Originally Posted by Landmonster
Good replies guys.
For someone who has grown up shooting one brand or the other, it probably doesn't make sense to switch. For someone who is simply a collector, it doesn't make sense to standardize.
I'm relatively new to shotguns though, and I am not a collector. I plan to use them for defensive purposes, so it makes sense to me to pick a brand, and then standardize with the brand's weapon system. (Parts, training, manual of arms, tools, etc)
I have shot 870s, and they seem pretty simple to use. They are also inexpensive and light weight... they seem pretty handy. You can get a basic 870 Express Tactical for about $300 in my area.
I challenge anyone that says "the 870 is a flawless weapon" though. I have several complaints about it.
First, I wish that the generic 870s came with a better finish. I'd prefer Parkerizing, or something of that nature.
*(Counterpoint: I understand you get a nice finish on the Marine Magnum, but I don't really want a shiny finish. I understand you can get a nice finish on the Wingmasters, but they don't come in 'tactical' setups.)
Second, I wish you could buy it already equipped with all the aftermarket parts I'd want, instead of having to add them all myself
*(Counterpoint: I realize you can get all this in the 870P max, I just balk at spending $1200 on a pump shotgun.)
Third, I wish the 870 held more rounds, like the 590a1.
*(Counterpoint: I realize that there is a trade-off involved here.... as the 590a1 is longer and heavier. I'm not sure if it is worth it for a CQB scenario or not, but it seems advantageous.)
The only real reasons that I am considering a Mossberg 590a1 are:
-It holds 8+1 rounds, instead of 6 or 7 with the 870
-It seems to be built with slightly beefier construction.
-It comes with a factory Parkerized finish
-The rear mounted safety seems possibly more useful and/or definitive feeling.
-You can buy the gun with most of the accessories I want under $600 (Ghost ring high-viz sights, Speedfeed stock, etc)
I realize the 590a1 is not without flaws though, either. People say it is heavier, and less smooth than the 870. People also say that the fit and finish is subpar to the 870s, even though the 590s come Parkerized. And people have said that all extra "beefier construction" of the 590a1 doesn't really increase reliability to the extent you think it would... it just adds weight.
Thus, I am at a dilemma until I can sort through these trade-offs.