View Full Version : Mossberg 500 vs Mossberg 835

10-19-2007, 06:54 PM

I am looking at the Mossberg 12/20's, and I am wondering what you all recommend.. what are the advantages/disadvantages of these 2 models? What is different? Mossberg 500 12/20 vs Mossberg 835 12/20 anyone have experience with both guns? Or do you have other recommendations for a decent shotgun?


10-19-2007, 09:02 PM
My trusty bird gun is an 835. Love it. (Also willing to sell it...see buy/sell forum). Haven't hunted with the 500, mainly cause mine wouldn't do me much good in the field with pistol grips and an 18.5" barrel.

10-19-2007, 11:33 PM
Or do you have other recommendations for a decent shotgun?

Benelli Nova! Great gun for around $300, I love mine!:2thumbsup:

10-20-2007, 01:36 PM
Both are junk

10-21-2007, 03:17 PM
The primary difference between the 835 and the 500 is going to be the ability handle 3 1/2 inch shells and the over bored barrel in the 835. It comes close to being 10 gauge dimensions (while it is NOT a 10 Ga equiv) and that piece is primarily to compliment the use of 3.5" shells.
The 500 is minus both of these features, but the 535 which came out in the past two years or so I believe adds the ability to handle 3 1/2 shells.
The answer really depends on what you want to use it for. I have no complaints with my 835 and I know plenty of people who have been using 500s trouble free for many years.
There are always naysayers - trouble is all they will tell you is "they suck" - ignore it and figure it out on your own. Hope this gets you pointed in the right direction.

10-21-2007, 04:31 PM
I have no problem with Mossberg 500's. I have had a few and one I shot thousands and thousands of rounds through it with no trouble at all.

The Mossberg 835 is a waste of money over the 500 and I'll tell you why I think so.

To be cramming loads that are 10 ga. size plus, down a 12 ga barrel, even given that the 535 barrel is "overbored" is an exercize in ballistic futility.

In America, with think more is always better, but when it comes to shotgun loads, there is a limit.

I don't think there would be much advantage over 3" loads in shooting the 3.5" loads. Yes, they are heavier loads, but they are also loads I believe to be extremely ineffecient for waterfowl because they are being crammed down a 12 ga. hole and through a very tight choke.

If they were packing more powder into those magnum loads over the 3" load, that's one thing, but generally, they are packing in heavier shot loads and there's generally no advantage in that for shooting waterfowl.

If you really test ANY shotgun shooting 3.5 inch loads, especially witha supertight choke, you are likely to find a really long shot string downrange. I think that's true with 3" loads. 3.5" loads just make the problem worse. You think you are putting more shot on target for waterfowl, but all you are buying is additional recoil because the back of you load is getting there quite a behind the front of your load. Shooting a shotgun at a moving target is all about getting as much of your shotload on target at the same time as possible as much as it is pattern.

Plus, to boot, that load out of a 3.5 " shell is moving slower than a load from a 3" shell to start with in many loads.

There may be some advantage, patternwise to shooting at stationary turkeys with a 3.5 inch shell, but in reality, how much more dead do they need to be than what a 2.75" shell properly aimed at the right distance can accomplish?

Also, the 535 has to have a receiver and chamber that are each .5 each longer, making your gun 1 inch longer overall and that much heavier even before you cram it full of shells.

If you want to shoot a 10 gauge, buy a 10 gauge. The patterns will be better and the gun will be heavy enough to asborb some recoil for you.

Europen shooters shoot 12 ga. shells that are 2" and 2.5" inches long holding less than an ounce of shot. Why?... because ballistically, for optimum pattern efficiency, your shot charge should ideally be as only as wide as it is long. Think that over in your head a moment. They hardly didn't know what a 2.75" inch shell was over there until folks started making shotguns over here.

If your shot column is longer, the choke area of the length of the barrel at the end of it has to be longer as well. The choke has to be as least as long as the shot charge. The longer the choke area, the less effective a pattern it throws. You've got to get the back end of the shot charge choked and out the barrel as closely behind the front of the shot charge as possible for optimum patterns. The heavier and therefore, longer, the shot charge, the harder this is to accomplish.

Why to do you think many of those super-chokes for turkey and waterfowl stick out of the barrel an inch or more? To give you long enough choke area to try and control the shotload as it exits the barrel, that's why.

Even a 2.75" inch shells shades the shot charge having equal length to width ratio a bit. A 3" shot charge is way over that and a 3.5 inch load is getting on to twice as long as it is wide coming down the barrel.

In my opinion, a 12 ga. gun of any make with a 3.5 in chamber is a waste of money. They were designed to get guys to buy new guns and shoot shells that are worse ballistically, in many cases than a 3" shell, which is already inferior to the 2.75" shell, ballistically.

Find yourself a nice, used 500 if your choice is really between that and a 535.

10-21-2007, 04:46 PM
Having owned 4 Mossberg shotguns (500, 835, and 88 "Maverick" in 12 ga, and a .410 500 as well) I can tell you that they're all very sturdy and reliable guns, or that's been my experience anyway.

fowl fever
10-21-2007, 05:47 PM
I have an 835 that is 12yrs old and have never had any problems with it. Great gun.

Ty S
10-21-2007, 07:15 PM
buy a Benelli Nova and be done with it forever.

10-22-2007, 06:47 PM
I've got a 500 with a slugster smooth-bore barrel, chambered for up to 3 inch. Got it from my grandfather so I know that it have been around for quite a while. The only thing I have had done to it is to have the safety fixed, it was missing a catch that caused it to slide back and forth effortlessly. Even though it is an open bored scatter gun, it works fine for me for quail and pheasant, up to 20 yds. Not your reach out and touch someone lead slinger, but it gets the job done, and it is nice and light easy to swing.



10-22-2007, 07:56 PM
whisker is right on the money . i have a 28" ported barrel on my 835 the thing is huge . way more power with the 3.5" . i am not a sky buster.......but i have droped some really high birds with those loads .

the only problem i have had in ten years ....tube spring went bad . $10 later and i was back in bizz .

10-22-2007, 08:23 PM
Hence, the patternmaster. :eusa_shifty: