This paper presents novel very large scale integration (VLSI) architectures in support of an efficient implementation of Leighton's well-known Columnsort. The designs take advantage of reconfigurable bus architectures enhanced with simple shift switches. Our first main contribution is to show that Columnsort can be partitioned into two components: a hardware scheme involving the task of sorting arrays of small size and a hardware or software scheme that involves simple data movement tasks. Our second main contribution is to demonstrate that the dynamically reconfigurable mesh architecture can be exploited to obtain a small and efficient hardware sorter. The resulting architectures feature high regularity of circuitry, simplicity of control structure, and adaptability. Both theoretical analyses and simulation tests have shown that the proposed VLSI architectures for sorting are superior to existing designs in the context of sorting small and moderate size arrays.