Mossberg and the IHEA Team Up to Make Training Shotguns

The IHEA celebrated it’s 60th anniversary as one of the country’s oldest and most successful hunting organizations with a limited-edition Henry Golden Boy lever-action .22.  Sixty years of teaching people how not to shoot each other whilst simultaneously shooting at other things.

They teach all types of shooting safety, whether you prefer shotguns, rifles, plinkers, or even bolts and arrows.  The fact that orange is the color of hunting safety is because of the IHEA.

And together with Mossberg, they’re making an entire line of orange-stocked firearms for people to train with.  Or rather, they’re nonfirearms; they don’t function.  They look and feel and handle like real weapons, but put all the ammo you want in their magazines, pulling the trigger just makes a clicky noise, no bang.

All of these trainers are made with real gun steel and finished blue, with synthetic stocks, lever-action rifle notwithstanding (it gets wood furniture—albeit bright orange wood furniture) so with the only exceptions being the color and bang, they’re identical to the real deal.

Mossberg’s making five different tastyfakes: the Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun, Mossberg 930 semiautomatic shotgun, Maverick Hunter Over-and-Under break-action shotgun, the Mossberg 464 lever-action rifle, and the Mossberg International 802 Plinkster bolt-action rimfire rifle.  They all have functioning safeties, which just makes our brains hurt.

You can get the whole set for thirteen hundred bucks or the set in a rolling travel box for $1,500.  That’s… That’s real gun pricing, almost.

OK, we get it, we understand the argument of having guns that are good for training and that can’t hurt anyone unless you club them with them, but you can do all that with real guns sans bullets.  There is always the risk of things turning all Brandon Lee but honestly, if you’re training with guns you know can’t hurt people, aren’t you just going to train in mistakes along the way?

A gun is always loaded, even when you can see that it’s not.  These don’t follow that rule.  But what do you think?  Since an unloaded firearm is as dangerous as these fakes, is pretending they’re dangerous somehow different than pretending bright orange fraud is?  Is training with fake guns a good idea, a bad idea, or no different than practicing with the real thing and snap caps?

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More