I received a new toy a few days ago, a Mossberg 12-gauge, shotgun.
The shotgun is a model 930 semi-auto with a seven-round, extended magazine that, with one 2-3/4-inch shell in the chamber gives it an eight-round capacity. You can also chamber three-inch shells, but the capacity is reduced to seven rounds.
The barrel is 18.5 inches long and appears to be cylinder bore. It is not threaded for choke tubes. The metal work has a matte black finish, and it has a black, synthetic pistol grip buttstock and a conventional fore end, also black synthetic.
It’s not what you might call “extreme” tactical—no folding buttstock; no pistol grips, front or rear; no tactical, rifle-type sights. The receiver IS drilled and tapped for scope bases, so you could add a red dot or holographic sight, if you wanted to.
The point is that “deese ain’t no steenkin’ bird gun!” (with apologies to whatever group of malcontents I just offended).
Having said that, this gun is obviously designed for one purpose—to propel nine to twelve small lead spheres with sufficient velocity to disrupt the immediate intentions and lifestyle of one or more surly, aggressive, and/or menacing predators (four- or two-legged).
I suppose you COULD take it bird hunting, but to be legal, you’d need to fashion a dowel rod to plug the extended magazine to limit it to two shells (with a third one in the chamber). Mossberg supplies such a magazine plug for their “sporting” shotgun models, but not for this one. You had also better hope the birds flush close, because this cylinder bore barrel ain’t designed for tight patterns.
A semi-auto such as the model 930 suits me better than any pump-action shotgun because of a severe disability that results from my deprived, but misspent childhood and teen years.
You see, I never fired a pump gun until I was an adult. I merrily shot double guns (and single shots), revolvers, semi-auto pistols, bolt-action rifles and lever guns—but no pump guns.
So, what? you might say.
Well the truth is, I inevitably forget to shuck the damn thing after the first shot. Believe me, I have tried to learn this new trick, but this old dog seemingly ain’t teachable.
Therefore, whenever someone extols the virtues of a classic Model 12 or the old reliable 870 Remington, I just smile, nod wisely and keep my mouth shut.
But back to the point of this text.
A while back, I wrote a Department of Defense column for the print version of TF&G that touted my Mossberg 500E .410 pump gun as a good home defense tool (obviously, for anyone but me—see above).
A 109-grain, rifled slug at more than 1,700 feet per second is a persuasive argument in midnight altercations. Still, when you want to send the very best, a double-aught load (or rifled slug) from a 12-gauge beats whatever comes in second by a country mile.
So, it’s time to spend a few hours at the ol’ shootin’ range with this new toy to see what it can do in my hands.
You might not forgive me for the following not very original, but heartfelt and true statement: It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Story by Stan Skinner