Mossberg 940 Series

By Jeff Johnston, Hunting & Shooting Editor

When most people think of Mossberg they think of pump shotguns—and they should, considering the oldest privately owned American gun company has sold more model 500s than damn-near any other gun company and any other gun, period. (We’ve reviewed its venerable 590 A1 Retrograde and we all love it.)

But a few years back its owners finally began pushing the company to be more than just a blue-collar pump gun firm. Over the last few years I’ve used all of Mossberg’s new stuff, from its rifles, carry handguns to its new shotguns, and while all of them function well, a couple of them stand out. One is the firm’s totally overhauled semiauto, the 940 Pro

The 940 started life called the 940 JM Pro, because Mossberg wanted to come out of the blocks fast by employing quite possibly the best all-around shooter of all time to design, launch, and use it: Jerry Miculek. And its engineers actually listened to Jerry when they came to his house and asked him what he’d change about its rather bland 930 shotgun—and what feature’s Jerry would need to win championships. I know this because I personally interviewed Jerry about it.  

Basically, the 940 was redesigned to run more efficiently with a wider range of ammo.

To pull this off, engineers modified the 930’s action with two oversized ports in the gas cylinder. A robust, short-stroke piston assembly accepts the burst of gas from the fired shell and violently slams rearward, moving the spacer tube, pusher assembly and the bolt assembly rearward to cycle the action at similar speeds regardless of the load. 

Another key to the 940’s enhanced reliability is owed to its innovative spacer tube. This 3.5-inch aluminum cylinder that rides on the mag tube features grooves to reduce surface area and to allow carbon fouling and moisture from condensation a place to go rather than just building friction under it. (Even though you don’t see it, when a gun warms up from firing in cold weather, there will be condensation.) All critical internal parts are boron-nitride-coated to further reduce friction. Translated, the 940 is touted to run 1500 rounds without cleaning compared to 500 of the 930. That’s good news for lowlife, no-gun-cleaning jackasses like me.

Externally, the 940 is Cerakoted (depending on the model), features an adjustable buttstock for critical fit, and owns oversized controls that are beneficial for hunters wearing gloves, 3-Gun shooters, and home defenders as adrenaline wrecks your fine motor skills like a fifth of Old Crow.

After launching the 940 JM Pro a couple years ago, Mossberg followed up with upland, waterfowl, snowgoose, turkey, and tactical models. I’ve shot the shit out of most of them for hunting, defensive drilling, and just messing around with a skeet thrower behind the house, and none of them have broken on me yet. All of them fit great–i.e., they point where I look, have wonderful inherent recoil mitigation, and are reliable with every load I stuffed into them. Frankly, I think it’s likely the best semi-auto shotgun available for around $1,000. 

Pros: great semiauto for the $; wonderful recoil mitigation; adjustable stock, reliable

Cons: stock material is brittle feeling; wish it had a soft rubber comb insert  

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