The Mossberg 940 stems from the venerable 930 line, and takes the company’s gas system a step further by making it run with fewer cleaning intervals, thanks to specialized internal coatings like nickel-boron. Mossberg kicked things off by introducing the JM Pro version of this gun, designed for 3-gun competition—and it was an immediate hit. So much so that hunters and clay shooters quickly started requesting a version that suited their sports as well. (The Connecticut company is no stranger to hunting and likely was already in production of a model for this use before the first sportsman clicked “send.”) I say this because in very short order Mossberg released the 940 Pro Field … and I was lucky enough to get a sample.
The 940 Pro Field is your general all-purpose 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun, perfect for slinging across your back and setting out to find a gobbler or smash some flying clays. The shotgun’s 28” vent-ribbed barrel is complemented by synthetic black furniture that stands up to rough weather and tree bark. Sling studs both fore and aft give you the option of adding a dual- or single-point sling for the long haul, and the cushy recoil pad makes it as comfortable to shoot as it is to carry.
Mossberg wanted the 940 Pro Field to be as useful as possible for as many people as possible, and this shows in the customization options included in the box. Using a series of shims, the end-user can adjust the drop-to-comb to best accommodate his/her facial features while mixing and matching stock spacers to get the length of pull just right for their body. As for uses, the Pro Field is threaded to accept the classic Accu-Choke pattern, and includes a Full, Modified and Improved Cylinder choke to tune your pattern for the most common shotgun shooting activities. Other features that caught my eye were the oversized bolt release and the brightly colored orange anodized follower. These were important to me, because gloved fingers and tiny controls don’t mix, nor do dark followers and low-light status checks.
This newest 940 from Mossberg initially caught my eye because I’ve recently begun turkey hunting and plan to take it afield for the next open season. In the meantime, I will be using it for clays to build a bit of familiarity and have a little fun making orange dust. Therefore, my range day consisted of patterning a high-quality turkey load and breaking clays with some specialty target loads. I started with the patterning to confirm the point of impact, and to get an idea of how effective it would be at 40 yards.
Using the included Full choke, I fired five test patterns of Federal’s 3rd degree 3” turkey shells, and gathered an average group size of 33”, with the center being exactly where I held. After tearing apart some shells (don’t try this at home), I was able to determine that an average of 81% of the payload was in the pattern, making this one consistent shooting shotgun indeed! The 3rd Degree shells contain a mixture of shot types in an effort to help turkey hunters make the close-range shots that they often miss because the pattern is small yet. With that in mind, I decided to see what the average pattern looked like at 10 yards. After firing at and measuring five targets, I determined the average pattern diameter to be about 8” with what I can only imagine included every pellet, as I left each piece of paper with one huge gaping hole.
Moving over to the clays field, I filled the four-round magazine with Browning’s #8 BPT loads, as these are designed to effectively break clays without punishing your shoulder. Compared to the 3” turkey loads that I had just finished shooting, the Browning shells were considerably gentler. With the IC choke screwed in, I broke a string of 23 clays—with some being as far as 50 yards out. I experienced excellent cycling to include bolt lock on the last round of each magazine. (I pay close attention to this aspect, as often the lighter loads have trouble producing enough gas to completely cycle the action in other shotguns.)
My day ended with a few more rounds of trap, as I had a hard time putting this gun down once I got started. Some of the key features of the 940 Pro Field that I enjoyed were the fiber-optic front “bead,” as well as the drilled and tapped receiver that makes scope mounting a breeze. In my 100-round test, it fed, fired and ejected both heavy 3” shells as well as light 2-3/4” shells, showing that the gas system is flexible enough to handle whatever shotshells you can get your hands on these days. I also enjoyed that the gun was still able to reach its full capacity with those longer, 3” shells, as often you have to decide between rounds on deck or downrange energy. Those looking for a gun that can handle a variety of tasks ought to consider this one as it certainly served me well through testing and I cannot wait to get it out into the woods. MSRP $868; Mossberg.com