Mossberg 930 SPX Review And Modifications

The Mossberg 930 SPX Shotgun has several factory features which make it a formidable combat shotgun out of the box, but as with most weapons some modifications will better suit it to the user.

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

The gun balances well and is lightweight with the installed accessories. I like to avoid having my weapons take on the weight and look of Crew Served Weapons.

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.

This entry was posted in Long Guns, Review, Weapon Modifications by Bob Henckel. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bob Henckel

Bob Henckel is a retired Police Officer and currently serves with the Department of the Air Force. He has 40 years combined military and law enforcement experience. Bob has experience in Patrol, Training, Emergency Service Team Member and was the Senior Firearms Instructor and Armorer in his previous department. Bob also has over 25 years experience as a Firearms Instructor. He holds numerous Instructor Certifications in Pistol, Carbine and Shotgun. He is also a Certified Instructor in Concealed Carry, Force On Force, Active Shooter, NRA Advanced Pistol Instructor, ASP Baton and OC Spray.

12 thoughts on “Mossberg 930 SPX Review And Modifications

  1. For some reason, most training scenarios force a “select slug” AFTER a few rounds of buck have been fired (such as “knock down the 3 steel poppers and then engage the paper target 50 yards away). If the real-world scenario encountered does not follow this script, one may need to get a slug in the chamber–first thing–as the shotgun is deployed. “Ghost-loading” the shotgun can turn this into a fumble-prone charlie-foxtrot that differs from one’s normal well-practiced select slug manipulations. IMO, just loading the magazine (leaving a dead space) is the better approach.

    In a similar vein, all of these “mid-string” select slug repetitions will often cause shooters to not disengage the safety if a select slug is required as the FIRST task after the beep.

  2. Excellent article; thank you for sharing. It is also timely as I purchased a 930 SPX a couple of weeks ago.

  3. Very good read! I have a different perspective on the traditional “cruiser ready”. Nearly all of the agency ND’s I have heard of (including all of ours) involve loading the long gun and prepping it into “cruiser ready” where the user deactivates the safety and drops the hammer on an “empty” chamber. I see no problem with leaving the hammer back and activating the mechanical safety. Any time you train to press the trigger as part of an administrative process, you invite the chance to make the gun go bang. Many years back, my good buddy Dean Caputo changed his agency SOP to engage the safety and NOT drop the hammer on an empty chamber. The number of long gun ND’s at his place have reduced to ZERO.

  4. Agreed. Very good read. I have been circling the 930 like a shark. Just wanting to see how it holds up over the long term. I wasn’t aware there were modifications to the original design. I am not saying that bothers me. It doesn’t. New platforms go through growing pains. All the accepted “standard weapons” of the day started out going through these same teething processes.

    Bob, do you have any info on how to tell what “generation” a SPX is? Serial number range or tell-tale features? If I see one that is a deal, I would like to know what GEN I’m looking at. Might help me save a few bucks on the deal. Do you have any info on Mossberg/Maverick’s position on getting older GEN’s upgraded?


    • Marky
      I don’t know about serial number ranges and the various changes. There were changes in sight height, barrel thickness, and spring rates. The biggest change was the enlarged bolt handle. I’ve actually had three 930 SPX’s. I traded the others for other guns and kicked myself afterwards. All have worked well. The enlarged bolt handle version is the newest. Unsure about upgrades and Mossberg’s take on that. One of my early versions had a canted front sight and was replaced with no issue at all by the factory. Hope this helps.

  5. I got mine after retiring from 34 years of Law Enforcement. Had it over a year now, but when I got it, the reviews stated several ‘canted’ front sights and ‘follower’ issues.
    Upon receiving mine, I ran a swab through the bore and used a rag to wipe any excess oil, grit, etc., and put a combination of older shells, #6, 1 oz slugs, 00 buck, and 3 inch slugs and 00Buck. Zero issues. Love the ghost rings!! The only thing I’ve added is a light with back button switch.
    Many recommend a clamp between the barrel and mag (it does look a bit odd without the clamp). I got one at for about $10. delivered and used a mag-mount for the light. Other light clamps would serve the same purpose. I was surprised at the smooth trigger, too. I do NOT like a rubbery recoil pad on any long gun as they snag clothing. I’d rate this 100%, IF I could find a ‘hard butt-plate’.

  6. Dear Sir, I thank you for you comments. I had decided to upgrade after 20 years with my trusty Defender 1300 to a Semi. My leisure years I guess. Obsessed about Mossberg, the Chevy vs. the Benelli (nah)but was intrigued by the FN series.
    Was murdered with the bank collapse and all my decisions now are informed by that much like my parents in the great depresssion. My father, for a major expenditure, would make the exception and go for the top quality. My mother on the other hand would settle for the second rate which would need to be replaced in five years. So as I pour my life out to you is the Blue Collar SPX OK or should I make the investment for the more expensive competition in the FLN.
    Warm Regards,
    The Pearl

    • M. Pearl

      I have no experience with the FN Shotgun. I have had 3 Benelli M1S90 and 3 Mossberg 930 SPX. The Mossberg compares with the Benelli very well. I have never noted any substantial difference performance wise between the two. However the Mossberg is around half the cost, unless you find a used M1S90.

      Hope this helps you out.
      Be Safe

  7. Great review and excellent mods. I’m curious how you went about shortening the length of pull? I find the stock a bIt long for a comfortable fit but everything I’ve read says the recoil spring tube is an issue with shortening the stock. Info appreciated.


  8. I’d love to know how you figured out how to mount the Vang Comp DSAC on the 930 spx which requires 2 pins, When I called Vang Comp they said it can’t be done, nor do they have one for the 930 spx. Please tell me how you did it and which version you purchased as they only have 2 currently, the Mossberg 500/590 and the Remington 870 versions. Your article was excellent, but it left me wanting after I couldn’t get the DSAC. Thank you in advance.

    • Riley
      Order just the spare round holder then get some Industrial strength adhesive Velcro. Attach it to the DSAC’s Velcro, trim to match, then degrease the receiver and attach the Velcro to the receiver and the DSAC holder to the Velcro on the receiver. As my Father told me. The difficult we do anytime, the impossible just takes a little longer.

  9. BOB,
    I just purchased a spx and I too am wondering how you shortened the stock..I do like the way you have it set up. thanks

Comments are closed.