Mossberg 930 Pro-Series Sporting Shotgun
Mossberg continues to expand their successful and affordable 930 series shotgun line, this time in a sporting clays version designed with the help of Vicki and Gil Ash. Mossberg has added some refinements to this new Model 930, including:
"Boron nitride coated gas piston, piston rings, magazine tube, hammer and sear prevents corrosion, and facilitates cleaning. The shell stop, bolt slide and elevator receive additional finishing to reduce friction for faster follow-up shots."
Along with upgraded internal finishing and coating, the Mossberg 930 features a Cerakote finished receiver, a beveled loading gate, a wide rib, light-pipe front sights (thankfully no center bead), three Briley extended choke tubes and special attention paid to the stock design.
The tested example weighs 7 pounds, 15 ounces with a trigger that breaks, after initial take-up, at 4 pounds 14 ounces. The stock has stippling, as opposed to cut checkering. For whatever mysterious reason, the 28 inch barrel has ports. The utility grade walnut is straight grain, with little figure. The butt stock is fitted with a decent, one inch, non-vented, rubber recoil pad.
The 930 Sporting weighs about the same as the 930 walnut hunting model I tested in 2011 and also the 930 Duck Commander Pro reviewed in 2015. The boron nitride coatings are also featured on the DC Pro model. One niggle that I have is the retention of the drilled and tapped receiver, ostensibly for adding optics, which does not make sense on a clays gun. Not only does it not make sense, the front two filler screws reside slightly elevated from the receiver, making them a distraction, albeit a minor one.
Although the safety is not important for clays use, the tang safety on the 930 Sporting is smoother and easier to operate than on the DC Pro version, which is a good thing. The Mossberg 930 models are invariably a very good value, running in the area of $520 for a walnut field, $600 or so for a basic camo Duck Commander model and somewhere around $800 for this Sporting model. The upgraded extended choke tubes, extra finishing, internal coatings, expanded adjustment range and the Cerakote receiver easily justify this.
Gil Ash writes:
"This stock out of the box fits right and left-handed shooters from 5 foot 4 inches to 6 foot plus and they were all amazed at how well it performed. This is the first gun on the market that has drop shims that allows for a true flat shooting gun, as well as a gun that shoots high for trap. All other guns in the market today can be adjusted to shoot as many as 3-4 patterns high, but cannot be adjusted to shoot flat. Also, you will find the dimensions more like 1-1/2 inch drop at comb to 2-1/2 inch drop at heel with a thinner comb."
That's a lot to digest there from Gil Ash, comments that I have tried to translate from his native tongue. There is a lot of adjustment available with the 930 Sporting and there is a bottle of nine Hi-Viz light-pipes included. Also included is a trial subscription to Gil and Vicki's "Knowledge Vault" collection of instructional videos and articles.
Gil has often made the comment that many imported shotguns come with too much comb for American shooters, meaning too wide and fat of a comb. I certainly agree and have had the oral surgery for removal of scar tissue to prove it. One of the reasons you see rubber cheek pieces on shotguns is an attempt to alleviate face slap and face abrasion, something not necessary with a stock that fits.
The Mossberg 930 Sporting will not fit all shooters perfectly, no shotgun does, but it does fit most shooters. There are a couple of limitations, for shims can only change the angle the butt stock protrudes from the receiver and there is nothing included to change the stock length. If needed, you will need to grind a pad, add spacers, the usual. However, out of the box, it is an easy gun to swing and shoot, which is about all that can be hoped for in a relatively economical, mass-produced gun.
The chokes supplied are Skeet, Improved Cylinder and Modified. Although Gil Ash is a proponent of Modified choke for sporting clays, the lack of a .035 inch Full choke tube is a minor oversight, as Gil mentions the 930 can easily be set up for trap.
At the moment, the 930 Sporting comes solely with a 28 inch barrel. As the 930 is a fairly slow, smooth, stable gun to shoot, the 28 inch barrel is a good choice. More barrel length would make this gun a bit too muzzle heavy.
The Mossberg family takes pride in their ability to offer affordable, yet durable firearms. The made in the USA Mossberg is a lot of shotgun for the money. Most anyone can have a lot of fun with the 930. Regardless of the model, it is a gas-operated eight pound gun, a sure-fire prescription for a pleasant gun to shoot. The walnut field was pleasant to shoot, as was the non-ported Duck Commander Pro-Series version. Quite unsurprisingly, this 930 Sporting is also a soft shooter.
To be an all-around gun, this 930 Sporting needs just a couple of tweaks. The barrel porting needs to go, as does the drilled and tapped receiver. The addition of a Full choke tube would make it usable for all typical clay target games, right out of the box.
Despite the aforementioned niggles, the 930 Sporting is a pleasant, reliable gun to shoot and quite easy to use. It is smooth and stable enough to be used for all clay shooting sports, easy on the wallet and the shoulder alike. The Mossberg family is quite proud of being able to provide affordable, durable firearms to the American consumer and the 930 Sporting is a good example of this.
To be sure, the 930 series are not ultra-light, nimble hunting guns. They are not mountain quail or a grouse guns and an eight pound shotgun is heavier than I prefer for chasing wild pheasants.
However, as an all-around clays gun it is a good platform and there is no reason why this gun cannot be enjoyed on the dove field, or even the duck blind. It has a three inch chamber, so using common 1-1/4 ounce steel loads poses no problem.
The Mossberg 930 Pro-Series Sporting is fun gun and a very good value. It has enough adjustability to suit most shooters. Easy to load, easy to point and easy on the wallet are a good combination.
Copyright 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.