December 7, 2014 at 2:42 am #31425
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Whirlibird wrote:</div>Vep,<br>
The 500 is a decent shotgun, but for a little more money I’d rather have the Ithaca 37 with a short riot type barrel and a 24″ rifle sighted barrel.
The 37 is steel but lightweight, is easier to make parts for, less of them and they’re built to last. The barrels interchange as easily as the 500, LAPD and NYPD both kept them for years even after Ithaca was gone foe a while. one test NYPD firearms trainers did years ahowas shoot an example of each, 870, 500, 37, with full power buckshot until they wouldnt fire anymore, the 37 kept going.
That’s all true. But I’m convinced the Benelli Super 90 is the best shotgun ever made. I just wish it had a 30 rd mag. That would make it way to heavy though. If there have been any test to destruction events I haven’t heard about it. Then again the 500 was my first shotgun and I still have it. Pump or semi … I’ll take semi.December 7, 2014 at 3:24 am #31428
In semi-auto, the Benelli is excellent, but expensive. Many people who don’t want to spend the cash on a Benelli will get a Mossberg 930, which also has a good rep n places like 3 gun competition. One of the smoothest semi-auto’s I’ve ever shot was a Beretta.
The US military started switching to the Benelli but ran into a problem when the Benelli was discovered to have a problem cycling the breaching round the US military was using at the time, so they had to keep using Mossberg pumps actions. They may have fixed that issue by now.
One reason I like a pump as a general survival weapon is that you have manual control over it’s cycling. You can run a pump action on black powder if you have to without impairing performance.
The Ithaca 37 is a decent shotgun, and unlike the current reincarnation of Winchester, it’s still American made. The company has had it’s ups and downs. Because of this, trying to get a new one can sometimes be difficult.
The Ithaca 37 has one charge bar on the pump slide, vs 2 on the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. It’s main functional difference between the 500 and 870 is that it ejects out the bottom, where it loads from. there is no separate ejection port. This can be an advantage when in a really wet, cold environment. If you collect your spent hulls, it ejects them at your feet.
The Ithaca 37 is a much older design than the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870. Model numbers above 855,000 have interchangeable barrels.
Savage, under their Stevens line of shotguns, sells a Chinese made variant of the Ithaca 37 called the Stevens 350. It’s a bit different in that it has two charge bars on the pump. Reportedly, many parts will interchange to one degree or another with an original Ithaca.
The shotgun which won the US Army trials was the Mossberg 590A1. The Mossberg 590A1 is the military grade version of the 590 series made to US Navy specs. The 590A1 is just a Mossberg 500 with a thicker barrel, an aluminum trigger housing and safety switch instead of polymer. It also has a magazine tube similar to the Remington 870, which makes the barrels non-interchangeable with the M500 unless the mag tube is changed out.
The Mossbergs have aluminum receivers, like an AR-15 or an AR-10. This knocks about 1 pound off of the weight of the weapon. Unlike the 870, they have dual extractors.
The US shotgun market is dominated by different variants of the Rem 870 and the M500, of which there are about 10 million copies of each in circulation.
For a survivalist, the M500 series has an edge due to how many there are out there, the commonality of the parts, and the availability of aftermarket components. Unlike an 870, every piece of a M500 is user maintainable or replaceable without the need for a well tooled, experienced gunsmith. For example, on the 870, the ejector is riveted into place and the mag tube is brazed into place. On the Mossberg the mag tube screws out and the ejector is held in with a screw.
One of the biggest advantages of the M500 series is that Mossberg, in order to compete with inexpensive, foreign made shotguns, began making the Maverick line, in their plant in Maverick County, Texas (El Paso).
The Mossberg Maverick 88 is an M500 that has the safety moved to the trigger pack, forward of the trigger guard, and the receiver isn’t tapped for an optics rail. The pump slide has been replaced with a simpler design (but it can be changed back to an M500 style), and the finish is plain. The result is tough, reliable shotgun that retails for about $190.
Of the other shotguns commonly available on the US market, there is the Winchester SPX series with is an updated Winchester 1300 which is now made in Turkey. Savage sells a 1300 variant made in China called the Stevens 320.
H&R and IAC both sell Chinese variants of the Remington 870. They have a good rep, and most parts seem to even interchange with an original 870. It’s a version of the Norinco 870 copy that the Chinese military uses. The H&R is reportedly a better shotgun than the lower grade line of 870’s Remington sells called the ‘Express’. The Chinese 870’s, however, use a 5 shot magazine tube instead of the 4 used by Remington. This means the barrels won’t interchange off the shelf. Century also sells a Chinese 870 clone, but reports are that the quality is dismal.December 7, 2014 at 6:39 pm #31469
Okay, several points.
The mossberg may be user servicable, but only if one has parts. There’s a lot of little fiddly parts such as the plastic safety button that can cause issues when non gunsmiths start mucking about in them.
The plastic triggerguard on the 500 is a weak point, the little tabs commonly break when unknowing people start disassembling the gun.
The left extractor is more a guide than an extractor, its shape is the givaway on that one.
The Benelli Super 90 is the best semi auto shotgun out there.
I have a Montefeltro not 6 feet away. Worth every penny.
H&K marked, its older and dare I say better. It wil function flawlessy with reduced recoil buckshot, unlike most semi auto guns.
Avoid all the chinko shotguns.
I had a 37 clone in for service, within 200 rounds, it had stretched its headspace almost .200″ and was suffering hull separations. The chinko guns are dead soft in most cases.
The 870 copies, little better.
The Stevens guns, pass, too crude.
Good, high quality guns are available used, such as the 37’s, old model 12’s and more. They may not be tacticool, but they still work.December 8, 2014 at 12:20 am #31486
Your Benelli is a nice weapon, I’ll agree on that. A Benelli like you described, used, typically starts off at about $1000 or more on the used gun market. A single spare barrel for a Benelli costs more than an entire Mossberg pump shotgun.
For general survival use and hunting, myself, I prefer a pump. It doesn’t automatically fling my empties out and away if I don’t want it too. I can also use various different types of ammo, including loads in blackpowder (a survival test that worked). They are also affordable enough that I can keep an identical spare shotgun around in case Davey Jones decides to borrow one.
Scalper’s prices is one reason I sold my last HK91 a while back, along with a ton of other stuff I had in storage. A prepper minded family in another boat sold their really nice Benelli a while back also into the panic and went with a couple of Mossbergs for the same reasons. These less expensive guns get done what needs to get done without risking and tying up a lot of resources that could wind up overboard, and could be used for something else (like body armor).
Mossberg basically has two critical components nowadays that are polymer: the trigger housing and the safety switch. I’ll respectfully disagree on the Mossberg parts issue with the trigger housing. For maybe the safety switch on the M500, I’ll agree somewhat. Swapping the safety switch on a M500 with the metal one from an M590A1 is a standard thing many M500 owners do, but still it’s not that common for even that to break.
The polymer trigger housing, the only major critical part that is polymer, actually breaks very rarely, this concerns both the tabs and the trigger guard itself. If it’s an issue, replace ahead of time the trigger guard on an M500 with the metal one from a Mossberg 590A1. Many people do this.
For a Mossberg Maverick 88 owner (slightly different trigger housing, tougher safety switch), if they are concerned, they can buy a spare polymer housing for not too much, the parts are readily available, but they’ll probably never need it. You are far more likely to need a new bead sight long before that ever happens, but that is true of almost any shotgun.
I and many others have beaten the piss out of Mossberg shotguns (people are less hesitant to abuse a $200 weapon) and they still kept functioning. No one I know of has ever had a polymer trigger housing fail. On the shotgun forums amongst Mossberg owners and on the Mossberg forums themselves, finding someone who has actually has such a parts failure is uncommon.
The M590A1 uses the same internal components as the M500 and it passed an Army test that involved the non-stop firing of 3000 rounds of full strength buckshot.
The parts for these weapons are commonly available because they are still in production, over 10 million have been sold, and they are still selling like hotcakes. Mossberg just had to add an additional 116,000 sq/ft of production area to meet up with demand at their Maverick plant.
One feature on the Ithaca I wouldn’t mind having is the downward ejection. It makes saving the fired hulls easier. The Ithaca isn’t a bad gun. Even the Mossberg 500 had a single charge bar like the Ithaca up until, IIRC, about 1970 when they went to two for extra strength and reliability.
The Model 12, while a fine weapon, went out of production 50 years ago, and they are not quite as simple in their design as newer models. Like the older Ithacas, the Model 12 could do slam fire.
Concerning the Chinese shotguns, the quality varies quite a bit. The Norinco made shotguns which H&R sells are pretty good. At the other end of the scale, soft parts, etc, are the ones sold by Century. The H&R guns come from the same factory that makes a version of the same shotgun (but with a 14″ barrel) for the Chinese military.December 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm #31553
My last PD, of the 4 Mossys, three had broken triggerguard tabs.
I used to keep a couple of spare triggerguard assemblies in my shop just for hunting season repairs, back when we lived in shotgun territory, as well as spare safeties, people liked to try and remove them to clean the gun and invariably broke them.
Switched a Benelli out for a couple mossys.
Yup, typical price point shoppers.
Its funny, people tend to look at certain equipment in odd ways.
Firearms for example.
People look at what will suffice for the cheapest possible price regardless of quality.
WalMart shopping at it’s finest.
There’s a single reason that people buy Savage/Stevens rifles over Winchester Model 70’s, and that’s price.
If they were concerned about quality, about a rifle that will stand up to daily use rather than two weekends a year, the Winchesters would be more common.
That Model 12, while old has features that modern guns don’t have, such as a means to tighten up the barrel to receiver fit to accommodate for wear. And repair parts are easier to fabricate unlike stamped parts.
What you don’t see in the hands of people who guide in Africa or Alaska is cheap (poor quality) rifles.
Their lives and the lives of their clients are dependent on their choices and those holding up and working under the harshest conditions and abuse.
What you don’t see in the hands of people who walk the razors edge is low quality firearms (or knives).
You don’t see Hi Points on Police gunbelts. Or in the hands of the military. Can you imagine Julie Golob trading in her S&W or Dave Sevigny trading in his Glock for a Hi Point.
Using the argument that cheaper (lower quality) is acceptable as long as it does the same thing, (Benelli for Mossy’s) it would make sense for all of us to trade our Colt’s, Glocks and Wilson Combat handguns for Hi Points, after all they do the same thing and if they fall out of the canoe, we’re not out as much.
Same argument could be applied to boots, tents, cars and more. The question is should it be?
Ask your local mechanic to trade in his Snap-On’s for some cheap chinko tools, see what he says.
Simple rule of prepping, buy the best you can afford.
Buy once, pay once. Buy junk, you pay again and again.December 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm #31573
I have to agree with most of your thinking but the sad reality is the best some folks can afford is, the low end stuff. The other thing is many people can’t understand buying a used piece in really good shape is way better than new. Furniture comes to mind as well. Unless you buy custom made furniture made now, it wont be nearly as good as a common 1950’s piece or earlier manufacture. Almost everything is like that now.
On the other hand nothing is every so clear cut. Most people buying Savage or whatever aren’t thinking about self defense and only few shots fired hunting. Until recently most firearms I bought were for sporting purposes. Only a few were for defense. I have an old New Haven (Mossberg 500) with a polychoke, a 1100, an OU and a side by side for shotguns. Not one was bought for SD obviously.
It’s also pretty hard for me to buy a $500-$1000 dollar scope to put on my sporterized $75.00 Swedish Mauser and feel good about it. I do have a Leupold on it though that I bought for a fair price.December 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm #31582
I do understand the whole broke thing. I am a gunsmith after all.
However there’s a difference between inexpensive and cheap. And there are just some corners one should not cut. Good boots, firearms and optics are three areas that one should not go cheap on.
Eat ramen for a month, skip the mochachinos, carpool, drop cable, do what you must but don’t skimp where the quality counts.
My daughter shoots a .38 S&W that cost $65. Just had to put a few parts and work into it (fit and finish).
Sold a dozen similar guns at gun shows $165-200 each when repaired. Right in there with Hi Point pricing, but the quality is light years above.
That $75 Swede is in reality a $300+ gun, in any decent condition.
Manufacturing it today, closer to $500-600. Because of the quality of the parts and fitting.
Compare that to the Savage/Stevens guns. They’re $400 for a reason. And it’s quality and durability.
It doesn’t take that much to find quality at a reasonable price.
You just have to accept that it won’t be new.
Here’s a $300 9mm of very good quality.
$300 at time pf posting .45?
How about a $300 12ga?
How about $155 for a 8mm Mauser?
A great .22?
A little less $?
The 4 mags are worth @$15-20 each, the receiver sight @$75-100
Less yet?December 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm #31583
If $$ was the only judge in durability or utility, AK’s would be worthless, disposable trash bin items. An AK doesn’t cost very much to make, and the black market price in Latin America for a select fire AKM is only about $300.
If polymer parts were that fragile, Glocks would disintegrate.
People spend a lot on a gun and get married to it. Never marry metal. The Benelli, while a good weapon, like the HK91 and many others it is seriously over priced for what it is on the US civilian market.
To break a polymer trigger housing on a Mossberg during field stripping takes an incredible level of ineptitude.
I’ve field stripped Mossbergs countless times and have yet to break a polymer trigger housing. I fired thousands of rounds out of them, and have yet to get a broken polymer trigger housing. I have seen Mossbergs take fantastic levels of abuse by myself and others, thousands of rounds fired by multiple people, no broken trigger housings.
I live in a salt water environment. I’ve seen corroded shell bases cause a casing to get stuck in a chamber, and the shooter got it unstuck by gripping the pump and slamming the buttstock into a tree trunk several times and the Mossberg worked fine afterwards.
A Mossberg is like an AK, not that expensive, but it keeps working and it gets the job done.
The broken trigger guards at your PD are by far the exception, not the rule. Furthermore, as you stated, they were broken due to repeated incompetent disassembly, not use.
If people don’t learn to properly take their weapon apart, they deserve a broken weapon. I’ve taken Mossbergs apart enough to know that to break a polymer trigger housing takes an extreme level of ineptitude or someone who is trying to break it.
You can break anything if you try. Sounds to me like a bunch of people that didn’t care or were trying to break them. Been there done that with government owned weapons, “Look at this, I bet it can’t take THIS!” … ‘crack’ ‘bend’ ‘break’. Ever seen anyone use their M16’s barrel as a pry bar to assemble a cot or fire a section of cleaning rod with a blank to kill a rabbit?
If polymer bothers people, swap it out for an all metal M590A1 part. There are only two significant parts on an M500 that are synthetic, and those can be swapped out. What pump shotgun survived the US Army’s test? A Mossberg 590A1.
What shotgun did the military use the most in Afghanistan and Iraq? They used mostly Mossberg 590’s and 500’s. They have a milspec version of the 500 that has a 590A1 trigger housing and safety.
Towards the later part of the war they wanted to go semi-auto and started buying the Benelli, but intial deployments of the Benelli were halted due to problems with the Benelli cycling the breaching round. Most of the shotguns in service are still Mossbergs.
As for the Model 12, the last one was made half a century ago. Yeah, it’s metal, and so are all but two parts of a Mossberg 500, and they are easier to get new parts to store ahead of time. Modern pump and semi-auto shotguns are made on CNC machine tools, even the ones made in Turkey. You can simply buy another barrel and toss it on and the fit is good.December 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm #31585
@Whirly & Vep,
I have 2 Super 90’s (one for general purpose, maybe 17 yrs old and one that needs repair (split stock) more like 30 yrs old). I intend to have the older one reworked into a 3-gun rig (922r compliant of course). I also have a Mossy 500 Mariner. And a Benelli skeet gun.
I was recently in the mood to get another shotgun, specifically for home defense and survival. I chose a Rem. 870 Magpul Cerakote because of the price. If it wasn’t for price I would have gone for the Benelli M4 tactical at more than 3x the price.
Price is a real world factor, even for a Benelli fan.
Big Bears Don't TreeDecember 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm #31588
My Swede is a $400.00 gun now, when i bought it new in cosmoline about 1990 they were only 75-100, this was before Kimber bought all the excess surplus to rebarrel the actions. That’s my point, cost is not is the only factor when choosing.December 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm #31589
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>SharpDog wrote:</div>
Price is a real world factor, even for a Benelli fan.
Yes, proper use of resources is a very real factor for most people.
For example, I have been an HK fan for a long time, yet I sold the last of my HK’s into the panic. Cost vs use plus a real world assessment on what the weapon is actually needed for plus what it can do came into play.
I use my shotguns all of the time, from shooting clay pigeons out on the bay, to dragging through the brush hunting, so I know what they are capable of. For most people, their pump shotguns will be functioning long after they are not. Myself, I decided a while back that my shotgun would more than get the job done and if I’m going spend resources on gun stuff I’d rather spend the money on things like body armor, ammo, reloading supplies, a spare, identical weapon to arm others family members, etc.December 9, 2014 at 12:03 am #31594
Interesting you should say that , when people moved West in the 1800’s , they only had so much they could carry , they had to be very careful , they also had to make a choice about what firearms they would take along . The shotgun was the preferred firearm for settlers . Not that it was the best , but more because it gave them more options .December 9, 2014 at 12:56 am #31597
<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Tolik wrote:</div>Interesting you should say that , when people moved West in the 1800′s , they only had so much they could carry , they had to be very careful , they also had to make a choice about what firearms they would take along . The shotgun was the preferred firearm for settlers . Not that it was the best , but more because it gave them more options .
The saying was back then that a man with a shotgun never starved.December 9, 2014 at 1:45 am #31603
No offense, Whirlibird, but I have to challenge you on Savage RIFLES (not shotguns). Savage rifles are (or were in the days of 1970’s model 110’s) tack drivers right out of the box. They were rugged, and reliable, just not as polished or pretty as the Remington 700’s or the Winchester 70’s–both GREAT rifles, but not better, in my experience.December 9, 2014 at 1:52 am #31606
My friend, trade off or sell the Remington 1100. They’re NOT reliable, they’re actually quite fragile. Their gas system hinges on hair-thin rubber o rings, that cannot stand the smallest amount of sand or grit. Once you remove them to clean up the gas tube, etc, you’ll discover they CANNOT be re-installed, as they’re stretched and no longer seal. The gun becomes a single shot–I found out the hard way. Long out of production, parts for this gun are difficult to find, and pricey. If you’re not getting a Benelli or (maybe) a Saiga, stick with pumps. They don’t have fragile gas systems, like the 1100 (and most) other semi-autos. Good luck!
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