View Full Version : 870 or 590?

July 2, 2000, 09:53 PM
I'm looking to buy my first pump action shotgun. I've narrowed it down to the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 590. Which is better for reliability, accessories, cost, etc? In other words which would you choose and why?

July 2, 2000, 10:35 PM
I can't believe I'm the first to reply. This is an ancient debate.

Flip a coin. ;)

Okay, seriously? I think the 870 has an edge in durability and ease-of-accessorizing (it simply goes with EVERYTHING, darling. ;)) The former is certainly debatable, the latter is certainly minimal. Cost? The Mossy is a little less expensive, I think.

I'd try them out and see which you like best. The differences are small enough that 'personal ergonomics' will likely be your deciding factor. For instance, some people love the Mossy tang safety. others can't abide it.

For the record, the 870 is THE benchmark by which other pump guns are measured. It got to be that way for a reason. But it is truly telling when even the most die-hard supporter of one gun will readily admit that the other one is perfectly acceptable as well.


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

Dave McC
July 3, 2000, 09:16 AM
I've never seen an 870 worn out from shooting, but then I've only shot them since 1958.

Owned a 500 once, briefly. It worked OK, but I couldn't switch back and forth and keep my chops honed. The 870 was my duty weapon also.

One 870 we had for training was on the line from 1981 to 1998,firing hundreds of rounds each year, maybe thousands. Total of breakdowns, none, total parts needed, new wood.

My bias is showing here, but get the 870. Your Great Grandchildren will thank you....

July 5, 2000, 10:23 PM
870 without question.

Personally, I think it's better on all counts. Virtually indestructable.

old hawk
July 6, 2000, 07:32 AM
stick with the 870 , good advice on the posts here,ive owned both. the early mossys had a staked in swedge fit stock bolt nut in the back of the reciever that would always work itself loose. i didnt like that much after a years shooting heavily.with the 870 youll find more for it , more barrels , riot drees up stuff,mag extentensions ,all sorts of goodies that would make a burglars eyes bulge out. you can swap all sorts of stuff in less thn 5 minutes time on it as well from the squad car to the field,i have my 3rd one now ,an express magnum that will do the 2 3\4 or 3 inch shells, i see no need for 3 1\2's for my shooting.you can get a rifled choke tube for slugs on deer in the am and change it to a mod or full for ducks in the afternoon.the only thing that ever gave on one of mine was a staked in shell stop fell out and was promptly stuffed back in and restaked in 2 minutes with a punch and a few taps.the new one will seem a bit stiff but add a few drops of break free on the sldie rails and bolt sides and cycle it a zillion times , itll get nice and smooth, i usually buff my inner rails and guides carefully removing any flash found on sqaure edges as well mine is smooth as butter now. on the black matte version i own now i had to clean up a bit on the bolt where it rides on the ejector leaf spring no biggie at all. make sure to clean and scrub the bore too as i also had some matte stuff in the bore. also always hand tighten the barrel takedown cap and then one klik more , never over tighten this at all as it will make a problem for you,just lik on a bps or ithaca.if it refuses to shuck a heavy loaded shell scrub the chamber well.
the grease or bluing/black matte stuff makes it stikky sometimes .other than that the shotgun is one of the best yet to own. i like the nylon stocks myself as i tend to really go hard on a gun in the field due to the terrain i deal with (heavy woods and rocks in maine )also less maintenance needed on them other than a wipedown with a rag.

Ned Roundtree
July 6, 2000, 08:47 AM
I have both a Marine Magnum 870 and Moss 590A1. The Remington is without a doubt the superior pump. Go with the 870.

July 6, 2000, 07:10 PM
I believe the 870 is the better choice the previous posts hit upon some of it merits.

I purchased my 870 in 1964 for duck hunting I wanted one more shot than my grandfathers LC Smith double. It seems like I paid around $125.00. Good duck and rabbit gun ended up selling it in 69 to buy a parachute bad move. From 1971 till now I use a Browning A5 which I belive is better than all. About 6 years ago I got the chance to buy my 870 back still in great shape.

The only pump I like better is the Winchester Model 12.

Go with the 870 it will give you years of dependable service.