Mossberg 930 – The Auto-Loader Breakdown [Review]


You know what’s more fun than a pump-action shotgun? An auto-loader like the Mossberg 930 that can fire in semi-automatic. If you’re in the market for a new auto-loader the 930 may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Here’s our no non-sense review of the Mossberg 930 from O.F. Mossberg & Sons.

Why Purchase a Mossberg Auto-Loader?

Auto-loading shotguns come in a variety of different brands. With just about every major firearms company making one, why should you go with Mossberg instead of someone like Benelli, Stoeger, Remington, or Browning? Each of these companies has a fantastic auto-loading shotgun brand.

Many of those brands also sport impressive resumes attached to those brands, so why Mossberg instead of one of them? The major attraction for many boils down to the price of entry.

Lucky for most, Mossberg just happens to specialize in making more gun for less money. It has been the company’s primary philosophy since their inception over a century ago. They build firearms for the working man, that the working man can easily fit into his budget. Don’t believe us? Check out some of the prices for yourself below, and if that’s not enough you can check out our overall review of Mossberg shotguns here.

Meet the Mossberg 930

Mossberg 930 Introduction

Mossberg’s auto-loader comes in a variety of different styles. There are four initial styles of 930 that you can choose from, Hunting, Tactical, JM Pro-Series, and and Pro-Series Sporting. Within each of these styles, there is a number of variations that allow the end user to ensure they are choosing the specific shotgun for their needs.

Within the hunting category, there are 12 different variations of shotgun. All of these sport a maximum load of 4+1 with the only exception being model number 85123 Snow Bird which boasts a hefty 12+1. There are six different variations within the Tactical category, most having a 7+1 capacity with the Thunder Ranch and Field/Security versions being 4+1 in capacity. Inside of the JM Pro-Series style of Mossberg 930. there are three separate variants these all have a 9+1 capacity, with the exception of the shorter model number 85119 being 8+1. Finally, the Pro-Series Sporting model consists of only one variation having a 4+1 capacity.

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In total, there are 20 different versions of the Mossberg 930 for you to choose from. Each model has it’s own specific design with a specific task in mind. Mossberg has gone out of their way on this shotgun to ensure that there is a tailor-built auto-loader for just about every purpose you could think of.

Features of the Mossberg 930

Mossberg 930 Features

Compared to their competition, the Mossberg 930 has a ton of value for features at this price. The weapon itself is a gas-operated auto-loader that has an ambidextrous tang safety. While some people complain about this style of safety, it’s easy enough to get used to when given some time on the range.

In order to reduce felt recoil on the weapon system, a dual-gas vent system is used. This, when combined with the recoil pad on the stock of the Mossberg 930, makes it pretty easy for even inexperienced shooters to get into the groove of shooting it. On top of this, the average weight of the 930 is right around 8 pounds, which also helps make the gun feel buttery smooth when fired.

It’s also worth noting that if stock adjustments are something you think you will need, you should go with a 930 that has a synthetic stock. Mossberg has included an adjustable drop at comb with stock drop spacer system on each model with a synthetic stock. Each 930 comes with a variety of shims, and the adjustment process is quite simple. This allows the end-user to get a perfect or near perfect fit with every weapon.

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Here are the basic specifications of the Mossberg 930 Combo Field/Security.

Gauge 12 Capacity 4+1 Chamber 3″ Barrel Type Vent Rib Barrel Length 28″, 18.5″ Sight/Base Bead Choke Accu-Set LOP Type Fixed LOP 13.875″ Barrel Finish Blued Stock Finish Synthetic (Black) Weight 7.5 Length 48.5″

If you’re not sold on the ambi-safety, here’s a video from Student of the Gun on how to properly manipulate it.

Mossberg 930 Hunting vs Mossberg 930 Tactical

Mossberg 930 Tactical vs Hunting

If you’re just entering the market for an auto-loader, this is a question you have to ask yourself. Why am I buying this shotgun? If you already have an answer for this question, then chances are you can skip right by this section. If you’re unsure of what you might need your shotgun for, then this is for you. We’ve pulled two videos from different reviewers. Hickok45 covers the Mossberg 930 SPX, which is a tactical variant, and TwangNBang covers down on the Mossberg 930 Turkey. Have a look at these two videos to help you decide between which version you need.

Tactical Mossberg 930 – SPX.

Hunting Mossberg 930 – Turkey

Mossberg 930 on the Range

First and foremost, this weapon shoots like an absolute dream. The dual-gas vent and considerable recoil pad we mentioned earlier reduces the recoil of this weapon by a ton. Because of this, we were able to run round after round through the firearm for quite some time without having too much of the usual issues that come from shooting shotguns all day. The action on the weapon was also silky smooth straight out of the box, and for the duration of the day we spent shooting the gun we had almost no issues.

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I say almost, because the one problem we did encounter was mostly a U-S-E-R error on our end. We found that if we didn’t take the extra second to ensure the rounds were really packed into the magazine, we would have an issue where the weapon would fail to feed properly. This would then cause a considerable amount of issues where the shooter would have to spend a few moments fingering the round to get it out of the receiver. This was easily fixed just by fully ensuring that the round was seated properly in the 930’s magazine.

For the cost, this gun ran like an absolute dream on all types of ammunition that we fed it.

Mossberg 930 On The Range

Final Verdict on the Mossberg 930

Let’s be real for a minute. If anyone, anywhere, was looking for an auto-loading shotgun for either home-defense or sport shooting, I would recommend this firearm regardless of their budget. While there are certainly higher budget items on the market that can fill this role, the Mossberg 930 does it to a very high standard at a fraction of the price. The shotgun also comes from a great manufacturer that has a great reputation across the firearms industry, and you’re getting a great product that was made in America.

That’s just our opinion however. We know a lot of people prefer other auto-loaders, but we also know many members of the Full30 community rock the 930 as their auto-loader of choice. Let us know down in the comments section what your thoughts are on the Mossberg 930. Was it the right auto-loader for you, or did you end up going with a different option?

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>