Battle of the Pumps: Mossberg 500 vs. the Remington 870

Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 side by side

If you’re discussing 12-gauge shotguns of the pump-action variety, there is an excellent chance that you’re talking about Remington or Mossberg. As the respective makers of the outstanding Model 870 and Model 500, Big Green and Mossy have the shared reputation for developing and successfully selling the two most popular pump-action shotguns in history. But which is the better shotty? The answer may surprise you.

Action Similarities

Both shotguns have dual action bars, which means that the force applied to the bolt when pumping the forend is equally applied, right and left. This has long been a gold standard when it comes to pump-action shotguns, due largely in part to the rampant success of both Mossberg and Remington in this genre.

Screw-in choke tubes are fairly standard on guns from Remington and Mossberg in barrel lengths greater than 22 inches or so, and are included on certain special-edition, 18-inch tactical models. For the most part, 18-inch to 20-inch barrels come sans choke threading.

Of course, these guns are both available in a never-ending variety of configurations, layouts and barrel lengths, from hunting to tactical purposes. And there is a literally endless list of aftermarket accessories and gizmos that can be added to customize your pump-action experience to your preferred tastes.

Remington and Mossberg shotguns alike have seen extensive military use around the globe, and have been proven in combat for decades.

Action Differences

One of the biggest practical differences between the two shotguns lies in their extraction methods. Mossberg thoughtfully included dual extractors on the 500, as opposed to the single extractor on the Remington 870. With cheaper ammo, shotgun extractors can sometimes “jump” over the rim of the shell or even tear through completely. That’s bad.

Mossberg’s twin extractor setup gives the platform an extra level of reliability in this arena, especially when the gun gets hot or dirty in the field. Even if one extractor starts to slip, the chances of the other giving out as well are almost nil.

Remington chose to machine the 870 receivers out of steel, while Mossberg went with the lighter choice of aluminum. While the idea of solid steel may appeal to a certain segment of the market, there’s really no practical difference between the two. Few users will ever have the opportunity to stress a 12-gauge shotgun to the point where an aluminum receiver will bend or break. And there’s no guarantee that similar stresses wouldn’t harm a steel receiver as well.

It’s simply a matter of taste. Although, due to its choice in receiver material, Mossberg makes a lighter shotgun to carry around.

The Remington 870 is far more compatible with aftermarket screw-on magazine extensions. Some Mossberg 500 variants aren’t even able to accept an extension due to their construction, but it’s easy to add more capacity to any Remington 870.


One thing is for sure, though, the Mossberg is far easier to reload than the 870. A slight digression from our topic at hand will make everything clear as to why.

In competitive three-gun matches, the pump-action king is the lesser-known Benelli SuperNova, for many reasons. Foremost of these motives is the ease with which the SuperNova can be reloaded, due in part to its cavernous loading port and (this is the point) the ability of the lifter to stay in the “up” position on its own after the first round is loaded.

The Mossberg shares this automatically-staying-up-lifter feature, unlike the Remington 870, where the lifter has to be manually moved out of the way for each shell. This competition-style benefit means that stuffing shells into a Mossberg 500 in the heat of a dove hunt is slightly easier in comparison to the Remington 870.

Controls are King

For the most part, pump-action shotguns have a very limited set of controls: The trigger, a manual safety, and a release button that allows the user to unlock the action without first pulling the trigger. And the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are no different in this regard.

Where they do differ, however, is in how these basic controls are executed. The Mossberg 500 series is the clear winner here. Mossberg places the safety on the tang of the receiver, which puts it in an ideal position to be ridden by the thumbs of both left- and right-handed shooters. And the action release? It’s conveniently located right behind the trigger guard, again within easy reach of righties and lefties.

The 870, in contrast, features a traditional push-button safety that is better suited for right-handers. And the action release is placed far towards the front of the trigger guard, and is impossible to activate without breaking a firing grip.

Final Thoughts

On paper, at least, it seems as though the Mossberg comes out ahead. Lighter construction, better control placement, easier to load, etc. However, that’s simply on paper.

In the real world though, it really doesn’t matter where your action-unlocking button is. In addition, it really doesn’t matter if you’re a half-second slower on your reloads because you use a Remington 870, or if your shotgun weighs a few ounces more than another model.

Think about this: If you are one of the millions of Americans who can’t remember life before his or her Remington 870—or Mossberg 500—came along, you’re not going to be held back by your shotgun no matter who made it. A lifetime of familiarization beats any specification sheet or online article telling you which is best any day of the week.

The fact remains—both the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 have won their places at the table, while putting food on it as well and remaining the defensive (and offensive) tools of choice for citizens and professionals around the world. You just can’t go wrong with either of these hardy workhorses.

We know you’ve got an opinion on this age-old debate, and want to hear it in the comments below! What say you? Remington, Mossberg or something else?

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (73)

  1. This discussion has missed one paramount issue with the 870. It is difficult for left handers to on/off the safety. When you bring up the Mossberg your thumb automatically registers the safety on the thumb of your left or right hand at the top of the grip. I would never buy any shotgun that has what I considered a right handed only safety. The Mossberg is inherently ambidextrous.

  2. Gotta say that the whole mim extractor argument is pretty much null and void. They’re all trying to cut corners and save on costs. It’s just that mossberg has been doing it since the at least the 60s. Hell, my mossberg 930 jm pro has a dang mim extractor. And yes, that’s for a shotgun that’s touted as ‘tactical.’ At least you get a forged extractor on anything tactical from Remington.

  3. I have both an 870 and a 500. My 500 is tactical 18inch with 7 shell tube, pistol grip and heat shild. Just like we used in the sand box for blowing door hinges off. I use it for home defence.
    My 870 is 22inch with wood stock and pump. I use it for blasting birds.
    Both good guns. Only complaint I have is the mossberg bolt guid rails detach during a feild strip while the remington ones are built into the receiver. I juat dont like haveing to take the extra 4 secounds poping them back in.

  4. I am partial to the 870. May have little to do w the fact I have shot it more. The Mossberg is more loose and rattles. I always thought of the Mossy as good but inferior to the Remington. Either way either one would serve you well. I kinda screwed min up. I put an mag extension on a 26 inch barrel lol. 26 inches is a little long for home defense don’t yall think? For what a barrel costs I might as well buy another Shotgun

  5. Excellent article about most likely the two top all around best and most reliable of pump action shotguns. If the jury is still out but in session can we apply the above critique to Mossberg Maveric 88 pump?

    1. My choice is Remington 870. Of course, it may look that Mossberg 500 has better features but I still prefer 870. But they are both very good shotguns. I plan to buy Mossberg 590 too.

  6. Well, the U.S. military went with the Mossberg because it was the only pump-shotgun that passed their rigorous testing.

    That was the reason I went with it over a Remington, Winchester, or Ithaca.

    1. Didn’t they buy the pistol grip model?

      The pistol grip shields the bolt release and is therefore obviously less prone to accidental release like Rem and Win.

      I also said I was left handed. I also bet NONE of the military testers were!

      However, the Remington is a better design from a saftey stand point! I now own a left handed Rem 870. As are all of the other firearms accuired since that incident.

      NEVER ADVISE A RIGHT HANDED LONG GUN FOR A LEFT HAND SHOOTER !!! Hand guns excepted because their ejection ports are way out in front of the face.

      If you can, think about it.

  7. I have both, each works great, no issues with performance, but prefer the 870 over 500 when having to clean in the field, less parts when breaking down just to field strip. The Mossberg has too many loose parts compared to the 870.

  8. The bolt release of the Mossgerg is a dangerous problem! It is too easy to release and this is not good, especially for lefties!!!

    I have owned both. After the Mossgerg nearly blinded me in my right eye (yes I am left handed) I will never own another.

    Mount the shotgun left handed and the second knuckle of the great finger of the left hand rests squarly on top of the both release. The Remington’s triger guard protects the both release. Grab it Mossberg hard with the left hand, that forementioned knuckle will depress the bolt release and unlock the both. Now pull the trigger on the opened both and LOTS OF HOT GASS POURS OUT OF THE SIDE OF THE BOLT AND INTO YOUR FACE. If you are not wearing glasses, the eye takes a direct hit.


    Guess no one knows this. Good luck with your recomendation. IT SUCKS ROTTEN EGGS IN THE HOT SUN.

    1. Well i think you have a defective firearm my friend i have had my dads moss 500 for near 40 yrs now and he hunted with it at least 20 yrs that i know of before handing old faithful down to me .However i am not a southpaw but my DAD was and he never had that problem either that i can ever recall with this moss 500 made in early 60’s as far as i know and still throwing 3 inch mags downrange with great accuracy .It has never let either of us down besides replacing the mag tube spring after near 50 yrs of service and the stock to the new M4 kick-lite stock i have on it now besides that it is still as it was made back then and still harvesting game.

    2. I never said they were no good for a right hand shooter.

      Look up my response to Triggerjunkie. And then think about it. Calling my 500 defective is a cop out

      Your dad is lucky ! But I was not !!!

      Thanks for listening.

    3. @ clinton .I am just pointing out my DAD was lefty and he never experienced that problem that i know of but as most all will agree the older moss 500’s which this one is a 60’s made shotgun i am sure of it were better than the new ones are i can not give an opinion as i have had this one most my life and do not need two moss 500’s when i have 4 barrels for this one . So i have no experience with the newer ones i do wish i could extend the mag tube but on this older one it would take altering and being it is a family heirloom i am not going to bother i just changed the stock and mag tube spring to a new one after 50 yrs the old one was weak. SRRY to hear you encountered that problem my son almost lost an eye to a paintball gun at 15 yrs old when mom did not pay attention and let him have the thing when i was not home as was agreed when it was purchased but mothers do these things just not something we ever encountered out of old faithful here .No offense meant but it could have been defective JMHO. is said you would never own another makes me assume you no longer have it do not see where it matters now dude.

    4. My Friend, your shotgun IS defective if it will fire with the bolt unlocked. You should contact Mossberg about this. I am sure they would want to fix this for you.

    5. @mike
      I agree this 1 i own will not fire unless the bolt is locked and loaded with rear tang safety in fire position i think he has a defective firearm he took offense to that i guess i would have it checked my man just to be sure last thing in world you want is to fire a firearm you may ? on that issue of having a defect of ANY KIND, JMHO good luck with it .

  9. The Mossberg 500 not only wins the battle against the 870, but should probably go down in history as the greatest pump-action shotgun ever. I have owned both the 500 and 870. The Mossberg is more affordable ($325 for the 8-round version, no need for a ‘tube extension’), more reliable (dual extractors say it all), more versatile (the safety and action release are made to be ambidextrous, which is a huge selling point if you’re left-handed like myself). Mossberg 500 for the win.

  10. So, my issue is that I previously had a Mossy 500-series 12ga.w/ ghost ring sights, extended mag, heat shield, etc., etc., all factory. it turned out that it also had a plastic trigger carrier/housing that was warped, and that would sometimes allow the trigger to be depressed, and sometimes not. Had to go back to the factory for a replacement- and it was still plastic. My 1960s 870 trap gun is all steel, and has never had a failure to fire, load or eject. Ditto my ex-cop 870 short barrel street sweeper. I suppose the same thing could happen to the 870s- it just never has. If your Mossy works well, perfect. if not, get steel..

  11. I have owned and shot both models of shotgun. I personally feel the Remington is a better gun from a fit, feel, and construction standpoint. I have had issues with the Mossberg ejecting an unfired shell along with the spent shell while shooting at geese from a sitting position. Both guns are work horses and have proven histories, but I personally think the Remington is the better of the two. The Mossberg can and will sometimes eject two shells if pumped at the right angle pointing upward.

  12. I’ve shot both and can’t tell the difference other than the safety placement. I own the 500 and did some modifing of the forend. I took a quad rail I had laying around and “reworked” it to fit. It’s a thing of beauty. My only issue is the dual action bars. They have a lot of “sloppy play”? I don’t remember but is the 870 forend “sloppy”? I mean noisy, shaky and just not solid.


  13. Familiarization is the keyword to me. I grew up with single & double barrel shotguns. Most of my friends switched to Semi-Autos in their teens, usually shortly after getting their first job. I have limited movement of my right arm from a childhood accident, and the semi auto bolt has a nasty habit of slamming into one of my fingers if I’m not careful so I usually stay away from them. I picked up a nice SS Marine Defense type 500 for a good price and I like both the 3 inch capability and the extended magazine. The tang safety is similar to the older shotguns I grew up with. I can load and fire it in the dark with out having to think about anything. That makes it the gun for me. Hunting or home defense it does not matter. You cant stop to think about weapon operation. It has to be automatic.

  14. A decade or to ago, the 870 would have won this match up hands down. Since then, Mossberg has improved and caught up with (or maybe surpassed) with Remington. Today, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Both are a decent choice and will serve you well.

  15. I’ve had a Mossberg 500 with interchangeable barrels for nearly 40 years–with the 16″ barrel, it’s great for the house; with the long barrel and interchangeable chokes it’s good for trap and field. It’s probably just me, but the safety placement and the release on the Remington just felt “wrong.” There’s a reason that the Mossberg 500 action is the basis for many police guns.

  16. I had a 870 Tactical and after shooting it stock, I did some mods to it and then the issues started, first thing I added was the mag tube extension and all that did was make the shotgun not load and reload correctly, then tube extensions would come loose and would not allow me to fully load the tube up due to the slight gap between the two tubes coming together, I tried several different brands of mag tube kits. Then one day out shooting the ejector broke, that’s when I found out it was pinned in and I had to either send it back to Remington or get a gunsmith to fix it, unlike the Mossy it’s ejector is screwed in and easily replaced if it breaks.

    So in closing all I had was issue after issue with that 870, I thought maybe the more I shoot it the better it will get, nope that wasn’t the case it got worse, polished the chamber still would extract or eject shells correctly, then the extractor broke, I fixed it and sold it all.

    I recently got a Mossberg 500 after shooting one at the range and all I have to say is with the Mossberg the more I shoot it the better it does get. Easier to reload and maintain, safety is quicker to use, in all the shotty is to me a better shotgun.

  17. In 1989 my military training unit was given a handful of M590s to try out. We were doing tactical shotgun training that day, using 00 Buck, and we had the Mossbergs and Remingtons to shoot. I happened to have just purchased my own M590, so I took it with me to training (in my unit we were allowed to back then).

    By the end of the day my Mossberg was the only one left functioning because either the steel tang safeties had broken in half or a pin within the trigger group kept sliding out of place, rendering the shotgun unable to fire.

    None of the Remingtons had recoil pads but my Mossberg did, so after a while everybody would wait in line to use my shotgun to blast that MILSPEC 00 Buck. Every man (about 14 of us) must have shot at least 150 rounds that day – talk about bruised and battered shoulders!

  18. I had a Remington 870. It jammed on the very 1st shot I took with it. I got rid of it and replaced it with a Mossberg 590 instead and have never looked back. Even though the Mossberg feels “looser” and not as tight as the Remington, the Mossberg is better suited for me for the following reasons:

    1. Being left handed, the safety on the Mossberg is in a much better
    position than the Remington for me.

    2. The Mossberg has dual extraction hooks, vs Remington with
    only one extraction hook.

    3. The shell loading area on the Remington has that annoying
    flap that just gets in the way.

    4. The release button on the Mossberg is better positioned vs the
    Remington for me

  19. Gotta go with the Mossberg. Mine is 30 years old, still shoots like brand new. 2nd year I owned it I out shot a Browning at a turkey shoot. Wow! It hunts dove, deer, and just about anything else. Rifled slug barrel and b-square scope mount and no deer has a chance out to 125 yards. 24 inch barrel for dove, squirrel and rabbit. And the 18.5 for those other pesky critters. Yep, Mossberg for me.

    1. @DMorgan,
      Got to agree i have as i said before my dads moss 500 with 4 barrels 18.5 home defense,26inch rifled slug with cantilever scope mount ,26 inch adjust a choke field barrel, .50 cal muzzleloader inline takes 209 shotshell primers. I could not count the number of game and varmints up to black bear old faithful has taken .The slug barrel is deadly accurate to 150 plus with 3 inch mag lightfield slugs. The smooth bore field barrel will shoot foster slugs out to 125yrds with ease and i now have the kick-lite M4 style buttstock and grip and is dealy accurate with 125 grains of pyrodex and a 350 grain .50 cal muzzleloading bullet .powerbelts and hornady FPB’S do the job past 200 yards. The safety is in the perfect place for hunters and shooters at the top as it is they are almost impossible to kill very hardy shotguns and with the 4 barrels i can hunt anything walking north american continent in right conditions and barrel attached. It is the ultimate all around SHTF weapon as it is i will stick with dads old mossy.

  20. I was raised on the 870 Wingmaster, in both 20 and 12 gauge. Never, ever, failed me. I shoot lefty, and the safety is no problem. Had no problem getting through police academy qualifications either. It was required that we carried with the trigger /action disengaged, no round in the chamber, and safety off. Required a pump to engage target or bad guy. Safety only was engaged when situation was clear. Then when situation permitted, the live round was extracted and re-fed back to magazine.

    Remington 870 in general does not require tools to strip and clean. While in PD, weekly roll calls included field stripping and reassembly in front of Sgt. (in addition to other tactical drills). No blindfolds, though I really think we were all proficient enough to have done it!

    I have a couple of Mossbergs which have had problems with the safety slide cracking, ball detent going missing, and requiring new parts. Replacements were steel, so problem solved. Mossberg is not quite as forgiving when it comes to take-down and reassembly however.

    Otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly – both are fine shotguns for hunting and defense. Biggest recommendation I have for both models is to replace the crappy plastic shell follower.

  21. I used to have Winchester 97 Trench gun from WWI (bayonet and all). That was our “house gun”. I eventually sold it after having it 30 years. For what I sold it for I figured I could buy 5 tactical shotguns for my wife. I grew up with double barreled shotguns and eventually went for the tang safety, but my wife COULD NOT release it. We tend to forget that women have weaker hands than we do! Sure, it would loosen up after a lot of shells, but this is a tactical shotgun. My wife is not out shooting dove with it. I pray she never has to use it in home defense. She was deadly with the ’97. All she had to do is hold the trigger back and pump the action!

  22. I’ll give it to the Mossy in terms of specs and overall quality, but I chose to go for the 870 for one reason, versatility. . I’m not a shotgun guy. I have two shotguns, a New England Arms 410 and my 870. The 870 is the “fleet” model of shotguns and with the sheer amount of aftermarket parts and accessories (keep in mind I’m no fan of “tacticool”) I can adapt the 870 from a bird gun into a home defense weapon tailored to my specific needs. For a few bucks I can also turn it into (for all intents and purposes) a large caliber rifle… However, all that said, I still have mad respect for the Mossy.

    1. Most likely the shotgun has a safety because of a lawsuit…..not an act of God .All dogs go to heaven , lawyers do not .

  23. I’ve owned both the Rem. 870 and the Moss. 500. Both are great shotguns. However, I’m a leftie and the Mossberg is far superior for left-handed shooters.

  24. MOSS head and shoulders.
    These guns are generally for home defense not for hunting. They MUST be reliable. Mine has never failed.
    On the other hand millions of Remington 742 owners have been stuck over the years with the King of Bad Extractors designed, engineered, and manufactured by REMINGTON. Call em looking for answers on this one and they disavow any knowledge of ever having created this bastard.
    If you want the best in this category YOU BUY MOSSBERG, hands down!

  25. I’ve owned the 500 for 20 plus, it was my first firearm I bought. Hasn’t let me down ever. I still have original 28inch barrel and is the easiest to break down. Would like to get an 18inch barrel one day, 5 stars…

  26. Which one has sold the most shotguns that have been in service the longest? Does longevity mean anything to the purchaser? Nothing against the Mossberg, but I’m a Remington man myself. I own five Rem 870’s. All are Wingmasters!

  27. Of all the shotguns I have owned the original early built Winchester 97, and the 12 long barraled full chokes to me were the best shotguns made.
    I out shot Yonkers and massmen s with braces of every known brand and style made.
    A few of those pukers could realy shoot skeet and clays but many a clay fell at longer distances by my old guns.
    I have 2 Remingtons whoops actually 4 and only one Mossburg, while my 20 semi Remy is beautiful any of muy past 20ga Moss outshot it.
    My moss spent 5 days and nights in bay mud becUse buddies dog knocked it overboard and due to storm we wIted.
    Found it only because mud had built up a profile , jumping into cold waist deepmud shirt and pants off I wallowed to it, and on way back sloshed out action .
    Once in boat getting dressed my bud fired it three times and off we went to the blinds.
    Would a Remington of done any diff I doubt it.
    The second or third 97 I bought had sat inside of a barn , never cleaned and used to pot crows yotes groundhogs by original owner.
    Extreme low numbers and only protection he used was Marvel oil and old glove over barrell..
    Great shooter and inside was pristine but outside had more pits than moon. .
    One nice thing about moss and rem is they are easy to msintain, and I unlike many do not abuse and treat them as cheap throwaways.
    Either on will outlast a man and possibly up to his grandsons demise.

    1. I agree. I used to own a Winchester pump and its action was smooth as silk. It too had a aluminum receiver. Remington’s 870 was embraced by the military because it was made from steel. Its action is heavy and a just a bit slower than the Winchester. Remington also developed one of the best recoil pads in the business about seven or eight years ago. It does significantly reduce recoil and if you are shooting 3″ buck shells you will appreciate the new technology.

  28. I have never had the pleasure of handling an 870, but I LOVE my Mossy 500 convertible! I have broken thousands of clay pigeons with it, and at home, it is configured with the 18 1/2 inch barrel and is my primary home defense piece. For home defense, it is loaded with low recoil 12 gauge slugs!

  29. Like the article said, they’re both great guns. I’ve shot both of them quite a bit over the years, and either one will get the job done nicely. Just a personal choice, but I really prefer the tang safety on the Mossberg, so that would give it a slight edge in my book. And the dual extractors are nice – not that I’ve ever had any problems with the Remington.

  30. I owned a Mossberg 500 pump 25 years ago. It fell apart in my hands shooting 3″ BB’s in a goose field. I traded it for a Remington 870, and have owned many since. Remington’s handle everything you throw at it. I would never buy another Mossberg. You get what you pay for.

  31. These where two very good comparisons. I have own a 500 and a 870 for more than 30 years they both are as reliable as you will ever need. It would have been helpful to define the 870 as either an Epress or Wingmaster. There is a difference between the two. I also have mod 1300 all these pump guns I have taken deer and small game with. As I like reliably along with a smooth action I choose my 1300 over all. Just remember in any situation hunting or self defense if you don’t have a feel for the gun and practice it just dose not matter.

  32. I shot my first pheasant in 1955 with my older brother’s Remington 870 , my first whitetail with a pre-war Savage pump , and trained on both Mossberg and Remington police shotguns . Guess what , I like Winchester ’97s, Model 12 ,and 1300s too Shotguns Rock ,SxS,O/U ,singles ….All of them !

  33. i dont know about the new remingtons now a days, the old 870s never had issues, the new ones it seems remington was doing something to save money or boost there revenue, i know three guys that bought 870s the dont eject shells, (not just cheep shells but all shells) the latest one is my sons new supermag. First day shooting (dove) the gun wont eject and is loading another round while one is stuck in the chamber. at first we were like crap this cant be happening and said ok lets break this gun in a little. So next time out we ran everything from low base to high base duck loads and had issues with every load we ran through it. Then trying to get a new gun fixed is like going to the moon. the gun was sent to a small shop by remington, worked on, came back and same thing. the gun now is back at the same shop for the second time so we will see what happens this go around. I wont be telling anyone to buy a remington anytime soon.

  34. I have had a Winchester model 12 all my life. QU items alot of using friends model 12, I had one for a while in the Nam, Hoi An area. I have traveled extensively and in the old days, it was customary to check in with the Embassy and Consular office. Weapon of choice was Winchester.

    What happened? ??

  35. I have had my Model 500 Persuader since 1988. Never had a jam or any other issue with it. Chambers 2 3/4″ or 3″ shells. 7 in the mag and 1 in the pipe with easy magazine top-off makes for a lot of firepower. Mine wears a Mossberg heat shield on the barrel and an M-4 style pistol grip/collapsible stock and a matching plastic pump grip. I only shoot 00 buck out of it.

  36. While stationed on the good ship U.S.S Dewey in the year 1982, I happened to be the ships Welfare and Recreation Committee lead NCO.

    It was decided that we would sponsor a Skeet shoot during our upcoming 6 month Med deployment so off to a local gunstore I went to purchase the following items: 2 32inch Skeet barrels to fit our Mil-Spec Mossberg 500 Shotguns, 10,000 rounds of clays and 10,000 rounds of low brass #8 shot shells, and 2 throwers.

    We modified the throwers so they could be mounted to the M2 mounts on the Starboard side of the 01 level and got under way.

    Once relieved from radar picket duty off of the coast of Beruit one fine sunny Sunday, I retrieved those items along with 2 Mossberg shotguns from the Landing Force locker, set both throwers up on the Starboard 01 level and while the MS’s we cooking Steak and Lobster on the fantail I had the skeet shoot announced over the 1MC . 1 dollar for 3 shots 5 for 20.(This was a fund-raiser.)

    The line immediately went from the bridge to the missle magazine then forward again to the ASROC launcher.

    In the next 3 hours we fired all 10000 round of shells stopping every 3rd shooter to cool the guns off in a 55 gallon drum of fresh sea water. We had 3 fail to fires due to powder residue on the hammer of both shotguns. (We used the barrel of sea water to steam clean the actions.) we had 5 torch offs (the shotgun was so hot the round went off when chambered.) We burned the bluing off of both barrels. (The Duty Gunners mate and I were both curious what these guns would take.) and partially unparkerized the reciever on gun #1.

    Any guesses as to which shotgun sits under my bed?

  37. only prob with that train train train is if the gun does not work right does not matter how much you train with it you cannot count on it to do the job and that is when you have the problem is when you need it to work the most murphys law man dictates it can happenj it will happen at the very worst time i want to know my firearm will work every single time i need it to or i do not want that firearm in my collection period . So that theorie is simply ludicrusd in my opinion the gun has to work every singkle time i pull the trigger or i am not hoping it saves my life when i need it to or harvest the animal quickly and cleanly like an ethical hunter will not compromise at any time buy what works or pass man save the money and buy what works in gunplay it only takes 1 time to live or die you do not get a reset button . self defense gun has to work every single time or dump it quickly as the weapon for the use it is not worth risking lives to save a few bucks i want my gun to work under all conditions .I will stay with an older gun i know will work over fancy shiny new all day long . The bad guy does not care how fancy the firearms is .If it dont work every single time dump it fast.

  38. The most important & true statement in this article – regardless of what is being “compared” – is, “A lifetime of familiarization beats any specification sheet or online article telling you which is best any day of the week.”

    Stop comparing, bickering, bragging, etc., and get out there and train, train, train to become proficient with what you have.

  39. We need to remember that law enforcement and military get a higher grade of the same gun than the ones sold to the public.

    1. Hardly, the milspec Mossberg you buy is usually much better finished and fitted. I’ve been “initial issued” several different weapons: the M16A2, the M9 and Mossbergs – in every case, you could buy a better “civilian” version. Why you ask? Simple, I couldn’t take it back to the store if I got it home and was dissatisfied. MIL inspectors only look to see if it meets the minimum specs.
      The M249 as issued was a piece of junk after user input, it became a relatively handy piece of kit. The same wad true of the M16, M1911A1, M9 (it’s still a piece of crap) – even the M1903 went through six versions and most of us prefer the A3-A6 versions over the originals.

  40. For duty we use the Remington 870, but for personal defense a few years back I got a great deal on a Mossberg 500 Tactical setup. It came tact-out in a pistol grip configuration, a 3 picatinny (tri-rail) system on the fore-end, a six position adjustable stock, and a pre-mounted five-load side saddle.

    In addition to that I added a folding vertical foregrip to the lower picatinny of the tri-rail on the pump. I then added a low profile 5.5 inch picatinny top rail mount (love that Mossy already had pre-tapped screws for this inexpensive addition). Then to that top rail I mounted an open Reflex CQB Red/Green Dot sight. On the front right picatinny rail I mounted a very compact laser/flashlight combo with a pressure switch routed to the vertical foregrip (this light is brighter than I expected). Then later I replaced the stock standard plastic safety selector with a raised metal aftermarket version.

    This thing gets used and abused by my entire (large) family every time we go shooting. Not only have we never had a single feed or failure to fire issue, but I am impressed at how well all the relatively cheap add-ons have held up over the years. I really figured something would have crapped out by now. The only reason I replaced the safety with a raised selector is because one of my daughters just can’t seem to manipulate the stock Mossberg safety. However, I imagine that is a regular problem for many folks given the fact they sell the raised aftermarket version.

  41. I have two Mossberg 500’s. One is rather old and has never presented me with a problem. It is a field gun and has served me well for years. Two years ago I bought a new 500 as a self defense gun. I shot it last spring for the first time, with 2 &3/4 inch buckshot. Much to my surprise, I had 3 failures to feed that jammed the action and required some manipulation to clear. Never had anything like that with my old Mossberg.
    Further, I have an even older Ithaca 37 featherlite. I have used it for years, and like my old Mossberg, it has never been the least problem in any respect. So, I must agree with the earlier comments on the Ithaca, which was given to me by my grandfather when I was about 12.
    I was disappointed by the new Mossberg and wonder if I can depend on it as my home defense gun. I am 73 and have used pump guns since I was 12. The relatively new Mossberg is the only one that has ever failed to function, normally.

  42. I love my old 870 and trust my life to it. So it breaks my hart to say this but the new Express is junk! I have worked with a never fired one and had 2 jams in less than 20 rounds. Had to tear it down to get the shell out. I have talked to several gun smiths and this is common not a one off. They are not your grandpas 870!

    The shops say they have to sell them because they are what the buyer wants based on reputation. Half of them come back messed up.

    Remington was sold to Freedom Group some time back. Since then the quality of the new Express has tanked. Fit, finish, and the only thing that really counts- RELIABILITY- have gone away. According to the shop keepers half of them jam the first time at the range and many have to be sent back to Remington for the fix. The buyers ask for them on the reputation of the 870 (mine 40 years no problems ) then come back crying. Remington has also had a lot of recalls on other products. This is heart breaking . I love all my old Rem stuff. I still use my dads old mod 6 rolling block -1920s and mod 41 target master-1930s.

    If you have a new 870 get 100 rounds of cheap target ammo and give it a high speed rough workout BEFORE you load it and set it by the door for home D!

    Like I said I am a Remington guy. I felt SICK at the range last week.

    1. There has also been a problem with the mag spring slipping over the follower and causing a jam. — NOT in the old ones!

  43. Agreed on the mossie over the 1000.00 shotguns in the field why my ol moss 500 is named old faithful always fills my tags and never lets me down . ever. Never let my dad down when i was growing up i am sure it will serve on with my son after i am long gone the ol moss 500 will still be barking 3 inch mags down range harvesting game . OLD FAITHFULL has served 3 generations and still roaring shells downrange and will hang with the 1000.00 dollar shotguns all day long .

  44. Being an ols fart I can remember when moneyed people made fun of my mossies but I always made my mossie proud of the game we brought home. Mossberg has come to the place where I am proud of their guns in any crowd. During a goose hunt in Arkansas last fall the thousand dollar gun owners made fun of us when we arrived but felt ashamed when we left with our tags filled!!

  45. I have both a Remington 870 and a Mossberg 500. The 870 I bought in 1985 when I turned 18 and it’s a Ranger not a wing master regretfully. I have multiple barrels for each even though originally both were 28 inch barrels with fixed full choke.The mossy was my dads and I started shooting you when I was about nine years old for duck and geese along with pheasant pigeon, dove, Quail skeet trap etc. I’ve used both for everything under the sun in every kind of weather condition. In cold wet freezing conditions where I have gloves on I prefer the Mossy due to the fact that it’s easier to load with gloves on with a cut trigger finger and operate the safety which by the way is almost an exact copy of the Browning. With the Remmy I’ve only had a couple of failed to extracts since I’ve had it. I’ve never had a failure to extract with the Mossberg that I can remember. One thing I don’t like about the new Mossberg’s though is the tube has a weird configuration with a screw thet needs to be removed in order to clean it or put in or remove the plug This in my mind but maybe for not some is a big difference as it makes cleaning or or complete disassembly harder with the screw that can be lost easily. So instead of going with the Mossy when I bought my grandson his 12 gauge I got the Remington. If I could’ve found one of the older model used Mossberg’s I probably would’ve got it over the Remington but either way you go both are fantastic shotguns and I would surely bet my life on the function of either. One other thing of note Mossy barrels and custom parts, slides and assessories arue much more easy to find in just about every conceivable patterns to customize guns in anyway you see fit. Even Magpul is making stocks and parts for both but it still seems like it’s easier to Find them for the Mossy. Both guns of easily seen at least 10,000 rounds and I’ve never been baby book always cleaned and oiled well at the end of use and I would bet they would shoot another 10,000 rounds without a problem

  46. I heard that with the 870, you’re wearing gloves they can catch on while reloading much easier than the 500

  47. I have used both shotguns in both field and tactical capacities. In hunting situations, I have found the 870 to more apt to jam (failure to eject and failure to load) with low-end ammo. Nothing aggravates me more than a firearm that will not choke down what ever ammo in on sale at Walmart!

    In tactical use,the Mossberg has a very serious problem. The magazine tube on the Mossberg, at least on the shotguns I was issued, were made of much thinner material and had a tendency to to be easily dented. Even a slight dent in a magazine tube will cause the rounds to jam in the tube and failure to feed malfunctions. These shotguns (breaching tools) were exposed to higher amounts of rough handling and abuse, perhaps more than most ‘normal’ hunting or self defense situations; but then again, it is a real weakness and something to think about.

  48. Don’t concur with this article at all– but I am biased! I prefer a semi-automatic shotgun because of the hard-hold principal I was taught by the gunsmith that I used to work with, John Smith of Carpentersville.
    When it comes to pumps, nobody mentions a better one than these, — the Ithaca model 37 featherlight!
    If you want to see why it is better, go to:

    1. I carried an Ithaca model 37 riot shotgun in Vietnam. I was on tanks so I didn’t have any use for the M-16 or the grease gun. It was modified so that as long as you held the trigger and pumped another round in it fired. It was very good to have in CQB!

  49. Been using dads old moss 500 my entire life i even named her old faithful as ohio used to be a slug gun hunting only state for deer i used the old moss 500 for many many deer hunts with a scoped rifled slug barrel ,changing the barrel takes under 1 minute to be any barrel i may need including a 50 cal muzzleloading rifled barrel which i have also used on many deer hunts i had never used a slug gun to hunt deer down sth until i moved to ohio but if i had to choose a moss over remington the old moss 500 will win every time ,simple reliable and very accurate with both black powder barrel and rifled slug barrel is outstanding out to 150 yrds with 3 inch slugs or 120 grains of pyrodex thankfully ohio now lets us hunt with straight walled rifles now i use a 45.70 break open but if i need to the old moss 500 has put many on my wall and in my freezer over last 10 yrs in ohio. For a pump shotgun the old moss 500 cannot be matched in my eyes price or user wise by any other out there for the money .JMHO.

    1. The 88 does have dual extractors. I’ve had one for a few years and have no real complaints of the 88 but will say that mine has a ‘traditional’ push-button safety at the front of the trigger guard and with my short fingers it is impossible to activate the action release without breaking a firing grip.

      If I could get a do over I would have spent a little more to get the 500 only because it is pre drilled for a scope mount. Maybe not a big deal but it is one more item on the list of diverse options available for a shotgun.

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