Reviewed: Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical

We put Mossberg’s newest tactical shotgun through its paces at Gunsite Academy.

Reviewed: Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical

When it comes to shotguns for home defense, law enforcement, military and tactical use, few companies have a better handle on that market than Mossberg. The venerable 500 is a staple of LEOs everywhere, and the company’s semi-auto 930 holds its own as well. The company’s newest offering in the tactical space, the 940 Pro Tactical, represents the next generation of performance tactical shotguns from a company with a rock-solid reputation.

In March, I traveled to Gunsite Academy to put the 940 Pro Tactical through its paces in a women’s only defensive shotgun class. This was no ordinary group of women — we’re all experienced gun writers with a retired law enforcement officer among the bunch — and Gunsite is no ordinary range, either. In fact, when it comes to truly seeing what a gun can do in any condition, Gunsite ranks at the top of the list. The dry desert atmosphere and dusty environment make an excellent proving ground for guns — they can either handle the dust and grit or they can’t, and it won’t take long to find out. And with instructors at the absolute top of their industry, a huge variety of classes to choose from, and an unwavering commitment to safety, training, and the Second Amendment, you won’t go wrong with a class at Gunsite. If you own or operate a range, you’d do well to consider a class here. Why not learn how it’s done from a school that has perfected the training process over generations?

The 940 class of shotguns debuted a few years ago, with a redesigned, cleaner-running gas operating system. The Pro Tactical version boasts everything you’d expect in a tactical shotgun: oversized controls, M-LOK compatibility, stock adjustability, an optics-ready receiver, and an 18.5-inch barrel with an interchangeable choke system. Mossberg coated the internal parts and finishes for corrosion resistance, including nickel boron coating on the gas piston, mag tube, hammer and sear. It’s practically bomb-proof. In fact, Mossberg claims it can run up to 1,500 rounds between cleanings. Although I didn’t fire that many shells to test the claim, our entire group did find the guns reliable and smooth. I had no function problems or jams.

Currently, one version is available: A 3-inch 12-gauge that holds seven + one, thanks to an extended magazine tube.

To meet the needs of the tactical shooter, Mossberg gave the 940 Pro Tactical receiver cuts that let the user direct-mount a micro-dot sight, using the Shield RMSc footprint. A cover plate is included for use when an optic is not mounted, and the receiver is drilled and tapped if the user prefers to add a rail-mounted optic. For our testing purposes, we mounted Holosun micro red-dots on the 940 Pro Tactical.

Although the stock of the gun is user-adjustable for length of pull, from 12.5 to 14.5 inches, as well as adjustability for drop at comb and cast using shims, I shot the gun sized as it came from the factory. Fortunately, the direct-mounted optic allowed for good eye alignment and quick target acquisition even with an imperfect gun fit. Although the 940 Pro Tactical offers dual-sided M-LOK-compatible slots, we didn’t add any accessories for the class, but this is a handy solution for buyers who want to add gun-mounted lights or other accoutrements.

Over the course of our instruction, I found the gun comfortable to shoot, with a slim forend and plenty of texturing on the grip for a sure hold. Between shooting sessions, a sling made the gun considerably more comfortable to hold and tote around (sling swivel studs are included).

During quick-load and failure drills, where we’d run the gun dry and reload as quickly as possible to continue shooting, the large, beveled loading port proved its worth. Mossberg calls the elongated elevator “pinch-free,” but I have to confess that I did manage to snag my thumb on more than one occasion when speed-reloading. And it takes a little time to get used to loading with your support hand, as we were taught, either coming over or under the receiver to roll a shell into the chamber port without removing your strong hand from the grip of the gun. I definitely appreciated the bright orange follower, which lets you see at a glance when the tube is empty.

The controls are oversized for easy use, which becomes a bigger factor than you might expect when you’re wearing gloves or operating under stress. For many years and across all gun platforms, Gunsite instructor Mario Marchman has been teaching us to use gross motor skills rather than fine motor skills whenever possible — like slapping the bolt release on an AR with your entire palm rather than trying to press it with one finger — because gross motor skills are considerably faster when you’re under pressure and experiencing an adrenaline dump. The charging handle is knurled and extended so it’s easy to operate at high speed. The bolt release lever is oversized to offer positive manipulation during loading.

The matte-finished barrel is topped with a fiber-optic front sight, which we didn’t use much because we were running red-dots. At 7.5 pounds and 37.5 inches long, the gun is neither so light that it causes excess recoil nor so heavy that it’s a burden to carry around.

We fired everything from birdshot to buckshot to slugs, and the 940 Pro Tactical ate every load without a problem. Firing at paper and at steel, we went through a series of “friendly” competitions and patterning exercises and some outdoor simulators. Even Gunsite CEO Ken Campbell couldn’t resist stopping by the class to try out the new shotgun.

Overall, the 940 Pro Tactical proved itself reliable, comfortable, easy to shoot and well-equipped for the tactical shooter. The addition of a red-dot optic, a sling and maybe a gun-mounted light take it to the next level, and the gun is set up to easily add all of these.

When it comes to selling the Mossberg 940 Pro Tactical, consider setting a display unit up with a few accessories so shoppers have an easier time picturing the gun’s full potential. It retails for an MSRP of $1,120 and should catch the eye of buyers in your store.


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