Benelli Nova vs. Remington 870


September 30, 2003, 09:33 PM
I've heard a couple guys say that the Benelli Nova is a more durable shotgun than the 870. That's kind of a strong statement considering the 870's legendary toughness. Opinions?

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September 30, 2003, 10:23 PM
I think both are quality guns thus you get what you pay for. Although due to QC issues I'd stay away from remington anything.

September 30, 2003, 11:29 PM

What kind of QC issues are you talking about with Remington? Saying avoid due to QC issues without stating personal examples seems to be less than helpful.


October 1, 2003, 01:14 AM
Slater, if you're wondering which one is more durable you might take a peak inside the Nova and compare it to the 870. I think the Nova has a much more durable trigger assembly than the 870 off hand. I'm too lazy to type out why but trust me you should open up a 870 and a Nova and take a look at the differences. Its pretty cool.

Dave McCracken
October 1, 2003, 05:48 AM
Possibly, the Nova is more durable, but nobody's proven it yet.

Some 870s have documented use up into six figures with minor parts replacement only.

Run 100K loads through your Benelli and get back to us....

October 3, 2003, 01:23 AM
I own both, so obviously that makes me an expert. :D

Honestly, I haven't fired the two enough to make a strong comparison. I'm not sure I'll ever fire enough to wear either out, although I got the 870 used so it's got a head start. However, the Remington is chambered for 2 3/4", so it'll never get the workout of the 3 1/2" & 3" turkey loads the Benelli will see.

What I've noticed (for what it's worth):

The trigger on the Remington is narrower, giving it more "play", or side-to-side wobble. I really didn't notice this until I shot it the same day as the Benelli. The Nova has a wide, stable trigger.

On disassembly, the Nova wins hands-down. No tools are needed to pull the thing apart (the magazine cap is the disassembly tool). Not that the 870 is hard to dissasemble, but there is some finesse for operations like putting the trigger assembly back and getting the bolt & slide in together. The Nova comes apart and goes together like legos.

Both feel solid, although the traditionalist in me likes the feel of my Wingmaster's wood over the Nova's Star-Trek plastic. The Nova has that rattle in the forearm, but it's not a terrible thing (unless that sort of thing REALLY bugs you).

This isn't a durability issue, but as for fit the fore grip on the Nova is quite a bit further forward. It can be gripped further back, but it's not as comfortable in the hand. Because of the longer reach, I found that I wasn't naturally shouldering the gun properly - the butt was landing on the ball of my shoulder instead of in the pocket between my shoulder and chest. The problem is that I didn't notice this until AFTER patterning turkey loads. OUCH! Practice and familiarity should resolve this.

October 4, 2003, 01:51 AM
The Nova comes apart and goes together like legos


October 4, 2003, 08:14 AM
The Nova is rapidly moving up in my arsenal. It has not replaced the 870, but I like it more as I shoot it more.

Still testing.

October 4, 2003, 11:27 AM
I shot a Nova a little bit. IMO it is much like a Glock in that it has no soul or character, but works very well. If you appreciate FUNCTION above all else a Nova is a great choice just as a Glock is. I like my 870 a LOT, but if I felt the need for 3.5" shells in a pump gun (I don't!) I would not buy the Super Mag 870, I would buy a Nova. On the other hand I feel no need or desire to replace my 3" 870 with a Nova. If you don't have a pump gun buy the one that FEELS right to you out of the 870, Nova or 835, that is what I would do anyway. I am sure that if I had a Nova it would grow on me very quickly just like those crappy plastic pistols did........

Just so everyone is clear, you need to be at least a half-bubble off of plumb to WANT to shoot 3.5" shells in a pump gun. :what: :neener:

October 6, 2003, 11:45 PM
Just so everyone is clear, you need to be at least a half-bubble off of plumb to WANT to shoot 3.5" shells in a pump gun.

I'll give no argument here. This last weekend I was at a friend's property in Southern MO scouting for fall turkeys and doing some shooting. We started with our .22s to warm up, and then each fired off about 30 rounds of .30-'06 to make sure our deer rifles are kill'n ready. No problems, no worries, no effects of recoil. Then we went to patterning turkey loads.

I had already done some patterning, but I wanted to try a couple shells of different brands, both 3.5", both high velocity. After only two shots I was sore! :what: I think the Benelli mercury recoil reducer will be my next firearms-related investment. Stout as they may be, I sure liked the way my 3.5" dispatched the turkey profiles at 40 yds much better than the 3" loads my friend was shooting. Some may argue for finesse to bring the turkeys in close and use lighter loads - I say dead is dead.

Back to the topic at hand, however, this does introduce a couple features the Benelli has over the Remington. One is the recoil reducer, which installs in the buttstock. I haven't tried it so don't know its effectiveness, but it couldn't hurt (no pun intended). Another is the little button that allows you to eject the round from the chamber without loading the next from the magazine. I hadn't thought much about this, but when we were walking around scouting I carried the shotgun and shells with two different loads - one for squirrel, another with larger shot for rabbits. Had I seen a rabbit I could eject the squirrel round and drop in a rabbit load.

Okay, in this case one load could really do both jobs, and there's the whole question of whether 12 ga. is too much for squirrel anyway, but that's beside the point. It could just as well have been ducks/geese or doves/rabbits. The switch could certainly be considered a "bell and whistle", but could also be useful in certain situations.

Marko Kloos
October 9, 2003, 08:27 AM
My shotgun owner experience is limited; I've owned two Mossberg 500s, and two Benelli Novas. My current shotgun is a Nova with 18.5" barrel and ghost ring sights. I had my gunsmith attach a Weaver rail to the top of the receiver just in front of the rear sight, and now the Nova is wearing a BSA red dot.

I much prefer the Nova over the Mossbergs, for several reasons. I do like the oversized pump handle, and the mag cutoff button in the handle is the million-dollar feature right there. The field-stripping on the Nova is fast and easy, and the whole thing comes apart with no tools (other than the mag tube nosecap). The Nova is lighter than the Mossy as well.

On the downside, the magazine only holds 4 rounds, mag extensions are expensive, and the oversized pump handle rattles a bit and precludes the installation of a full-length side saddle. The integral stock means that aftermarket stocks are not an option.

Overall, however, I find myself liking the Nova much better than any of my previous Mossbergs. It's mostly personal preference, but so are most other things, right?

As far as durability goes: I doubt that I'll ever fire enough shotgun shells through a Benelli or a Mossberg to wear either of them out. The Nova is relatively new to the market, but I have yet to hear about any durability issues, and I know a few shotgunners who run quite a few rounds through theirs every season. The Nova does seem to gather a pretty dedicated following.

October 9, 2003, 11:22 AM
I have both. The 870 is one my father bought used in 1955. It's seen a lot of use, it was the only shotgun he owned. It still functions fine and is the gun I take when hunting upland birds or rabbits. I use the Nova for waterfowl and turkeys - it's got a lot of synthetics on it and is good around water; it can also handle the bigger magnum loads without a problem.

As for fit/function and feel - the 870 remains my favorite - the Nova doesn't come close.

I don't know anything about any quality control with modern 870's, but this old one of mine is very tough. It's seen over 50 years of constant use and never broken.

October 9, 2003, 11:39 AM
Remington quality? I have three guns one is a S&W model 12 bought new 1975, a 1956 Springfield 16 gauge single shot amd a new Remington 870P model# 4903. I have several hundred rounds through the 870P. I can't find fault with the quality or function of the 870P. Did I get lucky with the one I purchased? It seems to be just as nice as my other two guns.

October 12, 2003, 11:23 PM
Benelli Nova (

October 13, 2003, 01:31 AM
Does the Benelli take standard Beretta/Benelli chokes? I know the 870 takes the Rem-Choke system.

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