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why do the "experts" like the 870 over the mossberg 500?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by stevereno1, Nov 23, 2007.

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  1. stevereno1

    stevereno1 Member

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    I have a mossgerg 500, the marines use the 590, so why do all of the civilian "experts" love the 870? Is it better than the 500? if so then why? I don't have a problem with either of them, but I wonder what ya'll think.
     
  2. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I own both and prefer the Mossberg over the Remington. My Mossberg shoulders better and just feels more comfortable to shoot. Plus I like the tang safety of the Mossberg since I shoot left hand. I have put way more shells through my Mossberg.
     
  3. Heavy Metal Hero

    Heavy Metal Hero Member

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    They are almost the same shotgun. I would go with whatever you like better.
     
  4. Captain Bligh

    Captain Bligh Member

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    I don't like the tang safety of the Mossberg. Safety on the trigger guard of the 870 makes more sense to me. Seems quicker. Your finger is going in that direction anyway, and can quickly snick off the safety. Involving thumb then finger seems slower. Second thing I don't like about Mossberg is that there is more slop & noise to the fore-end.

    If you use a shotgun for any stealthy hunting applications, I find Mossberg a lot nosier.

    I'm no expert, didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night...but I'm just sayin
     
  5. Ed/Pa

    Ed/Pa Member

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    I think it has someting to do with Steel vs Aluminum.
     
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    I bought a Mossberg 500A after reading civilian "experts" discussing the merits of each on the 'net. The cost difference was trivial. The arguments for the mossberg feature set vs the 870 were very well thought out. Tang safety, "up" shell lifter, dual extractors, slide release position, etc., etc., etc..

    I can't really comment on reliability. Mine hasn't really been fully broken in yet.
     
  7. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

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    I use a 590A for my duty shotgun for one simple reason: I shoot lefty. With the tang safety, there's no need to switch the safety around to make it usable. It's dangerous to have 870's in use with the safety switched for left hand use. If another officer picks it up in and emergency, he may think it's on safe when it's not or even worse, off safe when it's on.

    There are lots of other reasons like more convenient loading, etc., but the safety issue clinches it for me.
     
  8. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    What makes you think all "civilian professionals" use it? If your basing it strictly on this board, it might just happen to be that more people here prefer the 870.
     
  9. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

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    Steve, the footage from the front shows plenty of 870s find their way to the hot zones, official issue or not.

    The 870 is the standard against which all other pumpguns are measured. The 10th million 870 is either made or is about to be made.

    That's compared to about 3 million Mossbergs, 2 million Ithacas, 3 million Model 12 Winchesters, ad infinitum.

    The reasons include durability. Working life seems to be around 250K rounds. The Mossberg 500 runs maybe 65K. That's no slam to the 500, except for target guns, 65K is several generations of hunting and home protection.

    Another reason is reliability. 870s just plain keep on working, even with little or no PM, TLC, or even a hoseoff.

    And there's the modular design. No pumpgun is easier to detail strip and deep clean.

    Ergonomics play a part. While much is made of the tang safety, the 870 is operable by a 5ft,2 inch tall female with no opposable thumb on one hand and clubbed fingers half as long as normal on the other hand. I know, because I taught her.

    I happen to think the 500 is a fine shotgun. I had one, it did all that I asked it to. I prefer the 870,which has been a fine companion since the late 50s.
     
  10. stevereno1

    stevereno1 Member

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    Thank you dave, that's the kind of info I'm looking for!
     
  11. esmith

    esmith Member

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    They are shotguns. They are both reliable and outside of where the safety is and other miniscule things they do the exact same thing. It depends on how it feels to most people. I personally like the feel of the 870 better as well as how it looks.
     
  12. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    First, I'm not an expert.

    I cut my teeth on 870s and relied on one every day when I was a rural deputy sheriff in the 1980s. I actually prefer an 870 for its slick action and easier disassembly/cleaning. I have never owned a modern 870 Express, though.

    Having said that, the 12-ga I have on hooks inside my master bedroom closet is a Mossberg 590 8+1 with ghost ring sights. It fits me and I shoot it instinctively. The safety position doesn't matter at all as I keep it "cruiser ready" with Federal Vital-Shok buckshot with FliteControl wads that make 00 Buck shoot close to a slug.

    I would buy an 870 extended-mag shotgun tomorrow and (after practicing/retraining with it exclusively for a sufficient time) I could switch back to an 870 in a heartbeat. However I have a good reliable GR sighted shotgun that I shoot really well, even with slugs, beyond 50-yards.

    I'd be happy with either.
     
  13. crashalwine

    crashalwine Member

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    I'm new here so i'm gonna jump in and put my two cents in. I have several mossbergs from the 500, 695,930 and a 535. I love the all. I started with a mossy and have never had one problem with them. My whole family stands behind them as well as a lot of the guys I hunt with. I definatly prefer them over a 870 , but thats my choice
     
  14. Z71

    Z71 Member

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    GOSH! I'm going to get lynched! I always considered the Mossberg 500 sort of a second rate shotgun, nowhere near the quality of the 870.

    I had owned a Mossberg 500A in the past and it was alright, except the safty was junk, and would occasionaly stick shells in the chamber. My poor opinion of them was the iffy safty mostly, and poor quality control. I have seen brand new Mossberg pumps that were missing parts and assembled wrong right out of the box!

    An after school job at an Otasco which sold guns, revealed that the 500 was popular because of price, and some came back quickly with issues. Stupid issues, usually involving the action bars and shell stops being put together wrong, or parts being missing. Other customers loved them. Most of the guy's I knew with the Mossbergs got along fine. But I have repaired two or three myself with broken saftys or non functional saftys.

    True, this was a long time back, and Mossberg surely must have improved the safty, and QC issues long since.

    I honestly about fell over when I found out the military had adopted the Mossbergs! Never...ever would have thunk it!

    I would imagine the "experts" had owned an older Model 500, or knew somebody that did, and arrived at the same conclusion I did, which is that the Mossbergs are OK, but cheaply made.

    OK..OK.. Stop boiling the oil! Put the tar and feathers away! I'm firmly convinced Somewhere along the line Mossberg turned a quality control corner and stepped up the quality of the gun. I wouldn't be scared of one now.

    An older model 500, would get a safty inspection for sure, and I personaly would not buy an older one again. If you own an older one, would definatly invest in a steel safty button if it has a plastic one, and check the safty for proper function.
     
  15. Saturnine

    Saturnine Member

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    Could the cost have anything to do with the military issuing the mossbergs? The price is negligible to most of us, but when you're buying up thousands of them, the mossberg might be a better deal. They do practically the same thing, at a slightly cheaper cost, and they probably expect to retire them long before their usable lifespan is up.

    I prefer my 870, the Mossberg I shot felt like I had a 2x4 held up against my shoulder. I also think it looks a little nicer, but that's irrelevant.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Probably because the experts aren't left handed and neve tried to load an 870 with heavy winter gloves on.

    Crossbolt safeties SUCK for a left handed shooter, just plain SUCK, no other word to describe it. HERE ME, SHOTGUN MAKERS, CROSSBOLT SAFETIES SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did I tell ya what I think of crossbolt safeties? :D Besides, is there a double barrel out there, either OU or SxS that has a crossbolt safety? Nope, they'fre built for speed. No fumbling with a crossbolt safety, right or left handed. Crossbolt safeties suck. It's cheaper to build a crossbolt safety, no doubt why Remington and others do it. Cheap, cheap, junk. They suck.

    I sold my Wingmaster . I've had two Mossbergs. One was a 50s contract "Revelation 310" that was still shooting after I sold it, just wanted a new camo one. I could still be shooting that Revelation, know the guy that owns it, still a good shootin' gun, 50 years old.

    Maybe the military wants something without a crossbolt safety. Maybe there are left handed soldiers out there and they need to shoulder the weapon with speed? Maybe the military knows that crossbolt safeties suck?

    My 500 has a Winchester load stick in it once in a while. Miffs me off, have to take the barrel off and get it out with my leatherman. It's the ammo, though. I know a lady on another board that has reported the same problem with Winchester Xpert steel loads in her 870. I'm going to switch to Kent Fasteel. I've also, years ago, might have fixed that, had Remingtons hang on the ejection port of both Mossbefrgs I've owned. It was the fact that the loads were too long after firing. Did not have the problem with Federal or Winchester. Haven't used Remington 3" in years now, so it may be fixed. But, I'm still gonna try Kent or just go back to Federal.

    BTW, crossbolt safties suck.
     
  17. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    I don't see what this "left hand shooters can't use the cross bolt safety" stuff is all about. I can operate the safety on my 870 fine with one hand(to safe and to fire) without much of a problem. If you are in zone yellow and think you might suffer time wise from switching the safety to fire just keep the darn thing on fire.

    It might also have to do with the aluminum receiver. Aluminum doesn't rust, so less rust=less chance of it failing. Although, with a thin coat of oil, my 870 stays rust free.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've been surprised enough times by teal low over the grass (I hunt, I don't kill people) and fumbled with that stupid crossbolt safety (they suck) and cost me time, that I hate crossbolt safeties, they suck. I have a crossbolt safety on my Winchester 1400, love the gun, hate the safety, it sucks.
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    BTW, you're right, aluminum doesn't rust as bad as steel and I hunt ducks in a salt water environment. The Mossberg also has a very tough camo finish, a salt marsh hunter's dream.

    Also, that danged shell elevator gets in the way of reloading on the 870, pinches the end of the glove, ties you up, it sucks, too.

    And, crossbolt safeties suck.

    I don't see a problem, anyway, with an aluminum receiver. It works just fine on the gun, doesn't carry the stress of firing in any way since the bolt locks into the barrel.
     
  20. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

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    MCgunner:

    C'mon, why don't ya tell us how you really feel? :D
     
  21. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    Mossberg is

    1) Lighter
    2) Tang safety (Better for the wife or in a hostile situation), Push to Fire, pull back for Safe
    3) Easy to field strip (No tools)
    4) Less expensive
    5) Better consumer value packages (Combo’s)
    6) Drilled and trapped receiver
    7) 5+1 magazine capacity (some shotguns only have a 4+1 round magazine)
     
  22. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    I am really used to the safety on the Mossbergs.

    I started my shotgun life on a used JC Higgins shotgun (lots of issues) and then went and bought one of the Mossberg combo kits with the 26 and 18 inch barrels. It served me well for many years and then I got a Browning Citori so it sat collecting dust as a defense only gun.

    I came across a really good deal on a Mossberg 590A1, made the purchase, and a short time later I sold the combo kit. It has been a good gun so far and with about 250 rounds of target loads it has had zero failures.

    This year I picked up the Benelli....with a crossbolt safety! I guess I can always re-learn! :D
     
  23. DAVIDSDIVAD

    DAVIDSDIVAD member

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    The steel vs. Aluminum argument is ridiculous.


    The only real problem that could arise out of it would be that the aluminum could buckle.

    But, it's a receiver.

    on a shotgun.

    It's not an arm on a machine.
     
  24. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    Interesting. We seem to approach the 870 two entirely different ways.

    I don't like the idea of a safety requiring dexterity to unset, and if you're trying to move the safety on the 870 with the trigger/index finger I think there might be a better way.

    Try this: Grasp an 870 as you were going to release the slide with your index finger on the slide release. The palm will cover the trigger guard area, and guess what? Your thumb, or in my case the base of the thumb, the dumbest part of your hand, can mash that safety into the fire position. Given that I keep my 870 in Condition 3 this is how I bring it into action.

    Or, you could just let your thumb ride down over the tang onto the right side of the shotgun after chambering a round and let it hit the safety. Either way, it works, and it involves "dumb" motor control instead of the fine motor control needed to direct your index finger to the safety button.
     
  25. birdbustr

    birdbustr Member

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    Mossberg's are OK, and I wouldn't be afraid to use one, BUT I wouldn't buy one. For close to the same money I prefer the 870.

    Personal preference is a large part of it. In forming my opinion the First impressions of the Mossbergs in the 80's were that they were cheaply made as said before. Later shooting clays I shot a friend of mine's model 500. It worked fine, but no way was I going to trade my 870 for it. Later I used them again in the military. Again, they worked, they were hell to clean, and I wished I could have had an 870.

    Mossberg-The only plus is the safety and a few dollars saved. Big deal, the 870 safety will work too.
    Remington-Proven track record, easier to clean, Action is smoother/more solid feeling, looks more appealing and is my choice between the two hands down.
     
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