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Remington 870 or Mossberg 590?

219302 Views 113 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  AkTactical
Im looking at buying a new base shotgun to modify into a tactical shotgun. Is there any way to justify purchasing either of these over the other? Would the best deal for either be the way to go? Whats the plusses or minuses for both, as I have never owned either. Thanks for any help,Paul
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Also, I have been looking at different stocks. I believe I'm gonna go with the pistol grip with butt stock. Ive read on the forums about Advance Technology, but what about Choate or Speedfeed? Im looking at spending around 500$ total for gun and modifications. So any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks again,Paul
Paul,The shotgun part is a tough call for me. I have always been a fan of Mossberg, I have shot them, in both a tactical setup, and in a sport/hunting setup. They are reliable, well built shotguns. Being a pump, they can handle low recoil shells, without jamming as a result of the low recoil. The 500 has been use by military units for years. You will be able to find a host of aftermarket parts for it.The only bad thing I can see with the Mossberg is the recoil. I have heard that the Mossberg has the hardest recoil of any Tactical Shotgun around.The Remington 870 is a nice shotgun as well. A good friend of mine has one for home defense. He complains of the recoil, but I have heard that the 870 kicks less than a Mossberg 500. The 870 also has quite a few different add-ons. They might be a little less reliable than the Mossberg, but I haven't ever seen hard evidence one way or the other.On the subject of the stocks, I have never worked with anything but Advanced Technology. I cannot give anysolid recommendations to any of the others, but I would imagine that both are fine. "If guns cause crime, all of mine are defective"--Ted Nugent
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How can you say that Remington 870's are unreliable? I have never had a malfunction with one, nor have I ever heard of anyone else having a malfunction. The military considers the Rem 870 to be the most reliable shotgun in the world. period.
"...Mossberg military 500 and 590 models....the only pump action shotguns ever to pass all stringent U.S. Military MilSpec-3443 standards. The heart of this spec is a brutal 3,000 round endurance test using buckshot loads. Following the endurance test, randomly selected guns are then frozen, baked, and dropped at various attitudes to ensure the utmost in functionality, safety and endurance..."
"...choice of U.S. Armed Forces and police departments throughout the world."

Due to the loose part tolerances of the Mossberg which was an idea pioneered by Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov, designer of the AK-47, a gun which can still fire even if the gun is severly mistreated. (i.e.- letting the bolt rust shut then kicking it open. Yes, I have seen it happen) it will still function. The Mossberg was designed to function even if mistreated, like dropping in sand, mud, water, or being baked and frozen. Most shotgun designs are not that way.

Also, by the term "might be a little less reliable" I did not mean 4 out of 5 shots would mis-fire. I simply stated that under extreme situations, like very hot or very cold temperatures the 870 may run a mildly higher risk of jamming (1%-4%).
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Oh ok now lets just stop this bull**** train once anad for all I got to set yall right and let yall in on the facts and just to make this right I mean I am not trying to say anyone on here is full of **** or anything like that and not especially you my friend Guardian but you like so many others have either been brain washed or spoon feed too much bull**** or both. Ok here I go going to tell yall a little story and it all 100 percent factualy and I wont mention any names or places just to protect the innocent do`nt want to get anyone in trouble or anyone busted in rank if you know what I mean.
Now here is the truth the hole truth and nothing but the truth and I swear and give my word of honor on this and I am a man of honor what you and everyone else has been told about that milspec test was only half the story. The truth is yes mossberg did pass that test but what they didn`t tell you was remington passed it as well. you see the government had a dilima on thier hands both brands of shotgun out of all the brands tested like winchester was there anad some othere there was even a couple of semi-auto shotguns and a few other radical designs represnedted like even a selective fire shotgun but all failed to hold up to the torture test save for 2 and that was reminton and mossberg.
The problem was with 2 brands winning you could in theroy go with 2 but the thing was the remington was too expesive was going to cost almost $200.00 dollars U.S more per unit to buy them and for the numbers they was going to need with several new military units comming into being and needing many new shotguns it was just cheaper and to go with the mossberg and since it passed the test as well then thye had thier asses covered.So the government came up with a bull**** cover story so they could let remington down easy and sell and shovle the bull**** to the general public so for the better good so they could afford the numbers that they needed to buy others wise they would have come up a few thousand shotguns short of what they needed at the time.
Another way you can know this id fact at the time they still had a bunch of the vietnam era and a few bought right after we got out of vietnam reminton 870`s same model shotgun and if there was anything wrong with that particular model if it handed passed the test all remaining units of thoes left would have either been destroyed and sold as scrap or sold as surplus one or the other and they haven`t.
I have seen on several occasions where we had some troops or like at one of our embassies that was blown up in Africa a few years back one of the MARINES that was on duty there guarding it and came out to make sure no one else was going to cause any trouble was proudly aand looke like he felt very save and secure with the remington 870 that he had in his hands looked like he didn`t have any worring about if it had or hadn`t passed it`s test. he looked totally confident and looked like he knew if he had to he would be able to take care of business with it and him and any of the other marines and their weapon all working togehter as one team to kick *** and take names and take care of busniness if necessary.
Anyways that is the true story all 100 percent factual and complete the both passed the test and in actually are completely equal that is why I like both shotgun designs equally and feel just as safe and would be willing to trust my life and the lives of my frineds and family if i was using one of the other desing of shotgun to protect my frineds and fmaily with. Both desings are equally reliable and at the top of the cream of the crop . Now there is however one advantage for sure with the remington 870 evn though it does usually cost more and like the say you get what you pay for there is a reason why it cost more then a mossberg the materials that it is made from cost more and how it is made. Remingtons receivers are made from milspec ordance grade steel some of the toughest strongest steel you can use to make firearms from or anything elze for t hat matter. I mean to use a quote from timex about thier watches remington 870`s take a licking and keep on ticking. That is why Wilsons Combat`s Scattergun Technology offers a package to law enforcement or to the general public that if you have an old beat up worn out remington 870 that looks like it`s on it`s last legs then send it to them and for a very resonable price they can replace the worn and or broken partns and basically give you a like as good as new shotgun that if you didn`t check the serial number you would thing was new. I mean you might can beat up a remington 870 but I do`nt think you could ever really truely wear one out I mean these things are made to work and keep on working if you take good care of it , it will take good care of you and you will be able to pass it down to your kids and they to their kids and so and and so on voer many many generation to come it would give ones family many generation of good service.
So you get what you pay for you you pay for more workmanship and the more machineing that goes into a remington and the longevity on how well and how long it will last and I think in the long run if you can afford the higher prce of the remington 870 and you want and shotgun that will last and last and last then you better go witht he remington 870.But not like I said on the short term if yuo just looking for a reliable shotgun and it doesn`t have to last for generation then either shotgun will do just fine for they both are equally reliable it`s just the remington will last longer is all.
See that was another thing when the government with with the mossberg at that time they needed numbers and they knew that manybe theze might only last 30 or 40 years but htye needed numbers so they had to go with the lower price on the contract for the procurement of the shotguns they would need but they was still smart in keeping the several thousands of rem 870`s that they still had in inventory so they could still have best of both worlds and still have the 2 best and 2 most and equally reliable shotguns made to serve our troops out in the field and help them to be able to protect our country with the best hardware but at a price they could afford.
Now forward a coul;d of decades to now and if you do`nt know buy now we also have a new shotgun that our troops will be getting to use and it`s a auto loader it was when they was experimeting with it the xm-1014 made by a joint effort between benelli and H&K now that they offically adopted it I think it will be called either the M-1014 or the M-4 super 90 one or the other or maybe both it could be call the M-1014 in military guise and then once after the marines get theirs and then all the other military services willl get theirs after that then and t this is what I have heard and read then and only then will they start to offer them to civilian law enforcement and maybe even to the civilian general publice as well.
Now for some extra information as far as I know this semi-auto shotgun is the only one to have passed the tests that the military wanted it to pass that they would even accept a semi auto shotgun for use by our troops that they would be willing to trust to work reliable enough like trust your life and the buddies beside you life reliable if you know what I mean.It does it buy as far as i know being the only gas operated semi-auto shotgun to use 2 short stroke gas pistons so it has some back up redundancy built into it. So if in the middle of combat if one gas piston gets fouled and too dirty and starts to jam up or sticks on oyu or it it breaks in any other way this shotgun is designed to still fuction 100 percent reliable and you would be able to get by and make due till you get back to base or back to the ship or whatever.Then when you got back you would be able to get fixed what needed fixing or clean what needed to be cleaned on it .
Anyways I know this last part did`n thave anything to do with the rem 870 or the mss 500/590 series of pump action shotguns but this made me think of this as well and besides someone might get to thinking about the xm-1014 if they do they could read this and get thier answer in all likly hood and then that would take care of their question all at same time.
Anyways hope this doesn`t start any fights or piss anyone off just trying to set the facts and the record right and was tired of what the milspec 3443 E test was doing and making remington 870 look like a ***** compared to the mossberg 500/590 series and that just not the care it was true that the mosberg passed the test but it wasn`t the only one like our governemet sometimes or has manytimes if you want to tell the absolute truth has done is tell a half truth just so they can say thye told the truth.But now by omission thye have sort of lied for remington 870 passed muster pased with flying colors as they say and did everything the same equally as correct as the mossberg did and the mossberg did the same as the remmy so all being equal.
Anyways not yalls fault that yall have either been brain washed or spoon feed the old goverment shuck and jive bull**** shuffle for so long that you fell for it hook line and sinker. So I had to do my duty as an honor bound good ole boy good guy to set the facts straight.
Well hope no one gets pissed off for i didn`t want to look like I was being an over bearing know it all type that like to rap thoes that give the wrong answer on the knuckles like they did in some places many many years ago.I just had to make sure the cat was finally let out the bag not trying to hurt anyones feeling by correcting anyone . Hope everyone enjoys reading this and enjoys getting this informative information on this subject and besides like I was always told if you pay attention you could or should almost be able to learn something new every day and maybe this will enlighten someone that ddidn` talready know this and you might even have some fun with it even, you never know.
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Wow... so well informed AND a good writer! Seriously, though, that was informative and, if nothing else, quite entertaining. I hate to sound like the moron I truly am but I will ask anyway... why is it so important that a shotgun can "take abuse"? I was always taught to treat your weapon with respect and keep it clean. Is it REALLY necessary to test a shotgun to see if it will survive a "30 foot freefall drop onto a set concrete surface" or operate "... after 24 hour direct exposure to -30 degrees Celsius and 10% humidity." Okay... winter hunting MAY give you the last condition, but how much does anyone REALLY abuse their firearm?
I have been upland and waterfowl hunting for about 11 years now. Up in the great northwest its cold, icy, windy, sometimes dusty and almost always wet. I take real good care of my gun, clean and polish it after every use, but the fact of the matter is S*#t happens and at times its fallen over in a dusty field, or been soaked in rain and sleet or dropped in the mud or rocks. Until recently I have been using my grandfather's 870 wingmaster. (Now I use an 870 3 1/2" supermag, for those big canadian honkers.) My grandfathers 870 has been performing flawlessly for quite possibly over 25 years. I've never had it jam EVER. I also was a shooting sports instructor for 2 years and we used 870's to teach shotgun shooting. The other reason I like the 870 is that the entire gun is incredibley easy to operate, dissassemble, clean, and put back together. Since the 870 has been arround for so long parts are always readily available however I've never had any need for any. My cousin has a Mossberg 500 and granted its a nice gun but I just like the look and feel of the 870. To me, the 870 is a bit heavier which is actually a plus when shooting buckshot because it cuts down on the recoil a bit more. You will never be dissappointed with an 870. I still have the old 870, I just put a short barrel on it and now its going to be my HD gun.

For the stock question, I have been reasearching many pistolgrip buttstock combos and I think Speedfeed is actually one of the best. Choate is good too but I don't like the shape of the stock. They say speedfeed is most commonly used by law enforcement. I think ATI is probably the best bang for the buck.
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...but you like so many others have either been brain washed or spoon feed too much bull**** or both.
But how do you really feel OMEGASANDMAN? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Back on topic now.........

I have both a 590 and an 870 Police (so we're pretty much talking apples-to-apples here).
The semi-regular debates about which is the "best" shotgun remind me of the Ford vs. Chevy debates: a lot of emotion, a lot of alleged "facts" and rumor, and not much else except some entertainment.

Here is my take on them:

BOTH are good, reliable shotguns perfectly capable of taking hard use if necessary.

I prefer the 870's steel receiver over the 590's aluminum receiver. The steel gives me more tactile satisfaction and theoretically should last longer than aluminum (but I've never heard anyone complain that their aluminum receiver wore out).

The 870 is a bit easier to reassemble after cleaning, in my opinion.

Good supply of "tactical" accessories for both, but you may have to look a little harder for the 590 as there are a lot more 870's out there and retailers therefore tend to give it more inventory room. (Tip: if you want a Surefire fore-end light for the 590, you need the model 623A01 to clear the bayonet lug.)

I like the 590's ambidextrous tang safety much more than the 870's safety on the trigger group housing.

Those are about the only pertinent differences in my opinion. I'll just give you the standard advice of handling both of them before you commit to a decision. You won't go wrong with either of them, though. Just get whichever one you subjectively like more.

I wish Remington would make an 870 with a tang safety or Mossberg would make a 590 with a steel receiver. That Remberg would be my ideal pump gun! :)
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*bows to Omegasandman repeatedly chanting "I'm not worthy"*

I stand corrected. I did not have all of the data, only part. Thanks.
Re: omegasandman post

Please tell me this is a joke, please? The future of America is in good hands!

Oh dear, I feel a major one coming on, please pass the LARGE bottle of Anacin!
Three words...spell check :wink:
Both shotguns are very good. If you're left-handed, the mossberg's tang safety and slide release location wins. I spent 20 years in the Army. I standard issue shotgun for most of that time was the Winchester 1200. The only 870s I saw were the ones I carried while working Protective Services Detail. 870s were carried with top folding stocks to make them more low-profile.
Whats the top 2.75 magazine capacity in the Rem 870? I like that the Moss 590 is an 8+1.
Assuming a 20-inch-barreled 870 to compare with the 20-inch-barreled 590, you could add a 3-shot extension tube ( to bring the 870 up to 7+1 versus the 590's 8+1. If you don't care about a tube being longer than the barrel, TacStar makes an extension that can give the 870 a 9+1 capacity.
My 18-inch 870 has a 2-shot extension that ends flush with the barrel for a capacity of 6+1.
listen up, both of these guns are great, but theyre on the expensive side, if you want to convert a field gun to a tactical under the bed gun, id go with a maverick 88,its smooth, its$130
at academy, then, it chambers 3", its recoil is light, believe me, i shot 2 3/4" sellier&bellot 00 buckshot out of one, i couldnt tell the difference in between buckshot and 7 1/2 shot, and when you buy the 20 or 18 1/2 in barrell, then the magazine ext., then then the buttstock/pistol grip, it wont be near as expensive as either one+
I had 2 of I only have 1 870. Both guns are reliable. It all boils down to where YOU want the safety. The safety is the key.. they ONLY real difference (IMHO)....figure that one question out and you'll know which gun you want.
P.S. Both my 590's have the factory Ghost Ring sight's....I really like them too.
I had 2 of I only have 1 870. Both guns are reliable. It all boils down to where YOU want the safety. The safety is the key.. they ONLY real difference (IMHO)....figure that one question out and you'll know which gun you want.
P.S. Both my 590's have the factory Ghost Ring sight's....I really like them too.
Hi there,

It's a tough call. I just had to make the same decision myself.

Ultimately, I went with the Mossberg 590A1 Mariner with a Vang Comped barrel. You can buy these directly from Vang Comp Systems for about $545.

I just took mine through a Tactical Shotgun Course, and it performed better than I could have ever hoped.

I think the placement of the safety is certainly an important issue. Even if you're right handed, you will sometimes have to transition to your weak side.

Another difference between the two is that with the slide locked forward, the elevator in the Mossberg automatically goes up and leaves the mag tube unobstructed. The Remington's elevator will stay down unless it's pushed and held up. There are pros and cons to both systems, and it's a really minor, minor detail. But with the Mossberg system, there's no elevator to push through when loading and especially when you're unloading tactically (by which I mean depressing the catch to release the shell from the tube.)

To be perfectly honest, the biggest thing that swung my decision was simply that a person whose opinion I really trust carries a Mossberg. Sometimes it just boils down to that...

By the way, I can't stress enough how fantastic the Vang Comp barrel is. If you're not familiar with it, it's a barrel modification that includes porting and back-boring. What that really means for the shooter is a huge reduction in recoil, faster follow-up shots because of reduced muzzle climb, and an incredibly tighter pattern over a standard cylinder bore.

We spent some time patterning our guns on the first day of class and my Vang Mossberg shoots a 4.5" spread at 16.6 yards with Federal Tactical 00 buckshot! Every other shotgun was between 10-14", which is about what you'd expect. That simply means that at 25 yards I could still probably put all 9 pellets into a headshot.

I'm not affiliated with Vang Systems, but let's just say I've become a true believer :) I'd rather give up my sidesaddle and sling before I give up my Vang barrel...

Hope that helps...
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Oh, and I also forgot to add that I much prefer Mossberg's placement of the action release button. On the Mossberg, it's located just behind of the trigger guard on the left side. This means that you can simply press up with your middle finger to release the action. You don't have to move your trigger hand at all.

On the Remington, the catch is located to the front of the trigger group.

Again, a minor detail and neither one is badly designed. But I personally like Mossberg's...
respect yourself and just get the 870 :!: for looks, reliability,and accessability to all the add ons. A reliable opinion all in one sentence, unbelievable :shock:
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