Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by jon86, Sep 12, 2011.
They are both good guns, but the Wingmaster feels way more classy and better finished.
It MAY be more mechanically reliable, in the right hands, and they are a lot harder to short stroke. However they tend to need a lot more care and attention.
I don't think any other pump can beat a properly built 870 when it comes to standing up to be abuse and neglect.
To me the Mossberg safety is one of it's worst features. If it were truly a tang safety like on doubles I'd agree. But it is not a tang safety. It is mounted on the top of the receiver where they are easliy bumped and knocked to the fire position and are often broken. It is much slower to use because the shooter has to reposition their thumb before firing or risk putting a knuckle in their nose when pulling the trigger. Once you learn how to use it the 870 safety is much quicker and easier to use, even for lefty's. My brother shoots lefty and finds the 870 safety much easier to operate.
I've owned Mossbergs and have always been disappointed in the reliability. The 870's I've owned and used have always been rock solid. They point and balance better for me too.
The safety on the 870 is in a much better place IMO. I've never actually shot a 500, but the thumb safety would take some getting use to.
I like the look and quality of the Wingmaster 870's. In my opinion much nicer than a Mossberg. I have shot perfect rounds of skeet with both shotguns in 20ga.
I've liked every Winchester pump shotgun ever made, except the 93. However, I cringe at the idea of having to take ANY of them apart.
Same for the 37. JMB designed a great upland gun, but there's very tight tolerances and exqusite machining in there.Possibly the easiest shucker, though the Model 12 cult will object vehemently.
The cosmetically challenged but functionally perfect 500 I had was probably the best $65 shotgun ever. I couldn't get used to the ergos after so much 870 stuff, so it moved on.
I've shot a few of the BPS shotguns. Nice, but a nightmare to strip, I'm told.
The 870's modular design and generous tolerances make it easy to maintain, super easy to take down, and heck for reliable. User friendly,as they say.....
Army still uses (or used) 500's up until '04 at least. In fact, they bought a whole bunch of new ones to use as breachers. The blued El Cheapo pistol grip only 500's too, not the breacher model.
I've always wondered about the slide release placement on the 870. It's the same as on the Ithaca, but flipped onto the left side of the trigger guard where I can't reach it. It seems like it was designed for a lefty.
Yep, Uncle still buys Mossberg 500s. No arguments there. Far as I know they've bought them all along. At least back to 1981, anyway.
But if you'll whistle up Professor Peabody and warm up the Wayback Machine, you'll find out that the military shotgun contract proposal Mossberg answered (that Remington decided not to compete, by the way) in the mid-1980s called for an easy cleanout magazine tube. The military shotgun contract specifications are currently listed at http://www.assistdocs.com/search/do...1&PaginatorPageNumber=119&search_method=BASIC . I don't know to this day what other companies (if any) beside Mossberg competed for this contract.
At any rate, the specs contain the following: 3.10.1 Tubular magazine. The tubular magazine shall be of such design and construction as to provide easy access to the interior for cleaning, inspection, and preventative maintenance. At least some of the Mossberg 500s (the 500M MILS) delivered on contract were adapted to meet the 'MILS' standard by fitting them with the same kind of magazine tube/cap arrangement used on the 590. See the manual for the 500 MILS and 500M MILS at http://www.mossbergs.com/manuals/500 MILS_500M MILS.pdf .
The first military contract I can find that Mossberg filled with 590s was DAAA09-86-C-1000, in 1987, for 1,331 20" 9-shot 590As with synthetic furniture. That contract number is listed in a table of contracts for Mossberg military shotguns in Canfield's Complete Guide To United States Military Combat Shotguns. I've got old-timers disease pretty bad these days, it seems like, but I was working for Uncle back then and had a certain amount to do with contracts (not for small arms tho) my own self.
I'm told from time to time that I'm just a Nervous Nellie for worrying overmuch about shotgun magazine tubes. But it's been my experience that a goodly number of the problems that arise with tube-fed shotguns arise in the magazine, and I prefer to be able to get to it easily when I want to.
The Mossberg feels a little 'skinnier' in my hands but I grew up on the 870, seems the action is a little faster, slicker.
All of my experience with 12 guage shotguns was in law enforcement. For the first half of my career I was in a "daily issue" situation where we drew from a rack of weapons at the start of each shift. The selection was strictly 870's (Wingmasters) or Mossberg 500's and all were pretty beaten up, but functional. I always chose the 870's if available - they just felt more solid... The last ten years of a 22 year career, I was able to have a weapon for my exclusive use and it was again an 870, but a bit better cared for than the daily issued gear.
A large part of the business of hunting "two legged" is confidence in yourself and your gear. Nothing like a solid old, simple 870 when it's all on the line.
BULL - loney. The 37 is a lot more prone to failure than a Wingmaster. It has to have all those tight tolerances to work well. The 870 was the first of the new generation guns that do not need all those tight tolerances to function. 870s rang up hundreds of thousands of rounds on the trap fields before the O/U fad struck, and before the 1100 arrived they were fairly popular even for skeet. 37s handled well, but they quickly fell out of favor for high volume shooting.
I know there are a lot of people who swoon over "hand built", but I'm not one of them. As long as the end result suits me, I have nothing against properly stamped parts or CNC machining.
I don't know about more prone to failure, but more prone to suffering from neglect and problems associated with poor build quality.
Also, the mechanism of the 37 isn't really all that tighter than the 870 in the clearance sense, though its true that every component has to be within an allowed spec range that's a lot narrower than the 870 and other newer designs, sort of like the 1911.
Properly built, the Ithaca is a tank, my 50s Model 37 had 75K rounds on it and had supposedly never been taken down for a cleaning. When I broke it down for detail clean I believed it, yet it still ran well enough up to that point, rusty and DIRTY as it was.
I really don't know if an 870 could be ran in that kind of shape.
I have never shot a Mossberg 500/590. The only non 870 pump I have shot is a Winchester 1300, and I much preferred my 870. My dad as well as all the hunter's I know are 870 guys so that I wanted when I bought my first shotgun.
I have handled mossy's when I was helping a friend look for a shotgun and I still thought the 870 was the way to go, although I would consider a 590.
I actually clean my guns, so I appreciate the fact that they 870 has pinned interrupters.
The Mossbergs are loose in the receiver, and you need 3 hands sometimes to get them back in place.
An 870 is my choice...
I can get them apart super easy and they just feel the way a shotgun should.
Anyone who has not thoroughly cleaned the mag tube of their hunting shotgun would be very surprised at how crusty it gets in there. Hay seed, rust, dirt, bugs, you name it, it's gonna be in there. If you ain't doing it at least once a year, you are asking for trouble.
Between me and the two boys we have eight 870's, and six Win 1200 and 1300's and all have performed well on birds, small game, and deer when we had to use slugs or buckshot. I also have a couple of old Wingmasters. All of these have worked great for us. I do not ever remember when we had a problem in the field. We used them hard but took good care of them as far as cleaning when we used them.
For many years I had a hunting buddy who only used the Mossbergs. Again I never saw him have a problem with his shotguns. I always had an extra gun when we went hunting and he would joke about that. I remember at least three times fishing his Mossberg out of the water and mud when duck hunting and after a good rinse in the water it was fine.
I've recommend people towards the 870 simply because it feels alot nicer and sturdy. When I was looking for an autoloader to replace my 870 I was deeply interested in the 930 SPX. That lasted until I actually held one. It just felt cheap, the trigger guard was loose and other Mossbergs I handled all felt cheap. I ended up settling on a 1100.
I know that Mossbergs work but I would prefer something that works just as good but feels sturdier.
Exactly Smooth as glass.
To me the M500/590 just seems clunky and not as well built. Maybe my taste are just to fine.
I used to own a 500, it was a good gun, I shot quite well with it too.
If you put it next to my Wingmaster though, the difference is quite obvious. The Remington is much better finished, and the quality of materials used throughout seems far superior to me.
I actually prefer the safety on the Mossberg, but well, you can't have everything ...
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