Mossberg 940 Pro Field
Mossberg 940 Pro Field
Overall Rating: 77%
Price as reviewed: £995
Today we are going to be looking at Mossberg’s flagship field gun, the Mossberg 940 Pro Field. The gun has a plain black action and a black plastic stock which, to my mind, lacks any semblance of style, but underneath this gun is quite exciting.
The gun is a gas-system semi-automatic, meaning it uses the gas pressure from the fired shell to cycle the action. The gas that does this is pretty dirty and can be quite corrosive, so Mossberg has nickel-boron coated the piston and magazine tube to stop fouling building up and keep the gun cycling sweetly. In short, this gun is designed to work time after time, with the company claiming it should do 1,500 rounds between cleans.
To anyone familiar with Mossberg, this addiction to reliability will not come as a surprise. These guns are designed for hunting in the backcountry of the USA in some of the harshest conditions on earth, from the frozen north to the deserts and humid swamps of the south. This being the case, it should have no problem working on a sunny winter’s day in southern England.
Other features on this gun that are superbly practical are the large cocking handle and bolt release, which make operating it very easy — even in the dark or when wearing gloves. These are paired with an enlarged, bevelled loading port, elongated lifter and anodised magazine follower that make loading the mag super-slick. These are modifications that people used to do to their semi-autos to enhance their usability, so it’s great to see a manufacturer doing it for us. (Read why we shouldn’t be snobbish about semi-autos.)
The stock is uninspiring, from the quality of the plastic to the geometry and specs of everything from the grip to the drop. It does come with spacers to add 1 ¼in to the length of pull, but even with these added it barely breaks 14 ½in, which is not great. It does have a shim system to allow the owner to augment cast and drop, which is nice, but a little more comb height to hand position would have been ideal.
The grip texture is quite nice on both the stock and fore-end. It’s a Mossberg proprietary design that looks good and offers suitable grip. The pad on the back of the stock is also a great design that soaks up recoil.
The stock really is the only part that is a let-down and I’m hoping that someday, someone offers an aftermarket laminate adjustable stock for this gun which would elevate it to fight with the likes of the Maxus and A400.
The Mossberg 940 features a 28in steel-proofed multichoke barrel with 3in chambers and a 10mm parallel rib with a fibre-optic sight. It’s well built, nicely finished and will take a lifetime of punishment, but what it is not is lightweight.
The thick rib, heavy-duty gas port and USA-proof wall thicknesses add up to quite some mass, which when paired with a featherweight plastic stock doesn’t make for the sweetest balance to the gun, which weighs in at 7¾lb.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Mossberg
- Model 940 Pro Field
- Calibre 12-bore
- Action Type Semi-auto
- Chamber 3in
- Barrel 28in multichoke
- Stock Composite 13–14¼in
- Weight 7¾lb
- Price £995
- Importer Viking Arms
On paper I wasn’t expecting much when it came to the shooting other than reliable cycling — but how wrong I was. After 200 rounds over various Sporting and FITASC stands, I left a huge fan.
This gun is very soft shooting; the mixture of the brilliant gas system and the overall weight meant that it barely kicked as I tried all sorts of different 28g and 24g cartridges through it. It’s not only very smooth but also noticeably fast, as it was forged off the back of the 930 and 940 JM Pro, named after world champion shooter Jerry Miculek.
The next point was the easy unload system. If you want to unload the mag tube on many other semi-autos, you have no choice than either to cycle them through the chamber or try to fiddle them awkwardly off the lifter. This gun has a much better design; simply push the lifter all the way in, press the bolt release and the shells will come spurting out of the mag tube. In the field, I can see this would be very useful.
The trigger is quite nice for a semi-auto, again due to some great machining and interesting surface treatments, but also because this gun features a little screw behind the trigger. This means each owner can choose how much overtravel they want. Trigger overtravel on a semi-auto isn’t something I thought I would ever care about, but it was interesting to see just how much difference this had in the real world.
How did it shoot? Not bad at all, for a gun with a heap of front-end weight. It was surprisingly easy to point and move. It doesn’t win any points for being ultra-instinctive to shoot, but a gun that requires more user thought is the preference of many. The fibre-optic bead made mounting the teeny-weeny stock consistently very easy and, although not my usual preference, was a practical addition.
Clay after clay was crushed with no jamming or other mechanical or human errors. This gun, so unassuming on first impressions, is a mechanical masterpiece underneath — smooth, fast and reliable. For the sub-£1,000 price tag I think it is quite good value, with other guns in the same mechanical class being £500 more.
- Action and barrels 18/20 Points for reliability over looks
- Handling 15/20 A little too much front-end weight
- Trigger 17/20 Changeable overtravel is cool
- Stock 10/20 Not the best; the gun’s only let-down
- Value 17/20 For £995 there aren’t many this good
- Overall Score 77/100 Very nice gun, as long as you’re under 6ft