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New to owning guns, thought I'd seek advice from more seasoned shooters...

Remington 870 or Mossberg 500? Definitely know that I want a 12ga pump but which would you recommend and why?

I'm partial to the 870 because I've used it before and I know it's a comfortable gun, it's been trusted by LEO's for a long time, and I'm pretty sure it's the most produced shotgun in history. But I've heard of a lot of people holding preference to the Mossberg, and as I understand it's pretty comparable to the 870.

Any suggestions?
 

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On the new market, the Mossberg is now avialble in a walnut stock, which compares to many 870 models, especailly from the past. Being a walnut guy, would probably pick up a well preserved 870 off the used market, these older Remington shotguns show a finer fit and finnish.
 

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Such a great question that's asked often. First couple things to think about; what are you using it for, how often do you plan on using it, what is your likelihood of increasing/decreasing use over time?

Both are great for turkey and most small game, and if you plan on getting into waterfowl I suggest looking at semi's too. Personally, I own the Mossberg and it's my primary hunting shotgun. Bought it 5-6 years back and for a while it suited my purpose, however, I'm at the point in my hunting where I wish I had a nicer shotgun (Benelli, Browning) for hunting. Not willing to slap that kind of dough down now especially when I have a gun that works fine. Long and short of it, if you're new to the sport and seem interested enough to keep going with it I'd go with a mid-tier gun that is more than you need today and good for what you'll do tomorrow.

Performance wise they're near equal. Mostly branding difference at this point. If you like the look of the Rem go that way. If you're price sensitive the Mossberg is a solid bang for buck. The 870 is nice and I would have likely been just as happy with that too. I went with what fit my budget at the time.
 

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I own both. I favor the Mossburg over the Remington, but just. The three things that puts the Mossburg over the 870 for me is 1. weight. the 500 is lighter. 2. balance. 3. magazine plug is easier to remove and install in the 500. I do not care for the Mossburg 835 series. Two people I hunt with both had the same feeding and ejection issues.
 

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I agree with all the above but would consider trying to find a used Browning BPS or Ithaca model 37. My first Shotgun was a model 37 and loved it. I liked that it loaded and ejected from the same location very easily.
 

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Your call, but for info we have a few 870's in the family we've used for decades hunting and never an issue with any; in both 12ga and 20ga model Wingmasters. Also have a couple Winchesters, and like them too though, ha! Never owned a Mossberg, so can't speak personally to them, but people seem to like them too. As far as various model/type, barrels, etc., it will depend on what you plan to use it for really.
Good luck to you...
 

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I own one 12ga shotgun. It's a Mossberg 500 w/16” barrel. I shot a few boxes of 00 Buck through it and went bang every time I pulled the trigger. I like it. But, the purpose of this shotgun is home defense, so it may sit in the corner for the rest of its life.
 
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There are an endless amount of accessories for both. I'm liking my 870 but would pic up a Mossberg if the price was right.
870-1.JPG
 

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When I began my search for a pump gun, I was leaning 870. Then I found out that the 500 was the only shotgun to pass the military endurance test, that cinched it. That and the safety position on top of the receiver.

It's my home defense weapon.
 

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Maverick 88. Under $200 it is a Mossberg 500 all parts interchange. So not wood but for the money you could buy the Maverick new types and different styles of stocks and a different barrel. And beat the price of a new 870 or higher end 500. But be able to switch as you please.
 
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I have one of each, both are trouble-free, reliable, durable, yadda yadda yadda. If you find an 870 with real blueing and vent rib Remchoke barrel you won't be disappointed. If your on a budget and don't care about being able to change the choke the 500 would be the way to go, used slugsters and such can be found as low as $150.
 

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If you are looking for a sporting shotgun, the Ithaca 37 hands down (just my personal opinion). Both the Mossberg and Remington both are very serviceable home defense guns and also would be good sporting guns. In general, older versions of most guns were made better than the guns of today.
 
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The Mossberg 5XX series, Remington 870, and Ithaca 37 have all been purchased and used by the military in great numbers. I've shot dozens of military shotguns and I will tell you a steel receiver is what lasts through decades of use. They all shoot about the same and, once broken in, they all are just as fast and smooth to operate.

If you want a gun in military furniture then the Mossberb would be my choice. There are many accessories and options for setting it up as a military/police/defensive weapon. One negative for me is that it uses an aluminum alloy receiver. Since 1970 it has been made with twin action bars. Prior to that Remington held the patent on that. I do not enjoy shooting the Mossberg because the safety bites me. It cuts the web of my hand if I use a full wrap grip or jams my thumb if I use a four finger grip with thumb forward. It's inexpensive, and reliable. The plastic trigger guard and alloy receiver were designed to contribute to light weight but I would rather have the weight and a gun made of steel. It should be noted that the 590 has some improvements to increase robustness, particularly to reduce chronic breakage of locking lug pins. And the 590A1 is a beefed up version of the 590 with an aluminum trigger guard and a thicker barrel. Those were needed to reduce problems encountered with trigger guard breakage, barrel dents, and barrels bending. As a result, the 590A1 weighs a bit more than the 500 or 590. I believe it even weighs more than a similarly configured Remington 870.

If you want a gun for general hunting and shooting then the Remington 870 is a better choice. It has a long history of military use but civilians make up the vast majority of users. The 870 can be had with plastic or plain Jane wood but they are more often found with with beautifully finished checkered wood and nicely blued steel. They also come in various flavors of camouflage. There are models configured for Sporting Clays, Trap, Turkey shooting, waterfowl shooting, upland shooting, police and home defense. They are strong, reliable, slick operating and you will be able to find parts, barrels, and chokes at almost any place that sell guns. Remington held the patent for twin action bars and Mossberg copied it as soon as the patent expired. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

If you want a gun with hunting first and foremost in your mind then the Ithaca 37 would be a great choice. It feeds AND ejects from the bottom. That leaves the sides of the action walls solid and helps keep water and debris out of the internals as you hunt the woods. The design has been around since 1937 with some improvements made in the 1980s. When it comes to swinging, point-ability, and getting on a bird, I find the Ithaca my favorite. The Ithaca was used by the military for many years and is extremely rugged but you can't drop a round directly into the chamber like you can with the Mossberg or Remington. Because it lacks that feature it would not be my choice for defense use. However, I would choose it over the others as an upland gun for pheasant, quail, grouse, etc. When it comes to slug and buckshot deer hunting guns, well, Ithaca wrote the book.
 
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