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Old August 30, 2012, 07:27 AM   #1
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New to tactical shotguns...

Hello everyone - New to the forum so forgive me if this question has been posted before. I have a basic understanding of shotguns (I do trap shooting, bird hunting). I'd like to further my understanding by buying either a remington 870 or mossberg 500 and customizing it into my own tactical shotgun. Which is the better option to customize? What are any pros/cons between the two?
Also, can you mount a rail system on a shotgun? Is it difficult to do?

Thank you for your answers.

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Old August 30, 2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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The 590 A1 would be the best choice:
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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agree, 590 A1 would be the best bet...
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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I like the 870's. Honestly both would suit your needs. The Mossy's are just as good and reliable and slightly cheaper. Some will say the remington is better for this or that reason. Others will say why wouldn't you buy a Mossberg, they are just as good if not better and cheaper. I would suggest doing your own research and decide whats best for you and what you prefer. Realistically unless you are going to "war", get whats more comfortable, as in safety location, weight, ect. This may help.

However, this is pretty well factual based and very honest in my opinion.

Lastly, look into the baser models and see if you can upgrade yourself for cheaper and look at used guns. These things are pretty reliable and especially since you are going the tactical route, I dont think I've ever seen a Tactical shotgun fired near as many rounds as hunting/trap/ect. They usually sit always ready firing very little rounds... depending on the person.

In referance to my last paragraph, my most recent shotgun was the 870 express tactical for $420 new. I really liked the Knoxx Spec Ops stock on their more expensive model, so I bought it and put it on myself. Overall cost was $560 which is much less than "their" model and has many more bells and wistles. Also not sure how blackhawk is with their stocks already on the remingtons but my 1st gen broke and I sent it in and they gave me the brand new one free because I bought it after market.

Good luck brother and enjoy.
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Old August 30, 2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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What? no one recommended the chain saw from Mossberg?......
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Old August 30, 2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Do you want a tactical pistol grip? If you do, then you do NOT want a Mossberg becasue of the location of its safety.
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Old August 30, 2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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Contrary to much one sees on the Net, a stock, short barrelled 870 OR 500 is a fine weapon right from the box.

Instead of spending your money on accessories of dubious advantage, spend it on ammo and range time.

Learn to run the gun.

Shoot clays, steel plates, starlings, landfill rats, old Wayne Newton records, whatever. Just shoot until your shotgun feels like a body part and not a tool you're holding.

At that point, you'll be "Tactical".

And then, you can make an INFORMED choice as to what lumwats to bolt onto your 870/500.

If any..
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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With a traditional stock I prefer the mossberg due to the position of the safety. With a pistol grip, (actual pistol grip or AR type,) I prefer the Remington because of the position of the safety. Carrying with the safety on it's easier to reach the safety in those stocks, (I can't stand a mossberg with a AR15 stock and the regular Mossberg tang safety.)

I don't know what you want to do with the gun or how much junk, I mean stuff, you want to hang off of it. My current tactical shotgun is a $169.00 Pardner Protector.
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Old August 30, 2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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My guns are all customized the same way... My name and number are written on a scrap of paper and inserted in the stock bolt hole and then I add a snot load of wear and tear marks thru heavy use...

The most useful shotgun for most tactics is one with a traditional pistol grip stock.... NOT A DETACHED PISTOL GRIP STOCK....

And there is no dang thing as a "tactical" firearm... If loaded with proper ammo, it will go bang and send a payload out of the barrel...

Tactical is betwixt and between yer ears.... ARE YOU TACTICAL?

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Old August 30, 2012, 06:05 PM   #11
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Go to your LGS and shoulder each brand and see what fits YOU best.Any Remington 870, Mossberg 500/590, or Benelli with an 18"-18 1/2" barrel will do the job.People tend to recommend the gun they have but what works for them may not work for you getting the right fit and L.O.P. is what matters.
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Old August 30, 2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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I would go with a stock 590a1 and learn how to run the gun like Dave said. Beads are great for speed - so no need to change to an optic.
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Old August 31, 2012, 12:33 AM   #13
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To answer a couple questions that I haven't seen anyone address, both the 870 and 500 have a lot of aftermarket stocks and accessories. Both have receivers that are drilled and tapped for scope mounts or rails. Lights can easily be attached to either.

Being a little more subjective, it is generally thought that pistol grip forends like this aren't a great idea, because they aren't aligned directly with the pump slides and tend to create more friction and gun movement when pumping. You see them in movies and youtube videos, but I don't think you'll find them on many military or law enforcement shotguns.

Someone else already mentioned this, but pistol grip only (PGO) stocks like this generally aren't recommended. Without something against your shoulder, aiming will be tougher and keeping the gun steady for follow-up shots will be very difficult. Again, these are more popular in Hollywood and Youtube than they are with people who have serious need for shotguns.

As far as a traditional stock vs. a pistol grip stock, that seems to be more about personal preference than anything else. I like a traditional stock, but someone who's used to ARs may feel more comfortable with a pistol grip stock. As others have mentioned, the safety location on the Mossberg is probably better suited to traditional stocks.

With either stock design, some people prefer a shorter length of pull on defense shotguns. This can reduce the chance of snagging the gun while bringing it to the shoulder, but a shorter stock also allows a person to shoot from a more squared up stance (rather than an angled stance used for most shooting). The point is that a person can maintain better balance and have a greater range of upper body motion when they start out squared. Many pistol grip stocks are adjustable for length. Among traditional stocks, the Hogue 12" length of pull stock is popular for those wanting a shorter stock.

You asked about rails, and a person can certainly use various optics on a shotgun, but for home defense ranges, optics may not be any better than open sights. Tritium front beads may be helpful in some darker situations. The Big Dot sites at the bottom right corner of this page seem well liked.

Choice of sights and stocks can be interdependent, because the comb height of different stocks will raise or lower your eye level in ways that may be better suited to higher optical sights or lower open sights.

Getting back to 870 vs. 500, the 500 comes with 6-shot capacity while the 870 comes with 5-shot capacity. However, the 870's magazine can be extended with aftermarket parts and the 500's can't. If you ever want to buy extra barrels for either gun, the mossberg barrels are significantly less expensive.

Last edited by idek; August 31, 2012 at 01:59 AM.
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Old August 31, 2012, 02:53 AM   #14
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+1 on Dave Mcc's post...there is no better info to be found!
If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O' Donnell fat!
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Old August 31, 2012, 03:02 AM   #15
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Ok Marine your gonna be like all the rest of us and buy a bunch of stuff you don't like or don't need. The problem is you don't really know until you try the stuff out. Opinions are great but not everyone agrees, (we have many different flavors of ice cream.)

#1. I don't like the pistol grip on the forearm. I kept going back to a traditional hold and got smacked in the hand by it during recoil. But that's just me.

#2. Pistol grip only aren't bad at all as long as you have a light mounted properly, laser or you limit yourself to hip/point shooting. With this type of stock set up your pretty much limited to home defense ranges and don't use 1oz slugs.

#3. I don't like the pistol grip (AR type) stock. Recoil smacked me around a bit in my cheek. Several buddies, including a tough old gunnery sergeant, couldn't get the Knox stock off quick enough. But someone must like them because they sell.

#4. I had a Rem 870 Police Magnum that the stock was too long and really sucked. I have a Mossberg & NEF regular stocks that fit just fine. You do have to be careful about the stock fitting properly. Rem/NEF balance better then Mossbergs but training/use seems to make my Mossbergs just fine. I don't think you'll need a shorter stock, but if you decide you do it's a cheap option to change out down the line.

#5. Sights. My best sights are Williams Fire Sights on a deer shotgun. My HD shotgun has a red dot only because I had an extra one collecting dust. For HD I would prefer a bead or traditional iron sights (fiber optic are the best.) I don't like ghost ring for HD.

Good luck and let us know what you get.
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Old August 31, 2012, 05:00 PM   #16
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Mossberg offers higher capacity magazines but they do require a barrel change. You may also be able to find removable magazine conversion kits, even a 10 round drum. But all I can say is good luck finding those. If you want a Mossberg and high capacity, I'd go with their higher capacity magazines. They might even sell a gun that already comes with it.
I have a tacstar side saddle on mine that holds 6 rounds. Just need to trim my wood forearm. Wanting to get an 18 inch smoothbore for mine to shorten it up and so I can use shot too.

Last edited by WV_gunner; September 2, 2012 at 06:49 AM.
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Old August 31, 2012, 07:22 PM   #17
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Either One


Not to be rude, but seriously it's like pepsi or coke if you know what I mean .

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Old August 31, 2012, 08:12 PM   #18
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In addition to all the other great advice written above, I'd recommend that you pick up a good book on the tactical use of the shotgun by someone like Gabe Suarez.

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Old September 1, 2012, 08:26 PM   #19
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I have several shotguns but I would get a Mossberg 500. I have a Mossberg Maverick 88 that I use for HD and most of the parts fit the 88 and 500. The big difference is the Maverick has a crossbolt safety instead of ambidextrous one.

I bought a LaserLyte tri rail and have TLR-1 light on it. I also have a TacStar side saddle and I replaced the buttstock with a Houge over molded stock with a 12" LOP.

I didn't know the much about shotguns at the time when I bought the 88 but it fires everytime I pull the trigger.
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Old September 1, 2012, 09:03 PM   #20
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Mav 88

I have one as well with the 28" barrel and I have used it for 10 years now to bust clays and it ticks like a clock some 3K rounds later (that's a conservative est. by the way). Have never fired anything in it except bidshot but I have an itching of late to try some long-range sniper-like slug shots at paper targets just for fun--figure if I could achieve a nice grouping at say 50/75 yrds (maybe try a few football field shots for grins) with just the standard bead site it would be quite rewarding.

Mav 88 is a super-buy in the "frugal" shotgun market.

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Old September 1, 2012, 09:26 PM   #21
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I have an 870 super mag 12 gauge that I installed the hogue tamer grips on it. Hogue makes a nice upgrade to your shotgun.

Last edited by kst8fan; September 1, 2012 at 09:33 PM.
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Old September 2, 2012, 12:24 PM   #22
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PT, Your goals are EASILY attained if you do your part... I am "pie plate" accurate with a smooth bore cyl bore 20 gauge 18 inch barrel M-500 at 65 yards... OFFHAND...

I can tighten the group to 4-5 inches with an improvised rest... This is with 5-10 practice shots per year...

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Old September 2, 2012, 03:22 PM   #23
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Thanks for the words of encouragement--On Labor Day we shall see as we finally get a break in the hurricane here and I will be shooting !

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Old September 5, 2012, 07:19 AM   #24
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My vote is for the 870. They point much better FOR ME than the Mossbergs. I would rate them as equals in reliability, and availability of aftermarket accessories.
I run an 870 express with a 21" Vent rib barrel for 3 Gun Heavy Metal. I added a Remington 4 shot extension and opened up the loading port so I could shove shells in as fast as possible. Thats all the mods it needed, I believe in keepin a shotgun as simple as possible. With birdshot and buckshot it shoots where im looking, and I have no trouble keeping slugs in an IDPA target out to 100 yds with just the bead. It has been flawless in about a dozen matches and a few thousand rounds fired in practice.
Personally, I would steer clear of all the tacticood accessories. It just something to fail. Maybe a light and one of the velco/elastic side saddles if you just can't live without it.
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