The question of which shotgun to choose for home defense is an age old question. It cannot really be answered. There is no right or wrong answer. All I can do is clearly explain why I choose the Mossberg pump shotguns for home defense and let you decide if it makes sense to you?
So here are some of the reasons why I like Mossberg pump action shotguns vs Remingtons
Mossbergs have dual extractors vs a single extractor. In this case 2 is better than one. When you have a sticky shell or a weak casing lip on a single extractor shotgun, the brass lip of the shell can bend or rip and the shell will not extract and the gun will experience a double feed since the shell is still in the chamber. With dual extractors its basic physics. If one fails, there is a back up. In the world of self defense, back ups are always welcomed.
Mossbergs have a non-spring loaded shell elevator vs Remingtons spring loaded shell elevator. When you load a Mossberg, the shell elevator retracts up and out of the way of the load gate and chamber giving the shooter a wide open space to load shells into the magazine tube. There is nothing to cause any issues when loading.
When loading a Remington shotgun, it has a spring loaded shell elevator. You have to push the shell elevator down with the shell you are trying to load, and shove the shell into the mag tube and pull your thumb out while the shell elevator is pushing against your thumb the whole time.
With practice this is a non issue but when loaded under stress or adrenaline your fine motor skills are diminished and inserting a shell into the mag can get sloppy. If you get too sloppy the spring loaded shell elevator can snag the tip of your thumb and pinch you, causing pain. Or scrape off some skin and cause pain and bleeding.
If you are wearing gloves the material of your glove can get snagged in between the shell elevator and the receiver and leave you vulnerable if you are in a fight for your life and now you have to deal with a trapped hand.
Also, if you ever get sloppy and drop a shell into a Mossberg receiver when loading (assuming the gun is flipped upside down with the load gate facing up), the shell will hopefully fall inside the load gate. All you have to do is push it into the magazine if it didn’t fall on the ground.
If you get sloppy loading a Remington with its spring loaded shell elevator, the shell will bounce off the elevator and fall to the ground every single time.
Mossberg “tang” safeties are ambidextrous. Since the Mossberg safety button is located on the top rear section of the receiver and not forward or rear of the trigger, this makes it easy for a shooter to transition from left to right sided shooting and still have easy access to the safety without releasing their master firing grip.
This feature also allows for example, a right handed shooter can hand off his weapon to a left handed shooter with very little confusion or discomfort or muscle memory issues between both shooters since both shooters have equal advantage to the same safety.
On a Remington shotgun (and many other shotguns for that matter) the safety button is a cross bolt design located behind the trigger and it has to be pushed in from right to left. This is fine for a righty but kind of awkward for a lefty. A lefty has to either use their right hand to disengage the safety or release their master shooting grip and reach under the trigger guard with their left hand and push the safety button from right to left.
Also with the Mossberg’s tang safety, the shooter can clearly see the safety button condition without moving his head of the shooting position. All he has to do is glance down and he will either see a red dot (red your dead) or a white dot.
With a Remington you have to move your head off to the side so you can see if the safety button is pushed in on the right side or you see red on the left side.
Note: Mossbergs aren’t perfect. The down side with the Mossberg’s tang safety is that it is not ergonomically friendly when you attach a pistol grip buttstock. A pistol grip will force the shooter to completely remove his hand from the pistol grip to reach the tang safety on the top of the gun. With a standard rifle type buttstock the shooters thumb is already gripping over the tang area which is why tang safeties are so fast on standard buttstocks.
Mossbergs have aluminum receivers with black anodize finish or parkerized finish. Aluminum is lighter than steel. Is it better? Yes no maybe so. Most like to argue that steel is stronger than aluminum but if thats the case then maybe we shouldn’t use aluminum on jet landing gear? Or maybe we shouldn’t use aluminum on F1 racing engine blocks or suspension parts that are subjected to constant heat and pressure. The M16/M4 uses a an aluminum receiver and it has been working just fine in combat for over 40+ years now. I think its clear aluminum receivers are just as good as steel if not better in many cases.
Mossberg has been the choice of the United Sates Marine Corps for 40+ years. Its the only pump shotgun to pass the military qualification tests for combat service as far as I know.
Are Mossbergs better than a Remington? No absolutely not. I love Remingtons. I have a Remington Police Magnum at my disposal at work. I’d trust my life to a Remington any day.
I have owned Remington shotguns and they served me flawlessly. Their fit and finish is very refined compared to Mossbergs but because of the features mentioned in this article, I simply prefer Mossbergs for self defense.
That is my personal choice and I in no way am claiming my choice is the best choice for all shooters.
I suggest that any shooter take the time to learn what features they want, need and desire before they make a decision on what pump shotgun they should chose for home defense. Many people blindly buy shotguns based on what is popular vs what is needed for the job.