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Old February 1, 2000, 11:01 PM   #1
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I've seen a lot of posts regarding the 870 as well as the Mossberg 500. I would like to get a basic do-all shotgun. The Bi-Mart where I live has a Mossberg 500 that comes with an 18.5" barrel as well as a 28" - it does not have an extended magazine tube (also has a nice walnut? stock ) price $269 (may go on sale soon. They also have a "Maverick" Mossberg that is cheaper - what is the difference between that model and the 500? Anyone voting for the 870 or possibly the Winchester Defender? Please support your answer....

Thanks -
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Old February 2, 2000, 01:17 AM   #2
Bennett Richards
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Both Great weapons....
I prefer the 870.... scads of aftermarket stuff for them, SUPER reliable and a lock-up that will work when real dirty.. plus a steel reciever and finishing that is just a cut above the Mossy... BUT that said the Mossy is less expensive and a VERY good value. Unless you are going to use the hell out of the weapon you would probably never know the difference.
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Old February 2, 2000, 02:44 AM   #3
Join Date: January 31, 2000
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Mak, I've got a Moss 500A and haven't had a lick of trouble with it. I've dumped hundreds if not a thousand rounds through it. I think it looks and works pretty sharp for such an inexpensive gun. As with the 870, you can get tons of add-ons for it. Some guys will call 'em crap and say that they have a noisy/sloppy action. My $.02 is buy it.
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Old February 2, 2000, 03:32 AM   #4
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The 12 bore I use for work is a Mossberg 500.
I've found the weapon to be utterly reliable, regardles of shell length/type.
I have given it an after market fixed pistolgrip stock and am very comfortable with it. I would bring it for almost any job.
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Old February 2, 2000, 05:41 AM   #5
Dave McC
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Most Police depts and Correctional Systems choose the 870 for its durability, reliability and effectiveness.

One of mine,my HD 870 in fact, was purchased used around 1956 by my Dad. I've personally put over 3000 rounds throught it. Tight as a bank vault and reliable as a HD shotgun should be.

The Mossberg's OK, the 870s superb. Buy it, your great grandchildren will thanks you for it....
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Old February 2, 2000, 11:18 AM   #6
Matt VDW
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Here are a few of the design differences between the 870 and the 500:

The 500's receiver is aluminum while the 870's is steel. Hence the 500 is lighter while the 870 is stronger (though I've never heard of a 500's receiver cracking or wearing out).

The 870 will accept magazine tube extensions while the 500, due to the way the barrel screws onto the mag tube, won't.

The 870 has its safety at the rear of the trigger guard while the 500 has its safety at the top rear (tang) of the receiver. I personally prefer the placement of the 500's safety but the 870 style is more common.

The 500 has its slide release at the rear of the trigger guard while the 870's is somewhere else (front of the trigger guard)? I find it very convenient to hit the slide release button of the 500 with the thumb of my shooting (right) hand, but that's just a personal preference.

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Old February 2, 2000, 12:00 PM   #7
John Overbey
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Okay, here's my take on it.

Remington 870: Excellent reputation with the law enforcement community as a dependable shotgun. Several places available to hop it up a little or a lot, depending on what you want from it. Considered by many to be the ol' standby. I don't think you could go wrong with one.

Mossberg: My personal choice. In my opinion, the controls are placed better. I have a 500, 590, 590A1, and an 835. I have yet to see ANY failures of any kind, even with the wide variety of shells and slugs I make them digest. The military also has had several contracts with them (so they had to pass the MilSpec testing) resulting in the 500-mil and the 590-A1. The 835 is their "sportsmans" model with the longer barrels and screw-in chokes.

Winchester: I have heard from several folks that think their Defenders are the best thing since sliced bread, but I've had no experience personally with them, so not a lot to say.

Maverick: It's been a while since I've seen one, but if I remember right, the design is exactly the same as the Mossberg. I believe Maverick is an overseas division of Mossberg, or at least partly owned by them. I could be wrong on this. What I don know for sure is that they are, for all practical purposes, a mossberg. The prices are lower, but in my opinion, it's not a worthwhile trade off.

My recommendation, for home defence/SHTF/etc, buy a Mossberg 590-A1. For ducks/trap/skeet/etc. look into a Mossberg 835 Ultimag or a Remington 870 Express or Wingmaster. I don't doubt that the Winchester is a fine arm, but I can't recommend them myself due to lack of information on my part. I hope this helps some.
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Old February 2, 2000, 01:34 PM   #8
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I have both a Mossy 500 and an 870. The Mossberg was my HD gun--ghost rings, sidesaddle, 6 shot capacity. For my birthday I was given an 870 Super Magnum (3.5 inch). These were the only two guns in the house. I prefer the control placement on the Mossberg but the 870 is a better hunting gun. I felt I needed to chose one or the other--no confusion in a high stress situation (HD or field I missed the safety flushing quail last weekend) so I am selling the Mossberg and getting a short barrel for the 870. Not in any way putting the Mossberg down--just my personal choice. That combo sounds like a great deal at that price.
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Old February 2, 2000, 04:40 PM   #9
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That Mossberg 500 of which you speak is a great deal at the present $269, if it goes on sale, I'd go down and buy it myself! Seriously, the 'combo' model that you reference is the Mossberg solution to a HD shotgun coupled with an 'occasional' hunter or trap/skeet shooter. It's as close as they sell to a do-it-all shotgun when the barrel length and choke options are the limitation of having a long HD gun. IMO, the 5-shot magazine (+1 chamber) of the conventional M500's is nothing to sneeze at, since you'll be adding a mag limiter if you hunt, anyway.

My personal solution to the 'do-it-all' problem was a M500, 5-shot, ghost-rings, choate forearm and SpeedFeed III (standard-type) magazine stock with factory 18.5" cylinder bore barrel. About 6 months ago, I found a guy willing to part with a 24" screw-in choke barrel w/ IC, M and Full chokes for $90 that was a good price and is now my 'hunting' combination for upland game where I live.

The 'combo' of the barrels being swapped out based on use is a very utilitarian solution and gives you the added performance of a long barrel and chokes for gun games or upland hunting without losing the utility of a short barrel for HD use. If you like wood, so much the better...

Mossberg is a quality manufacturer, as are the others, and I'm sure you'll be well-served by any of those named. Now, whereabouts was that store you mentioned??? (j/k)
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Old February 2, 2000, 06:07 PM   #10
Bill Bryant
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I'll weigh in for the Winchester 1300. Mine's been a fine tool with no hang-ups of any kind.

It's advantages for me: Smooth as silk action out of the box and ever since, fastest follow-up shot of any pump because of the assisted cycling design, and safety and release where I like them best (if only because of years of use with it).

All three brands make good tools. All three make occasional clunkers, with ample horror stories available all around for anyone who wants to make his decision based on anecdotes.

The gun you buy (the very gun) needs to be thoroughly tested before you put your life in its hands, regardless of brand.

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Old February 4, 2000, 10:30 AM   #11
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I have a Mossberg 590 and my dad has a Remington 870. I prefer the Mossberg, but a lot of it has to do with my specific situation (and may not apply to you).

Most importantly, Remington has implemented several "features" in the 870 (save the 870 Police and Marine Magnum) that prevent the installation of certain "tactical" accessories.

Late model (>1990) 870s have two dimples machined into the magazine tube. This will prevent the installation of an extended magazine tube. AFAIK, there is no federal law restricting the magazine capacity of a pump shotgun like the 870.

Conclusion: Stupid PC feature.

Solution: You can get rid of said dimples by using a drill or Dremel-type tool. Or you can buy a Mossberg 500 instead, which does not have this stupid feature.

Furthermore, if you want to install a TacStar sidesaddle on your 870 Express or Wingmaster, you will have to purchase a special shortened slide. Otherwise the factory slide will bang into the sidesaddle and prevent full cycling. Remington will not sell you the shortened slide unless you have an 870 Police.

Conclusion: Stupid PC move by Remington -- sell the short slides to everyone and I'll be happy.

Solution: Buy a Surefire Responder. It has enough clearance for the sidesaddle. But if you don't have the $200 to drop on a Responder, buy a Mossberg 500 instead.


1. The Remington 870 series shotguns only have one extractor. The Mossberg 500 series has two. Two is better than one.

2. I prefer the ambidextrous placement of the safety on the Mossberg 500. Lefties will like it even more. I find personally that the placement of the safety allows more instinctive disengagement. Not only that, it allows manipulation of the safety without moving your trigger finger from its indexed position along the triggerguard. The 870's cross-bolt type safety cannot do this.

3. With my small hands, I like the placement of the Mossberg's bolt release. Situated behind the triggerguard, it is easily actuated by the firing hand, again without moving your trigger finger from its indexed position. Maybe persons with longer fingers can reach the 870's bolt release without shifting the firing grip -- it's located on the front left side of the triggerguard.

Downsides to the Mossberg as compared to the 870 (that haven't been mentioned):

1. Some have reported problems with the plastic triggerguards and trigger groups on certain Mossberg shotguns. Solution: buy a 500 or 590 Military model, with the metal trigger group.

2. Certain models of the Surefire Responder cannot be installed on the 590 without grinding off the bayonet lug. Solution: Laser Products now has a new model (which I have not yet seen offered for sale) -- the 623A1 or something like that -- which does not require removal of the lug.



Justin T. Huang, Esq.
late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Old February 5, 2000, 11:10 AM   #12
Patrick Graham
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I have both. You won't go wrong either way.
870 is stronger, probably because of the steel reciever.

If you are going to be shooting a lot of 3 inch mags you may want the 870, it weighs a little more. .
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Old February 5, 2000, 10:55 PM   #13
Ned Roundtree
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Well, I think JT pretty much said it all. My two cents if the gun is for home defense go with the Mossberg 590A1. If the gun is for competition of any type, go with the Remington 870.
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Old February 5, 2000, 11:54 PM   #14
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Remington 870 all the way. These "tubes" are ultra tough. They are effective as is out of the box with simple bead sites and buckshot. But if you want to go the mean looking tactical route, there is a plethora of accessories.
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