RIP: Serbu Super Shorty, We Hardly Pumped You
The Willy Wonka of gun craft has officially waved goodbye to one of his most famous offerings. The production of the Serbu Super Shorty has ended.
Tampa, Florida’s Mark Serbu announced on Monday that the final four Super Shorty models were being sent out, some of which had been on the waiting list going back three years. “The main reason we discontinued them is because they take our limited resources away from our main products, the BFG-50, RN-50, and BFG-50A,” said Serbu.
During a visit to Serbu’s plant in 2019, he told me a bit about the compact scattergun’s evolution.
“There was a group I was involved with– we’d gone to different events– and this one guy I always hung out with we rented cars together we rented hotel rooms, and I owed him a bunch of money. It was like $500 or $600 bucks,” regaled Serbu. “And he says, eh, ‘instead of giving me money why don’t you just make me a really short Mossberg shotgun, make it the shortest you can.”
After a year of tinkering around with the concept (“Because I hated it and thought it was the dumbest idea in the world. You know, if you have something you just hate, and you can’t do it?”) Serbu gave the world the Super Shorty.
For better or worse, the Super Shorty proved his biggest hit for a long time, with the guns going on to show up in dozens of movies and games including the “Crank,” “Fast,” and “Terminator” franchises. Over the past 20 years, Serbu modded both Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 shotguns in both 20 and 12 gauge to produce the Shorty.
“Now, years later, this is like my ‘Freebird,’ my ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ one of those songs that, while it’s a hit, the artists are just so sick of it,” he said.
Another nail in the coffin of the gun was the fact that it was an NFA item due to the fact it started life as a shotgun and was modified into an Any Other Weapon (AOW). While it only required a Form 4 and a $5 tax stamp, it still was wrapped up in ATF waiting periods and red tape. When firearms like the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington TAC-14 came along after 2017, allowing almost the Super Shorty experience without the ATF having you listed in the NFRTR until the end of time, the market dried up a bit.
Still, you gotta love the old-school cool that is the Serbu Super Shorty.