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Difference Between Mossberg 500 and 590: Comparison Guide

Difference Between Mossberg 500 and 590

Shotguns have never been a boring topic. Many people focus on seeking the right shotgun that’ll fit their needs.

To support you in finding the best one, we recommend Mossberg, one of the most popular shotguns on the market. Mostly, we will provide detailed information about two specific models of Mossberg, which are the 500 and 590, along with the differences between them as well.

Both products are based on the same basic concept designed by Carl Benson, and they always are improved to satisfy the user’s needs.

The unique thing is that they share the same primary receiver and action.

However, Mossberg’s series still has a lot of distinguishing points such as bore size, stock, magazine, forearm materials, barrel length, and choke options, so 500 and 590 have big differences. 

Mossberg 500 vs. 590 Comparison Video


Mossberg 500

Mossberg 500

Mossberg 500 is a Pump-action shotgun that can shoot 12 gauge ammunition. With six rounds in maximum capacity, this gun can hold more than the same caliber’s average shotguns.

Mainly, you will get it at an affordable price being less than the average 12 gauge shotgun.

It is also relatively light, weighing about 7.25 lbs, which is lighter compared to other shotguns.

With the barrel’s length being about 24 inches and the overall length approximately 44.25 inches, it’s similar to other 12-gauge shotguns.

After many innovations, the Mossberg 500 has proven to be one of the most versatile and excellent shotgun platforms.

It offers a model to suit different applications and all kinds of customers. People from households, law agencies, and even the military use it.

It comes with a lot of useful features such as a dual extractor, easy-to-field strip, a ribbed vent barrel with twin bead sights, an ambidextrous top-mounted safety, steel-to-steel bolt lock-up, and dual-action bars.

It is one of the rugged and reliable shotguns you can get.

Mossberg 590

Mossberg 590

This model is a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. It accommodates 3 inches in two and three quarter and shells.

Besides that, it has a full-length magazine tube. When loaded with two and three-quarter-inch shells, the magazine will hold eight in the firearm. It has a chamber that fits a total of 9 shells.

When loaded in 3 inches, the magazine can hold seven. It also has a heavy wall barrel.

This variant comes with full features such as Dole extractors wherein the receiver is drilled and tapped for mounting rail or optics. It has safety settings that are intuitive when you push the weapon and get ready to fire.

Moreover, it has a bayonet log for mounting in the M9 bayonet.

This model is sold in a variety of variations so that you can have a lot of options. It is effortless to clean and maintain by spraying the inside of the receiver as well. As for cleaning, the barrel is very easy to remove.

Differences Between the Mossberg 500 and 590

Magazine Tube Design

This is probably the most significant differentiating factor between 500 and 590 that you should consider carefully.

The magazines of the model 500 are closed at the muzzle end. It’s held in place by bolting into the threaded hole at the endpoint of the magazine tube.

However, the 590’s magazine is designed to be opened at the muzzle end. Besides, the barrels fit around the magazine tube and are held on by the cap nut at the endpoint.

The 590 magazine’s parts are easy to clean and remove, as removing the nut allows the removal of magazine spring and followers.


Safety and Trigger

Both of the shotguns have polymer trigger guards, safety, and standard barrels. The 590 has bayonet lugs and ghost ring sights, while the 500 doesn’t though.

Also, the 590 features a thicker barrel, steel safety, and steel trigger guard. At the same time, the 500 has a plastic trigger and plastic safety switch. Thus, it seems that the 590 will be more durable than the 500.

Riot Gun Versions of the Pistol Grip

The Mossberg 500 is available in 18-inch and 20-inch barrels, depending on the magazine capacity you want. There are also other options with the 500 model.

Meanwhile, the 590 is only available in a 20-inch barrel variant and flush fit magazine tube.

Purpose of Use

The 500 model is heavy-duty for home defense, police duty, and security work. It usually has a 28 barrel and wood stock. It can hold five rounds in the magazine tube plus a chamber.

However, the 590 is more suitable for the military or hunting in harsh conditions. It has composite stocks and holds eight rounds in its magazine tube.


The costs of both aren’t too different. You should put your concern on the quality and purpose more, instead of price. Though just note that the 590 model does have a slightly higher price than the 500.


Mossberg 590 and 500

We suppose that each one has different strong and weak points. If you wonder if what will be right for you, we think you should consider your needs first and then make your choice.

We hope you’ll now get to buy your best shotgun after reading about the difference between Mossberg 500 and 590!



September 27, 2021 - Updated article images
September 13, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.