View Full Version : Are Mossbergs 'Cheap?'

April 5, 2008, 06:37 PM
Okay, I don't own any shotguns, and I am not (yet) a hunter, though I would love to go someday. I just joined a gun club for handgun and rifle shooting specifically. And a few times a month a lot of the members get together and shoot clay pidgeons. I thought it would be cool to buy a shotgun and join in on the fun. I got really excited after I found out that I could get a Mossberg Over-Under for around $500. However, I got unexcited after doing some reading on the forums and noticing that most people in this sport are using a lot more expensive guns. So, for a while I just tossed aside the idea of getting a shotgun at all, because I really do want to own a gun that I can enjoy and be proud of. But there is no way I can spend thousands on shotgun (The wife and I are almost out of debt, and she would literally kill me). Why join a car race driving a Dodge Neon if everyone else is driving Ferrari's, no? So someone enlighten me, should I stick to rifle shooting? I will absolutely not get offended at any response. Is a Mossberg cheaply made? Will it be far less reliable? Will it kill my shoulder? Will it be a lot less accurate for shooting skeet?


April 5, 2008, 07:04 PM
Are you going with a bunch of wealthy guys? If so plan on spending boat loads of money. If you are going to just have fun, find a shotgun that fits and go have fun.

Mossbergs are good guns. If they were cheapys then sombody please tell me why they have been in buisness so long. Yes I am partial, I do not have a over and under, I do have 3 500 pumps. They have been used for everthing from starlings to squirrels to deer. Never had to take to shop for repairs. Only taken a part to clean.

Shooting clays is a blast, If you go let us know how bad the addiction is:D

April 5, 2008, 07:18 PM
I have Winchesters,Mossbergs and Remingtons. The AVERAGE shooter will not normally wear one out.

I just picked up(from F-I-L) a 40? year old(older than me) Montgomery Wards shotgun(made by Mossberg). It is a Polychoke pump. The slide action feels like it is on ball bearings, and the trigger is, oh-so-lite!
I see nothing wrong with this well-worn-in shotty.

If Mossberg is cheap, it must be something new!

April 5, 2008, 07:33 PM
Mossberg's are inexpensive, reliable guns. If you find one you like, go with it. I own a Mossberg 500 and I've had zero issues with it. Good gun and a good price.

April 5, 2008, 07:54 PM
brock you were asking about mossberg over unders? lots of broken firing pin problems reported on the net. thier pumps are affordable and have a long service life. if you want resonably affordable trap/skeet/sporting clays gun, look for a clean used rem 1100. just match the barrel length and choke to the shooting you want to do. fwiw bobn

April 5, 2008, 08:01 PM
Over under issues discussed here,

April 5, 2008, 08:18 PM
If you want to bust some clays and are looking for something inexpensive then I would look at pump shotguns.

April 5, 2008, 08:22 PM
I own 2 mossberg pumps (500 and 835) and 4 Remington pumps (31 and 3x870's). Good guns all. Never tried the mossberg over and unders but both of mine have given great service with bare bones maintenance (cleaning).

April 5, 2008, 10:10 PM
"Mossberg's are inexpensive, reliable guns. If you find one you like, go with it. I own a Mossberg 500 and I've had zero issues with it. Good gun and a good price."

I'm one of those old coots who shoots expensive SKB


doubles at the trap range, but there's nothing that they can do any better than a Mossberg. Yes, they have expensive walnut stocks and lots of engraving on the receivers, but they won't shoot any better than a Mossberg 500 if you do your part.

I had a Mossberg .22 that I got as a gift when I was a little kid. It must be around 70-or-more years old by now. I reblued the barrel and refinished the stock and gave it to my friend's son. It's still working just fine.

Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. If the Mossberg fits you well, and fits your budget, I'd say go for it.

cool hand luke 22:36
April 5, 2008, 11:06 PM
Mossberg with it's aluminum receiver supposedly doesn't compare well to the Remington 870 with its steel receiver.

I doubt the average shooter will ever have cause to stress the aluminum receiver enough to have an issue with it.

Based on my experience, I'd say Mossberg has great customer service. I'm happy with my 500.

April 6, 2008, 12:12 AM
I have some input on this one. About two weeks ago I noticed the safety on my Moss 500 wouldn't go fully into the "safe" position so I decided to rip it down and see what the problem was. In the last 3 years, this gun has done nothing but be the "barn gun" meaning it's with me every day for critter control and spends most of it's time standing by my bench in the shop or on the back of the truck in the yard. The safety was hung-up with a lead pellet, I don't recall the last time I had a leaking hull, best guess is maybe four or five years ago. By now it should be obvious that this gun doesn't get the attention it should but it sits with the magazine loaded and the chamber empty, it's a grab & go work gun. If you would see the amount of crud that was in the action, it's no wonder it worked at all - wood & metal dust & chips combined with oil, sand & dust. Despite all the crud and lack of any maintenance, never even so much as a hint of not functioning properly with the eception of the safety that rarely gets used. I've owned three Mossberg 500's over the years and have only one complaint about them...the stocks are not friendly to me, I can shoot with them but they bust my cheek and there's no way I can run more than a few rounds through one with the OEM stock on it. As for durability, the first 500 I had I used for comp shooting and put many thousands of rounds of OOB & slugs through it w/o a problem.

Now a little comment on the shooting against the "expensive guns". I was an occasional attendee of a sporting clays shoot at a club in northeast PA where the average shooter had more money invested in shooting accessories than I did in my guns, ammo and pick-up truck combined. I went there to shoot because I liked the range, not to show off my latest brand name tag and that months new sports car. Everytime I went there, I got snubbed by the yuppie show-offs.

The last time I shot there, I showed up in my typical work clothes, jeans and a sleeveless tee shirt. After being snubbed for showing up at the previous shoot with my "cheap junk Ithaca 600 O/U", this time I brought my old plain barrel well worn model 12 in 20ga that was built about 40 years before I was born. That was back before my body totally crapped out on me and I could still shoot good. As I made my way to the first station there was all kinds of laughter and ugly comments about me and my old piece of $h%t gun. I was last man on the first station and dusted the single and two sets of doubles. As the snobs stood there with their jaws on the ground, I turned around and said, "now, y'all were saying what about my old POS gun?" Not bragging but in the six rounds I shot that day, I scored 20+ on every one which kept me 3-4 birds ahead of the next best score on each round. I was shooting against guys with custom and semi-custom guns they paid multiple thousands of dollars for. But, what really burned their @$$es was that not only did I whip them using an old farmer gun but all 150 rounds of ammo I fired that day were Magtech brass hulls loaded with black powder & 7/8oz of #5 shot.

It ain't the gun, it's how well the gun fits the shooter and how well the shooter can shoot. The most important thing you need to do is try all the different guns you can find and handle and choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. Years ago I paid a lot for a Remington 3200 O/U and couldn't hit a dang thing with it, had the same results when I dumped a small fortune on a Browning O/U. After I sold the Browning about a week after I bought it, I put that money into a Krupp SxS built just after the turn of the century (the 1900 one), it fits me right and I can shoot it but on the same note, while that Krupp is real sweet and real expensive, I'm just as deadly with a good ole heavy & cheap Steven 311 SxS but I really prefer to carry the much lighter Krupp on an all-day hunt as opposed to the Stevens boat anchor.

Get what fits you and what you can shoot. Forget the BS about brand name and cost because if you go dump $20,000 on a fancy Merkel and if you can't hit anything with it, what's the point of having it?

April 6, 2008, 01:40 AM
The Mossberg Silver Reserve over/unders aren't made by Mossberg. IIRC they're made in Turkey, hence the quality control is not on par with the Mossberg pumps that they've become renown for.

If you are just going to hunt with this gun, and therefore shoot 5k-10k, and you really want an over/under, I'd go with one of the CZ double barrel guns. They're also made in Turkey, but CZ has a longer warranty, and it's just a few hundred more for one of theirs. I see them on the net for $600-700 all the time.


April 6, 2008, 05:59 AM
Well, in light of what Zeede said, I'll change my suggestion to "pick out what fits you and you are comfortable with - provided it is not made in Turkey"

If you want very good quality at an affordable price, how about an Izhevsky? They're a little hard to find but I was impressed with the quality, craftsmanship and handling.

April 7, 2008, 06:59 PM
Are Mossberg's cheaper guns - yes. Will they stand up to some casual use at sporting clays, trap and skeet - yes.

The better pump guns on the market are the Remington 870 Wingmaster and the Browning BPS. Personally I like the Browning - it has neutral cast and ejects out of the bottom so it's a good gun for a left handed or right handed shooter. New they are running around $ 500 - and I doubt it's a gun that you would ever be sorry to own.

Fit - is the real issue on a shotgun over anything else. Drop at comb, heel, lenght of pull, etc are big deals because your eye is the rear sight on a shotgun. Its important all of that fits you - so the shotgun hits where you are looking. By changing pads, using stick on comb pads, etc most guns can be made to fit. Shotguns just don't come in one size fits all - but you have to start somewhere and a good pump gun is not a bad idea - and get it set up to fit you - and go from there. Its always a good idea to shoot some different guns and see how they fit and feel - but fit is only somelthing you can do at the pattern board / not shooting at moving targets. Then make the adjustments and have some fun.

You can walk onto any skeet, trap or sporting clays field and have a good time with a pump gun. Noone cares what you shoot as long as you're fun to be around and you're safe. A lot of guys choose to shoot $ 2500 - $ 10,000 shotguns - because they fit, they are more long term guns, and because they can. As you advance in the sport, make a little more money - you will probably invest in some more guns if you like it - if not just keep shooting the pump. I prefer other guns - but I still drag the old pump guns out once in a while just for the heck of it.

April 7, 2008, 07:12 PM
I have a Mossberg 500 and I've been very pleased with its simplicity and reliability. My shooting buddy has one too, although it hasn't been cared for very well. I told him I'd take it home and go through it for him. When I broke down his gun, I was amazed. The mag tube was rusted in place, and the receiver components (bolt, bolt slide, trigger assembly, everything) were all rusty too...I mean bad. I think this gun had been dropped in a pond or something. So what's the big deal? It still fired and functioned without any trouble. It's all cleaned up now, and operates more smoothly, but my hat's off to Mossberg for a design that can perform even when badly abused. Maybe the more expensive shotguns can perform just as well when not maintained well, but I would say Mossbergs may be cheap in price, but they haven't sacrificed reliability one bit. Don't be peer-pressured into buying something more expensive just for a more distinguished name.

April 7, 2008, 09:54 PM
Last Year I decided to try trap shooting at my club, I bought a used Remington 1100 from a friend for $200 and thought I would give it a try. I have only been able to bust 23 birds max so far, but that is also what some of the guys that paid multi thousands of dollars hit too. When my son-in-law visits he goes with me and hits 20-22 with my old Mossberg 500 my grandfather gave to me in 1971.

I would buy what you can afford and enjoy yourself. I sounds like you are responsible with your money, there will be time for expensive shotguns later.

April 7, 2008, 10:45 PM
+1 to pretty much everyone here. The difference between Neons and Ferraris is far greater than that of Mossbergs and $10,000 shotguns. A stock Neon will never beat a Ferrari. Mossbergs and Remingtons do beat Browning Citoris and shotguns that cost ten times what those do. That's not to say you won't get any advantage from a nicer shotgun, or a cool factor. But you certainly don't need one. I love my Mossberg pump. I've heard mixed reviews about their doubles, I believe their firing pins were brittle, but as Zeede mentioned, that's because they're not an in-house job. I've shot my "cheap" 835 at fancy clubs. It always works. I know some pretty wealthy people that stick to 870s and 835s, too, because they always work, and they don't need anything else. Get what you like, bearing in mind every dollar you save on a gun is more ammo to practice with.

April 8, 2008, 12:43 AM
Fit - is the real issue on a shotgun over anything else. Drop at comb, heel, lenght of pull, etc are big deals because your eye is the rear sight on a shotgun. Its important all of that fits you - so the shotgun hits where you are looking. By changing pads, using stick on comb pads, etc most guns can be made to fit. Shotguns just don't come in one size fits all - but you have to start somewhere and a good pump gun is not a bad idea - and get it set up to fit you - and go from there."

My trap gun is a SKB M200E SxS double, not your usual trap gun. It's just that I happen to like SxS better than O/U and have had lots of practice. I got some disparaging looks until I shot my first perfect 25, and the guys with their Benelli and Perazzi O/Us were about ready to toss them in the trash.

Fit is important, though. I took mine to a smithy and had a recoil pad installed on it and had him increase the length-of-pull by 1/2". Made a world of difference to me.

Find the gun you like best, fits you well, works within your budget, and don't give a $%*@ about what anyone else thinks.