Semi-auto shotguns have come a long way in the last 20 years. Back in the day, semi-auto shotguns were rarely kept around for tactical purposes. If they were, then the roll mark said Benelli, and they cost an arm and a leg. These days things are changing. Semi-auto shotgun reliability has increased tenfold, and guns like the Mossberg 930 Tactical present tactical, American-made, semi-auto shotguns for a relatively low price point.

When you choose a shotgun for home defense, it’s wise to be picky. Pump guns still rule most of the time, but semi-auto shotguns offer a lot more firepower in a shorter period of time than a pump gun. You can drop eight rounds of 12-gauge in seconds and they require less training to use effectively. The Mossberg 930 Tactical models give you a ton of firepower for the funds, and it can be tough to beat.


Breaking Down the Mossberg 930 Tactical

The Mossberg 930 series come in a variety of configurations, including deer and duck guns. We are ignoring those two and talking just about the tactical models. Mossberg makes three different models of the tactical 930.

Thunder Ranch – For the Thunder Ranch model Mossberg teamed up with Clint Smith to design a light and handy shotgun. The Thunder Ranch model is super light and super short. The 18.5-inch barrel is capped with a breacher’s muzzle device. While it only holds four rounds, the Thunder Ranch model is super light and handy.

Thunder Ranch Mossberg 930 Tactical
Thunder Ranch Mossberg 930 Tactical (Mossberg)


930 Tactical – The base tactical model is the eight-shot Tactical model. It utilizes a simple bead sight and an 18.5-inch barrel. It’s simple but very capable with a respectable capacity. It’s tapped for an optic’s rail and makes adding a red dot easy.

Mossberg 930 Tactical
Mossberg 930 Tactical (Mossberg)


930 SPX – This is the Cadillac of the 930 Tactical Models. It comes with a pistol grip or standard stock design. The gun is outfitted with ghost ring sights, an optic’s rail, as well as an eight-shot capacity, and an 18.5-inch barrel.

Mossberg 930X
Mossberg 930X (Mossberg)

The Mossberg 930 series utilize a gas-operated system that’s not finicky about adding weight as an inertia-based design would be.

The 930 Tactical utilizes Mossberg’s famed tang safety which provides a quick and easy ambidextrous option for shotgunners. That being said, this safety works best with traditional stocks; it sucks with pistol grip options.


Hucking Shells

The gas-operated design of the Mossberg 930 Tactical takes some bite out of a 12-gauge’s recoil. However, it makes the weapon pleasant to shoot, and best of all, allows you to really control rapid-fire strings. What’s the point of a semi-auto if you can’t control it? Popping off double taps is quick and easy with the 930 Tactical.

The same goes for rapidly transitioning between targets. If you are facing down more than one threat, then you’ll have no problems transitioning between them quickly.

I’m a fan of the ghost ring sight SPX model and find it to be the most precise model for directing both buckshot and slugs.

Dropping half a dozen rounds into a target takes very little skill, and the gun is super easy to control and handle. Best of all, it’s quite reliable and seems to easily eat its way through cheap birdshot, low recoil buckshot, and all the standard stuff out there. It won’t eat less lethal or mini shells, obviously, but with standard shells, you’ll be running wild and free.

My 930 SPX is mostly stock, but I found the charging handle a bit small. I replaced it with a Choate combat charging handle. I also added a side saddle to carry a few extra rounds, just in case. I’ve tried various optics, but I’m currently using it with just the iron sights.

Those iron sights are adjustable and fantastic. Additionally, the front sight is extremely bright and easy to see in low-light conditions. The length of pull is somewhat long, admittedly, and not one I’d choose. Tactical shotguns should have shorter LOPs for a squared-off stance. The 14-inch Mossberg 930 LOP is way too long, especially if used with armor.

Mossberg 930 SPX side saddle
(Courtesy of author)

Getting Frisky With a 12-Gauge

The Mossberg 930 Tactical packs a serious punch with its semi-auto option and 12-gauge firepower. The 930 Tactical quickly dispenses a punishing amount of lead with minimal recoil. It’s an awesome home defense weapon and pushes reliability to the limits. Lastly, the 930 Tactical is affordable and a good price is tough to beat.

What say you? Is the 930 Tactical suitable for your needs? Let us know in the comments below.