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

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.