When you want to build a no-holds-barred competition firearm, go ask the leading competitors, right? That's exactly what Mossberg has done to give us a complete family of high-performance autoloaders for 3-gun matches, clays competitions and waterfowl hunting. It's a fascinating story in the annals of firearms development.
The story begins when Mossberg wanted to develop a competition-ready autoloader for tactical and 3-gun type matches. As an outside consultant, the firm chose none other than Jerry Miculek, holder of 100-plus shooting titles. Miculek, whose record-setting, shooting feats with revolvers, shotguns and rifles will stand in the record book a long, long time, is not only a professional shooter, but also a gunsmith who is continuously modifying and fine-tuning his own firearms for the rigors of competition.
With the exception of combat, nothing is harder and more abusive to firearms than challenging match scenarios and long strings of continuous shooting. Powder, lead and plastic fouling build up in the gas system. Heat breaks down vital lubricants. Internal parts are cycled at a grueling pace, wear out faster and can break down at the most inopportune moments. Competition is simply tough on firearms and the competitors who shoot them.
What Mossberg asked Miculek to do was to transform their existing Model 930 autoloader in the line into a competition-ready, professional level shotgun. What was done to achieve this goal is revealing.
One of the major improvements was achieved through the use of internal and external coatings. The gas piston, piston rings, magazine tube, hammer, sear, return spring plunger and return spring tube were treated with a boron nitride-based coating providing high corrosion resistance, natural lubricity and wear resistance while creating a surface inhospitable to dirt and fouling. Not only did the coating protect high-speed working parts it kept those parts running cooler, and when the gun was broken down for cleaning, much of the fouling could simply be wiped away.
Miculek has built a reputation on speed. The loading, firing, extraction and ejection cycles of the firearms he performs with have to be smooth and fast with a minimum of friction and resistance. Working with Mossberg, Miculek recommended the shell stop, bolt slide and elevator receive additional final finishing to minimize friction and accelerate the functions they perform. The loading gate was also beveled for faster, easier loading.