by Kevin Creighton - Friday, August 25, 2017
The Mossberg 930 JM Pro shotgun features a number of add-ons chosen by competition shooter Jerry Miculek, including an extended magazine tube.
The fast-paced sport of 3-gun is very popular right now, and with good reason. Three-gun takes elements of practical pistol shooting and extends them out to the use of a rifle and a shotgun as well. This means competitors have to shoot a pistol, rifle and shotgun quickly and accurately in order to win, in contrast to other shooting competitions that tend to focus on one platform.
It was that last part, shooting your shotgun quickly and accurately, where I was running into trouble. Common targets for shotguns in 3-gun including clay pigeons set at various distances and small (4 inch diameter or less) steel plates that must fall to score. At the time, I was using an auto-loading shotgun from a major manufacturer that was set up for tactical/self defense purposes, not 3-gun shooting. It was a great gun and ran well, but it had a cylinder bore barrel on it which couldn’t take any chokes, and as such, the minute I run up against small knockdown plates set up at 20 yards or more, my shot pattern was too loose to bowl them over, resulting in missed targets, lower scores and general unhappiness on my part.
Finding a shotgun that fit within my budget yet still had the high capacity and other features needed for 3-gun was exacerbated by the fact that I’m cross-eye dominant: I’m right-handed, but my left eye is my dominant eye. This doesn’t affect me that much when I shoot pistols, but when it comes to long guns, I find it easier for me to shoot them left-handed rather than right-handed, and finding a shotgun that worked well left-handed can be a bit of a chore.
Enter the Mossberg 930 JM Pro shotgun. It has a tang-mounted safety, which is easy to manipulate with either the right or left hand and is threaded for chokes (more on that later). The gun ships with a bright green fiber-optic bead sight at the front and comes in either 9+1 or 10+1 versions, both of which work well with common 3-gun division rules regarding shotgun capacity.
Other features that make the Mossberg 930 JM Pro a dandy shotgun for 3-gun include an oversized charging handle and bolt release, useful for manipulating the gun faster while shooting a stage and a set screw on the back of the trigger guard to adjust the overtravel on the trigger. The enlarged, tapered loading port on the JM Pro also makes for faster reloads (a critical skill in 3-gun), and the gun ships with a variety of shims to help adjust the angle of the stock to the shooter’s shoulder for faster target acquisition and smoother transitions from target to target.
Getting used to this shotgun means taking it to the range, and I brought it to my local outdoor range to pattern the chokes with birdshot and sight-in the gun with slugs. The Mossberg 930 JM Pro ships with three Mossberg Accu-Chokes (full, mod, and improved) and swapping them out to open up or restrict the shot pattern as needed was super-easy. At 25 yards with a full choke, No. 8 birdshot fell into a pattern about a foot or so across, making shots on small falling metal plates a lot easier in future matches, and having the option for a wider pattern is useful on closer targets where aiming doesn’t need to as precise and faster target-to-target transitions make for a higher stage score.
Not all shotgun targets in 3-gun require birdshot, though. Slug shots into paper targets or distant metal plates are a common occurrence, so dialing in where slugs were hitting from the gun at various distances was also necessary. At 25 yards, slugs were hitting 3 inches above the bullseye. At 50 yards, they were dead-on.
Right out of the box, the Mossberg 930 JM Pro is a slick setup for 3-gun competition at any price, and the fact that it’s one of the less-expensive competition-ready shotguns on the market is just icing on the cake. If you’re looking to get into 3-gun, but don’t want empty your wallet buying equipment, the JM Pro should definitely be on your shopping list.
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