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Mossberg 930 Duck Commander

Mossberg 930 Duck Commander

When a shotgun turns up adorned in logos such as Duck Commander, Faith, Family and Ducks and has an American flag bandana as a stock ornament, you know it’s celebrity endorsed!

Be that as it may, you still have that dependable and rock solid build quality of a Mossberg semi-automatic shotgun beneath.

This 930 version of the lorded semi is Mossberg’s top seller and is a no nonsense get it done, try and break it (you won’t) shotgun for real hunters who love those wet, cold and long times in the duck blinds on some lonely estuary. It has all you need for ducks, geese or just pigeon decoying with its fast reliable semi action, synthetic stock with camo Real Tree Max 5 Wetlands finish and a very practical olive green finish to the barrel and action.

The 930 is well-priced, handles very well and had the ability to shoot some excellent patterns with a wide range of pellet sizes and charges. The 930 handles cartridges up to three-inch magnum, whereas the Model 935 is set up for 3½-inch magnum loads and is available in either shotgun or FAC rating with a gas operated mechanism.

Action and barrel chokes

The 930 has a gas-operated system and as such has dual ported gas vents to the barrel with a standard metal piston ring that self regulate the mechanism as to type of cartridge used – no rubber O-rings here. On firing, the gases are diverted down the twin ports and cause the piston to shuttle rearward, pushing the cylindrical synthetic tube that rides over the magazine tube. This is turn hits a second synthetic block with twin aluminium spurs against the bolt body, causing it to move backwards and cycle the action.

Simple and effective but excessive firing can cause heat build up that effects differing metal/plastic expansion rates and so can cause reduced performance with really rapid firing. The action is a strong, alloy construction that houses the blackened bolt and bolt handles that are serrated for grip that locks back on the last round. The single claw extractor has a good reach and bite to it and never failed to extract even dodgy reloads.

I had the 3-shot version, with two in the mag and one up the barrel with simple solid formed cartridge lifter that just drops for a rapid reload as necessary. The action top is also characteristically drilled and tapped for scope mount use i.e. slugs or perhaps red dot sight and a one-piece Weaver type rail is easily installed. See future article on Pump action version of this gun.

Distinguishing this as the Duck Commander version is the very hard, olive green finish that has etched into the surface, as a repeat pattern, a duck coming in to land. The barrel is 28-inches long and comes with three Accu chokes that fit flush to the 930’s muzzle. You have an improved cylinder, half- and full-choke option, so great for close up woodcock, pigeon decoying and steel shot loads and extra long range for difficult birds. A very simple key is supplied and removal and insertion is pretty straightforward and instantly turns the 930 into a roost shooter or wild fowl shotgun. This too has that tough olive green finish that mutes the overall appearance, i.e. stops glare and shrugs off rain, snow, blood and mud.

The barrel has a full-length rib of 10mm width, which on a hunting gun gives a flat view and is topped off with a 15mm Day-Glo red bead with green surrounding. It really does stand out and coupled to the intrinsic pointing of the 930, makes swinging in line very easy.

Stock

Again, a no-nonsense practical design but with a few shortfalls for my frame. It has a short length of pull at 14-inches, I like at least 15.5-inches even on my rifles – lanky sod! But in truth it shot very well, so no issues and you can add a spacer or buttpad extender anyway. Also, the pistol grip was very slim for me, thick at the top, good, but then tapered down to the base, personally I like it a bit fuller.

It has a very good, robust feeling though; none of this hollow stock feel, as the synthetic stock contributes to the excellent handling characteristics of the Mossy. The forend is also wellformed with chequering and is plenty long enough to get a grip with gloved hand or not. Best of all on this model is the Wetlands Max 5 Camo finish, which complements the olive green finished metal parts well and is ideal in the decoy or duck blind. You also have a sling swivel stud sited at the forend’s removal locking nut and moulded in sling swivel attachment to the butt stock, so the Duck Commander can be slung whilst your hands carry the decoys.

Trigger, safety and scope mount

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  • Mossberg 930 Duck Commander - image {image:count}

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  • Mossberg 930 Duck Commander - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Mossberg 930 Duck Commander - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Mossberg 930 Duck Commander - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Mossberg 930 Duck Commander - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

The trigger is a one-piece unit that is easily removed for cleaning by removing two cross pins. It’s non adjustable as one expects and is heavy at 7lbs pull weight but it’s no problem, you don’t notice it after three hours freezing your bits off after geese in a Scottish loch!

The Mossberg safety catch, like the Browning pumps, is sited on the back hump of the action, which makes it easily accessible for use and importantly highly visible for safety reasons. Forward is off and a red dot is visible and you are good to shoot, in the back position the trigger is locked. One extra safety feature, that is both visual and tactile, is that when the action is cocked a small plunger protrudes down from the trigger guard that can be seen and felt with the trigger finger. It indicates the action is cocked but not if there is a round in the chamber.

I used the 930 Duck Commander for the Eley clay cartridge tests, as well as the usual game cartridges and also a buckshot special, which is another article. Recoil was mild, up to the three-inch magnum loads and the cycling fast and ejection just as brisk.

The pattern boards at 30-yards and full choke fitted showed really good even and well-placed shot.

The Eley Superb cartridge, with a 28-gram load and No 8 shot with fibre wad, it shot 389 pellets at 30-yards on the pattern board with 220 pellets in the outer ring and 169 pellets within the 15-inch circle, amazing cartridge.

The Game bore Clear Pigeon a great pigeon cartridge shot lovely dense even patterns again with 230 pellets hit the board with 135 pellets in the outer section and 95 covering the inner 14-inches.

Eley Alphamax three-inch loads shot very dense full choke patterns at 25-yards with the BB shot sizes and a total pellet payload/count within a 24-inch circle, deadly. Buckshot loads were also tested with Game Bore’s Mammoth SSG loads providing that insurance load for when a fox breaks the lines or out lamping and you need a bit stiffer load. Six of the pellets hit the fox’s silhouette at 25-yards on full choke.

I tried some steel Eley Lightnings, but with the half choke fitted and as such the steel shot cycled the action hard and gave a broad but slightly patchy pattern from the steel shot load. Overall the Duck Commander digested all the cartridges with ease as stated and would make a great all round shotgun for most scattergun duties.

Conclusion

Mossbergs never fail to impress me, yes they do not have the refined nature of some semis on the market but then they are half the price but do not have half the features. To most, their reliability and good patterns are enough for a good day’s sport after wildfowl or rough shooting.

The adornments are a bit tacky but I like the olive green finish and mini flighting duck stencils to the action and for me the 930 comes right up to aim, with a very flat rib view and instantly visible bead.

Able to handle loads from light game to heavy goose/duck and shake off the inclement weather, the 930 Duck Commander will not disappoint.

 

gun
features

  • Manufacturer: Mossberg Duck Commander 930
  • Calibre: 12g, three-inch
  • Overall length: 48.25-inches
  • Barrel length: 28-inches
  • Choke: ‘Accu-choke’, three chokes, ¼, ½ and full
  • Sights: Day-Glo foresight bead
  • Trigger/safety: Single stage top safety lever
  • Stock: Urethane synthetic with Max 5 Camo
  • Price: £548
  • Contact: York Guns www.yorkguns.com

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