Gun Review: Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical Shotgun

A shotgun makes such a thoroughly awesome home defense weapon. I learned the full truth of that statement during my first defensive shotgun course. My love and respect for my Remington 870 and Mossberg 590 pump guns grew, but there were a couple of students using way cool tactical auto-loaders . . . Although I tried not to let it show, I suffered from a bad case of scattergun envy.  For years afterward I looked for a suitable semi-auto defensive shotgun. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend roughly twice to three times what I’d paid for a good pump action shotgun. Turns out I just was waiting for Mossberg to release the 930 SPX (for Special Purpose) Tactical shotgun . . .

The Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical has an aluminum receiver, a tactically sound 18.5” steel barrel, an extended magazine tube and a tough but lightweight synthetic stock. The gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun is a direct descendant of the excellent Mossberg 930 hunting guns. The shared self-regulating gas operating system reduces recoil and eases stress on its components by venting whatever excess gas isn’t required to cycle the action.

The system uses two gas ports in the barrel to power a piston that surrounds the magazine tube under the barrel. The set-up gives the Mossberg a bit of a chunky for-end (to accommodate the moving parts), but nothing that looks out of place. The 930 SPX functions smoothly and reliably without a gas seal ring. An added bonus: the 930 SPX also field strips without a lot of drama.

The 930 SPX is an ergonomic delight: surprisingly light, well balanced and eminently maneuverable. The controls are well-placed. There’s a tang-mounted ambidextrous safety, a bolt release on the right side of the receiver (just beneath the ejection port), a charging handle on the right side of the action, and a cocking indicator just inside the front of the trigger guard. To unload the shotgun, push on the bolt release enough to release the shell carrier, push it up and depress the release completely to unload the next shell in the magazine. Repeat until the gun is empty.

According to factory specs, the trigger on the 930 SPX should break at precisely five pounds of pressure. It feels a lot lighter. Not exactly think-a-dirty-thought-and-it-goes-off lighter. More like what an novice shooter firing a tuned 1911 for the first time might encounter. With a bit of practice, the trigger becomes easy to manage, but you’ve been warned.

The 930 SPX’s adjustable LPA ghost ring sights give the shooter a fast, precise sight picture, making it ideal for close quarters defensive work involving multiple targets at close range. Some shooters may opt to swap out the fiber optic front sight for a tritium front sight, but if you use a tactical flashlight, you’ll have all the ambient light you’ll need to both identify your target and to see your front sight clearly in low light conditions.

Some shotgun purists will turn their noses up at anything but a bead on the end of a shotgun barrel. But when you’re dealing with a tactical shotgun, a certain degree of precision is essential. This is especially true when bringing slugs into play. And the 930 SPX showed more than adequate accuracy when we put those slugs on paper at 40 yards shooting offhand.

When we tested it on paper with 00 buckshot, the Mossberg’s cylinder bore produced respectably tight patterns that kept all the pellets on the target at 15 yards, which would be considered a long shot in a home defense situation. Look at the amount of holes made by just two rounds of Winchester 00 buck (one of them a magnum) and you’ll quickly understand why the tactical shotgun is considered such a formidable trump card in life-threatening encounters.

With either six or seven rounds of whoop-ass in the magazine (depending upon whether you’re using 2.75” or 3” shells) + 1 in the chamber, the 930 SPX is a highly effective problem-solver from contact distance to the practical limits of the load you’re using.  Sadly the 2.5” 12-gauge mini-loads just don’t provide enough oomph to cycle the action.

The best way to get a sense of the 930 SPX capability: convert some money into noise with a few rapid fire strings. The Mossie ate ‘em up and spat out the empties like a champ, even with a mix of high brass hunting loads, low brass target loads and some buckshot and slugs mixed in. Even when taking the time to use aimed fire, it’s easy to put an impressive amount of lead downrange in a very short time.

I fired over 400 rounds through this shotgun without complaint. The only caveat: like most guns, reliable cycling requires regular cleaning.

Lest you think that the SPX 930 is all business and no pleasure, general plinking and blasting are a great way to kill some time, and the ghost ring sights are no handicap when it comes to smoking clay pigeons in flight.

From a recoil reduction standpoint, the Mossberg’s gas operating system works beautifully. As someone who grew up with pump guns, the autoloading 930 SPX’s recoil impulse was notable by its relative absence. With low brass target & hunting loads, it’s a positively gentle kicker. The 930 SPX doesn’t start to really thump the shooter until 3” mag buckshot or slugs come into play. Sorry, but there’s no getting around Newton’s third law of motion once you start slinging large chunks of lead.

When I first received the Mossberg, I discovered a tiny amount of play in the front of the Picatinny rail. Upon closer examination I discovered that two of the four screws that secure it to the top of the receiver were over-torqued at the factory and stripped out. It’s a common problem with some of the earlier 930 SPX tactical models, since corrected.  My gunsmith tapped the forward two holes for slightly larger screws and then milled out a tiny bit of the rail to accommodate the bigger screws. A touch of blue loc-tite and the rail has been as solid as Mother Theresa’s credentials ever since.

My only other gripe with the 930 SPX: the lack of accommodation for a sling swivel loop on either the fore end or the magazine tube. The butt stock has an attachment for a sling swivel, but an aftermarket remedy like a Wilson Combat mag tube plate is required for the forward sling mount.

There are better-made, more accurate  tactical shotguns than the Mossberg 930 SPX—for about twice the price. But the Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical is a safe choice and its own gun: a genuine ass-kicker whose lower recoil encourages regular practice. For $600, the 930 SPX could save both your life and your money.

Specifications:

Caliber: 12 gauge (2.75” and 3”)
Barrel: 18.5” Cylinder bore
Sights: Fiber optic front, ghost ring rear
Finish: Matte black
Overall Length: 39”
Overall Weight: 7.5 lbs
Action: Gas-operated, semi-automatic
Capacity: 7+1 (with 2.75” shells) 6+1 (with 3” shells)
Cost: $600

RATINGS (out of five)

STYLE * * * *

It’s a bit spartan, yet plenty intimidating for a defensive shotgun

ERGONOMICS * * * * *

It handles, points and shoots extremely well. Those sexy LPA sights are what really make this shotgun pop.

RELIABILITY * * * *

It it has fed & fired everything I’ve thrown at it, but if you let it get dirty enough, it will have difficulty extracting & ejecting the empties. As you’d expect.

CUSTOMIZE THIS * * * * *

A sling and a flashlight are the only things missing.  You could add optics, but why?

OVERALL RATING * * * *1/2

A terrific entry-level semi-automatic defensive shotgun for the price of a good pump.

77 Responses to Gun Review: Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical Shotgun

  1. avatarJohn Boch says:

    A pretty glowing review.

    My 930SPX came with a great front sight blade that was glued on in a canted fashion. I called Mossberg and they were good enough to assure me they would have a replacement sent to me in 7-10 days.

    Two follow-up phone calls and ten weeks later, I had my replacement barrel.

    Regrettably, I must say the accuracy isn’t MOA but at least it’s Minute of Pie Plate.

    The reliability is poor, despite frequent cleaning and good lubrication. I usually am treated to a malfunction every other mag load or so. Hence why it’s in the back of my safe instead of under the bed.

    John

    • avatarCK Smith says:

      I bought this shotgun brand new about 2 yrs. ago. First thing I did was field strip and clean it, then off to the range. If you don’t field strip and clean then don’t complain about the function of the weapon. This thing performed flawlessly, even with low recoil rounds. My buddy’s 1100 remington tac-4 has significant difficulty feeding the low recoil rounds reliably. I have to say, it’s an excellent value – the price for what you get cannot be beat.

  2. avatarMike says:

    My front sight was canted also. Terrible customer service. It took 4 hours on the phone and 8 calls to get a new barrel.

  3. avatarJesseB. says:

    Put an inexpensive but releiable 30mm Red Dot on it (e.g., BSA) and I'll GUARANTEE – Prob's solved … for good!

  4. avatarm j czekanski says:

    Wher do I get a heat shield and pistol grip butt stock for my mossberg 930. I believe a remington 870vertical sling mount will work for the front sling attachment. Also, is there a tactical front stock out there that will bling up my gun?
    Mike Cz.

  5. avatartroy says:

    my spx would not fire at all the firing pin left no marks on the primer and,looking at the bolt you could barely see the firing pin .any suggestions out there

    • avatartroy says:

      Should have bought a Remington,my 930 SPX would not even fire, no firing pin marks on the primers and I tried this 6 times to no avail.Iam so glad this happened here than over in the war zone.I could not even see the firing pin at all . Sickening and I will get a lame excuse from the Company or worse yet be blamed for firing right from the box.

      • avatartroy hart says:

        I had the same issue if you just send the gun back they will fix it ASAP. I know this sounds like a pain in the rear but you will not be disappointed they were very fast on turn around time,I forget the exact problem and almost chunked the gun in the dumpster until common sense took over.Just send your gun in and they will fix the problem(I believe they put the wrong firing pin in,good luck.Mine shoots like a top now

  6. avatartroy says:

    Should have bought a Remington,my gun would not even fire the firing pin left no marks on the primers at all ,and I tried 6shells so much for the vaunted 930 spx.And I used to like Mossberg, no more will I be brainwashed over touched up and worked over videos

    • avatar811B says:

      TROY:

      There is a firing pin float spring that if lost or not assembled with it or whatever (if it’s missing) – the firing pin wont make it to the primer as it’s short so no slamming of the gun on the ground will make it fire. The firing pin is not long enough to reach – so that spring helps give momentum to the hammer-strike. Look for it: it’s often painted. The bolt and bolt carrier are two units. Take them apart & you’ll see the firing pin. It must have that spring around the firing pin. If it’s missing, the momentum will rarely be enough to fire the weapon. On an SKS they have the same setup BUT on an SKS the pin is long enough to reach the primer. That’s a setup for a slam-fire. But if the pin is perhaps a millimeter short, the hammer will given enough force to drive it out to hit the primer with no danger of a slam-fire or an impact-fire. The spring helps with kinetic energy. This is one reason why a Ruger revolver doesn’t use a S&W-type hammer-firing pin and Smith uses a “Impact plate safety mechanism” attached to the trigger; so you HAVE to pull the trigger to make the fixed hammer-firing pin long enough to reach the primer (same concept as the Series 80 1911).

  7. avatarmike says:

    I’ve got the 930 field /security and it sucks from day ONE. IT JAMS, It doesn’t feed/eject and now after getting it back a second time it does not fire! It’s gone back twice to Mossberg and they are converting it to a 930 tactical model 85336 as I type this. Should have it in about a week. I can only hope it works. So far I’m very dissappointed.

  8. avatarPeach says:

    I got a new 930 SPX. Loaded some Winchester promotional loads straight out of the box. There were no problems. Federal tactical loads functioned great.

  9. avatarRoss says:

    Just purchased a NIB Mossberg 930 SPX. Ran a 100 pack of Federal #8 bird (low power) ammo through it with 2 failures in the first 10 shots and zero after that. It feeds and extracts everything I FIRE through it, but does seem to inconsistently extract shells that are manually cycled for some reason.

    As a comment on other posts here: If you run the gun straight out of the box without cleaning it first, you’re an idiot and you know nothing about guns. Stop complaining about reliability. Mossberg tends to pack their guns in a ridiculous amount of cosmoline. Heat + cosmoline = yellowish goo that stops guns from cycling. Of course your pump worked “right out of the box.” You can always muscle a pump into working through the cosmoline you should have cleaned off.

    • avatarkrakenbound says:

      Ditto.
      Lots of dirty oil on my 930 when new. An hour of cleaning resulted in hours of 100% reliablity so far! I love this shotgun and am glad I traded in my 590 for it.

      FYI: Factory Pistol Grip stocks can be purchased from Choate, Side Saddles are now available from TacStar, and front and rear sling attachments are now available from Mesa Tactical. Anyone know where alternate fiber sight colors can be found?

    • avatarRoss says:

      Update:
      After running approximately 400 rounds+ through my 930 SPX, the manual cycling has become consistent. Cycling while firing remains great (ran 200 rounds through the gun without cleaning or lubrication and it ran flawlessly). It would seem that the break-in period for this gun is about the same as most semi-autos (500+). If you’re expecting perfection out of the box without getting your pretty little fingers dirty, buy a Benelli for 3x as much and quit complaining.

  10. avatarJimi says:

    Would be nice if they offered the 930 in a 20″ barrel for 8+1 (or more)..

  11. avatarmvacdp says:

    I picked up my SPX Sat. Stripped and cleaned it. Went out Sun. and ran a box of 1290 fps through it no problems. Ran a box of 1200 fps through. No problems. Then a mix of full power and low recoil slugs and buck shot. No problems. I was nailing a half gallon milk jug at 50 yds with the slugs. I’m really impressed with this gun.

  12. avatarEddie says:

    I bought my 930 SPX took it home disassembled and cleaned it, easy to do. If you’re unfamiliar with shotguns the instructions are pretty simple and utube has plenty of videos on how to take care of it.
    Fired bird shot, double 00 and slugs no problems, awesome and fun, also did a couple of rapid fires with no problems. Choate has a nice pistol grip stock for it.

  13. avatarBen says:

    I have a 930 Home Security and turned it into a “SPX” by buying a mag tube extention, the ghost ring rear sight, and the barrel with the hiviz front sight from Mossberg for less than 260.00. In my area the SPX has been sold out and on back order, the ones that were in stock was marked up 200.00 to 799.99. I placed 100 rds though her without a problem 1300 fps #8 short brass and 1600 fps slugs.

  14. avatarBarry says:

    Whew! I was considering this shotgun for purchase. The first comments worried me.
    Then when cleaned before use it seems to run just fine. I always clean my NIB firearms
    before use. Actually all fireamrs before use if they have been stored for a month or
    so. Since I own AR-15/M-4s through cleaning is normal. I think I’ll get this shotgun.

  15. avatarMatt says:

    I picked up my 930 yesterday after a 6 month wait. Mine was pretty packed with cosmoline as well, so it got a good strip/clean/lube this morning before heading to the range. I ran 50 rounds of federal target loads (1200fps), 15 rounds of Remington Magnum 3″ 00Buck, and 10 Winchester rifled slugs. I also ran some bird and magnum turkey loads that I had around for a while. No failures with anything…the gun ran like a champ. After I got it zeroed, I was able to put 3 slugs center of mass in a baseball sized group at 50yds rested. I have no complaints about the guns abilities.
    My front sight was slightly off as well. 5 seconds with a large screwdriver fixed that. It just needed a little bend to the right and it’s perfect now. My only complaint with the gun is not being threaded for a choke. I didn’t buy the gun to hunt with, but it would be nice to choke it down if I ever needed to. The barrel looks thick enough to have a gunsmith tap it, so that should solve that problem.
    I give the gun a 9.5 out of 10. Nice review BTW.

    • avatarBen Eli says:

      You can buy barrels from Mossberg for the 930 that are made for hunting. I didn’t look into them, but I am sure you can attach chokes. May be cheaper than having a smith carve into your gun. Whenever you want to shoot trap or hunt you could switch out the barrels.

  16. avatarKampfwagen says:

    I got mine back in 2009. Great gun for the money. I got it at the PX so I paid only $490 for it. I cleaned it and took it to the range. Ran 200 rounds of bulk pack federal through it (#7.5 or 8 shot IIRC) with only a few malfs. I attribute it to being new. The next time I took it out I only had one malf, and that was because of firing it from the hip without a shoulder to cycle against. After that it’s been smooth sailing.

    I’m not going to say I like it better than my 870s, but It is a very slick little trooper once you work out the kinks. Since the break-in, I can’t remember any malfs.

  17. avatarBuuurr says:

    I ran mine without cleaning or any adjustments right out of the box. I went through roughly 600 shells before my first malfunction. It was a failure to eject. A quick spray and wipe with some break-free and it hasn’t malfunctioned since.

  18. avatarkeith says:

    from box to range, without cleaning first . not once, not twice, but three times before I cleaned her. not a single promblem. Even did some rapid firing with it ghost loaded and she performed flawlessly.

  19. avatarBill says:

    I feel bad for the guys who have had problems, seems like alot of friday guns were built. Mine was a machine out of the box. chews up everything from bird to buck. at least 700 rounds in the past year. Put a a choate pistol grip stock on it. My only complaint (its minor) is the LOP strings me out just a bit.

  20. avatarRod says:

    I just picked up my Mossberg 930 SPX this past weekend at a local Gunshow in Dallas. I have wanted one for months. I have originally wanted a Benelli M4. I just did not want to drop $1,600 on a shotgun. The alternative was a Mossberg 930 SPX which has had mostly great reviews. I already have several pump Mossberg 500As & a Franchi Spas 12 pump/auto (mostly Collectible). I needed an auto loading home defense/SHTF shotgun to go with my AKs & ARs. Took it out today for a run. I shot 2 3/4 & 3″ 00 Buck, Slugs, & 6 & 7 1/2 Birdshot (Winchester). It ate everything. I mixed it up some between loads. I had 3 (of 15) of the 7 1/2 birdshot shells that extracted fine, but the open end of the shell caught (at the very end of the open shell) coming out of the ejection port. It was probably due to the low pressure birdshot 7 1/2s because the same thing occurred on my Franchi Spas 12 (shot it as well to compare). Also could not rapid fire at this range, only double tap. It ate everything else after that flawlessly. The 930 SPX loves (runs great) Federal/Remington 2 3/4 00 Buck. I need to find a range to open her up with some rapid firing to quickly dump the tube! This is my new go to weapon!!!!

  21. avatarJon says:

    I have the “Blackwater” 930 and i have to say all of the negitive ive seen on the SPX was solved in this varient,YES cleaning is needed,but i expect this!But I use mine vry near the AZ mexico border and not once has it left me in the lurch,with that said,it’s very dry here and that is a plus for those of us who are lazy cleaners,BUT as soon as the monsoons rolled in and the humidity went up so did my cleaning,(duhh)
    I would like a mag option!!!!As feeding 2 or 3 at a time takes practice(which i have the time in my job)but a mag option would make this great!!!(but im just lazy)that and with a mag option I could carry extra shot with out looking like the “frito Bandito”.

  22. avatarBen B. says:

    I have a 930 Field display gun I just picked up for $360 from a shop, added a 24″ unported barrel from Mossberg and Nordic mag extension to make a 3-gun shottie. It has run perfectlly with slugs, buck, birdshot, low brass or mags, about 200 rds so far.

  23. avatarDino Isola says:

    Only 125 rounds then the SHTF. Failures (FTE/FTE), AND a broken firing pin – WTF? In process of getting rid of this POS. I did not think it was going to rival my M1 Super 90 Benelli but did think it would be as good as my 1100 Tactical 4 . . . NO WAY!

  24. avatarRandall Hurd says:

    I bought the 930 Spx brand new, I shot it right out of the box and had a jam. Took it home cleaned it up and knocked off the cosmoline then took it back to the range. It shot a little stiff with a fully loaded Mag the first time. Then it loosened up a little. Took a break for about minutes then started shooting again. I went through two hundred round without a hitch. I’ve been shooting 15 or 20 times since then and never missed a beat. It turns out that this one beats the crap out of the 3 1/2 mag autoloader that I had before this one.

  25. avatarLt. Gary says:

    I just pulled my new 930 spx out of the box… Very impressed with looks except for one thing… The sights are not what was pictured and talked about on every site I searched.. It did not come with the adjustable rear sites or the glowing front sites. Just plain ole ghost sights….. Not what I want, but I do like the pistol grib.. Very stable in balance…

  26. avatarBob B. says:

    No reply but a question- Does/has 930SPX come without pistolgrip stock as
    shown in videos this site ?

  27. avatarBob B. says:

    Not a comment but a question – does/has 930 SPX come without pistolgrip stock as shown in video ?

  28. avatarBob B. says:

    Comment/question- has/does 930 SPX come without pistol grip stock (no pistol grip on video) ?

  29. avatarChris says:

    Yes it comes without the pistol grip. There are also options with a pistol grip, but depending on your state (mines CT) you may be restricted to not having a pistol grip when mag capacity is above 5rds

  30. Can the barrel be swapped out easily with a rifled barrel. Thanks :)

  31. avatarEric H says:

    I tried a Blackwater version of the 930 and it worked well.I also run a Benelli tactical M2 which of these two autoloaders I prefer.I have to say if it came down to crunch time though my Rem 870 Tac is the one I will grab every single time.Nothing I have owned is as reliable as the 870.And I can honestly say I am just about as fast with the 870.But for fun I love shooting the autoloaders..Mossberg and the folks at Blackwater did pretty well building a shotgun for around the $700.00 mark..

  32. avatarTony says:

    I recently purchased 930 spx , I had to try this weapon. I bought the Black water version , cleaned it and took her for a spin ( no canted sight here ) . A little stiff kinda virgin like at first, a few ftc’s , using light bird shot , but after a few heavier rounds 00 buck she opened right up and I been having having my way with her ever since. After @ 200 rounds not a glich. I am putting a ring on it ( not a ghost ring , she came with that ) she is my new go to when i am in need of consistency and reliability ,she does it for me every time . ( Don’t tell my wife , she will not understand. Excellent weapon especially for the price I paid $ 609

  33. avatarC.R. says:

    Mother Teresa’s credentials were not solid–she was an idolator and self admitted Marxist!

    Furthermore–the author should stick to the subject–and not make off point remarks–overall this article was poorly written!

    • avatarTrey says:

      He was making an analogy about Mother Teresa and just speaking for myself and probably many others out there no one cares about Mother Teresa’s record or needs a history lesson about her. The gentleman writing this isn’t trying to win a Pulitzer either so chill out over your “PC” agenda. Just take what information you can from the article and leave it at that. No need for bashing someone for trying to provide you with maybe some info you didn’t know.

      To the writer thank you for the info on the Mossberg 930 SPX.

  34. avatarThe CDR says:

    I bought mine new. No issues whatsoever. I went home cleaned it and shot it again. It feeds Birdshot, target, slug and buckshot reliably. Controlled pairs is not a problem. It handles like a champ.

    I opted for the standard stock. It has become my Home Defense shotgun. It is one of my best purchases for firearms for the money.

  35. avatarGreg from CT says:

    @Bryan Hyde – I had the reverse experience: being the guy at the Defensive SG Course – WITH the auto-loader. Nothing but raves, but by hour 7 I began to experience the failure to feeds. Reassuring to see your experience with this being just accumulation of dirt/powder jived with my suspicion. Anxious to put a box or two through the gun this weekend now that the gun has had a thorough cleaning.

  36. avatarVince Smith says:

    Had a 930 SPX….. Worked great out of the box. A lot of bang for the buck!

    Shot my friends Benelli M4 Super 90…… I no longer own the 930 SPX.

    Purchased the Binelli….. I am now a man!

    When the training wheels come off there really is only one choice.

  37. avatarEric the Red says:

    Just some food for thought,not all guns are made the same. If you want Benelli or FN, then buy them ,dont buy something else and expect it to perform like they do. My point is this, I have had my 930 SPX since the first day it hit the market, and yes I had a few mishaps in the first 200 rounds. I however did not clean it when it took it out of the box, and ran 100 walmart crap loads through it forst to “break” it in. As a mechanic this is also true in the world of engines. so yes 6 misfeeds in the first 100rnds. The next 100 however were a different story. I fed it anything from 3″ buck and slugs to 2 1/2 inch self defense loads(note if you shoulder your gun as you should the defense loads work just fine). Since then my gun has seen at least 5000 rounds or more of various types with no problems. And having paid half or less the price(I paid 520 out the door) when they first came out of the benelli or fn shotguns I feel that i got what I wanted. Now as far as firearms go, yes you get what you pay for and yes not all offerings are the same, as when tuarus released the pt1911, I also got one of these hot off the presses when first released, no problems whatsoever and it shoots just as good as the kimber desert warrior I was comparing it to. It the end you have to look at what you want and what you are willing to pay for, my choices have been great thus far and have no complaints, maybe I got lucky and got excellent specimens, or not but as far as money spent its all gravy. Dont give up on the little guys because not all guns are the same, remember just keep shooting.

  38. avatarDan says:

    Just so you know – ‘Mother’ Teresa, AKA Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (pronounced Agnes Gongsa Boyoku) was a deluded old twit who thought suffering brought one closer to a god. The vast majority of those ill or dying who came to her wound up suffering needlessly. It’s well documented. Read the Chris Hitchens book about her.

    The many millions donated through her doings did not go to the sad suffering people of India. Instead, most of the millions when to building lavish homes for religious leaders in the roman catholic church.

  39. avatarMOG says:

    If I learned anything from this review, it is that I will never speak to Mother Teresa again. Could we keep religion/religious “leaders”, out of this? Politics is bad enough.

  40. avatarTEECUZ bruh says:

    been havin’ me 930spx since spring ’09 and while i haven’t been shooting a whole lot lately what with the prices and all, a couple two three malfuntions early on after i broke it in it’ll shoot any load really well esp. 2 3/4″ 00 (eats the crap out of those)..i mostly shoot target for leisure and practice..may spring for a binelli next year after i’m finished with my ar-10 aquistiion this year

  41. avatarBruce says:

    Very happy with the 930 spx. put an aluminum tri-rail forend on it from Aimpro Tactical. It fit perfectly and worked as well as the factory part, and you get picatinny rails on all three sides, allowing for attachment of my front grip, and any other tactical accessories you chose to add. Also added a truglo TRITON 28MM red dot sight, gives me small and large dot or mildot sight with multiple brightness levels in red, green or blue. The combination of these parts is a high speed, deadly accurate tactical shotgun. The only negative thing I could say about this gun is that the gas operation does start to jam after extended use, a problem which is easily mitigated with regular cleaning and maintenance.

  42. avatarJay Barone says:

    I have not been able to find the Mossberg 930SPX for anywhere near $600. Stores are either sold out or selling for $800.

    Any thoughs?

  43. avatarbighanded says:

    wish I had paused long enough to check out the comments on this forum.. I’ve owned a couple mossberg pumps for years and been very happy…so I grabbed a 930 18″ without hesitation…a month later I’m still without the gun which is back at mossberg…the bolt jam on the lifter issue that others have noted is my problem…very frustrating…if it ever comes back and is even close to operational, I’ll pack the POS up and put it on gunbroker and likely make a couple hundred more than I paid for it and I’ll never look back on my way to buy an FN or any other brand…very disapointed

  44. Walmart has the Home Security version for $499. I picked mine up last night.

  45. avatarWOOD=DAWG says:

    my 930 spx works fine without a hitch and/or hang up of any kind, I use to on a 11-87 Remington and a fn 12ga automatic and they worked fine but cleaning those bad boys is a you know what, not to mention gas seals that need replacement if you shoot them a lot. the Mossberg 930 spx is easy to clean and take apart, if you clean the pistol and its sleeve every now and then the gun runs day and night with any 12ga load minus very very low recoil stuff.
    as with most 12ga automatics I have owned with the 930 spx, clean and oil them out of the box when new for packing oil in all semi 12ga are gummy which most people forget the 85% of all semi auto failures are lubrication related.

  46. avatarDr Moose says:

    Had my 930 for about 2 years. I have occasional jams and misfeeds, but very reliable rifle. Needless to say clean it before using it (duh) and after using it, you will have a very useful, reliable weapon.

  47. avatarJose says:

    I am about to turn 18 and I am looking forward to buying a mossberg 930 spx and I’m wondering what is the difference between the blackwater, the jm pro, And the regular 930 spx? Please help thanks.

  48. avatarjimmyjames says:

    How does Mossberg stay in business with their out of the box defective/inoperable guns and absolutely terrible customer service?

    • avatar762X51 says:

      Beats the hell out of me but it doesn’t take too many screw ups to erase decades of good reputation.

  49. avatar762X51 says:

    Just bought a 930 JM Pro last week. DOA straight out of the box. Defective extractor spring plunger. ZERO spring pressure on the extractor so it just hops right over the rim of a fired shell. Tried to free it up but no joy. Maybe Mossberg should actually test fire some of the guns they make! I like buying finished, functional guns not “gun kits” that have to be immediately sent back to the factory they just left!

  50. avatarOaklandWayy says:

    Thank you for the review; it was very informative and was instrumental in my decision to buy an SPX.

    For those weirdos who freaked out over the author’s Mother Teresa comment: Get a grip and a life. The author was joking.

    You people are weird and the fact you have a weapon scares me. Lames.

  51. I bought my Mossy 930 SPX about two years age, really great piece of equipment, however; the safety is trash! So I purchased the Elite Tactical unit, man did it look cool. Well, I wrenched the old safety, which was extremely difficult to deploy (glad I didn’t have to use it at work, I might have gotten killed) and replaced it with the Elite Tac unit. More problems with that cool looking non-working safety.
    The safety when the gun is raised slips down and engages. Not good when one is trying to send one down rang and no bang. When firing the safety moves up and then got stuck.

    Has any one had any issues with their safety?
    Joe A.

    • avatar811B says:

      The safety has a spring that function for a detente that keep it in place. If that spring is missing, worn, out of place; you’re in the hurt locker. It must be exact. What the safety doe is lower or raise a square inverted “U” that totally blocks the trigger/hammer from funtioning.
      1.) check that your spring is in place and check that the replacement had or doesn’t have, a spring that comes with the unit that is specialized for that unit.
      2nd Cock the piece! The carefully remove two pins that hold it in plac and CAREFULLY remove the trigger assembly. DO NOT snap the trigger or even touch the trigger unless you KNOW how to disassemble & assemble the unit! Take a BRIGHT light and look over the square safety unit inside, look for debris, fouling etc. If found clean the whole unit by submerging it in diesel or spraying it with some cleaner: if it looks clean: reassemble firearm.
      3.) if spring is problem get replacement at ACE Hardware (they have selection of small springs) if it is too long; cut to size. Better to get too long and ridged than too short and weak. That spring MUST be appropriate. So IF you replaced the safety call mfg of replacement and ask what poundage and length it should be. IF you replaced it with your original, yours MAY have been misaligned in Mexico and / or worn through this process, replace it!

      This should fix it totally. Mossbergs are not known to have problem safety’s. It SOUNDS like an assembly problem. It’s a small spring, it may have been lost – no big deal it’s simply holding a detente element that drops the “square, ‘U’ shaped” internal unit.

  52. avatarpinecarpenter says:

    Just bought a 930 SPX. Jams with 2 3/4 bird target loads all the time. One mag jammed every shot FTE. All 8 in a row. 00 buck was OK but shot 60 slugs and ten had FTL. Once a shell was ejected…the bolt stayed open and the on deck one in the mag tube didn’t.move… WOW.. a gun smith told.me to polish the chamber to assure the target loads have room to stretch.. I may try this soon…but SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!! To boot..the first 5 inches of barrel looked like someone painted it with a brush dripped in led after 100 rnds. Took an hr to scrub free.had to use ooo steel wool. I’m not happy with this 800 dollar POS.

  53. avatar811B says:

    Auto shotguns need several things to operate well. The gas port HAS to be CLEAN! Aluminum receiver internals must be butter smooth. Mossburg has moved it’s “Maverick” operation to Mexico and that where a great many receivers have been sand-blasted & anodized. If you are having trouble w/ 930 year it down and clean up all contact points, check the gas ports for both carbon & grease: run the gun dry for a few shots & then apply a SMALL amount of CLIP to contact points.
    SOME auto designs cannot be help limp or you’ll get failures to feed/eject. MOST autos need a STRONG mag tube spring! IF a 5rd spring is in a 7td tube OR if the inside of tube is not smooth; you’ll have problems with ANY auto SG. The mag plug can also be a problem; if it has any projections or is of center; you’ll have problems. Replacement w/ a solid “T” plug will fix that fast. Inside of the mag use powdered Teflon or graphite.
    The other “Friday” problems shouldn’t exist (broken firing pin, ejector pocket rough or lack of spring). IF you get that you MAY have gotten a POS (and you CAN get those from $1000+ weapons!). You are faced w/ 1 of 3 options then; sell it, tear it down & build it correctly, or send it back for some kid to try again. The reasons it takes a long time at the “factory” is that if it’s a Mexican completed SG, they send it back there so the brat that rushed the job can do it correctly or be fired.
    930′s have a good rep but when Mossburg started to used Mexico for assembly on a hand fitted weapon they goofed. MOST ALL autos are hand-fitted & simply can’t be “parts guns”. “Out of the box problems CAN be “worked out” but NOT w/ 25 rds! All those contact points have to be cleaned up by use – ESPECIALLY if heavy sand blasting or anodizing aren’t checked. MANY .22′s have this as a standard. I have seen these issues on Benelli’s, Remington’s, even higher-end Italian autos. So just here I have outlined 8 major issues – in all; auto’s COULD have about 24 standard issues that screw up a perfectly excellent design!

  54. avatar811B says:

    I made a great deal of “typos” in the above so I’m continuing; slower. I seriously DON’T mean to put anyone down, but it really seems that some folks simply don’t understand how self loading weapons function. Just about every self-loading weapon I can think of has ammo it likes & some that it doesn’t With Benellis & 930′s aluminum based-hulls are a problem & they don’t feed that well!
    Understanding HOW auto work is important, especially if you’re going to use the weapon seriously. I have a 930 that I would bet my life on but not with certain aluminum-based hulls (no matter their propellant strength basically). The 930 have an extremely short stroke to it’s “ring drive” therefore we can use the model of .22 rimfire sensitivity as an analogy. Some .22′s (firearms) are very high quality yet will jam with certain ammo (Walther PPK, S&W M41 Olympic-target, etc). ONE reason is the type of crimp and weight of bullet: creating a less ridged round. This can be seen in very high end weapons & is often directly influencing feeding, magazine design, etc.
    Again not to put anyone down; but the trigger/hammer design can make for problems with a light trigger like a 930 has. There is NO separate trigger-return spring! Ride that trigger, instead of bounce & you can jam MOST auto shotguns using gas-port ring design (930s 1100, 11-87 Remington, etc). This was NRA’s 2009 gun of the year: I don’t think they turn out a bunch of POS duds. I got mine from a young man who said it jammed & traded it to me for about $100 worth of computer parts. Again – I mean it: I would bet my life on that SG. It can fire a blur of 5rds in about half a second with NO problems.
    Don’t EVER over-lube a auto SG. It’s actually better to either using a dry lube like powdered Teflon or graphite or simply run it DRY than lube anything with a small gas port. With MOST single-base SG propellants, carbon coating could only get started with lube as a “glue” in the gas port! Otherwise after the carbon gets a few microns high, it blows off the gas port (this is true for a Mini-14 design gas-port where because of distance from the chamber, you KNOW it’s going to grab whatever carbon it can).
    It’s actually true for long gas tubes (AR-type) as well. If the weapon is dry the carbon has a tough time “getting started” to coat the opening, even after many hundred of rounds.
    So to continue: I clean this 930 up, left it dry (NO lube on this one). And got several types of rounds & low & behold the aluminum Federals were something it didn’t like! Even 7/8oz paper target loads (brass) were NO problem (I’ve seen this w/ Bennelli’s also). Aluminum is often a problem in self-loaders AND pumps because the rim is sometimes just too soft or out of round or doesn’t have a sharp edge to the curve lip of the rim. Remember you can short stroke a Remington 870 (a damn reliable SG) & it’s often aluminum based hulls that are the easiest to short stroke (& jam the feed-ramp) from a tubular magazine. OR the magazine has a weak spring – a 5rd spring in a 7rd tube is a common problem!
    It seems the Internet has the majority of people w/ problem guns. They limp-wrist a plastic pistol or don’t try various types of .22′s or don’t allow the trigger to come completely forward…..
    AND IT’S ALWAYS THE GUN!
    I’m sorry, but anything higher than a 2% production or design flaw would be caught at a factory & a high level of that 2% are very self repairable issues.

    Peace & Happy New Year!

    • avatarR Brant says:

      Absolutely do not mean to be critical, but you CANNOT trust write-ups from hardly any gun magazine to include the NRA’s Rifleman or whatever. I have read so many half-truths and outright lies that it is ridiculous. According to gun authors all firearms are apparently GREAT! We all know this is not the truth. Fact is, they will not bite the hand that feeds them and they are not about to attack any potential advertising source. So, being the 2009 NRA Gun of the Year does not mean squat. And, yes, I am a NRA member and hardcore CON….. not some liberal d-bag. ;)

      • avatar811B says:

        Mr. R Brant:
        I know what you’re saying is true & in fact I think it’s ethical & important for you to do so. What’s more if it was a slick-paged gun magazine & not something like GUN-TEST that said this is a great gun for the money I would never have addressed the subject.
        However we are dealing with an interesting issue – we have a $400 auto shotgun with close to a new design. I also think the NRA would be really going out on a limb if a serious POS were their pick. Why? Because each of these fellows who had problems will never listen to the NRA again. It’s poor marketing & if a lobbying organization makes a mistake in marketing, it’s all over; please turn out the lights.
        I see this a bit differently. The gun, when I tested in a “sporting manner” – with the gun held at 45 degrees or what-not at the shoulder; I honestly could NOT find a problem (due to gravity assisting the overall operation). The new design really DOES make this gun get filthy fast! It also is very tight & those two elements can spell a problem out of the box. This was also the case interestingly enough with the FAL made in the UK (Lic. from FN) The FN-FAL is almost over-powered by the NATO round. But what’s significant is the amount of carbon: it HAD to be cleaned at very short intervals. Only when the Israeli’s started building FAL “parts guns” & their was significant “play” in the fittings did the rifle become totally reliable beyond 300 rds fired. Autos (in a gross generality) need to have some areas super well fitted and other areas should have some “play”. The better AK’s (& SKS) have a well fitting gas piston while the other areas are free to move with or without lube: solid field conditions. It’s interesting that the UK did some fitting work for Mossberg. The best drillings, doubles, etc were (past-tense) made in the UK It’s important to remember that their fitting were TIGHT; all over the weapon. This may be a problem with some autos, especially when the mechanism engineering has to move a large weight and area.
        I cannot over emphasize that the “Spring-Cup” issue lends itself logically to major problems in a horizontal position. Perhaps the thinking was that after 200rds the unit would “work itself freely about”. Yet with today’s polymers there is little to NO wear in a smooth steel contact. With a tight fit there, ANY debris or heat will start to bind the unit (what’s more, that unit is critical).
        Did GUN-TEST find this? I am not sure if thy test far along out of the box or if they held the weapon horizontally. I wasn’t there. I DO know thy don’t dry a weapon and note it’s “harder contact points”. That’s just not their forte’. I believe thy did give a good grade to the sporting model & since I had never had a FTF or FTE when holding the gun at 45 degrees I didn’t go over that weapon with a fine tooth comb.
        Now that I have I am much more open to the disappointments expressed; yet these are repairable in minutes. The absence of a extractor spring (as expressed earlier) is ALSO due to extremely tight tolerances. I have seen the extractor (no exaggeration) rip off a strip on a Winchester AA hull (that was brass!). This occurs due to a VERY sharp, very hard extractor, very strong spring in a VERY tight opening. (A coil will require some wider holding area as it forms a “caterpillar effect”.)
        Yet I not only believe this problem exists, I believe it’s very repairable. The crux of the issue is SHOULD these issues arise in the first place? On a $400 auto I would rather have the problems be too tight fittings than other issues.

        Best wishes; play safe

  55. avatar811B says:

    Continuing on with my rant :) about 930′s I will say I had found a few problems and means to repair them. The 930 CAN be finicky even though used in a 40 degree angle I have never had a problem. I tore the weapon down completely after reloading several hundred different rounds & at about 125 I found the shotgun SO dirty it was unusual. I did notice that the fittings on certain areas of the gun were VERY close (a few 1000th of an inch-type); cleaned the gun and left it totally dry. I did this to see where I was getting rub-contact points at first but then I noticed that although at 40-45 degrees it still functioned flawlessly, I finally DID get some FTE when held in a totally horizontal position. I field stripped the gun and found some VERY interesting issues.
    There is a cup tube that the bolt return spring sits in. This MUST be lubed! Polymer and steel get hot when rubbing and this results in the spring cup binding when the gun is shot horizontally. It was much to close for an auto. Lube in this area (OUTSIDE of the steel spring cup; so it slides with NO friction. Graphite typically or CLP if the tube is binding). This is mandatory. The trigger system is more complex than need be and sear/hammer unit will ride the bolt extension cut. This can be cleaned up with a micro buffer on a Dremmel or Teflon or graphite if you don’t want to touch that mechanism. The SG has no rubber ring like a Remington on the mag-piston. Instead it has an actual piston ring set. These get REALLY dirty REALLY fast. It should NOT stop the weapon from funtioning but will not do it’s job of self adjustment [to differing pressures] if not cleaned w/ Hopps at about a milliliter of CLP put over the rings (no need for more). This is not a gun for those who don’t clean them! Run a pipe cleaner through the dual gas ports and IF you have carbon there either your powder is high-sediment type or there was some lube left inside. Those must be completely dry. After this short clean up the gun ran in any position and perfectly for at least another several hundred rounds. Neglect these issues and the gun may have problems.
    The guns made on or prior to 2011 were UK, York finalized and are unusually tight. I found that barrel fit to receiver was incredibly sticky; but the functional issue is that Bolt-Spring cup. That MUST be clean and lubed. In dusty desert areas or if not inspected (especially after “racing” the gun) this can shut the gun down from perfect functionality to a problem weapon. IF when the weapon is taken apart that Spring Cup sticks in any manner it is mandatory that it needs to be lubed (best with graphite) until there is NO stickiness what-so-ever in this area as that return spring is so pivotal to all functionality on the gun that even SLOWING it will give problems. This WON’T happen when the gun is pointed at an angle skyward as the Spring-Cup is set to that angle and the WEIGHT of the bolt due to gravity will eject, load, etc.
    I am writing all this NOT to hype the gun.
    I am writing this so people with problems can fix them. I have been shooting this gun specifically to FIND the problems as I DO believe that most all auto can have issues (Glocks can be “limp-wristed”, etc).
    IF you are having problems please examine what has been noted thus far: I bet these suggestions will work. So far this SG has had over 1000 rds and I finally found some issues. Just as a background, I have been working with this stuff for a few decades & actually believe that some folks DO have trouble with the 930. I am following this to help those who do have troubles that COULD be prevented / repaired for little to no money.

  56. avatarDavid says:

    811B, Thanks for the messages with all of the solutions. I have a 930 SXP Blackwater on order, so do not even have it yet! But I wanted to see what to expect, and your suggestions should help me get it to the range with the best chance of success without problems. Thanks again in advance for the advice.

  57. avatar811B says:

    DAVE – You are VERY welcome.
    You likely WON’T have problems as many have been “ironed out” and if any should arise, “cut & paste” the posts, read them over and EXPECT imperfections with MOST autos till about 200 rds. (just like a .22 – Now a few (like a Ruger 10/22) we don’t see a “break in” period. But understand that we have a much more complex concept here.
    1.) we are moving more weight, bulk from a tube-fed mag and an “elevator system” unlike a blow-back “shave-the magazine system”
    2.) We are using a gas / piston operating system that has certain demands (cleanliness and oil; like a motor).
    3.) we don’t have “replaceable seals” like an 1100 or 11-87 Remington) – we have piston “rings” just like a car.

    Some people believe that the mag feed stop (in the receiver) is a poor design. However we have a LOT of different ammo; some with very weak aluminum bases. So if that were “built up” that part we could get a jam that could actually be a danger. If two feed at the same time simply put SG on “SAFE” avoid the primer and feed back the one near the tube-magazine. Remembering that it MAY simply not like that ammo (just like a .22 has “favorites”). Make note of that ammo.
    4.) Remember you have a “return bolt spring” & it’s just my opinion that IT has been the cause of MANY annoyances.

    Some folks don’t understand that the trigger housing is sloppy & has play while OTHER parts are VERY tight. There IS a design reason for this:, heat, dirt, water, debris, & the ability to strip the unit (always cocked and on SAFE); if it were TOO tight we would eventually wear down the receiver, every time we pulled the trigger-housing out and water would not drain easily. An AR has “slop” for similar reasons.
    There is a very expensive Italian shotgun that uses similar design features & folks become astounded at the reasoning. [The two] in our case, gas feed holes have a slight “trumpet” to them. This make a weak shell deliver enough gas to cycle the mechanism IF the unit is clean yet makes for a lower speed similar to a Browning Auto5 and the bolt return spring cup has an easy time moving back and forth. The springs used are chromium-silicon steel. They won’t wear easily (similar to Wolf’s springs). After cleaning you may also want to leave the unit cocked and bolt open so most springs are compressed. (WHY?) Because that can “seat” problem tight spring holes or engagements. I would leave it like that for no more than 4-5 days; but it can help if your bolt-spring cup is very tight and sticks. I once had a “Street-Sweeper” in the place I worked & fixed it with a tear-down, extreme cleaning, and leaving it cocked. To clean a trigger/hammer assembly that looks like a real pain just submerge it in diesel fuel for a 1/2 hour, remove and let it evaporate. It will SLIGHTLY oil the contacts and any debris will most likely be left behind. If an object is still there, it will easily be seen.
    My strongest advice with the 930 is to tear it down and study it while you clean it and lube it with a dry lube except the “piston-rings” and the outside of the bolt-spring “cup”. Don’t use more than a milliliter. (With CLP, that’s a VERY small amount) When you do so – STUDY the weapon; watch uTube videos if you want a bit of “technique-help” (getting the bolt-extension into the cup, just like a Ruger MKI, MKII, , MKIII .22. the unit is held upside-down. And you CAN put the bolt back BEFORE the trigger/hammer unit (it all comes out from two pins, even the gate. Remember the tiny pin that holds the bolt extension CAN fall right out! Do ANY work in an area where you can find tiny springs, pins, etc!

    Best wishes
    John

  58. avatarBriantheohioanhawaiianfromtexas says:

    Wealth of information found here that could mean the difference between life and death for prospective owners. Thanks for the write up / videos Bryan. I’ve decided to get a Mossberg over the models I was originally considering, in part because of the excellent work displayed on this blog reviewing them.

    People like Dan “a deluded old twit who thought suffering brought one closer to a god” have most likely never gone a whole day without food – much less three or four just to say “thanks” to God. Try it – you’ll be closer than you’re prepared for Dan.

  59. avatarpinecarpenter says:

    Update. 4 months after last review.As I stated before, Bought the SPX new in 2013. Jamed every other round. After trying many different types of ammo I’ve learned more. The gun doesn’t cycle rounds with 2 and 3/4 in dram. Especially any winchester loads. This is due to the smooth casing as opposed to the ribbed case on most other brands which shoot OK. My second problem is the mag tube. After loading 4 the 5th would not go in. It turns out the mag extension has different diameter then the mag tube..this stops the shells from entering it. I had to take down that edge to allow the shells to load in. The forend is also wiggly and attached like shit..What a joke..Mossberg should be ashamed.

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