The 930 SPX is a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun with 18 1/2 inch barrel, and is fitted with an LPA Fiber Optic front sight with Ghost Ring rear sight. The red fiber optic front sight is adjustable for elevation and shows up well in daylight and glows like a night sight when a mounted light is used. There are tritium front sights available for the LPA Sights. Having been in the situation of not being able to see a brass bead, trust me you want a visible front sight. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation and the click adjustments are well defined, and are clearly marked in white. The rear sight is mounted to the receiver on a Picatinny rail, which allows mounting a red dot sight if so desired. Both front and rear sights are protected by metal ears and are very rugged. The 930 SPX has a Choate extended magazine tube. Synthetic stocks with recoil pad and sling studs front and rear round out the package.
The 930 SPX has gone through some design changes during production. Front Sight heights, barrel thickness and spring rates have changed. The newest version has an enlarged bolt handle, which is an improvement over the older smaller one.
A 7 round magazine tube gives a fight stopping capacity, but also allows the shooter to load with 6 rounds, keeping space for a slug swap directly into the magazine. An added benefit is that downloading by one round lessens spring compression. I still recommend changing the spring yearly, as cheap insurance. I load the tube with Federal Tactical Buckshot.
Another feature of the 930 allows it to be “Ghost Loaded”. Once the magazine tube is loaded with 7 shells, press the bolt release button, this will allow a shell to move from the magazine tube onto the shell lifter. The shell will sit there until the bolt is operated to load it into the chamber. This is my preferred method, as it allows space for the above mentioned slug swap and less compression of the magazine spring, yet retains the ammunition capacity of the weapon.
Another method is for the operator to load the magazine fully and then retract the bolt to just before the point where a shell is released from the magazine tube, a shell is then placed onto the shell lifter but under the bolt, another shell can then be placed into the chamber by hand and the bolt released. This would bring the total capacity of the shotgun to 9 rounds. Either method is totally reliable with the 930 and is just dependent on the users preference and policy.
I recommend storing the shotgun in Cruiser Ready, which is magazine tube loaded, hammer down on the empty chamber, with the safety on or off depending on policy and user preference. This allows you to pick up the shotgun and work the bolt handle to chamber a round. Once on target and the decision to fire has been made, release the safety if needed and fire. Cruiser Ready has the benefit of keeping springs at rest when in storage, yet keeps the shotgun ready but safe, as the majority of shotguns are not drop safe, even with the safety on. That’s my preferred method, follow what works for you, or what is policy.
I fitted a Vang Comp DSAC Side Saddle with a Velcro attachment system. This allows the operator to carry additional shell holders on their gear or in a pocket or pouch. When the on gun one is empty, or different ammunition is needed, rip the one off the gun and slap another on. I load it with 6 rounds of Federal Tactical Slugs. Using the above described Cruiser Ready loading method, I have 13 rounds with the gun at all times.
While the stock metal follower works fine, I added a Wilson Combat high viz anti kink follower, which gives a visual and tactile cue as to the shotguns condition. You will need to shorten the tail of the follower to maintain the 7 round capacity however.
A Streamlight Shotgun Light Mount for an 870 was attached to the magazine tube, with a Vltor Scout Mount and Surefire G2 Light. I can push the tailcap with my thumb in normal use, or use the side of my index finger when shooting from the left shoulder. I upgrade the G2′s bulb to a P61 high output bulb. The plastic body of the G2 lights act as a shock absorber, and have held up well in several shotgun and carbine set ups I’ve used them in. Perhaps not as HSLD as some setups, but it works and does away with wires breaking and other issues.
As with most Shotguns the factory stocks 14 in. length of pull is too long, especially when wearing body armor. I have shortened the factory stock, and now have a 13 inch length of pull, but as with most semi auto shotguns, you are limited by the operating systems contained in the stock. A factory tactical stock would be a welcome option for most shooters. A Choate pistol grip stock is available from the factory. Spacers are included which allow the fit/drop of the stock to be altered to suit the shooter. Aftermarket stock choices are limited at this time.
A GG&G front sling mount rounds out the package. I use a Specter Gear 3 Point Sling with a ERB. This allows me to get out of the sling quickly if needed. I think that everyone agrees on the necessity of a sling on a long gun, no matter what style they select.
While some semi auto shotguns are unreliable with Low Recoil Buckshot and Slugs as well as Birdshot. I have found the 930 SPX reliable out of the box. Prior to any modifications and without cleaning or lubing, I ran 50 rounds each of Federal Tactical Low Recoil Buckshot and Slugs and 100 rounds of Remington #8 Birdshot loads with no malfunctions. While certainly not a torture test, 200 rounds out of the box, without prior cleaning is a pretty good indication of how the gun will run. Further shooting of mixed ammunition has revealed no issues.
Operation and controls of the gun are well thought out and user friendly. Load the shotgun into cruiser ready, work the bolt handle when preparing to fire, safety off and press the trigger. To combat load an empty gun, drop a round into the open ejection port and press the bolt release, if time allows load the magazine tube. To unload, push the shell lifter up and press the bolt release/shell release to remove each round from the magazine tube, then work the bolt handle to remove the chambered round. Some have stated that they found the operating system complicated, but I don’t find it so.
Take down for cleaning is simple and doesn’t require any special tools. No small easily lost parts or springs. Watch the Anaconda magazine spring when the extended magazine tube is unscrewed however.
As with most gas operated shotguns the 930 SPX is a soft shooting gun. No matter what loads I’ve fired it has handled them all. While recoil with some rounds is obviously more noticeable than others, none were punishing. While chambered to accept both 2 3/4 and 3 inch shells, I see no advantage to shooting 3 inch magnums. YMMV
I’ve found the 930 SPX to be reliable out of the box. It includes many sought after features and compares well to several competitors shotguns costing twice as much or more. It’s rugged and user friendly, at a price that leaves money for ammunition and training.