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Does anyone know why the military went with the Mossberg instead of the Remington. I am looking to get a new shotgun and cant decide which one to get. Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Ive shot both and they both fit me good. They both fired everytime. The Mossberg didn't seem to rattle in the forearm like I heard they are prone to doing. Thanks Mike
 

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mike88 said:
Does anyone know why the military went with the Mossberg instead of the Remington.
It has been flogged to death on this link regarding Mil-Spec 3443E;

http://thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=286381&page=2

I understand Remington did not submitt a gun for testing for Mil-Spec 3443E.

I have read that Mil-Spec 3443E required an abidexterous safety, the 870 has a cross bolt safety.

The Mossberg 500 is not the same gun that passed Mil-Spec 3443E. That gun is the 590A1 which has an aluminum trigger group instead of the plastic assembly on the 500, along with a few other modifications.

All this does not factor into my choice, the 870 has passed the most important test for me, mine.

In the early 1970's I did not like the 870 but was won over by them, I prefered the older M12 and M37 designs at the time.

I shot an 870TB Trap from 1977 to 2005 as my main trap gun and have shot basically every weekend in that time period, usually shooting 100+ rounds/week. I still have the gun and it functions very well.

I have other versions of 870, Wingmasters, an 870TC and an 870SA Skeet, of various ages, these have all functioned very well for me.
 

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Too many factors. I would not base my decision on the military preference. Military switched 1911 to Beretta, does this makes Beretta better? Also, military contract could be different from the civil gun - requirement, configuration, quality, cost.

I like Remingtons, but I can't really explain why.
 

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It is my understanding Marines are using M4 Benelli's. Replaced both the 870 and the 500.
 

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All this does not factor into my choice, the 870 has passed the most important test for me, mine.

Same here!!! I bought my Wingmaster new in 1975 it has never failed me. Probably the best pump shotgun ever made,a production of 10 million says something for the gun.

A500R
 

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The 870 is probably the best shotgun ever made. They are durable, easy to clean and operate and inexpensive. Add to that that they last forever and what more could you want? Winchester Model 12s were good, but they're not around, are they? The Ithaca 37 is a great gun, but the current model is relatively new even though it's based on the old design. The 870 has stood the test of time.

I started, like many of us, with an 870 Wingmaster. I'm sorry I sold it and my safe will always be lacking until I replace it.

I would never base a purchase on what the military purchased. I've worked for the Air Force for a long time and I know better. I would however, buy (or not buy) something I've seen used by the military. Those guys abuse the daylights out of their equipment. This is one reason I always recommend Pelican cases.

The 870 Wingmaster is better than a Mossberg in any form. I'm not saying the Mossberg is junk, it's not. It's just my opinion that the 870 is better.
 

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Mossberg vs. Remington, Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. Chevy. These arguments will never end, but promote good compitition for the companys and consumers. Both Shotguns are good. Go to the dealer and handle both of them and make your decision on which one you like better.
 

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I noticed you guys are talking about Wingmasters-You can't compare them to a $200.00 when new Moss. 500! Wingmasters are nearly $600.00 where I live. And they are worth every penny. Compare an Express and a 500. I used to fix Expresses, now I won't allow them in the house. Quality control is not lacking in these guns, it is absent. A Mossberg 500 works as intended with very little if any adjusting for a long time. As fas as I'm concerned a Remington Wingmaster is one of the finest pumps ever, and an Express doesn't deserve the 870 designation. The differences in these guns is much more than skin deep. This attitude comes from working on both brands a lot, not from heresay.
 

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Neanderthal said:
I noticed you guys are talking about Wingmasters-You can't compare them to a $200.00 when new Moss. 500! Wingmasters are nearly $600.00 where I live. And they are worth every penny. Compare an Express and a 500. I used to fix Expresses, now I won't allow them in the house. Quality control is not lacking in these guns, it is absent. A Mossberg 500 works as intended with very little if any adjusting for a long time. As fas as I'm concerned a Remington Wingmaster is one of the finest pumps ever, and an Express doesn't deserve the 870 designation. The differences in these guns is much more than skin deep. This attitude comes from working on both brands a lot, not from heresay.
I agree. I don't think the Express compares in any way to the Wingmaster. And, as far as the Express vs. the Mossberg 500, it's pretty much a toss-up, IMO, but I'd have to go with the Mossberg by a slight margin.

Now just more opinion: I love the Wingmaster. Best pump ever made (as some have said)? Now, that becomes debatable. Most commercialy successful, no question. And, as I said, I love 'em. But "best"? I think I'd have to go with the Model 12 (Model 25) Winchester, Model 37 Ithaca, and the 870's immediate predecessor, the Model 31 Remington...in no particular order, just before the 870. The 870 Wingmaster would definitely be #4 on my list though. The Browning BPS is in the running too. Again, all JMO, of course.
 

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I disagree with Rastoff that the Remington M870 is the best shotgun ever made. That is a pretty broad brush! While the M870 is a very successful shotgun, it is way down the line as a best gun. It is cheap and and well designed but it is not even the best pump shotgun ever. I really beleive that a bespoke Boss SxS is the best shotgun that one can buy. Of course it may cost you close to $90 K these days but it may well be the Best. Some will say that a Purdy or a Holland or a Churchill is better. JMHO, of course.

That said, the military version of the Mossberg M500 is not the same as the M500 that you can buy at your local Wal-Mart. A M870 Express offered at Wally Word will serve the local working, or laid off, guy just fine......... as will a Mossberg M500. But they are just not the best guns to be had.
 

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Mike88,

They are both good. I bought the Mossberg 500 for no other reason that it was a little cheaper.

However, I love the way the Mossberg 500 feels in my hands.

As forum member Goatskin likes to say, its more like the old case of the Indian versus the Arrow.

You will not be disappointed with either you pick.

/

/
 

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A5guy said:
I really beleive that a bespoke Boss SxS is the best shotgun that one can buy. Of course it may cost you close to $90 K these days but it may well be the Best. Some will say that a Purdy or a Holland or a Churchill is better. JMHO, of course.
This comes up from time to time when the term "best" is used.

IMHO, most people who post here don't think on the terms of "best" as refered to a British s/s, made to order where price is no object. Most of us, here, are not one of the fortunate few who can consider the purchase of something like that.

There is a definition for these guns on this link;

http://www.chuckhawks.com/british_best_shotguns.htm

We can play with terms for entertainment.

The Churchill shown in that link is a "best" gun, as per the definition of a "best gun".

It is obviously a nice gun (as to be expected) however, for example, in the configuration shown in the link, is it best for various uses such as, ATA competition, or firing slugs etc.? Probably not.

With enough money and persuasion, those makers might make a person something specifically for those applications but I expect it doesn't happen very often. (Perhaps the slug use with the paradox guns, at least years ago).

It is debatable that the 870 is the best pump gun ever made. Personally, I am not a big fan of the Express version.

It is a design that came along at the right time to offer those of us with modest means a good combination of quality, serviceabilty and price while other designs have gone off the market.
 

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This is why I love this site, freedom of thought and opinion. I will not lose any sleep over someone disagreeing with me.

A5guy,
I will probably start another thread, but, please understand that when I say the 870 is probably the best shotgun ever made, there's a lot that goes into that statement. It is, of course, just my opinion. So, allow me to qualify that statement.

First of all, like Claydust said, the term 'best' is being used in the Webster's definition and not the shotgun slang referring to finely made British shotguns.

Why do I think the 870 is the best? It's simple. A pump gun in any form is probably the most simple design outside of a bolt gun. Anyone can operate one with almost no training and it's a natural movement. Then it's reliable. The 870 line probably has more shots fired than any other gun on the planet. This is partly due to outselling most other guns. But you can't discount the reliability. I've personally known bunches of people who own them and vicariously know hundreds more through sites like this. In all those examples I've never seen an 870 fail and I've only heard complaints concerning the Express model. I'm sure it's happened, but the ratio of failure to full functioning long lasting guns has to be on the six sigma level. That means that there are less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. That's a quality product.

Don't forget that Remington is the oldest continuously operating American gun company. The 870 is part of that success. You may have a favorite gun like the Win Model 12 or the Ithaca 37 or the Browning BPS etc., but the 870 has outlasted them all; it's stood the test of time. The 870 was first manufactured in 1950 and is mostly unchanged today. There are currently 27 mifferent versions of the 870 on Remington's website and through an almost limitless aftermarket supply, you can create thousands of variations. Is there another shotgun in the marketplace, either today or in the past, that has this flexibility?

I have one friend that will only use his 870 at Trap. He shoots twice a week and shoots 100 rounds each time he goes. Let's round that number down, because everyone misses a day now and then, to 10,000/year. He hasn't ever replaced a single part and he does regular maintenance. He's owned this gun since the 70s. He may not have shot Trap that much since then, but I know he's been shooting at this pace for at least ten years. It's not unreasonable to say he has >200,000 rounds through that gun. Can you name any other model, including British Best guns, that has shot that many rounds without trouble? Without something breaking? Without spending some time at the smith being tightened up/tuned up?

I currently don't own an 870. That's because it's not the best gun for my purpose, I'm not a gazillionair and I've spent my money on guns focused to what I do most. I prefer my SBT for shooting Trap and my O/U for Skeet. Even so, I stand by my statement/opinion. I used to own an 870 Wingmaster and it's the only gun I regret selling. I'm not a fan of the Express because it's not as smooth as the Wingmaster, but would probably get smoother as it wears.

Yes, saying the 870 is probably the best shotgun ever made is a broad statement. Still, I don't know of a better more reliable gun out there that can be reconfigured as easily for as many purposes as the 870. Of course this is all just one man's opinion.
 

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Best shotgun ever made... Boy that is a big term, and can mean so many things. However, I can't go with you here Rastoff, as I'm not a fan of the 870.

But, i will venture to say I think the A5/M11 would have to be considered in there. Had a fellow out at the range today, was shooting his grandfathers M11. Rastoff, he had checked the serial number, that gun was made in 1905. It was over 100 years old, and shot skeet without a hitch. Now that's dependability. :D In those days, no one had ever seen anything like that gun, and still today, over 100 years later, not only is that gun a classic, but it still goes shooting week after week.

Jim
 

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DrJim,
I can't disagree with that statement about the A5/M11. I owned a Rem Model 11 that was built in 1923. I shot Trap with it for a couple of years until the fore arm started to crack. Then I retired it. I traded it in towards a pistol purchase. Still, I'm a fan of the 870. :wink:
 

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In terms of the absolute best pump shotgun, I think that would have to go to the Pre 64 Model 12. Take one apart, and look at it. It's a masterpiece of the machinist's art. And it died because it cost about thirty per cent more than an 870 to buy. And they are complicated and expensive to fix, and they do break and need fixing, in long time and use. A Packard was probably a better car than a Cadillac,,,until the Packard folded up it's tent. They still make Cadillacs. :wink:

As to the best pump for hunting birds,,there's no doubt in my mind that's an Ithaca Model 37. It's light. It's balanced and set up like an English game gun. But it's too light for targets, and while they are still making them, the company has gone broke how many times in the last thirty years?

As to the best pump for getting a beginner into a decent shotgun, that's a Mossberg. And not the 500, but the cheapie Maverick. $187 at Wal Mart in 2009. Will last a lifetime. Good decent shotgun.

But the overall best all around pump shotgun is the 870. The Wingmaster version if you've got the spare change, and the Express if you don't, but overall the 870 will do it all. They handle well, balance well, you can shoot targets and birds and even put pistol grip stocks and them and shoot people with them. Hey,,,the 870 not only the best all around pump shotgun,,,it's the representative American shotgun,,,of all of them. They've made 10 million, and they aren't about to quit.
 

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There is no doubt that the Remington M870 is a successful shotgun enjoyed by many Americans. It just is not the best shotgun by any means and to say that is just plain wrong.
 

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The Mossberg 500 just seems to fit me better. But I agree that the Wingmaster is both a classic and a fine working gun, and if any 870 fans want to try to convert me I'll happily accept donations. :wink:
 

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I'm gonna kick off my boots and wade into this muck :roll: , fully aware that I probably should not. :)

I served 20yrs in the Navy, during which time I used, stored, cleaned and trained with both the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 shotguns that were assigned to forces afloat (that be ships for you fauna types). These were pretty much the same shotguns marketed for police use, cheap wood and short barrels with parkerized finishes. They were carried in the rain, dropped down ladders, banged into bulkheads (walls made of steel) and generally mistreated in a wide variety of ways. :shock: In my experience, the Remingtons held up to even the harshest treatment and would still function while the Mossbergs would bend, break and/or jam. I was convinced then and remain so today, the Remington is the better of the 2.

The Mil-Spec 3443E is of course a different creature, intended for field combat use. What we had were more 'garrison weapons' than combat weapons but none the less, we used the heck out of them. :eek: Still, today I own an 870, not a Mossberg, for my pump gun, and I might add, my GO TO GUN! Quite frankly, then and now, if I was going to put my life on the line behind a shotgun, I'd want it to be a Remington 870. 8)
 
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