Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mossberg 935 Review

I was recently in the market for my first auto loading shotgun. This year I was able to go duck hunting on Lake Monroe, down here in Bloomington. Using my Remington 870 Super Magnum, I was able to get a feel for how to duck hunt and decided to go all in and purchase an auto loader for next season. I was on a budget so anything above $600 was out of the question. I had narrowed my choice between the Mossberg 935 Magnum and the Stoeger M3500. I love shooting the 3 1/2" shells, I'm not sure if its the punishment or the extra loud bang and satisfaction of shooting the biggest shell available. The deciding factor for me, and probably the most important, it needed to be made in USA. This is a big deal to me and I find myself trying to purchase things made in the USA before I resort to inferior china made products. That's a whole other story...On to the review:

Mossberg 935


Stoeger M3500


I purchased the weapon new from Buds Gun Shop (www.budsgunshop.com) for $590 with insurance, I opted for the Advantage Max 4 camo pattern. The whole experience was painless and Buds Gun Shop worked directly with my preferred FFL to ship and transfer the firearm to me. If you are in the Bloomington area and need an FFL service, I highly recommend Four Seasons Gun Shop (www.fourseasonsgunshop.com). Just make sure you aren't in a hurry to get the firearm, between payment processing and shipping Buds Gun Shop took two weeks before I had the firearm in my possession.

Cleaning
Whenever I get a new gun I break it all down and give it a good cleaning. Factory guns usually come with a thick coat of grease to help protect the gun while it's in storage. Works great for storing the firearm, not so much for shooting, the grease will quickly gum up the action and cause problems with firing and miss-feeds. It has always been a recommendation to me to first clean the firearm and get to know how to assemble and disassemble the gun. Once all the parts are clean I give it a super thin layer of Rem Oil while I am fitting all the parts back to get.



Overall the gun breaks down easily and cleaning is a breeze. The manual recommends a cleaning after every 200 rounds, During the breaking in stage I find thoroughly cleaning it after a day in the duck blind keeps it running like a champ. Once I get it broken in I'll probably resort to simply bore snaking the barrel after hunts and do thorough cleanings at the beginning and end of the seasons.

Adjustment to fit

The gun comes with a matching set of stock spacers and stock retention plates. The spacers allow you to raise or lower the vertical position of the stock from 1/4" drop up to 3/8" rise. Each spacer and retention plate is marked clearly for what it does. I shouldered the gun straight out of the box and it was perfect for me, so I didn't use the kit.



Factory chokes
The gun comes with three factory choke tubes (IC, Mod, Full) all of them are flush mount choke tubes. They pattern great and I find for my duck shooting conditions the modified choke works great out to around 40yards. The factory choke tubes are rated for steel and lead, so you don't have to worry about removing them before you switch ammunition types.



Reliability in the field
So far I have put the following shot shells through mine and they all worked great.

  • 3.5" Remington Hypersonic #2
  • 3.5" Winchester BBB
  • 3" blind side #2
  • 3" Federal BB
  • 3" Hevi Metal #2

The hypersonics still kick like a mule, but they aren't near as bad as in my Remington 870 Super Magnum. When shooting the 3" I can barely feel them through my jacket, this gun is truly a soft kicking auto loader. All of the shells proved to have incredible patterns when I shot them from 30 yards at paper.

I haven't tested this but there have been reports not to use Black Cloud shotshells with this weapon. Due to the over bored barrel, the Black Cloud shot cup can deploy its breaking petals early and get stuck inside the barrel. People have reported it getting stuck and then firing a second shot which causes damage to the firearm. Like I said, I haven't tested this and I don't plan to take the chance, but while doing research on the weapon I read several reports about it happening.

2 3/4 cycling
Mossberg doesn't advertise the gun as a 2 3/4" cycling gun. It specifically states for 3" and 3 1/2" loads. However once the gun has shot a handful of heavy hunting shells, I used 3 1/2" duck and turkey shells, it will start to cycle some of the 1 1/8oz 3dram target loads. It is hit or miss on which loads will work, so far I've found that as long as the load is 1 1/8oz and the fps is greater than 1200 it will cycle reliably.

A trick I've read is to add an o-ring to a part where the gas ports are, I've included the post about how and where to do it. "Just add the O-Ring from a Remington 11-87 on the magazine tube, between the barrel lug and the seal ring (Part 27 in the owners manual, eBay has them cheap, as does http://www.theoringstore.com where I got mine), and it will cycle just fine. Make sure to take it out for the 3 or 3.5 inch rounds though, not sure what will happen but I'm guessing it won't be pretty."

Read more: http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=96148&start=20#ixzz1iatkPOOU


Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for damage caused to your firearm, I am simply passing information on how to help cycle 2 3/4" loads.

Overall impression
Overall I'm extremely satisfied with the Mossberg 935 and would recommend it for anyone not wanting to spend a lot for an auto loader. It handles amazingly, it shoulders perfectly, and I've noticed an increase in my confidence for longer shots on birds. Next test will be using it for Spring turkey season, which I'm sure it will make quick work of the first gobbler to get in front of it.


Own a Mossberg 935? Have a question? Want to share your thoughts on the weapon? Leave a comment in the section below.

6 comments:

  1. I'm personally at a lose for words about this gun. Love shooting the 3 1/2 loads until the next morning when you feel it! Went to our local gun shop Michi Gun, in in waterfowl haven in the east side of Michigan. I went to trade in my Super Nova Mag I just bought that beats you up pretty bad. Wanted to purchase a used Super Black Eagle. Owner said he can't keep this gun in stock and it's half the price of used gun I was looking at. I would recommend this gun to anybody I know. Took it out on a early geese hunt a shot a couple boxes of different 3 1/2 through it. This gun performed as well as my Beretta. Very impressed but try a different load if you have any problems. I had no jams and I was trying to jam it because owner of gun shop told me if I could get it jam, he would give me full refund toward a different gun. Funny thing, my buddy jammed twice in a half hour shooting brand new Super Black Eagle. Don't get me wrong, I love the high end shot guns, but don't be embaressed to walk out of the gun shop with a new 935!! Only recommendation I have if you purchase one, break it down and get factory grease out of gun. Break down is extremly simple also!

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  3. I bought my 935 in 2009 mainly for goose and turkey hunting, and it hasnt seen much action since I purchased. The reason for this is all the issues I've had with cycling ANY type of load.....it just wasnt reliable. Its frustrating hearing bang, click, click. It didnt matter the type or size of load I put through it, there was always and issue with cycling. Every year I take the gun out, hunt with it for a day, then put it back into the safe in frustration. This year, I was convinced I could get this gun running properly. After doing some research, i came across an article regarding polishing up the chamber and inner gas block. I thought I'd give it a shot so I spent some time polishing the chamber and the inner surface of the gas block with a dremel tool, polishing pad, and polishing compound. I noticed that there was a huge difference between these two areas on the mossberg then all of my other "fine" shotguns. The Mossberg just didnt seem as well finished. Further to this, I've also changed the type of lubrication I use on the 935. I've always kept all my firearms as clean as possible and faithfully clean them after each use, so I knew a dirty gun wasnt the issue with the cycling problems. However, what I did discover is the that my 935 doesnt quite like the type of oil I was using. I read in a mossberg forum that the 935 loves an oil called breakfree CLP. After cleaning each and every component AGAIN with some brake cleaner, and applying the Breakfree CLP, I took the 935 out for a test run with some 2 3/4 shells. I figure, if I can get it to cycle with these, I shouldnt have a problem with the heavier loads. To my surprise, the gun shot extremely well. The combination of the polishing and use of the CLP has transformed this gun into something totally different. I'm hoping the good news continues and that this gun will get more time out in the field. If you're having cycling issue with the 935, try using breakfree CLP and polishing these vital components. You'll be happy you did!

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  4. I PURSHASED A NEW CAMO MOSSBERG 935 FOR 2012 DUCK SEASON. I HAD TO SEND IT BACK FOR REPAIRS 2 TIMES DURING 2012 DUCK SEASON.FIRST TIME IT DID NOT EJECT THE SHELLS AND THE SECOND ROUND WOULD NOT STAY IN THE MAGAZINE. THE SHELL WOULD FALL OUT ONTO THE ELEVATOR. THE SECOND REPAIR , I HAD TO RECOCK AFTER EVERY ROUND. NOW I AM SENDING IT BACK TODAY BECAUSE AGAIN A RECOCKING PROBLEM. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME. MOSSBERG IS A $679.00 PLUS TAX PEICE OF SCAPE METAL FROM BASS PRO SHOP. I TOOK IT CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING THE THIRD TIME. SHOOTING ABOUT 60 ROUNDS I HAD TO RECOCK ABOUT 10 TIMES. DO NOT, DO NOT. DO NOT. DO NOT BUY A MOSSBERG. BUY REMINGTON, WINCHESTER, EWATHERBY BEMELLI, FRANCHI BUT DO NOT, DO NOT BUY A MOSSBERG UNLESS YOU WANT AN EXPENSE PIECE OF JUNK METAL AND AGGRAVATION.

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    1. Kind of sounds like you were shooting 2 3/4 if you were shooting skeet, which the gun is specifically designed not to shoot. If so that was likely the cause of your problems.

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  5. I grew up hunting ruffed grouse with over/under shotguns, and that is all I used for all of my shotgunning for 15 years or so; as a result I am so used to a thumb safety that it goes on/off without a thought. I tried a Benelli about 5-6 years ago for pheasant/duck hunting. It was a great gun, very well made and reliable. Most of my hunting partners use one, and they are all pleased with them. Despite what some say, they do jamb every now and then - even when well cared for, and you don't get near the recoil reduction you would get with a gas autoloader, but overall I think they are a very good design. I ended up selling mine because of the trigger guard safety. Not that it is a bad place for a safety, its just that I wasn't used to it. It was good for the game when I used it, as I used up the best shooting opportunities sliding my thumb in vain over the smooth receiver top. I just couldn't get used to it. Worse yet, it started to negatively affect my use of thumb safetied over/unders.

    Over the past couple of seasons, a work associate got heavy into goose hunting. After going with him a few times and getting more into it myself, I saw the utility in 3.5" loads and autoloaders to shoot them. I gave a lot of thought to buying another Benelli, but after handling a few I just couldn't warm up to the safety. Doing some research, I found that Mossberg shotguns had a thumb safety. So, based on that criteria alone, I ordered a 935 off the internet sigh unseen. I had no prior experience with a Mossberg, nor did anyone I know. I read mostly good reviews on line, so I figured I'd give one a try. I honestly wasn't expecting much, but I really didn't care if I missed a few geese because of a jamb here and there, and the first shot - which the thumb safety would help me with - is usually the best, anyway. So long as it worked most of the time, I'd be happy.

    After two seasons, I am very pleased with the gun. Fit and finish is great - way better than I expected, trigger pull is light and free of creep, patterns are great, and the function has been flawless. I've even used it for pheasant hunting with 2 3/4" ammo - which is not recommended because of cycling issues - without a problem. I use CLP for lube, and I clean it every other time out or so - definitely not fanatically, but enough to keep things form rusting.

    I would highly recommend this gun, and in fact I have on several occasions. I like mine so much that I bought a 930 for pheasant hunting and for the occasional round of clays my wife shoots; it cycles 1oz loads without an issue and, being a ported gas auto, the kick is almost non-existent. They are American made, the price is right, and there are many good reviews about them on the internet. I don't doubt that some have had issues with them, and I don't fault those who have for recommending something else. I certainly wouldn't talk someone out of buying a Benelli, as they are a great gun, but I can say that I wouldn't be happier with something else.

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