View Full Version : Tacticals.... 870 or Mossy Special Purpose

April 3, 2009, 05:48 PM
I was looking at both the Remington 870 Tac-2 and some of the Mossberg Special Purpose shotguns, probably the 9 shot 590A1.

Pros/Cons to each?

Dave McC
April 3, 2009, 07:55 PM
Both great choices. The 870 may hold up longer under heavy use, but the Mossy will take lots of rounds also.

Get the one that FEELS best....

April 3, 2009, 08:37 PM
I like the 870

April 3, 2009, 08:57 PM
Kind of a Ford vs. Chevy, Miller vs. Budwiser, etc. Both are good guns. One thing to take into consideration is fit of the SG.

April 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
Well said Ilmonster.

April 4, 2009, 06:03 AM
the age old question.

standard answer - go the the range and rent each and shoot them, decide which you like better.

I assume you're going to at some point, tac it out (make it extra tacticool), look around online at what sort of aftermarket parts you want, the prices and availability and that may help you decide.

biggest differences (others may have different points) -

remington - safety on trigger guard (take finger off trigger to manipulate)
mossy - safety on back of gun (don't have to take finger off trigger, at least until you add a stock with a pistol grip) PGO (pistol grip only) you can still manipulate.

remington - flap that covers elevator (can pinch, or so I've heard, never been pinched by my 870)
mossy - no flap (no problems due to no flap with my 590 either)

mossy - (590) bayonet lug.
rem - no bayonet lug

if you get the 590a1 you get a steel trigger guard and safety, the 590 both are polymer (plastic) but I've never had any issue with either. I've heard that some people have broken theirs. you can replace both.
the 590a1 also has a stronger barrel.

both have a lot of similar aftermarket parts avail, but if you add a pistol grip stock to the mossy, get a drop stock spacer so that the stock is at a comparable level (angle) to the factory stock. w/o one, it may be hard to use your bead sight/ghost ring/whatever sights you have.

I own both and love each of them

my remington, in my opinion, is more versatile, can be tactical, or hunting, and more recently a trap gun.

but my mossy is definitely more badass, all tactical and my choice for HD out of the two.

mostly because I purchased/outfitted my remington for hunting first, and bought the 590 for the sole purpose of HD, but your experience may vary.

for the price point, at least around here (san diego), I would go mossberg 590 (8+1, heat shield), if you're thinking of spending the extra for the 590a1, I might lean towards a nice 870 with wood rather than synthetic and an extra barrel, more of a hunting gun which you can 'tac up'.

do not, or at least seriously reconsider getting a PGO. do get an adjustable stock. stay away from folding top stock of side fold, IMO all looks and little function.

Also, FYI when/if you add pistol grip stock, be aware that a number of them make it very hard if not impossible to remove trigger assembly w/o first removing the pistol grip.

Also, the magazine follower on some 590 can get held up inside magazine tube if you try to put too many shells in (on interior of magazine tube/or spring gets twisted on itself, easy fix, but annoying)

have fun and shoot straight (safe)

If you haven't any SG experience, at the range, buy some magnum 3" slugs and give them a try...booya! fun stuff.


April 4, 2009, 07:12 AM
I prefer the 870, but have no argument with anyone who prefers the Mossberg 590. I would not feel the same about the Mossberg 500 however.

The often quoted comparison of the safety is incorrect however. The 870 safety is much quicker and easier to manipulate, even for left handers. The mistake people make is using the tip of the finger to manipulate the safety button. For a right handed person use the second pad of the trigger finger to depress the button. The finger is layed along side the trigger guard, or can be placed inside the triggerguard before depressing the safety. The movement is exactly the same as releasing the safety on a Garand or Mini 14. To put the gun back on safe simply reach behind the triggerguard with the middle finger and press the button. A left hander simply reverses the process. It is possible for a left, or right handed person to engage or disengage the safety with out ever removing the finger from the triggerguard.

The Mossberg safety is not on the tang as is often quoted. Most doubles have the tang mounted safety. The Mossberg safety is on top of the receiver where it can, and often is broken or accidently disengaged. In order to manipulate the Mossberg safety requires you to have your thumb in the wrong position to correctly fire the gun. After disengaging the safety with a Mossberg you must reposition the thumb before you can fire. Unless you want to get your thumb in your nose when you pull the trigger.

The 590 is a good gun and has its strong points. But the Mossberg safety is one of its worst features.

April 4, 2009, 08:07 AM
Alright well thanks for all the input, guys!

Lee Lapin
April 4, 2009, 12:59 PM
remington - safety on trigger guard (take finger off trigger to manipulate)
mossy - safety on back of gun (don't have to take finger off trigger





Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.


Evan Thomas
April 4, 2009, 01:30 PM
Lee Lapin, that is a most excellent post... I was all set to jump on that, and you said it much better than I would have.

If you haven't any SG experience, at the range, buy some magnum 3" slugs and give them a try...booya! fun stuff.

Ouchy-wow-wow! :eek: This is maybe not the best advice to give a new shooter.

If you haven't any SG experience, consider starting with light loads, and also consider getting some instruction from a professional. Or at least some advice from someone at the range who does know what he/she is doing...

April 4, 2009, 02:08 PM
I vote 870, heres mine


April 4, 2009, 02:20 PM
I've shot before and whatnot, this will just be my first gun.

By no means have I shot a lot of guns but I've shot some. Such as 12 ga - slug and buck, 20 ga, .308, .45 etc...

April 4, 2009, 02:26 PM
I have both, and they are both excellent guns. I will have to give my vote for the 870. Mine, and every Mossberg 500 I have held, the forend feels a little loose and clatters. So the 870 gets the vote for being a little more "stealthy".

April 4, 2009, 06:16 PM

EDIT: By the way, where can I get a Fore-End like RCP. The Fore-End on my Remington looks ugly. I prefer the 870 express fore-end. I just can't seem to find that specific fore-end, its driving me crazy.

April 5, 2009, 09:25 AM
That is a speed feed forend which comes factory on the model 870 tactical

April 5, 2009, 10:05 AM
A buddy wanted to buy a .12ga. so i said go Remington 870,he bought a Mossberg because it was cheaper.I told him to bring it over so i could look at it,he got an extra pistol grip and a heat shield?with it.After looking at it i brought out one of my 870's that was an ex Wells Fargo trade in that i had stripped and reparked,and i had a total of $79 in.He worked one and then the other and then said lets trade.As far as feel and sound of the action locking up,he said it was like the difference of shutting the door on a Caddy and then a Yugo.

April 6, 2009, 01:51 AM
Thanks RCP

EDIT: Is there/are there, any gun shops like turners or Bass Pro which will sell fore-ends separate?

April 7, 2009, 09:06 AM
I think the 870's are nice, but I'm gonna have to vote Mossberg 590 : http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/49/l_377be23a2e8e9cab993ce7df6e1e03c5.jpg

April 7, 2009, 10:07 AM
the only reason i have a mossburg now is becuse I shoot left handed and prefer the safety, the 870 would probably be my choice otherwise, both great guns.

April 9, 2009, 06:43 PM
For a right handed person use the second pad of the trigger finger to depress the button. The finger is layed along side the trigger guard, or can be placed inside the triggerguard before depressing the safety.

The 590 is a good gun and has its strong points. But the Mossberg safety is one of its worst features.

While I have no problems with safety release locations such as those found on the 870, Benelli, etc., I'm not sure I can agree that this is the "ideal" location when it comes to an HD weapon. Reason is that, even though the Mossberg safety release location might "put your thumb in a less than ideal location" as you inferred, this is a much less "finite" movement vs the method/advantage you propose when dealing with a guard mounted safety. Given the stressful nature of a violent HD encounter, finite motor skills can decreased by a large measure.

I can imagine a scenario where a stressed individual tries to release the safety (say, on an 870) using one of the methods you propose, all while having no idea that he/she also has a finger on the trigger..with pressure applied; or that he/she discovers that they are having issues being able to "feel" or find the safety release. This, IMHO, is a recipe for disaster and therefore, would require an extensive amount of practice to overcome.

Thus, I believe the Mossberg safety may be optimal, given this particular type of situation, as it requires less "specific" movement and does not require that your fingers be anywhere near the trigger in order to disengage/engage the safety. Plus, I believe the location of the Mossberg safety release offers a higher degree of visibility (ie., status) as its practically right in front of your face. If you fire and get a facefull of thumb (concerning HD anyway) so be it....at least you fired. Under stress and within typical HD ranges, I doubt anyone would notice anyhow.

Shotguns with guard mounted safety releases require more precise "feel" and if under extreme duress, might actually require an individual to cant the weapon a bit (or fumble around trying to feel the release) in order to verify the status of the safety as it is not readily visible.

After all is said and done, given that both types have their respective strengths and weaknesses, it's up to the purchaser/owner of the weapon to decide which one suits him/her the best.

Anyway, back to the original issue at hand. For this, I vote for the 590 as I see no real advantages to the Express other than vast parts availability. If I were to purchase an 870 one day (and I very well may), I would bypass the Express all-together and go directly for the 870 Police.

Of course, if you are like me, any shotgun you own would more than likely not see more than 5,000 rounds through it over a lifetime anyway. Im almost certain that either one of these choices (870 Express or 590 SP) would meet this mark, if nothing else.

April 9, 2009, 08:29 PM
I vote for the 870, but that's just because I'm a Remington man. Either one will work just fine for you. I'd say figure out which safety/slide release configuration you like best and go with that one.