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The troubled history but bright future of the 930 SPX

Discussion in 'Mossberg 930 Autoloader' started by m24shooter, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    I will add to this as time allows.
    The 930 SPX had some issues to start with. Mossberg set themselves up for a perfect storm of customer service mishap and disappointment with the 930 SPX. It was very highly sought after when it was released. It was not a limited production gun, but it was not made in super large numbers; certainly not in sufficient numbers to meet the demand. They basically subcontracted it out with Choate doing extension components, LPA doing the sights, a third place installing those, and then the normal Mossberg production/assembly.
    The sight assembly REALLY got screwed up when the barrels were not correctly placed in the jigs to have the sights attached to the barrel. QC screwed up because the cant wasn't caught before it left the factory. Because of the large number of screwed up sight towers, the Service Center was very quickly overwhelmed by the numbers of repairs. Add in that the Service Center further aggravated the situation by not taking care of customers, not having enough repair items, sending back new barrels that were canted as badly as the original barrels, and the limited number of staff having to deal with way more complaints than they were staffed to handle.
    Another problem was that the front sight height could be off enough to cause POI issues. There is apparently enough of a tolerance issue between the sight, the receiver, the rail, the rear sight, and the barrel that some people had no problems with POI, while others had all kinds of problems with the sights maxed out. On top of this, OFM once again screwed themselves when they didn't put any info in the pubs that even told owners that the front sight was adjustable. To this day, I still talk to people that do not know that the front sight is adjustable. Who knows how many front sight problems weren't problems at all but were actully improperly adjusted.
    There were also problems with mis-installing the screws that hold the rail on. There are two different lengths of screws, and sometimes the incorrect length was used. Some of them were overtorqued and stripped the receiver threads out and would literally fall out if the shotgun was inverted.
    Reliability issues have generally been with brand new shotguns. The shotgun needs to be cleaned well before it is shot. Mossberg uses some heavy thick preservatives that can cause some problems. Best results with those that have had problems has been to run hotter loads through it to start, usually above 1200 fps. Some people never have problems. I haven't had any.
    Some people have gotten the shotgun out of the box with a broken forearm retainer. Not a big deal, but should not be an issue with a new gun.
    The feeding issues with the 930 SPX usually are usually due to two things: the mag extension problems and improperly sized FCG pins. The mag extension problems are typically a bent or dented or misaligned extension, a transition area problem between the extension nut and the mag tube that allows the follower to snag, or improper spring tension. The first one should be pretty easy to spot. The second one shows when you can feed the first round or two and then the follower hangs and can be popped loose, and the final one can be diagnosed by looking at the spring. If it is something like 30" or longer, it is too long and needs to be trimmed. This has put too much spring pressure on the shell latches, and the first round of a fully loaded mag tube will not release. This is being seen in people with new from the factory shotguns and also those that purchased just the extension kit from Choate. The spring should be I think in the area of 25-28" and some of them have been up to 40" in length.
    If you shoot it for long sessions, you will notice the bolt slowing down after some time. When it does this, I squirt CLP in the open receiver and on the bolt body, then operate the bolt by hand a couple of times. It picks right back up.
    I've been able to shoot even light loads in mine, and FedTac buck and slugs have been absolutely no problem.
    The FTF issues hasn't been a major issue and isn't systematic like the other problems were.
    Some 930s have what I would guess is a stacked tolerance issue in that there is just enough room in the bushings in the FCG, the FCG itself, and slightly undersized FCG pins allowing a lot of lateral movement in the reciever by the FCG. The Mesa sidesaddles have had a history of making functional 930s into non-functional 930s. It seems that this was due to small diameter connectors that allowed a little too much slop in the FCG of the 930, causing feeding problems. Mesa is supposed to be getting some new connectors to fix this issue, but I have heard that the new connectors or at least what were supposed to be the new connectors were having the same problem. Mesa is working on it, so hopefully for everyone that has one that will get worked out. I know there are a lot of happy Mesa users that have never had a problem with the connectors.
    In addition to the QC and CS issues mentioned, Mossberg CS really messed up in how they handled a lot of the repairs. A lot of people called in to report the sight issue and try to get a replacement barrel. This was such a widely known issue that you could go to pretty much any board and read about canted front sights and low POI issues. How did Mossberg respond? The required the customer to pay for the shogun to be shipped to the service center. The whole shotgun. Many people reported this happening. In some cases, Mossberg agreed to prepay shipping and sent out the printed shipping forms. For a lot of people, the requirement to send the whole shotgun back, and especially on their own dime completely turned them off to Mossberg. I know of several people that sold their 930 SPX when they got it back from Eagle Pass. In addition to this problem, there were reports of a very, very slow turnaround. Some people have said that they were told that their shotgun had been sent back, only to have it never arrive because it didn't ever ship. The customer would call back and then be told that they were waiting on the replacement barrel.
    If you get a newer production gun, you are not as likely to have the problems I mentioned above. The sight tower is on it's third version now, and they haven't had issues with the cant in a while. I haven't heard of a lot of the problems in a long time, so hopefully OFM has gotten their act together. I think you are much more likely to get a quality gun out of the box now than ever before. And even with the above issues lined up and explained, there are a very large number of users that never had any of the problems at all, ever. I didn't have any of them, and I know I'm not unique in that.
    RAMBO likes this.
  2. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Can we make this a sticky?

    This post really sums up all the concerns expressed over the 930 SPX. The points you remarked on, are largely what prevented me from purchasing a 2009 model for $480. I am however really looking forward to purchasing one, feeling confident the issues have been corrected.

    Good post. Thanks.
  3. DHonovich

    DHonovich Founder Staff Member Administrator Sponsor "Philanthropist"

    Messages:
    6,923
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Made it a sticky :) BTW this is an excellent post and I too will be getting a 930 spx in near future.
  4. HumblePie

    HumblePie Copper BB

    Messages:
    7
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Wow! Finally a comprehensive, clear, and detailed explanation of what went wrong. Many, many thanks for taking the time to lay it all out. Crisis management advisors always tell their clients to lay bare everything they know when something goes wrong and to steer clear of anything that could be construed as stonewalling. Mossberg has built up plenty of goodwill over the years for delivering good value for the dollar. They probably could have sent out an advisory of some sort relating the issues and explaining the next steps to take and saved themselves, and the buyers, a lot of grief. As an owner of two Mossbergs myself (a field 500 and a 100 ATR that have both been absolutely trouble-free), I certainly would have given them the benefit of the doubt and I think others would have too. In fact, I still intend to -- I've been wanting a 930 SPX for some time, but had heard/read the horror stories, and was holding off. I'll have to wade back in. Again, I commend you for a first-rate post.
  5. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Thanks guys.
    That is a condensed version of several posts from Shotgunworld that I did over the last two-three years. Last summer I got an invitation from the Marketing VP of Mossberg to go to the factory on their expense to discuss the SPX issues. Unfortunately real life intervened and due to a new job and promotion I was not able to go. I'm trying to get it set back up, and I still have a list of things that I think need some attention.
    Buff Studly likes this.
  6. HumblePie

    HumblePie Copper BB

    Messages:
    7
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    m24shooter,
    What's the best way to insure I get a "new and improved" 930 SPX, and not one of the earlier problem-plagued versions? Do you know whether I can tell by the serial number if it's a "late model" made in 2010, and not one that's been sitting in a back room somewhere?
    Thanks again for the great info.
  7. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Your concerns were my concerns too at the begining of the year, when my local gun shop had a previous years SPX model on sale.
  8. tgw

    tgw .410

    Messages:
    33
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    M24:
    You might have read on the shotgun forum that I took your advice and purchased the 930 home security combo with the two barrels. I added the Nordic Components (bolt knob, +2 extension, magazine clamp, follower). All the Nordic Component parts I got fit perfectly and so far the extension is working without any problems.I also got a micro red dot sight, which is only slightly larger than the rear sight that comes with the SPX. I had the 18 inch barrel drilled to accept the accu chokes that came with the gun (the 28 inch barrel was factory drilled to accept the chokes). Have only had time to get to the range twice and had trouble with the red dot sight (which I have hopefully fixed) so I did not fire many rounds. I did notice the second time I disassembled the SG for cleaning that the magazine follower was pretty well beat up. Is this normal? Will keep an eye on it and perhaps contact Mossberg customer service to obtain a replacement under warranty. I prefer the stock than comes with the home security version since it is similar to my 590A1.
  9. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    TGW-
    Was that Shotgunworld?
    Glad the shotgun and parts are working for you. Hope you can work out the sight issues. I like the little dot sights, I just haven't kept one on my 930.
    When you describe the follower as beat up, how do you mean? If you have a problem or concern with the Nordic follower, they have a very good customer service history. I have no doubt that they will take care of you if you have a problem. A pic of the problem might help too so I can better understand what's going on.
    Good to see you here, and welcome to the board. Feel free to ask any questions and post away.
  10. tgw

    tgw .410

    Messages:
    33
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    I stated that the magazine follower got beat up, but what part I meant to refer to was the forearm retainer. I noticed that small pieces of it had been chipped off when I disassembled the 930 for its second cleaning.

    I prefer the red dot to the ghost ring sights. The red dot on the 590A1 works well for me when shooting clays.

    Yes. Shotgun World I think is the forum where I have exchanged posts with you.
  11. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Ok, I'm tracking you.
    The forearm retainer should not be chipping. There have been some that have come right out of the box broken. It is enough of an issue that I bet if you called them tomorrow and gave them your SN you might be able to get one sent to you gratis.
  12. HumblePie

    HumblePie Copper BB

    Messages:
    7
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    m24shooter,
    Wasn't sure if you'd seen this, but I didn't see a reply from you and wondered if you could provide any guidance from this earlier post I'd sent --
    What's the best way to insure I get a "new and improved" 930 SPX, and not one of the earlier problem-plagued versions? Do you know whether I can tell by the serial number if it's a "late model" made in 2010, and not one that's been sitting in a back room somewhere?
    Thanks again for the great info.
  13. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    x2 if there is any way to tell.
  14. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    I have no idea what the SN cutoffs are for the second and third gen sights.
    The easiest way to tell is that the first sights have the low sight tower. The second gen has the pedestal that the front sight tower sits on. The third gen has a taller "wing" area on the front sight tower and the barrel is a little thicker.
    If you're buying used, keep in mind that some people have had the barrels switched out by the factory and some have bought additional barrels.
    I wish I could give you a better indicator but that's about all I can think to check.
    One other thing: you should be able to find a small inspection sticker inside the forearm. I believe that indicates the date the shotgun was assembled, although I've also heard that that is just the date the forearm was made. I haven't seen a similar sticker on the inside of the stock, so I am inclined to believe the former. Also, the date of the assembly of the shotgun would seem to be much more important to know than the date of the forearm.
    That said, it is just a sticker and may have been removed, worn off, or otherwise lost. Mine said August 07 on it.
  15. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Fair enough, and I appreciate the insight. If/When I get one, I may likely just buy new.
  16. m24shooter

    m24shooter .270 WIN

    Messages:
    455
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    I should also note that of the various generations of sights, only the second one has the thicker foot or pedestal. AFAIK, the first and third gens both have the base of the sight tower attached directly to the barrel.
  17. HumblePie

    HumblePie Copper BB

    Messages:
    7
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    m24shooter,
    Many thanks, again!
  18. ckr5114

    ckr5114 Copper BB

    Messages:
    6
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Purchased a 930 SPX yesterday. I had read the reviews, both good and bad and decided on the 930 over a remington 1100 tac 2. I Checked the front sites before i purchased and they were fine so i felt like i had gotten a good model. However upon getting the gun home yesterday evening i inspected the gun and noticed a slight bur on the top rim of the mag tube.
    It even looked as if someone had attemted to file it down somewhat. (notice the scratches inside the tube in the pic) Fearing the worst i loaded the magazine and sure enough the magazine follower was hanging up on the bur. If I load more than 4 shells the follower hangs as you empty the mag and there is nothing to push the shells down the tube.
    I emailed Mossberg last night and called customer service 3 times today. I sat in cue for 30 minutes the first 2 time before hanging up. I called a 3rd time late this afternoon and they had changed the greeting to say that their office was closed today and tomorrow for the Holiday!!! Would have been nice if they had changed the message BEFORE they decided to close so i wouldnt have wasted an hour of my day on hold..
    Very Disappointed with all aspects of Mossberg right now

    Attached Files:

  19. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

    Messages:
    12,758
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Just curious, and not that it makes a difference, but did you purchase the gun used?

    I can imagine your frustration. I dont normally have an issue getting ahold of them, and I totally agree, it would have been nice to include the important information they were closed!

    There may be someone here who knows a fix to get you hooked up. If not, I hope things are different for you after Christmas with Mossberg.
  20. ckr5114

    ckr5114 Copper BB

    Messages:
    6
    Re: The troubled history of the 930 SPX

    Gun was prurchased brand new yesterday from local mossberg dealer.

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