Why don't more shotguns have a shell elevator/lifter design like the Mossberg 500?


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Sheepdog1968
January 22, 2014, 02:05 AM
Mostly just curious. I like that it is out of the way when I go to load shells. The others take a bit more finesse to load. Is there something lacking in the Mossberg design?

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Uniquedot
January 22, 2014, 02:35 AM
It's just an old design that lost appeal in favor of the trigger group elevators. I think it was John Marlin that patented the design in the late 1800's and one of the guys that worked for marlin also started the high standard company that carried over the improved design and Remington had the model 31. Remington had already stopped using the design when mossberg picked it up.

The mossberg is a less expensive version of the Remington 31 that also incorporates other patents from other makers like Savage to become the 500. My opinion of why they lost appeal is that the trigger group type offers a smoother loading of the shell with no jerky action and they also raise slightly quicker which assures the shell doesn't roll out of the gun before the slide is far enough forward to raise the elevator which is never a problem with an experienced shooter anyway.

Sheepdog1968
January 22, 2014, 03:09 AM
It's just an old design that lost appeal in favor of the trigger group elevators. I think it was John Marlin that patented the design in the late 1800's and one of the guys that worked for marlin also started the high standard company that carried over the improved design and Remington had the model 31. Remington had already stopped using the design when mossberg picked it up.

The mossberg is a less expensive version of the Remington 31 that also incorporates other patents from other makers like Savage to become the 500. My opinion of why they lost appeal is that the trigger group type offers a smoother loading of the shell with no jerky action and they also raise slightly quicker which assures the shell doesn't roll out of the gun before the slide is far enough forward to raise the elevator which is never a problem with an experienced shooter anyway.
Thanks for the info

Fred Fuller
January 22, 2014, 12:09 PM
The Mossberg 500 is something of a latecomer design wise, and the main closed lifter design (the 870) was already patented and in production for a decade or so when the Mossberg came along. Often enough it's not a question of new designs where firearms are concerned, but what previous design features are available for use because their original patents have run out.

As with any other physical skill, loading a shotgun on the fly is something learned through practice. I find 870s easier to load because the front of the trigger guard provides a 'glide path' right into the loading port. The lifter is not a problem because I've learned to use the knuckle of my loading thumb to push it up out of the way as I load. Different strokes for different folks...

gamestalker
January 22, 2014, 05:14 PM
My 500's have always wanted to be 870's when they grow up.

GS

MCgunner
January 22, 2014, 05:36 PM
I really like the shell elevator being out of the way when loading. I'm no ninja, I'm a duck hunter. One of the things that bothered me about my 870 Wingmaster as a kid 45 years ago was that the shell elevator pinched and HURT my thumb when I loaded bare handed in the cold. If I tried to wear gloves, it would pinch my glove and foul the glove in the action often. If I didn't get the round ALL the way in, often didn't when it pinched and I yanked my thumb out cussing, it would shoot the round up under the elevator and jam the works, requiring me to pull out a knife and dig the round back into the magazine, usually took some time and more cussing. The solution was to hold the thing up out of the way with the off hand while loading....if you had the time, birds weren't buzzing in. The Mossberg, the Ithaca, and the Browning BPS solve this ergonomic problem. The 870 isn't the only gun that has this idiotic shell elevator design, I put up with it in my Winchester.

Then there's the whole tang safety thing, me being a lefty, but we've argued that one to death.

I'll keep my mossy. You guys can dump on it all you want, but I've owned and used both and I much prefer the 500 and primary reason is ergos. Don't end with the safety and the shell elevator, either. Even the slide release is better placed on the Mossberg. I have 2 Mossbergs, a 20+ year old 500 camo and a new to me 535 wood and blue. I sold that 870 Wingmaster in college when I needed the money. Never really wanted another. Too many better guns IMHO and the Mossberg is one that's more affordable.

Destructo6
January 22, 2014, 05:53 PM
it would shoot the round up under the elevator and jam the works, requiring me to pull out a knife and dig the round back into the magazine,
Newer 870s have a "Flexi-tab" cut on their elevator, making this type of malfunction as easy to clear as simply racking the action.

MCgunner
January 22, 2014, 06:10 PM
^^^Good for them, they made a fix after the fact. I'll keep my Mossys, thanks. Much better ergos and the shell elevator is one of 'em.^^^

dak0ta
January 22, 2014, 07:18 PM
I think Benelli got it right. When you push up on the shell carrier it stays up. But it also feeds reliably and smoothly as part of the trigger group.

Sheepdog1968
January 23, 2014, 02:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback. By the way, I am not trying to bash one shotgun mfg vs the other. I think they are all good. This was just such a big difference that I haven't really seen discussed. I also found it interesting that the 930 mossbergs didn't use the same style as the 500s. Glad to hear the Benelli one stays popped upwards if you push on it.

At one point I was all interested in getting a nicer shotgun for trap and clay shooting. Then, I started to get good (not great) averaging about 75 to 80% hits. On a couple of occasions I've gotten 24 out of 25. Since then I've grown quite fond of my Mossberg 500. And yes I know, it's not instrument but the musician that makes the difference.

MCgunner
January 23, 2014, 11:03 AM
I think Benelli got it right. When you push up on the shell carrier it stays up. But it also feeds reliably and smoothly as part of the trigger group.

In 35 years of hunting with Mossbergs, I've never had one misfeed. I've had 'em fail to extract specifically Winchester Hi Speed 3" steel {crappy ammo, 2 3/4" same brand works fine, go figure), but not failure to feed. That shell elevator works just fine for me. But, that's good to know about the Benellis. I didn't know that. I could live with a shell elevator like that. :D

MCgunner
January 23, 2014, 11:04 AM
At one point I was all interested in getting a nicer shotgun for trap and clay shooting. Then, I started to get good (not great) averaging about 75 to 80% hits. On a couple of occasions I've gotten 24 out of 25. Since then I've grown quite fond of my Mossberg 500. And yes I know, it's not instrument but the musician that makes the difference.

You got used to the gun. :D

Icky The Great
January 23, 2014, 11:29 AM
I like 500s and 870 for various reasons. I have several of both and had nary a problem with my 500 but I have witnessed others fall apart in the field. Serious repairs were needed and the gun as was the lineage were suspect ever since.
To be totally honest I always favored on old Winchester pump my Grandad had. Never had a problem and it shot wonderfully year round. I remember feeding it a steady diet of paper shells out in the field. Got my first bunnies with it. Wish I had it now.

Nickel Plated
January 23, 2014, 06:26 PM
Yea, it's the one thing that bugs me about my Winchester SXP. The control placement is excellent. Best out of the bunch. But I really wish it had the Mossberg style shell lifter.
The Mossberg design is a simpler as well requiring less parts, like not having a carrier dog.

The old High Standard shotguns and the RIA M5 by extension which is a clone of them, would essentially be the perfect pump gun IMO, since they have the Winchester's control layout and the Mossberg's lifter design. And full steel construction to boot. Only problem is barrels are not interchangeable and impossible to find anything other than the 20" barrel the M5 comes with.

Fred Fuller
January 23, 2014, 07:32 PM
The old High Standard shotguns and the RIA M5 by extension which is a clone of them, would essentially be the perfect pump gun IMO, since they have the Winchester's control layout and the Mossberg's lifter design. And full steel construction to boot. Only problem is barrels are not interchangeable and impossible to find anything other than the 20" barrel the M5 comes with.

Good points. The other thing that makes the FliteKing design so slick is that it also has the Win Model 12 type tilting bolt design, where the back of the bolt locks into the top of the receiver.

High Standard lost out on a shotgun contract to the USAF back in the 1960s because the barrels were threaded in and not removable for cleaning. Remington wound up with the contract.

IIRC some of the later HSs did have interchangeable barrels though...

Uniquedot
January 24, 2014, 02:30 PM
The old High Standard shotguns and the RIA M5 by extension which is a clone of them

Do you have any experience with the RIA M5? I was looking at some photo's of one in an exploded view and the outside extractor looks very impressive. I may look for one to add to my safe, but I'd like to get some feedback on QC on them before purchasing one.

Nickel Plated
January 24, 2014, 07:49 PM
I hear only good things about them. It's a Philipine made clone of the High Standard design, made by Armsor, and sold in the U.S. by Rock Island Armory.
Seems the same idea as the Pardner Pump. Inexpensive, not particularly refined, but built like a tank.

Fred Fuller
January 24, 2014, 10:42 PM
It isn't an exact clone - they added a second action bar.

If only they had added a takedown barrel to the design ... if only.

Uniquedot
January 25, 2014, 11:54 AM
well I decided to check out some videos on the M5 and after doing so I've lost interest... they don't appear to be up to par on QC.

Ash
January 26, 2014, 10:53 AM
Shotguns have no more problems with loading than lever action guns. The right tool for the right job. 3 rounds for hunting means one in the pipe and two in the magazine. The raised lifter keeps things from getting caught. It's just plain handy. Also, the argument that the lowered lifter designs prevent junk from getting into the receiver is pretty weak. There's plenty of room for just about anything to get into such an action save perhaps for a big stick - and those would be easy to remove. Mud and gunk easily get around the lifter.

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