View Full Version : 870 or Mossberg?

April 16, 2009, 09:01 PM
simple question
which would be better for home defense?

April 16, 2009, 09:09 PM
This is a once-a-week question. It's all personal opinion and you'll find about as many will vote for one as for the other. Both have a track record you can trust. If you are looking to buy, then try both, and get the one you like best.

April 16, 2009, 09:21 PM
Once a week? Once a day. He doesn't have to search, he just has to SCROLL DOWN to see the last 4 or 5 discussions.

April 16, 2009, 09:23 PM
The po' folk are voting early it seems!

April 16, 2009, 09:37 PM
Coke or Pepsi? Same difference. Get what you like. I prefer Mossberg, but that's just me. It has more to do with my being a contrarian (spelling?) against the veverable 870 that so many love. You can probably save a few bucks with the Mossy, but either will serve well. BTW, I prefer Pepsi.

roy reali
April 16, 2009, 09:37 PM
Remington 11-87!:D

April 16, 2009, 09:56 PM
I've owned a Mossy 500 and liked it a lot. It's a nice shotgun but it's not quite in the same league as an 870. A Mossy 590 would be a closer match and the prices are pretty close. Anyway for a simple home defense shotty any of the three will do just fine. Now if you're expecting armies of blue helmeted flesh eating Martian zombies I'd say spring for professional grade weapons like an 870 or a 590. ;)

Brad Clodfelter
April 16, 2009, 11:11 PM
Well I started this same poll at a turkey hunting forum. I think I know what them boys will say.

870 by a landslide.

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 10:37 AM
So far, it is completely the opposite from this poll here.

These boys know what works, and shoot tons of shells each year.


April 17, 2009, 11:04 AM
So far, it is completely the opposite from this poll here.I think that's because they are completely different questions. There is no doubt in my mind that for a hunting situation that the 870 points a bit better. Both shotguns will happily digest thousands of rounds over a lifetime but the 870 (and the Mossy 590) are perhaps a bit more durable and would be better choices for a professional. But the OP asked about a SD/HD shotgun and a Mossy 500 will do that job just as well as an 870 for about $100-125 less, and can be had with both an 18" and a 28" barrel for $50 less than an 18" 870. That's money that can be invested in practice or a class.

April 17, 2009, 11:29 AM
As others have said, it probably doesn't matter. I've never shot a newer Mossberg, but their reputation is great. I own an 870 and am very proud of it.

If I were you, I'd shop around and just see if you can find a deal. You really can't go wrong.

April 17, 2009, 11:47 AM
huh, I preffer the mossberg but really thought the 870 would be way in the lead. a thought a lot of guys around here hated mossbergs, or mabey there is just a lot of lefties like me.

April 17, 2009, 11:56 AM
I voted Mossberg due to saftey placement. I have owned both, and for HD I would grab the Mossberg.

April 17, 2009, 12:23 PM
I chose a Mossy 590, but really, I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Both fine shotguns from good companies with long histories.

Good luck!

April 17, 2009, 12:56 PM
This may sound sacrilegious... I don't use a gun's safety, don't anticipate using one, and have no use for one. It's just one more thing to go wrong. When the bolt is is closed, I assume the gun is hot. Consequently, for my gun handling habits, the Mossberg's thumb safety is just something to get in the way. The only controls I want on a pump gun (beyond the cob) are the trigger and release. So, my choice would be between the Remington 870 Express and the Maverick 88. I voted for the R-870-Ex.

Okay, I do have some safeties that I use, but they're really hammer blocks. My S & W Model 52 Master, bullseye pistol is designed to allow dry firing practice when the "safety" is engaged.

April 17, 2009, 01:20 PM
Not only are there so many variants and families of each gun, each individual gun always seem to has it's own chracter. The best gun is going to the one you're comfortable with, kbnow how to use ina high-stress situation and one you've broken in and prepared properly. Personally, I like the Mossberg configuration better and they are usually much cheaper. With a little TLC your garden-variety 500 can turn into a lifelong friend.

April 17, 2009, 01:30 PM
In think the current Rem fans have done give up on posting in the "what is better polls"...

April 17, 2009, 01:58 PM
I like Ford trucks too, but a Chevy will get you there. Mute point. Pick a brand and stay with. You need to know your gun better than your girlfriend. Although some days I can't decide which is more fun!

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 03:42 PM
I can tell you this much if you would hand the 2 guns in this poll to a true machinist that could study each design and funtionablility of parts and what will last longer, the machinist would say 870 hands-down.

You guys are funny when you pick a Mossberg 500 over a 870 Express.

I'm still laughing! :D

April 17, 2009, 03:53 PM
Have used both in the line of duty. Bought a Mossberg 590A1 for my personal shotgun. Remington 870's are rugged....but the Mossy's ergonomics are FAR superior and they are just as rugged. Mossberg gets my vote.


April 17, 2009, 05:02 PM
I can tell you this much if you would hand the 2 guns in this poll to a true machinist that could study each design and funtionablility of parts and what will last longer, the machinist would say 870 hands-down.
Laugh all you like Brad but I spent 20 years of my life as a tool maker (glorified machinist) and I can tell you that it has nothing to do with the purpose at hand. I've owned a Mossy 500. How many lifetimes will it have to last before it qualifies as good enough for home protection? We aren't talking combat here. Home protection. The odds are better that you'll kill yourself by slipping and breaking your neck than a 500 failing in a typical home defense situation. Its a decent shotgun. Not military grade but close. Nobody is saying that the 870 isn't a great shotgun - it is. It's just not that much better that it's a must have in a typical home.

By the way the military buys Mossy 590s now. That would be my choice if I had to go into a bad situation with a pump. The 870 would be my second choice, and I wouldn't feel at all naked with a Mossy 500.

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 05:19 PM
Well your from California, you have an excuse. :D

Just kidding.

The 870 has stood the test of time. That is why over 9 million of them were sold. Repeat buyers on a lot of them, and word of mouth has spread the word. A national poll would reverse these numbers in a heartbeat. ;)

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 05:25 PM
Whether for home defense or for general hunting purposes, the 870 Express is the better gun for any application.

trigger happy
April 17, 2009, 05:32 PM
saying a Mossberg is better in any way just isn't true, it'd be like saying a Ford is as good as a Mercedes, the only way it would be better is if it was stolen because you wouldn't lose as much

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 05:40 PM
saying a Mossberg is better in any way just isn't true, it'd be like saying a Ford is as good as a Mercedes, the only way it would be better is if it was stolen because you wouldn't lose as much

You need to patent that phrase or send it in to Remington.

They just might use it in an ad. :D

April 17, 2009, 05:46 PM
Brad, Don't even try to toss me in a coolifornia bus!... we will scrap!:D
But for me an express is a fry cry from a wingmaster. How many threads of stuck shells in an express chamber since I joined? Can't tell you but more than a dozen by a ways... How many inoperable 500's? None, unless you count the guys that over torque the stock bolt and it won't let the trigger group out.
I take that back, there was one broken barrel mount lug but from the images it appears they torqued the barrel screw too tight in an attempt to close the required gap.
Don't get me wrong... the Rem 870 is a solid platform. But they took the same steps to cheapen down the WM as mossberg did on my Maverick 88 (finish on mine is nice) to compete with the 500 but it is still more.
My point is both are venerable, solid hunting or HD/SD arms. And mine went near 2 decades and several thousand rounds without a tear down.:o
Then when you factor in the excellent lay out of the controls, Mossberg is the only choice for me.

April 17, 2009, 05:52 PM
Trigger happy, What model Mercedes pick up are gonna bring to work?
Will dog box fit? And is it on a good solid drive line capable of handling the ruts and roots in 4 low? How much id the replacement starter, alternator and water pump...
Oh yeah, part for part the mossberg is cheaper to keep running if something should need replaced, upgraded or swapped...
From stocks to barrels!:rolleyes:
we can do this all night:cool:

April 17, 2009, 06:09 PM
I recently acquired a 20 ga 870 express synthetic 18" with extended magazine. Needed 20 ga to protect damaged rotators. At the time of purchase, this combination was either (1) cheaper through Remington and/or (2) only available from Remington. Remind me, what does Mossberg offer with this combination of features for ~$300?

April 17, 2009, 06:28 PM
You got me there... I always felt 6 rounds of 20 gauge from my 18.5 inch barrel will handle 5 intruders (first guy gets 2 com unless I know he has company). I never really thought to plan for more than 5.
If I need more I have shells for that, a 12 guage, a .30-30 and multiple .22 offerings...

Brad Clodfelter
April 17, 2009, 06:50 PM
I have nothing against Moss 500's. They will work if you don't mind the cheaper parts and rattling forearms. I like my 835 because it shoots better than most any other shotgun on the market with the .775 backbore barrel. It will throw some awesome patterns that very few turkeys will ever want to meet. But I'll take my 870 Express over any Mossy anyday of the week for the better made gun. It simply put is a better quality gun that fits better, feels better, looks better, and works better without all the extra rattling features that the Mossy's have. :D

April 17, 2009, 07:11 PM
The rattling is a tactical feature... You don't even have to shuck the action to make an intruder crap his britches! Just jostle and jiggle the gun and any good criminal will know that is a Mossberg 500 in the hands of a redneck guy who ain't about to let his prize 21 inch B&W TV set with chrome rabbit ears be stolen by a punk...:D:eek:

April 17, 2009, 07:21 PM
prize 21 inch B&W TV set with chrome rabbit ears
You just know a collectors item when you see it. :D

April 17, 2009, 07:51 PM
I have both and have carried both at one time or another as a duty shotgun. I do prefer the safety on the Mossberg being right under my thumb. The 670 seems stronger built and easy to find aftermarket stuff- but in a tight spot, that thumb safe on the Mossberg wins hands down, in my experience. My NEXT shotgun is gonna be a mag fed semi auto with banana clips.... :)

April 18, 2009, 05:46 AM
I've owned both.

No question in my mind. 500 all the way.

April 18, 2009, 08:31 AM
Whether for home defense or for general hunting purposes, the 870 Express is the better gun for any application.


April 18, 2009, 10:05 AM
I can tell you this much if you would hand the 2 guns in this poll to a true machinist that could study each design and funtionablility of parts and what will last longer, the machinist would say 870 hands-down.What a hoot! Funny coming from a Remington fan, especially since Remington refused to enter the military shotgun test because they suspected they would lose.

That being said, aside the irritation I have with 870 fanboys and their delusions, EITHER the Mossberg or will work fine for you. My preference is for the Mossy because of the superior location of the safety and slidelock and the lighterweight alloy receiver. The Mossberg is very similar to the Browning BPS actually. That being said, I've carried a 14" Remington at work in the past and I won't hesitate to do it again. It works well but I prefer a lighter longarm.

Almost any US made (HS, Win, Ithaca) and many foreign shotguns will work well also. Basically, a 12g pump is a 12g pump. Learn to use it and shoot it a lot.

Brad Clodfelter
April 18, 2009, 11:52 AM
Actually I'm a Moss 835 fan when it comes to throwing some mean patterns at turkeys. ;)

It shoots very well, that is why I bought it. But even I can look at a gun and take them apart and tell you which is the better built gun.

The 870 smokes the Mossberg pump shotguns.

April 18, 2009, 11:56 AM
The 870 smokes the Mossberg pump shotguns.

Huh!...another pointless opinion proffered without supporting reasons. Unless we are to go strictly by looks alone.

April 18, 2009, 12:02 PM
If you're thinking about a 590A1 model another thing to consider is that you can only get the 18.5" and 20" barrels that came on them. Whereas the 870's you have a lot of different offerings as far as barrels go.

But if you're going for HD and don't plan on doing anything but HD then the Mossberg would probably suit you just as well as the 870 as the others have mentioned.

April 18, 2009, 12:10 PM
Yod, A simple mag tube and spring swap to a 5 round 500 type allows any 500 barrel to be used;) Or modifying a 500 with A-1 trigger group and safety button gives you a 5+1 with the cool stuff in the receiver...

April 18, 2009, 02:14 PM
Brent, did I read you correctly earlier? Because of the finishing levels (like rough chambers), you seem to advocate comparing the Remington 870 Express to the Maverick 88 and the 870 Wingmaster to the Mossberg 500. I tend to agree with you, too many folks think Wingmaster quality when discussing 870 Expresses. Comparing your way really sticks it to Remington when it comes to MSRP.


April 18, 2009, 02:55 PM
Well I own a Wingmaster, and I wouldn't buy an Express, nor would I buy a Mossberg, due to the finish and less polishing of the machined parts. As has been said here enough times, there is nothing wrong with them but they are made to slightly lower standards to achieve that cost savings so you get what you pay for. They will both last about the same and shoot about the same so for SD it's a toss up.

Threads like this tend to just be popularity contests anyway and don't solve anything. In two days another will pop up and people will start over again.

I own a Belgium Browning A-5 12 gauge, and set it up against a Miroku Browning you probably couldn't tell the difference except for the engraving on the barrel. But the Belgium will sell for twice as much. It won't shoot any better however. Same as the Wingmaster vs the Express. Or the Mossy. So what have we once again proved here? As usual, nothing. ;)

April 18, 2009, 04:10 PM
Zippy, That is exactly what I am saying...
Remington WM is a right fine gun. In wood furniture I would think I had a Perazzi in my hands and would fret to think of taking it where I would hunt... The Swamps...
They had to really shave off the quality to get the price near the Mossberg 500 to compete (they seem to think they needed to do this) yet they made a gun that is rust happy with commonly rough chambers that hang on to fired shells unless the buyer polishes it up. So I think IMHO that it is comparable in over all fit and finish or less than that of a Maverick 88 but still more than a 500. My gun has decent bluing and can't remember how many times my sweaty hands have held it as well as had it out in rain or drizzle and only wiped it off and/or sprayed it with WD-40.
But I guess with all less than precise tools some are lucky and slip through as nice pieces. But yeah it do rattle like all Mossbergs...

Dave McC
April 18, 2009, 04:55 PM
This thread is a useless waste of Holy Bandwidth.

I'm a hardcore 870 fan, but if all I had to defend my family and self with was a Mossberg, I'D STILL BE VERY WELL ARMED.


Because I know how to shoot.

A shotgunner is deadly with darn near any shotgun.

A non shotgunner is darn near useless with the best Remington/Mossberg/Benelli/Winchester/Ithaca/ Saiga made.

Put down your mice and go shoot.....

April 18, 2009, 05:11 PM
I was just debating with Junior about whether a 'puter mouse in plural is mice (my thought) or mouses (his thought):rolleyes::D No shooting for me until after the 26th, turkey season down here...

April 18, 2009, 05:13 PM
Get a Browning BPS High Capacity. Best pump on the market hands down !

April 18, 2009, 05:30 PM
i say get both! and a benelli, a ithaca, winchester, some sxses and O/Us :D shotguns rock!

April 19, 2009, 09:09 PM
You can never go wrong with an 870, that'd be my choice!

April 19, 2009, 10:29 PM
dont people ever get tired of debating? its like asking people which do they like better, coke or pepsi

April 20, 2009, 08:09 AM
I have the mossberg so it gets my nod

April 20, 2009, 04:13 PM
I can tell you this much if you would hand the 2 guns in this poll to a true machinist that could study each design and funtionablility of parts and what will last longer, the machinist would say 870 hands-down.

That made me laugh.....Still Laughing.....Give me a minute.......Almost there.....

Whew, ok, um, try telling that to the US military. What gun passed their tests and do they use? wait for it.....

That's right, the good ole Mossberg 590.

April 20, 2009, 04:25 PM
The Mossberg 500 sure didn't pass the military tests. It was the 590. Mossberg had to redesign a different gun just to be eligible to enter the trials. Even then it didn't beat out anyone because they were the only gun tested. The military set a pretty low bar and the Mossberg made the grade. The trials only called for functioning through 3000 rounds. The Remington 870's routinely have gone through over 100,000 rounds when used by trap shooters.

The 590 is a much better choice than the 500 for a self defense gun, but I still much prefer the 870

April 20, 2009, 04:49 PM
Even then it didn't beat out anyone because they were the only gun tested. The military set a pretty low bar and the Mossberg made the grade.

They were the only gun tested because they were the only ones that could build a gun capable of the militaries (low bar) standards. Remington didn't even bother trying with the 870 cuz they knew they would fail. The 590 is offered to the public at around the same if not lower price than the 870. It must be the inferior parts in the 590 that make it so affordable. No, it's the fact that Remington over charges for sub-standard junk. The cost more because remington spends 10x the money on marketing instead of machining.

April 20, 2009, 05:47 PM
This thread is going nowhere fast. Both shotguns go boom just about every time and are both equally good choices...WHY? Well...

One argument for the Remmy is that it is made of slightly better quality. Yes, there are more metal parts which could mean it would only 1/1000 shots where the Mossberg might misfire 2/1000 shots.

But, to cancel that argument out is the Mossberg's higher capacity (out of the box) which means your life might be saved from the extra shot the Mossy gives you.

If you're using a shotgun for home defense you'll be better armed than the bad guy almost every time. I don't think it is worth our while to argue and nit pick every component of 2 guns that have proven themselves extremely reliable.

April 20, 2009, 05:50 PM
You guys are getting goofy now. :rolleyes:

1. The military didn't set a "low bar". They set a bar. It was a difficult one. Mossberg passed their tests. It proved itself a very capable shotgun.

2. Remington chose not to compete. They apparently felt they had about all they wanted with their dominant share of the LE market. Could they have competed and passed the test? Undoubtedly. Could they have outbid Mossberg? Maybe, maybe not. There was probably some reluctance on their part to try, but that is conjecture.

3. The 590 is basically the 500 with a few improvements. I'd hardly call it "redesigning a different gun". The 500 is probably 80-90% of what a 590 is.

4. Both are good shotguns. Both have a few cons and a lot of pros. Emotional statements do not further your case.

Brad Clodfelter
April 20, 2009, 06:37 PM
Well I'll be!

The cheap old Rem 870 Express has passed up the super spec precision quality Moss 500 shotgun here where Mossberg fans reign supreme. :D

It's a miracle.


April 20, 2009, 07:26 PM
Well, if it matters any to the OP, the 870 seems to have a better selection of aftermarket parts and accessories. At least that's the impression I get when trying to find things for my Mossy 500.

April 20, 2009, 08:03 PM
The discussions over which is better will never end. For my money the 870 is the better choice. The 590 is perfectly acceptable, but the 500 just does not make the grade for me. But to use the military trials to justify either gun is just plain nonsense. Have you read the requirements? The guns only had to survive 3000 rounds without falling apart. I don't call that much of a challenge.

April 20, 2009, 08:31 PM
Jmr40 was birthed with a silver spoon in his mouth. His honed tastes for quality boomsticks make him turn his pouty nose up at the Mossy 500. poo poo

April 20, 2009, 09:46 PM
"The guns only had to survive 3000 rounds without falling apart. I don't call that much of a challenge."

Well, it involved just a little more than that. There were extreme heat tests, extreme cold tests, and drop tests to gauge durability and functionality. And yes, there was was that little, unimpressive 3000 round continuous firing of full-power buckshot test. Which, I'm sure you understand, is quite a bit different than firing 3000 rounds of buckshot over some extended period. How many people do you know who have even fired 3000 rounds of buck (about $2400 -2500) in their lifetimes, much less in a continuous firing session? I'm not talking about those who build their "legends" over the internet. I'm talking about real hunters and shooters. Have you shot that many buck loads? I sure haven't. How many combat troops would fire 3000 rounds of buck continuously? Answer: they wouldn't. Most guns will not fire that many rounds in months or even years of service. And BTW, they were tested for functionality and wear after the firing test, so they weren't exactly "allowed" to "fall apart" upon test completion. :rolleyes: Not much of a challenge? LOL...uh huh, right! Could the 870 do this? Of course it could...well, IMO it could. But it's certainly not a hurdle to lightly dismiss. I used to have a copy of the full test protocol. It's here somewhere....

April 20, 2009, 11:20 PM
dont people ever get tired of debating?

Well, this is nothing like a debate. Webster defines debate as:

a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides

This is not regulated nor is it a discussion.

Dave Mc C is right as rain.

To quote my shotgun instructor, Bill Davison, yet again:

"What is the best gun to fight with?...THE ONE YOU HAVE!!!"

If you can't run the gun, it won't make a tinker's damn what you have!

April 21, 2009, 07:55 PM
Works better for lefties, because it has a sliding safety on top, not something on the trigger guard.

April 21, 2009, 08:11 PM
Unbanded, what remington parts are metal where the mossberg uses plastic?
Please fill me in...

the rifleer
April 21, 2009, 08:19 PM
All i know is that i am completely 100% satisfied with my mossberg 500. at $219 brand new with two barrels, you cant beat it.

I will admit that the 870 is a bit nicer to look at, especially with a wood stock, but both are such good shotguns that it really doesn't matter which you buy. i have never shot an 870, but i did look at one and passed and bought my mossberg.

I dont think that there is truely an answer to which is better.

Mossberg pros-

safety and slide release location, both can be operated without taking the gun off your shoulder or breaking the sight picture.

Its lighter than the 870

it holds more ammo off out of the box.

Its has two extractors

about $100 less than the 870

now for the 870-

steel receiver

Been around longer

said to have better chokes

In the end both have pros and cons. Mossbergs biggest con is the aluminum receiver and the plastic trigger group/safety.

May i ask which major rifle of the united states armed forces has an aluminum receiver and a couple plastic parts? Its really isnt an issue and the receiver is lighter and is plenty strong for use in a shot gun. plus it doesn't corrode like steel, which would make it easier to take care of in high humidity environments.

people also say that mossbergs are loosely built...

thats so that when you drop it in the sand or mud it doesnt jam up and continues to fire when you need it. I really like my mossberg and have no reason to buy an 870.

Now lets change the subject,

Ford trucks are WAY better than Chevys...

April 21, 2009, 11:22 PM
For home defense, the Mossberg is superior.

The 500/590 is a fighting shotgun, the 870 is a modified bird gun, and it shows in how they handle in regards to the safety and action lever placement choices. It's almost like Remington decided to purposely make a slow handling and low capacity pump shotgun.

Oh wait, that is exactly what they did. And its fans have been tinkering with workarounds ever since.

April 22, 2009, 02:29 AM
Well, I have a couple of each variety, a Mossberg 500, Mossberg 590, Remington 870 Wingmaster and a Remington 870 Sportsman (a discontinued mid-grade model between the Express and Wingmaster) so I really can't say one is better than the other but my leanings are towards the Mossberg and here's why:

The safety on the Mossberg is ambidextrious that is an advantage for right or left handed shooters or those that practice weak-handed drills as well. There is no problem with working the safety with either hand. Yes, the plastic button is a breakage-prone item (broke one myself years ago) although that's a $10-15 fix with a metal one. Remington advocates rightly point out that the stock button is breakage prone however they do tend to forget Remington's adventures with the J-lock safety button that Mossberg owners can also cite. Again, an easy swap of parts and the J-lock remadies that problem if your 870 came with one.
The slide release on the Mossberg is in a better location for easy manipulation. It falls right under your middle finger where either left or right handed shooters and doesn't require the shooter to break their grip to depress it. How often are you going to need to depress the slide release? Maybe not all that often but for the same reason a lot of us CCW, it's a good option to have even if you never need to use it.
The shell lifter on the Mossberg is skeletonized and rides against the bottom of the bolt when the slide is forward. There is no need to depress the lifter when loading the magazine tube. I've never done it but I've heard of people that have had their thumbs snagged by the lifter of an 870 that is impossible with the Mossberg design. What I have expereinced first hand though was when unloading my 870 Sportsman by depressing the shell latches was having a shell shoot out of the magazine and on top of the lifter with the bolt forward. That was NOT a fun time trying to get the shell out and required taking the gun apart in order to do it. My solution was to dremel a cut about 3/4th of the way along the length of the lifter so if that does ever happen again, a knife blade can be used to push the shell back into the magazine. Current 870s come with the flex tab where all the operator has to do is to pump the action again to clear the stoppage and for older guns, a flex-tab conversion is also available as well. However, the Mossberg doesn't have this problem to begin with so here again I rate that a superior design to the Remington.
Another thing from an armorers persepective is that the Mossberg may have more pieces to keep track of during disassembly, they are easier to repair. When a shell catch goes bad in a Mossberg, simply put in a new one when you reassemble it. If an ejector breaks, it's held in the receiver by a simple screw that even the mechanically declined can replace. When I have to replace a shell catch or ejector in an 870, it requires restaking that part into the receiver. My last command had a few OLD 870s that were 1-2 staking jobs away from being red-tagged as there wasn't enough metal left to do many more parts replacements requiring any more staking!
Where the Remington does have advantages (both real and in theory) are in it's steel receiver and number of accessories avaiable for it. In theory, the steel receiver should be stronger than the alunimum receiver of the Mossberg. In reality though, the bolt of the Mossberg locks into the steel shank of the barrel much like the locking lugs of an M-16 locking into the barrel and being a CATM instructor these days, I seen a lot of OLD M-16s with their alunimum uppers that have fired a lot of rounds, been rebarreled several times and the receiver is still just fine. I think when you look at it from that perspective, the steel receiver superiority of the 870 is only theoretical. What is real though is the sheer number of aftermarket parts available for the Remington. If there's an aftermarket part made for the Mossberg, there is likely a Remington version also produced but if there is an aftermarket product made for the 870, there might be a version made for the Mossberg...but not necessarily. Magazine tubes and barrels are one such example.
Finally as far as the Mossberg being the shotgun adopted by the Military, that's true...partly. When I was in the Marines in the late 80s and early 90s, the Mossberg 590 was the standard shotgun that was phasing out the old 870s and Winchester 1200s we then had in inventory. However, these days as a CATM instructor for the USAF, I have never seen a Mossberg here and have only seen Remington 870s. First were the old wood-stocked Police models that may be the 5-round variety or fitted with the 7-round magazine and bayonet lug. Today they are being phased out in favor of the new 870MCS (Modular Combat Shotgun) using the same 870 design but with Speedfeed-IV pistol grip stocks, variable barrel lengths, magazine capacities, screw-in chokes, rifle sights and a rail on the top of the receiver as well as a barrel/magazine band with a rail section on it as well. To say that the Mossberg is the "official military shotgun" is correct but only up to a point. The 870 is also serving in the military as well.
In either case, you aren't going to go wrong with either design. You just have to recognize the strengths and weakness's of each design and go from there. At the end of the day, it's a Ford/Chevy thing in that both trucks will get you from point A to B equally as well. It just depends on what emblem you want to have on the grill.

April 22, 2009, 04:12 AM
Chevys stomp fords sir :D

either shotgun is agreat choice. just get the one that you like better

Brad Clodfelter
April 22, 2009, 04:40 AM
Yea Remington has been hit hard with the added features on the Mossberg guns like the rattling forearm and cheaper made chokes. They are planning to add these features soon to their 870 line so that Mossberg doesn't get to far ahead in the noise features. ;)

And I forgot to mention the weak firing pin springs that Mossberg seems to put out there that keeps a gun from going bang each time.

April 22, 2009, 06:47 AM
Yeah them firing pin springs...:rolleyes: My 500 20 gauge doesn't seem to have one at all...:D
When did they start using a firing pin spring? Nary a NO BANG problem in any gun I have owned or operated.

Them rattlin' actions... I don't mind the "po' little tink tink" sound when just walkin' but for times when stealth is required (sneakin' for a twig headed deer) I ave learned to carry in the barrel up with my foreward hand putting a slight tweak of rotation and it is silent as a church mouse.

Cheaper made chokes cost me less? Wonderful! I am using one simply to keep the threads from getting boogered up. I ain't refined enuff to appreciate a "fine" choke tube.

April 22, 2009, 09:00 AM
The 500, and keep it as simple as possible.
It was good enough for the US military, it is reliable, rugged, easy to maintain, has better placement of controls, better ejection and feeding.
The 870 is a very classy shotgun and great field gun.
Mossberg 500 is a very good field gun, and first rate HD gun - I have one next to my bed, homemade 19" barrel with a bandolier of 00 buck and slugs hanging on it, no other additions to change the weight. I like to keep the weight of the ammo, etc off the gun, and have nothing to distract me if I wake up suddonly and need the gun.
ADDED: I also have a long ported barrel with screw in chokes for the 500 for hunting, so it does double duty.

I carried a M12 Trench Gun in the Army about 40 years ago, and all the above is just my opinion.


April 25, 2009, 11:07 AM
All things being equal in my eyes I purchased the Mossberg because they have a 10 year Warranty and Reminton has a 2 year. My thought is that Remigton "expects" something to break after 2 years. But that is just my opinion.
As for the Military debate. The US Army chose the Mossberg. The US Air Force went for the 870. This is because the Army wants something that will work whereever and whenever needed. The Air Force believes that looks and expense equal a good buy. Except for range duty I don't see where the Air Force 870's will see to much action. JMHO

April 25, 2009, 10:05 PM
The Air Force believes that looks and expense equal a good buy. Except for range duty I don't see where the Air Force 870's will see to much action. JMHO

They are used on some flightlines and other facilites where excess range and penetration from an M4 are a problem. They are also used extesively for guard duty as well. We trained up a lot of cops with the shotgun going off to Bucca for detainee ops here a while back. But yeah, for the typical Air Force, shotguns are rarely used (or even their regular A2s for that matter) but they do see a little more use than just on the ranges.

April 26, 2009, 07:55 PM
I went back and forth between deciding I wanted a Mossberg or Remington.

I ended up with the Remington 870 express HD. Yes, a bit more expensive, but I liked the extra weight, the firmness of the action, and overall I felt is was of better quality -- while it cost a bit more I won't be buying 6 guns, probably just a couple of barrels if I decide to hunt with it.

I can understand why others choose the mossberg. I liked the safety, the look, the price was a bit cheaper. Maybe the looseness in the action is a benefit when it gets down and dirty, not a detriment.

I can also understand why Remington may not have bid for a military contract against Mossberg. They were probably not willing to underbid Mossberg. I have no doubt either company could have qualified and met all the requirements.

If you bought a mossberg you got a fine gun. It has a value price, is well made, and completely ready to kill bad guys.

If you bought a remington you got a fine gun as well. It is really personal preference. I'd buy both but I have no need for two shotguns.

April 27, 2009, 07:19 AM
All the HD shotgun you'll ever need, 590A1 with iron sights, loaded with Federal 00 Buck shot. No lasers, side saddles, scopes, pistol grips, flashlight front grips.... or any other tacticool crap is going to make an intruder anymore dead. 590A1 goes boom when you pull the trigger. Knoxx stock reduces recoil which is neccessary when the possibility of 8 follow up shots of 00 buck is looming. Makes on target follow up shots much easier and quicker to make. If you can't do it with 9 shots of 00 buck you shoulda brought an AR. THIS IS STRICTLY SPEAKING FOR HD. Obviously when it comes to hunting the Wingmaster or Express is designed for that task.

April 27, 2009, 03:34 PM
The 870 is a very classy shotgun and great field gun.

...and the choice of law enforcement nationwide. I read an estimate of 500,000 870s in service in PDs all over the USA.

Although the true number could be determined, it might take a great deal of work. Remington probably doesn't even know how many departments use it.

With over 9 million sold, half a million in police hands might be about right. Just LASD recently bought over 4000, for example.

April 27, 2009, 03:37 PM
I have a mossberg 500 and love it.

An in-law bought the Remington 870 and loves it.

We have each shot both guns and I would not hesitate to go with either.

Both are reliable, accurate, and a real value for the money.

April 28, 2009, 11:47 AM
Either one will serve more than adequately for a home defense gun.

Both models have raving fanboys touting their preferred brand. Anyone with a lick of sense can see either will work and both have a proven track record.

The 870 Express may required that the chamber be polished before it works reliably. Not that hard to do or time consuming. This is what led me to choose the 500. It's my opinion that a new gun should work right out of the box.

April 29, 2009, 12:48 AM
As most have already stated, either will work.

The 870 Express may required that the chamber be polished before it works reliably. Not that hard to do or time consuming. This is what led me to choose the 500. It's my opinion that a new gun should work right out of the box.

Mine didn't. While this does seem to come up somewhat often with 870 expresses, the vast majority of them probably don't need to be polished, just cleaned (Remington covers their guns in some kind of brown gunk to protect from rusting before they ship, and they need to be cleaned fairly well before use).

April 29, 2009, 01:34 AM
Ahh..Once again, the Benelli SNT is left out of the poll. Sad, sad, sad......:(

April 29, 2009, 05:38 AM
If you actually shoot the gun you buy, you are going to want to get familiar with cleaning it.

Why wouldn't you clean it before you fire it?

April 29, 2009, 08:54 AM
(Remington covers their guns in some kind of brown gunk to protect from rusting before they ship, and they need to be cleaned fairly well before use).As does Mossberg. At least mine did. If you don't clean them first, that stuff forms a very hard shellack that is almost impossible to remove. Even the Wallyworld employee warned me to clean it first.

I wonder how many of these failure to extract or failure to feed are due to lack of cleaning.

Why wouldn't you clean it before you fire it? My guess? 90% don't clean it. Probably 85% don't clean after firing either.

You don't have to clean a gun on video games and most of the current crop of gun experts learned all they know from there.

...and the choice of law enforcement nationwide. I read an estimate of 500,000 870s in service in PDs all over the USA. I'll bet that is low, but who knows. Anyone who argues that either the 500/590 (used by the military) or the 870 (used by police) is inadequate really has no credibility in my eyes.

April 29, 2009, 12:23 PM
Ha! I tipped the scale 65-64 in favor of Rem

April 29, 2009, 01:17 PM
Neck and Neck!!!
I agree with Kmar that both guns are excellent,
It really depends which has better ergonomics. For me that was clearly the 500.

April 30, 2009, 08:51 AM
I love the Remington as I've accessorized mine to look, feel and shoot like like an AR.

May 3, 2009, 03:53 AM
I wonder how many of these failure to extract or failure to feed are due to lack of cleaning.

Probably the majority of them, which is why when I see a thread on it, I usually recommend cleaning first, if it had not been attempted already.

I didn't know Mossberg covered their guns in the same stuff, but then I've never owned one. Maybe if I ever get around to getting a pure HD gun, I might; my 870 is serving double duty as a bird gun and an HD gun atm, and the 870 was chosen mainly because it fit a bit better, which is more crucial for shooting birds than it is for self defense.

May 3, 2009, 05:53 PM
I love the Remington as I've accessorized mine to look, feel and shoot like like an AR.Really? What kind of mod is this? Magazine fed? Mag release and safety location? Some kind of drastic recoil reduction system? Please tell.

May 4, 2009, 06:57 PM
Better? Thats a very subjective word. Which one is "best" for you...thats more objective.

I prefer Mossberg, but not because it is necessarily a better gun; rather because I prefer certain features of the Mossberg (in my case the 590) vs the 870 (Im assuming you mean the Express model). As an example, the main feature which sold me on purchasing a Mossberg was the receiver mounted safety. To me, given the stressful, adrenaline pumping nature of an HD encounter, I felt that the safety location on the 590 would not require quite as much "finite" or dexterous manipulation vs. the trigger guard mounted safety of the 870. Does this make the 870 a "bad" HD weapon? Not at all. My decision was based on preference and nothing more.

Either gun will be good for HD as it should be less about the brand here and more about features. Both have strengths and weaknesses. For the Mossberg, its main weakness is the mag spring. Once this is properly replaced (with, for instance, a Wolff spring), this particular issue essentially disappears. Does this make the Mossberg junk? Not at all. Its just one of those details that, for some reason, was left unattended to by those who make the gun.

Both the Mossberg and Remington are good guns which simply have their own unique set of problems (which can be dealt with). Ive never thought of one as being "better" than the other; rather I simply think of them as "different" from one another.

Most "HD" shotguns will by Cyl. or Improved Cyl. bores w/ barrels ranging from 18" to 20." Outside of this, the rest basically boils down to what you prefer and again, which weapon "feels" best to you.

Frankly, whats going on between the ears, so to speak, has more to do with HD than the brand of shotgun you are using.

October 18, 2009, 07:08 AM
[Rather than start a new thread this old one is being resurrected]

We inherited a 1981 Remington 870 Police from my father-in-law. Really nice gun and shoots well.

But both my wife and I are left-handed, while all our kids are right-handed. I bought the left-hand trigger assembly to convert the 870 for LH use, but having a non-standard configuration has some issues. Remington does not make a left-handed HD configuration and the Ithacas are hard to find.

Bottom line, mainly for the top-mounted safety, I just ordered a six round 20 gage Mossberg with 18.5" cylinder bore barrel and synthetic furniture. The model # is 50452. It was $340 delivered at the local gun shop. I purchased some slugs and #3 buckshot for it as well.

There are two other HD 20 ga models, the 50450 (same as 50452 but pistol grip only) and 50145, with a 20" barrel.

Pictures and specs on the specs page (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=5&display=specs).

Tommy Vercetti
October 18, 2009, 09:36 AM
Remington easy

October 18, 2009, 09:50 AM
So this'n was not considered?
Only $265

October 18, 2009, 09:55 AM
Fact: 870 everytime because of length of service and parts availability.

October 18, 2009, 10:01 AM
Water, The 500 is only 10 years younger than the 870. I know of no parts limitations with the mossberg either. The Mossberg is more "user serviceable" than the 870 as well.

October 18, 2009, 01:54 PM
I tell you I keep looking and going back and forth to Mossberg 500 or 870 Remington.

The Mossberg at Buds Gun shop is a 20" barrle 7+1 and close to 100 bucks cheaper then any gun shop in my local area on a 500. The price of the gun after FFL charge and 3% credit card charge its a $330 shot gun.

The Remington 870 Express at Buds Gun Shop is a lot cheaper as well then local shops selling them used or new. Im seeing used guns going for 275 with a 26" barrel. I would have to buy the barrel I want after that and I would be at the price of a new Mossberg or Remington from Buds.

The Remington 870 express at Buds Gun shop is 328 right now and after FFL charge and 3% credit card charge its a 360 shotgun. The only thing that is making me not jump at this deal is its a 6+1 20" so I would have to get a mag extension not a big deal but I still have to pay more later for what I can have now in the Mossberg.

I keep reading and I keep getting confussed at what one I should buy.

I want a good HD gun and one that can take the battle field as well. So what one should I look at now? :cool:

I voted for price wise Mossberg 500 and if your on a budget I just feel thats a good 12ga to have. Im still in the process of figuring out what one to get but I think it will be a Mossberg.

October 18, 2009, 02:14 PM
Both the Moss and Rem are durable platforms and both are currently serving in the sand box.

The reason I originally chose mossbergs was the fact that my first gun was a Mossberg .410 bolt action my dad gave me. It was also his first centerfire gun new in the mid 50's.

Mossberg still has some family in the firm runnin' the company.

The attributes that keep me from considering any other lower cost guns are the location of the safety and action release tab on the 500. with their locations I can mount the gun to my shoulder and with my trigger hand in fire ready position, operate both controls comfortably, quickly and accurately.

October 18, 2009, 03:55 PM
Newb here.

My local Dick's has a sale this week on the Mossberg 500 12ga with combo field and deer slug barrels. $269 plus tax. I believe it's the 28" field and I'm not sure on the slug barrel, if it's rifled or not.

I have been in the market for a 28" field set up and could use the slug barrel for HD, especially if it's the smoth bore for buckshot, although I would prefer 18 1/2" for that purpose. Still may be to good a deal to pass up.

Don't deer hunt anymore as age has kind of caught up with me, but I have gotten into shooting some clay's on a tight retirement budget and that's why I'm looking at the 28" field.

Will have to sell my Winchester 94 30/30 to finance the deal, probably will post it here when I have met the posting and time requirements.

What would the members think of this possibility and price on the mossberg.

Thanks - Levers

October 18, 2009, 04:13 PM
I voted for the 870 because I think the action slides a tad bit slicker, and the F&F appears nicer to me. For home defense, I really like the manual of arms of the mossberg better. The thumb safety is much easier to hit. All in all, I honestly would have a hard time choosing between either one if the price were the same (which mostly they are close).

October 18, 2009, 05:04 PM
For that price... JUMP ON IT!!!
If it is a rifled slug barrel it will likely also have the rifle sights. This barrel is not ideal for HD but should sell as "unfired new" for the hundred bucks that the 18.5 smoothbore will set you back. And you still have the 28 with accu-choke threads.

October 18, 2009, 05:21 PM
Thanks Brent

That's what I thought.

October 18, 2009, 07:04 PM
I have no idea how this thread made it back up here but heres what i ended up with:


October 20, 2009, 11:17 AM
I resurrected it rather than start another Mossberg versus Remington thread.

So when the Mossber arrives, I'll have both.


October 20, 2009, 01:50 PM
Im just going to keep it simple on what ever gun I go with. I may do an upgrade on the stock to make it feel more like my AR but then again I like simple.

I dont have and wont trick out my AR. I wont even do that to my AK.

I think if I change the stock to a pistol grip stock on a mossberg it makes it a bit harder for the safty but its something I can adjust to.

Im still looking and in no rush to jump on anything unless I get a better deal then what Im seeing as of late.

Buds is making it hard not to buy right now lol they have some great prices.

How does Buds gun shop do that? They are atleast 90 bucks or more cheaper then any shop in town on the same guns.

October 20, 2009, 02:46 PM
My vote goes to Mossberg 500.it never jams like Remington 870.

October 20, 2009, 07:24 PM
870 express for me

October 20, 2009, 11:46 PM
Either would work for me. I have an 870 but wouldn't hestiate to recommend a Mossberg.


"saying a Mossberg is better in any way just isn't true, it'd be like saying a Ford is as good as a Mercedes, the only way it would be better is if it was stolen because you wouldn't lose as much"

BTW From behind the wheel of my Chevrolet (Corvette) I don't see much in the Mercedes lineup that looks all that interesting. OK, so the CLS is attractive, if slow and the SLR is not too shabby. At least their diesels aren't as pathetic and smelly anymore. Similarly with regard to the Ford vs. Mercedes I would certainly take one of these:


over this pile:


But that's just me. (And anyone with a pulse)

October 21, 2009, 02:13 PM
I like the mossbergs better because i like the ergonomics slightly better.

October 22, 2009, 12:19 AM
Because it is the one I own of course. It seems to have less play/flex in the forearm than the Mossberg.