Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been a fan of Mossberg for many years. How did they win me over? With the FLEX system introduced in 2012. To explain, I have to go way back. I grew up in a family that loved the outdoors and guns were very much a part of our lives. As the youngest grandchild and the only female, I believed it was my job to keep up with my brother and cousins. My mother always told me that I could do anything that I wanted and anything that those boys could do.
However, it was more difficult for me. First, I was younger and they could always outperform me due to the age difference (at least early on). Secondly, their hand-me-downs did not fit. We were not the Rockefellers so everything was used until it was completely used up. I didn’t own a gun that wasn’t passed down from someone else until I was in my late twenties. Rifles presented a big challenge as they were long, heavy, and always about two inches longer than my length of pull. This meant that I had to use iron sights and hold the rifle in a strange manner to reach the trigger. When I tried to use optics, it felt like my head would separate from my neck from the awkward stretching. Shooting was always painful and difficult.
Finally compact rifles became popular and I found a little better fit with them but not just right. Then I came across Mossberg’s FLEX system. This was a game changer for me. I could achieve a good custom like fit easily for the regular price of a rifle or shotgun. The FLEX system is the best kept secret. If you have not tried it, I would urge you to check it out.
My first Mossberg FLEX was in the 308. The FLEX system allows you to change out the stock, forend, and recoil pads without any tools. The comb on the stock is adjustable as well. The 4 position adjustable stock at the shortest setting (12.75 inches) with the thinnest recoil pad (0.75 inches) fit my length of pull with a little room left over for a thick hunting jacket. If I were wearing a thin jacket instead, I would switch to the medium or large recoil pad. I still remember to this day when I put the rifle up to my shoulder and my eye immediately located the target in the full reticle picture. My neck was not stretched like taffy and my shoulder was not pulled to the rear. It was a perfect fit without any maneuvering or pain. I could not believe that shooting a rifle could be so easy. It almost felt like cheating. I have taken a Moose and several whitetail with this rifle. It is cherished in my collection.
Mossberg discontinued the FLEX on their rifles. I can only believe that the concept did not take off because women were not made aware of this product. It is a game changer for women like me who struggle to find a gun that fits. I have steered many in the direction of the FLEX and have not had any complaints. The FLEX is still available on the shotguns. If you are lucky enough to own a Mossberg FLEX rifle, you get the added benefit of sharing the stocks and recoil pads with your shotguns as well. It is also very handy that my husband can use the same rifle and shotgun with a perfect fit for him as well. He need only change the adjustment on the 4 position stock, switch out to the 6 position adjustable tactical style stock, or use one of the other options.
I love my Mossberg FLEX 12 ga. This is the gun that replaced my Winchester 20 ga that was passed down from my mother. I hated to let her gun go, but following family tradition, it needed to be passed on to my niece. I will be the first to admit that I struggle with using shotguns. I am not a passionate bird hunter, I am passionate about rifles, and I just don’t practice. But, I am proud to say that I have taken quite a few clays with this scatter gun and it is ready to defend my home if needed.
The coordinated stocks and forends include black synthetic, Mossy Oak Brea-Up Infinity, and Advantage MAX-4. There are three recoil pads to choose from ranging from 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches. If you like tactical style, you can find a matching adjustable stock and a railed forend that is ready for attachments. There are also many different barrels available for the shotguns including All-Purpose, Slug, Turkey, and Security. They differ in size, colors/styles, sights, rifling, and scope bases.
I sometimes like to take my Mossberg FLEX shotgun and Mossberg FLEX 308 with an assortment of stocks, forends, and recoil pads and lay them all out on the dinning room table. I can then, without any tools, “dress up” each gun and try out many different configurations. I’ll admit to you that it reminds me of when I was young and would play dress up with my dolls. I get to feel like I have a brand new gun, just by changing out the parts. Plus, I don’t have to buy but one shotgun for home defense, clays, and/or hunting. My budget loves that idea.
Once ladies catch on that they can have a shotgun that fits at a reasonable price, Mossberg will have to restock. I hope they also reconsider bringing back the FLEX rifles. Get the word out and tell Mossberg what women want!
MA, WV Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor WV, Nationally Certified Counselor, NRA Instructor
Samantha was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia. She was the youngest of six grandchildren (and the only female) who were raised to love the outdoors and hunting. She started shooting when she was big enough to hold a Winchester model 6, 22 pump action by herself. She has hunted from Texas to Africa. She believes that while Superman gets his power from the sun, her power comes from the outdoors. She lives in Southern West Virginia with her understanding and supportive husband who doesn’t mind showing off her trophies to his buddies.
Samantha decided to pursue her love of psychology and counseling at age 12 (following in her father’s footsteps) and has never looked back. She strives to balance her time in the office helping others with time in the outdoors. She has focused much of her career on helping children and adults who have been abused, neglected, and mistreated. Her biggest rewards come from helping others liberate themselves from their fears and pain to become healthy and happy.