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Old October 5, 2006, 01:51 AM   #1
Tropical Z
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Who's seen or had a broken Mossberg 500?

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 ) 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?
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Old October 5, 2006, 07:18 AM   #2
Fred Fuller
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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!

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Old October 5, 2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 07:37 AM   #4
ribbonstone
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 09:32 AM   #5
Dave McCracken
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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....

Last edited by Dave McCracken; October 5, 2006 at 09:17 PM.
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Old October 5, 2006, 09:50 AM   #6
dfaugh
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 10:15 AM   #7
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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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...
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Old October 5, 2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 11:06 AM   #11
9mmMike
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 11:21 AM   #12
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 06:26 PM   #13
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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.
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Old October 5, 2006, 08:17 PM   #14
Zeke Menuar
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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.

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Old October 6, 2006, 01:45 AM   #15
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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.
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Old October 6, 2006, 02:54 PM   #16
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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.
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Old October 6, 2006, 03:31 PM   #17
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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.
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Old October 6, 2006, 03:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Broken action bar welds.
Not real common, but does happen.
When? After an IED blows up under it?
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Old October 6, 2006, 06:54 PM   #19
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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. We've never had any problems with them.
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Old October 6, 2006, 07:09 PM   #20
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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.
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Old October 6, 2006, 08:42 PM   #21
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1) Broken plastic safeties.

2) Action bars coming unsoldered from the pump handle tube.
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Old October 6, 2006, 11:55 PM   #22
Doggieman
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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.
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Old October 7, 2006, 12:40 AM   #23
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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.
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Old October 7, 2006, 04:05 AM   #24
Third_Rail
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That's really, really strange... aluminum wouldn't warp at those temperatures.
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Old October 7, 2006, 11:45 AM   #25
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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.
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