Infographic which shows differences between Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500 shotguns.

Differences between Remington 870 and Mossberg 500

Two of the most popular shotgun models that gun enthusiasts love is the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500. Both are top selling shotguns with similarities and differences. The similarities are they’re both pump action shotguns with dual action bars (Mossberg has just one but then Remington’s patent expired and they started manufactured Mossbeg shotguns with two bars). They are also cheaper than most other pump action shotguns, despite their simple design and versatility. Over 10 million shotguns have been made for each model type. The people who like to use them include hunters, military personnel, law enforcement officers, and home defenders. The best part about the guns is they can be configured in a lot of different ways. You can upgrade the barrels, choke tubes, extensions and more.

870’s Steel vs. 500’s Aluminum Receiver

As for the differences, there is an aluminum alloy receiver in the Mossberg 500 and a steel receiver in the Remington 870. This makes the Mossberg 500 a lighter shotgun that is easier to lug around.

Remington 870’s received is milled from a solid billet of steel making it indestructible. 870 is the only shotgun which received is still made of steel. All the other shotgun manufacturers are cutting costs by making aluminum alloy receivers. Benelli Supernova has plastic receiver with steel frame. This is another way to make inexpensive shotgun but it has some serious disadvantages.

Of course, steel receiver makes 870 a little heavier than Mossberg 500 but that’s not a problem.

Safety Button Location

Plus, the Mossberg 500’s safety is located behind the receiver, allowing the shooter to disengage it faster. It even makes it easier for left-handed people to shoot the shotgun as well. The safety in the Remington 870 is a small button located in the back of the trigger guard. This makes it a little harder to disengage it.

But Mossberg 500’s safety will be very inconvenient to use when pistol grip stock is installed.


When you do fire each weapon, both can shoot birdshot or buckshot at a range of 40 to 50 meters, up to 100 meters with slugs. They both have interchangeable barrels. The barrel length can range from 14” to 30.” Barrels less than 18.5″ require Short Barrel Shotgun Tax Stamp from the ATF.

One Extractor vs. Two Extractors

Mossberg 500 has two extractors which is advertised to be more reliable. Remington 870 has one extractor. It is recommended to replace standard extractor with Non-MIM Extractor. and it improve the reliability of your shotgun.

Shell Lifter

Remington 870 has a classic shell lifter. Stays down all the time, needs to be pushed up to load a round.

Mossberg 500 has patented shell lifter which remains in raised position. Easier loading, friendlier for beginners.

Slide Release

Remington 870 has a slide release on the left side at the fron of the trigger guard. Requires to move hand to reach it.

Mossberg 500 has it on the left side behind trigger guard. Easy to reach without breaking a firing grip.

This is considered as advantage of the Mossberg 500 platform but it doesn’t really add any significant advantage to a shooter.

Bayonet Lug

Need to be purchased separately for the Remington 870. Mossberg 590 (more expensive version of the 500) has it.


Remington 870 has ejector attached using rivets. It is difficult to replace but it can withstand thousands and thousands of rounds. So this is not something you are going to do often.

Mossberg 500 has ejector attached with screws. So it is easier to replace but it is not common procedure as well.

Magazine Extension Installation

870 Police version has old style spring retainer and you can easily install a magazine extension. Many of the modern 870s require removal of two dimples in the end of the magazine tube to install the magazine extension. This procedure isn’t difficult and can be done at home but it requires some tools, time and efforts.

Mossberg 500 requires purchase of the High Capacity Shotgun Kit with new barrel.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Both shotguns have their advantages and disadvantages. Both the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 are really popular among shooters. These shotguns are weapon of choice by hunters, military personnel, and law enforcement officers. A big reason has to do with the reliability and durability of the weapon. In a life or death situation, it would be important to have a reliable weapon like the pump action Remington 870 or Mossberg 500.

The Mossberg 500 is little cheaper than the Remington 870 because of its aluminum receiver and plastic parts. You can expect to pay about $200 for the Mossberg 500 and around $300 for the Remington 870. It isn’t that much of a price difference but to some people that $100 difference will mean a lot. The shotgun you choose should simply depend on your preferences.

It doesn’t matter if you want to just shoot targets for fun and hunt in dirty environments or you want a weapon for home defense or life-threatening situations, both shotguns will do the job!

Infographic: Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500

Infographic: Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500

Infographic: Remington 870 vs Mossberg 500

Remington Arms

Remington 870 or Mossberg 590, What is Better?

One of the frequently asked questions. Both shotguns are used by military and law enforcement. Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590 are produced in hundreds of thousands and well known around the world. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.


Shotgun Training

Shotgun Training

What is better: Remington 870 or Mossberg 590? This is very simple question if you fan of Remington 870 or fan of Mossberg 500/590 but very difficult when you try to answer it unprejudiced.

It is difficult to say which one is definitely superior over the other one. So, let’s have a closer look at advantages and disadvantages of each shotgun.

So what are the advantages of Remington 870?

-steel receiver
-all parts are tight and solid

Advantages of the Mossberg 500/590 shotgun:
-shell carrier (lifter) comes down when it need to lift a round. All the other time it is hidden and it is easier to load rounds into a magazine tube
-two extractors
-easier replacement of the ejector

Disadvantages of the Mossberg 500/590 shotgun:

-aluminum receiver
-it is impossible to isntall longer magazine tube on Mossberg 500 shotguns without buying kit with new barrel and magazine tube
-you don’t have that feel of solid shotgun when you rack it, forearm rattles
-plastic safety

Disadvantages of the Remington 870 shotgun:
-rough chamber on the newer shotguns
-two dimples in magazine tube
-difficult procedure of ejector replacement

There are also questionable features which may look like advantage or disadvantage depending on what you are looking for:

Safety button
Safety button located on top of the receiver on Mossberg 500/590. Left handed shooters find safety button on Mossberg much more convenient than on Remington 870 shotguns. But it is absolutely impossible to use Mossberg safety comfortably if you have pistol grip stock installed. Remington 870 safety is located behind the trigger guard which is good but not the best location.

Advantages of both Remington 870 and Mossberg 590

There hundreds of accessories available for these shotguns. Remington 870 and Mossberg 500/590 are so popular and easy to customize so many companies manufacture stocks, forends, sidesaddles and other upgrades. Parts are easy to find and available on many sites. It is much more difficult to find accessories, upgrades and parts for less popular shotguns.

Remington 870 Tactical Express 7-Shot vs. Mossberg 590 SP 8-Shot

Join discussion here: Remington 870 Forum

Here are my thoughts and comparisons:
1. The 870 trigger pull is SUPERIOR to the 590. That was the biggest difference by far when comparing the 2. This was the biggest surprise and could be a deal breaker if people are concerned about trigger pull.
2. There is no difference in quality and feel of either. I thought this was going to be the huge difference but to me it wasn’t. The reason why I thought it was going to be a huge difference is because of the aluminum receiver. But the 590 Bolt and Barrel are made out of steel so no issues (think of the AR being the same type of aluminum/steel design).

Remington 870 vs Mossberg 590

Remington 870 vs Mossberg 590

3. On MY 590 (could be different on other models) you are limited in space to put on a barrel flashlight mount like the Eizenett mount. But a Magpul Forend will solve that (which it did for me).
4. The 590 is harder to break down and put back, however, not really hard to do once you break it down a couple of times.
5. There are about 2 to 3 times more modification and parts available for the 870. The Mossberg (which surprised me) there are parts available, however, not as much as the Remington’s.
6. Loading the 590 is easier than the 870 as their is no magazine cover. However, if you are familiar with the 870 it really is not an issue. To the newcomers of a shotgun it could.
7. The safety location and slide release on the 590 is easier to control than the 870. But if you are familiar with the 870 controls this is a Non issue (to me at least). To the newcomers it might.
8. The 590 holds 1 more round which is a big plus especially if your used to shooting 6 + 1 (it took me a few times to get used to the extra shot). That can be corrected by a magazine extension for the 870.
9. This was a big surprise to me…I shot a little better with the 590 than I did with the 870. My groups were a little better than the 870. But bottom line, if this was a “real” target both shotguns would have obliterated the target with ease.

So which one do I like better….I still can’t decide!! This is the problem!! I can’t decide. So my conclusion is I love them both! I am glad I got both! I am glad I am getting very familiar in break down, cleaning, handling and shooting both. A real easy way to tell which shotgun you have (I tried this in complete darkness) is to feel the trigger guard. The 870 is curved in the front and the Mossberg is straight. I was 100% correct on that test.

But I always wanted a Remington or a Mossberg. With what is going on about Gun Control again (which is utterly stupid it is a Radical Islamic thing) I would highly recommend getting a shotgun ASAP. Our POTUS, Hillary and the Demorats (as well as a few Republicans) are Islam sympathizers and want to take our 2nd amendment away. Since everyone is overlooking the fact that an 870 or 590 or any shotgun is not an AR or as what the idiots refer to an “Assault Rifle” the prices are very reasonable. Shotgun ammo is cheap too!

I do have the AR, AK, Mini-14 and a few other handguns. They are ALL locked in my safe. The only firearm I have at the ready is my 870 as IMO there is NOTHING that can beat a shotgun for home defense….period!

Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 Comparison

Remington 870

Remington 870

Remington 870

Type of weapon is shotgun, place of origin the United States, and first presented by Remington Arms in 1951.

Models include the Wingmaster, Express, Marine, SPS, SPS-T, XCS, TAC, Super MAG and MCS. Weights range between 7.0lbs (3.2kg) and 8.0lbs (3.6kg) empty. Lengths range from 37.25
to 50.5 inches. Barrel lengths are 18 to 30 inches.

The Remington 870 fires 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge as well as, a .410 bore. Sights can be bead, twin bead, adjustable open sights and ghost ring sights. The weapons can also be fitted with scopes.

The shell feed system is an internal tube magazine typically mounted under the barrel and capacity can be from a 4+1 to a 7+1 configuration. The 870 is bottom loaded with a side ejector.

The Remington 870 has a steel receiver.

Mossberg 500

Mossberg 590

Mossberg 590

Type of weapon is a shotgun and place of origin is the United States presented in 1960 by O.F

Mossberg and Sons. The weapon fires 12 and 20 gauge, as well as, the .410 bore. The weight ranges from 5.5 (2.5kg) to 7.5lbs (3.4kg) when empty. Barrel length is up to 30 inches.

The Mossberg 500 has an aluminum receiver, which accounts for the lighter weight. The Mossberg 500 went to the duel action bars in 1970 whereas the 870 has always utilized the dual action slide. The Mossberg is designed so that it makes it impossible to add a magazine extension without purchasing an aftermarket barrel with the extension built in. You can purchase a barrel and magazine extension to hold up to nine rounds. With the 870, you can add a magazine extension without buying an aftermarket barrel, which adds six rounds plus the one in the barrel (6+1).

However, Mossberg 590 doesn’t have such problem and you can install magazine extension easily.

On the 870 the barrel and magazine are two different pieces whereas the Mossberg 500 has a barrel band that connects the two together, making it impossible to add a magazine extension.

The Remington 870 has a push button safety located on the trigger guard and the Mossberg 500 has a sliding safety on the receiver. It comes down to personal preferences as to what a shooter would prefer. The location on the 500 may be a bit more awkward because typically a safety is located at the trigger guard on many weapons.

The Remington 870 has a steel trigger guard and the Mossberg 500 has a plastic one. New Remington 870 shotguns have plastic trigger guard. You can buy an aftermarket steel guard.

The fore-end on the 860 is tighter and does not “rattle” as does the fore-end on the 500. Some shooters however seem to prefer the looser fore-end and this is possibly because they believe the action or pump is easier to manipulate. However loose or tight either one is, has no effect, according to experts on well the action works. Noise disciple may be a consideration when in a tactical situation, so keep this in mind.

Remington 870 vs Mossberg 590 Comparison

Update on Remington 870 vs Mossberg 590 comparison on Remington 870 Forum:

I did a review about comparing the Remington 870 Tactical Express (6+1) and the Mossberg 590SP (7+1). I recently have put about 200 – 300 rounds into both after about a month total in shooting. I dry practiced with both on a regular basis for about 10 – 15 minutes every 2 to 4 days. I used dummy rounds (snap caps) for the dry practice. Here are my opinions about the differences in both. Before I compare the differences I just want to let everyone know here that I am very happy I have both and would not want it any other way. My father taught me to know and adapt to every weapon you have or at least get familiar with it so you can handle any challenges in the future. So that is what I do with all the firearms I own. So here were the differences after about 1 month of shooting and dry practicing both.

1. The 870 Trigger pull is still superior the 590 just doesn’t compare. That being said, if you never fired an 870 you would probably not find that a big deal. Just when you have a side by side comparison, you can notice the difference. Again, no deal breaker for me.

2. I put on Magpul furniture on both my 870 and 590 (including forends) and with the 870 everything on it works well and I would highly recommend that anyone looking for an upgrade this is one of the best things. With the 590, I had to Dremel out a small portion of the trigger area of the stock (back part behind trigger housing) otherwise you can not pull the trigger assembly out when breaking down and cleaning the 590. You could take the trigger assembly out if you loosened the nut on the stock. That was not an option for me as I would be afraid of stripping the bolt from constant tightening and loosening the bolt. Henceforth, removing a little area to where the trigger assembly can come out. I did this and have no issues with that. I would still highly recommend the Magpul furniture for the 590.

3. While dry practicing I noticed another big difference: The 590 short chucks (short stroking the slide) real easy if you are racking another round. You have to be aware and not be a wimp about it. RACK THAT SLIDE WITH AUTHORITY! The 870 will short chuck about 1/2 way when you rack the slide. The Mossberg will short chuck about an 1/8 to 1/4 slide…. a little touchy. Again, not a big deal IF YOU KNOW YOUR SHOTGUNS; that is why you practice. Speaking of the slide release location. To me not an issue at all. Either is fine. IMO a draw.

4. After firing a round and racking the slide; the 870 slide feels the same like all other rounds fired. With the 590 after firing and racking the slide, it is a little harder to rack (not by much). If you are NOT firing a round but racking the slide (to clear a round for example) it is real easy to rack. Again, this is not an issue if you rack it with authority. I did this to get a “feel” of what to expect. HOWEVER, this is not my technique. My technique is I automatically rack the slide with help from the recoil after firing a round. I learned that technique from the Remington 870 How to videos. Thank you so much for this technique! It is AWESOME and I highly recommend EVERYONE here do the same….PERIOD!

5. In terms of shooting and grouping.There was no significant difference at 15 to 25 yards. I shot a mixture of Remington, Federal and Fiochi 2 3/4 – 3 inch full power and reduced recoil Slugs. I did not shoot longer yards as this was an indoor range.

6. After loading each shotgun there really was no big difference in either. I could think less when loading the 590 as it was an open magazine system. With the 870 you had to use a little more brain cells but not a significant amount because of the magazine follower. I definitely preferred the extra round on the 590. NOTE: The extra round on the 590: Make sure the magazine spring is contacting the 590 magazine follower flush, otherwise you lose a round. I did this after cleaning and noticed the spring was slight off kilter. Once it was flush you could load 7 rounds. The 590 Spring spirals a little at the end so it can fit in the magazine follower. I had it backwards. Learned this while dry practicing.

7. I like bead sights and am very comfortable with them when shooting. That being said, I preferred the Bead sight of the 590 over the 870. The 590 is a simple bead sight right on top of the barrel, the 870 bead is on top of a small square on top of the barrel.

8. This is probably going to cause some comments that I might be crazy, but I liked BOTH shotguns with no additions on them other than the Magpul furniture. No flashlight mounts, no side saddle and no slings. IMO if I can’t hit the target with 7 or 8 rounds I shouldn’t be shooting!!….LOL

So there you have it. After spending time with both and shooting both my conclusion is the same I am glad I got both! You can’t go wrong with either. However, for my home defense shotgun I have the 870 as my primary choice. Why? The trigger pull and the smoother slide action. Additionally, the short stroke is more noticeable on the 590. In a panic situation you might lose some brain power when you need it most. With the 870, I can use less brain power and concentrate on my target.

I hope you all like this post!! Have a great day all!

Why the Remington 870 Is Better Than the Mossberg 500

Solid, rugged and dependable comes to mind when you think of Remington 870. The Mossberg 500 however, has an aluminum receiver and a plastic trigger guard, and safety lever, both of
which have to be replaced if used for military or law enforcement purposes. Anyone using the Mossberg 500 for any tactical situation would need to replace the plastic components with metal ones.

Remington 870

Remington 870

The safety lever on the Mossberg 500 is positioned in such a manner that it is possible that the safety can be manipulated if caught on an object. During rough handling, the safety could be struck or caught on something such as clothing, tree branches and so on.

Also, safety location on Mossberg shotguns makes use of pistol stock very unconvenient.

The Remington 870 comes from the factory ready for any combat, law enforcement and military situation. Picking up the 870, you feel the extra weight and it is comforting, compared to the 500.

You want a solid gun that can take some abuse in the field.

The Mossberg 500’s forearm rattles after the weapon has been fired a few times, which is not only aggravating, it can be dangerous in some situations where noise can give away your

Over 10 million Remington 870’s have been manufactured since it was first introduced and Remington currently holds the largest market share. The Remington 870 is sold for sporting,
hunting, home defense and is used by military and law enforcement agencies around the world.

The Mossberg while not cheap in price can feel that way when you pick the weapon up because more components are made of plastic and other composite material to make the weapon lighter.

The Mossberg 500 may have been lightened to the point where the weapon has become less efficient and dependable.

The Mossberg 500 while it comes with a greater shell capacity in a tubular magazine you cannot add an extension without purchasing a new barrel. The magazine and barrel are connected
together and cannot be independently removed or replaced. It is understandable that upgrades will cost money, but not having the ability to upgrade shell capacity without considerable expense is a negative aspect of any shotgun.

The steel receiver on the Remington 870 is a plus for many shooters because of safety issues.

Aluminum is simply not as hard as steel and thus can be broken or damaged easier under rough handling. Why are a steel receiver and a heavier shotgun better overall? Aluminum can pit, tarnish and in some cases, the finish over an aluminum piece will flake off easier.

Weight helps to manage recoil especially when firing 12-gauge shells. Combining the traditional wooden stock with a steel receiver and trigger guards the Remington 870 is solid and well-balanced shotgun that will help anyone manage recoil.