M*CARBO Brotherhood

Remington 870P vs. Mossberg 590A1


Hi all! I decided over this snowy and frigid weekend that it was a good time for a scattergun shoot-off between two heavyweight contenders in the defensive shotgun genre (yes, my timing could have been better!). I broke this one down into two parts. Part-1 is a comparison between the two shotguns in the shop, and Part-2 is the range review. I hope you enjoy it! (Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a KSG sometime soon and compare it to these two traditional shotguns!)



hrfunk (Howard)

Thanks for the great videos.

I prefer the Rem 870 (too).


Rem 870 was THE Law Enforcement shotgun for many years. More 870’s sold than any other shotgun in history. Used one on the job for many years, until they were replaced by Benelli semi-autos. Have an 870 tactical I put together a couple years ago. Great gun that I have a lot of experience and confidence in. But, I always preferred the placement of the safety on the Mossberg over the Rem. Mossberg also made a very high quality gun at a very affordable price. Wouldn’t have any problems carrying one of those too.


@hrfunk Good morning Howard. Very nice work on both videos.:+1:

I am no doubt bias, as I am an 870 man through and through, but just as you I have given other guns a fair and open minded chance to show their stuff under the same conditions and circumstances I use mine in.
My experience, coming from a hunting perspective (birds, deer, and predators) is with the standard 870 vs a tac/defense model, but I have shot both.
One of the biggest issues for me, in regard to overall comfort and smooth shoot-ability, is the safety and action release position. Every other shotgun I have shot, whether the safety is on top or in front of the trigger, felt uncomfortable and unwieldy.
I have found the top, forward sliding safety to be stiff (especially in cold and wet conditions) and lacking a solid surface and profile to insure a positive release.
I have somewhat short fingers so I need to move my hand slightly away from a solid, centered grip in order to reach a safety that is in front of the trigger.
I had a Stoger ( Benelli style design) 350p Turkey super-mag. It had the safety in front of the trigger and same loose fore-stock that you mentioned on the Mossberg. It rattled something terrible, especially with the synthetic stock, and drove me nuts. I only had it for about 3 months and the only thing I shot with it was a deer on the last day of the season this Halloween, using a slug. I happily traded it straight across for a cz52 and 100 rounds of ammo a few days later.
I have shot countless rounds, 410/20/12 ga with my 870’s, hunting and trap shooting in every type of conditions possible, continuously for the last 45+ years with the same guns and have not had a single failure.
I can’t think of any better testimony to the quality and design of an 870 in any configuration.


Best performance based testing I’ve seen, thanks for doing.

Just curious if these videos are a side gig with an income stream, or a hobby for you or both?

Either way great shooting. I’d sure to have you as my neighbor!


Chalk up another great endorsement for the 870! In all honesty, though, both shotguns are pretty comparable in terms of performance. As I said in the video, it all comes down to training and familiarity. That said, I’m not planning to trade my 870’s on a Mossberg anytime soon!



I had an 870 then got the 590A1. I liked the fact it’s the only shotgun built for and passed military spec. Also, plenty of factory added rails and an optic rail, no extra doodad buying required


I suppose that all depends on how you look at things. I always hope to make enough money on add revenue to pay for the ammunition I shoot up in the videos. Some months I succeed in that effort, other months, not so much! When I first started making videos and posting them to Youtube, I did so because I saw so much inaccurate information being posted there. This was back around 2012 or so, and I think there is better info being posted today. The other thing that bothered me about YT firearm videos at the time was the image of American shooters/firearm aficionados they conveyed to the world. Sometimes the information was good, but it was conveyed in such a manner as to cast us all in a poor light.

In the beginning, I saw my videos as an extension of my being a long-time firearms instructor. It quickly developed into an enjoyable hobby. The biggest thing I get from it is the contact/communication it affords me with shooters and firearm owners across the country and around the world. Believe it or not, I’m something of an introvert (I think that has something to do with having 30 years of Police work under my belt). The videos and by extension the communication they allow, provide me an interaction with others that I really enjoy (Like those on this forum, for example). My goal has always been to make videos that are informative, entertaining, and which present Americans, Police Officers, Military members/veterans, and firearm owners positively to the global audience. A couple of days ago, my subscriber count topped 10,000. While I realize that is fairly small compared to some of the major YT channels, I’m proud to know that the videos I produce have been appealing enough to so many people that they took time to hit the “subscribe” button.



I agree, they are both a quality firearm, and familiarity and training is as much as any weapon. Its the shooter behind the trigger that can do wonders with junk or be lousy with the finest equip. made.
The stoger I referred to is no 870 or mossberg by any means and I wouldn’t place it in the same class. I was just using it as a reference because it has the trigger forward safety and the loose fore-stock like you noted on the mossberg.
That rattling stock drove me nuts. I only hunted with it that one day and I would have sold it for that reason alone, even if I wouldn’t have had the trading opportunity.
I think you did a superb job on your video. Great sound and lighting, combined with concise, accurate, and well presented subject matter. Making a good video isn’t just having a camera and something you think is worth saying.:+1:


Totally agree! And to @hrfunk what @jeffing65 said. Thanks for your time and effort to bring us more knowledge. :clap:


I don’t have any extensive experience with shotguns, Just a little grouse hunting with a .410 and a couple Mossberg 12 ga. for HD. I opted for a 590A1 (magpul edition) over the 870 partially because of the (supposedly) mil spec ruggedness and I already had an old 500 that I really liked. I had heard or read somewhere that the sloppiness of the Mossberg action was by design so it would be more reliable if full of dirt or mud. Any credence to that claim??


Hey HRFunk … Just subscribed to your UTube channel and added a positive camera for ya, thanks again!


The 590 “feels” looser mostly because of the way the forend/slide are assembled. I don’t think there’s a great deal of “slop” in the action itself. As far as exceeding the mil-spec. That claim is true, but having read the spec, it was not tremendously demanding. Mossberg touts the performance of their shotgun in their marketing (which I’m sure helps sell shotguns), but I’ve never seen them explain what the specification was. Interestingly, Remington did not even submit a shotgun for consideration. As I understand the story, the powers that were in charge of Remington at that time knew they could not compete with Mossberg in terms of price, so they simply abstained from the process. As luck would have it, I was at the Remington factory for an armorer’s school around the time this was all going on, and that is the same thing the Remington employees told us. I told someone else, Mossberg winning that contract is a little like winning a beauty contest when you are the only entrant. I’m not trying to be critical of Mossberg or the 590A1, I’m just trying to provide a clearer picture of what went on in that selection.



Thank you for the sub and the comment!



That’s an interesting thought.
I have no real specific reason why I would think this but for some reason I have always associated mossberg’s mainly with waterfowl hunting. I have always had the impression (maybe incorrectly) that it was their primary market and it was the preferred choice among most duck and goose hunters. At least those who hunt from blinds or in decoyed cornfields. All my dads buddy’s along with other hard core duck and goose hunters I have known all had mossbergs. And none of them hunted upland birds at all.
I used to hunt ducks (teal, golden eye, wood ducks, widgeons, mallards) before the steel shot law, but it was always walking canals or pass shooting, which is more like upland bird hunting.

Your dirt and mud friendly design would seem to possibly make some sense. I don’t like hunting from blinds
in the edge of river toulies and cat tails or laying in field ditches full of snow, water and mud because everything gets covered in mud. You, your cloths, the dog, guns, tarps, decoys.
You might have something there…??


Yes, thank you for making that distinction, that is I was thinking and just used the term action in the mechanical sense. Well done, thorough and informative video I will check your channel out some more. Great points on the contract selection process too.


Seems feasible… but I suppose it could also be a marketing rationalization to justify loose manufacturing tolerances to speed up production and reduce callback issues lol


@hrfunk I was going to ask about the price difference between the two. (sorry if I missed it in your vid.),

I would have guessed the exact thing you just said, and you have just confirmed it, straight from the horse’s mouth as it were… The price difference between an 870 Wingmaster and a savage, stevens, H&R, etc back in the day was considerable and that would have to be the same today as well.
A new Stoger is 400ish and a Wingmaster is nowhere close to that or I would be on the trail of a 28ga first thing in the morning. LOL
So I’m guessing the mossberg would fall in between the two…?..


I think that is just as, if not more feasible.


Both very good videos. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the KSG. I’m a retired Police Officer and wanted one for some time doing the typical internet video research. Once I got mine I practiced room clearing techniques with it and was very happy with it’s compact design and feel. After you get used to the layout of the weapon and the fact that it likes a heavy hand on the action it’s actually a pretty decent firearm. Like I said, looking forward to your thoughts/vids and will follow you on youtube. Stay safe.