870s and 500s

Standard Remington 870 and Mossberg 500
I have both Mossberg 500s and Remington 870s in my collection.

I almost titled this post "870 vs 500" but decided not to because they are both excellent reliable tools.

A massive amount of after market accessories are available for both. Most are super easy to install yourself.

What I wanted to post about is the minute differences between them that are of consequence when I use them.

The most notable difference, and this is very important in a defensive use situation, is the location of the manual safety. The Mossberg is on the top and the Remington is just in front of the trigger guard. The top safety is more ambidextrous. Lefties usually get the Left hand version of the 870.

I would be remiss if I didn't note that I have had the 870 jam on me once. But just once in hundreds of rounds. My older, more heavily used, Mossberg has never jammed in thousands of rounds.

--Either one is a great choice.


Murphy's Law said...

I'm an 870 guy by virtue of work-related training, but I love Mossberg's tang safety. Mossberg IS heavier, too.

ZerCool said...

I've got two 870s and a 500. They are all excellent guns and I'd trust any of them with my life.

I bought the 870s first because I'm more familiar/comfortable with the behind-the-trigger safety button, although as Savage rifles have crept into the safe the tang safety is easier to deal with. (Hint: if you push behind the trigger and there's no button, slide your thumb forward!) I think the 870s have a hair better fit/finish, but just a hair. Mostly I'm a sucker for parkerizing over bluing on a working gun.

I've had an 870 malfunction exactly once, and it was my own fault. I was stalking some deer in a cornfield and tripped/fell into a drainage ditch that was full of snow - about three feet of it. The receiver/feed assembly got pretty well packed. I knocked and picked out what I could, blew out the rest, and continued my stalk.

I took a shot and worked the action - and the gun promptly vomited the contents of the magazine tube on the ground. Seems that when I blew out the feed assembly, it melted a bit of snow behind the retaining fingers. Working the action moved them out of the way, where they froze again - and dumped everything.

Live and learn. (I missed the deer.)

Bubblehead Les. said...

Used Both, Owned Both, but if I ever get another Pump, I'm going with an 870. But I like Pistol Grips on my Shotguns, and manipulating the Safety on the 500 is a little awkward. And since I have to deal with Strict Safety Rules up here at the Indoor Ranges, well, let's just say it's a litlle Frustrating to have to keep taking my hand off the Grip.

On the Gripping Hand, w/o a Pistol Grip, I like the 500 better. Keeps the Booger Finger away from the Bang Switch until I need to pull the Trigger.

Gunnutmegger said...

The 870 quality & reliability have gone way downhill since Cerberus bought Remington and started cutting corners. Same thing happened with Marlin. Poorly-fitted parts, iffy bluing, lack of smooth reliable functioning.

Buy an older used 870 (pre-Cerberus) or a Mossberg. Not a new 870.

Anonymous said...

How can you date then? By serial number. --Dave

Old NFO said...

Pick one, and run it... :-)