July 24, 2022
Trying a new shotgun reminds me of the old days when I was still dating—there are going to be some attributes you like immediately and others you need to investigate further.
A mixed-bag duck and goose adventure with the Saskatchewan Goose Company was the perfect place to put Mossberg’s new 940 Pro Waterfowl to the test.
The first morning out, a flock of mallards and pintails broke the ice, and when the call came to shoot, I shouldered the gun and swung on a drake, dropping it clean, then doubled on a second bird climbing fast while trying to escape. It was duck dinner for two and love at first sight.
A quick look down the blind proved it to be a wall of smiles. With shooters from 5 to 6 1/2 feet tall, the adjustability of the 940 Pro appeared to keep a wide variety of hunters happy. The stock’s drop and cast are adjustable, and the length of pull is 13 to 14 1/4 inches.
Mossberg uses a new barrel-making process to help shooters maintain point of aim and point of impact. The slim-profile fore-end is easy to grip and keeps the front end of the gun light and easy to swing.
The development of the 940 series of shotguns is vital history to note. Mossberg teamed up with renowned competitive shooters Jerry and Lena Miculek, which led to the 2020 launch of a new 12-gauge autoloading shotgun for competitive shooters—the 940 JM Pro.
Mossberg saw the opportunity to transfer the technology of its new competitive-style platform to shotguns geared for hunters, which spawned the 940 Pro Waterfowl and the 940 Pro Snow Goose.
New ideas and technology made a difference and made all shooters pay attention.
Back in the blind, and like a first date, the little details started to stand out. The shotgun was easy to load, even with gloves. The oversized charging handle was easy to grasp for opening the action. The more significant, beveled loading port with a redesigned and elongated, pinch-free elevator and shell catch made it easy to speed-load.
I quickly sensed the innovation from the competitive shooters in the design. With the action open, I would drop in a shotshell and hit the large release button, locking the loaded chamber in a split second. Two more shotshells were inserted quickly into the magazine tube, where the “pinch-free” quality really became noticeable. The magazine will hold four 2 3/4-inch shotshells, but I plugged the gun to hunt waterfowl.
It is important to note that the 940 shotguns are gas-operated. In a world where inertia-driven guns have taken center stage in recent years, the operation and recoil of an exemplary gas gun are still worth a serious look.
Hunting with the 940 Pro Waterfowl was intuitive. Whether we were hunting ducks, big honkers or small Arctic geese, the shotgun was easy to get in front of birds and to quickly point at the next one. What I did not realize at the time was how low the shotgun recoiled. It wasn’t until I hunted the following week with my shotguns from home that I noticed the difference.
Low recoil is imperative to fast target acquisition and shooting in both hunting and competition. The 940 comes with a ported choke tube, which helps with recoil, and remember that the gas-operated gun was initially designed for competition, where recoil can be a hinderance.
Mossberg manufactures durable shotguns that withstand foul weather and negligence. The 940 Pro Waterfowl has a unique Cerakote finish that is dull and non-reflective, which acts as a natural camouflage. Cerakote is a polymer-ceramic compound, which benefits the firearm by providing and enhancing physical components, significantly limiting the wear and tear over time.
The 940 has a chrome-lined chamber and bore, taking durability and performance to the next level. A chrome-lined chamber and bore are less subject to corrosion and pitting, especially on guns used in bad weather or around saltwater. Coatings are added for corrosion-resistant internal parts, including a boron-nitride-coated gas piston, magazine tube, hammer sear and return spring tube. The new waterfowl shotgun is pretty much impervious to corrosion and durable enough for the roughest field conditions when topped off with a stainless return spring.
Mossberg 940 Pro Waterfowl Specs
- Type: semi-automatic shotgun
- Gauge: 12
- Chamber: 3”
- Capacity: 5 rounds
- Barrel Length: 28”
- Overall Length: 48 3/4”
- Weight: 7 3/4 lbs.
- Stock: synthetic; TrueTimber Prairie; adjustable drop and cast
- Length of Pull: 13” to 14 1/4”
- Finish: Patriot Brown Cerakote
- Sights: HiViz TriComp fiber-optic
- Choke Tube: X-Factor Extended
- MSRP: $1,092
The attention to detail in coatings, gas operation and shell catch means flawless cycling. I ran close to 15 boxes of shotshells through the shotgun and never experienced a single misfire, cycling issue or jam. We did not clean any of the shotguns, and they kept working as designed, even in temperatures well below freezing.
The performance-enhancing features are expected to allow hunters to run up to 1,500 rounds through the semi-auto before cleaning it without interfering with the operation and consistency. Being able to run three cases of shotshells through a shotgun without having to clean it, even in foul weather, can be a game-changer.
A shotgun that performs every time you pull the trigger generates a big smile. Add a camouflage finished stock and fore-end, and you have a modern-looking firearm, especially with the uniquely colored Cerakote finish.
Another feature waterfowlers will love is the HiViz TriComp sight. HiViz Shooting Systems has been around since 1996 and has a strong following among hunters and competitive shooters. The company has become a leader in innovative sights that enable shooters to see better, acquire targets with ease and shoot more instinctively. The HiViz sight has interchangeable triangular and round LitePipes to customize the configuration for any hunter. It was a positive influence on the number of birds harvested in Saskatchewan.
The 940 Pro Waterfowl sports a 28-inch vent-rib barrel fitted with an extended, ported choke. The barrel comes equipped with an X-Factor ported choke tube that is Accu-Choke compatible. The Cerakote finish is Patriot Brown, and the camouflage pattern is TrueTimber Prairie. There is texturing on the fore-end and stock, sling swivel studs, and the receiver is drilled and tapped. The safety is located on the tang, where it is ambidextrous.
Patterning was consistent, even at longer ranges on snow geese. Our final shoot was in a hailed-out barley field where more than 5,000 mallards and pintails swarmed our decoys for three hours. We hunted with some of the locals and took 80 ducks, and it was clear those of us with Mossberg’s new duck gun had an advantage. The 940 Pro Waterfowl offers reliable function on a competitive platform for serious hunters.