I like the mossberg 500 my dad own one and both of my brothers own one,i probably would if i didnt already have an 835.no experience with the tikkas but from what i have heard they are a superb firearm
I've got a 500 slug gun for hunting in MD. I love it, have taken several deer with it. I do understand the "flimsy" comment made. I thought the same thing when I bought it. I have two 870's and they do feel more solid, but I've never had a problem with the 500.
I have both mossberg 500 and a 870 express. IMO they are very close to the same. The Remington just costs more. If your were to buy the 870 Wingmaster that changes everything. Entirely different gun IMO.
Tikka used to make a quality gun. I'm not sure if anything has changed or not, but if not they should still be pretty good.
Mossbergs are cheap and are fine for everyday hunting, but they are pretty cheesy quality wise. I have one Mossberg 500C and the only saving grace for it is that it is 20 gauge instead of 12 gauge. We had lots of Mossberg 500's and 835's come though the shop and both had problems right out of the box. Older 12 gauge 500's simply couldn't stand up to repeated high brass or magnum loads. The most notable feature of the Mossberg 500 12 gauges was that the aluminum receiver and slide rails would have a lot of wear, burrs, and just plain gouges. This doesn't appear near as often in most of the shotguns with steel receivers.
If you need a shotgun to just hunt everyday and shoot no more than 20-30 shots per year, Mossbergs will probably hold up well. If you are heavy into small game hunting and shoot a lot more shots, I would spend extra money and buy a 870 Wingmaster. Mossberg's Smaller gauges seem to hold up well though.
Of course, this is just my opinion on seeing a lot of Mossbergs come into the shop.
I have a mossberg 835 and have no problems with it the only way i can see someone saying it's flimsy is that my forarm wobbles just a little bit other than that it cycles anything.I've owned mine for 8 years now and have never completely broken it down and cleaned it and it just keeps pumpin shells the most i've done is take the barrel off.