Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
Travis Pike for TTAG
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Let me start by saying I’m not a turkey hunter. That’s why when Dan assigned me the Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey shotgun at SHOT Show, I wasn’t expecting much that would hold my interest. What I found was a truly awesome shotgun that will not only take gobblers with ease, but would also be a practical home defense shotgun and a mighty nice tactical shotgun.

Mossberg produces both an 18.5-inch and 24-inch versions of the 940 Pro Turkey. The 24-inch barrel with its slightly higher weight likely make the weapon front-heavy, but more controllable for taking gobblers. The 18.5-inch variant, which I tested, is more maneuverable and can pull double duty as your gobbler gun and your home defense gun.

Breaking Down the 940 Pro Turkey

First and foremost, I love the vintage Mossy Oak camo pattern. I understand turkeys have great eyes and camo finishes are a must when hunting these perceptive creatures.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey rocks a retro Mossy Oak finish. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Beyond the paint job, the 940 Pro Turkey features the same upgrades that the popular 940 series brought to the earlier 930 shotguns. These include the oversized charging handle, the larger bolt release, and the pain-free loading port.

Hot damn, the loading port of the 930 could catch your thumb and take enough blood for a full CBC if you weren’t pay attention. The 940’s port is a big improvement. The bolt release on the gun Mossberg sent me is smaller than the one on their website and smaller than the one at SHOT, and I’m not sure why.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The enlarged controls make for quick handling. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The safety is standard Mossberg 500 style tang safety, but is seemingly much more aggressive. That makes it easier to flip on and off with gloves. The synthetic stock is pretty standard, but allows adjustable length of pull via spacers. It’s similar to the Magpul SGA stocks and allow you to get the length right where you want it. You can adjust the length of pull from 13 to 14.25 inches, allowing a comfortable fit for just about any size shooter.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The included spacers allow you to adjust the length of pull on demand. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

You can also adjust cast and drop, but I didn’t have a problem with the factory setup as a right-handed shooter.

Red Dot Ready

The 940 Pro Turkey is optic ready, featuring a cut in the receiver to accommodate Shield RMSc mount micro red dots. A mounted optic sits low enough to co-witness with the factory iron sight. That factory sight is a big green, high visibility fiber optic triangular sight that’s quite eye-catching and very easy to see.

I went with a Holosun 507K to make the most use of the platform.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The 32 MOA ring reticle of this Holosun optic works really well on a shotguns. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Mossberg includes a simple two-point sling with a wide adjustable padded end for support and comfort. Sadly, the handguard is plain, I can’t attach anything, and I have some M-LOK accessories that need a home. The 940 Pro Turkey ships with an X-Factor XX-Full Turkey choke, too.

The choke is, of course, removable and for defensive shooting, I’d use a cylinder bore choke, which is easy to find and commonly available. Turkey hunters get the maximum range possible with the XX-Full choke, and this allows for accurate and precise headshots on gobblers.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
With its enlarged loading port, you won’t leave any DNA samples behind when you reload the 940. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The tube magazine holds four rounds, but is plugged from the factory. That plug is easy to remove, and you can get up to the actual capacity of the gun quickly enough. Mossberg’s 940 series shotguns are compatible with 930 magazine extensions, and you could make this a 7+1 in reasonably short order if you choose.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The included XX-full choke is aimed at turkey hunting. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Lighting It Up with the 940 Pro Turkey

I reached out to a friend of a friend who is a dedicated turkey hunter. He had actual turkey loads, which I failed to find enough of for testing. Admittedly a number of his loads were 3.5-inch shells, and the Pro Turkey maxes out at 3-inch shells.

To him, that was a disappointment, but we fired off some Remington Nitro Turkey loads and patterned them inside a paper plate. Even out to 60 yards, the pattern delivered a hefty load of pellets, more than enough to put a turkey out of commission. I had no idea turkey hunters reached out that far, but the 940 Pro Turkey put enough pellets into a tight enough grouping to get a thumbs up from our experienced turkey hunter.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
Recoil is fairly soft and light. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

What was enjoyable to me, our turkey hunter, and other friends who shot the gun was the low felt recoil of the Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey. It delivered a short and relatively soft push, at least soft for a 12 gauge. Even with full-powered turkey and buckshot loads, the 940 Pro Turkey produces reasonable recoil that isn’t punishing.

The front grip of the gun is heavily textured and provides an excellent surface to use a push/pull method of recoil mitigation. The gas-operated nature of the semi-automatic gun helps tame recoil too, and makes the shotgun controllable, more so than the Mossberg 930. Heck, it’s up there with the Benelli M4 and still weighs only 7.25 pounds.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
I had a blast with the Mossberg 940. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Laying Down a Load of Lead

Mossberg installed a very nice trigger in the 940 Pro Turkey that’s both crisp and light. It has the slightest takeup, followed by a very slight, crisp break. That helps with 60-yard accuracy. The reset is short, but hardly tactile and just barely audible. The XL-sized controls make manipulating the weapon fast and easy, and that great big charging handle is a welcome touch.

While the bolt release isn’t as big as the SHOT model I saw, it’s large enough and easy to engage. I used the gun as more of a combat/home defense shotgun than a turkey gun. Those big controls shined, and I was thankful not to be pinched with every reload. The ejection port is also huge, making it easy to do an emergency port reload and do it swiftly.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
The 940 Pro Turkey cycled everything I fed it reliably. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The controllable design ensures fast follow-up shots, and the addition of a red dot makes it easy to hit targets and to get back on target quickly. I took out three clay pigeons in less than 1.5 seconds from the low ready with the Pro Turkey and birdshot. Dropping two rounds of buck onto a man-sized target in less than 1.5 seconds is easy, and how often do you need two rounds of buckshot to solve a shotgun problem?

The Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey has a vent rib placing the sight a little bit above the barrel. This solves the Mossberg problem of putting the bead on the barrel and the shotguns appearing to hit high when aimed. Using just the iron sight, it’s flat-shooting and hits right where you want it. With a properly zeroed red dot, it does the same.

Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey
From the woods to the corner next to your bed, the 940 Pro Turkey is a very solid shotgun. (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The Best American Shotgun

The more I see, the more I’m becoming convinced that the Mossberg 940 Pro series might now be the best American shotgun on the market. At least as far as semi-autos go. Mossberg might bring some competition to the Beretta/Benelli domination of the market. The adjustable LOP, red dot-ready configuration and oversized ergonomics make the Mossberg 940 stand out. The Pro Turkey models certainly show what the 940 series are capable of.

Specifications: Mossberg Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey Shotgun

Gauge: 12 gauge
Capacity: 4 + 1
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Overall Length: 39.25 inches
Length of Pull: 13 to 14.25 inches
Weight: 7.25 pounds
MSRP: $1,154 (about $950 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
The Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey ate through all manner of loads without complaint. That includes turkey loads, cheap sporting loads, and both low recoil and standard buckshot. I’ve fired more than 500 rounds without a single issue.

Accuracy * * * * *
The raised vent rib puts the point of aim and point of impact dead-on. The ability to add a red dot is a nice touch and makes it easy to hit those gobblers at 50+ yards.

Ergonomics * * * * *
Mossberg revamped the ergos on the 940 shotgun series to make them bigger, more aggressive, and more controllable. Plus, the ability to adjust the LOP is a game-changer.

Overall * * * * *
The Mossberg 940 Pro Turkey is a top-of-the-line American shotgun. It competes with the Beretta 1301 and, to me, outdoes it with the increased ergonomics and its optic-ready configuration.


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  1. I have Mossberg pumps and a Benelli semi auto. I’m happy with both.

    I’m not a turkey hunter. Damn things are thick where I hunt until the season opens. Then the ‘turkey experts’ clutter up the woods. I’m surprised more of them don’t shoot each other.

  2. I want one. I’m never going to hunt turkeys in my entire life but that 940 looks like it would be a fantastic do everything utility shotgun to keep ready around the farm.

    • If you like nice shotguns that you’re not afraid to carry into the woods, I’d highlly recommend it. I have a lot of shotguns and several Mossys, and this one is a great shooter!

  3. “Turkeys have good eyes” damm straight, spooked one when he saw cigarette smoke.
    Smart when its dry and dumb in a rain.
    I guess the rain drops confuse them or something? Like autistic overload.
    What’s it take to kill a turkey?
    I had a friend who came from St.Louis, had no clue about game laws. Anyway he was sitting in his car waiting for me to get home. He had shot a female turkey out of his car window with a .117 caliber pellet gunm. In the head drt. Range around 45ft. ( I gave him a copy of the fish n game laws.)
    We ate the Turkey, young hens are better old toms,,,,,dangit.

    • It’s legal here in CA to take turkey with a .177 air rifle. I don’t think using a vehicle as a blind is kosher.

        • It’s complicated and I’m not sure I can explain as well as others. Basically an air rifle here is not considered a firearm. They can be mail ordered with no background check. As they are not classed as firearms their ammo is given much more freedom. Lead will be acceptable from an air rifle.

          At least that’s how I understood it several years back. Our laws in CA are weird as hell. Rifles with built in air tanks that are big bore and could drop a bison are not considered firearms here.

        • @JWM

          Perhaps we should keep it on the lo-lo that .50 air guns exist, and they’re pretty much on par with .357 Mag. Lest they freak out and blow a Taco Bell sized hole in their panties.

    • You’re right about turkey hunting in the rain, they can be had it seems a bit easier. But I don’t like to hunt ’em in the rain, they don’t look as pretty.

  4. What about the internals of the gun? This looks identical to the Remington VersaMax. Which is a copy of the Benelli M2, internally they are identical/interchangeable between them. Is this Mossberg a piston driven shotgun?

      • That’s the funny part, despite the gas piston system in the VersaMax the complete bolt, head, linkage, hammer, firing pin, extractor…. it’s all interchangeable with M2 parts. The Remington parts break simply by existing in the gun, you replace them with hard forged Benelli M2 parts to make a Remelli VersaMax that is ready for anything.

  5. I’m still waiting to hear what in particular the supply chain problem is with mossberg. What is point of this new shotgun if they can’t produce the models they have in significant numbers?

    I finally got the 940 JM pro the end of December (great gun though I’m not much on the looks of gold anodized controls) but the serial number on it was super low. Less than 7000 I believe. I don’t know, maybe that’s high production for a competition style shotgun but it took me all that time from its release just to find one to buy that wasn’t really marked up over msrp online.

    And I’m still waiting for an opportunity to purchase a 590a1 retro. All the 590s are in short supply but I usually only see 2 or 3 590 a1 retros even for sale on gunbroker. Buds guns and ky gun don’t show any model of the 590a1 even in stock.

    I get new gun owners, covid, supply chain etc etc etc but I’d love to see what the hold up is.

    • Cooter, I have one of those retros, with a short barrel and a field barrel. I bought it to stick behind the door for home defense, and my wife had to pull it on a guy who came walking up out of the woods. Turned out to be a neighbor, but, uh, don’t do that.

      It’s a really cool gun, wood furniture looks great, handles great. Dove hunted with the field barrel, too, it swings nicely. I like it a lot.

  6. Well, I do turkey hunt. I bought one of these to take out this year, even though my 835 ultimag pump with an old Fast Fire III red dot on it, plus a Jellyhead choke and Winchester Longbeard #5s in 3 1/2″ is a positively lethal combo and has sent many gobblers to the great beyond over the past decade. Like, never, ever misses. But I wanted a semi-auto and also am now OK with 3″, I’m less stubborn about it after two shoulder surgeries. I put the same Holosun pictured here, and once I got it dialed in, works well with the choke that came with it and the same Winchester Longbeards, which are the best turkey shells to come out in my 30 years of turkey hunting.
    Anyway, in the field it performed well, I dropped two big gobblers with it this season and could have taken more if I wanted but don’t want to hurt my property. One I called in to about 15 yards or so, the other was out about 30–35 yards, whooping up on my decoy, a great big ‘un with 11″ beard and 2″ plus spurs. He weighed about 22 lbs, ate good.
    I like this shotgun a lot and would recommend, a very light, accurate, purpose-built semi-auto for turkey hunting, cut out for a red dot. 5 out of 5. Will still use ol’ Thumper and the 3 1/2″ on occasion, though.

  7. I must admit that I am always a bit mindboggled in the 21st Century when I see someone endorse a firearm that holds four in the mag and one in the chamber, and must be reloaded one round at a time, as an appropriate tool to use in the event that you have to fight for your life. And I’m a firearms hobbyist. I love shotguns, I love big ol’ revolvers, I love a well tuned 1911–as range toys. I love lots of old guns that doesn’t bring anything to the table in 2022 and are objectively significantly inferior for hard use in situations where life or limb may be at risk.

    In Iraq fifteen years ago, during the “troop surge,” the Air Force was organizing groups of APs as infantry squads and they were being cross-attached to Army infantry companies to patrol back alleys in Baghdad and Ramadi and Fallujah. Lots of them, sometimes most of them, were carrying Mossberg pump shotguns. The Air Force had bought huge numbers of them early on in the War on Terror to issue to base security guards, as base armories were being stripped of M16s and anything else that would shoot for the guys at the sharp end. No one I spoke to who was there at the time liked them, despite the fact that, as pump shotguns go, the Mossberg 500 is a very good design and has been very successful on the commercial market for sixty years now.

    If you don’t understand their lack of enthusiasm, imagine being in a back alley in Ramadi with a dozen angry locals fifty feet away with AK47s doing full auto mag dumps at you while you crouch behind a dumpster and try to reload that tube magazine one at a time. Everyone HATED them–and these were guys who traveled and fought in groups, who had people with automatic weapons there to give them covering fire, so they weren’t out there all alone stuffing shells into the gun one at a time with bullets whizzing past their ears. NOBODY wanted them. EVERYBODY who was going in harm’s way wanted a rifle with a detachable box magazine and lots of beans in the box. EVERYBODY. Nobody wanted a shotgun. Nobody wanted a pistol-caliber SMG, either, and not many outside of the SOCOM pipe-hitter community had any desire for a pistol–and those guys only wanted pistols because they were spending so much time kicking down doors and clearing rooms.

    Now imagine that you’re awakened at two in the morning by the sound of breaking glass and you find yourself suddenly in a firefight, and the only thing you have at hand is the five-shot shotgun that’s by the bed. And when it runs dry, you have the rest of your life to get rounds into that tube, one at a time, and get back in the fight. Maybe it was just one guy doing a “hot burglary” and not a twelve-man “rip crew” with body armor and automatic weapons. Maybe. Maybe they weren’t expecting resistance and made a tactical retreat when they started taking incoming fire. Maybe you got lucky. We don’t have home defense weapons because of the odds. We have them because of the stakes.

    Someone will doubtless say “stand in front of it, why don’t cha?” I wouldn’t stand in front of a matchlock arquebus, either, or a trebuchet. Am I bringing one to a fight? Of course not. If I am fighting for my life, I will take the platform that gives me thirty rounds of any 5.56mm or .223 ammo, including the M855 that sometimes fails to yaw in ballistic gelatin, and fast reloads, over five rounds of anything ever created that isn’t launched from a crew-served weapon. It’s not like AR15 type rifles are terribly expensive these days, either. What’s the MSRP on this turkey gun, and how does it compare with the rifles from, for example, Palmetto?

    I can see the 940 being a useful hunting firearm. Turkeys don’t shoot back.

  8. Lighten up Francis. Carbines have been a necessary component of modern war fighting for several decades, everyone gets that.

    It’s cool that you’re prepped for Fallujah-type conditions replete with IEDs punctuating your drive to the post office and armored twelve-man “rip crews” assaulting every other sleepy suburban house.

    But if things really get that bad, an AR won’t save your ass either. BTW, how many soldiers, airmen etc. died due to ‘merely’ being equipped with a pump shotgun? Bet that number is damn close to zero.

    There’s a lot of crap that service members don’t like. Far easier to list what they do like and don’t endlessly whine about. Dude, you signed up for this shit, stfu. Bet those shotguns helped save their bacons in almost each and every instance, all bitching and moaning aside.

    • “Lighten up,” indeed. In the event that you have to use your “home defense shotgun” to fight for your life, there isn’t going to be a platoon of infantrymen there with you to give you covering fire with SAWs while you reload it, one shell at a time. Talk to any Air Force vet who had to carry one in Ramadi. He’ll explain it to you. He’ll tell you pretty much the same things that anyone who took part in the festivities in Bosnia about twenty-five years back will tell you about the limitations of the Mosin-Nagant, 98K, and SKS when facing off against people with pistol-caliber subguns and AKs, and the lengths men would go to for better tools.

      The only CQB shotgun kills I ever heard of during the entire Iraq war were when an Army Ranger shot a couple of fedayeen with a breaching shotgun in Fallujah in ’04. It happened because it was what he had in his hands when he and they found themselves in the same small room and there wasn’t time to transition to his M4. He got shot up pretty badly in the process, because slow follow-up shots and slow reloads are real and matter in the real world when you’re fighting for your life.

      There was a time when a shotgun was on the short list of good choices for CQB. That time was over a century ago, because nothing better existed. There was a time when the best thing available was a bronze battle-axe, because nothing better existed. Would it be your choice today? In 2022, sure, a starving college kid, a young guy who’s just starting out and has a family to feed, yeah, we can talk about him going to a pawn shop to get some fudd’s long-tom 12 gauge goose gun for $149 and lopping the barrel off at 18″ with a tubing cutter and getting a couple of boxes of buckshot and hoping for the best. Not anyone else, though. Enormously superior choices that bring more to the table with no downside are common and inexpensive now. Not $149 pawn shop rusty pump shotgun inexpensive, but inexpensive enough that the barrier to entry is pretty low for anyone who is out of his teens and has a full-time job.

      The article contains horrible, horrible advice on a matter of life and death, so bad that it could get someone killed. We have a moral obligation to point it out.

      Look. Guns are my hobby. I love shotguns–as range toys and objects of aesthetic contemplation. I love 1911s and revolvers too. As range toys. As artifacts of another era to hold in my hand and contemplate. As something to bring to a fight if anything else is available? No. Just no.

      • I agree with what you are stating

        But I think some of the thinking is that if defending oneself in a home invasion and you miss the goober with your AR that bullet will travel a long ways

        while a miss from the shotgun ( lets ignore the pellet spread for a moment ) would travel far less than the .556

        but yeah,,, in real time reloads a shotty is at a deficit

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