View Full Version : Shells in a Rifled Barrel

November 22, 2008, 08:38 PM
"Hi!" to one and all as I'm a newby on these forums... ...also a newby to shotguns. I have done pistol and rifle shooting over the years, but it has lapsed some, so I felt an urge to get back into it again.

I had always thought shotguns might be interesting, but the desire for a little home defense nudged me into the realm recently. I reviewed a lot of the posts here and on various other forums before heading to the store, intent on checking out both Remington and Mossberg offerings. One store had a one-day sale and I picked up a Remington 870 Express Synthetic. I intended to also get a Mossberg 500, but those were already sold. I planned on buying both, testing them until I was certain which I preferred and then selling off the other one.

A few days later I was in a different store, getting ammunition and browsing though the offerings. I saw some really nice-looking shotguns, but I heard this husky voice coming from one of the gun racks off to my side that said: "She's prettier, but I'm more fun..."

I turned around and looked up at a Mossberg 930. Everything about it screamed 'take me home with you', so I did!

I do have a few questions concerning this weapon, as I'm not familiar enough with barrel and ammunition types to understand the meaning. The following information is what is shown on the weapon and documentation.


The sticky Mossberg label on the stock says (among other things):

930 Slugster Autoloader
- Self-regulating dual gas-vent system handles 2 3/4" or 3" factory loaded ammunition interchangeably
- Special 24" Slugster barrel featuring 8 groove 1 in 36" twist for optimum accuracy with today's high-performance sabot slugs

The label on the end of the box says:

Mossberg 85330
12 Gauge 930
Synthetic Matte
BBLT 18.5" Tactical Matte

The barrel says:

Model 930 12 GA
18 1/2 IN - Cylinder Bore

The Manual says:

Fully rifled barrels deliver best accuracy with sabot style slugs. Rifled slugs and shotshells are not recommended for use in rifled barrels.


I hadn't even been thinking about slugs, was only expecting to use buckshot and birdshot. What does this all mean? Can I fire shells or should I get an additional smoothbore barrel for that. What exactly can I do, and not do with this kind of configuration?

Scattergun Bob
November 22, 2008, 09:50 PM
Marty, welcome to the forum!

The very first thing to do is to open the action lock it back, check it for empty and shine a flashlight thru the ejection port while looking down the muzzle. If you see spiral rifling it is a rifled bore, if it is just shines, its smooth bore. This is the way to be sure.

What do I think, I think you have a smoothbore with no choke, (cylinder bore) I believe the barrel markings. And someone has the the wrong gun in the wrong box with the wrong barrel, or something like that there.:)

Add to this thread your findings and we will bury you in the details!:)

Good Luck & Be Safe

November 23, 2008, 12:35 AM
Scattergun Bob,

Thanks for your reply! I checked it with the light, although it was a rather weak light, so I might have to try again tomorrow. The barrel certainly looks smooth to me. I would guess that the lands and grooves are pretty pronounced in 12GA, so unless they are very small, it doesn't look like it to me.

I sure hope that doesn't speak to Mossberg's QC, wrong label on wrong shotgun, in wrong box!:confused:

This shotgun only has a bead front sight, with no rear sight. Should I be looking to add additional sighting features to it?

Would you happen to know, or know who does know, what the basic legal guidelines and restrictions are for shotguns in Maryland? Things like min and max lengths, max number of rounds/extensions, types of stocks allowed, etc.?

I'm sure I will have a lot of questions shortly.

Thanks again.

November 23, 2008, 12:51 AM
Greetings, AMarty, and welcome aboard,

The box and the gun seem to match, it's the stock sticker that is different. Of course it could be a generic sticker listing the various options available with the 930. If AMarty's model 930 is Item #85330, then it's a Special Purpose 5+1 with 18.5-inch "Tactical barrel" (cylinder bore with breeching device.)

If this is your gun, then it has a smooth bore and uses standard ammunition.

The Slugster, described on the sticker, looks like these:
It has a 24-inch fully rifled barrel and is appropriate only for special (and expensive) sabot slugs.

Guns and their boxes are often kept separately in stores, to facilitate display requirements, and reunited upon sale. Of course, there's a chance for a mix-up. May I suggest that you compare the serial number on your gun to the one on the box. If they're not a match, then it's appropriate that you get the correct box for your gun.The big question isn't which gun have, but what gun did you pay for? Is your paper work for a Mossberg Item 85330 with a 18.5-inch barrel? I don't know the specifics for your jurisdiction; but, incorrect firearm paperwork may lead to future problems.

Since you now appear to be the owner of a fighting shotgun. May I recommend you check out Scattergun Bob's thread Level 101 Fighting Scattergun (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320877)

November 23, 2008, 01:07 AM
Okay here is the redneck bore inspection method I use...
Open action, verify empty weapon... Take a business card and slightly warp it to fit and stay in action. Point gun towards floor under about any light and peek down the barrel and you will see much better...
Let us know how she works!!!

Scattergun Bob
November 23, 2008, 01:38 AM
Yep, I agree, just wanted to make SHOTGUN SURE it was a smoothbore as the barrel stamp stated. Boxes get switched, stickers fall off, Barrels usually don't lie:).

Hopefully I did not confuse our new friend AMarty!:o

Dave McC
November 23, 2008, 08:29 AM

MD shotguns more or less have to conform to the Fed specs.

Barrels of at least 18", OA length at least 26".

Some box mag autos have a waiting period like our handguns. No restrictions on mag capacity other than the three shot limit for bird hunting.

Yours is legal.

November 23, 2008, 10:31 AM
Boxes get switched, stickers fall off, Barrels usually don't lie.:)
Yep! It's always better to be SHOTGUN SAFE than sorry.
Hopefully I did not confuse our new friend AMarty!
I don't think he's confused. If anything, he's probably relieved that his new gun isn't limited to shooting $abot$ :eek:. And, he's learned a new skill complete with hogdogs' swamp-style alternate method.

November 23, 2008, 02:51 PM
Thanks again to everyone for all of your replies.


My shotgun is the top one that you listed, the 930 Tactical. You mentioned the breeching device. I assume that is the strangely shaped flash hider on the front of the barrel. Is that breech as in breeching a door, or is there something else to it? I'll check the paperwork to be sure it is correct. Thanks also for the link, very informative and helpful.

Dave McC

Thanks for the information on the regulations. Is there any problem with putting a different stock on it, like one of the Knoxx stocks? Are there any assault weapon kinds of limitations on shotguns?


Thanks for the technique, I'll give it a try - just didn't think even shotgun shooters have to carry business cards these days!:)

Scattergun Bob

zippy13 is correct, not so much confused as relieved I can shoot the generic ammo! My aim probably isn't good enough to be firing big bullets at anything.:(

November 23, 2008, 05:11 PM
I got a few from lawyers from my wilder days in the desk along with some from ambulance chasers following crashes...;)

November 23, 2008, 05:22 PM
i like the looks of the furniture on that 3rd pic of the 3 cluster.

November 23, 2008, 09:05 PM
My shotgun is the top one that you listed, the 930 Tactical. You mentioned the breeching device. I assume that is the strangely shaped flash hider on the front of the barrel. Is that breech as in breeching a door, or is there something else to it? I'll check the paperwork to be sure it is correct. Thanks also for the link, very informative and helpful.
Oops... I'm a poor speller, and homonyms can be tricky: it's a breaching device, useful while basting things open. You've got to admit it has a certain Ramboesque je ne sais quoi. Here's here's a great breaching pic posted by cat9x the other day.


The link you like is the work of Scattergun Bob, not me. It has a lot of pertinent info that should be included with special purpose shotguns.

Dave McC
November 23, 2008, 10:11 PM
Trade stocks all you want. I prefer wood,fit to me.

No limitations I know of. Keep it sane though. Extreme mods are rarely worthwhile.