Mossberg 930 SPX

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fooschnickens
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Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 29 Apr 2010, 10:16

This will be a fairly simple review going over the features and functionality of the Mossberg 930 SPX. I try not to add my opinions in firearm reviews simply because there are SO MANY different ideas about what is best out there. It's your gun, do with it as you please. That said, let's get started.

The 930 SPX was designed to be an upgrade from the 930 Home Defense model. They are essentially the same when it comes to the inner workings and overall design, but the similarities end there. Outside, the SPX gains a magazine tube extension (Choate), receiver-mounted picatinny rail, and LPA ghost ring sights with fiber-optic front sight. Mossberg also offers the SPX with a pistol grip stock (also by Choate).

Specs/features:

18.5" smooth Barrel
chambered in 12ga
Double ported gas system
7+1 capacity
Accepts 2 3/4" and 3" shells
Overall length of 39" with 14" length of pull
Spacers to adjust drop/rise of the stock
Tang-mounted safety
Hammer indicator inside trigger guard
Checkered stock and foregrip
LPA adjustable rear ghost ring sight and fiber-optic front sight
EZ-Empty unloading system
MSRP $720, retails for around $600 (or less)

Ok, enough numbers, time to dig into it.

Click any image for a larger view:

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From the outside, you can tell the SPX means business. The LPA sights and mag extension certainly make that clear. Some people have reported issues with the Choate mag tube, but I haven't had any problems yet. When I do, I'll consider replacing it. I experienced no feeding issues whether the tube was full or down to 1 round. The checkering on the stock and foregrip gave good traction when holding it, but some people may find the stock's checkering to be too aggressive. Even my well-calloused blue collar hands felt it dig in after a few hours of shooting, so you girly types may not like that. The tang-mounted safety is easily accessed whether you're a lefty or righty and solidly clicks into place with a large red dot denoting the "fire" position. The stock has a built-in rubberized recoil pad that helps a bit with felt recoil, but it's a shotgun, it'll kick. That said, however, recoil was very manageable and let me do follow-up shots on clipped targets with ease. Loading was easy, and I didn't get thumb bite from the loading elevator. One of the great things about this shotgun is its mostly metal construction. Aside from the stock and foregrip, there are maybe one or two other parts that are plastic. Even so, it remains lightweight and manageable with a balance point at the front edge of the ejection port. Disassembly is a simple affair, and everything comes apart and goes back together easily with little to no free play in the components once everything is tightened down.

Moving on, we'll start our focus from the rear of the gun and work our way forward. As stated earlier, the stock has a rubber butt pad and is available in a traditional rifle stock or pistol grip stock.

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The safety is tang-mounted like most other Mossberg shotguns, so anyone with a 500 will feel right at home using it.

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The trigger guard is all metal and houses a hammer indicator on the inside to provide both a visual and tactile signal that the weapon is ready to fire.

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The trigger assembly is taken out by removing the two pins from the receiver. They come out either way, so no need to remember anything special there. With the trigger assembly removed, take care not to pull the trigger and release the hammer. There is a small spring held in place that will pop out if the assembly is not mounted in the gun, so you don't want to lose that.

The charging handle is the standard Mossberg hunting flair, but there are several options out there to replace it should you feel the need to do so. The bolt release button is large and easily found using either hand. For those with longer fingers (and are left-handed) you can reach under the receiver and press it without removing your off-hand from the foregrip.

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After the last round, the bolt locks back and can be brought back forward after reloading by pressing the release button. The release button also doubles as an unloading aid that will eject a single round through the loading port instead of cycling the action to spit a round out through the chamber. Loading is very easy and the elevator has a finished cutout to help prevent your thumb from getting chewed up while pushing the rounds in.

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It will hold 7+1 rounds with the included extension tube, but you can also ghost load an additional round bringing your total capacity up to 9 rounds. Wowza. More on that later as the process is a bit convoluted.

The LPA sights and picatinny rail are a real bonus on this gun. Buying the whole setup by itself will set you back well over $200, and there's only a $100 price difference between the base home defense model and the SPX. The shotgun comes with the high fiber-optic front sight and standard ghost ring rear sight. The rear sight is adjustable for elevation and windage and the front sight is adjustable for elevation as well.

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The rear sight adjusts using a flathead screwdriver and has easy to see markings denoting proper windage and elevation adjustments. The front sight requires a 1.5mm allen wrench. Some people reported issues with the front sight being slightly canted from the factory, but it appears that Mossberg has fixed this issue as mine was pretty much dead on along with the other unit that was at my gun shop. LPA offers several different options for the front and rear sights with everything from plain painted white to tritium so you can set it up exactly how you want. The sights held zero for an entire weekend of shooting (roughly 400 rounds) and even in low light (dusk) the fiber front sight remained very visible. The picatinny rail also allows you to mount other optics to either co-witness the LPA sights, or replace them altogether (which is great for the next point).

The barrel is a standard smooth bore and can swap out with any other 930 series barrel. This is great because you can go from home defense to hunting to target loadouts in minutes and back again. I'm not sure how much this affects the zero of rail-mounted sights, but I'll report back on that when I have a chance to try it out. A friend of mine has a couple different barrels that I may be able to borrow so I'll try and grab one first chance I get. Mossberg also offers the standard home defense model bundled with a 28" vented barrel for target or other field use. The magazine tube is made by Choate and seems to work well. I experienced no binds or FTFs while using the gun and until I do I see no reason to replace it. The factory magazine follower is black so replacing it with a high-vis follower is recommended and will also help to keep the spring from binding up.

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When I was doing my research on this shotgun, I found several instances of people having issues getting it to cycle properly. A majority of the time I found this to be attributed to the people firing it out of the box without cleaning and lubing it up prior to firing. On top of that, several noted that this was not only their first shotgun, but their first firearm as well. I broke mine down and lubed it up well beforehand and experienced no issues with it, even after getting dunked with a few gallons of water. I fired everything from light target loads all the way up to 3" slugs with no issues feeding, firing or ejecting. Spent shells were thrown roughly four feet away at about a 2 o'clock angle. Some also reported that the front two screws holding the rail to the receiver were stripped out or not tightened down at all. Again, Mossberg appears to have resolved this issue as neither problem was present on mine.

All in all, a very potent package for a very respectable price. Those looking into getting a good all around autoloader should definitely consider the 930. With a barrel to fulfill whatever role you want it to, you're limited only by how often you're able to get outside.
Last edited by fooschnickens on 30 Apr 2010, 06:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by MrSlippyFist » 29 Apr 2010, 11:01

Nice review, thanks!
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by Kerberos » 29 Apr 2010, 11:04

Nice review. This looks just like an FN SLP 18", but comes in at a couple hundred dollars less...interesting.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by toyslr » 29 Apr 2010, 13:33

Becoming a well round reviewer. Very professional

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 29 Apr 2010, 13:58

Kerberos wrote:Nice review. This looks just like an FN SLP 18", but comes in at a couple hundred dollars less...interesting.
I've seen a few others say the same thing; an SLP, but for less cash. Having fired an SLP, I can say its recoil management is better than the 930, but people have also said there's enough room in the stock for an aftermarket reducer so with that they may be on par with each other in that department.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 14 May 2010, 11:45

Small update. Put some more shells through it the other day and it seems like the recoil has reduced slightly. It may be due to the action spring getting broken in and loosening up a bit. Still no FTFs or FTEs using buck or slugs. Still haven't found a buck load tha groups the way I like it, but I've got a few more loads to try so I'm hopeful I'll find one in these last few. Slugs remain to be very accurate regardless of brand and I'm getting close to a 6" grouping at 100yds. I'm really impressed with the accuracy of the gun, especially with the 18.5" barrel.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by toyslr » 14 May 2010, 12:44

Building a 18.5" 590A1 with Mesa Tactical adapter to use a magpul buttstock.Will drop the overal length
down almost 4 1/2"s.

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 14 May 2010, 14:23

Length of pull is actually perfect for me. My arms are really long so making it any shorter would make me look goofier than I already am :laugh: Plus you can't shorten the stock much because of the recoil assembly in there.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 05 Jun 2010, 08:18

Had another chance to shoot it this past week. Finally found a 00 load I like so I'm gonna start stocking up on it. It's the Fiocci LE 00. Not only is it a "lighter" load for less recoil, but it's cheap as hell. Only $5.00 for a box of 10 at my local shop. Kept a nice 4" grouping at 15yds with only one little flyer BB all day that expanded out to 8".

Also had its first malfunction, but it was due to bad ammo. The shell wouldn't feed from the tube because it had a dent on the lip of the brass preventing it from coming out, but had no problem going in. :shrug: I looked at the rest of the shells in the box and found two more with the same dents on them. I sent a message to Fiocci about it and they're sending me some new ammo, so it's a win/win in my book.
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by 4thPointOfContact » 06 Jul 2010, 21:29

I have a 930 SPX as well and that review pretty much covers it.
One thing that can't be emphasized too much is that contrary to a lot of safety practices, Do Not dryfire the 930 prior to disassembly. It's almost a sure way to have the loaded chamber indicator and hammer spring get lost. (Don't ask how I found that out.)

I tried the Fiocchi load and had a few stumbles with it, so it may be a case of just more break-in. Until then I'll use Federal LE132-00 / PD132-00 reduced recoil loads. One thing several people have found out is that Mossberg seems to have very tight specs on the length of their magazine tube, meaning that you occasionally lose 1-shot in capacity with some brands of shells (ahem.. Federal). Replacing the standard mag tube spring with one from a 500/590 cures this, dunno why.

Another bit of advice is to not be tempted by the nice, black button to release a shell from the magazine prior to loading. You'll regret it as the magazine will usually release two shells onto the carrier locking up the gun until that's fixed. Note that using the button is Not in the manual and that it's Not a good practice, so don't do it. If you do, and I'm not saying that I did it, okay?, then the charging handle makes an adequate emergency tool to shove the 2nd round that you shouldn't have released in the first place back into the magazine.

Ghost loading the 930, not something to do every day, but it Can come in handy.
Ghost Loading Link

All in all I'm pretty happy with mine.



p.s. As the 930SPX doesn't come with any way to affix a sling on the front, I should probably mention that the SPX is identical to a Remington 870 in the magazine-to-barrel measurements; any sling plate for an 870 should work with a 930.

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 09 Jul 2010, 00:54

I only ever used the bolt release if I was putting in one round at a time from the side as it was quicker than yanking the charging handle. I've been meaning to order one of the larger handles to see how it works, but until then, that method serves me well especially since I'm a lefty. I can drop one round in, hit the button and continue loading without shifting my body position at all.

As far as your Fiocchi troubles, it may be due to break-in. I had several hundred rounds through mine before I started testing 00 loads, so that may have something to do with it. I haven't found a slug that isn't accurate in it, yet, so it's good to know that it's a cheap date when it comes to ammo :laugh:
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by CenCalSplicer » 31 Dec 2010, 03:32

I was talking to Chuck the other day and he just purchased one and after reading the review and the extra info posted on this gun I think this might be my first auto loader. The pics look great too. Time to save up!!

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by ChuckD » 06 Jan 2011, 18:32

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by f3rr37 » 06 Jan 2011, 21:14

Love the patch. :D

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by panzermk2 » 07 Jan 2011, 09:50

f3rr37 wrote:Love the patch. :D


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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 21 Jan 2011, 15:49

Good lookin' Chuck :thumb:
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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by s64woody » 04 Nov 2011, 19:46

I have been running an SPX for about two years. Mossberg had some QC issues early on with the SPX, but once I got through that it has become my go-to gun. Things loosened up after about 200 rounds, and I have full confidence in it.

I highly recommend that an owner of a new SPX do the following BEFORE FIRING THE WEAPON.
1. Clean it. I have never seen so much dirt out of a new weapon.
2. Lub it. 'nuf said.
3. While the barrel is off of the receiver inspect the screws that hold the piccatiny rail onto the receiver. Mossberg had a habit of installing screws that were too long. If they protrude they get hammered by the barrel during operation, and will strip the threads in the forward section of the receiver and fail.
4. Prior to purchase it is wise to inspect the front site. Early on Mossberg manufactured many that were installed "canted" off centerline.

Other than that I have nothing to add. It is a great shotgun, and it lives with a Burris Fastfire on top.

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by fooschnickens » 04 Nov 2011, 20:06

Yup. Pretty much all those issues were fixed by the time I got mine. A friend purchased one shortly after shooting mine and reported no issues as well.

You'd think that cleaning/lubing a weapon after buying it would be SOP, but then again we've seen some of the people who buy guns...

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by s64woody » 05 Nov 2011, 07:17

One thing that I experimented with on the 930 was using spray on graphite lubricant. I found that it did not attract "storage junk", because it was dry. I was not happy with this technique on my AR, but find it works well on the SPX. No function issues.

The only other modification was cutting off the bottom of the fore end. It projects back at an angle, and would catch your finger(s) during a reload. By grinding the rear end of the fore end to a 90 degree angle the problem was solved. This was pointed out by others, but I tried it and think Mossberg should do it at manufacture.

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Re: Mossberg 930 SPX

Post by srt-4_jon » 05 Nov 2011, 07:59

I picked up a 930 SPX a few weeks ago and I love it. All I did to break it in is clean it and shoot 17 rounds of 2 3/4" 00 buckshot. Then I went to walmart, got a 100rd of 7 1/2 shot, and took it trap shooting. Had zero malfunctions. I did notice that I lost a round shooting 00 buckshot but that isnt a big deal to me. I also have the newer version with the larger charging handle.

My only problem is getting a longer barrel. For the price of a longer barrel, I could get a new 870.

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