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Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 for HD?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by rEVOLVEr VII, Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. rEVOLVEr VII

    rEVOLVEr VII Member

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    I'm currently planning to buy a new HD shotgun but I'm a little new to Shotguns and am unsure which is the best of the two mentioned. I would like to deck out whichever shotty I choose so my other question is which has the best accessories and is the cheapest to customize?
     
  2. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Just search around... there are tons of threads, articles, and videos on these two and their differences.

    The 870 is steel, has a trigger guard-mounted safety, and is easy to put anything with a pistol grip on (due to safety placement). I find that they feel more sturdy than Mossbergs.

    The 500 is an alloy receiver, has a tang-mounted safety, and tend to be slightly more rough (in my experience). They also tend to be a tad lighter, due to the receiver, and are easier to load.


    That's about it. Both are reliable and both will hold up longer than you, so pick what fits you best. If you plan on a pistol grip stock such as the Mesa Urbino or Speedfeed IV/III, then consider the safety placement on the shotguns.

    As for upgrades, a side saddle, magazine extension, and maybe a light are really all you would want. Rails everywhere and all that tacticool stuff will only add weight, bulk, and complexity. Unless you genuinely like the look, I'd shy away from it. And unless breaching doors is your main job, a PGO (pistol grip only) stock is probably going to do more harm than good. And as for ammo... just get some good quality buckshot, test it's patterns so you know where it hits at your max distance in your house, and have at it. Stocks, optics, etc... that's all user preference.
     
  3. cromlw

    cromlw Member

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    The ease of loading the Mossberg puts it ahead of the 870 to me
     
  4. Boom Boom Tactical

    Boom Boom Tactical Member

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    Remington 870

    Mossbergs are great shotguns but I really like the Remingtons
     
  5. dirtengineer

    dirtengineer Member

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    I would pick based on your safety location preference. I have one of each.
     
  6. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    This is like the classic Ford vs Chevy question, when it comes to customizing I suspect there are more options available for the 870, but that does not mean there is any shortage of options on the Mossberg's. I like the 870 myself, I have one 2 feet away from me right now mounted to my bed frame (a nice 40+ year old 20 GA 870 Wingmaster full size frame gun with a +2 extension and 20 inch barrel loaded with #3 buck)
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The Remington is much better than the Mossberg 500. If comparing the 870 to the Mossberg 590 the 2 are much closer. I'd still buy the 870, but would take the 590 over the 500 anyday.
     
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Handle both of them at the fun store.

    Shoot both of them, if you have the opportunity. Ask family and friends to take you shooting if they own one or the other. Or look for a range or gun club with rentals.

    DECIDE FOR YOURSELF which one feels best to you - don't depend in Internet strangers for a personal decision. Do you like strawberry, or grape? Shaken or stirred? Etc.

    Once you pick out one or the other, get it home, unbox it, Read The Fine Manual, field strip it and clean it first thing. That means buy a cleaning kit and supplies when you buy the gun, if you don't have one. Buy some light birdshot loads to get started with on the range later. Get good name brand ammo, not the cheapest loss leader stuff available. Cheapo ammo can cause sticking problems sometimes.

    FORGET about adding anything to the gun until the pile of hulls you yourself have fired through the gun is at least ankle deep. Learn to run the gun safely, how to load, unload (without pumping rounds through the chamber), shoot, hit what you shoot at, reload on the fly, clear malfunctions etc. Make good safety habits reflexive. If you AD a shotgun, something is going to have a BIG hole in it. Don't mess up. Ever.

    Once you know the gun well, THEN consider adding those accessories that actually help YOU run YOUR GUN better. If you haven't shot at least a flat of shells (250 rounds) before you post the first picture of your shotgun, you ain't doin' it right. This isn't about kewl shotgun pics on the net. It's about skills - your skills. You cannot buy skill in a box and bolt it onto your shotgun.

    Take a class that teaches you how to fight with a shotgun. Sumlocaldude or a nationally ranked instructor like Louis Awerbuck, Randy Cain, John Farnam, Clint Smith, Tom Givens, etc, however you want to go, but get some training from someone who knows their way around fighting with a shotgun.

    This will take a few months to get done if you push, or longer if you don't push it. It took me about ten years to finally get a class with a nationally ranked instructor, mainly because work kept getting in the way. I sure wish I had been able to get it done a lot earlier.

    OK, get to work! :D
     
  9. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I went with the 500 for the location of the safety and the slide release. For me, the locations of the controls on the 500 are WAY more intuitive and would be easier to use in a high stress situation, but I guess with training you can handle the 870's controls just fine. Also I like that the elevator stays up on the 500 for easier loading, and the dual action bars. I have heard complaints about more recent 870 expresses....allegedly Remington's quality has gone downhill, but my friend just bought one and it seems alright.

    I wouldn't say the 500 is less "smooth" than the 870, but it definitely has bigger clearances that make it feel noticeably "looser." A bit more rattle. Note the difference between clearance and tolerance. Loose is not necessarily bad. It allows for more crud to get in there before things start to bind and lock up. Of course if you keep it under your bed, that won't matter anyway.

    I think anyone who says one is clearly superior to the other, for everyone, is probably biased. It is very subjective.
     
  10. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    either one will work fine for hd.if buying new,ok.if buying used check them carefully.good load #4 buck will work well.
     
  11. Whacked

    Whacked Member

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    Both are good.

    I prefer the safety and slide release location on the 500 over the 870.
    Plus, a shotgun with a 18.5" and 28" barrel for $316 OTD, no brainer :)
     
  12. rEVOLVEr VII

    rEVOLVEr VII Member

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    Thanks for the great input guys! I'll be going to my local gun store soon and trying both out.
     
  13. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Both are great. For me, the key question is where do you want the safety to be located (tang vs near rear of trigger)?
     
  14. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    I'd say, in order of my preference, it would be:

    870 Wingmaster/Police, Mossberg 590, Mossberg 500, 870 Express.

    There's more factors than just general quality though, since it's about the same between these two products.

    For example, on the 870 you can much more easily do a slug changeover without surfing a round off of the carrier, compared to a Mossberg 500 where it's almost required. I personally didn't find this an issue because my idea of a slug changeover is putting a slug in the magazine tube and working the action.

    I personally use a Mossberg 500 'breacher' (that I did install a stock on!) since it's what the LGS had at the time. I kinda regret that, because resting it up against the wall by the bed like I do, the teeth on the breacher muzzle carves the hell out of the wallpaper!

    I'd also personally avoid any Mossberg 500 where the action bars were molded into the plastic forend, it's just a sign of lower quality IMO.
     
  15. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    Fondle both--if you shoot left handed the mossberg will be better. Also, 870s are a little harder to load, but that can be a non-issue for HD if you have a dedicated gun that is always kept loaded.

    Both have long histories and go bang when trigger is pulled. It's a matter of choosing between 2 good choices. You can ignore comments about Mossberg rattles and uglyness--99 out of 100 burglars surveyed rated this as unimportant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  16. redstategunnut

    redstategunnut Member

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    Why is the 870 harder to load?
     
  17. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    Lee Lapin. Great post. I would be interested in hearing thoughts about barrel length.
     
  18. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    The 870 is harder to load because the lifter is spring loaded in the down position, I personally don't see it as a big deal under normal conditions, but it may be an issue in high stress moments.
     
  19. ChileRelleno

    ChileRelleno Member

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    I already have a tacti'cooled Saiga 12, a Remington 870P and a few others.

    This time I chose the M500 to do as a 'Jack of All Trades', including a HD role.
    For HD, I added a 18.5" cylinder bore barrel, swapped the brass bead for a Meprolight Tru-Dot night sight, Vang Comp oversized safety , extra power mag spring and a high-vis mag follower.
    Now trying to decide which sling to put on it, as a fighting shotgun should have sling.

    See this thread, http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=640649
     
  20. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Like others have said

    Tang Saftey

    Bolt Release

    Easy Loading

    Easy Barrel Changes

    Mossberg 500

    PS I sold my 870 to get my 500 Combo and am much happier with where things are. Should the 870 have had the same placement of said items 870 all the way.
     
  21. BCMjUnKiE

    BCMjUnKiE Member

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    Remington 870 Express Magnum (Wilson Combat)
    That's my choice but there is nothing wrong with the Mossy 500.
     
  22. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Thanks, whalerman. I try :D. So, OP, please excuse the thread diversion here...

    Most any barrel length can work for HD from a barricaded position, which is in most cases the best way to deploy a shotgun for home defense (see the NRA's Personal Protection In The Home class, described at http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx - it's focused on handguns, but the same tactics work with shotguns).

    I do like shorter barrels better for a dedicated HD shotgun though, simply because they are handier in storage and retrieval. It's good IMHO to be able to swap barrels on the same gun and have a shorter smoothbore barrel for HD, and a longer smoothbore barrel for field/sporting use. With most modern makes/models, this arrangement is neither difficult nor overly expensive to set up.

    Barrels shorter than 18" require more expense, paperwork and hassle than I'm willing to deal with. We use 870s as a rule here, the old so-called 18" factory barrel from Remington is actually 18 1/8" and that works fine. The newer barrels from Remington are 18 1/2", I see nothing to complain about there either. Remington's Riot Gun bead-sight barrels and many rifle sight-equipped smoothbore slug barrels have always been offered at 20", those work fine too. And Remington and other manufacturers offer Turkey barrels and rifle sight smoothbore slug barrels from 21" to 24" or so, and there's nothing at all to complain about with those either.

    After an unexpected move a few years ago, I found myself with no shotgun handy. A trip through local pawn shops turned up a used 870 Express Turkey gun with a 21" vent rib barrel, dual bead sights and an Extra Full turkey choke tube. It was a wreck on the outside, which was responsible for the attractively low price tag, but it was mechanically sound and the bore was bright and shiny. A twist using a quarter for a choke tube wrench broke the extended tube loose in its threads. So I bought the gun.

    A standard ImpCyl choke tube out of the used choke tube box was willingly swapped even up for the Turkey tube by the counterman, who knew he could charge more for the Turkey tube than for the ImpCyl tube I wanted. I took the mess home, field stripped it and gave it a good cleaning inside and out, got all the old camo tape off the wooden furniture and got all the gummy glue it left behind off everything. Apparently the former owner was a heavy user of DEET based insect repellent, the areas on the stock and forearm where hands naturally go were so sticky it was hard to let go of the gun once it was picked up.

    The gun cleaned up nicely, and is still one of my favorites. It will serve reasonably well in multiple roles as it is, with no barrel changes, even though 870 barrels are widely available, not expensive and interchange easily. The two beads work well as substitute iron sights if needed. It still has the ImpCyl RemChoke tube in it, but a 4-round Sidesaddle has been added, along with a simple rail for a weaponlight.

    For versatility's sake I like smoothbore slug barrels with factory rifle sights. That way when the short barrel is removed the sights go too. On a dedicated HD/large game hunting shotgun I like ghost ring sights, but for a multipurpose shotgun I prefer rifle sights on the short smoothbore barrel. Bead sights are great for purely 'inside' guns and work well for lots of shooters outside as well, though I prefer sights on a defensive shotgun, as it's easier for me to get hits with slugs at longer ranges if the gun has sights. My old eyes aren't what they used to be.

    Choke tubes and other internal barrel changes aren't as useful as they were a few years ago IMHO, as long as a full range of ammunition choices is available. I never bought a Vang barrel, though I was tempted, but I did have choke tubes installed and forcing cones lengthened in several 18 1/8" barrels. At the time a MOD choke helped a lot to get the kind of sheet-of-paper size patterns I wanted out at 25 yards. Now all I have to do is shoot a load with the FliteControl wad, out of a CYL bore, to get the same result. And it's 100% worry free shooting slugs or anything else out of the same barrel and choke, too.

    Makes life easier... :D

    hth,

    lpl

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled thread...
     
  23. rEVOLVEr VII

    rEVOLVEr VII Member

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    ^ With all that being said Lee what's your opinion on a Stoeger Double Defense for HD, just discovered this weapon, I gotta say it appears like it'd get the job done, the barrels short, it comes equipped with a two rails for mounting a scope or light, and you can choose between over and under or side by side barrel placement, but the fact that it's only 2 shots is what's throwing me. I guess I'm getting a little off my own topic here..
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  24. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I saw your other thread on the Stoeger, and I normally would say "Yeah, if it's all you have." But, seeing as you're talking about the 870 and 500 to fill the same role, I couldn't comfortably suggest the double barrel over one of the pumps. 7 shots vs. 2, and you have the same light and optic mounting options on the pumps.

    If you really like the Stoeger, then by all means go for it. But objectively, the 870 or 500 are the better option, simply due to round count.
     
  25. sch84

    sch84 Member

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    Both are good guns. I've had both. But I'll throw this in, Ithaca 37 defense. I just bought one and the quality is outstanding. My last 590a1 and 870 don't even compare to my new 37. Fit and finish is near perfect. I read some people complain that the 37 defense is hard to clean do to the fixed barrel but I'll bet they never cleaned one. In (my opinion) it was easier to clean then my 590 and 870. And Ithaca's customer service can't be beat. I would really look into one before you decide on a final purchase.;)
     
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