Mossberg 930 Review [2021]: SPX Tactical Variant (with Pictures)

by Travis Pike

January 9, 2021

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4.5
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There was a time not long ago that the words affordable semi-auto shotgun were a near-instant disqualifier for most shotgun aficionados. However, the Mossberg 930 changed all that and brought forth an affordable, robust, modular, and reliable line of semi-auto shotguns.

Today, we are reviewing the 930 SPX model–a premier tactical variant of the 930 shotgun.

Mossberg 930 SPX Specs

  • Capacity 7+1
  • Caliber 12 Gauge
  • Overall Length 39″
  • Barrel Length 18.5″
  • Weight 7.5 pounds
  • Length of Pull 14″

Mossberg 930 SPX Background

It takes a mighty well known and well-respected shotgun manufacturer like Mossberg to change the industry.

The Mossberg 930 came out kicking and screaming with a 600 dollar price tag in a time when reliable semi-auto shotguns carried the hefty price of Benelli and Beretta attached to them. Nothing wrong with Berettas and Benellis though, they’re just expensive.

The 930 wasn’t just one gun either.

It was a family of firearms that accommodated various needs, including home defense and tactical use, hunting, and 3-gun.

The 930 family is significant, and any discerning shotgun shooter can find a model to suit their overall needs. From birds to bad guys, the 930 line has something for everyone.

Various 930 tactical configurations exist, but the SPX is the top of the line tactical model. It’s designed for home defense and police applications. The SPX model is considerably pricer than a standard 930 tactical but is packed with out of the box features. A standard 930 Tactical can be had for 450 bucks, but the SPX is often in the 600 dollar price ranges.

The Mossberg 930 SPX follows the path of most tactical semi-autos and uses a gas-powered design. This ensures you can strap numerous accessories to it without inhibiting reliability. The 930 SPX is short and light and a weapon well suited for home defense and tactical use. The gun is an out of the box option that’s outfitted with a higher than average capacity, ghost ring sights, and a handy 18.5-inch barrel.

Mossberg 930 SPX Background

1 Ghost Ring Sights with Optics Rail

The sights are pretty awesome as is. However, with the rail, you can awlways customize as you see fit.

2 Ambidextrous Tang Safety

Easy to operate for righties and lefties alike.

3 Reliable Gas-Operated Action

Provides minimal recoil while slinging shot or slugs.

4 Sling Ready

No need to specially set up a carry sling.

Mossberg 930 SPX – Our Take

If I stay away from semi-auto shotguns, I forget how much fun they can be. There is something so utterly addictive about delivering 12 gauge power as fast as you can pull the trigger. It’s a comfortable feeling if you are considering a shotgun for home defense. As the review started, I mentioned reliability and affordability, so let’s start there.

The good news is the Mossberg 930 is a very reliable weapon. Gas-operated shotguns tend not to be too finicky, and the 930 SPX is no different. Ammo wise, it can handle everything, but very light sub-1000 fps trap loads, which I don’t consider a downside because they are specialized rounds I have no use for.

The 930 SPX does digest pretty much every standard load, including cheap birdshot. This includes those cheap, bulk number 8 or 7.5 loads designed to be affordable and widely available. It eats all of it. In terms of buckshot, I tend to be a fan of Federal FliteControl, which is a reduced recoil load. These reduced recoil loads have no problems in the 930. Neither do the cheapest Fiiochi reduced recoil loads I have on hand.

Reliability only becomes an issue when you fail to clean the gun. About 1,000 rounds in the weapon needs cleaning or it’s going to start gumming up. That’s not bad to be fair, but guns like the Benelli M4 can go and go and go without issue. They also cost three times as much. The new 940 JM Pro actually made an effort to improve this, and that gun can go longer between cleanings.

Handling It

This specific model has the traditional shotgun style stock, and when it comes to Mossberg’s, this is the right stock to go with. This makes that brilliant tang safety easily accessible, and it’s by far the best shotgun safety on the market. The safety’s ambidextrous, easy to engage, and perfect for a straight shotgun stock.

The charging handle is a bit dainty, and I have replaced it with a broader, square-shaped model. This is another issue they fixed on the 940 Pro. The bolt release is surprisingly large and comfortable to engage. I like to load over the top for port loading, and striking the button has become a very natural means to emergency reload. The loading port has a shell lifter that loves to pinch when loading the gun, and this was another issue addressed on the 940 JM Pro.

The length of pull is 14 inches, which is fine for me, and likely most adult men. For youth or smaller framed shooters, the LOP may feel a bit long. The stock provides an excellent cheek weld for using the ghost ring sights. The forend is long and textured, which makes it easy to grip for gorilla’s like me who have very long arms.

Slinging Lead

Those ghost ring sights do allow you to make the most use out of loads like Federal FliteControl. They provide a good deal of precision at various distances and will enable you to make the most out of this tight grouping buckshot load.

The trigger is also surprising. The trigger is often a forgotten part of shotgun design, but the Mossberg 930 has a surprisingly lovely trigger. It has hardly any take-up, and it has a short and light wall with a nice crisp break.

The 930 SPX is also an accurate slug thrower if that’s your thing. The sights are made by an Italian firm known as LPA, and they do make some robust sights. The front sight is a high visibility red fiber optic that’s clean and easy to focus on. It’s also eye-catching and quick on target.

Backing up the nice sights is an optic’s rail should you go red dot sight on your shotgun.

Choo Choo

There is something addictive about 12 gauge double taps or rapidly emptying the 930 SPX’s 7 round tube into a target or several targets. The gas-operated design ensures recoil is nice and soft. You can shoot this thing all day long and never worry about a bruised shoulder or feeling ragged and beat up.

You’ll deal with muzzle rise, but you can minimize that via proper mitigation techniques. I do prefer a push/pull method and find that the Mossberg 930 SPX responds well to that. The long, textured forend makes the push portion quite simple. The 930 SPX is a ton of fun to shoot, and running through various drills always makes me smile.

One of my favorites is a Z drill. It requires a good berm and four clay pigeons. Arrange the pigeons in a Z shape and transition from one to another. It’s a great drill for both precision and speed work with a shotgun.

The Price of Admission

The Mossberg 930 SPX costs more than most pump guns and even more than some semi-auto guns. However, when it comes to the right price for the right level of quality, the Mossberg 930 SPX is right on the money. You aren’t paying the Italian tax on a fine semi-auto shotgun, but you also aren’t getting a hunk of junk that’s pickier than a 2-year-old who only eats Dinosaur Nuggets. I think it represents the best value for a self-defense worthy semi-auto shotgun.

Mossberg 930 SPX Pros and Cons

  • Excellent Sights
  • Optics Ready
  • Not Ammo Picky
  • Low Recoil
  • Out of the Box Ready for Home Defense
  • Perfect Mossberg Tang Safety
  • Limited Stock Options
  • Puny Charging Handle
  • Pinchy Lift Gate

Report Card

Reliability

Almost perfect, and the cleaning requirement is a hefty 1,000 rounds or so. I would say that’s top tier, but there are some slightly better guns. My Benelli has never been cleaned, and it still runs, but it costs about 2k.

B
Accuracy

It is a shotgun, but it’s also a shotgun with a great trigger and an excellent set of sights, so what’s not to love? The 930 SPX is plenty accurate and will get both slugs and shot on target.

A
Shootability

The low recoil and fast cycling design make it a blast to shoot and handle. The main problem comes from the shell lifter that pinches your thumb with some real aggression.

B
Ergonomics

The ergonomics are rather solid with little that needs replacing. The puny charging handle needed a quick fix, but other than that, this is an ergonomic delight.

B
Value

The price is unbeatable for what you are getting. If you want a reliable semi-auto shotgun, then the Mossberg 930 is hard to beat.

A

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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Mossberg 930 SPX Starter Pack

When compared to other types of guns, shotguns are among the simplest to use. And you don’t need as much to get started. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. There’s still a few items you’re going to need in order to safely start using your new Mossberg 930 SPX.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit on Amazon
  • Shooting Glasses: If you’re going to be firing a gun of any kind, you’re going to want eye protection. There’s no telling what can fly into your eye when shooting. But there’s so many different styles and colors available. Find out which are best for you on our comprehensive Best Shooting Glasses guide.
  • Hearing Protection: Guns go bang. And those bangs can take a definite toll on your hearing–especially shotguns. Figure out what hearing protection you need in our Best Shooting Hearing Protection article.
  • Storage: Allen Riot Shotgun Case on Amazon

Mossberg 930 SPX Gun Deals

Securing a Mossberg 930 SPX is much easier said than done. Finding the best gun deal today can be difficult to the point of frustrating. So, we’ve tried to make things a bit easier for you. Listed below are some markets which carry the Mossberg 930 SPX. 

Disclaimer: These are priced at the time of writing. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Mossberg 930 SPX

If you really want to make your Mossberg 930 SPX stand out, you’ve gotta accessorize. Fortunately, there’s quite a few upgrades you can make to better improve your QoL and the feel and look of your gun.

Best Accessories for the Mossberg 930 SPX
AccessoryDetailsCheck Price
Viking Tactical Quick Adjust Sling
  • 2 point design
  • Padded for Max Comfort
  • Quick Pull Tab for Rapid Adjustments
Check Price
Tacstar Side Saddle
  • 6 Spare Rounds of Ammo
  • Polymer Construction w/ Aluminum Backing Plate
Check Price
Holosun 507C
  • Allows for Over the Top Port Loading
  • 32 MOA Reticle
  • Battery/Solar Power Design
Check Price
Streamlight ProTac
  • 1000 Lumens
  • Short but Powerful
  • Affordable and Robust
Check Price
Streamlight Mag Tube Rail
  • Fits Any 12 GA Tube
  • Can Mount on Various Angles
  • Provides Small Rail Section for Light
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your Mossberg SPX 930

Shotguns can handle many different types of ammo from mini vermin shells to big boy slugs capable of putting big holes in things. Here are our recommendations for both shot and slugs so you can be prepared for whatever occasion arises. 

Shot

Fiocchi Ultra Low Recoil 2 3/4″

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Brownells $0.38

Slugs

Federal Premium Vital-Shok Trophy Copper 300GR Slugs

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Brownells $2.58
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $2.60
Palmetto State Armory $3.00

Other Semi Auto Shotguns of Its Class to Check Out

It’s true that Mossberg makes some pretty decent semi-auto shotguns. But they’re far from the only game in town. Here are some of the other competitors who you might think do it better.

#1 Remington Versamax

Remington Versamax

The Remington reputation is definitely upheld when it comes to their Versa Max Series. and the Versa Max Tactical is the centerpiece of Remington’s Versa Max family.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability B
  • Accuracy B
  • Reliability A+
  • Value A

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

There’s not a chance that we’ll leave this out of the conversation. This dependable work truck is one of our favorites around here at Gun University and one of our highest rated shotguns ever. This semi-auto is perfect for just about every situation thanks to its unique gas port system…READ MORE

#2 Beretta 1301 Comp

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Accuracy B+
  • Reliability B+
  • Ergonomics B
  • Value A

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

If the Remington above is a dependable work truck, then this Beretta’s like a Ferarri. Its Blink action operating system is stupid fast and heads ups above the competition. This makes the Beretta 1301 Comp one of the best possible 3-gun shotguns on the market today…READ MORE 

How to Care for Your Mossberg 930 SPX

When it comes to tearing down, cleaning, and reassembling your Mossberg 930 SPX, it helps to actually see what’s going on before tackling this job for the first time. There’s some special practical things that you’re going to want to know beforehand. Fortunately, Northwoods Renaissance has put together a great video full of great info, quick wit, and dry humor that will keep you watching and learning until the end.

Important Links and Manuals for Your Mossberg 930 SPX

Want some more information on the Mossberg 930 SPX or 930 family in general? We’ve got you covered. Check out these links to get you started:

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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