Perhaps the newest rival to the Benelli M4, the Mossberg 930 is a byproduct of Thunder Ranch and Clint Smith, a gun community icon internationally. Let’s see how it lives up to the hype.
Like any shotgun outside of Hollywood, the 930 requires proper aiming to be effective, especially at 15 yards or less. Why? Shotgun birdshot or buckshot will all stay in a torso-sized cluster at 10-15 yards, and therefore without true aiming, you’re likely to have no effect.
That said, the Mossberg 930 compares exceptionally well to the Benelli M4 accuracy wise even out past 25 yards. I loved the groupings I got with the 930, and the surprisingly mild recoil helped contribute to superb speed reacquiring the target itself. Even during rapid fire the 930 groupings were nearly identical, a testament to its excellent crafting!
The 930 excels in the reliability department, there’s no question about that. Despite firing all day during rain and wind, I experienced not one reliability issue with this shotgun. The lack of exposed parts on this shotgun help contribute to keeping mud, water, and general dirt out which does contribute to its status as a “tactical” shotgun.
Holding only five rounds, the 930’s extreme reliability is one of its biggest selling points, as you need to guarantee it will fire each time you pull the trigger. Using simpler and fewer parts, it makes the probability of a misfire or feeding issues far more unlikely.
The general design of the 930 makes it very comfortable to shoot, even with longer arms. The well-distributed recoil also means that the shotgun is easy to aim and doesn’t brutalize your shoulder. The semi-auto function is also extremely smooth, not feeling choppy or hastily produced which makes the 930’s performance even better.
Handling during reloading was the only slight negative I encountered, primarily due to tactical reloads not being effective, and more traditional, underside cradle reloads being easier. This does require a bit more effort on the user’s part which can be intimidating to those inexperienced with shotguns.
Coming in at 5 pounds pull, the trigger on the Mossberg 930 is relatively normal for a shotgun. However, with the aftermarket trigger kit from Mossberg, this can be reduced to 3.5 pounds pull which is unheard of for a shotgun. What makes this a good trait is it allows those with weaker hands or unfamiliarity with a shotgun to more effectively use the 930 in a self-defense incident.
Overall, the stock trigger is great and aftermarket triggers make this a smooth shotgun to fire. Clint Smith and Mossberg made this gun to have a solid yet easy trigger, and it certainly does deliver!
Magazine and Reloading
Holding 5 shells, the 930 is comparable to the civilian model of the Benelli M4; and is therefore standard capacity for a semi-auto shotgun. The only downside to this is that five shells can disappear extremely quickly because of the 930’s semi-auto action.
Like most shotguns, the 930 is not easy to tactically reload. This is why I recommended earlier that a traditional underside reload will be far more expedient. I was able to reload in a little under 10 seconds using this method, giving you an enormous advantage especially when being used for home-defense!
Length and Weight
Coming in between 37-48.5 inches in length depending on model, the 930 is relatively compact for a shotgun, making it excellent for CQC. I found it very easy to maneuver around and through doorways, narrow hallways, and closed-in environments in general.
With a weight of 7.5 pounds, the Mossberg 930 is lighter than other shotguns like the Mossberg Maverick 88, but also lighter than most modern rifles as well! This light weight design makes it easy to quickly grab, and also to ruck with for long distances.
The 930 has relatively average recoil for a shotgun, but it feels lighter than it actually is. The distribution truly makes it feel good on the shoulder, which by nature contributes to improved accuracy and shooter comfortability. I loved firing this weapon, and even after hours, it didn’t fatigue my shoulder! In my experience, this makes it excellent for home defense as well, given that most in the household would be able to handle the weapon easily.
Running at around $799, the 930 is excellently priced for anyone who wants a Benelli M4 without paying $2,000. Aftermarket parts are also surprisingly inexpensive for this shotgun, allowing you to upgrade the firearm with optics, new triggers, etc.
There is arguably no other shotgun on the market as modern and as affordable as the 930. It is built to be the working man’s semi-auto shotgun, and it no doubt lives up to it!
Combining amazing pricing, reliability, accuracy, and modernity; this shotgun is one you need to own. There is no major detractor to the 930, something you can’t often say about any firearm in this price range. It will get beat to hell, go through wind and rain, and still function perfectly like a shotgun should. The Mossberg 930 will not disappoint!
Richard Douglas is a long time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field. Columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications.