comfort is immediate, and they allow for a more natural head position. Once installed, the higher profile of these sights takes the pressure off your cheekbone, making the recoil feel way more manageable. 

So, if you’re dealing with the same sight-induced discomfort, upgrading to Truglo or another quality aftermarket sight can be your ticket to a more enjoyable shooting experience. Trust me; your cheekbone will thank you.

2. Feeding Problem

So, you might remember me talking about the feeding issue before. This time, I found the exact culprit: the cartridge stop. 

No matter how hard I tried, the shotgun wouldn’t feed shells from the magazine tube. It’s like the cartridge stop was holding a grudge against me! 

To get the shell to move, I had to slam the fore-end pretty hard, and even then, it was hit or miss. 


So, here’s what I did: Initially, I went the DIY route, filing and bending the cartridge stop and slide rails. But that only offered a temporary fix and left me feeling uneasy about the cartridge stop’s reduced contact with the shell. 

Finally, I got smart and contacted Mossberg directly. They sent me a new fore-end assembly with rails and a cartridge stop—no questions asked. 

Once I replaced these parts, it was like night and day. The shell cleared the cartridge off easily, and the action felt way smoother. So, if you’re going through the same ordeal, save yourself some time and headaches—reach out to Mossberg. They’ll get you sorted.

3. Issue with the Trigger Pull

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty—the trigger issue. The Mossberg 535 comes with a plastic trigger guard, which sounds fine until you actually use it. 

What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, during one of my outings, I found that the plastic trigger guard was a bit too fragile for my liking. It broke, leaving me in a tough spot. 

Now, if you’re out in the field or at the range, the last thing you want is a broken trigger guard, believe me. It’s not just inconvenient; it’s downright unsafe and can compromise the whole firearm.


Repairing this issue was more expensive than I’d have liked, making me wish I’d been proactive about it. After some research and a bit of shopping around, I replaced the stock plastic trigger guard with a metal one. 

You might think it’s overkill, but safety is paramount, and a metal trigger guard brings peace of mind. This simple swap made the shotgun more reliable and robust. 

So, if you’re dealing with a similar issue, or even if you’re not, it might be a good idea to upgrade that plastic trigger guard to a metal one before it becomes a problem.

4. Patterning Problem

Alright, let’s dive into another issue that had me scratching my head—the patterning problem. I’ve tried a variety of shells, from 3-inch to 3 1/2-inch, expecting to see consistent patterns on the target. 

But nope, the Mossberg 535 was all over the place. You see, an inconsistent pattern doesn’t just mess with your accuracy; it can also be quite disheartening when you’re looking forward to some rewarding shooting. 

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; I was genuinely baffled by how a shotgun that should be reliable was giving me this sort of headache.


After some meticulous trial and error, I started to suspect that the choke was the primary offender. So, what did I do? I switched it. 

I tried different types of chokes, ranging from full to improved cylinder, and eventually found the one that gave me the most consistent pattern. It’s amazing how such a small change can make a big difference in performance. 

Once I switched out the choke, my issues with the Mossberg 535’s patterning cleared up, and my confidence in the shotgun was restored. 

If you’re experiencing similar issues, my advice is to start with the choke and experiment until you find what works best for you.

Final Verdict

Wrapping up, the Mossberg 535 offers a lot for anyone in the market for a reliable, versatile shotgun. With its sturdy design, it’s got the potential to be a true field companion. But hey, it’s not without its challenges. 

The factory sights need a revamp, feeding can be a real pain, the trigger pull is on the stiffer side, and don’t even get me started on the patterning inconsistencies. 

However, with a few tweaks, like upgrading the sights, getting a new fore-end assembly, and switching to a metal trigger guard, this shotgun can perform well.


Is the Mossberg 535 a good turkey gun? 

Yes, the Mossberg 535 is considered one of the best choices for turkey, small game, and deer hunting.

How many rounds does a Mossberg 535 hold? 

The Mossberg 535 has a 6+1 round capacity.

Is the Mossberg 535 drilled and tapped? 

Yes, the Mossberg 535 ATS has a hard-anodized aluminum alloy receiver that is drilled and tapped to accept optics mounts.

What choke does a Mossberg 535 take? 

The Mossberg 535 takes chokes compatible with Mossberg 12 Gauge 500, 535, 930, and Maverick 88 threaded barrels.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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