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This Shotgun is a BEAST | Why I Chose Mossberg over Winchester

live exhibitions Sep 07, 2023
Why I Chose Mossberg Over Winchester | New Custom 940 Pro

What's up guys! Steve here today - Winchester has been my shotgun of choice for my professional shooting career. Whether hunting, performing, or practicing, the SX3/SX4 has been my workhorse for many years. However, that has recently changed. Today, we will discuss why I've decided to go with the Mossberg 940 Pro over my Winchester SX4 as my exhibition gun.

A Quick History

  • I began experimenting with trick shots in 2008 - My first shotgun was a Mossberg 500!
  • When the vision was born to become professional exhibition shooters in 2009, we searched for the best guns for the job and we landed on the Winchester SX3.
  • Eventually, we entered into a sponsorship deal with Winchester and it was a great fit because we were already shooting Winchester shotguns.
  • In 2017 the SX4 replaced the SX3 and I shot the SX4 as my main exhibition shotgun...until this year.
  • In 2020, we separated from Winchester, allowing me to shoot other guns professionally. This was when TFL was born, and the shotgun reviews started rolling out (2020)

Three Years of Reviews Later...  And here we are! Over the hundreds of shotguns I've gotten to shoot since the inception of TFL, there's one gun that surprised me - And it's not a gun you'd expect. That gun was the Mossberg 940 Pro. Throughout my adult life, I viewed Mossberg shotguns as budget guns. This belief was due to my first-ever gun being a Mossberg 500 and the fact that I had no other real experience with Mossberg shotguns.

When the time came to review the Mossberg 940 Pro, I was still skeptical. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to review with Jerry Miculek himself. Jerry is highly regarded as one of the best marksmen of all time. Since he is partnered with Mossberg, he had a large say in the design of the new 940 pro that I'd be shooting in the review. After spending a couple of days with Jerry and doing an intense deep dive into the 940 Pro, I began to understand the design details and became really impressed. That review was released about a year ago and since then, I've spent a lot of time with the gun and eventually decided to make the 940 Pro my main exhibition shotgun. Jerry's insight and wealth of knowledge in our 940 Pro review shed light on the awesome inner workings of the gun. I'd highly recommend you watch that video! (WATCH HERE)

What I like about the 940 Pro 

  • There are a lot of noteworthy features to this gun. First, the price. You can find this 940 Pro for less than $1,000, making the 940 one of the best bang-for-the-buck shotguns on the market.
  • The controls are oversized and incredibly easy to use - easier than the SX4. A small but cool feature is that there's no bolt lock button to lock back the bolt. The simpler, the better!
  • When Winchester transitioned from the SX3 to the SX4, they removed the shim kits. Why? I have no Idea. The 940 Pro has shims and spacers. This is a huge win for me!
  • I have grown to love the ergonomics. The texture on the forend and pistol grip are better than the SX4.
  • If you've seen our reviews before, you know that the loading area is a big deal for us. Loading a gun that beats up your fingers and is difficult is no fun. The 940 has its loading port milled out. It's very nicely done and provides a lot of room. There's even a cut towards the front of the loading area so you can slip the shell into the mag tube without getting your thumb caught. The 940 is the easiest loading semi-auto I've shot.
  • The 940 is slightly heavier than the SX4 but I don't necessarily mind this. Recoil is never good for trick shooting, so the weight helps. The 940 Pro is extremely light on felt recoil. 
  • This gun's biggest highlight is its fast and reliable gas system. At the filming of this video, I used it in a show, a couple of practices, and filmed another video without cleaning it before this one. Spoiler alert - we shot almost 750 rounds of ammo while filming and it didn't have a single hiccup. That alone is amazing. 

Trickshooting guns require a little customization to optimize performance. Here's what I changed on the 940: 

  • As I mentioned, this gun comes with drop and cast adjustments. I've fit those perfectly and extended my length of pull even more using a FALCON STRIKE
  • Falcon Strike for reduced felt recoil
  • +5  round Carlson's mag tube extension
  • Carlson's extended sporting clay choke
  • Custom graphics and finish by Dead Eye
  • Replaced trigger sear spring to get a lighter trigger pull. This gun pulls between 4 and 5 LBS
  • Replaced the colored fiber with a white fiber (940 Pro comes with changeable front bead color options)



Now, on to the fun stuff: Doing a speed test is a staple of every TFL review. This is where we hand-throw three clays and try to shoot them out of the air as quickly as possible. When the buzzer goes, we throw. This is a fantastic test because it meshes our trickshooting expertise into a review and pushes the gun to see how well all of its different elements come together. This test records the total time and split times between each shot. 

  • As I mentioned, this gun hadn't been cleaned, and we shot about 750 rounds for this video. We spent a lot of time trying to run this gun fast.  
  • My previous speed record with the SX4 was 1.05 seconds. Our goal today was to get under 1 second.
  • Through many attempts, we had scores ranging from .87 seconds up to .93 seconds, to mention some of our best.
  • The fastest split (time between shots) was a .15 - That is absolutely nuts!

The ultimate test - A super difficult trick shot: We decided to put the 940 through the ringer for our final test, attempting a very hard trickshot. This test isn't necessarily based on whether I can accomplish the shot. This test reveals how fast, how long, and how hard you can run this gun and still have it reliably work for you shot after shot. The shot I attempted was a combo trick using 6 hand thrown clays. I'd throw the 6 clays and try to shoot 2 from the hip, 2 from the shoulder, and 2 with the gun upside down over my head. This shot is very hard, to say the least, and I had never attempted it before. The clays have to open up perfectly, and you must time it quickly before those last two clays hit the ground. I'm also fighting gravity as I start with the gun at my hip and have to get it over my head quickly. Oh yeah, and don't forget, I gotta hit all the clays too! Keep in mind this is a 95-degree day with straight sun. We got to sweatin' pretty quick! About 6 cases of clays later, we knew for an absolute fact that this Mossberg could handle anything we threw at it. After about 50 attempts, I was unfortunately only able to get 5 out of the 6 clays before my hands were ripped up, and I was completely fatigued. Although I came up short on this shot that day, we had a new respect for the Mossberg 940 and full confidence that it may be one of the best semi-autos on the market.

Conclusion: At this point, it should go without saying that the Mossberg 940 is an absolute beast. I'm continuing to get comfortable with it through many practices and shows this season, but it's undoubtedly been one of the highest-performing shotguns I've shot. With all the shooting we did for this video, the biggest conclusion is that is one reliable shogun. Mossberg claims that you can run 1,500 rounds without cleaning this gun, which holds through this experience. I'm excited to keep pounding rounds through this 940 Pro. You have my word that this gun is an awesome choice for any discipline but I'm proud to call the Mossberg 940 Pro my new go-to exhibition shotgun!

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on, so live the #targetfocusedlife 

Stay Target Focused,


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