Differences Between Mossberg 500 vs Mossberg 590 Shotgun

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Mossberg 500 vs Mossberg 590

Mossberg is an excellent shotgun brand with impressive and durable products. The Mossberg 500 vs 590 are the two with the highest performance among the most popular versions of this brand.

Both are optimal options for tight budgets. However, each shotgun is well-suited for various purposes with different balances and ballistic explosions.

So, which one suits you best? Which version is superior overall? Let me compare a bunch of other factors between these two to find the final answer.

About Mossberg 500 vs 590

Mossberg 500 Overview 

Mossberg 500
Mossberg 500

The Mossberg 500 is a highly mobile shotgun developed and distributed by Mossberg Corporation since 1961.

Over 60 years of continuous improvement, Mossberg 500 has gained many more advanced functions than the early versions.

The Mossberg 500 was initially mainly for hunting needs. But the high flexibility has enabled this gun model to meet many other purposes. It can be handled perfectly in security, sports, and even the military.

Mossberg 590 Overview 

Mossberg 590
Mossberg 590

During the development process, there were many variations of the Mossberg 500. And Mossberg 590 is one of them.

This product’s structure and safety are almost identical to the Mossberg 500. That’s why the 590 version inherits nearly all of the advantages of the original gun model.

Besides the similarities, Mossberg has also improved the quality of the 590. Accordingly, the barrel and magazine are two completely different parts with high mobility and durability.

Mossberg 500 vs Mossberg 590 Specification Comparison

Specification Mossberg 500 Mossberg 590
Action Pump-action Pump-action
Gauge 12, 20, 410 12, 20
Capacity Varies (typically 5+1 to 8+1) Varies (typically 5+1 to 9+1)
Barrel Length 18.5 inches to 28 inches 18.5 inches to 20 inches
Overall Length Varies Varies
Weight Varies Varies
Choke System Accu-Choke (some models may vary) Accu-Choke (some models may vary)
Receiver Material Aluminum or Steel Aluminum or Steel
Stock Synthetic, Wood, or Pistol Grip Synthetic, Wood, or Pistol Grip
Sight Options Bead front sight (some models with sights) Bead front sight or Ghost Ring sight options
Safety Ambidextrous safety Ambidextrous safety
Magazine Tube Tubular magazine Tubular magazine
LOP (Length of Pull) Varies Varies

Mossberg 500 vs 590: In-Depth Comparison

The Mossberg 500 and 590 come out of the same mold and are similar in many technological details. However, there are still noticeable differences between the two products in many different aspects.

Here are the differences that directly affect the performance and characteristics of both. Let’s check it out!

Magazine tube design

Both have pretty different tubes. In the 500 models, the manufacturer uses the threaded end mechanism of the closed muzzle. When we manipulate, the threads will move and act on the nut, locking the barrel.

Meanwhile, Mossberg 590 has some additional mechanics, such as an open ending and the ability to stretch.

This addition will help maximize magazine performance on the gun. The flexibility of this version has been greatly improved thanks to the above changes.

The 590 also has additional lugs to attach other bayonets to the gun. Having more bayonets will give our guns more protection at close range or melee.

The winner: Mossberg 590


The safety support mechanism on both Mossberg 500 vs 590 is similar. So, it would not be easy to find differences in this aspect. Even the risk of structural fracture of the material of the two samples is the same.

The reason may be that they both come from the same pattern. And the parameters of weight, size and case safety are pretty uniform.

The Winner: Draw


Both can be available for various purposes, including hunting. But the performance that each brings is different.

Mossberg 500 is the perfect choice for us to use in the hunt. The long barrel design and high adjustability make it more maneuverable and precise. To attack continuously moving targets, you cannot ignore the above factors.

In contrast, the 590 version has a shorter barrel length and is more difficult to adjust. These two factors make Mossberg 590 a significant barrier to hunting. You will have to aim more and constantly align to hit dynamic targets.

The winner: Mossberg 500


Compared to the 590, the 500 is much longer and smoother in hand. Its gun barrel size is also smaller than 590, 0.855, and 0.930, respectively.

Although longer, the barrel structure on the Mossberg 500 is much lighter than the 590. The Mossberg 590 is also ready to mount bayonets with the included lugs on the barrel, which is much more convenient and efficient.

The winner: Mossberg 500


The purpose of using
The purpose of using

The Mossberg 500 is not only used for hunting but also an excellent choice for participating in sports activities.

Good aiming ability, low recoil, and stable projectile are essentials for sports guns. In fact, this shotgun has enough capacity to meet all of our needs above.

In another respect, the Mossberg 590 will be more suitable for security and military operations.

This product can produce a large amount of damage in low-distance conditions with high accuracy. Large-scale suppressions or targets such as defense will also be able to use the 590.

As such, each version is suitable for different purposes. So, think carefully to get the most out of each one under the ideal conditions.


Shotgun is inherently a high recoil type; of course, the Mossberg 500 and 590 are no exception. However, if both products are available simultaneously, the 590 has a much greater recoil than the 500 version.

The shorter neck on the Mossberg 590 is the cause of this annoying recoil.

The longer this part is, the longer the impulse generated will have to travel and dissipate less. Yet, the 590 has a short neck, so it can’t reduce the rebound force.

Meanwhile, the neck of the Mossberg 500 is more extended and slimmer.

This difference allows the gun body to absorb more of the passing impulse. As a result, recoil is actually reduced quite a bit.

The winner: Mossberg 500


Shotgun generations like the Mossberg 500 and 590 are not too picky about ammo. You can use any style like 12 or 20-gauge for both of these products.

However, the Mossberg 590 carries 8 rounds more payload than 500. In return, the magazine on the Mossberg 500 is much more effective than its opponent.

The speed and firing distance of both these guns are not too different.

The winner: Mossberg 590

Quick Rundown For Mossberg 500 and 590

Mossberg 500
Mossberg 590

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable use
  • Less recoil
  • Not picky about ammo
  • Fully functional safety
  • Suitable for hunting and sports
  • More accurate at long range
  • Damage is not too high
  • Less ammo round
  • Great damage
  • Can install bayonet
  • Fully functional safety
  • Short fuselage to optimize ballistics
  • Compatible with a wide range of ammunition
  • Suitable for combat and defense purposes
  • Heavy background
  • High recoil

Mossberg 500 vs 590: Which One Is Better?

Through the detailed comparisons above, each version has its strengths. However, I still lean towards the Mossberg 500 with its explosive performance.

You should consider your preferences and needs before making a choice. If you need a gun for hunting or sports purposes, the Mossberg 500 is the best choice.

Meanwhile, Mossberg 590 is the proper name for the attack and defense.


Are the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590 barrels interchangeable?

Yes, in most cases, barrels between the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590 are interchangeable as long as they are of the same gauge. However, it’s essential to ensure that the barrel you intend to use is compatible with your specific shotgun model.

Can I use the Mossberg 500 or 590 for home defense?

Yes, both the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590 are popular choices for home defense due to their reliability and ease of use. Many models of these shotguns come with shorter barrels and tactical features, making them well-suited for close-quarters defensive situations.

Do the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590 have ghost ring sights?

Some Mossberg 590 models come with ghost ring sights, which are designed to offer faster target acquisition and enhanced accuracy. The Mossberg 500 typically comes with a bead front sight, though certain variants may include other sighting options.

Which shotgun is better for hunting, the Mossberg 500 or Mossberg 590?

The Mossberg 500 is generally considered more suitable for hunting due to its wider range of gauge options and barrel lengths, which allow for greater versatility in various hunting scenarios.

Is the Mossberg 590 suitable for law enforcement and military use?

Yes, the Mossberg 590 is commonly used by law enforcement and military personnel due to its durable construction, tactical features, and reliability. It has been proven to perform well in various demanding situations.

Can I customize my Mossberg 500 or Mossberg 590?

Yes, both shotguns have a wide range of aftermarket accessories and customization options available. You can modify them with different stocks, forends, sights, magazine tube extensions, and more to suit your specific preferences and needs.

What is the typical magazine capacity for the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590?

The magazine capacity for both shotguns can vary depending on the specific model and configuration. Generally, they offer magazine capacities ranging from 5+1 to 9+1 rounds.

Are there youth models available for the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590?

Yes, Mossberg offers youth models for both the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590, which have shorter stocks and barrels to better fit younger or smaller shooters.

Are there differences in safety features between the Mossberg 500 and Mossberg 590?

Both shotguns come with an ambidextrous safety located on the receiver, ensuring easy and safe operation for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. The safety design is generally similar between the two models.


Mossberg 500 vs 590 are both great products. However, these gun models only promote their entire performance with appropriate uses.

Hopefully, this article will help you clearly distinguish the strengths of each and choose the most suitable version.

If you still have any questions, you can leave a comment or contact us directly by email to receive the most timely responses. Thanks for reading!

Last Updated on October 28, 2023 by

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