Monday, March 12, 2012

Review of the Mossberg 930 SPX

     In my search for a home defense (HD) shotgun I have evaluated a Remington 870 Magnum, Mossberg 500 Mariner, Mossberg 590A1, and the Mossberg 930 SPX. I think the 930 SPX to the range this weekend and ran 250 rounds(225 low brass game loads, 15 00 Buck, 10 Slugs) through it. The 930 SPX is a serious contender to be my go to HD shotgun going forward. It has lots of features I want on a home defense shotgun, and provides a LOT of fire power..

Stock - Adjustable angle and length by adding shims provided with the gun, synthetic, swivel attachment points, pistol grip, checkered on the pistol grip and fore end.
Receiver -  Matte finish, picatinny rail, safety, trigger guard is large enough to accommodate gloves.
Sights - Ghost Ring rear, adjustable, M4 style, fiber optic front, hooded, Ghost Ring rear is removable from rail.
Controls - Trigger is crisp, cocked hammer indicator, safety is easy to see and use, charging handle is easy to operate even with gloves on.
Capacity - 8 shot with 2 3/4 or 3 inch shells (3 more rounds than the Benelli M4).

     Shooting this shotgun is a lot of fun. It cycles VERY fast, faster than I can pull the trigger. The 930 SPX points well and is comfortable in my hands. The forend stock is not bulky and provides a sure grip. As is the case with all Mossbergs, the controls are well placed and easy to use. The sights are easy to acquire in most lighting conditions. If you have any experience with the AR-15 platform, the rear sight on the 930 SPX will be very familiar to you. The trigger pull is crisp without a lot of travel.  Loading the weapon, or reloading, can be a little cumbersome if you do not have something to rest the barrel on as the weapon weighs in at almost 8 pounds. It can be barrel heavy if you try to hold the weapon one handed by the pistol grip and load with the other hand.
      I managed to create a jam while loading by not completely inserting the round into the feed tube. I didn't seat it completely and the magazine spring pushed it into the space under the bolt, which prevented me from inserting another shell until I cycled the action to eject the shell loaded int the chamber, and load the shell that popped out of the mag tube. This was an error on my part, and something I'll have to address through training. I believe the 930 SPX can be ghost loaded, however I did not try it personally.

     This shotgun is a great buy for the money. I paid about $630 for mine, out the door. That's about $100 over half the cost of a FN SLP and a third of the cost of a Benelli M4 (depending on configuration). There are lots of accessories available for the 930 SPX, some of which I plan to get....some I don't. Mossbergs customer service is one of the best in the firearms industry, and their quality is very high.

Field stripping:
     Field stripping the 930 SPX is pretty easy. Simply remove the magazine tube extension by unscrewing it. Be careful when you remove the mag extension as the mag spring is VERY long and will fly out. It can be somewhat of a PITA (Pain In The Ass) to reinstall but it's not difficult, just somewhat frustrating.Then remove the hand guard, barrel, piston, and then the bolt. You can remove the trigger group by punching out the pins holding it in place if you want. I never have. I have learned that if you want to remove the trigger group, make sure the hammer is back before you remove trigger group or parts will fly out. There are a couple of videos on You Tube detailing how to break the 930 SPX down, I highly recommend watching them.

Going forward:
     Overall this is a great shotgun for the price. It's comfortable to shoot, versatile, easily maintained, and customizable. I highly recommend this weapon to someone who is in the market for a home defense shotgun. I plan on adding a sling, and a mag tube clamp with mini-picatinny rail. I'm not an expert and I don't play one on the Internet. Please comment with your own experiences with this shotgun, you can do so anonymously if you wish.

     As always, thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Storing Firearms and Ammunition in the Suburbs.

     We all agree that our 2nd Amendment Rights under the Constitution are the pillars of out basic freedom. Most , if not all, of us also agree that with that right comes certain responsibilities. Properly securing your firearms is one of those responsibilities. Keeping in mind that those responsibilities go up a level or two if you have children in your home.

     Most of us have children, or will have children, and almost all of us own a firearm, or will own a firearm, or should own a firearm. Then there are a few of us who really should NOT own a firearm. If you don't own a gun and aren't planning to own a gun, then this really doesn't pertain to you. However, if you do own one, or are planning on owning one, you really need to take a look at how you're going to secure your weapon and the ammo you have for it.

     There are only three basic places you'll need to store and secure a weapon, depending on if you conceal carry or not: on your person, in your vehicle, and in your home. We'll look at each of those scenarios, for long guns and handguns, and I'll go over my own personal thoughts on those issues as well as what I've done for each scenario. Keep in mind that a gun you can't get to when you need it is worthless, or a gun that won't function when you DO get to it is worthless, or a gun of yours that a bad guy gets before you not worthless but is really bad.

     On my person: I'm of the opinion that my handgun is the most secure and accessible when it's on my person and under my control. With that being said, lets not go down some primrose path, simply for the sake of argument, that it would be more secure locked in a fortress safe inside a hidden room or something ridiculous. It still has to be accessible to be any help at all. So, I carry in an A-Holster custom made for a G23. It's comfortable, secures the weapon really well, is concealable, is very easy to get on and off my belt, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. You can check one out here AHOLSTER. I usually put it on when I go out and take it off when I get back home. The rest of the time my G23, along with a spare mag, is stored out of sight to everyone, and out of reach to children, and is accessible within 10-15 seconds from anywhere in my house. I don't carry a long gun so storing those is for later in this post.

     In my car: I keep a Nano Vault 200 in each of my vehicles. That's in case I need to store my carry weapon when I'm out. It's extremely secureable, very easy to use, and costs less than $30. Check one out here NANO VAULT. I don't believe it's a good idea to store weapons in the glove box for many reasons, primarily because every car break in I have ever seen has resulted in the glove box being searched. Secondly, don't keep your gun where you keep your vehicle paperwork, it could lead to some sticky roadside encounters with law enforcement.

     In my home: I mentioned above how I store and secure my G23 in my home. Everything else is kept in a gun safe locked in a room that has a very strong door. Not the best situation for home defense, but the best situation for me. I have three kids, and on any given day, all of my kids friends are running around my house. Most of them are not raised in gun responsible homes, they're raised in gun avoidance homes......which GREATLY raises their curiosity should they come across a firearm. Some of them are too little to know that a gun is dangerous, some of them are too curious to avoid a gun should they find one, and some of them are reckless enough to think they can handle it themselves. So I triple lock everything except my carry gun. I currently looking into a wall mountable, trigger securing, keypad locking option for mounting a shotgun in my closet. It's kind of pricey, but would provide my access to a shotgun should I need it.

     That cover securing my firearms, lets look at storing them and the ammunition that goes with them. I store my long guns in a safe, not a cabinet, not a case, not a rack, a SAFE. I have a Goldenrod  dehumidifier inside the safe to keep moisture out, and check them once a month. All stored ammunition, aside from what I require for daily carry is stored inside military ammo boxes, and those boxes are stacked inside a steel, locking, cabinet. Aside from the obvious ammunition, each ammo box contains an O2 absorber, a moisture absorber, and a label detailing when it was stored and an approximation of round count.  Each ammo box is clearly labeled by caliber on the outside. I also have a box for range ammo, which I take with me when I target shoot or train. I top the range ammo off with stops to Wal-Mart or wherever I buy my consumable ammo. When I go once or twice a year to train, which usually runs through a few rounds, I rotate my stored ammo into my training and replace it when I get back.

     I can't stress strongly enough the need for a good holster, a car vault, and a good safe. Doing everything possible to keep your firearms out of the hands of people who should not have access to them is a fundamental responsibility of gun ownership. If you can't get on board with that, maybe you shouldn't own a gun.
     I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. These are simply my observations and practices. Maybe they'll help you, maybe they won't. Comments, suggestions, and tips are always welcome. You cam post them to the blog, or e-mail them to me directly at

     As always, thanks for reading.