I will post this here and on THR as I would like to get back to my dealer soonest.
I bought a Ruger MK512 from a local gun shop a few years ago. Recently discovered it had manufacturing defect. Ruger is shipping a replacement with new serial number. The shop is willing to take it into stock so I don't have to register and give me credit against another item. That item will be either a Mossberg or Remington HD model.
I am looking at the 590 9 shot with 20" barrel, the 500 with either 18.5 inch barrel and 6 shots or 20 with 8 shots, the Remington 870 18 inch with 7 shots.
Are there any issues/preferences with barrel length or magazine size on either for HD and modest level of competition? I tried mounting an 870 and a 500 and both feel very nice with the Mossberg having perhaps an edge. I noticed that the Remington has the longer stock, but both feel good and I get an immediate good sight picture.
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March 31, 2005, 08:20 AM
If I am reading what you presented correctly there are four options-
There is IMHO a significant design flaw with the 500, and that is lack of easy access to the magazine tube for maintenance and cleaning. Even if the gun is kept inside exclusively the magazine spring eventually will need changing. But you mention competition too, and that means going outside, and dragging the gun through whatever course of fire and weather conditions present themselves. Pulling maintenance on a magazine tube that has to be removed from the receiver for access is a nonstarter for me. I know a lot of people have used 500s under less than perfect conditions and not had problems with them. But the difficulty in accesing the magazine tube on the 500 is something I don't like, many of the problems with tubular magazine- fed shotguns grow from grime/grit/crud in the magazine and shell latches and from spring problems and the area should be easily and fully accessible on any serious gun.
Mossberg addressed that problem with the design changes in the 590 since the military contract specifications required it. If the 590 feels better to you, that's what you should go with- keep in mind that extended magazines when fully loaded change the balance and 'feel' of the gun somewhat. It bothers some people more than others, and it is something you can get accustomed to with use and practice.
I see no real advantages or disadvantages to an inch or two of barrel more or less and a shell or two in magazine capacity either way. Again it is a personal preference issue. I like the shorter barrels and am willing to accept the slightly reduced magazine capacity that comes with them. You might want the extra magazine capacity and be willing to settle for the slightly longer barrel that requires. You will not be disadvantaged by either gun IMO.
March 31, 2005, 08:58 AM
I happen to be a Mossberg fan...Mossys just "fit" me better. Pulling the mag tube is the only downer about the design. It is a major PITA to get it loose, particularly the first time.
I seriously doubt that you will find much difference on the function/reliability of the 2 brands. One 'fix' highly recommended for the Mossberg 500 is to swap out the plastic saftey button for a metal one...less than $15.
Essentially, it comes down to which model gives you the best 'fit & feel'. You won't be under-gunned with any of those choices.
March 31, 2005, 09:07 AM
I'm a Remmy type, but go with the one you like better.
Both are good to go.
March 31, 2005, 12:36 PM
Like Lee mentioned, the mag tube access is less than desirable on the 500. Its also less than desireable on my 590, there's a piece in the end of the mag tube that prevents the spring from being removed. The mossberg website says the 18.5" 590A1 has the "swab straight through" tube, however isnt mentioned on the 20" 590A1 models.
March 31, 2005, 08:29 PM
Zach, where is this piece you're talking about? I have a "pre A1" 590 and all I have to do is unscrew the end cap and pull the spring out. Or is this a subtle difference on the A1 with it's "even stronger barrel"?
April 1, 2005, 08:16 AM
Its in the end of the mag tube. Unsrew the cap, and there it is.
 I was afraid to try and remove it because I thought it would be spot-welded or press-fit too tight. After this post I said the hell with it and decided to try removing it. It pulled right out. It was easy enough I probably could have just took the endcap off, loaded the magazine, and watch it spit the thingamijig, spring, and buckshot all over the floor.
I bet its mentioned in the owner's manual. I may have to read it someday...
Guy B. Meredith
April 1, 2005, 11:14 AM
The shotguns I looked at for fit and feel were both wood stock. Chances are I will be getting a synthetic stock--field grade if Mossberg. Any differences? I will be checking these out tomorrow at another store where they are in stock, but having some notion of what to look for helps.
April 2, 2005, 12:02 AM
While my vote is for the 870, they are both fine guns IMHO. The one that is best is the one you've put 5000 rounds through in practice...
Review of the 870 vs the 590 here (http://www.tacticalworks.ca/content_nonsub/shotguns/compare_870_590.html).