View Full Version : 870 or 500

July 18, 2000, 06:04 PM
which is better in your opinion.
the mossberg or the remington.

REM 870
REM 700

Captain Bligh
July 19, 2000, 07:07 AM
I don't know that it's "better" but I like the 870 better. Two things that I don't like about the Mossy: the safety and the forend.

The safety: I don't like it's location. I prefer one on the trigger guard. It's is, of course, all a matter of personal preference. But all of my other long guns have the safety on the trigger guard and I prefer to stick to what I'm familiar with. Secondly, I hear alot of Mossy owners shoot their safety loose. Poor construction/materials in my opinion.

The fore-end: If you don't hunt this won't matter. But if you want a shotgun that is utilitarian (both home defense and sporting applications), the fore-end on the Mossy is much to noisy IMHO for stealthy kinds of hunting applications. It rattles around. The Remington is much tighter.

These things are highly subjective and highly personal but that's how I decided it.


"Never turn your back on the crew."

July 19, 2000, 07:18 AM
I've shot a couple of Mossbergs. I've owned 3 Remington 870s. Much better gun IMHO.

Patrick Graham
July 19, 2000, 08:08 AM
I've got both and I still can't make up my mind. :)

July 19, 2000, 09:16 AM
The Remington 870 has a lot of fans, but I prefer the 500.The 500 has been tested and approved for US military use, the Remington has not (that I am aware of).Mossberg offers guns from the factory configured for security and home defense functions, Remington does not.Not only do they not offer security models to the public, they sabotage their guns at the factory to discourage civilian use of what they refer to as 'Police'accesories'(extended magazine tubes, sidesaddle shell holders).They do this by creating a dimple in the magazine tube to prevent feeding from an aftermarket extension.Also, the forearm of the 'Home Defense' model is oversized to prevent installation of a side saddle shell holder.
If you want a fine sporting pump for pride of ownership buy a high end 870 Wingmaster. If you want a working pump for security or knocking around buy a Mossberg 500.
Just my opinion, no harm intended.


July 19, 2000, 12:32 PM
The biggest difference to me is the weight reduces felt recoil in the 870 due to it's steel receiver. Have you ever fired slugs out of a shotgun with an aluminum receiver?

Patrick Graham
July 19, 2000, 01:35 PM
Good point.

I guess it depends on what you are going to use the shotgun for. If you are going to hunt deer with 3 inch magnum slugs it would be best to get the 870. The 500 is a light gun and magnums can really rock the shooter.

If you are going to shoot dove with 2 3/4 inch #8 shot get the 500. Light and easy to swing.

[This message has been edited by Patrick Graham (edited July 19, 2000).]

July 19, 2000, 03:33 PM
The 870 was being issued by the services before anyone in North Haven had started producing the 500, I believe.

The Remington police models are readily available to the public. Check with your dealer or SGN/GL.

The 500 and ordinary 870s both have plastic trigger guards, possibly a liability.

If you install a large-head safety on the 870, I don't think it loses anything to the 500 in speed or convenience (at least for a right handed operator). The newest key-lock safeties are another matter entirely, but I assume they can be easily replaced.

The only thing the 590 (not 500) offers that the 870 doesn't is a drop-safe safety, but as Dave McC outlined a month or so ago, this is probably not a real-life issue. (His experience includes 870s dropped from towers at Md prisons.) The 870 is probably more robust, although heavier, with its steel receiver. Toss a coin between the 870 and a 590?

July 20, 2000, 09:43 PM
While working in Texas chasing after snow geese lots of our clients who used the mossbergs (500 or 835) had various problems to include but not limited to: Failure to extract spent shells (lots), Cracked recievers (3) action locked up (2, both 835's) Have yet to see aproblem with the 870, and I have owned a number of them. somewhere around 10,000 rounds and counting with mine, and no problems. Owned a Maverick 88 (mossberg for all practical purposes) that was stamped for 3" but the ejection port wasnt long enough to shuck them out. As far as Military use goes, keep in mind that the winning contact ALWAYS goes to the lowest bidder. I will never own another of their products. All that considered though, for what its worth, they do have really good customer service.


Dave McC
July 21, 2000, 04:57 AM
My views on this are pretty well known, but here goes...

Most PDs and similiar agencies use the 870 for one simple reason, it can take an incredible amount of abuse and keep on working, perfectly. Md DOC had one on the line for training,that fired hundreds/ thousands of shots each year from 1981-1998, and still may. I retired then. Total parts replaced was new wood.

The decisions by Remington brass to add the "Dimples", substitute plastic parts, and now this keyed safety SNAFU merely emphasize the wisdom of getting a used one. Since there's little that ever goes wrong with the 870, buying used means buying quality.

Nothing against the 500, but uncounted generations of my descendants may yet bless my memory for leaving all these 870s to them for protection and food gathering...

G. Kennedy
July 23, 2000, 09:59 PM
Just to clarify, the 500 is not the military approved shotgun. It is the 590 that is, and there is an improved version, the 590A1 (Thicker barrel, beefier extractors, metal safety/triggergroup).

Our military has used plenty of 870's........As well as other brands of shotguns...

G. Kennedy
July 23, 2000, 10:01 PM
Make mine an 870 by the way. They don't wear out, they wear in.....

July 23, 2000, 10:41 PM
I'm still shopping for my first shotgun, and still gathering information. I talked to a dealer yesterday who carries both lines. His opinion was that an 870 Wingmaster is better than a Mossberg 500, which is better than an 870 Express. In most of the discussion about 870s in this forum, I have seen very little distinction between the Wingmaster and the Express. In looking at the 500 and the 870 Express, the Mossberg appeared to have significantly better workmanship, material quality, etc. Obviously, that has nothing to do with how they shoot, but that and other people's opinion is largely what you have to base a decision on. Also, the dealer told me that the warranty on the 870 Express was 1 year, compared with 10 years on the Mossberg. He also said that in his experience, most defects with the Mossberg involved the safety breaking, which is cheap to fix, while the 870 Express has had a wider range of problems.

Again, this is all second hand info that I would like to compare with the experiences of others. Would also really appreciate clarification as to whether a post refers to an 870 Wingmaster or 870 Marine or 870 Express. Thanks in advance to all.

By the way, my present leaning is toward a Mossberg 500 with a 28" barrel from Wal-mart for $195, adding a 20" barrel for HD from Cabela's for $119. Any comments on this strategy and/or prices would be appreciated.

July 24, 2000, 06:17 AM
Sigmund, don't waste your money buying an extra barrel- Walmart can order you a combo gun with a hunting and home defense barrel for under $300 if they don't have one in stock.
The Remington Wingmaster is a fine shotgun, especially the older ones. If you can find a Police trade-in in good shape you would have an excellent weapon. I personally think the Express is too low quality for the money. The Marine Magnum is an excellent protection peice but is very expensive compared to a Mossberg 500 and would be difficult to reconfigure to sporting use. The 590 and 590A1 are also excellent choices but aren't really suited to sporting use either. Hope this helps.


Dave McC
July 24, 2000, 07:08 AM
Funny, the dealer says that a greater variety of problems exist with the Express, the owner of Guns R Us here can't recall that last time an 870 needed work that wasn't the result of owner error, stupidity or abuse.

The HD 870 upstairs has been used to hunt everything from woodcock to whitetails, shot for trap,used in a HD scenario many years ago and has yet to have a glitch. But then, it's only been in the family since about 1956.

If you look around, I'm sure you'll find a used 870 that will suit your needs and those of your descendants for the next century or so.

July 24, 2000, 11:50 AM
pmglock, thanks for the hint. I checked, and the Mossberg Combo has 28" and a 24" barrels. All things being equal, I would prefer a 20" for HD. I'm in no big rush; there are three gunshows in the general area within the next couple months, so I'll check those out before making a decision. I agree with you regarding the workmanship on the 870 Express. It just didn't feel solid. The quality of the wood used for the stock doesn't look as good as that on my Marlin Model 60 .22 (a $95 gun). And the key-lock safety looks particularly cheesy.

July 24, 2000, 09:43 PM
What's wrong with the 870 Express? I've been over every inch of this gun, and except for the polymer trigger guard, the "safety" safety and the matte finish it is identical to the 870 Wingmaster. Is it the ugly wood? I had a Hungarian AK-47 that had the same wood. On the Ak it looked pretty good.

Are there other differences which are more difficult to see?

Dave McC
July 24, 2000, 09:50 PM
Postman, the differences are cosmetic only.
The 20 ga Youth Express upstairs is as smooth as one of my veteran Wingmasters, after a little breakin.