Who's seen or had a broken Mossberg 500?


Tropical Z
October 5, 2006, 01:51 AM
Frequently,you hear on the web that the 500 is vastly inferior to a Remington 870 and your'e crazy to get the first over the latter.I've read in the past that a 500 can be purposely "broken" by fast stroking it (terminology :confused: ) and that this is the 500's achilles heal.What do you really think? Is a 500 a perfectly capable shotgun that can be used for a long time if taken reasonably good care of?

If you enjoyed reading about "Who's seen or had a broken Mossberg 500?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Fred Fuller
October 5, 2006, 07:18 AM
One should be careful not to pay too much attention to the Errornet.

I have a couple of Mossberg 500s, have had for years now. They don't get used a lot simply because I prefer other makes/models, not because there is anything desperately wrong with either the design or Mossberg's execution of it. The plastic safety buttons tend to break, but there is a metal replacement. My perennial complaint with the Model 500 design is that the only way to clean out the magazine is to remove the magazine tube from the receiver- NOT a good plan IMO, since many problems with tubular magazine shotguns arise in the magazine itself. Note that Mossberg's decision to compete for a military contract with the Model 590 produced a change in this design to one offering through-and-through magazine tube access. I prefer that by far to the design of the 500.

Still, the 500 is serviceable- IN THE HANDS OF A CAPABLE OPERATOR. It is the shooter who matters far more than the gun. Worry more about getting good at shooting a shotgun- any shotgun- and less about what's "the best" shotgun, and you will be far better off!


October 5, 2006, 07:32 AM
worst broken part ive seen on a mossberg 500 was a cracked trigger assembly due to the buttstock getting twisted and breaking the plastic of the trigger assembly. trigger assembly was still operable but was more dificult to reinstall after cleaning.

it is quite possible the remington 870 is a better gun, but i just dont see it. mossbergs are reliable and durable. so are the remingtons. i see them as equals. only deciding factor for me is the location of the slide release. i prefer the mossberg for that reason alone.

October 5, 2006, 07:37 AM
Bought two over the years that were "broken". Both had been damaged by accident rather than wear and both were put back into service. From the look on the inside, neither had been cleaned for years.

Think a lot of this is just net-crap, has no real basis, isn't from experience.

Dave McCracken
October 5, 2006, 09:32 AM
Had a very used 500 with short barrel. I picked up for $65,IIRC.Old security beater. Had it for a year or so, No probs, and I used it hard. Sold it for a profit because I didn't like changing my chops.

870s are great shotguns. Mossberg 500s are very good shotguns....

October 5, 2006, 09:50 AM
Having owned nothing BUT Mossberg 500 variants for 35 years of shooting, personally I would say they are certainly not overly prone to breakage. Some of mine were used alot, and used HARD (in the field) for many years, and I never had a problem with any of them. I cleaned 'em but NEVER completely stripped them down. One in particular (my 1st, a 20 gauge field gun, bought used, which I also practiced shooting clays (informal trap) with almost every weekend--at least 100 rounds), was also carryied around, dropped from trees (deer hunting) fell in the mud...Whatever. Never a malfunction if you kept it reasonable clean (well, never a malfunction as I DID keep it reasonably clean).

Anyway, While I've never owned anything but Mossbergs, I've shot Remingtons and Winchesters, and know many people that have for years. And I would say theres essentially no real difference, from a quality/reliability standpoint, with any of them.

October 5, 2006, 10:15 AM
I bought a very well used pre-68 M500; it had a broken firing pin. It was replaced (with a new bolt, since the guy that sold it to me couldn't get the pin out of the bolt) and that was that.

October 5, 2006, 10:29 AM
While I like the great looks of a Classic Rem 870 Wingmaster, I prefer the Mossberg 500/Maverick 88 for my serious shotgun work.

My only 'knock' on the Mossberg500's /Maverick 88's is that you need to unscrew the mag tube off the receiver to clean it out. . . . Like I had to once, after my Maverick & I got 'dunked in the drink' Never mind.. a long story about nothing, other than "Oh, yeah, right about there, the creek drops off to 6 feet deep."

An even smaller caveat is the that the "M&M" shotguns use a very small 'skeleton' cartridge elevator, so don't even try to use those tiny Aguilla (brand??) mini-shells. They will fall through the loading port. Confirmed this for myself.

October 5, 2006, 10:31 AM
How does the 590 have a "through-and-through" magazine design?

When I take the cap off of mine there's a plug in there that retains the spring and follower. To get the plug out I need to unscrew the mag tube anyway to take out the spring, get a dowel in there, and smack the plug out...

October 5, 2006, 11:03 AM
The 590 is supposed to be able to have the end pulled out by working it a bit at a time with a small screwdriver/pry bar. That way, the mag tube stays on the receiver, but it can be cleaned.

I don't have a 590/835 model, so I can't say for sure.

October 5, 2006, 11:06 AM
Not sure it this qualifies as "broken" but I used to shoot with a guy who had a 500 that dumped shells on the ground all the time. It took a ton-o-patience to shoot clays with this guy and you can imagine how popular he was with the grumpy snob types.
He now shoots an 1187 with a LC barrel. He (and everyone else on the field) is much happier.

October 5, 2006, 11:21 AM
I had an old Mossberg single action bar from the fifties or sixties sold as the "model 310 Revelation" through Western Auto. It had been used many, many seasons and the extractors were a little worn. Occasionally it had a failure to extract a case cleanly and I'd have to clear it. It'd been easy enough to fix, but I wanted a new camo one anyway, so I bought a new Mossy and sold that one cheap. I've used my "new one" now for about 15 waterfowl seasons. This thing has "seen the elephant" as they say. It's been through heck and is still workin' fine. Mossys are rugged and reliable and affordable, perfect for a waterfowl gun. It's killed many a duck and goose over those 15 years and has many more to dispatch.

I prefer the Mossberg for a couple of reasons to the 870 for the purpose of waterfowl hunting. When I was a kid, I had an 870 Wingmaster. I did NOT like that loading gate/elevator blocking the magazine when loading. On a cold morning, that thing would pinch my cold numbed thumb and hurt like heck! If you didn't get the shell ALL the way in until the magazine clicked, it'd slide back under that gate and jam the gun. You had to get out a pocket knife and get it back into the magazine. It was a PITA. Also, I shoot left handed and really prefer the tang safety on the Mossberg. I'd LOVE a Browning BPS, but I don't want an expensive shotgun out in the salt marsh and, after all, the Mossberg has proven to work just fine.

pete f
October 5, 2006, 06:26 PM
I used to work at a gun shop that had a real gunsmith, a guy who could make you parts if no one had any. He taught me some about fixing guns and one of the first things I worked on was having to reattach action bars to the ring that the forearm would attach to. I bet I fixed 20 or more in the first year. They are spot welded and they seemed have issues, we also had several that came in with cracked stocks at the top of the end of the receiver where it attached. We had some spares and that was before the synthetic stocks were available. We had a few, less than ten, that had the trigger return spring get soft so they would not reset without help.

Zeke Menuar
October 5, 2006, 08:17 PM
I inherited a Mossberg 500 aka Western Field 550A

The safety switch on top of the reciever was missing. Call to Brownells for a metal replacement. Zillions of rounds later, no issues.

No clue when this gun was made.


October 6, 2006, 01:45 AM
I owned an 870 Express once. I currently own 3 Mossberg 500's.
If you were to give me a choice I would take the Mossberg everytime.

October 6, 2006, 02:54 PM
The most common failures of the Mossberg 500 are:
Broken safeties are fairly common.
The plastic just doesn't seem to hold up well.

Broken action bar welds.
Not real common, but does happen.

Shell stop problems.
The Mossberg seems to have a problem with either double feeds into the receiver, or more common, a shell in the magazine being ejected out onto the ground.

I saw a few cracks in plastic trigger groups that did not effect function and continued to be used for years with no problems.

I saw a few cracked stocks in the area where the stock joins the receiver.
Again, this didn't effect function, and the guns continued to be used.

Thin Black Line
October 6, 2006, 03:31 PM
When I was in Iraq with my M500 and would travel from FOB to FOB, I would
meet up with other M500 carrying soldiers prior to convoys, standing in line
for something, etc and no one had ever seen or heard of a problem
with the M500s. Most of us had "stay-behind" M500s inherited from earlier
units --most from the beginning in 03. By the time I left theater, mine
had been there at least two years before we handed it off to an MP unit.

Only thing to watch for if you're clearing more than firing is not to keep
using the same shell over and over. And, that's more of a "just in case"
so you don't wear the rim. But, again, never heard of a problem with
that either. I just didn't want to be the first to find out!

I have a 590 at home and have used it for deer hunting.

Thin Black Line
October 6, 2006, 03:33 PM
Broken action bar welds.
Not real common, but does happen.

When? After an IED blows up under it?

October 6, 2006, 06:54 PM
I've a 500. My father and brother, as well. Great guns for the money. They're sort of a family tradition. They kill rabbits just as dead as guns costing 4 times as much.:D We've never had any problems with them.

October 6, 2006, 07:09 PM
A friend of mine had a broken pin in the trigger assembly. It still shot, but it somehow felt wrong so we stripped it and saw the problem.

October 6, 2006, 08:42 PM
1) Broken plastic safeties.

2) Action bars coming unsoldered from the pump handle tube.

October 6, 2006, 11:55 PM
Things that set the Mossy apart:

1) location of safety
2) location and ease of use of slide release

Those two things "sealed the deal" over the 870 or the 1300 for me.

October 7, 2006, 12:40 AM
Worked on one that a resturant owner kept on a shelf 3 feet above his deep fryer. It suffered from a warped frame. I'm guessing due to the heat. All internal parts were fine. Just a trashed receiver.

IIRC correctly he said he paid less than $100 for it years ago and it had resided above the fryer for over 5 years.

October 7, 2006, 04:05 AM
That's really, really strange... aluminum wouldn't warp at those temperatures.

October 7, 2006, 11:45 AM
Yeah, I always wondered about that too. But the frame was warped. Of course it could have been damaged some other way and I assumed it was due to heat.

When we put the straight edge on the port side of the receiver we noticed it. A slight concaving. And I mean slight. I didn't mic out it though. Wish I had.

Anyway he said he would contact Mossberg. The resturant closed down a few months later so I never got a chance to follow up with him about it.

As an aside someone I worked with thought I ought to offer him $50 for the gun just for the parts. Probably should have done that too.

Dave Rishar
October 7, 2006, 01:25 PM
The most common problem by far that I observed was broken sight beads. I don't think too many of the shooters even noticed. Students would also occasionally put them back together wrong after cleaning (or not have the parts "just right") and attempt to force things when the problem was noticed. I never saw one break from this.

A few of ours had trigger assemblies that didn't fit quite right. I'm not sure if they came from the depot like that or assemblies had been swapped around. Regardless, my trick for making them fit was to knock them into the receiver with a blow from the barrel, taking care not to hit the bead. (Replacing those got tiresome.) I never saw anything damaged by this, other than the finish.

When giving a safety briefing prior to a shotgun shoot, I used to harp upon the importance of cycling with authority -- "Rack that thing! You're not going to break it and if you do, we'll fix it." On one memorable occasion, a student did just that...he ripped the forearm right off the weapon. He wasn't even all that big of a guy. The look on his face was priceless and we laughed for a long time over that. That's the only time that I remember seeing a Mossberg go out of action during regular use.

The aluminum receiver always concerned me but we never managed to break one. The design seems to be strong enough for its intended purpose.

October 7, 2006, 03:19 PM
The aluminum receiver always concerned me but we never managed to break one. The design seems to be strong enough for its intended purpose.

I found this on shotgunworld website a while back:

"On the Mossberg 500, the bolt locks into an extension fastened to the barrel. The critical dimensions are the distance from the locking recess to the chamber, and the distance from the locking block in the bolt and the bolt face. Both are easily measured (in the factory) and kept to a precise figure.

The aluminum receiver only acts as a cover and guide to the moving parts, and does not have to take any of the forces of the firing except to transmit the force of recoil to the shooter.

If this was such a great idea, why did it wait until 1961 (year Mossberg 500 came out; August) to come about? It didn't. The locking mechanism is the same method used by John Moses Browning in the A-S. Browning also used it in a number of different pump actions he designed. So why didn't other manufacturers use it? Browning had the patents. By the time the patents had expired, many manufacturers had been making their models for years or decades. The customers expected a particular design, the tooling was paid for, and the cost and risk of switching was too high. Remington switched to the barrel extension in 1950 with the 870, and pulled it off. Winchester switched in 1964 with the 1200 and almost foundered. Their customer were not ready to have an icon of beauty and shotgun shooting like the model 12 replaced with an industrial tool like the Winchester model 1200.

Mossberg didn't have to worry about the patents, they had long expired."

Brother in Arms
October 10, 2006, 10:01 PM
I had a mossberg 500A that I bought used for $200 it came with a vent ribbed barrel 26 inch(I think) and also about a 20nch barrel with a select a choke. The shotgun had been owned by a duck hunter and it hadn't been cleaned in years. I took it home and cleaned it I had several malfucntions with it, the shells would fail to be picked up by the carrier, occasionally a spent shell would fail to exstract and have to be pushed out with a cleaning rod. This happened once when I was at my shooting range, I fired one shot at clay and right after I did a woodchuck came running out of its hole toward me. I tried to eject the spent shell and exstractor failed to remove it. The wood chuck got away, that experience irirtaded me. So I took the shotgun and its barrel to a gunshop and traded it for a 20" smooth bore slug barrel with rifle sites for my 870. Which has never failed me.

Not to say that 870 can't. I had an 20 gauge 870 exspress that would occasionaly eject a live round when the action was pumped (bad shell stop) it also managed to jam a round under the carrier once.

Myself I have always loved the ithaca 37 myself (even had one of these break, the action bar stud snapped off and would not come out so the shotgun could not be disasembled. I had to break the action bar stud with punch and take it out piece by piece and replace it with a new one)

Brother in Arms

Alvin in AZ
October 20, 2006, 03:40 AM
Late 60's(?) early 70's(?) Mossberg 500 in like-new condition.

Broken hammer.
Shoot when slammed shut.
All sorts of spring-related-timing problems I can't remember the details on. :/

I still have quite a collection of spare springs and an extra hammer. :)

It got stolen recently.

I bought it from my grandfather in law and planned to hang on to it for the kids and grand kids.
He bought it and didn't like the modified choke so went for a full choke barrel and found he could get a whole new shotgun for the same money. :)

After the hammer broke (1975?) I ground all the weight I figured I could get away with off the new hammer before installing it and put in a new stiffer hammer spring too. One of the better modifications I ever did to that sloppy hunk of junk. Along with a clunky Lyman "enonomy" choke to get rid of that sorry modified choke that shot closer to IC. I wanted IM to full and got it with some fiddling around.


The best thing I can ever say about that old Mossberg is it fit me like a glove! :)
That's the reason I never replaced it. No kidding. :)

I don't know if it fit me from the start or I grew to fit it tho. :)

Alvin in AZ

October 20, 2006, 01:55 PM
I have one right now (a 500) that apparently has a bent ejector. Point the muzzle up, and the shell jams just as the action starts forward. Point it down, and it works. I'll get around to taking it to the shop one of these days.

October 20, 2006, 05:27 PM
I picked up a used 500 for a home defense weapon. Took it to the range and it started ejecting shell out the bottom instead of putting them into the chamber. The shells weren't being held in the tube. Took it back and got a used 870. No problems with that one at all.

October 20, 2006, 11:03 PM
i love my Mossy 500 20 ga NOW. when i first got it i thought that i had inspected the stock well enoungh. when i got home i found the stock cracked where it meets the reciever. i removed the stock, got some epoxy 2 part "super glue" and applied it into the crack by putting it on paper and continuosly running the glued paper throught the crack. when enough was forced inside i clamped the stock and let it dry for two days. now you cant even find the crack and it strong as ever! -Eric

October 21, 2006, 05:41 PM
I've got a Maveric 88, basically a cheaper M500. I've had it for about 2 years now, put more rounds through it than i can remember, and when i wrecked my truck it spent about 2 or 3 hours at the bottom of a muddy creek. After a good cleaning it worked just fine, and still works fine today.

October 22, 2006, 02:52 AM
I second the Maverik 88. Put allot of round through it, shooting clays, and plenty more hunting. Dragged it through brush and over rocks. Zero missfires, zero problems. Durable, rugged, reliable and cheap. My safety hasent broken yet. Easy to clean and disasemble. I dont care for the stiff pump on the 870's, but they do tend to have a more solid feel to them. I've had nothing but good luck with mossbergs; so I'll stay with them out of brand loyalty.

October 22, 2006, 04:36 AM
I've had both Mossy 500's and Rem 870s. I prefer the Moss 500 to an 870 express, but, I like the older 870 wingmasters better than either.

October 22, 2006, 09:34 AM
In my case it's just that the Mossberg is all I've ever had since I was a kid, and I've just never gotten too excited about switching. I have known lots of Mossberg owners, and truthfully most people don't have issues. Sure every once in a while something can break, but that's any gun.

October 22, 2006, 04:22 PM
I like my Mossberg. Its old enough to have a metal safety, and I stole a synthetic Speed-Feed stock for it years ago. (I asked the man behind the table if that $20 price was correct, and he said yes. SOLD!!!).

the only other modification I have made is LockTite on the screw that holds the ejector to the receiver, as I have had one fall out.

A high volume shooter might be better served by another model, but the Mossberg is plenty tough. If I had a plastic safety, I would probably upgrade to the metal one.

October 23, 2006, 11:36 AM
Is there any difference in the receiver and internal parts between the 500
and 590? As far as I know, the only difference is the bayonet lug and open
mag tube. Is the receiver on the 590 more durable?

October 23, 2006, 05:46 PM
The trigger housing on the 590 is metal, IIRC.

October 23, 2006, 05:59 PM
Locktite will be my friend as soon as the new
ejector screw arrives from Brownells.The other
mod i've done to my 500A is a raised front bead
sight that i got from Brownells.Other than those
2 minor problems i'am happy with my as new
looking $143.00 mossberg.

Eat Beef
October 24, 2006, 12:53 AM
My first shotgun was (is) an 870, 20ga/28"mod. Didn't take long to figure out that I wanted a 12 for waterfowl. I spent many a cold morning with Daddy's 590 (I think that's the model).

It would extract about every other shell. Sometimes it would jerk a chunk out of the rim, sometimes not, but I got really good at knocking them out with a broken HotShot wand.:mad:

Once I fell, without even landing on the gun, but still knocked a big wedge out of the stock where it meets the reciever. I thought I was in big trouble (I was about 14), but it turns out Daddy hated that gun as much as me.:fire:

I had forgotten all about the "empty the mag thru the bottom" trick until I read this thread. Nothing is more endearing to a waterfowler than a shottie that jams on round #1 and then dumps 2 expensive steel shells into the water/mud.:cuss:

Oh, and a friend bought a new 12 maybe 5 years ago, straight out of the box, it wouldn't cycle properly. He took it back and traded it for an 870.

Another friend bought a brand new one in 410 (? I think) for his son at Christmas. Talk about a proud, happy kid who recieves his first shotgun for Christmas and then it won't eject that afternoon.

All that said, I do have a couple of friends who shoot and like Mossys, but I can buy used Wingmasters for the same price as a new Mossy, so why bother with them?:banghead: :neener:

Thin Black Line
October 24, 2006, 09:07 AM
I would suspect that those of you who bought used Mossbergs that had
immediate problems were due to the previous owner disassembling it far
past what was recommended for routine maintenance.

Alvin in AZ
October 24, 2006, 05:05 PM
TBL, that is absolutely -not- true in my case. :)

I remember the very first problem I saw and fixed on the Mossberg.

The carrier dragged heavily against one side and the pivot pins weren't seating all the way in their holes, both. I bent to carrier. What it needed was the pivot pins to be lined up across from each other in a straight line. Not like it was new. ;) The correction needed could be described as slightly lengthening one "arm" and slightly shortening the other. See it? It sure enough operated smoother after that fix.

If it hadn't been stolen I wouldn't have replaced it recently. :) I bought a JCHiggins model-20 made in '53 (high standard 200) that ain't got a plastic trigger assemly or aluminum frame or feel like some of the parts might fall out any second. I like it and don't have to appologise for it being a hunk of junk. ;)


The junky old Mossberg fit me tho. :)
I may have grown to fit it?
But either way, a shotgun that -fits- has a quality all its own! :)

And with my improvements of locktime and a mess of other stuff like that I liked it other than it felt like it was sloppy made cheap junk.

I found almost 15 gallons of lead shot piled up beside a gold sluicing machine, I guess they used it to test their homemade equipment? It had like a 10' by 20' bed and the engine was gone that shook it but was prob'ly a V8. :)

I rolled the shot down tin to separte the shot from the gravel and shot all that up in no time flat through that old Mossberg. It was mostly #6 which is the smallest size I shoot.

Alvin in AZ

December 24, 2006, 02:14 AM
Having a problem with a Mossberg 500. It is a home security weapon and isn't feeding. The follower is dropping all the way down, but round isn't leaving the tube on 9 out of 10 pumps. I'm wondering if the side saddle I have is causing the problem. I had to clearance the front pump wood a little to let it stroke all the way with the side saddle. I can reach in the port and push the little tab to cause the next round to feed. Everything is clean.

Any ideas on how to diagnose the problem?

December 24, 2006, 02:25 AM
Any ideas on how to diagnose the problem?

If you think that the side saddle might be causing the problem, take it off and see if that cures it.

December 24, 2006, 02:47 AM
Yeah. I would have already, but I've moved about six times since I put the saddle on and now I don't know where the original factory hardware is. Probably in my storage room. I'll have to look.

Besides, I don't think it is the side saddle per se, but rather the stock pump wood interfering with the side saddle. (I just put it back on, after replacing the crappy plastic front pistol grip that decided to fall into a few pieces. ATI I think. It had an adapter to make it work with the Mossberg and had others for 870 or Winchester.)

It is now doing that dump the round out the bottom thing as the action is cycled forward.

I had the barrel off when I was messing with the pump, so I'm going to take it all apart, clean everything, and reassemble. Don't think I could have done anything with the bolt but who knows.

I'm watching the feed tray as it falls. Doesn't seem to be striking that bar that causes the round to be released. Is it supposed to? Or is it the left action bar that causes the round to be released?

December 24, 2006, 02:48 AM
PS, I'm a Gator too! Spent three wonderful years in Hoggetowne. What are you doing up so late? :)

December 24, 2006, 03:27 AM
I was wrapping presents for the 'lil gator. Kinda hard to do since he's a night owl like his mom and pop.

PM sent.

Ed Ames
December 24, 2006, 12:24 PM
This is a minor issue...

I have one of the ultra-cheap Big 5 $180 w/ two barrels 500A specials... the first time I took it out the plastic forend cracked down the middle (mold line) and started slipping around. I replaced it with a choate 835 forend (because the Big 5 500A uses a short mag tube and that was one of the few forends that didn't require cutting down or modification to fit) and of course that's been flawless. The gun is still barely used since I've only fired maybe 500 shells so far, but I'm happy.

December 25, 2006, 12:49 PM
My neighbor inherited a very nice 500 from about 1972. It was very clean and well-maintained, and had been in storage for several years. He shot some clays (I missed mine) with it, and then the forend came loose from the slide. ON inspection, it was revealed that s couple of spot welds had broken. He was accused of overenthusiastic racking, but the repair was affordable and there have been no problems since.

December 25, 2006, 02:10 PM
I suppose that, as with most products, there are supporters and detractors. Most opinions are based on too small a sample to be statistically valid.

FWIW...My experience has been from the standpoint of working in a gun shop. There were maybe 4-5 Mossbergs come back for repair to 1 Remington. This was maybe 5 years ago. Remington's overall quality has declined since then, so this may no longer be true.

IIRC, mainly extractors and the spot weld as noted in earlier posts.

December 25, 2006, 02:48 PM
I bought a Mossberg 500 12 ga. in 1982.
The 'disconnect' developed a burr on it within three boxes of AA loads.
This 'burr' kept the shotgun from staying in battery. If you put any rearward tension on the forend, the shotgun would open.

I sent the shotgun back twice for the same issue.

One of the guys I worked with wanted a shotgun and offered to buy this one.

I sold that POS for $50.00!

Good riddance to that Mossberg.

I didn't think that I'd ever own another one. I won one in August at at fundraiser for a local fire department.

(Who knew??) What the heck, this one has never been taken out of the box, and probably won't, either.

December 25, 2006, 09:45 PM
FWIW...My experience has been from the standpoint of working in a gun shop. There were maybe 4-5 Mossbergs come back for repair to 1 Remington.

Coming from a long time Mossy owner (20+ years), Remingtons are built more solidly. Most people accept that when purchasing a Mossy. The trade off equals a lower selling price. If you're happy with that no problem.

My twenty gauge was given to me, used, in 1986 at the age of twelve. I wouldn't hazard a guess of the number of shells it digested. Other than feeding issues when extremely dirty it has performed exceptionally.

Stiletto Null
December 25, 2006, 10:27 PM
I just got a 590.

Other than kicking like, well, a 12-gauge, it works just fine. :)

December 25, 2006, 11:20 PM
Oh JEEZ, SN, who let you in over here. :evil:

I have shot a few 590's , as well as a few 870's. The only reason I ended up with an 870 is I got a GREAT deal on one. The 590 should be pretty err, bulletproof.

December 26, 2006, 02:16 AM
My friend's 500 broke a piece off of the trigger group. It was the little leg that rises up to meet the sliding safety. He had recently attached a new Hogue Overmolded stock, and he said that things weren't fitting right, but we went shooting anyway. After a few rounds, the forearm wouldn't pump all the way back. We couldn't get a fired hull to eject, so we took the gun apart and found that broken piece floating around inside the trigger group, getting in the way of the other parts. He paid for a replacement part, then got Mossberg to reimburse him. I don't know if the Hogue stock had anything to do with this part breaking or not.

My 590 has been cruising right along for a couple of years now with no issues, other than a Sidesaddle screw that I ham-handed into breaking. Tac-Star sent me a whole baggy of replacement hardware.

1911 guy
December 26, 2006, 04:28 AM
I saw a co-workers Mossberg that had a bent, possibly owner-goobered-up magazine stop. When you racked the pump, the magazine would empty, or attempt to. Sometimes the shells stacked up from the mag plunger to the bolt face and you needed small fingers to un-stick the gun.

I've owned three of them, two 12ga and one 20ga that I traded years ago for a 20 that fit my wife better. Mine have never had a problem. Here's to keeping my fingers crossed.

December 26, 2006, 10:09 AM
Mossberg 500A full woodstock and corncob foregrip with combination HD 18.5" barrel and 28" mod choke field barrel with extra pistol grip for $149.95 and have used it for many years and it just keeps getting better. Today I will add the 24" rifled barrel with scope combo. This has been and is a great gun. I can Terminator shuck and load the gun with one hand holding the stock in a vertical position. I haven't seen a Remy or Browning do that but many of my friends with 500's can. :D


December 26, 2006, 11:19 AM
My 590 has about a gazillion and a half shells through it and works just like it was new.

Just figured I'd throw a positive out there in a thread that's going to attract a lot of negatives by nature...

December 27, 2006, 11:24 PM
I personally own Mossberg, Winchester, and Remington Shotguns.
I see little or no diffference between them in actual performance.
One may look better than the other..or you may like the placement of the safety for example...but actual performance is pretty much equal.
98% Shooter ability and 2% Choice of Shotgun has been my experience.
Practise and you will do well with any shotgun.

:) :) :) :)

December 28, 2006, 04:20 AM
It was a clearance issue with the pump and the side saddle. Took some wood off the front stock (it was hacked and ugly already) and the Mossy is feeding just fine now. Thanks for the help, especially my brother Gator.

December 28, 2006, 10:27 AM
the Mossy is feeding just fine now

Good deal. Now shoot it, a lot.

I see little or no diffference between them in actual performance.
One may look better than the other..or you may like the placement of the safety for example...but actual performance is pretty much equal.

I like how solid the forend feels on the 870. Every Mossy I've tried has a lot of flex. Not that it's ever effected the shooting, just like the Remmys feel a little better.

December 28, 2006, 10:54 AM
All things mechanical can and will fail, even single-shots. It is merely the question of when and where. Personally I have owned 870s and 500s. I merely PREFER the 870. Why? Because, as I understand the world of numbers, more 870s have been produced than any other shotgun. Need a replacement part? No problem.


December 28, 2006, 11:24 AM
as I understand the world of numbers, more 870s have been produced than any other shotgun. Need a replacement part? No problem

Sufficient numbers of Mossys have been produced to ensure ample amounts of spare parts.

We seen to be as hung up on the Rem vs Moss thing almost as much as the 9mm vs 45 or AR vs AK.

Both shottys work well. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Both have antagonists and protagonists. But if they both go "bang" every time the trigger is pulled it's all gravy!

December 28, 2006, 12:59 PM
Good deal. Now shoot it, a lot.

Thanks. Luckily, the Uncle still pays me to shoot and gives me bix boxes of ammo at least once a quarter, although the service longarms are M4's and 870's not a Mossy. I shoot a decent amount and still carry longarms almost every day when I'm not stuck in the office (which has been far too often as of late).

The Mossy is a HD weapon that is readily available in my bedroom. I will never shoot it a lot, as it is typically adorned with a pistol grip. I've had it for years, nearly a decade. It has also been a deer (slugs with rifle sights) and small game hunter. It probably has never had more than 500 round through it a year. It cost me around $200 for the combo pack years ago and I don't fear little dings or scratches. Or even taking a file to the cheap wood foreend.

Personally I'm ambivalent to the 870 vs. Mossy debate. I bought a Mossberg because it was an excellent value and I know I will never put tens of thousands of rounds through it. An interesting point however, is that my wife really likes the safety on the Mossy. She says it makes sense to push the safety forward when you want to make shot go forward out the barrel. She does not like the "on right on" style of safeties on the trigger guard.

Mossberg works for me. But so would an 870.

December 29, 2006, 06:11 PM
After reading all the post in this form I see I'm not the only one having problems with shells droping to the ground.I just had'nt thought much about it until nowWhat causes this,can it be easily fixed. I bought my 500A 12ga from Dicks sporting goods back in septemeber when they were running the 500's on sale for $199 and the 870's on sale for $219 with the mail in-rebate.I chose the Mossberg over the Remington because of the location of the slide release and safety and I did'nt like the finish the 870's had.I think I should have gone with the Rem. Is there any easy fix to this, or should I try to return it to Dicks or contact Mossberg.I've run maybee about 150 rounds through this gun and let my girlfreinds cousin fire it and he had the same problem.

What should I do?,

Brian Craig:confused:

December 29, 2006, 10:43 PM
I have replaced hundred or more safeties, The 500 will not be a stand up trap gun after 20-30K rounds the action will be worn out. An 870 will take more than 100k before repairs are necessary and they are repairable. That is why serious trap shooters go with the 870.

A hunter will not wear out a 500 IMHO. When one does I hope I can be invited where he hunts!!

December 30, 2006, 01:19 PM
After reading all the post in this form I see I'm not the only one having problems with shells droping to the ground

Are you sure you aren't short stroking it? That was what was causing the shell to the ground problem with mine (due to side saddle interference). When you rack it with authority does it still happen?

December 30, 2006, 01:39 PM
Are you sure you aren't short stroking it? That was what was causing the shell to the ground problem with mine (due to side saddle interference). When you rack it with authority does it still happen?

Yeah, I've tried it both ways and it still happens.

Brian Craig

December 30, 2006, 05:22 PM
Sorry, can't help further then. My experience with this weapon is a kind of limited.

January 18, 2009, 09:04 AM
I bought a 500 over an 870 for several reasons:
1. If the army uses it, it must be half decent
2. The elevator is always in the up position so it's easier to load
3. My friend duck hunts with one and is covered in rust and a homemade camo job and it fires perfectly.
4. I just like the feel and look of it better than the 870,

January 18, 2009, 09:25 AM
Jeez, I wonder just how many Mossberg vs Remington threads there are in the archives. I don't even remember this one, but I posted to it.:rolleyes:

January 18, 2009, 10:43 AM
The only problem I've had with a Mossberg was a cracked plastic safety button that was replaced with a $10 metal one.

January 18, 2009, 10:44 AM
Jeez, I wonder just how many Mossberg vs Remington threads there are in the archives

Used to have a new one about once a month if I recall.

January 18, 2009, 11:23 AM
My M500 12 ga. was built in 1965 and sold new in 1966, I bought it from the original owner in 1989, the only time it has been down was to be cleaned and change barrels. I bought a new M500, 20 ga. labeled Coast to Coast in 1981, never a problem. I have owned and used Win. M12's and Rem. M870's too. I still have all my Winchesters and all my Mossbergs, somehow the Remingtons didn't stay with me; wonder what that means in the overview of my history.

January 18, 2009, 11:41 AM
I'll add to the blast from the past. My cousin got a mossberg oh, lets see, around maybe 1990. The stock cracked at the reciever 2x in six months. Not even shooting heavy loads. That right there was enough to make me not buy a mossberg. I got a Winchester 1300 about a year later, best gun I have ever owned.

January 18, 2009, 03:10 PM
I saw two Mossberg 500s in a row at gun shows that had a broken trigger and a broken safety - both of which were plastic. This drove me toward 870s for a defensive shotgun years ago.

I have since learned that you can replace the plastic parts on the Mossberg, so my personal bias against them is somewhat unfounded.

But to answer your question - yes I have seen two broken Mossberg 500s at gun shows. Then I stopped looking at them.

January 18, 2009, 03:44 PM
I have 870's and 500's. When I get another one the only deciding factor is price and condition. I only buy used and have become obsessed with these models. I've never had a problem with any of them.

January 18, 2009, 04:02 PM
My first gun purchase was a mossberg 500, I took it home, and it would only fire once, then no one was able to rack the slide. I sent it back and it came back fixed, but a lot of the finish was scraped off. Now I would have sent it back but then I was 16 and itching to do my first hunting so I let it go.

January 18, 2009, 04:11 PM
I "fixed" one for for a friend that had a broken safety (plastic) and also the nub for the safety on the trigger was broken too. He now has a non functional safety but no hole on top of the reciever. He would need a new trigger or trigger assembly to really fix it, more than the gun is worth in my opinion.

January 18, 2009, 10:24 PM
Ive had a few thousand rounds though mine with out a single problem. Everything from 3 inch rifled sabots to birdshot. Id like a 590, but the 500 is a dang good gun.

January 18, 2009, 10:27 PM
Hmm, this happens to be a timely thread resurrection!

Note this very recent thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=421128) about the Mossy 500 with the stripped stock screw hole. One of the downsides of an aluminum receiver, and something you don't have to worry about with an 870, or other steel-receivered gun.

evan price
January 19, 2009, 01:54 AM
I just bought another one, a Western Field (m550) for a very cheap price. I took it all the way apart, cleaned up the interruptor and shell stop grooves, the ejector groove, under the extractors, the action bar slots, and the bolt slide, gave it a good once over and lube job. Now it works great. Had to replace the mag spring with a used one from my junk box due to rust. For under $100 it's a bargain. I don't like the shell loader on the 870, it pinches my finger when I use it. I've never seen a Mossberg that couldn't be fixed unless the receiver is busted. Since the Mossberg design puts no pressure on the receiver, that's rare unless it's abused.

January 20, 2009, 10:13 PM
Old thread, but I'll bite. Only thing I don't like about my 15 year old 500 is the loose feel of the forearm. Love the top safety.

Does it compare to a Wingmaster? Nope. That being said, I'd still buy one over a standard 870 Express any day. :)

Sniper X
January 21, 2009, 12:16 PM
I have had both, and now have a 870. I would buy another 500 if I needed another 12gauge as mine was a great gun I shot for about 15 years. I only went to the 870 for three gun because I could farkle it up more for that purpose when they didn't make many if any farlkes for the 500 yet. Now of course, they make everything for anything so you are good on that.

January 21, 2009, 12:53 PM
Note this very recent thread about the Mossy 500 with the stripped stock screw hole. One of the downsides of an aluminum receiver, and something you don't have to worry about with an 870, or other steel-receivered gun.
I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about that on a 870 since most of their receivers aren't drilled/tapped from the factory unlike the Mossbergs.

January 21, 2009, 01:52 PM
I just picked up a beater New Haven 600AT (made by Mossberg, seems identical to a 500) for $90.

It has persistent FTE problems. It has been better after a thorough cleaning and extractor mods, but it still FTE's consistently on a fast stroke. I may or may not put $$ into replacing both extractors and the ejectors, but they don't appear worn.

I wanted to like it, because of the light weight, tang safety (I'm LH), and price, but I'm over it. IMO, a pump should be 100%. I'll stick with 870s from here out.

September 25, 2014, 11:55 PM
3 times with about 200 rounds thru it, bought new 6 months ago! 1st time brought it to a local gunsmith, 2nd time i sent it to mossberg, this time it's for sale and i don't think i want anything with the name mossberg on it, the pin on the back of the trigger assembly slips to the side and slightly kicks and jams the trigger assembly so you can't take it out! misfire 4 out of 5 shells $$$

September 26, 2014, 06:28 AM
Another 5 year old thread.

September 26, 2014, 05:05 PM
Well, at least he searched the site before he started a new Mossberg bash thread. :rolleyes:

Since I posted on this thread, I bought a 535. :D

September 27, 2014, 10:10 AM
LOL just saw how old this thread was.

September 28, 2014, 01:00 AM
whenever I purchased my 590 the shell stop and the interrupter had been installed incorrectly and had been damaged. I contacted Mossberg and they sent me out new ones FREE. Easy to fix. Couldn't be happier with it. I mean... I could be, but that would cost money.

September 28, 2014, 03:12 AM
I feel the 870 is a more robust SG, but there is nothing wrong with the 500 that would make it a poor choice. Ya, they have their little issues, and I've seen them broken, had a couple problems of my own with them, but they are worth what they sell for.

In comparison, I have never had anything fail with any of my 870's, and they get run pretty darn hard. But for a guy that just needs a good SG, a 500 will fill the need just fine if you don't want to spend the few extra bucks on an 870.


September 28, 2014, 11:04 AM
Hey, a cheap pump is a cheap pump and that includes the often worshipped (I've owned one and hated it, a wingmaster at that) 870. I get a little put off on these bash threads, moderators should probably lock this aging menace up. It keeps coming back from the dead. :rolleyes:

I'll add to the blast from the past. My cousin got a mossberg oh, lets see, around maybe 1990. The stock cracked at the reciever 2x in six months. Not even shooting heavy loads. That right there was enough to make me not buy a mossberg. I got a Winchester 1300 about a year later, best gun I have ever owned.

I'll add that there was running a few days ago a 1300 bash thread. You should read it. Winchesters are not infallible, either. My 1400 broke off a cocking piece, whatever you call the tab that you use to pull the bolt back. I was fortunate to find a reproduction piece on the numrich arms site to fix it. I've owned that gun for 25 years, mostly used it for dove hunting, mostly fired low brass in it except for some duck hunting with 2 3/4" fasteel. I have babied that shotgun because it's wood/blued and, while not particularly fancy, I didn't want rust or scratches on it at an abnormal rate. You'd be amazed at how rough duck hunting bays and salt marshes can be on wood/blue shotguns. So, for over 20 years I've been using a camo Mossberg 500 in the marsh, no problems at all.

So, I've got one malfunction on a Wihcnester 1400 (1300 without the fore end slide) in 25 years and zero on THREE Mossbergs in 35 years. I only got rid of the old Revelation M310 (a single action bar 500) to get the new at the time camo 500 I was infatuated with. Several years ago, I found a nice nearly new 535 at a pawn shop for $170. Someone had cut the stock down to 13" and never fitted the recoil pad to it. I fitted the recoil pad with a belt sander and bought a slip on limb saver to give me my 14" length of pull back. It's a nice gun that is 3.5" compatible in case I feel masochistic on a goose hunt. I've shimmed the stock to lower the drop as I have to do on Mossbergs, but it fits perfect, now, for only an hour or 2 of messing with, no money involved. It's a fairly new gun. Now, these pumps, the 870s, the 500s and 535s and 835s, the Winchesters, even the Browning BPS are CHEAP PUMP GUNS, PEOPLE!!!! So, occasionally one has a problem, GET OVER IT! YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR sometimes. Yeah, I own cheap pumps and one cheap auto, but in 35 years of hard use on my pumps, 10 years on an 870, I've had FEW problems mechanically and I've hunted HARD with 'em. I'm not going to buy a Browning Citari or Cenergy and take it out in the muck that is the duck marsh. I beat up a really nice looking old double gun in my young adult years 1971 though 1980 on marsh hunts and boat rides. I'm not going to do that to another nice looking gun. That double, an old Spanish built gun, was beautiful when I bought it and never had a malfunction and shoots just as good as it did back then, got retired for that Revelation/Mossberg I traded a guy out of when they passed steel shot regulations.

So, if you want to significantly improve on a 500 and you're stuck on using a pump, maybe look into Benelli or Beretta or something, something north of $1,000. Don't be buying bargain 870s or 500s or 1300s or, though I consider 'em a bit better, even BPSs. And, if you're going to spend a grand, hell, think about a gas gun or inertia operated auto. Why mess with a pump?

Just my $.02. I've never really cared much for pumps, but they do offer good service in rough environments for not a lot of money. Money always mattered to me not being wealthy and all. I had a good job in my working life, but spent a lot racing motorcycles which ain't cheap, saving for retirement, and providing a college education for my daughter. We all have our priorities, my first priority has never been high end shotguns for duck hunting. And, I own handguns for self defense as I've yet to find the shotgun that will fit in a pocket. I ALWAYS have my handgun on me, even when my favorite do all coach gun is back in the bedroom.

My next shotgun, and I haven't made the decision, will come when I finally sell my old house from whence I've moved (long story), but I'll have a wad to save, give some to the church, pay off a hospital bill my wife has from last year, and figure I'll spend a little of it on ME. :D I'll be shopping for an O/U, decent one, not turkish. :D It WON'T be pump, though I have thought about getting a BPS 10 gauge for goose hunting. Currently have a 10 gauge H&R I prefer and the new to me 12 gauge 3.5" Mossberg 535 which is a punisher as it's too light for such loads. I'm also considering a Pederzoli 12 gauge muzzle loader, though, love black powder and would like to expand that to shotguns. When I'm not shooting it, it is a handsome piece that would look great over the mantle. :D I really don't see the need for anything else having a couple of pumps, a couple of SxSs, a couple of single shots, and an autoloader all of which I'm personally happy with. :D

September 28, 2014, 11:08 AM
Only time I've "broken one" is when I was looking at a coast to coast one and the safety cracked in two. $8 later and I was back in business, pretty decent for a old gun I think.

Bob M.
September 28, 2014, 11:18 AM
I've owned 2 Mossberg 500's and never had a problem with them. My brother and couple of my friends also had 500's and never had any issues with them. :)

September 28, 2014, 11:26 AM
BTW, I've said it many times here, but my beef with 870s is ergos. I don't like the safety location or the shell elevator design or the slide release location. A left handed model would be an improvement, but Remington ALWAYS has insisted upon putting the crossbolt safety behind the trigger, a STUPID location, though cheap to keep production costs down, no doubt. Pushing the tang safety up while bringing the shotgun up is an autonomic reflex for me and improves speed on those early morning teal, especially compared to reaching UNDER the friggin' trigger to kick off the safety, then having it re-engage on the first shot when my fat finger pushed it on recoil. :rolleyes: I've had jams on my 870 when my cold thumb got pinched by that shell elevator when I was in a hurry reloading and didn't get the shell all the way in past the click. You can call that operator error if you want, but it cannot happen with a Mossberg or a Browning.

870s are not the holy implements of God that folks make 'em out to be, no more so than is the 1911 I get so sick of hearing about. :rolleyes: 870s have flaws.

September 28, 2014, 11:43 AM
I've owned Mossberg 500, Western Field branded Mossberg 500s, Winchester Model 1300s, and Remington Model 870 and 1100s. The ONLY ones that I've had trouble with were the Remingtons. I bought the 1100 new at Montgomery Wards, way back when. Got it home, assembles it, and discovered a cracked fore-end. One of my 870's attempted to dis-assemble the bolt during firing, as well. Nobody makes a perfect gun. NOBODY.

I will say, though, that if the military can't ruin the guns, they are pretty tough.

September 28, 2014, 12:15 PM
I own all the bottom feeder cheap pumps (Maverick 88--Pardner Pump--870 Express)----they all have their own quirks--none are deal breakers---all are easy to work on if I need to fix something.

The 2 biggest things bugging me currently is the overly long LOP on the Maverick---not sure if I even want to spent the $50 for a shorter stock instead of just dealing with it.

And you have to really let the shell slam against the shell stop in the Pardner to make sure the first shell will reliably feed--after that the spring slams the next shells and no problems once the first shell is out of the magazine.

The 870 is pretty much the go to gun anymore. The 870 is upgraded--sort of---Walmart camo Supermag Express---heck they were all purchased at Walmart.

September 28, 2014, 01:05 PM
I have seen a broken everything. An 1100 run over. A 500 dropped out of a pickup at 50 MPH. A BPS assembled wrong and then operated with brute force. Those defective nuts on the back of the stock can always find a way. :cuss:

September 28, 2014, 01:12 PM
Watch Jerry Miculek run his Mossberg from 1992.

They work and are reliable, just depends if you like it or not.


deputy tom
September 28, 2014, 05:44 PM
I ripped the action bars from the forearm ring once and it was a quick fix at my gunsmith. The spot welds broke so we silver soldered it back together. Other than that no problems with over a dozen Mossberg 500s. My go to gun is a Mossberg. tom. :cool:

September 28, 2014, 08:09 PM
Miculek is my hero. Good vid. :D

September 28, 2014, 08:12 PM
Anybody amazed at his split times from left plate to right plate? And then he was like.. hm.. 'that was decent'...

Haha.. then he goes onto explain.. sometimes I press the trigger too fast before the gun gets into battery.. either I have a fast finger or soft shoulder.

If Mossberg made more of that Miculek custom pump style of gun, I think they'd be more popular. 500 with 590 style magazine tube and cap. Albeit, the regular 500 barrels makes it cheaper to have more barrel setups.

I'd pay a little more for a 500 with 590/835 mag tube just so I could clean the magazine easier and add an extension if I wanted to. I'd also pay a little more for a metal safety. I can live with the polymer trigger guard.

September 28, 2014, 08:17 PM
And something about "untrained"? Well, how do you train the trainer? LOL

That 12 shots from a six shot revolver on target in 2.99 seconds is my fave vid, though. Miculek is good, but he's an absolute wizard with a DA revolver.

September 28, 2014, 09:07 PM
Do you think his trigger finger ever gets worn out?

September 29, 2014, 08:07 AM
The only problem I've personally seen are the plastic parts breaking (mostly the safety tang). I've changed mine out to an aftermarket metal one along with the trigger guard.

September 29, 2014, 08:28 AM
I saw a broken slide rail on one. It was an older, very well used gun in 20ga 2 3/4 only trim. The slide rail sheared off at the lug going up into the bottom plate of the bolt assembly. That broken piece jammed up the action pretty good and we nearly never got it apart. That was the last extra heavy 3" home brew turkey she'll put through it....but I do know that the guy who owned it had patterned it with 3 shots at 10 yard increments out to I think 70 yards. He broke the butt stock in the process and had to put on a hogue stock that I now have on my New Haven 600 20ga. If I remember right his "secret recipe" was a 16 ga pheasant load in a 20ga hull with a cardboard wad glued on because there wasn't enough plastic to crimp. I hope to see that guy again soon but that's up to his parole board...he never could stop when enough was enough.

September 29, 2014, 11:20 AM
West Kentucky, I have a moss 500 receiver with a broken slide rail like you mentioned. It still functioned, just had to occasionally finger the bolt back into place to cycle the action. This was gonna 12 gauge.

Eventually, I retired it from service and stripped it for spare parts in case my Mav88 ever breaks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Who's seen or had a broken Mossberg 500?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!