Mossberg’s 940 Pro Snow Goose: High-Volume Firepower
Targeting hunters who thrive on high-volume shooting and dream of an unlimited round count to take on clouds of show geese, the 12-gauge Mossberg 940 Pro Snow Goose autoloading shotgun answers the call with a serious 12+1 capacity.
Built for snowy, cold hunts, this attractive shotgun boasts a TrueTimber Viper Snow stock and furniture with a Battleship Gray Cerakote barrel. Frankly, it looks like it could have been pulled from the hands of a “Star Wars” Stormtrooper – take note Hollywood. I loved the looks, sure, but it was the promise of speed, capacity, and shootability that really piqued my interest.
Mossberg actually launched an entire lineup of 940 Pro field and waterfowl guns last September, and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of the Snow Goose testing guns before they disappeared about as fast as Jerry Miculek can empty a five-shot revolver (0.57 seconds, FYI). In fact, Jerry himself had a hand in the 940 Pro’s development, and it shows. So, here’s what it’s like to have and shoot the Snow Goose. First, let’s dig into what makes this gun tick.
Snow Goose: Specs & Function Check
If the extended magazine tube is the Snow Goose’s belly, then the heart must be the robust gas system. Mossberg claims the system allows for up to 1500 rounds before cleaning. The internals and major parts are corrosion resistant, boasting a nickel-boron-coated gas piston, magazine tube, and hammer/sear.
I’m personally only just passing 300 rounds – in this great ammo shortage – without cleaning, so I cannot speak to the full 1500 rounds Mossberg cites just yet. But the gun was previously tested (without cleaning) and showed generous amounts of power burn near the choke when it got to me. Thus, for all I know, it may well have already passed that mark. Regardless, it has not failed to cycle any hunting loads I fed it yet.
As a speed shooter and a winter/spring hunting gun, there are a host of other features I have come to really love about the Snow Goose. The extended, ported modified X-Factor Accu-Choke that comes with it is specific for its intended prey and helps mitigate felt recoil. It’s also easily removed in the field thanks to the knurling on the tip. The Hi-Viz TriComp front fiber-optic sight was also bright even under cloddy conditions and very easy to acquire.
In addition, the gun boasts oversized controls, with an enlarged charging handle and bolt release for speed and ease of use while wearing gloves. There’s even a “cocked” indicator inside the trigger guard for added safety and awareness while waiting to quickly engage birds, and I’m a fan of its tang-style safety that allows you to rapidly bring the gun into play without adjusting your grip. Other 940 Pro models host many of these same features with color schemes customized for your hunting or sporting environment of choice.
You would imagine that the spring pressure would be pretty beastly in a magazine tube this large once you get to the last few shells. It’s not, and the loading is smooth and easy. Safely unloading the massive tube without cycling every round is as simple as pushing up on the elevator and pressing the bolt release, which pops out one shell at a time.
As proof this gun was meant to load and shoot quickly and in high volumes, the Snow Goose has an enlarged/beveled loading port and elongated elevator. Even the anodized follower inside the magazine tube helps the process and adds strength. The follower is a noticeable red color to show when the tube is clear, and it has a beveled face that nicely nestles into the tip of the first round I the tube. I’ve listed some additional specs below:
There were a few other features that showed Mossberg had snow goose hunters in mind when they built this shotgun. There is a thick semi-rounded rubber buttpad that is both easy to rock into your shoulder when wearing a winter hunting jacket and adds extra recoil absorption for heavy volumes of fire.
The synthetic stock also has texturing on the semi-pistol grip and the forend. This texturing is relatively aggressive and grippy. Thankfully, it’s not Velcro-like stippling, which would be terrible with gloves and on your flesh during rapid, high-volume shooting. Polishing it off are two sling-attachment points, with the front one on the side of this very long gun to keep it flatter on your shoulder.
Shooting the 940 Pro Snow Goose
Finally, we get to the actual shooting. At 9.46 pounds when topped off with a full loadout of my current 3-inch hunting shells, the Snow Goose is not exactly a light creature. Still, the gun’s weight doesn’t reflect its nimbleness and comfort when shooting.
Don’t get me wrong, this shotgun does have a bit of a kick. It’s not painful or overly dramatic, but it is there. That being said, the weight, length, sights, and overall action design get you back on target quickly. Just for fun, we actually put this season's Halloween jack-o'-lantern on a post and shot it at about 30 yards. In a few seconds, we had emptied the gun, and the face of the pumpkin basically liquefied under the barrage.
That speed is in part due to the trigger itself. If you have spent time with a basic Mossberg 500, don’t think that is what you will get here. This trigger came in at a 4.5-pound pull for me with a short take up. Better yet, the reset was very short, another feature that lends itself to speedy follow-up shots.
The weight is hefty but not cumbersome in the hand. Fully loaded, the gun balanced right around the center for the forend area where I like to rest my support hand. This allowed for a comfortable and fairly swift swing, though I wouldn’t want to hold it at the ready for extended periods. Plus, what speed you may lose in the swing is aided by the high-visibility front sight, ported choke, and the weight of the gun itself. All help you recover quickly after each shot.
As for ammo, we fed it a variety of shot sizes and brands, and it was happy to eat anything in 2 3/4 or 3-inch shells for the most part. Though, obviously, the preference would be for goose-appropriate loadings. The only ammo it did not cycle well was target loads, which is not surprising given the nature of the action, magazine tube length, and the exceedingly low power of target loads. Be warned, however, because an expensive box of 25 shells will vanish quickly.
But it can’t be all good, right? I do have a few dings, aside from not cycling target loads, which would be super fun for clay busting on the farm. I have two complaints with the fit and finish. First, it’s easy to get a little bit rowdy with 12+ rounds of 12 gauge and a gun that can run fast. The beveling and cutout of the ejection port has some spots where you could scrape your hand if you are overly aggressive with the charging handle. Wearing any gloves solves this issue, but a bit more rounding off on edges around the receiver would be nice.
Lastly, there is a tiny bit of play in the forend grip. It’s nothing that really bothered me or impacted me while shooting. Remember, this is a budget-friendly, purpose-built hunting gun meant to eat thousands of rounds, so don't expect a Citori-like fit and finish, expect functionality.
Final Thoughts & Future Hunts
I used a pump-action Benelli Nova limited to three rounds on my last goose hunt, and I’ll admit I was dreaming of having a 940 Pro Snow Goose with me in the snowy blind instead. Shouldering a Mossberg 940 Pro Snow Goose with 12+ shells feels like 12-gauge freedom.
For the features, shootability, and sheer firepower, the Snow Goose is a good buy at a decent price for anyone looking to fully engage a cloud of snow geese on a dream hunt. While this test gun from Mossberg must return to its home, I put my name on the list to buy the next available one for my personal collection.
The only part that really kind of hurts is buying the ammo to feed it. Then again, when you’re prepping for a dream hunt and praying for large plumps – yes, it’s a word – of snow geese to shoot, ammo really shouldn’t be your hang-up on the gun you pick. After all, you did go out to shoot a LOT of birds.