We took two classic pump guns and beat the snot out them to determine which is tougher: the Mossberg 500 or the Remington 870. Check out our Battle of the Boat Paddles.
Both shotguns were dropped from 3 feet into a clay-mud hole with the action open. They stayed submerged for one minute, and the process was repeated three times. Afterward, each shotgun was rinsed out, loaded, and shot. Both accepted shells with no problem. The Mossberg’s slide became considerably more gritty than the Remington’s, but both were up to the task. Upon firing, the Remington’s trigger stuck initially, but then it worked without flaw.
Winner: The 500, because it functioned slightly better than the 870.
Ever drop something out of your treestand? Us too. So after the mud bath, we dropped the shotguns from three different heights to not only test their impact resistance, but also to drive more gritty residue into the actions. We launched the shotguns from 5, 10, and then 15 feet above the ground, stock first, with the action open. Much to our chagrin, this test was anticlimactic, as each gun took the drops without issue and both guns fired flawlessly afterward.
Winner: Tie. Both shotguns can survive crash landings.
Surely it doesn’t happen often, but someone out there has run over a shotgun with a truck after leaving it propped against the tailgate. So, we placed the shotguns on the ground, action up, and drove a Jeep Wrangler over the synthetic stocks twice, then over the receiver area twice. Beyond muddy tire tracks, the guns were no worse for wear. Each was fired three times after the drive-over and performed without a problem.
Winner: Again, we declared a tie as both guns took being run over in stride.
We attached the guns to the bumper of the Wrangler and dragged them at 5 mph for 100 yards up and down a muddy, gravel road.
Both guns suffered severe road rash and had pea gravel, twigs, and mud wedged into the action and between the barrel and slide. Neither gun could be immediately cycled, but once all visible obstructions were picked free, the guns loaded, cycled, and shot without failure.
Winner: The Remington won this round because it suffered less visible damage than the Mossberg.
Being up a creek without a paddle sucks. But with either of these guns you can make it back home. We used each to paddle a sit-inside kayak 100 yards. The guns were surprisingly effective at moving the little boat.
After the row, we put 100 rounds through each gun, again without issue. If anything, they performed better because the water washed away debris from earlier tests.
Winner: Because the Mossberg is lighter than the 870, it is better suited for long paddles and edges out the Remington this round.
OVERALL WINNER: Since both guns survived, we could easily call it a tie. But we hate the “everyone is a winner, so give little Johnny a trophy just for showing up” attitude. A champion shall be declared. We crown the Mossberg the King of the Boat Paddles because it is, in fact, the better boat paddle. That said, either of these guns will go to hell and back and keep on shooting.