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Quality comparison of cheap pumps: Stevens 320 vs. Mossberg 500

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by WVGunman, Aug 3, 2018.

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  1. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    I'm looking for a cheap 20-gauge pump to use for casual clay shooting with a Trius step-thrower, and considering these two. I looked at both at a local Big & Large Mart. The 320 looks cheap, and IS, at just $147! The Mossberg has better finish, and is still pretty cheap, at $188. (Plus, I already have a spare barrel for it that will take choke tubes.) The Stevens is supposedly based on the old Winchester 1300, which is one of the smoothest-shucking actions I've ever felt. But still ... I've read that it's not that comfortable to shoot, and it may just be TOO cheap.

    Thoughts from anyone who has used both?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I would take the Mossberg, especially since you already have a screw in choke barrel....I would prefer a 12 over a 20 though.
     
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  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    WVGunman

    No experience with the Stevens but I can tell you the Mossberg should give you many years of dependable service plus you already have a spare barrel for it; making it all that much more versatile to you. I have had my Maverick 88 for close to 30 years and it's still going strong!

    NJCluZG.jpg
     
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  4. George P

    George P Member

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    At $188, was that the Mossberg or their Maverick? In either case, I would take that over the poorly made imported one.
     
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  5. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Mossberg
    It has a better support system and tons of parts available. It is as reliable as any pump gun made.
     
  6. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I'd take the Mossberg. It's a proven action and is almost a perfect example of the proper way to cut corners (eg, they go cheap on the stuff that truly won't affect how you use the gun, but know where to focus on to make the guns run).

    Plus, while I do tend to favor the 870 the most out of any shotgun design, the Mossberg type action is typically a lot "slicker" to cycle. It barely takes any effect to cycle a Mossberg.
     
  7. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Mossberg.
     
  8. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    The Winchester 1300 was a sweet shooting gun until the bolted and screwed in parts inside came loose. No new replacement parts are currently available. Sad.
    I've had 870s and 500s and both are certainly good designs but I'm not impressed with the current production of either----especially regarding the trigger groups. FWIW, the two best pumps I ever used were a Winchester '97 and Remington Wing Master.The Wing Master locked like a bank vault---a 100% improvement over the Express.
    High Standards were pretty nice as well.
     
  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    870! Ok, of the two you mentioned, Mossberg, hands down.
     
  10. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    I have a Stevens 320 that I bought used with another firearm that I wanted. It has the extra barrel, I think I shot it to make sure it would function. It is really heavy. I have the short barrel installed and loaded with buckshot. I'm feel sure it's a reliable cheap shotgun, but I have a couple Winchester model 12's and a Remington 1100 if I want to shoot.
     
  11. WVGunman

    WVGunman Member

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    Is the receiver steel?
     
  12. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    No, it is not magnetic. Probably a anodized aluminum or pot metal investment casting.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
  13. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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  14. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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  15. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I have both. They're comparable AFAIC.

    However if you have the spare barrel already I'd go with the Mossberg. Makes sense.
     
  16. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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  17. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    Since the new reintroduced Stevens is relatively new and has no long term track record I would go with Mossberg even though I have never been overly fond of them personally.
     
  18. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Hit the used racks for an 870!
     
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  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a Mossberg 500 in .410. It has been a reliable critter gun for my hobby horse farm. (From shooting competitive skeet in the 1990s and early 2000s, I have a ton of .410-1/2" hulls)

    I do not have any experience with the Stevens.

    Stevens has a good general reputation so I suspect that you would do well with either. (good political answer, eh?)
     
  20. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Definitely Mossberg!
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I don't have any personal experience with the 320, but for $41 difference, I'd probably opt for the tried & true Maverick 88 that is easier to find parts & accessories for.

    I've taken chances on cheaper guns before, but usually had a plan that made sense beyond saving a couple bucks. For instance, I grabbed a pair of Dickinson Commando XX3B 18.5" shotguns from Grabagun when they were marked down to $119. So I was at $245 shipped for 2, and I sold one of them locally for $170, leaving me only $75 into the one I have. I reamed and threaded for Win/Mossberg/Browning pattern chokes and added a rail to the receiver upon which I'll place a knock-off RMR. So I'll have a decent 5-round synthetic stock pump gun with removable chokes and a miniature reflex that only set me back a total of $174 including the optic and 3 choke tubes. But most people have to pay a transfer fee and don't have the equipment to ream & tap for choke tubes or mill & drill receiver for rail, and by the time you pay shipping, transfer fee, have a custom rail installation, ream/tap for choke + 3 tubes and put a ~$50 RDS on it, that $119 shotgun has cost you around $400 and you may as well have bought the more expensive shotgun that was already threaded for choke tubes, has ghost ring sights and is drilled/tapped for or includes optics/rail:

    https://grabagun.com/rem-870exp-tact-12-18-5-7rd-blk-grs.html
     
  22. EMT40SW

    EMT40SW Member

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    E1323B9E-0214-482C-BE35-1B3A098D595A.jpeg 36561C39-15F1-4560-A7AB-B842A69010E7.jpeg So let me qualify my opinion with my experience. I have two 20 ga Mossberg 500s, a mossy 590A1 12 ga with ghost rings, & a 870 Wingmaster Police 12 ga surplus from the 80’s. For 20 ga I would go a Mossberg or Maverick all the way. In 12 ga it’s a toss up between the 590 & the 870 but not a 500 because they are too light for 12 ga. 870s in 20 ga are ok but mossberg 500 in 20 ga handles like a dream. Best of all Mossberg makes barrels for all Mossbergs & 870s. Search online & used racks at your local pawn/ gun shops. Many deals out there to be had. My advice is get a 6 shot hunting set up because they are cheaper. Then order the 18.5” Security barrel from Mossberg. If you want to a more expensive way you could do a used 870 in 12 ga. Then order a Mossberg replacement hunting barrel:
    http://summitgunbroker.com/rem--870-wm.html


    https://www.recoilgunworks.com/remington-police-magnum-pump-shotgun-good-condition-p-46253.html
     
  23. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    In your case, with the extra barrel you have, I would go Mossberg. I prefer the Remington 870 Police or Wingmaster. Not the express.

    I bought a H&R Pardner pump, actually 2 of them, both a 20 and a 12, on a whim because they were on sale cheap. The 20 gauge has become one of my favorite shotguns. They are both built like tanks.
     
  24. kozak6

    kozak6 Member

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    If you even whisper the words "Winchester 1300", you will be deafened by screaming and whining about plastic feed throats. Has that been resolved on the 320? Nobody knows.

    The Mossberg 500 is a known good cheap shotgun.

    The 320 gets good enough reviews, but I get the impression that the people that buy them don't shoot them very much.
     
  25. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Have had both. Take the Mossberg. I bought a 320 20 gauge for childbride to use for turkey. Have a couple 500s in 20 with rifled barrels for deer. 500 seems more solid. Won a Win SXP at a DU dinner and it seems o.k. but I prefer an 870. Gonna sell the Win.
     
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