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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I'm in the market for my first shotgun, with the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 currently being the top contenders, and I'm curious about barrel and stock finishes. Specifically, do they really matter and affect anything (other than the price)?

I'm hoping to use this purchase as a dependable work horse out in the field as I start to bird hunt, but would also like for it to last for many years. Does the finish really matter or affect performance or durability on shotguns, or are the many different options mainly marketing?

Thanks for your help!

Cheers,
TexShot
http://equipboard.com/texshooter
 

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I just ordered a 500 but you can't go wrong with an 870. I'm sending gun and extra barrels to Mac for his "Tuff Gun" finish which includes some honing of internals/chamber for $195.00 - here is link
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I've got two 870 Express's, GOOD shotgun's, the guys that have the Mossberg's seem to like them just fine too.
For waterfowl keep it well lubed!
 

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I'm curious about barrel and stock finishes.

Specifically, do they really matter and affect anything (other than the price)?

I'm hoping to use this purchase as a dependable work horse out in the field as I start to bird hunt, but would also like for it to last for many years.

Does the finish really matter or affect performance or durability on shotguns, or are the many different options mainly marketing?

Thanks for your help!


Of course the finish matters, as a better finish will effect durability, cosmetically and mechanically, by deterring external rust & stock damage for a longer time, given proper application & maintainence.





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Discussion Starter #5
Of course the finish matters, as a better finish will effect durability, cosmetically and mechanically, by deterring external rust & stock damage for a longer time, given proper application & maintainence.

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Thanks for the replies everyone, there's some great information in here! To clarify, I'm curious if there is much/any difference between the quality of finishes offered by the manufacturers.

For example, looking at the Mossberg 500 All Purpose, is there a significant difference in durability between the blue finish, matte blue, and the mossy oak? The reason I ask is I like the classic look of the high polish and wood stock, but since I'm concerned with durability and will be using this is wetlands, is it significantly more practical to get a synthetic stock and different finish? Or, is the difference only marginal between finish options?

Excuse my ignorance, and thanks again everyone!

Cheers,
TexShot
View My Gun Collection @ texshooter's Equipment Board | Equipboard
 

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870 vs 500

I have owed both, and both are fine shotguns either way you look at it. My 500 had a standard finish and the 870 has the mate finish. I have noticed that the mate finish does not show wear from handling as soon as the standard finish does, hence, it looks new longer. The 870 is now 15 years old and the finish has just started to show signs of wear in the normal areas that show it first, like where it is carried all the time. By the time I used the 500 for that long the finish was showing ware badly! I think the deference lies in the fact that the mate finish is actually rough, or you could say pitted, and that is why it holds the blue longer with out rubbing off from normal ware. It is my opinion that mate is more durable, but I also think one has to pay just a bit more attention to the finish as far as drying goes, as it could also hold moisture longer in those tiny pits.

That's my opinion anyway! I also think mate would be better if you think you may hunt geese or turkeys with the same gun in the future..
 

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There are some virtually indestructible finishes out there. The fact is, though that keeping a rag and a bit of gun oil handy -- and using them frequently for quick wipe-downs -- can go a long, long way towards keeping even a hard-used blued gun looking good.
 

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.

JMO, but I look at different finishes as different hunting applications - like the use of a matte finish on (say) a waterfowl gun, where any bird-alerting shine/glare is better avoided.

I happen to hunt with fancy/HiGrade guns, and AFAIK, no game has ever seemed to notice the finish before I shot them. . :D




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The Remington 870 is without question a better gun than the Mossberg--but it costs more, justifiably so. Buy a Remington Wingmaster 870 and you'll never regret it. Buy a Remington Express 870 and you eventually will want to up grade and wish that you had just gotten the Wingmaster in the first place.
 

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The Remington 870 is better than a Mossberg but the 870 Express is not as good, in my opinion.

I remember when even cheap shotguns from Mossberg had beautifully finished stocks. Now when you find wood stocks they're usually low quality matte finish. Considering that, to me at least, a shotgun is a tool, I don't mind terribly but I do really miss seeing guns that were works of art.
 

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The Remington 870 Wingmaster and the Express are identical mechanically. The difference, the only difference, is the finish, both on the metal and the wood, and the quality/type of wood. That finish costs a lot to accomplish. The right person can take an Express and convert it, at least visually, to look the same as a Wingmaster, at a significant cost. It would not be an economically sound project, because for the time expenditure, he could sell the Express and buy a Wingmaster and be money ahead, but because they are mechanically identical, it can be done. When parts are ordered for either a Wingmaster or an Express, if they do not involve the exterior finish, they are the same parts, same part numbers. So, an Express is just as good as a Wingmaster, because they are the same, but the visual appearance is vastly different. I suppose that because the Wingmaster has mahogony and the Express birch, one could say it's not quite as good, but we're still talking cosmetics. Mechanically they are equal--the same. Even the Express models with plastic stocks are mechanically identical with regard to the metal. I could be mistaken, but I don't recall Mossberg ever making a 500 that approaches the Wingmaster in finish. The Express was brought out to compete with the Mossberg 500 type shotgun, but it's ancestery, i.e. the Wingmaster, and because it wasn't a "new" gun, allowed Remington to produce a basically equally priced shotgun of higher quality mechanically. All that said, there really is nothing wrong with a Mossberg 500, they are a fine gun--but it simply is not up to snuff with an 870.
 

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"The Remington 870 is without question a better gun than the Mossberg"

You left something out, "In my opinion"
 

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No, I didn't leave it out. I've been in this business a lot of years, enough that I think I can make a pretty educated accessment. I have absolutely nothing against a Mossberg 500, but it simply is not the mechanical equivalent of a Remington 870.

20 years? Barely broken in! One that I have is 53 years old--I bought it new. Still shoots the same as it did in 1959.
 

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I have one of each. Both are over 20 years old. Both have been hunted and both are still in great shape.
I clean my shot guns after every hunt. I wipe them down with oil and dry them with a soft cloth before I put them away . Pick which ever is your favorite and treat it like your baby.
 

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I bought a stevens mod 77e new in 1961 and a rem 1100 auto new in 1965 I hated the finish on them especially the rems really shiny varnish so cut them both back with sandpaper (took the pressed in checkering off the remy) and polished them then oil finished them, this was in the 70s the wood still looks great but the bluing is patchy but they still both go bang and cycle well. Don't use the stevens now as I have arthritis in my left shoulder so can't pump it to good.
I'd say the rem is the one that lasts best as my stevens didn't get much use after I bought the rem.
 

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I just love the reply's about the guns. "both are 20 years old, hunted with and are still in great shape".

Sure any gun will be in great shape if it is hunted with, why not try 20 years on the trap, skeet, or sporting clays ranges. I would think after use as a target gun, it should be well worn in or in some cases parts falling out!

I don't think some brands/models of shotguns can take that kind of use.
 

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Good point. Mossberg doesn't make the 500 in a trap model, and I don't ever recall seeing one used in regular competition (and I did shoot ATA for a good many years). On the other hand, the 870 does come in a trap model--exactly the same gun, different stock is all. I won't say that it's popular on the trap line, but you definately see them. I've seen several, and I mean used regularly. That generally means about 200 rounds per weekend in competition, minimum, plus lots of practice shooting. They stand up to the punishment. I won't go so far as to say that a Mossberg won't stand up to it, but it is notable that they aren't seen on the competition line. It's not just that there isn't a competition type stock; that could be easily addressed. There must be something else. That old 870 I bought in 1959? I shot a lot of rounds of trap with it until I got serious enough to buy a dedicated OU trap gun. I'm talking hundreds of rounds. The first couple of years I competed, I used it. I even shot a few rounds of doubles with it. It wasn't an ideal trap gun, but it never failed (or fell apart).
 

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The Remington 870 Wingmaster and the Express are identical mechanically. The difference, the only difference, is the finish, both on the metal and the wood, and the quality/type of wood. That finish costs a lot to accomplish. The right person can take an Express and convert it, at least visually, to look the same as a Wingmaster, at a significant cost. It would not be an economically sound project, because for the time expenditure, he could sell the Express and buy a Wingmaster and be money ahead, but because they are mechanically identical, it can be done. When parts are ordered for either a Wingmaster or an Express, if they do not involve the exterior finish, they are the same parts, same part numbers. So, an Express is just as good as a Wingmaster, because they are the same, but the visual appearance is vastly different. I suppose that because the Wingmaster has mahogony and the Express birch, one could say it's not quite as good, but we're still talking cosmetics. Mechanically they are equal--the same. Even the Express models with plastic stocks are mechanically identical with regard to the metal. I could be mistaken, but I don't recall Mossberg ever making a 500 that approaches the Wingmaster in finish. The Express was brought out to compete with the Mossberg 500 type shotgun, but it's ancestery, i.e. the Wingmaster, and because it wasn't a "new" gun, allowed Remington to produce a basically equally priced shotgun of higher quality mechanically. All that said, there really is nothing wrong with a Mossberg 500, they are a fine gun--but it simply is not up to snuff with an 870.
There's a little more difference between the Rem. model 870 Wingmaster and the 870 Express besides the wood and metal bluing finish. They are the same design but the final fit and polish of the internal parts on the 870 Wingmaster is of higher quality standards than the 870 Express (notice price differences between the two). There's very few complaints about cheap ammo sticking in the chamber of the model 870 Wingmaster like there are with the Express. The Wingmaster's have a much smoother action than the Express as well when both come N.I.B. The Express parts and chamber can be polished to get a Wingmaster smooth action or lots & lots of use to the Express will smooth it up. Remington built the Express to a price point and those cost saving measures weren't left at the wood and metal bluing finish. Not to sound argumentative but anyone that buys a model 870 Express thinking they are getting model 870 Wingmaster quality is only going to get fooled.
 
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