Happy to weigh in here. As I actually own the Mossy 500 (Actually the mil-590A - but that platform has been redesigned into the new 500 series). I
absolutely love it! There is so much aftermarket furniture that it is crazy! I agree with an earlier poster who suggested dropping the "Chainsaw"
forend - it is a problematic pain in the keister! Replace instead with a Knoxx Spec-ops stock and Hogue forend and grip enhancer. You won't be
sorry. The Knoxx actually reduces recoil by over 70% - which is nice when you're firing 3" magnum slugs!
What's nice about the shotty (I also own a Rmington 870 - more on that in a minute) is the versatility. From slugs to triple and double buck to
small game and bird shot, this gun does many, many things in a single platform. The important thing to keep in mind is that the Mossberg 500 is an
assault-style shotty with an 18.5" barrel. So it is ideal for home defense, breaching doors, urban tactical etc... You can hunt with it, but you
won't have the range of traditional shotguns.
The Remington 870 can be modified with many different barrels for different purposes; large game slug barrel, chokes, long barrel for birding etc...
BUT... good luck modifying back into tactical defense. You'll find the 870 is a heavier platform too. I believe both manufacturers make a fine
firearm and don't participate in the Mossberg versus Remington debate. I own both for different reasons! Also, keep in mind, the US military issues
the Mossberg mil 590A for field use.
Onto the AR platform. I had a Ruger mini-14 for years - GREAT varmint rifle! It only chanbered .223 though and couldn't handle NATO 5.56mm rounds.
I wanted soemthing more tactical, so I sold it. Afte researching for a year, I settled on the Sig Sauer 556. Loved it! Too pricey though at $1,600
and could never get comfortable with the balance. I'm a HUGE Sig fan as I won several of their handguns; P229, P239 and P2200. As a result, I
traded that out and ultimately wnet with the Sig m400 OD Green. I am in complete love with this platform!!!
It easily eats through the cheapest .223 OR 5.56 ammo! It comes complete with Magpul original equipment. Although polymer, it is a new variety that
is multiple times more stable and impact resistent than some traditional polymer furniture. I have had this in extreme heat and extreme cold and have
not experienced any problems with the furniture - no chips, cracking, shattering etc. The options for the AR platform are also endless.
You can buy a new SIg M400 for under $1,000 - usually on sale somehwere in the $900 range - so very close to your budget. In my opinion - you can't
Now, let me explain WHY I have a shotty AND an AR... because they serve two completely different purposes. The shotty is for close range - well
under 100 yards. The AR is for over 100 yards. In fact, with the EOTech 3X scope, I've been keeping consistent 2" clusters out to 500 yards!
So, what you need to decide first is WHY do you need this gun? Versatility can be found in a shotty. the AR, on the other hand, is a ranged rifle
good for shooting at people and small game. Unless you're an expert marksman, you are not dropping a bear or a moose with an AR! That said, you're
not too likely to keep a 100 yard permiter from marauders with a shotty either. So, what are your needs? THEN select a type of gun and caliber.
Then determine HOW you'll use it and research the weapon's performance in that area. Finally, dress it up the way that makes you comfortable.
Avoid furnishing the platform with flashy tactical nonsense (like chainsaw forends:@@
- this simply advertises that you're a novice, not a
Feel free to u2u me if you have any questions.