A barrel-mounted camera catches a shell as it clears the ejection port. The lack of recoil made this picture easy to take. Jeff Edmonds Photo
About two years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend an event at the Gunsite Academy that involved shooting various shotguns with different ammunition. I had been working quite a bit with the Benelli M4 for my real job in the week leading up to the event, so I was pretty amazed that by the end of the first shooting day I actually liked the Mossberg 930 SPX better. Gunsite rangemaster Bill Murphy (also the director of the SureFire Institute) had a very positive opinion of the Mossberg as well.
It might run well for a little bit, but what about the long haul? Cops are nearly as notorious as Marines and soldiers when it comes to figuring out ways to abuse and break equipment, so the 930 SPX was given a one-year endurance test. Well, that year-long test turned into a two-year-long test. In those two years, the shotgun has fired in excess of 2,500 rounds of mixed birdshot, buckshot and slug, with a grand total of two malfunctions.
When I first received the gun from the factory, I gave it a thorough inspection and was very happy with what I saw. The shotgun is coated with a dull, dark gray phosphate finish on all of the steel parts. It was evenly applied, and over the test period, the finish thinned in some areas but never wore off. The plastic parts (forend and stock) are made of a medium-density polymer and do not have the flimsy feel that you sometimes find on guns in this price range.