On a warm morning, I found myself once again passing through the legendary Gunsite gate. I was fortunate to be invited by Mossberg to take a close look at a new shotgun they had in the works. The Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical, chambered in 12-Gauge.
The Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical Shotgun
After a quick welcome and safety brief, we went to work. I was very pleased when I discovered that the shotgun of focus this visit was a new version of the 940 JM Pro that I fell in love with. Mossberg’s newest shotgun is the 940 Pro Tactical, as Seen at Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous 2022.
The gun is a 12-gauge gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun. It has an 18.5-inch barrel that has a noticeably small swell in the end. The 940 Pro Tactical barrel is threaded for use with their Accu-Choke interchangeable choke system. A removable cylinder tube comes installed.
The barrel also has a clamp with a swivel stud and dual-sided M-LOK compatibility slots to allow for attaching kits such as a flashlight. Additionally, the barrel is topped off with an easy-to-acquire red fiber-optic front sight.
The Mossberg Magic
Directly under the barrel is where some of the Mossberg magic happens. In an attempt to get the gun to run everything from super light birdshot to three-inch magnum slugs, some serious engineering had to take place.
The 940 accomplishes this with the use of a redesigned, essentially self-regulating piston. This piston vents excess gas out the front, and a separate spring-loaded valve in the gas block work together to trap just enough propellant to cycle the action. The gas that flows under the forend meets a pusher tube connecting the piston to the twin operating rods.
This lightweight aluminum component features holes, vents, ridges, and ribs that both reduce friction and give carbon and debris somewhere to go besides the outside of the mag tube.
It is an ingenious design and a major improvement from the original 930 shotgun. This new design is robust and focused on durability and reliability. All the critical components are nickel boron coated which adds life and makes clean up easy.
Mossberg tells us that this new design will allow the gun to run 1500 rounds before cleaning. The Mossberg engineers at the event shared with me that they had at least one gun back in Connecticut that had far surpassed that. And they were pushing on to see how far they could go.
Built to Run
The 940’s forend, like its stock, is injection molded from glass-filled nylon with solid checkering on the wrist and sides. It is a slenderer version and comfortable to grip.
Moving down to the receiver, you see one of the most notable features of the gun. These 940 Pro models come optic-ready, with receiver cuts that accept low-profile direct mounting of Shield RMSc-pattern micro dot sights.
When they say low profile, they mean low. Mossberg had installed Holosun HSS507K optics for the class on the guns, and they worked well. John Raciti, Senior Project Engineer at Mossberg, shared with me that they worked to get the optic as low as possible to help the gun be easy to aim and run. They accomplished this task with flying colors.
In keeping with its tactical persona, Mossberg has included oversized controls on the gun. It has a large-diameter, knurled charging handle, an elongated and serrated safety button, and a lengthened, contoured bolt release. I found them very easy to manipulate and would be simple even with gloved hands.
The 940 Pro Tactical Loads Easy
When you flip the gun over you, see it is built for ease of loading. An enlarged and beveled loading port was specifically configured for quad loading. This is a feature that is at the forefront of all the 940 guns.
While you may not be able to accomplish the hand gymnastics to pull off a quad load, the gun is very easy to feed in an old-school way. Something I really appreciated was the inclusion of an anodized bright orange follower. This makes both visual and tactile inspection easier. The gun also has an elongated, pinch-free elevator which will be a point of joy for those who get bit while loading.
Mossberg spent quite a bit of time on the stock. Few are the guns that require as much fitting as shotguns. An incorrect length of pull can make shooting a miserable experience. The gun has multiple adjustments available. The length of pull can be set anywhere from 12.5 inches to 14.25 inches. Rise and cast can also be adjusted by means of shims at the rear of the receiver.
Shooting the 940 Pro Tactical
Listening to the brief and specs got me even more excited to test drive this new boom stick. We started with shooting patterns with buckshot, so we knew where our guns were hitting. From there, we began to run about a billion rounds of birdshot in drills ranging from multiple targets to moving and shooting.
We also had multiple opportunities to run slugs during the class. In my world, this is where a shotgun shines or dies. The 940 Pro Tactical is one of the softest shooting guns I have run. This is all attributed to the unique gas system in the gun.
It was during slug drills that the presence of an optic really shined. This was the first time I had run an optic on a shotgun, and I fell in love with it. The low placement on the receiver made for very natural aiming. Steel at 25 yards was child’s play, and I ultimately hit steel at 130 yards on the legendary Gunsite Scrambler course.
One of the factors that played a role in this accuracy was the trigger. It was not the average crunchy bird shooting trigger by any stretch of the imagination. It had a clean break at about five pounds and had a short, smooth reset.
Running the 940 Pro Tactical in Close Quarters
As the days went on, we continued to put the gun and shooters through their paces. One of the most enjoyable sessions for me was a shoot house. This is a tactical shotgun and is ultimately designed for home applications. Where better to test it than in close quarters?
With the safety officer inches away, I made my way into the dimly lit building. Doing my best to clear corners and make good tactical decisions, I moved through rooms and down hallways engaging steel targets as I went.
The instructors at Gunsite made sure this was not a walk in the park, and we had to work to solve the problem. At the end of the run, with a cloud of gun smoke still lingering, I took a breath and let out a “Hell yeah.” Perhaps not an eloquent thing, but completely appropriate for the adrenaline rush that we experienced in the shoot house.
We went from nail-biting tactical applications at that point to standing in front of a clay pigeon thrower. Nobody said we could not have a little fun at the same time. I was stunned at how easy it is to shoot clays with a red dot optic.
The first couple caused a brain cramp as I instinctively looked for the front sight, but I quickly overcame that. The other writers found themselves blasting clays one right after another as well.
As I stood with John Raciti of Mossberg, he noted, “Where can you find a shotgun that you can clear a house with and then shoot clays equally as well?”
He had a good point, as the 940 Pro Tactical is more than the sum of its parts.
The 940 Pro Tactical is a shooter, plain and simple. I found it to be reliable and fast to run. The inclusion of an optic is a game-changer, to say the least. Speaking with Linda Powell of Mossberg, we wondered why we had not tried it before. Most modern handguns come optics-ready and now Mossberg is doing that with the shotgun.
The entire event was one of the most educational and enjoyable events I have attended in a long time. Gunsite shined as always. They quietly continue to produce quality classes and create gunfighters.
As for the Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical, it has moved to the top of my list of boomsticks. If you get a chance to run one, don’t let it slip by. You will be hooked.
For more information, please visit Mossberg.com.
Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical Specs
Chamber: 3 inches
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Front Sight: Fiber Optic
Rear Sight: Optic-ready
Choke: Accu-Choke System – Cylinder Bore Choke Installed
LOP type: Adjustable
Barrel Finish: Matte Blue
Stock Finish: Synthetic Black
Weight: 7.5 pounds
Length: 37.5 inches