This year, Mossberg added a pair of tricked-out shotguns to its Pro-Series line of autoloaders that are designed specifically for waterfowlers. The duo includes the 930 and 935 Magnum DC Pro (DC stands for Duck Commander). Both models have received identical Pro-Series enhancements.
I elected to test the 3-inch 12-gauge 930 DC Pro rather than the 3½-inch 12-gauge 935 Magnum DC Pro. Although having the option to shoot super magnum shells is appealing, the reality is that most of us — myself included — shoot 3-inch ammo most of the time. In fact, I shot all of my ducks and geese (both Canadas and snows), as well as spring turkeys, this past season using 3-inch ammo. It’s cheaper, it kicks less, and it still gets the job done.
My test gun came fully assembled, which was a nice change of pace from other shotguns that often require extensive assembly before you can even see what you’ve got. Other than needing a cursory wipe down to remove excess packing oil, the 930 DC Pro is ready to go right out of the box.
Mossberg’s 930 already enjoys a legion of loyal fans, but what separates the DC Pro from other 930s are its various Pro-Series treatments, many of which are also found on Mossberg’s trio of 930 JM Pro-Series competition models developed in conjunction with shotgunning legend Jerry Miculek.
Several internal parts, including the gas piston and ring assembly, magazine tube, hammer, sear, return spring plunger and return spring tube, have received a nickel boron coating that resists corrosion and simplifies post-shoot cleanup. The return spring is stainless steel to prevent rusting and improve reliability.
Additionally, the bolt slide, elevator and shell stop have been given extra polishing before receiving their final matte finish to reduce friction and provide faster follow-up shots. Likewise, the loading gate is beveled to facilitate speedy reloads.
The stock and forearm are appropriately synthetic, and the whole gun is covered in Realtree Max-5 camo. This was the first time I’d examined up-close a gun dipped in this new pattern, which is well suited to the wetlands and fields we fowlers frequent. The camo was flawlessly applied, and the gun’s overall fit and finish was excellent throughout.
Sling attachments are provided fore and aft, and there’s a thick recoil pad at the butt. Length of pull is 14 inches, and a set of stock spacers and corresponding retention plates allows vertical adjustment of drop or rise, but not cast. The gun comes with the neutral, “no spacer” plate installed, which allows a bit of rib to be seen — nice for going-away, rising, trap-style targets, but not so ideal for general bird hunting use. I installed the drop spacer and plate, which lowered the stock and put my eyes in perfect alignment with the flat rib. Three other spacers/plates allow increasing degrees of rise, for those who prefer the sight picture a raised stock provides.
The 930 (and 935) DC Pro is only offered with a 28-inch barrel. Atop the flat, ventilated rib is TRUGLO’s dual-color Tru-Bead fiber-optic front sight, which has a red center surrounded by a green halo. This was my first experience with this type of sight (which is available on all Mossberg Duck Commander models), but I really like it and may very well install one on my personal shotgun(s). Target acquisition is quick, and it’s easily visible regardless of lighting conditions. Three flush-mount choke tubes are provided: improved cylinder, modified and full.
Other amenities include an oversized bolt handle and checkered bolt release button, which I’m told are both standard fare on all 930s, not just the DC Pro. The trigger guard is also spacious, and the ambidextrous safety is located atop the receiver in typical Mossberg fashion. The whole gun is easy to use even if wearing heavy gloves. The only embellishment that distinguishes this gun from other 930s is the DC Pro logo engraved on the right side of the receiver. Trigger pull averaged around 5½ pounds, which is great for a field gun.
My only minor gripes were the thin trigger blade, which could pinch the index finger at certain angles, and the magazine plug, which could be heard sliding around inside the magazine tube. That could easily be remedied with a small, rubber o-ring around the plug, which is merely a wooden dowel, not plastic. However, the plug easily falls out of the magazine tube by removing the magazine cap and tipping the gun upside down (unloaded, of course). It is ridiculously simple and should be a welcome convenience when unplugged gunning of spring snow geese or turkeys rolls around.
Since I received the 930 DC Pro in the off-season, I shot a variety of loads at clay targets. Test loads included: Winchester Super Target 1 1/8-oz. 7 ½s at 1,145 fps; Winchester AA Steel 1-oz. 7 ½s at 1,450 fps; Winchester TrAAcker 1 1/8-oz. 8s at 1,145 fps; RC2 Competition 1-oz. 7 ½s at 1,250 fps; Environ-Metal Hevi-Target 1-oz. 8s at 1,200 fps; and Rio Target 7/8-oz. 9s at 1,200 fps. Additionally, I shot a quartet of Rio Elite loads, all with 7 ½s — 1 1/8-oz. at 1,225 fps; 1 1/8-oz. at 1,175 fps; 1-oz. at 1,250 fps’ and 1-oz. at 1,350 fps. I also shot a trio of Gamebore offerings, all with 1 oz. of 7½s — White Gold at 1,295 fps; Black Gold at 1,350 fps; and Evo at 1,260 fps. I even fired a couple rounds of Hevi-Steel 1¼-oz. 2s at 1,500 fps just to see how the semi-auto liked 3-inch magnums.
All told, I fired over 200 rounds through the 930 DC Pro without a single malfunction, which is quite remarkable, considering the wide range of velocities and charge weights used and the fact that I never cleaned it. Overall, the gun was comfortable to shoot and recoil wasn’t bad, thanks to the gun’s 7¾-pound weight, thick recoil pad, and soft-shooting — and reliable — gas operating system.
MSRP on the 930 DC Pro is $919, compared to a standard 930 camo model for $782. However, that extra 137 bucks buys a bunch of enhancements that’ll improve both performance and longevity in the marsh and on the range.
Mossberg scatterguns have a reputation for ruggedness and reliability, which this tricked-out 930 certainly lives up to. If you’ve been thinking of jumping on Mossberg’s bandwagon, consider the new DC Pro series.