September 22, 2021
When legendary competitive shooters Jerry and Lena Miculek partnered with Mossberg in 2020 to launch a new 12-gauge autoloading shotgun, the 940 JM Pro, the world of competitive shooting took notice. Now Mossberg is transferring the technology of this competitive-style platform to the hunting market with the introduction of two new waterfowl-dedicated shotguns – the 940 Pro Waterfowl and the 940 Pro Snow Goose.
Right out of the box these semi-auto 12 gauges are loaded with a waterfowler’s favorite features: an earth-colored Cerakote barrel and receiver, synthetic foreend and stock in True Timber Prairie camo, an easy cleaning chrome-lined barrel, a collection of three different choke tubes and a bright HIVIZ® TriComp sight.
So, when Mossberg reached out to me and asked if I might have the chance to review the gun, I told them about my plans for September goose and dove hunting. Each year I’m lucky enough to do two of my favorite early-season hunts back-to-back: a long, river float hunting geese out of my canoe, and a dove hunt in a friend’s sunflower field. Now the convenient part of this September hunting duo is that that sunflower field borders the historic James River where I goose hunt. So, this year I grabbed the new Mossberg 940, a box of No. 2 steel shot, a box of No. 8 dove loads, my lunch, and a good dove stool and launched my canoe at sunrise.
Before I hit the river for the start of my goose float, I checked three things off the to-do list. First, I adjusted the gun’s length-of-pull to fit me. The user-configurable stock that is included with the 940 Pro offers out-of-the-box adjustments for length-of-pull between 13 – 14.25 inches, as well as drop and cast. With the proper knowledge, or the aid of a professional eye, the fit of this gun is open to a wide range of shooters. Simply loosen and remove the two screws buried in the back of the rubber butt stock, and you’ll be on your way to making length adjustments in no time at all. Luckily, my good friend and local gun-counter expert was there to see what fit me best.
The second step was oiling and lubing the gun. I disassembled the barrel and receiver, added gun oil to all moving parts and ensured a smooth feel of action at home before in the field—a process that took less than five minutes.
Lastly, I took the Mossberg 940 Pro Waterfowl shotgun to the patterning board to help me decide which choke tube would be best for my day. The included extended modified choke tube was the answer for my No. 2 shot, and the improved cylinder seemed right for my dove hunt. Those little doves tend to embarrass me, so I opted for more spread out of the improved cylinder; but I knew the geese needed to be knocked down at further distances, so I went with the extended modified.
Once on the river and swinging on geese, I found the 940 to be quick. The gun’s synthetic foreend and stock make for a lightweight 12-gauge set-up—7.75 pounds empty. This light weight was something that worried me when I first loaded up my 3-inch No. 2 shotshells, but pulling the trigger on some geese quickly eased that worry. Thanks to combined efforts of the newly designed gas system and cushiony butt stock the recoil was less than expected. Mossberg’s new gas system will run up to 1,500 rounds before cleaning is needed and will reliably cycle any type of quality commercial factory manufactured 2 ¾- or 3-inch ammunition.
One of my favorite features of this semi-auto shotgun is the oversized, beveled loading port. This improved design makes the continuous reloading that comes with any good wingshoot a pinch-free process—something that should also help improve reloading times in cold months when I’m wearing gloves. The oversized charging handle and bolt release button also speed up reloading and follow-up shots, and the rubber coating on the charging handle makes for no-slip, quick functioning even when my hands were wet from the canoe paddle or retrieved geese. These are some of the competition-style traits that have transitioned into this model, and I think other waterfowlers will appreciate them in the duck blind this fall.
The internal components of the 940 Pro (gas piston/rings, magazine tube, hammer sear, return spring plunger and return spring tube) are nickel boron-coated and the return spring plunger is hard-anodized aluminum. Combined with the chrome-lined barrels and self-draining stocks, these 940 autoloaders are designed for corrosion-resistant, reliable functioning. They’re also just easier to clean. Regardless of the number of rounds you can shoot between cleanings, it’s always easier to clean off a little than it is to scrub off a lot, and the materials used in this shotgun make the wise choice of a post-hunt cleaning even easier.
Unfortunately, there’s only one barrel length available at this time, so hunters who are more comfortable swinging a shorter 26-inch barrel will be have to be content with a 28-inch version—for now. The 940 Pro Snow Goose does come with the addition of an extended magazine, increasing the shell capacity to 12+1.
With an MSRP of just over $1,000, this is not your budget Mossberg shotgun; instead, this is a high-end, hunting-specific shotgun. But if you need an out-of-the-box shotgun that provides enhanced protection from the elements, reliable performance and durability for the harshest of conditions, look no further than the 940 Pro Waterfowl and 940 Pro Snow Goose 12-gauge autoloading shotguns. For more information on the complete line of 940 autoloaders, please visit www.mossberg.com.