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Mossberg or Remington

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by saichele, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I know this is a little like the Ford/Chevy debate, but I'm looking for a low-end shotgun for critters in the garden. I've never been a shotgun guy, but I don't really feel like it's responsible to fire anything rifled in my area (have some space, but houses within 1/4 mile) and besides, aiming is often a little iffy in the early twilight (at least for my eyes). This is only after they beat the fencing. Beating them with a stick isn;t working either.

    So I'm between the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500, both seem to have their advocates. I'm really looking for something simple, reliable, that isn't going to mind sitting in a closet for 3 months at a time (between groundhogs). Probably just a 20ga.

    Most of the stuff online is promotional, but I figure there are probably a few owners out there in hearth land who might have personal experience.

    Thanks
    Steve

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  2. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    I've have experience with both brands. Let me qualify the following by stating I'm not a gunsmith or expert by any means, just a casual clay pigeon shooter. Owned several different incarnations of the 870 - in 12 and 20 gauge. Also own a Mossberg 500 12 gauge. Haven't had any real trouble with any of them. The Remingtons feel better built - actions are tighter and feed smoother. The one problem that comes to mind is a 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster didn't like a particular type of cheap Winchester shell and wouldn't want to eject the spent shell. I think that had more to do with the tolerance to which the shells were made than the shotgun. Overall the I like the Remington 870 better than the Mossberg 500. The Mossberg will probably be a little less expensive, but I haven't priced shotguns in awhile. Moving into the city makes clay pigeon shooting in the backyard a no no. I'd think either one would be fine for what you want to do.

    I'd say a good comparison is Briggs & Stratton vs. Kohler small engines. In my limited experience the Kohler engine is a little better and a little more money, but the Briggs will get the job done too. Good luck and be safe.
  3. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    I am a Remington 870 owner and like it.I had to carry a moss burg 12 for dock security in the navy and I feel that they are cheaply made and have very loose tolerances in comparison. If I was just getting a shot gun for varmint in the garden though, I would get a used single shot for a 100 bucks or less. and if penetration and ricochet and close neighbors worry you go with a 410 or 28 gauge and use a light dove or trap load. I used to keep a single shot outside near my chicken coop for raiders(Loaded but safely in a hidden place) it was exposed to the elements 24/7 and would get totally rusty but would fire every time. got quite a few weasels and coons not having to go all the way back to the house.A single shot is a lot more reliable gun than a pump or semi auto if left uncleaned for long periods of time. and really do you need more than one shot? either the varmint is gonna be pushing up daisies or making tracks thru em after the first shot.
  4. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Ditto on the actions. If it is going to sit and you are not going to baby it, and need to grab it quickly after it has been sitting all winter, get a single or double shot (over/under of double barrel). Nothing beats them for reliability.

    I have never had a Mossberg, but Remington seem like ok guns. Have had a Rem .22 and a 12 gauge and they both were good guns for what I paid for them. Not great but good. To step up to great you need to pay way more.
  5. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    If it's just to protect your garden and not animals I would go with trapping or an electric fence, maybe solar powered. Shot guns are loud and neighbors are edgy these days about gun fire, plus guns only work if you are home while traps or fencing work 24/7.
    Ed
  6. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    The Remington 870 is the best selling shotgun in history for a reason, and its not just price. It is a well built, extremely dependable gun. I have handled many 870's without a single issue. I have handled a few Mossberg's, and they all seem to have an issue or two. My friend recently won a brand new 500. I place a 2 3/4" shell in it, and when I pulled the trigger, nothing. Not even a click. Then I couldn't eject the shell.

    As far as going with a cheap single shot, I would advise against it. Many of the cheap single shot guns are not terribly accurate, nor do they pattern well. And they will most certainly not be more reliable than the 870. For an over/under worth its weight in firewood, you will be spending far more than the 870. An 870 will not simply stop working because it sat in the closest for 3 months. Unless you are keeping it in a steam room, you will likely never have an issue. I thin coat of Rem oil on the outside every few months or so will likely keep the gun looking fine for as long as you need it. And with the amount of shooting you will be doing, breaking it down for a full cleaning will rarely be a necessity. 870's are a simple design and well built.

    Now, for gauge, I would definately go with 20. I would not go with .410 or 28 gauge simply becasue of the cost of amunition. Neither gauge are as popular as a 20 gauge, making shells much more expensive than shells for a 20. Also, if you are using bird shot, you won't have much of an issue with shot going too far. Just remember, know your target and beyond.
  7. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    OK, first off you should never be shooting a gun unless you have practiced with it and really know what you are doing. So lets get that out there first.If its dark out and you cant see what your shooting at or know what is beyond the intended target, you shouldn't be shooting. I will now assume that the person using the gun will be safe about it. Now as for a single shot not being as accurate as a Remington 870...I love my 870 it is a great gun. But I don't use it because it is the most accurate gun out there. A single shot shot gun will be, on the whole, the most accurate of any gun. No action to foul, no loose chamber to have to rack into. just a barrel and a shell. I killed my first deer at thirty yards with my little single shot .410 with a rifled slug and it drop right in its tracks. I have killed many MANY squirrels in the tops of trees with that same single shot .410. Many big game hunters use a single shot rifle in Africa or Alaska on safari to kill the biggest game out there...why? because it is the most accurate action there is. The original question was what is a good cheap reliable gun to use to get critters eating a garden. I still say for 80-100 bucks you cant go wrong with a simple single shot.

    410 shells are not more expensive than 20 or 12 gauge either.28 gauge might be less available but are still not expensive. and I have yet to see a shell of any gauge that wont work in a single shot chamber. not the case with bolt action,pump action, or semi auto. Don't know where they are more expensive, but I would stop shopping there. If you are not wanting a gun for the varmints try a live trap then you will be able to beat them with a stick as you have tried before and might have better success once they are in a trap LOL. good luck and please what ever you decide be safe.
  8. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree with some of your assessment. Bore, barrel, and choke tolerances as well as quality of materials used in production have far more to do with accuracy than style of action in a shotgun.

    I do not doubt that you had an accurate single shot .410 shotgun. I had a fairly accurate 20 gauge single shot growing up. My point was, if you buy an $80 single shot, I would not have the same faith that this particular gun was made with the same manufacturing tolerances or quality of materials of a Remington 870. I therefore believe you stand a much better chance of ending up with a shotgun that is not terribly accurate with the cheaper single shot. Again, back to the point of the question. If anyone tells me they are looking for a cheap, reliable shotgun, my advice will be 870 everytime. The reliability factor really doesn't hold here when comparing the 870 to a single shot. First off, the 870 is extremely reliable. Second, if this is a critter gun, I would bet money it will never be used enough to fail anyway (the only 870's I have ever seen fail have 1000's of rounds through them, which isn't likely in this case).

    I looked up price of shells, and you were right. There isn't as much spread in price as I thought. Federal Premium Gold Medals run about $10 for 25 rounds where as the .410 and 28 run about $12 for the same thing. However, due to availability, I think I would still go with the 20 gauge.

    I also agree with your on the safety issues. The author mentions not being able to see well in low light conditions. For God's sake, don't shoot! Again, know your target and beyond.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I liked my crossman pump-up BB rifle, but I gave it away.....too dangerous.
    :red:

    It had killed one mouse and one chipmunk (who was wounded by my dog)......and also did away with a lot of tomatoes and tin cans.
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I have both also and have the same sentiments . I'm a Remington man but Mossberg is a close second. I've had the same ejection issue with my Moss . If your just gettin rid of unwanteds buy the cheaper one. You'll be happy.
  11. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I still have the Crossman Pumpmaster 760 in my gun safe! It was my brother's growing up, and somehow it ended up in my hands. Many a bird and squirrel fell to that gun!
  12. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Remington gets my vote. I bought a 870 Remington Super Mag Maxx Gobbler, thats code for a camo 3 1/2 inch 12 gauge with an AR stock. I shot a couple boxs of the 3 1/2 thru it and 2 3/4 target loads and never a hiccup. My brother has a mossberg and it just seems to rattle! Not to knock it cause it still shoots but with a shotgun its not like your getting 1 moa accuracy with buckshot :lol: Get the one that feels the best to you. My next shotgun will be an over/under ruger red label or browning citori.
  13. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Thanks all - I want to make a note on the "visibility" issues. It's mostly a peculiarity of aging eyes. In college I was on the rifle team and could reliably hit a dime. the last couple years, I have a hell of a time getting everything (especially the sights up close and the target at some distance) lined up, worse in low light. An air rifle is basically the same problem. I did some trap shooting years ago, so I've used a shotgun, just never took much interest. Definitely don't shoot randomly - more in the one shot, one kill school. So actually I like the idea of the single shot or over/under, hadn't really considered that but it has to be more reliable if seldom used. I'll shop around that market a bit and see what's common.

    Thanks
    Steve
  14. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    I have never seen any shotgun fail due to under use, so that is not a factor in whatever decision you make. As long as you keep it in a dry place, it will be fine. Typically, shotguns fail due to heavy use combined with lack of cleaning and maintenance. Good luck with your choice. I strongly suggest putting it to paper when you do get a shotgun, so you know where it hits and how it patterns with your ammo of choice.
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I have had a Moss 500 for many years and never had an issue with it. It is a bit sloppier on action tolerances, but not (IMO) on accuracy. In fact- I always thought that part of it's reliability had to do with the idea that a little crap in the action would not cause as much an issue as with a gun with tighter tolerance (as per the AK47). However- the Rem does just "feel" more solid.
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    I TOO have an old pumpmaster 760 in my gun safe!!! My father gave is to me when I was 7, it seems like an eternity ago. Anyways, I have used or owned both the guns you are comparing and for varmit in the garden NEITHER is a good choice! I suggest a good new break barrell pellet gun. They shoot 1000fps and can take out most varmit. I just recently bought a Semi Rem .22 LR from a sporting goods store. I shot it 3 times and the bolt action started to fall apart and it's been sent back to Rem and they've had it for 5 weeks now! I'm less than pleased with the service because I have a Rem 1187 I absolutely love and hope I never have to send it in for warranty work.
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Backroads- a Ruger 1022 is the way to go (IMO) if you want a 22 cal semi. I shoot Rem subsonic rounds out of mine- the gun drives tacks with them and they are quieter. I play Lee Harvey Oswald out the bathroom window on groundhogs that won't go in the Havahart with it.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    All the gardeners around here are talking about groundhogs this year.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was a teenage vandal, I bought heavy rubber bands at the stationary store, and used them to shoot BB's like a slingshot.....could hit a streetlight from 30 yards, easy. Human powered, no powder needed. If the cavemen would have had these things, the Neanderthal would still be ruling the world.
  20. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Take a look at this:

    http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/encore.php


    There used to be a smallish .22/12gauge over under made by somebody (this was a long time ago, maybe Ruger???).

    This might solve your problems and give you two guns in one.
  21. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I have two 870's - a 2 3/4" chambered left hand wingmaster (20 ga) from the late 70's/early 80's, and a 870 express magnum 12-ga. I like them both. The wingmaster was my fist gun I bought witn I was 13.

    I also have to H&R;single shots - a 12-ga and 20-ga. I have no problem with the single shots either. I paid $25 for the 20 ga and have killed many cowbirds and two raccoons with it. For garden duty, the single shots are perfectly fine. This isn't an Olympic competition! the pattern might not be perfect, but it is a perfectly usable shotgun.

    The 870s are very reliable, if you need more firepower. Don't know much about Mossberg 500, but a friend of mine had one growing up, and it worked just fine.
  22. oilstinks

    oilstinks Feeling the Heat

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    870 has my vote but in all honesty i think either will serve you well. I would keep it 20gauge or smaller though and 20 probably being too much but then you might by 20gauge shells cheaper than any thing else also.
  23. jeff6443

    jeff6443 New Member

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    Now we are talking I have Both . They shoot the same and I never clean them work guns , they work . My Glock 23 carry gun , Yea I know . NJ WE CANT DO THAT .
    Clean as a whistel . One for a purpose . One for a reason
    .
  24. gary

    gary New Member

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    Gotta chime in on this one. I own several shotguns Browning, Remington, even a Smith & Wesson but the one I keep close at hand for dispatching skunks and the occasional copperhead around the farmstead is a no name bolt action 410. Gets the job done and is simple enough to teach the wife how to use.

    Best thing I've found to keep varmints out of the garden (coons are the worst in my case) is a small electric fencer (@$25.00 at Tractor Supply). Run one strand of wire 4"-6" off the ground and a second strand 6"- 8" above the first. Works like a charm.

    By the way, the 22 cal./shotgun combo is a Savage.
  25. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Both are excellent shotguns, of the 2 I prefer Remington mostly cause I have more exposure to them...btw way I own 2 Ithaca's. Another way to rid your garden from critters is to pick up so human hair from your barber and spread it around the garden...once you spread it that hair is always on station doing its duty...even when you sleep.
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