Mossberg Argentina - Torture Testingby L.P. Brezny
It’s a new day for Mossberg gas, and stack barreled shotguns
Argentina, the land of great scenery and food, and it is a fact that it is about the world’s greatest location in terms of offering up warm targets for sport shooting. This fact did not fall unnoticed regarding O.F. Mossberg when it was time to test their new line of 2006 field guns. When Mossberg decided to test their new gun by way of a group of writers, engineers, and buyer agents in Argentina it was the logical choice, being the country can send countless numbers of birds over a gunners head. In effect, it holds an endless supply of feathered targets (dove).
At a time when some manufacturers are playing it close to the belt, Mossberg has decided to go on the attack. That is to say this company that has always been able to hang in the market place is building new guns, and redesigning older models to fit into the basic need profile of the 21st century shooter and hunter. Today there are a whole group of shotgunners that play the turkey calling game, waterfowl hunting, slug gun deer, or clay targets that want guns that fit those lower priced but dependable needs. In other camps stack barrel fanciers that hunt upland and gun clay birds want guns that are more refined, as well as point and swing very well. Here again Mossberg has stepped up the task with their new line of “Reserve Series” over and under shotguns.
One area that has tended to elude Mossberg for some time is gaining a solid foot hold on the autoloading shotgun market. With the development of the 935, being a big heavy weight 3.5” duck gun a few years ago those folks seemed to have hit on a mechanical winner. It is no secret that early self stuffers by Mossberg had been plagued with problems, but the 935 has been so good regarding its track record in the field that this company has seen fit to now offer a brand new Model 930 2 3/4” and 3” gas gun to the hunting public based in part on the previous successful 935 12 bore auto. This was a primary focus firearm during what I have come to call the Argentine torture test.
About a month prior to heading for Argentina a double gun case arrived from Mossberg that contained a pair of 930 autos. These guns were straight out of the factory, being no different from what the buyer will find on the dealers shelves this fall. These Model 930’s retained wood stocks, and were classed as basic field grade guns. Mossberg was not at all interested in putting on a glamour show here, but building a pure test of function against some of the fastest shooting in the world. My guns retained 28” ported pipes, a modified Accu-Choke, and a red front bead glow type sight. Upon reaching our lodge in Argentina however my primary gun, being the second gun was for backup, had the stock changed out by Mossberg staff and replaced with a waterfowl synthetic black shock. As it was to turn out this stock fit me better with a slightly slimmer grip, and narrow forend. Gunning dove all day long with a full size 12 bore can become a bit tedious in that this style of gunning is best suited to a 20, or 28 gauge double or autoloader. The plastic stock was welcome more and more as the shooting hours piled up.
I can’t say I shot the Mossberg gas gun well on that first afternoon afield. I had been in the area about 24 hours on my ride from Piedmont South Dakota, and I was dead beat to say the least. Even so I got the hang of the big auto and did manage to dust off enough dove to make it an interesting afternoon. To my knowledge our group of eight shooters did not experience any problems with the guns on that first afternoon afield. This is no small matter in that fired rounds had been totaled in the case lots right off, and no gun had received any special cleaning or other care up to this point in time.
On the first full day in the field things got ugly in terms of kills, and number of rounds sent into the sky. Our shooting was still summer style versus hunting the hill country in higher timber. We were now blocking the ends of corn fields, and our birds were riding the wind high and fast most of the time. This was my third bird hunt on South American dove, and as such I was observing some of the toughest shooting I had seen down there to date.
At noon that first full day the track record still stood at zero problems for the new 930 autos. I was impressed in that some of the guns had now digested better than 800 to 1000 rounds. Before the end of that day two hunters would cross over to the 1000 dove club, and to be sure it took a pile of rounds well beyond 1000 bullets to build that kind of gunning ratio.